Any scanner that can read the Code128 barcode format and can be programmed to send a carriage return after the barcode value will be an ideal choice. Huh?
Pretty much every USB scanner you can find will work out of the box with no setup. Literally, plug and play. Code128 is the format that GroovePacker uses when generating barcodes. It's super popular and supports letters, numbers and most characters. It would be difficult to find a scanner that didn't read code128. "Sending a carriage return" just means that the scanner "presses the enter key" after it sends the barcode. Most scanners do this by default but every one I've seen is capable. If you already have scanners they will likely work fine with GroovePacker. See "Connecting your barcode scanner" below for more info.
Bluetooth scanners will require pairing or will come with a USB dongle. Aside from wired or wireless the difference from scanner to scanner is how clear the barcodes have to be in order to get a good scan and how quickly they can scan.
Better scanners can read damaged barcodes and good optical scanners can scan right through plastic bags or scan barcodes that are displayed on a mobile device or computer screen.
While the backend of GroovePacker is best run on a desktop, laptop or tablet running Google Chrome the GPX app, which allows users to scan and verify orders, update products and receive/recount inventory, runs great on both desktops and mobile devices including all-in-one scanners.
A Bluetooth barcode scanner can be connected to a mobile device (iPhone, iPad etc) which receives the scan data much like a scanner sends it to a desktop. While this does work it means that the user has two separate devices to manage. If you require a mobile solution and you are getting new equipment there is an all-in-one option listed below that integrates a high-quality scanner with the mobile device in a much nicer form factor.
Another common, mobile setup is to fit a pick cart with a Chromebook or an iPad. A wireless scanner can send scans as the user picks items and places them in totes or parcels on the cart.
Please see our quickstart page for scanner options that are in use by many of our customers.
Connecting your barcode scanner to GroovePacker
Your scanner will automatically work with GroovePacker if it is connected to and working with the computer/IOS device you are using. It may need to be configured to "press enter" after each scan. After scanning a barcode the scanner should:
1) the decoded barcode and type it out wherever the cursor is
2) send the enter key (also called carriage return)
You can verify this using any text document you can type in (ie Notepad, Notes, an email, etc) If the barcodes do not get typed into your text doc or the cursor does not move to the next line afterward, you'll need to connect or configure your scanner before using GroovePacker. Please consult your scanner manufacturer.
Connecting it to the computer will vary based on the scanner. USB scanners you just plug in, and in most cases, they are treated as a keyboard device. No drivers will need to be installed. Bluetooth scanners have a pairing function the manual will describe the process. They may also need to be configured specially for the operating system you are using. Their manual will explain.
When connected you should be able to scan any functional barcode (test retail barcodes if you're not certain those you have printed are working) and the scanner will type out the decoded numbers/letters of the barcode and then jump to the next line as if you pressed Enter after.
If you're having trouble with your scanner there's a nice troubleshooting article here.