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Encode Keyboard FNC Keys in a Barcode

The IDAutomation SC5-USB Barcode Scanner has the capability of scanning keyboard function keys (such as F2, F4, F10, etc.) from a properly encoded barcode, providing that function key emulation option is enabled within the scanner.

Solution(s):

The built in decoder for the IDAutomation SC5USB Barcode Scanner can emulate function keys as well as other keys such as PgUp, PgDn, Backspace, Tab, Enter, Esc, Insert, Delete, Home and End. Enable the "Function Key Emulation Mode" by scanning the appropriate barcode in the scanner manual. When enabled, lower ASCII codes in a Code 128 barcode will simulate pressing a function key on the keyboard. For example, an ASCII 23 digit (0x17 in the manual) encoded in a barcode will send the same codes to the computer as if the F7 function key was pressed. Because the scanner manual only lists hexadecimal numbers, refer to the ASCII chart for conversions.

IDAutomation suggests using Set A of Code 128 to easily encode lower ASCII characters. For example, the following encoded in Code 128 Set A simulates pressing the F7 key after the data "123456" is entered:
123456w
This barcode may be printed for testing purposes from the following URL:
http://www.bcgen.com/demo/linear-dbgs.aspx?S=13&CS=1&D=123456m

Functions ASCII Extended Code 39 Equivalent * Code 128 Set A Equivalent Hex Value Description
F1 17 $Q q 11 DC1
F2 18 $R r 12 DC2
F3 19 $S s 13 DC3
F4 20 $T t 14 DC4
F5 21 $U u 15 NAK
F6 22 $V v 16 SYN
F7 23 $W w 17 ETB
F8 24 $X x 18 CN
F9 25 $Y y 19 EM
F10 26 $Z z 1A SUB
F11 27 %B | 1C FS
F12 28 %C } 1D GS

* Standard Code 39 barcodes do not allow for the bar-coding of the lower ASCII characters. If using Code-39, the Extended Code 39 character set will be needed and implemented for this purpose.

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