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In terms of barcoding, a barcode reader reads the barcode and "types" the Sku number for you. So, anywhere Shopkeeper is waiting for a Sku is a place where you could either type the Sku or barcode-scan-read it. i.e., it's not just for physical inventory.
More details on getting and configuring a barcode reader are below.
Some specific instructions on how to use a barcode reader for physical inventory are separate.
For a barcode reader you want the Metrologic Voyager MS 9540 USB, Keyboard Emulation model with hands-free stand.
The 9540 has various submodels, from which you want MK9540-32A38 - Metrologic MS9540 Voyager Scanner - black, or MK9540-72A38 - Metrologic MS9540 Voyager Scanner - white
USB barcode readers must work in "keyboard emulation" mode. Don't try to use a barcode reader that attaches to the serial ports.
You do not need to run any software to make the barcode reader work neither do you need to make any changes to the Jewelry Shopkeeper. At any screen that is prompting you for a Sku number, you can either type in the number or scan a barcode (the program will not be able to tell the difference!)
Two things to configure with your bar code reader:
One: you have to turn OFF a feature that is sometimes called the POSTAMBLE or sometimes called the SUFFIX. (We specifically do NOT want the barcode reader to send a carriage return to the computer after sending the barcode to the computer.)
For Metrologic Voyagers look in the Configuration Guide for the "Prefixes and Suffixes" section and scan the "Disable CR Suffix" code and scan the "Disable LF Suffix"
If you can't find your manual you can paste into your web browser the link below to download a Metrologic configuration guide. http://www.jewelryshopkeeper.com/hardware/metrologic-config.pdf
Print page 2 and page 37 on paper since the reader doesn't read codes on the computer monitor.
Scan the Enter/Exit Configuration Mode barcode on page 2 then scan the Disable CR Suffix barcode on page 37 then scan the Disable LF Suffix barcode on page 37 then re-scan the Enter/Exit Configuration Mode barcode on page 2
Then test read a jewelry tag barcode in Notepad or email to verify that the cursor remains immediately after the digits - and does not jump to the next line.
You can find a configuration software "MetroSelect2" on
Metologic.com support, download, software.
Two: You should configure the reader to accept "Interleaved 2 of 5" (or I2of5) barcodes but only ones that are exactly 8 digits wide. (this will prevent a partial read of a barcode)
The Metrologic manual isn't very clear on this(!) The sequence is 1) On page 2 (or so) scan the Enter/Exit Configuration code (3 beeps) 2) On the 2 of 5 rules page (p.6 or so) scan the ITF Symbol Length Lock 1 (1 beep) 3) On the Code Byte page (p 69 or so) scan the Code byte 0 code (1 beep) 4) On the Code Byte page (p 69 or so) scan the Code byte 0 code (1 beep) 6) On the Code Byte page (p 69 or so) scan the Code byte 8 code (1 beep) 7) On page 2 (or so) scan the Enter/Exit Configuration code (3 beeps)
These two settings are normally done by finding the right page in the barcode manual and scanning one or two special barcodes in the manual which activate the various features. However, at Compulink, we don't have the specific instructions for activating the configurations for your particular barcode reader.
To test the barcode reader, open a blank page in a word processor and scan a barcoded jewelry price tag. If the sku number appears on the screen then your reader is working. If it doesn't appear then it's not working right. The flashing cursor should remain immediately to the right of the sku number. If the cursor jumps to the next line, that is an indication that the SUFFIX/ POSTAMBLE feature is on which is not desirable - see above.