[svlug] RS-232 electronics help wanted

William R Ward bill at wards.net
Fri Jan 18 16:35:02 PST 2002

A while back I bought a barcode wand scanner on eBay.  My plan was to
hook it up to my laptop, and scan all the barcodes of the books I own,
use the resulting info to look up the details based on the ISBN from
the 'Net (probably amazon.com, unless the library of congress has the
info online?), and compile a list of all my books.  Maybe do the same
thing with CD's.

Trouble is, the barcode scanner won't talk to my laptop, because the
laptop's serial port uses RS-232 voltags (+/- 12V) and the scanner
uses TTL voltags (0/5V).

When I was in high school I had a friend who showed me how you can use
1488 and 1489 chips to do this kind of thing.  But electronics was
never my strong suit, and this guy and I have drifted apart in the
intervening years, and I would like some assitance bodging together an
interface between my laptop (an older IBM Thinkpad, if anyone cares)
and the scanner.

I could probaly figure this out, but I'm really more of a software
person, and I am guessing maybe someone on this list has already
solved this or a similar problem and can help me do this painlessly.
Any volunteers?


William R Ward            bill at wards.net          http://www.wards.net/~bill/
     If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

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