Getting Started Using Your ScoutPalDB PDA and Opticon H-21 PDA/Scanner

Carefully unpack the equipment. Save all packaging in case of return. (Returns MUST be complete: all packaging, all cables, all bags, twist-ties etc.; all must be in as-received condition.) If the battery is packed separately, install it and lock the cover.  A stylus is stored on the top right side of the PDA, you will use the stylus to tap on the screen and operate the PDA.

Do not install any software from CDs packaged with the PDA and scanner or elsewhere. Everything has been pre-installed and setup so that you can begin using ScoutPalDB right away with your ScoutPal subscription: The ScoutPalDB program and scanner driver software are setup and ready to use, and the current database file (as of the date of configuration) is in the memory card.

Read the manufacturer’s user guide for the PDA and/or experiment with it to learn the basics of its operation. (User guides can be found online by Google searching by brand and model name.)  For example, you will need to know how to turn it off and on, how tap the screen to make choices, how to bring up the on-screen keypad to enter and edit text and numbers (press and hold the F1 key to shift into number-entry), and how to start and close programs.

Get familiar with the push buttons on the PDA:  On the top side of the unit is a red screen on/off button; push it once to turn the screen on/off.  On the face of the unit, under the screen, is a row of function buttons with a cursor pad/enter button in the middle.  From the left, the buttons are:

Start Flag -- F1 -- [Cursor Pad] -- F2 -- (OK)

We programmed the F1 button to start ScoutPalDB; the F2 button is programmed to start the File Explorer.  You can change what the buttons do if you wish: Tap Start>Settings>Personal>Buttons (1)  You can also tap the Start icon on the screen or push the Start button to start a program or adjust system settings such as power and screen.

The scan beam is turned on when the left or right side [ o o o  ] button is pressed.  Press the scan button once to turn on the scan beam.  The beam turns turn off immediately after a successful a bar code scan, or after a a few seconds pass attempting to scan. You can change the scanner settings by tapping on its icon at the top of the screen.  Scans are sent into whatever program happens to be running at the time of the scan, so start ScoutPalDB before scanning.  If you haven't used a scanner before, be sure to read

The micro-SD card slot is under a peel-up flap on the left side, below the reset button.  Press the reset button with the stylus after removing the SD card, this will reboot the PDA and ensure that it recognizes a re-inserted card.

A mini-USB charging cable socket is on the bottom, under a flap.  The unit may be charged from any conventional mini-USB source: wall, computer USB, or car charger; some will charge faster than others.

(IMPORTANT) Keep the database up-to-date:

A storage card reader simplifies and speeds up the process of copying database updates to the storage card. Most new computers have them built-in, or you can get an inexpensive "plug-and-play" reader from Radio Shack, Best Buy, etc., or it may have been included with your package.  Plug the reader into a USB port on your computer, and give Windows some time to recognize it.  Then simply remove the storage card from the PDA and plug it into the card reader, using a micro-size to standard-size SD adapter, typically included with micro-SD cards.. On some computers, a window into the storage card will automatically open when the card is plugged in, and it will show you the card's drive letter.  If not, use the “My Computer” function to open a window to show all the drives attached to your computer. The storage card will be listed as one of your removable drive(s). Double click it to open a window into the storage card. If you are not sure which drive letter(s) belong to the card reader, unplug and plug in the reader again and you will see the drive letter(s) disappear and then reappear in the list.  You may have to click on more than one drive letter to find out which drive letter belongs to the card.  You don't need to have the card opened in a window to use the easy updater (see below), you just need to know its drive letter.

To the get the latest database update:  If you haven't done so already, browse to and install the "easy updater" on your computer; you can watch the video Setup ScoutPalDB, Step 1-a at, it will take you step-by-step through the process.  Once installed, you only need to give the updater your ID/password and the drive letter of your card (see previous paragraph.)  If you cannot use the "easy updater" (Mac computer users, others) and you must instead update with a manual zip download and unzip procedure, be sure to click on the How to links on the ScoutPalDB page and follow the instructions carefully.


Always soft-reset the PDA so that it will recognize an update. To save time, do the soft reset before starting the SD card update process on your computer.

For general PDA or scanner usage information, please refer to the manufacturer documentation.  The H-21 can optionally be used with cellular service, allowing ScoutPal Live lookups and phone calls.  Contact a GSM cell company for more information, such as T-Mobile or AT&T.

Contact ScoutPal Support if you need more help.  The direct line for subscribers only is: (541) 752-3917

1 Tap Start>Settings>Personal>Buttons to customize any of your PDA's buttons.

2 If a program you need is not listed on the Start menu, tap Start>Programs and find it there.