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Camera phone "Scanning" with ScoutPal Live:

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ROV Scanner:

Scan merchandise bar codes into your computer, or into your Bluetooth PDA

(Windows Mobile, Palm, Blackberry)

ROV codes

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ROV -- Versatile -- Affordable -- Features -- The Package -- Accessories -- AutoISBN -- Order -- FAQ

How To Use The ROV Scanner

  1. Basics:

    Hold the ROV about 3-5 inches ABOVE a barcode, then press and HOLD the scan button, and aim the scan beam like you would aim a flashlight.  The red laser light will shoot out while you press and hold the button. If the beam is not shining completely over the barcode, just tilt the scanner, or move it closer or further away, such that the beam shines completely over the barcode, and then some, as illustrated below:

    You can scan the barcode either right-side-up or upside-down, as long as the beam crosses completely across the barcode as shown.

    The instant the scanner detects the barcode, the scanner will beep and automatically shut off it's laser beam.  (If you don't hear the beep, you haven't aimed the scanner properly.) The barcode numbers will then appear in the input field of the program that you are running, just as if you typed them in.

  2. Practice, Practice, Practice:

    The scanner aim is quite flexible, it does not need to be held at an exact distance or at an exact angle, within limits. With just a few practice scans, you will learn how to routinely aim the scanner such that you accurately, efficiently and quickly capture a wide array of barcode formats and sizes. Variables to learn with practice include the angle that you hold the scanner and the distance from the scanner to the barcode.

    Practice tip: Unplug the scanner from it's cable (or remove the battery cover on a bluetooth ROV), then scan in a bunch of barcodes.  Keep scanning until you learn to get a beep every time.  When finished, clear your test scans by first unplugging the cable from your computer/pda/phone, then plug it into the scanner. The test scans will then get cleared out from the scanner's memory.

  3. Which Barcodes To Scan:

    The ROV scanner can scan in nearly any kind of barcode, including EAN-13 barcodes printed on books, as well as UPC barcodes on CDs, DVDs, audio/video tapes, and other media merchandise. (A book barcode is actually the underlying ISBN "transformed" into a 13 digit UPC, it will always start with "978".)

    EAN-13 barcodes can be found on the back cover of most trade paperbacks, on the back leaf of dust jackets, as well as on most other media that has been recently produced, including DVDs, CDs, and tapes. Some music and video merchandise, as well as software and games, will have a UPC, but not an EAN-13. Some merchandise will have both, in that case the UPC is most likely to succeed when looking it up on Amazon, but you might need to try both.

    IMPORTANT: When scanning mass-market (grocery store) paperbacks, scan the EAN-13 bar code that's printed on the inside front cover, not the barcode on the back cover. The back cover bar code in mass-market paperbacks is the  publisher's SKU for the book. SKU bar codes are unique and proprietary to each publisher, and are not used when searching or listing with Amazon.  (If you are an experienced seller, you probably won't be scanning very many mass-market PB's anyway.)

    For merchandise without an EAN-13 barcode, you will want to look for and scan in a 12-digit UPC barcode. The following link will take you to the Amazon web page that describes how to identify the two different kinds of media merchandise barcodes: Amazon: How to Identify ISBNs and UPCs

  4. Customizing the Scanner:

    Many books will have a smaller, five-digit barcode adjacent and to the right of the EAN-13 barcode. The content of this barcode is specific to each publisher, and typically contains encoded the list price. It is not part of the EAN-13 (ISBN) barcode.  If you are using the standard ROV scanner driver, you will need to program the scanner to ignore it using the Disable Supplemental Codes commands.  (Supplementals are automatically filtered out by the ROV/AutoISBN driver.)

  5. Application Software Compatibility:

    Most programs will work directly with an EAN-13 book barcode. This includes SellerEngine, Readerware and the functions of ScoutPal designed for desktop computer use.  You can test a program's compatibility with EAN-13 scans by simply typing in the 13 barcode digits instead of the 10-digit ISBN.  The EAN-13 numbers are the small numbers printed under the barcode, starting with 978.

    If your program accepts the EAN-13 digits as-is, you will be able to use the standard free driver software that comes with the ROV. If your program cannot accept an EAN-13, then you would need to additionally purchase the ROV/AutoISBN software driver upgrade. This software will automatically convert EAN-13 digits to their underlying ISBN digits before sending it to the computer program.

  6. Summary:

    1. Find and scan the EAN-13 barcode (Look for a 13 digit barcode that begins with "978")
    2. If you can't find an EAN-13 barcode, look for a 12-digit UPC instead
    3. Don't scan the SKU barcode on the back of mass-market paperbacks, it is not usable except to the publisher. Look for the EAN-13 printed inside the book.
    4. Most users will want to Disable Supplemental Codes.

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