Barcode Scanner Technology Explained – Long Range CCD Scanners

In the last article we looked at the more “Classic” CCD Barcode scanner, which is inexpensive but has a few shortcomings when it comes to range.  however there are many CCD Barcode readers available that use the same technology but scan at far longer lengths.  These are commonly known as Long Range CCD Barcode Scanners but be careful as we’re not talking about meters here, but they are able to scan at distances of about 30 cm, which is comparable to many good laser scanners on the market today.

A brief recap of CCD technology is on the last post but to add to this, the arrays on long-range barcode scanners are effectively the same but the light emitted is stronger and more focussed so you see plastic lenses on the light emitters on the longer range CCD barcode scanners.

Pros of Long Range CCD Barcode Scanners

Range – It’s all about the length here, most long-range CCD Barcode Scanners can scan at distances easily comparable with laser scanners now, so 30cm+ with nicely printed barcodes can be easily achieved these days.

  • Price – It’s still the same cheaper CCD technology so the prices of CCD barcode scanners are still typically far less than laser versions.
  • Safety – No class 1 or 2 lasers to shine in your eyes here, just LED light!

Cons of Long Range CCD Barcode Scanners

To  be honest, these days not much, there are a few things to think about though:

  • Watch out for the ergonomics on many CCD Barcode scanners, whilst not a con of CCD technology itself, many CCD barcode scanners have cheaper triggers, and trigger buttons in non-ergonimic positions to make the design cheaper.
  • Flexibility – Whilst range is comparable, only the best long range CCD Barcode scanners are as flexible.  It’s close though and laser only just pips it on the flexibility on the read distance.
  • Light Contamination – CCD scanning technology measures ambient light and by definition if you’re scanning at range then there’s more ambient light around.  This makes them more prone to lighting conditions, especially at range.

If you need a truly retail standard level of scanning that’s aggressive, as flexible as they come and non compromise then a laser scanner is probably still what you need, however for anything else CCD is more than good enough these days.  Watch this space as long range CCD Barcode technology is all but comparable these days but typically half the price.

Tomorrow we’ll take a look at Laser Barcode Scanning tech.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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