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November 04, 2005

fun with bar codes

I recently acquired a USB bar code scanner. It's very cool. I got it for cataloguing my comic books with a program I've ordered called ComicBase. While I'm waiting for that program to arrive, I've been scanning the books on my shelf using LibraryThing.

I got the scanner very cheap ($60) on ebay. The model number is CCD-80SX -- I think it's made by Ammer but it is unlabeled. Very brand X -- but way cheaper than the Manhattan model that the ComicBase people recommend and sell. It took some email exchanges with the seller to find the configuration manual so that I could configure it to scan comic book bar codes (which are standard EAN/UPC code with a 5-digit extension code).

Hoping that ComicBase arrives tomorrow so that I can do some time trials on scanning this weekend. I want to catalogue as much of my Texas-based collection (some in Austin, some in Brownwood) over the holidays while I'm down there.

Eventually, I may start to sell some of my books online, either through my own little online store or through Atomic Avenue, which is the online marketplace that the makers of ComicBase plan to launch soon.

Ah. Geek fun.

Posted by ljh at November 4, 2005 12:10 AM


Let me know how ComicBase turns out, and whether LibraryThing might do the job instead. I mean, do you want to catalog all your comics and then have the information just *sit there*? Don't you want to see who else has what you have, etc.? Let me know what LT's missing and I'll see what I can do.

(Tim, the developer)

Posted by: Tim at November 4, 2005 12:30 AM

I just bought that exact scanner from eBay to use with Comicbase as well! I just received the software (it's very fun) and have had limited success with the comic bar codes. It turns out the scanner only reads the first part of the bar code in its default mode.

I happened to notice the scanner model number up inside the face of the scanner, so I did a search for more info and found your post. Thanks for the link to the manual- I need to figure out how to configure it now for the extended bar codes!

Posted by: bigrye at November 7, 2005 10:19 AM

Configuring the scanner for comic books is very easy:

  1. On page CV1, scan the START code

  2. On page P26-P43, scan the "Add 2/5 On" code in section 2

  3. On page CV1, scan the END code

Posted by: ljh at November 7, 2005 12:44 PM

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