BARCODE SCANNER - Setup and Configuration

Latest Update: 3/04/2011

Barcode Scanners, combined with a certified MJ Freeway Label Printer, provide one of the key tools for enabling a quick, efficient checkout and inventory management process.

With a plethora of barcode scanners available (similar to card swipers), which ones work with the platform?

Basic Requirements

When choosing a barcode scanner to purchase (if you decide to purchase a barcode scanner elsewhere instead of directly from MJ Freeway) there are some basic requirements that you should look out for:

  • USB/Keyboard (PC) Interface Capable
    • In order to interface with the platform, peripherals just need to speak a simple language: keyboard. By "emulating" a keyboard, the barcode scanner sends the information it reads from the SKU barcode as keystrokes to the computer. That's why a great way to test your scanner is by using the simple Windows application 'Notepad'.
    • ** BE CAREFUL ** Do not get this confused with the USB /HID Interface, as USB/HID is not supported by
  • Supports Code 39 Symbology
    • Code 39 Symbology is a common barcode encoding standard, used for various applications, from retail to the Department of Defense. All of MJ Freeway's barcodes are Code 39 encoded. The barcode scanner you select needs to support Code 39 (which is usually the case).

Recommended Hardware

Based on our internal testing and validation of available barcode scanners, here is a brief list of recommended hardware, if you decide to purchase elsewhere (not from MJ Freeway):

If you have an existing Barcode Scanner, or have purchased a different hardware scanner, and it meets the Basic Requirements above, please feel free to call MJ Freeway Technical Support, and we can work with you to attempt to make it work with MJ Freeway.

Installation and Setup

Barcode Scanners have one of the simplest installations, next to card swipers. In fact, many of the steps follow the same pattern as the card swiper, with the utilization of Notepad to verify the majority of the install.

Nonetheless, this step-by-step guide will cover some quick areas to double check in your Windows or Mac Operating System, to ensure that your barcode scanner will function as expected, and that the scanner provides consistent results with all scans.

Step 1 - Unpack & Plug In

With a Barcode Scanner that has been purchased either from MJ Freeway, or at the very least meets the requirements detailed in the HWBS01 - Barcode Scanners - Requirements and Overview article, the installation is simple.

1. Unpack the unit from the box (there will be a small booklet with the unit, that you may need during the installation, so please keep it handy). Also, take note of the Make and Model number, in case you need support in the future.

2. Plug in the barcode scanner into an available USB port (preferably one in the back of your PC, if available).

3. Windows should recognize the barcode scanner as a "USB Keyboard" device, and no drivers are required for the installation to complete.

HWCS02 - Installing Device Driver.png

HWCS02 - Installed.png

On Mac OS X (10.5.x+), when you plug in the Barcode Scanner, the Keyboard Setup Assistant will pop-up, notifying you that it has found a "new keyboard". At this point, the Barcode Scanner is fully installed on the Mac, and you can simply "Quit" (command-Q) the Keyboard Assistant (or click on the red "X" in the top left of the window to close it).

Mac - Keyboard Assistant.png

At this point, you are now ready to verify your installation.

Step 2 - Verify the Barcode Scanner

With the barcode scanner successfully plugged in and recognized by Windows, you can now take the following steps to verify that it works correctly:

1. Go to Start and type notepad in the Windows 7 search bar. Notepad will come up as an available application to run.

2. Once the Notepad window is open, simply take the barcode scanner and find any product around with a UPC/SKU label, aim the laser at the label, and press the trigger to emit the laser to scan.

3. If the barcode scanner is working, then it will "beep" and the UPC/SKU code from the back of the retail product will show up as a text string in Notepad.

HWBS02 - Windows Scan Validation.jpg

On Mac OS X (10.5.x+), go ahead and launch the TextEdit Application, either by opening Finder, going to Applications and clicking on TextEdit, or in Spotlight (top right hand corner) type TextEdit and press .

Follow steps 2 and 3 above, and if the Barcode Scanner is working, you will have a similar result as this:

HWBS02 - Mac Scan Validation.jpg


4. Repeat steps 2-3 in this list several times, to ensure that you have a consistent amount of successful data captures via your barcode scanner (and feel free to try different products lying around).

With a successful verification of the barcode scanner via these steps, go ahead to the next, and final, step.

Step 3 - Scan a Product into MJ Freeway POS Screen

Go ahead an login to your account via Firefox at the URL you were given when you signed up for the service (i.e. Once successfully logged in, follow these steps:

1. Go to the Inventory | Products screen, and select to "print label" for a product that you have already configured.

** PLEASE NOTE ** Your ZEBRA Label Printer must be configured and working in order to be able to print the product label correctly. Please refer to the HWLP02 - Label Printers - Step-by-Step Configuration Guide on how to configure your ZEBRA Label Printer, if you have not already done so.

2. Now, open Notepad and leave your mouse cursor in Notepad.

3. Aim your configured Barcode Scanner newly printed product label, and press the trigger. The barcode scanner should "beep" and the SKU that you have configured for the product should show up, in its entirety, in Notepad.

If nothing shows up in Notepad, or if only part of the SKU is shown, please refer to the HWBS03 - Barcode Scanners - Common Problems guide to assist in reconfiguring your unit.

4. If step 3 was successful, then please switch back to Firefox and your MJ Freeway site.

5. Select any arbitrary patient, and click "Start Order".

6. In the POS screen, click your mouse in the Data Field so that your cursor is blinking in that field.

7. Now, go ahead and point the Barcode Scanner to the product label you printed earlier, and pull the trigger.

8. The SKU should populate the Data Field, and in less than a second, the product for which you scanned the SKU should show up with a price, under the product list. If so, then the Barcode Scanner is working properly with MJ Freeway.

At this point, the barcode scanner is verified as fully working. However, if you encountered any problems with the barcode scanner while using it to scan MJ Freeway product labels, please refer to HWBS03 - Barcode Scanners - Common Problems for some good troubleshooting information for the most common problems.

Other Resources

For more information, you can reference these other MJ Freeway Knowledge Base articles:


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