Support: Bar Code Scanner FAQs

Welcome to the Bar Code Scanner FAQ page.

Here you will find the answer to many Frequently Asked Questions that we receive. If you are unable to find your answer in these FAQ's or other available resources, please
contact us.

Bar Codes

I’m having trouble scanning bar codes I've printed. What should I do?
Check your software for the symbology type you are printing. Make sure it is a type the scanner supports and that it's enabled on the Scanner. A complete list of symbologies can be found on the ROV Scanner page. To enable symbologies on the scanner, see your Quick Start Guide.

Check for the length of the bar code, if the bar code is greater than 4.5”, the scanner may not read it very well.

Check the X-dimension or density of the bar code. The X-dimension defines the smallest bar or space width. Make sure it meets the specifications of the scanner.

Can the scanner read ISBN bar codes on books?
The ISBN number is never directly added as a bar code on a book. The bar code is actually a Bookland bar code that uses the EAN-13 symbology to encode the ISBN number. The scanner reads this bar code. On some paperback books you may find two bar codes. A standard UPC bar code on the back and a Bookland bar code on the inside front cover. For more information see

Can I scan bar codes of various colors?
In some applications colored labels or colored bar codes can be very useful. However, you have to be careful when choosing printing and background colors. The advent of colored ribbons allows an increasing number of bar code printers to print colored labels. This can cause problems due to the required contrast ratio of bar code scanners. Bar codes printed in black, blue, green, and dark brown on white, yellow, or red backgrounds normally work well. Other combinations may result in poor contrast ratio and unreadable bar codes. One bad combination is a black bar code on a green background. The green background will appear black to the red laser scanner.

Can I scan a bar code through glass, plastic or other surfaces?
The scanner can scan through some reflective surfaces. CD jewel cases, plastic shrink wrap, or plastic bags are examples of materials that can be scanned through. Windshields and other glass surfaces are difficult to scan through.

I have a Mac running OS X and I need better data control. What do I do?
For OS X, the USB PnP Cable will only work for simple keyboard input. For advanced OS X integration, a premiere MicroVision partner, Serialio, offers the most complete Mac OS X scanner support. To integrate you will need a 'virtual com' cable compatible with OS X. These cables are available from both separately and bundled with a MicroVision scanner.

» Click here for more information on SerialMagic for OS X 10.2+

How do I implement advanced features of the ROV Scanner such as Timestamps, and Host Scan Control?

We highly recommend using one of our MicroVision SDK's.  If an SDK is not available for your platform, download the “MicroVision Scanner Programming Guide” to learn the details of the XSP communications protocol located in MicroVision Developer Central.  

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Scanners – Operation

What if there is no scan line visible when I depress the scanner button?
Depress the scanner button until you hear and feel a click. If the scan line still doesn’t appear, check the three ‘AAA’ batteries for correct installation. Replace the batteries if necessary. If you are in bright sunlight, you may not see the scan line, but the scanner may operate properly.

What happens if I don’t hear a beep when trying to perform a scan?
The beep indicates that your scanner has captured a good scan. If you don’t hear the beep after performing the proper scanning procedure, the beeper could be disabled. Scan the “Beep is True” bar code in the User’s Guide and then scan a bar code. The beeper should activate.

What should I do if the LED on the scanner does not blink when scanning?
The LED should blink once to indicate a good scan. If you don’t see a blink, scan the “Green and Blue LED is True” bar code in the User’s Guide and then scan a bar code. The LED should activate.

What does it mean when I hear three beeps while trying to scan a bar code?
Three beeps during a scan attempt indicate that the scanner memory is full and the scanner cannot store any more bar codes. Connect your scanner to your host and upload the stored bar codes.

The ROV Scanner allows you to limit the number of bar codes the scanner will store.  The scanner can store up to 4000 UPC-A bar codes.  If you can only store a few scans, check with your application provider or system administrator before changing this setting.  Scan the “Bar Code Limit is 9999” in the User’s Guide to set the limit to the maximum value.

What is the maximum bar code length that can be scanned?
The scanner can scan bar codes up to approximately 4.5 inches in length.

How many characters can you have in a bar code?
The scanner can decode up to 44 characters in a bar code.

What is the “User Settings” feature of the ROV Scanner?

The User Settings feature allows you to commit settings to memory and then restore those settings using the “Restore User Settings” command or control bar code.  It works just like the "Return to Factory Settings" command bar code in the Quick Start Guide but allows for custom user settings.

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Scanners – Bluetooth

How do I connect a ROV Scanner with Bluetooth to my PC or Laptop?

Connecting a Bluetooth scanner to a host computer (desktop or laptop) requires a Bluetooth adapter and software. The adapter contains a Bluetooth radio that links the host computer with the ROV Scanner. The software receives the scanned data from the adapter. Important Bluetooth adapter information:

  • All true Plug-n-Play (auto-installs XP drivers) adapters are compatible. The adapters create a virtual COM port (VCOMM) that allows the host computer to communicate with the scanner.
  • Adapters that require manual driver installation are not compatible as the Bluetooth will never reconnect if your scanner loses connection. The scanner loses connection when it goes into sleep mode, when the computer goes into standby mode, or if the scanner goes out of radio range.
  • Internal Bluetooth radios are not compatible since they normally do not act like a traditional VCOMM port.

In addition to a Bluetooth adapter you may need software to get the scanned bar codes into an application. The most popular methods of using the ROV Scanner with Bluetooth with an application include:

  • Using "wedge software". Wedge software allows you to bar code enable any software application that accepts keyboard input. MicroVision Scanner Wedge (included with ROV Scanner) and SerialMagic Pro are examples of wedge software.
  • Use a line-of-business software application that is already compatible with the ROV Scanner with Bluetooth. The application developer has integrated the scanner into the application such that the ROV Scanner with Bluetooth will work out of the box without additional software.
  • Use the MicroVision SDK to integrate scanning into your custom application. The SDK allows you to create a complete scanner interface to make it easy for the end user to scan bar code data. This is recommended for developers only.


What is the maximum range of the Bluetooth enabled scanner?
The ROV Scanner with Bluetooth uses a Class 2 Bluetooth Radio which has an approximate range of 10 meters (33 ft.). Most designs also usually exceed specifications making the distance typically well in excess of these figures. For more information see

What happens when I walk out of that range?
When you walk out of the radio range the scanner goes into batch mode and stores the barcodes in memory until you come back into range. This provides a virtual unlimited range for the Bluetooth enabled scanner.

You can also configure the ROV Scanner to Host Scan Control operation by scanning the “Bar Code Limit is Zero” bar code in the User Guide (link to UG).  With this setting, the scanner will alert the user with 6 quick beeps that the scanner is not connected to the host device (either tethered via cable or wireless Bluetooth connection).

What kind of interference can I expect from the Bluetooth scanner?
According to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group:
Any time devices are operated in the same frequency band; there is the potential for interference. The severity of this interference is a function of the system designs and the distance between devices. Since the strength of a radio signal varies approximately with the "inverse square" of the distance, a small increase in separation can reduce the level of interference significantly. Studies by a number of companies indicate that if the separation is more than 2 meters, in most cases there is no perceptible degradation transmitting data in either device. From two meters to about a half-meter, there is a graceful degradation. As the devices are brought in very close proximity and collocated, the degradation can be quite noticeable. Fortunately, this scenario only happens when the two systems are in the same device, and in those cases, Bluetooth hardware and Wi-Fi hardware can collaborate to dramatically improve performance.

For more information see

Can I use multiple Bluetooth devices on one computer or PDA?
Yes, Bluetooth can handle up to seven devices paired to one master device. You may encounter limitations with software or software compatibility. For example, MicroVision’s wedge software only supports one scanner at a time.

When connecting to a ROV Scanner with Bluetooth, I get the same bar code over and over. How do I handle this?
It is possible you are using the wrong version of wedge software. Be sure to download the wedge software designed to work with the Bluetooth enabled scanner.

Can I convert my ROV Scanner to a ROV Scanner with Bluetooth?

Yes, you can add Bluetooth capability to your ROV Scanner by purchasing a ROV Scanner Conversion Kit w/Bluetooth. This includes a battery door with Bluetooth module and Scanner Wedge for any platform. You will find this available under Replacement Parts in the MicroVision web store.

Can I use my own USB Bluetooth dongle with my Flic Cordless Scanner?
Yes. Look for Bluetooth dongles that are supported by Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or that come with Widcomm Bluetooth stacks. MicroVision cannot guarantee that these will work, but many of them do.

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Scanners – ROV Compatibility

Is the ROV Scanner compatible with my Flic Scanner application?

The following table will help you determine if the ROV Scanner will work in your current Flic Scanner application:

Flic Scanner Application
ROV Scanner Compatible
Scanner Wedge For Windows 1.x Yes MicroVision recommends upgrading to Scanner Wedge v2.x which also supports both Flic and ROV Scanners  v2.x is a free upgrade
Scanner Wedge for Windows Mobile 1.x Yes MicroVision recommends upgrading to Scanner Wedge v2.x which also supports both Flic and ROV Scanners  v2.x is a free upgrade
Scanner Wedge for BlackBerry v1.x No To support ROV Scanners use Scanner Wedge for BlackBerry v2.x.  You can install and run both v1.x and v2.x on the same BlackBerry device.
Custom Application using Flic Scanner SDK for Windows Possible Many applications developed with the Flic Scanner SDK for Windows will work with ROV Scanner.  Those applications that use timestamp functions will not work.
Custom Application using Flic Scanner SDK for Windows Mobile Possible Many applications developed with the Flic Scanner SDK for Windows Mobile will work with ROV Scanner.  Those applications that use timestamp functions will not work.
Custom Application using Flic Scanner SDK for BlackBerry including Scanner Driver for BlackBerry No The Flic Scanner SDK for BlackBerry used the Flic Scanner Plus Mode for communication.  ROV Scanner does not support Plus Mode.Use the new MicroVision SDK for BlackBerry v2.x
SerialMagic Pro for Windows, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Palm Yes, with the exception of some specific features Most of the features of SerialMagic Pro work with the ROV Scanner.  See the specific User Manual for those features only supported by Flic Scanners.
Custom application not using a MicroVision SDK Possible If the custom application used either timestamps or Plus Mode functionality for the Flic Scanner application, then ROV Scanner will be incompatible.  Otherwise, the ROV Scanner should work.


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Bar Code Scanning Software

What is “wedge” software?
There are several ways to implement a bar code scanner into an end-user application. The simplest method is to use a “wedge” interface. A “wedge” interface makes the data from the bar code scanner appear as if it were typed on a keyboard. The wedge program handles all the communications with the scanner and sends the received data to the host as keyboard data.

A wedge interface is very simple to install and use. Existing applications require no modifications in order to accept scanned data. For many applications, particularly where bar code scanning is simply replacing typing in of data, wedge solutions are ideal.

The user must be sure the cursor is in the proper place before scanning data or it may be entered into the wrong location. Wedge applications do not allow the application as much control over the scanned data as a custom application.


What SDKs are available for the ROV Scanner?

MicroVision currently has SDKs for the following platforms: Windows (in beta), Windows Mobile (in beta) and BlackBerry.  We also have plans to create SDKs for Symbian and specific JAVA platforms like iDEN.  If we do not have an SDK for your platform you can still use the “MicroVision Scanner Programming Guide” to integrate the ROV scanner with your application. To learn more about the MicroVision SDKs and Programming Guide, visit MicroVision Developer Central on the web.

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MicroVision iMagic Inventory

What is MicroVision iMagic Inventory Software?
It's an inventory management system for small to medium sized companies which includes flexible inventory control software and a MicroVision Barcode scanner.

What do I get when I purchase MicroVision iMagic Inventory Solution?
After purchase, you will receive the MicroVision Laser Bar Code Scanner, Quick Start Guide, USB Cable, and Software Download Card. You will be able to use iMagic’s support forums for any technical help and receive all updates for a year - for free.

Does iMagic Inventory Software support multiple users?
Yes, iMagic Inventory Software can be used on a LAN by several users at once.

To setup multiple users you would install the software onto each PC that needs it. Then designate one as the main/server PC, this then shares it's database with the other PCs on the network.

It takes a few steps to setup the network feature. As follows:

1) Install the software onto the server, this will then be the central database. Configure and setup the system and other details as required.
2) Still on the server, create a share to the folder in which you installed the software. You can do this in Windows by right clicking on the folder and selecting Sharing. You'll then want to give full read and write access.
3) Install the software onto each workstation (don't run it just yet).
4) On each workstation run the Network Administration program (found by pressing Start/Program Files/iMagic Inventory). Follow the wizard and set the database path to the share that was created on the server.
5) You can now run the software on each workstation and it will use the database on the server.

How can I change the default currency setting?
iMagic Inventory Software uses the system's currency setting. To change this to a different currency:
1) Press Start/Settings/Control Panel.
2) Select Regional Options.
3) Select the Currency Tab.
4) Change the Currency Symbol to your currency and click OK.
iMagic Inventory Software will now use your currency.

I am wondering if  iMagic Inventory has a limit to the number of inventory items the database will hold?
The upper limit depends on the speed of your PC, available RAM etc. The average PC should be able to deal with 20,000 items. A more powerful PC can handle many times that.

I'm quite happy with my pencil and paper why should I use a computer?
There are many advantages to using computer software although the main one should always be that it makes your life easier. The software product is intended to save you time and effort.

Can I create barcode labels?
Yes. You can create barcode labels by selecting Reports/Barcodes.

What reports are available?
All commonly used reports are available, including sales, customers, vendors and inventory. iMagic Inventory is fully compatible with MS Access, so most reporting applications can be used including Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003, Microsoft Access 2003 and Crystal Reports 10 - Standard Full Product. You can also export to Excel for even more options.

For receiving stock, does iMagic Inventory automatically increase the "number in stock" count each time a particular barcode is scanned, or is further user input needed to enter the quantity?
Yes, iMagic Inventory can automatically increase stock levels when it arrives. From the main menu select Inventory/Receive Stock.

For outgoing stock, are scanned items automatically deducted from the "number in stock" count and moved to the invoice?
Yes, as you add items to the invoice the stock level is automatically updated.

How can I backup iMagic Inventory?
You'll need to backup the database file called db.mdb, by default this is installed in the c:\Program Files\iMagic Inventory folder. To restore from the backup, copy the file back.

How can I stop iMagic Inventory from rounding the currency values entered? Say I want to enter $0.0237, it always rounds it to $0.02.
The number of decimal places is controlled by Windows. If you select Start/Configure/Control Panel and then Regional Settings and then Currency. You can change the number of decimal places.

When I launch the application I get the error "Format of the initialization string does not conform to the OLE DB specification.". What can I do?
This error indicates that either Microsoft Jet or Microsoft MDAC are out of date or need repairing. Mostly this can be fixed by going to the Microsoft Update website and downloading the latest versions. However if you are running Windows XP with SP2 then the Microsoft updates above may not launch. In which case you'll need to repair your install, you can do this by:
1) Locate the mdac.inf file in C:\WINDOWS\inf
2) Right click on the file and select install.
3) When prompted for a location, enter:
4) If prompted for the Windows XP CD, either load the CD or point to:

This will reinstall and repair Microsoft MDAC/Jet.

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MicroVision Media Organizer

When trying to initialize my barcode scanner I get a message that the scanner could not be detected. What can I do?

Please check our page on using the scanner, and its trouble shooting section.

It will cover all there is to know about connecting the scanner, and has a clear step by step approach to find the cause the scanner is not initializing.

Does the scanner require drivers for its installation ?

The scanner itself does not require drivers.

If you are connecting the scanner through a serial to USB converter cable, that cable WILL need to be installed using drivers. To download these drivers, visit the MicroVision USB Driver page.

When you are using a converter other than the one we offer on our site, please check for driver availability with the manufacturer. See also the scanner setup page.

Note: Windows Vista will use its own online driver database to install the cable.

Can the scanner be used to upload barcodes to other programs as well ?

Yes it can be used as a general wedge scanner, which will make your scanner emulate keyboard input. To learn more about Wedge Software and see available platforms, visit the MicroVision Scanner Software page.

Can I use the barcode scanner to find an item?

Yes, if the item is in the database you can find it. Scan the barcode and a search filter will be applied to find that barcode. Only the item with that barcode will appear in the List view.

Using barcode searching and having trouble?

Keep in mind that barcodes are specific to country.

This means a barcode for a US product will not bring up results if you look on Amazon DE (Germany). Or what may happen is that the barcode number will bring back information on a different item. Barcodes are not required to be unique between countries.
It is best to use an info source that is set up for the country you purchased your items from. For example in the US, include Amazon US as a selected info source.

How do I use the scanner to scan and unload a batch of barcodes in one go, and how much can the scanner hold?

You can simply hook up the scanner, start one of the programs (the scanner can only be accessed in one program at a time) and use the menu Tools --> Initialize Flic Scanner.

After a successful initialization, just unplug the scanner from the 3.5 mm jack and scan up to 500 barcodes that can be fed to that one program (so avoid mixing them up, they have to be unloaded to the activated /running program). After hooking the scanner back up, the add screen should come up automatically with the codes unloaded into it.

Of course, the memory (able to contain a maximum of 500 barcodes) is again freed up after the unloading, and you can scan up to 500 new items into the scanner.

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Accessories – USB Cable

Why is bar code data not appearing or appearing incorrectly in my application?

The settings within your scanner have not been properly set. Located within your USB Cable Quick Start Guide, scan the "Return to Factory Defaults" bar code and then follow steps A.2 (for Keyboard Mode) or B.2 (for VCOM Mode).

When scanning a batch of bar codes, why are only a few showing up in my application?

First, make sure to scan the “Delay – 500ms” bar code on step A.2 / B.2 in your USB Cable Quick Start Guide. Your computer’s keyboard buffer may not able to accept data as fast as the scanner is able to send it. This setting inserts a ½ second delay between bar codes to allow your computer to process the data.

Second, always plug the USB Cable into your computer before plugging your USB Cable into your scanner.  

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