Can an Allegro MX be used with Scanners and Scales?
14 Jun 2013
The Allegro MX can be expanded to include interfacing to bar code scanners and electronic scales. The following will outline the basic function of this feature.
Bar Code Scanners
The Allegro MX has an option to add an integrated bar code scanner that will read all types of 1D type bar code scanners. This scanner is installed at the factory in place of the standard PC card door. The scanner option includes software to convert bar code data to keyboard type data. The bar code software will store bar code data wherever the cursor is located within any open program.
A couple examples of this are with either FRS Note Taking or FRS Mobile, open to any of the collect data screens. The bar code scanner and software will read a scanned bar code and store this information as trait data. The scanner can also store this information into an Excel spreadsheet through Office Mobile.
FRS Mobile software also has an added feature to search information. A field map with a Plot ID or other searchable identifier can be imported into FRS Mobile. In the collect data screens, select the search function. When a bar code is read, FRS Mobile will then search through the field map and locate matching text or partial matching text then bring up the plot. A user can then enter additional data into that searched plot.
The Allegro can also interface to external Bluetooth type scanners and collect data in the same manner. Many external scanners have 2D bar code capability which will expand the data collection feature.
The Allegro can also be interfaced to electronic scales to automatically store scale weight when recording data on bagged samples. The interface to electronic scales requires the addition of a wedge type program like CE Wedge from TalTech.
A typical use case with bar code scanners is with bagged field samples. A bagged sample will contain a bar code label with a plot number ID or range/row. The user can scan the bagged sample and store the plot ID, the user then places the bagged sample on a scale. The print feature of the scale will send the weight to the Allegro through CE Wedge. CE Wedge can store the scale weight right along with the bar code plot ID that was scanned. Afterward, the user can export the plot ID and scale weight.
Additionally, you can hook up a normal Windows based PC over RS232 to an electronic scale using this software:
FRS Mobile Plant Level Data Collection
The same feature can be used to collect data on individual plants. FRS Mobile allows a user to collect data on every individual plant within a plot. When entering Collect, the user can specify the number of plants in the plot and whether data will be collected on the plants or just at the plot level.