Honeywell Voyager 1202g

November 4, 2011

Honeywell is continuing their transition away from legacy products, this time releasing the Voyager 1202g barcode scanner, a cordless laser scanner that should eventually replace the old VoyagerBT.

The Voyager 1202g uses the same scan engine as the Voyager 1200g, so you get a cordless scanner that doesn’t sacrifice scanning to maintain battery life. On retail barcodes, you get an optimal scan range of contact to about a foot out, which should make it easy to read products without searching for a sweet spot. Like the Voyager 1200g, the Voyager 1202g can also read pretty mangled barcodes, as Honeywell showed in a video a while back. It can also read barcodes with a minimum contrast of 10%, so faded barcodes shouldn’t be a problem at all.

The Bluetooth radio in the Voyager 1202g is pretty standard for the current generation of cordless scanners, giving you about 33 feet of radio range before interference can become a problem. Honeywell claims they’ve gotten 300 feet line-of-sight connectivity, which falls in line with the legacy VoyagerBT, but we won’t be able to test those claims until we get one in house.

Swapping batteries in a retail cordless scanner is pretty rare, but sometimes it’s needed. Thankfully, Honeywell’s built the Voyager 1202g to give you tool-less access to the battery compartment, a tremendous lifesaver when compared to competitors’ use of screws to lock compartments. The battery is an 1800 mAh Lithium Ion, which seems like a lot of milli-Amp hours. For this scanner, 1800 mAh translates to scanning 45,000 barcodes per charge, or 12 hours of work. That’s pretty solid, I don’t think I’d ever want to scan barcodes for that long, so I’d be set. And recharging takes about 4 hours, so you should be set for day to day scanning.

Durability is pretty vital for cordless scanners, as they seem more likely to be dropped than their cabled brethren. The Voyager 1202g is built to withstand 30 drops of 5 feet to concrete, shoulder height for an average person. Waist height for Yao Ming but I don’t see him getting into retail any time soon. The scanner also sports an IP42 environmental seal, so dirt & random water splashes shouldn’t get in to harm internal components. I wouldn’t put this out in a lumber yard, but it should be okay in most retail environments.

With the Voyager 1202g, you get a 3 year warranty standard. Honeywell offers Service Made Simple comprehensive coverage plans if you really want to protect your investment. In all, the Voyager 1202g is a great progression from the older VoyagerBT, and a fantastic upgrade for aging hardware.

So I’ve already made my claims to the problems with trying to use a cell phone camera as a barcode scanner. Mostly in that it’s lame and not good for more than a couple scans here and there. But we’re still getting customers with iPhones who want to track their inventory with the phone. So after much consternation, and two searches on Google for “iPhone Barcode Scanner”, we’ve got a couple units that should do what you need.

First up is the Socket Cordless Hand Scanner (CHS) Series 7 barcode scanner. Talk about a Socket CHS Series 7 Barcode Scannermouthful. We’ve actually had the CHS up on our site for a few years, but recently they upgraded the apparatus to run in human interface device (HID) mode with a special barcode you scan to configure it to communicate with iPhones, iPads, and iPods Touch (iPod Touches?) There’s also a method for it to work with Blackberries, so the CHS is a solid, rechargeable alternative to the Cipherlab 1660 barcode scanner.

This scanner comes with in 3 body designs: Standard for day to day use, rugged for rougher environments, and a rugged antimicrobial housing for healthcare applications. Tracking patient info is getting to be more important everyday, and giving employees the option to use this scanner with a smartphone they already own seems like a great alternative to buying an entirely new device. You also get your choice of standard or high-powered 1D laser or 2D imager as your scanning method, so the CHS 7 definitely can be scaled to meet your exact needs.

Not to be outdone, the Motorola CS3070, when in Bluetooth HID mode, also connects & Motorola CS3000 Barcode Scannercommunicates with iPhones. This is the combo batch & bluetooth scanner that replaced the aging CS1504 and can hold far more barcodes than is necessary while in batch mode.

Though it has only a 1D laser scanner option, the CS3070’s scanner is pretty burly. On a UPC-A barcode, what you see on pretty much every consumer product ever, I was able to scan from about 2 feet away with no problems. Motorola knows laser scanning, and the CS3070 is no exception.

We’re still hacking away on the demo units we have, in an effort to make setup as painless as possible.

I would say that on an average day, 20% of my time is spent making sure the new content I’m creating is keyword laden. It’s no secret that sites try to game search engines, and it’s not secret that it’s a difficult balancing act between creating solid readable content and falling into the oblivion of crap squatted domains. What makes this suprisingly difficult is that every couple of weeks a new site will pop up, vying for that coveted first spot on google’s search results for “barcode scanners“, “homing pigeons“, or “words ending in q.”

Last week we dropped off the first page, and our best guess was that the product spotlight feature was not adding to the overall SEOness of the page. It was a few images with links to complete solutions with no real content. So it was up to me to hammer out a few paragraphs about some products that are fancy and try to pepper it with our keywords. Normally it takes me a couple days to pick the products, find an angle, and then write about it. Around Groundhog Day, I wanted to do a whole thing where I wrote a description then repeated some text. Apparently that joke was too esoteric for mass appeal. Though claiming our product listing scheme involved trying product names to homing pigeons and racing for what gets top nods is okay.

I’m extra worried at this point but manage to hammer out something in about an hour that makes sense to people and is still seasoned with keywords appropriately. I was proud of that speed, I’m really putting my Math background to good use. The day after the content is put up on our local site for review purposes, I notice we’ve jumped back up where we were in google rankings. I’m stoked about that. Extra stoked. Turns out one of the sites taking up two spots (I still want that sub-link below our main listing on google. That’d be so rad.) had identical content to yet another site right above it. Suffice to say, it fell off pretty quickly.

But I would be remiss to leave my 3 hours of work off the site, so there’s a whole deal on cordless barcode scanners up on the site. Pretty sweet deal, they use RF or BlueTooth to give you extra range from your equipment and to prevent you from tripping or getting into a wicked game of double-dutch. So if you got heavy products and don’t want to drop a nut, or if they’re hard to reach, Costco Employees, these cordless scanners provide a fair bit of convenience.

And, as a sidenote, in the couple days it took me to write this, our position went from 10, to 5, to 9, to 6, and now to 8 on our preferred keyword.

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