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HP Forum Archive 09

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Zenwand for the HP-71B
Message #1 Posted by Andy on 5 Sept 2002, 2:53 a.m.


I recently acquired an HP 71B which came with an HPIL interface and a "zenwand". Where can I find out more info on the Zenwand (maybe even a copy of the manual?). Is it used to load programs? If so is there any source of HP 71B programs in barcode format? The wand seems to work as the red laser comes on in the tip when the bar on the wand is pressed.


Re: Zenwand for the HP-71B
Message #2 Posted by Andy on 5 Sept 2002, 11:56 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Andy

I'm not sure how it works either but the 71b has a file format compatible with hp41 files so you could probably test the bar code using some 41 bar code.

It might be as easy as the command:

copy "filename" from barcode

or some variation (similar to the 75/71 command for copying from a magnetic card: copy "filename" to/from card


Re: Zenwand for the HP-71B
Message #3 Posted by Julián Miranda (Spain) on 7 Sept 2002, 4:40 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Andy

From the Zenwand manual:

"Here is the recommended procedure for scanning a barcode: 1) Connect ZENWAND to the HP-71, and turn the computer on. 2) Execute the keyworde for the type of label you are scanning, e.g.:CODE39$ for Code 39, etc. (There is a description at the begining of the manual of the different types of bar codes) 3) Hold the ZENWAND in a similar manner to how you would hold a pen and press the switch near the tip. 4)Position the tip of the ZENWAND into the quiet zone (the white area either side of the label) and hold the wand at an angle between 0 and 30 degrees from vertical. 5) Scan the entire label smoothly ... 6) Release the switch on the ZENWAND to conserve battery power. During running an application program, step 2 will be handled by the program"

"Barcode readings can be obtained by use of strings functions provided by ZENWAND. These functions wait for a scan to occur, pass the data read by ZENWAND throug a decoder and then return a string representation of the barcode data for subsequent processing by the application program. Note that all user prompting must be supplied by the application program. Because ZENWAND is capable of reading various different types of barcode, six separate string fuctions are provided: CODE11$ CODE39$ CODABAR$ IND25$ INT25$ INACODE$"

It seems you need these files so the wand can read. I have a HP-71 with its wand and manual but no files. So for me this is only theory as I'm not able to try it. If you are interested I can copy the manual (around 80 pages) and send it to you. I suppose there is someone who have a functioning wand and can tell from practice and not only theory.

Re: Zenwand for the HP-71B
Message #4 Posted by Frank Wales on 7 Sept 2002, 12:29 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Julián Miranda (Spain)

If you have a 71 and a Zenwand, you have all you need to read bar codes.

Type BARCODE$ into the 71 at the prompt, press enter, and scan the barcode on anything nearby, such as a cereal packet or a book. The results should appear in the display. Do something like A$=BARCODE$, and the result will end up in A$.

I don't have a manual for Zenwand, but I'm fairly sure there's a bunch of features for handling errors, extracting checksums and so forth. I'm also fairly sure it doesn't decode HP-41 barcodes, but I might be wrong -- I think there is a feature to extract all the bar-by-bar information from any barcode without decoding it, so it's probably possible to write your own decoder anyway. :-)

If you want to use it, you really need to get the manual -- among other things, it includes a little one-line BASIC program that has to be in memory, or some feature doesn't quite work right. Again, I don't remember the details.

If you have an HP2225B HP-IL ThinkJet printer, you can also print barcodes using Zenwand's BCPRINT program. It only includes a driver for the HP2225B HP-IL ThinkJet, but it's possible to add other printer drivers -- I don't know if the information on how to do this was ever released, though.

Re: Zenwand for the HP-71B
Message #5 Posted by Graeme Cawsey on 8 Sept 2002, 9:07 a.m.,
in response to message #4 by Frank Wales

As I recall, standard industry formats are read using functions such as: CODE11$, CODE25$, CODE39$, EAN$, UPC$ (I can remember all the barcode types supported). You can also use the BARCODE$ function, which will auto-discriminate between the supported formats. To read an unsupported format, I think you use the ANYCODE$ function which will return a string of characters representing the relative widths of each bar and space. There was some software for loading 71B programs via barcode - but I can't recall if it made it into the ROM release.

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