Multiple-interface selection system for computer peripherals

US006612495B2
(12) United States Patent
Reddersen et al.
(54)
MULTIPLE-INTERFACE SELECTION
SYSTEM FOR COMPUTER PERIPHERALS
(10) Patent N0.:
(45) Date of Patent:
(56)
References Cited
U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS
(75) Inventors: Brad R. Reddersen, Eugene, OR (US);
Phillip W. Shepard, Eugene, OR (US);
Rockie D. Moch, Eugene, OR (US);
Jon Paul Charles Williams, Eugene,
OR (US)
(73) Assignee: PSC Scanning, Inc., Eugene, OR (US)
( * ) Notice:
Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this
patent is extended or adjusted under 35
4,543,450 A
9/1985
Brandt ........................ .. 179/2
4,579,407
A
4/1986
Shimada
4,621,189
A
11/1986
. . . . ..
.......
4,678,288 A
7/1987 Lonsdale et al.
8/1987
A
Farago
.....
. . . ..
339/29
235/472
350/432
. . . .. 340/347
4,694,182 A
4,699,447 A
9/1987 Howard
10/1987 Howard
250/566
350/69
4,820,193 A
4/1989 Noorily
439/488
4,861,972 A
4,866,257 A
8/1989 Elliott et al. .
9/1989 Elliott et al. .
235/462
235/436
4,889,497
A
4,902,244 A
This patent is subject to a terminal dis
claimer.
.. ... .
Kumar et al.
4,686,506
4,868,375 A
U.S.C. 154(b) by 0 days.
9/1989 Blanford
12/1989
Riches
.....
235/462
. . . . ..
439/76
2/1990 Endo et al. ............... .. 439/489
(List continued on neXt page.)
Primary Examiner—Karl D. Frech
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Stoel Rives LLP
(21) Appl. No.: 09/964,253
Sep. 25, 2001
(22) Filed:
Prior Publication Data
(65)
(57)
ABSTRACT
An interface selection and con?guration system for a com
US 2002/0130181 A1 Sep. 19, 2002
puter peripheral in which con?guration for the peripheral
and/or the host interface is at least in part accomplished by
Related US. Application Data
(63)
US 6,612,495 B2
*Sep. 2, 2003
Continuation of application No. 09/268,263, ?led on Mar.
15, 1999, now Pat. No. 6,293,467, which is a division of
application No. 08/955,864, ?led on Oct. 21, 1997, now Pat.
No. 5,905,249, which is a continuation of application No.
08/706,736, ?led on Sep. 9, 1996, now Pat. No. 5,703,347,
which is a continuation of application No. 08/305,517, ?led
on Sep. 13, 1994, now Pat. No. 5,563,402, which is a
continuation-in-part of application No. 08/039,606, ?led on
Mar. 25, 1993, now Pat. No. 5,347,113, which is a continu
ation-in-part of application No. 08/034,189, ?led on Mar.
22, 1993, now Pat. No. 5,330,370, which is a continuation
of application No. 07/788,267, ?led on Nov. 4, 1991, now
abandoned.
the interface connector cable. In a preferred embodiment,
the computer peripheral is equipped with one or more
hardware interfaces. The interface connector cable has a ?rst
end connector for attaching to the computer peripheral. The
?rst end connector of the interface connector cable is typi
cally a multiple pin connector constructed and arranged to
be properly physically and electrically connectable only to a
speci?c computer peripheral or class of computer
peripherals, the ?rst end connector including at least one
electrical connection between two pins for completing a
circuit within the computer peripheral thereby enabling the
computer peripheral. Where the peripheral is a data reading
device such as a laser scanner or RFID reader, alternate or
(51)
Int. Cl.7 ....................... .. G06F 17/00; G06F 19/00;
additional con?guration may be obtained, with data reading
G06K 7/10
device, from the label on the interconnect cable. The label,
which may for example be a bar code or RFID tag, contains
information or instructions by which the data reading device
(52)
US. Cl. ............................ .. 235/462.15; 235/462.13
(58)
Field of Search ..................... .. 235/46213, 462.15,
(and/or the host) is con?gured.
235/462.07; 439/59, 65, 68, 502, 620
16 Claims, 5 Drawing Sheets
US 6,612,495 B2
Page 2
US. PATENT DOCUMENTS
5,305,181 A
4,915,639 A
4/1990 Cohn e161. ............... .. 439/188
2732375133? 2
31338 gpg’ley 6‘ al
7
7
4,972,470
5,040,993
5,092,793
5,115,120
A
A
A
A
/
65°“ "" "
233/28;
5,347,113 A
/
5,563,402 A
11/1990
8/1991
3/1992
5/1992
Farago
Krug et al
Stephan
Eastman
5,181,858 A
1/1993
MatZ e161.
5,189,291 A
2/1993 S1em1atk0wsk1
235/472
5,200,597 A
5,214,268 A
4/1993 Eastman et a1. .
.
5/1993 Dolng ........... ..
235/455
235/472
5,218,187 A
6/1993 Koenck et a1. ..
6/1993 Bass, Sr. et a1. ..
235/675
8/1993
395/800
5,222,164 A
5,239,662 A
5,250,792 A
5,258,604 A
.
.
380/3
439/75
439/446
235/462
..
439/188
.
Danielson 6161.
5,313,053 A
5330370 A
385/14
10/1993 SWartZ et a1.
.. 235/472
11/1993 Behrens et a1. ........... .. 235/462
4/1994 Schultz ..................... .. 361/680
235/472
439502
5/1994 Koenck et a1. .... ..
7/1994 Reddersen et a1‘ __
9/1994 Reddersen et a1. ....... .. 235/462
10/1996
Reddersen e161.
....... .. 235/436
5,664,229 A
9/1997 Bhargava et a1.
395/885
5,671,374 A
9/1997 Postman et a1. ..
395/309
5,675,139 A
10/1997
Fama ................ ..
235/472
5,703,347 A
12/1997 Reddersen et al. ..
235/472
.
.
5,745,794 A
4/1998
5,763,865 A
6/1998 SWlft et a1. ........ ..
_
5,875,415 A
2/1999
5,905,249 A
PolomeWlcZ et a1. ..... .. 395/882
_
235/472
L1eb et a1. ................ .. 702/122
5/1999 Reddersen et a1.
235/462.15
6,036,098 A
3/2000 Goldman et a1. ......... .. 235/486
6293 467
90001 R dd
7
1 *
7
* cited by examiner
e
t 1
ersene a'
235/46215
'
U.S. Patent
Sep. 2, 2003
Sheet 1 of5
US 6,612,495 B2
U.S. Patent
Sep. 2, 2003
Sheet 2 of5
US 6,612,495 B2
U.S. Patent
Sep. 2, 2003
Sheet 3 of5
US 6,612,495 B2
1228
U.S. Patent
Sep. 2, 2003
Sheet 4 0f 5
SHIELD
IN
OUT
164
T
162
US 6,612,495 B2
U.S. Patent
Sep. 2, 2003
A
Sheet 5 of5
US 6,612,495 B2
337
US 6,612,495 B2
1
2
MULTIPLE-INTERFACE SELECTION
SYSTEM FOR COMPUTER PERIPHERALS
electronics technician or skilled user and is not a desirable
?eld operation to be performed by the typical user. It is
desirable to have an inexpensive and easy to use intercon
RELATED APPLICATIONS
nection system Which can be effectively used by the average
user.
This application is a continuation of Ser. No. 09/268,263
?led Mar. 15, 1999 US. Pat. No. 6,293,467, Which is a
divisional of Ser. No. 08/955,864 ?led Oct. 21, 1997 US.
Pat. No. 5,905,249, Which is a continuation of Ser. No.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an interface selection
system for a computer peripheral in Which con?guration for
the peripheral and/or its host is at least in part accomplished
08/706,736 ?led Sep. 9, 1996 US. Pat. No. 5,703,347,
Which is a continuation of Ser. No. 08/305,517 ?led Sep. 13,
10
through the interface connector cable. In a preferred
embodiment, the computer peripheral is equipped With one
1994 US. Pat. No. 5,563,402, Which is a continuation-in
part of application Ser. No. 08/039,606 ?led Mar. 25, 1993
or more hardWare interfaces. The interface connector cable
US. Pat. No. 5,347,113, Which is a continuation-in-part of
Ser. No. 08/034,189 ?led Mar. 22, 1993 US. Pat. No.
5,330,370, Which is a continuation of application Ser. No.
has a ?rst end connector for attaching to the computer
peripheral. The ?rst end connector of the interface connector
15
or edge connector) constructed and arranged to be properly
physically and electrically connectable only to a speci?c
07/788,267 ?led Nov. 4, 1991, abandoned.
computer peripheral (or class of computer peripherals), and
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The ?eld of the present invention relates to interconnec
tion systems for computers and computer peripherals or
more speci?cally, methods and devices for selecting proper
interface betWeen a computer peripheral and its host inter
cable is typically a multiple contact connector (such as pin
a speci?c host interface the cable connector including at
20
least one electrical connection betWeen tWo contacts for
completing a circuit Within the computer peripheral thereby
enabling the computer peripheral.
In another preferred embodiment Where the peripheral is
face such as may include a computer.
a data reading device such as a laser scanner or an RF
Host computers need to be interconnected to a Wide 25
identi?cation receiver, alternate or additional con?guration
variety of peripheral devices including printers, scanners,
may be provided by obtaing, With the data reading device,
monitors, and controllers among others. When the host
computer is being connected to a certain type of peripheral,
for eXample a handheld laser scanner, the computer typically
has a single input/output connector to Which the scanner
may be connected by an interconnect cable. It is frequently
information from the label on the interconnect cable. The
label, Which may for eXample be a bar code, contains
information or instructions by Which the data reading device
30
(and/or the host) is con?gured.
desirable that a particular handheld scanner be usable With
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
a variety of different host computers. Conversely, it is also
desirable that the host computer be able to support a variety
attached to a host computer according to the present inven
of different handheld scanners.
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic vieW of a handheld laser scanner
35
tion;
Heretofore there have been several systems for achieving
proper con?guration betWeen the host computer and the
peripheral, In a typical system, a particular peripheral is
system according to the present invention;
con?gured to Work With a particular host computer or
board of FIG. 2;
terminal, that is, the peripheral has contained a single
FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic vieW of an interface connector
FIG. 3 is a detailed diagrammatic vieW of a printed circuit
40
dedicated interface. Similarly, the host computer Was con
?gured to accept only a particular type of peripheral. Any
time the peripheral Was moved to a different host computer,
it Was necessary to replace the interface softWare and
hardWare in the peripheral.
con?guration system;
FIG. 6 is an end vieW of an end connector in FIG. 5 taken
45
The host computer may include a softWare selection
along line 7—7;
particular peripheral enabling the system to have proper
operation. Such an operation requires the user to correctly
50
FIG. 10 is an end vieW of an end connector in FIG. 9 taken
along line 10—10;
peripherals actually include identifying signals Which again
55
FIG. 12 is a connector schematic illustrating an eXample
cable connection scheme for the cable connector of FIG. 9;
In another con?guration technique, the peripheral
includes interface hardWare for more than one host com
FIG. 13 illustrates an alternate cable connection embodi
60
to be correctly linked to a host computer. Such hardWare
con?guration may be effectuated by manually actuable
external sWitches or by internal sWitches or “jumpers”
Within the printed circuit board (and/or Within the host
computer) Which activate or deactivate certain components.
Such an operation typically requires the eXpertise of an
FIG. 11 is an end vieW of an end connector in FIG. 9 taken
along line 11—11;
systems still require correct interface hardWare.
puter. When con?guring, the printed circuit board of the
peripheral requires certain hardWare con?guration in order
FIG. 8 is a connector schematic illustrating an eXample
cable connection scheme for the cable connector of FIG. 5;
FIG. 9 is a diagrammatic vieW of an alternate peripheral
con?guration system;
scanning a code on the outside of the peripheral Which
informs the computer of the type of peripheral. Some
inform the particular host of the type of peripheral and
softWare provides the desired con?guration. Many of these
along line 6—6;
FIG. 7 is an end vieW of an end connector in FIG. 5 taken
program in Which the user inputs information identifying the
input information into the host computer identifying the
particular peripheral. Alternately, means are provided for
FIG. 4 is a detailed diagrammatic vieW of an edge
connector as in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a diagrammatic vieW of an alternate peripheral
65
ment;
FIG. 14 illustrates a cable scanning code operation; and
FIG. 15 illustrates various peripheral/host pairs.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED
EMBODIMENTS
The preferred embodiments Will noW be described With
reference to the draWings.
US 6,612,495 B2
4
3
communication. When the interconnect cable 38 is plugged
into the printed circuit board 20, edge contacts #1 and #3 of
the edge connector 21 are thereby electrically connected,
and edge contacts #5 and #7 are also electrically connected.
By so electrically connecting these electrical contacts, cer
tain circuits Within the circuit board 20 become electrically
connected resulting in a desired con?guration. The scanner
10 becomes con?gured to accept a particular host computer
15. The user has con?gured the scanner merely by plugging
In FIG. 1, an example computer peripheral is illustrated as
a handheld laser scanner 10 used for scanning a bar code 11.
The scanner 10 is operably connected to a host interface
(diagrammatically illustrated as a computer 15) via an
interconnect cable 38. The interconnect cable 38 includes an
end plug or edge connector 30 Which connects to a mating
connector 21 on the end of a printed circuit board 20 Within
the scanner 10. The interconnect cable 38 provides a com
munication link betWeen the host computer 15 and the laser
scanner 10 and may also provide poWer to the scanner 10.
Referring to FIG. 2, the interconnect cable 38 has a ?rst
end connector 30 Which plugs into the scanner 10 attaching
to the edge connector 21 of the circuit board 20, and a
second end connector 40 Which plugs into the host computer
15 attaching to the edge connector 18. The ?rst end con
nector 30 includes tabs 34, 36 Which slide into and mate With
10
A similar con?guration selection system may alternately
or in combination be applied to the host computer connec
tion side. The edge connector 40 has certain of its edge
contacts 42 electrically connected, in the illustrated eXample
15
corresponding slots 24, 26 in the body of the handle of the
scanner 10. Different types of scanners may be equipped
With different positions of the slots 24, 26. Only an end
connector 30 having the correct con?guration of tabs 34, 36
Will be correctly physically connectable to the scanner 10.
An interconnect cable 38 Without the correct tab con?gura
tion cannot physically be plugged into the scanner 10.
Similarly on the host computer side of the interconnect
cable 38, the second end connector 40 is equipped With a tab
44 Which mates With a corresponding slot 17 at the mating
edge connector 18 of the host computer 15. Only an end
connector 40 having the correct con?guration of the tab 44
Will be correctly physically connectable to the host computer
in the correct interconnect cable 38.
pins #5 and #7 of the edge connector 40 are jumped. When
the edge connector 40 is plugged into the edge connector 18
of host computer 15, edge contacts #5 and #7 Within the edge
connector 18 become electrically connected, completing a
circuit Within the host computer 15, thereby con?guring the
25
host computer 15 for the particular peripheral. The user may
therefore con?gure the host computer 15 for the particular
scanner 10 by merely selecting and plugging in the correct
interconnect cable 38.
In practice, the user Would be provided With a single
peripheral, such as a scanner and several interconnect
cables. To connect the scanner, the user Would merely select
the interconnect cable corresponding to the particular host
computer and plug it into the scanner. The interconnect cable
Would then con?gure the scanner for the particular host
15. An interconnect cable 38 Without the correct tab con
computer. To move the scanner to a different host computer,
?guration cannot physically be plugged into the host com
puter 10.
Therefore in order to connect a particular peripheral (such
the user Would merely have to sWitch cables. The intercon
nect cable 38 may be provided With means for identifying
such as identifying markings 39 imprinted directly on the
as a laser scanner 10) to a particular host computer, a cable 35 interconnect cable 38 itself, color coding, a label With
having the correct tab con?gurations at both end connectors
must be selected. The unique physical con?gurations
identi?cation information connected to the cable 38, or the
like to assist the user in selecting the correct interconnect
ensures that the user must select the correct cable for the host
cable for the given host.
computer and peripheral pair. The preferred embodiment
The illustrated seven edge connector embodiment is a
may only require tab con?guration on the host computer end
because it is not anticipated that the various handheld
scanners Will require the dedicated interconnect cables, but
tab con?gurations on the peripheral end may be desired in
simpli?ed eXample for a connector design. Electrical contact
con?gurations may of course be more or less than seven
contacts (and the tWo ends need not be the same). In a
preferred scanner application, an interconnect cable plug
other peripheral applications. Further, the tab con?gurations
illustrated are but one eXample means for ensuring proper 45
interconnect cable selection. The tabs and slots are readily
With 30 pins is set forth in Table A as folloWs:
TABLE A
added to conventional end connectors. The design illustrated
does not prevent end connectors Without tabs from connect
Pin #
ing to the peripheral 10 and the host computer 15, but such
design may be modi?ed by one skilled in the art (such as by
reversing the positions of the slots/tabs) to prevent such
1
2
3
TESTiDATA
READiDATAiWAND
STARTiDATA
4
5
CLOCKIN
CLOCKOUT
6
7
8
9
RDATAiRTN
SDATAiRTN
CLOCKiINiRTN
CLOCKiOUTiRTN
connection.
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the printed circuit board
(located Within the scanner 10) includes an edge connector
21 shoWn With seven edge contacts 22 (numbered 1 through
7). Though there is a distinction betWeen edge contacts and
pins, for the purposes of the present invention, they are
interchangeable—a pin connector With its mating plug con
55
nector may be interchanged for an edge connector pair or
any other suitable electrical contact pair.
The board 20 is designed and constructed to be operable
With a number of host computers by Way of an externally
Signal Name
1O
VCC
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
VCCiOUT
VCCiIN
CLEARiTOiSEND
TRANSMITiDATA
RETURNiDATA
RETURNiS
DATAiPLUS
activated hardWare con?guration provided by the intercon
18
DATA-MINUS
nect cable 38. As vieWed in FIG. 4, in the edge connector 30,
the edge contacts #5 and #7 are electrically connected,
illustrated as being “jumped”. Edge contacts #1 and #3 are
also jumped While edge contacts #2, #4 and #6 are used for
19
2O
BEEPiIN
PWRiEN
21
TRIGGER
22
BARiCODEiOUT
65
Data Direction(s)
US 6,612,495 B2
Pin #
23
24
25
5
6
TABLE A-continued
betWeen the pins. The interconnect cable 38 (or the printed
circuit board 50 thereon) may itself be equipped With dip
Signal Name
sWitches 52 (dual inline package sWitches) or some other
type of sWitch. An interconnect cable equipped With
Data Direction(s)
sWitches Would have certain advantages as only one cable
GOODiREADiIN
STARTiOFiSCAN
MTRiFAIL
26
GROUND
27
28
CONFIGfl
CONFIGiZ
3O
CONFIGi4
version need be manufactured. The cable type correspond
ing to a particular peripheral Would be selected by setting the
sWitches (by the manufacturer or by the skilled user) and the
cable could then stamped With an identifying code 39.
10
The interconnect cable plug may use certain of the pins
for communication or poWer. Some of the pins may be
unused and available for other applications, it being desir
15
able that the same pin design be usable for different con
?gurations. The last four pins #27—#30 are dedicated for
tions of con?gurations are limitless and may be designed to
suit a particular application. The example in Table A is
provided in part to shoW the Wide variety of con?gurations
that may be employed. By the cable con?guration scheme,
the peripheral may be con?gured setting for example com
munication baud rate, bit setting (8-bit, 16-bit etc.), parity or
25
Though particular types of end connectors have been
described, the pin connector may be any suitable electrical
plugs, pin connectors, sockets, edge connectors and the like.
entry terminal 230. The interconnect cable 220 has a ?rst end
connector 222 plugged into the handheld bar code scanner
Which converts the signal transmitted from the scanner 210
into a signal of the same form as that produced by the key
The end connector has multiple contacts, the contacts pro
viding the actual electrical contact surface. The contacts may
entry terminal 230. The key entry terminal 230 is in turn
be pins, edge contacts, plugs, sockets, or any suitable
suitable transmission medium including a Wire (as
Which a handheld bar code scanner 210 is connected to a key
210. The second end connector 224 is actually plugged into
a translator module 235 (sometimes called a “Wedge”)
connector means for providing electrical contact including
electrical contact element.
The center of the interconnect cable 38 may comprise any
cable to a given host or interface. The host or interface is
typically a host computer such as a central processing unit
(CPU) or other intermediate device Which in turn commu
nicates With the CPU. The host may be a communication
module, such as an RF transmitter Which is provides a radio
frequency communication link to the host computer. In such
an application, the cable is nonetheless connected to the host
computer or CPU albeit through the communication module.
If the peripheral is a printer for example, the host may be a
netWork interface, into Which the connector cable is
plugged, Which is in turn connected to the host computer.
There are myriad of potential hosts for a given peripheral.
By Way of another example, FIG. 13 illustrates a system in
providing the con?guration for the peripheral. The varia
some other parameter.
As described above, the handheld data reader or other
computer peripheral is generally connected by a connector
connected by a suitable communication link 237 to the
35
central processing unit 240. In this arrangement, the host is
literally the Wedge 240 but may be also be considered to
comprise a host assembly contained Within the dashed-lined
illustrated), cable, ?ber optic cable, radio frequency link,
box and designated by numeral 250.
infra red light link, or other transmission medium.
The cable con?guration system described may be com
bined With other con?guration systems, some of Which have
FIGS. 5—8 illustrate a preferred alternate embodiment in
Which the peripheral is a handheld data reading device 110
been previously described. For example, the interconnect
cable system described herein may be used to automatically
Within the group thereby completing the described con?gu
device. The scanner 110 is attached to a host, diagrammati
cally illustrated as a data terminal 140, by a connector cable
120 With a ?rst end connector 122 plugged into the scanner
110 and the second end connector 124 plugged into the data
terminal 140. The connector cable 120 is provided With a
label 135 Which contains encoded data Which may be read
ration.
by the data reader 110. The label 135 may, for example, be
such as a bar code laser scanner, a CCD reader or other
select a con?guration for a certain class or group of periph
erals. The peripheral may additionally include external (or
internal) sWitches identifying the particular peripheral
45
a separate tag on Which the bar code is imprinted or the bar
code may be imprinted directly on the cable 120 itself. As
described beloW, the label may also comprise an RFID tag
In practice, a computer peripheral such as a laser scanner
10 Will be equipped With hardWare and ?rmWare so that it
may be used With a plurality of different host computers or
computer terminals. To provide initial con?guration or
containing the pertinent programming data.
change con?guration When sWitching host computers, the
peripheral is con?gured merely by selecting the correct
As best shoWn in FIG. 6, the ?rst end connector 122 is
illustrated as an edge connector having a plurality of edge
contacts, including contacts 122a, 122b, for connection into
interconnect cable 38. The electrically connected pins in the
end connector of the interconnect cable provide the sWitch
ing necessary Within the scanner 10, activating or deacti
55
a corresponding connector in the handle of the scanner 110.
FIGS. 5 and 7 illustrate the second end connector 124 as a
vating certain circuits, thereby con?guring the scanner 10
for the particular host computer.
pin connector having a plurality of pins (including pins
The interconnect cable 38 may be designed in any suitable
manner. In FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate jump connections
betWeen the respective edge contacts 32 of edge connector
in the data terminal 140.
The cable 120 may also include an identi?cation label 139
124a, 124b) for connection into a corresponding connector
Which has identi?cation information to assist the user in
30 (or edge contacts 42 of edge connector 40), other
selecting the correct cable for the particular scanner and host
electrical connection mechanisms may be employed. The
contacts may be electrically connected by a simple hard Wire
pair. Other or alternate selection means such as color coding
may be provided to assist the user in selecting the correct
connection. The interconnect cable 38 itself may include a 65 interconnect cable for the particular application.
FIG. 8 schematically illustrates an example cable connec
tion scheme 150 for the cable connector 120 of FIG. 5. Color
Which may provides the desired electrical connection
printed circuit board 50, preferably in a unitary structure,
US 6,612,495 B2
7
8
coded cable Wires (BroWn, Orange, Black, Yellow, Green,
White) provide desired electrical communication path
betWeen edge contacts (nos. 10, 9, 18 etc.) in the ?rst end
connector 122 and respective pin contacts (nos. 4, 3, 7 etc)
obtain the manual and then select the correct bar code to be
scanned. HoWever, according to the preferred embodiment
shoWn in FIG. 14, the user 305 need only select the correct
interconnect cable 320 and the correct bar code label 335 to
be scanned is automatically selected since it is on the cable
in the second end connector 124. The cable connector 120
also includes peripheral con?guration selection by electrical
connector 121 (connecting edge contacts 14 and 13) and by
itself. Moreover, being on the cable, the bar code is readily
electrical connector 123 (connecting edge contacts 1 and
manual. Though once the system has been initially
accessible and locatable Without having to locate the user
17).
con?gured, the system Will preferably store the con?gura
FIGS. 9—12 illustrate another preferred alternate embodi
ment in Which the peripheral is a handheld data reading
tion information, if it becomes necessary to recon?gure, the
con?guration bar code 335 remains readily accessible on the
cable 320.
device 155 such as a bar code laser scanner, a CCD reader
or other device. The scanner 155 is attached to a host
(diagrammatically illustrated as a data terminal 180) by a
connector cable 160 With a ?rst end connector 162 plugged
In order to ensure that a scanner is not inadvertently
recon?gured, a con?guration sWitch may be provided Which
15
into the scanner 155 and the second end connector 164
plugged into the data terminal 180. The connector cable 160
is provided With a label 175 Which contains encoded data
Which may be read by the data reader 155. The label 175
must be actuated to place the scanner in programming mode.
Once the sWitch is actuated the scanner enters programming
mode enabling the programming label 335 on the cable to be
read and con?gure the scanner. The sWitch may be a
hardWare sWitch such as a dip sWitch 312 (see FIG. 14) on
the housing of the scanner 310. Alternately, programming
mode may be entered (and exited if desired) by a soft sWitch
may, for example, be a separate tag on Which a bar code is
imprinted or the bar code label may be imprinted directly on
the cable 160 itself. As described in detail beloW, if required,
the user may at least partly con?gure the scanner 155 merely
such as a sWitch label 337 located on the cable 320. Though
the con?guring bar code conveniently appears on the inter
connect cable, con?guration bar codes (i.e., the same bar
by scanning the bar code label 175. An internal operation
routine Within the scanner 155 then con?gures the scanner 25 code as appearing on the cable as Well as additional bar
itself on the basis of the con?guration information provided
by the bar code.
codes) may nonetheless be provided in the user manual to
As best shoWn in FIG. 10, the ?rst end connector 162 is
illustrated as an edge connector having a plurality of edge
to speci?c user optional settings. Alternately, the program
alloW the user to con?gure the peripheral as desired such as
ming label may be positioned on the host computer or
terminal. Such a location may be less desirable since dif
ferent scanners may be plugged into the same host, possibly
contacts, including contacts 162a, 162b, for connection into
a corresponding connector in the handle of the scanner 155.
FIGS. 9 and 11 illustrate the second end connector 164 as a
plug connector (similar to the type conventionally used on
home telephones) having a plurality of Wire connectors
(including Wire connectors 164a, 164b) for connection into
requiring different programming labels. Alternately, the pro
35
a corresponding connector in the data terminal 180.
FIG. 12 schematically illustrates an example cable con
nection scheme 190 for the cable connector 160 of FIG. 9.
tions obtained by reading the label or bar code 335 may be
accomplished by a suitable internal con?guration routine.
For example, the routine may con?gure by Way of selecting
Color coded cable Wires (BroWn, Orange, Black, YelloW,
Green, White) provide desired electrical communication
path betWeen edge contacts (nos. 10, 9, 18 etc.) in the ?rst
end connector 162 and respective contacts (nos. 1, 2, 3, 4)
proper internal sWitch settings or by selecting and running a
given protocol program. The data reader preferably stores its
con?guration parameters in a non-volatile programmable
in the second end connector 164. The cable connector 160
also includes peripheral con?guration selection by electrical
connector 161 (connecting edge contacts 14 and 13) and by
gram sWitch label may be positioned on the host as shoWn
by the label 342 on the host 340 of FIG. 14. The user Would
then scan the label 342 to sWitch to programming mode and
then scan the programming label 335 on the cable 320.
Con?guration on the basis of the encoded data instruc
memory such as EEPROM. These parameters may be set by
45
manual programming or reset by the con?guration routine.
The instructions from the label may cause the softWare in the
data reader to execute a series of commands resulting in the
electrical connector 163 (connecting edge contacts 1 and
17).
setting (or resetting) of the EEPROM-stored parameters.
In the preferred embodiment of the present invention as
shoWn in FIG. 14, the data reader device 310 is further (or
Con?guration selection or parameters change or set a
particular function for the peripheral. Possible con?guration
alternately) con?gured by reading a label having encoded
data thereon such as a con?guration bar code 335 Which is
selections or parameters may include, by Way of example for
placed on the interconnect cable 320. By reading the con
a handheld scanner:
?guration code 335, the scanner 310 (and/or the host 340) is
con?gured for the particular application on the basis of the
interface identi?cation (for a laser scanner, may include
55
encoded instruction data by means of an internal con?gu
Undecoded, IBM 4683, OCIA, RS-232, Wand
Emulation, etc.);
communication parameters such as baud rate (2400 baud,
ration routine Within the scanner 310 or the host 340.
9600 baud etc.); data format settings (parity, stop bits,
data bits), hardWare handshaking (CTS/RTS), softWare
handshaking (Xon,Xoff), intercharacter delay (none, 10
US. Pat. Nos. 4,866,257 and 4,861,972 (herein incorpo
rated by reference) disclose examples on hoW a scanner may
be con?gured by scanning a bar code or by doWnloading
information from a host computer. Once the bar code has
been scanned or the control information, the con?guration
ms, 20 ms etc.), UPC Data Format (UPA-A, UPC-E,
information is stored in a memory (preferably a non-volatile
memory such as EEPROM) in the scanner so that repetitive
system speci?c parameters (pre?xes, suf?xes, symbology
identi?ers, etc.);
con?guration is not required and the con?guration of the
Check Digit, Number System Digit);
scanner is not lost When poWer is turned off. Typically, the
reading restrictions, the instructions might restrict the set
of codes options that the decoder may have to handle;
bar codes are contained in the user manual and the user must
by restricting the reading options, the operation speed
65
US 6,612,495 B2
10
of the “autodiscrimination” algorithm (the means by
Which the decoder ?gures out Which code it is seeing)
may be increased as compared to requiring the algo
or the like. The programming RFID tag process may be
initiated for example by actuating the programming sWitch
312 on the device 310. Alternately, programming may be
automatically initiated upon poWer up or poWer doWn of the
device 310. In the poWer up example, When the device is
rithm to consider all code types.
The preferred actual location on the cable for the encoded
poWered up, the programming frequency signal Would be
label Will depend upon the particular application.
emitted and upon receipt the RFID tag Would emit its signal
transmitting programming data to the device. Such a system
Would not require the user to perform any act except plug in
Referring to FIG. 5 for example, the label 135 is located
adjacent the second end connector. An alternate location is
directly on the second end connector 124 as shoWn by
symbol label 133 on end connector 124. If the second end
connector 124 is too small to practically accommodate the
label 133 or if the connection location to the data terminal
10
140 provides inconvenient access, the label 135 may pref
erably be located up the cable connector 120 at a suitable
distance from the second end connector 124. In general, it is
impractical to locate the label 135 on the ?rst end connector
15
the correct cable and turn on the data reader and the data
reader itself Would obtain the proper con?guration informa
tion (for example) from the RFID tag on the cable and in this
example con?gure itself for the host device such as by
selecting the proper internal parameter.
An RFID programming tag 343 may alternately be
located on the host device itself. By activating the program
ming sequence, the device 310 may receive the data from the
122 or immediately adjacent thereto because When the ?rst
end connector 122 is plugged into the scanner 155, the
tag 343 identifying the host device 340 alloWing the periph
scanner 155 cannot be oriented to scan a label located
Thus, a peripheral con?guration system and method have
been shoWn and described. Though certain examples and
advantages have been disclosed, further advantages and
eral device to be con?gured for that host device.
immediately adjacent the ?rst end connector 122.
Nonetheless, in certain applications it may be desirable to
modi?cations may become obvious to one skilled in the art
from the disclosures herein. The invention therefore is not to
locate the label 135 near the ?rst end connector 122. If the
connector cable 120 is relatively long, for example 50 feet
(15 meters), the label may be preferably positioned about 2
feet (60 cm) from the ?rst end connector 122. Such a
position is close enough to be easily located but far enough
be limited except in the spirit of the claims that folloW.
25
We claim:
1. A data reading system comprising:
to alloW convenient access. Such a location is illustrated in
a handheld terminal;
FIG. 14 Where the bar code label 335 is located on the cable
a translator module plugged into the terminal;
a cable plugged into the translator module;
320 at a convenient distance from scanner 310.
Though the cable connector con?guration embodiment
a handheld data reader connected to the translator module
and the cable connector data reader con?guration embodi
ment may be used separately to con?gure the peripheral, the
embodiments may be combined together to provide a com
via the cable,
Wherein the translator module interfaces the data reader to
the handheld terminal.
2. A data reading system according to claim 1 further
prehensive and readily implemented con?guration proce
dure. By Way of example, FIG. 15 illustrates a peripheral
35
shoWn as a laser scanner 410 is equipped With a multi
a central processing unit;
interface architecture Which alloWs any one of many differ
ent types of host interfaces (such as a data terminal 440, a
?xed scanner or other point of sale unit 450, or a handheld
a communications link for providing communication
betWeen the handheld terminal and the central process
ing unit.
key entry unit 460) to be selected for a particular scanner. A
cable 420 is selected corresponding to the particular scanner
3. A data reading system according to claim 1 Wherein the
data reader is selected from the group consisting of: a bar
code scanner, a CCD reader, and an RFID tag reader.
410 and the desired host interface (440, 450, 460) pair. In
practice, the user is supplied With a plurality of speci?c
connector cables Which correspond to the possible scanner/
host pairs Which the customer may have.
When plugged into the scanner, the cable 420 itself selects
45
4. A data reading system according to claim 1 Wherein the
cable comprises a printed circuit board equipped With
sWitches Which may be set for changing operation of the
cable.
a certain con?guration scheme in the scanner 410. The cable
5. A portable data reading system comprising:
420 may also con?gure the host interface. The cable 420
may be equipped With physical connector elements to ensure
that only the correct cable may be even physically plugged
into the host. Once plugged into the scanner and the host,
a handheld terminal having a housing including an exter
nally accessible connector;
a translator module removably plugged into the connector
on the handheld terminal;
using the scanner itself, the operator then scans the label on
the cable Which completes or con?rms scanner/host con
a handheld data reader connected to the handheld terminal
?guration.
Besides the bar code label, there are other types of labels
or tags containing information Which may be obtained by a
reader device. One such label or tag is an RFID tag (radio
comprising
55
via the translator module, the data reader reading an
optical code and generating an electrical signal corre
sponding thereto for transmitting to the handheld
terminal,
frequency identi?cation tag). The RFID tag is normally
Wherein the translator module converts the signal trans
mitted from the data reader into a signal of the same
form as that produced by the handheld terminal.
passive, but When activated or prompted by a signal from a
interrogator, the RFID tag emits a signal With its information
6. A portable data reading system according to claim 5
to a receiving device. In one alternative embodiment, the
cable 320 may include a label 336 comprising an RFID tag
instead of a bar code. The scanner 310 may comprise an
Wherein the data reader is selected from the group consisting
RFID tag interrogator/receiver (either exclusively or in
reader.
combination With a bar code scanning mechanism) Which
prompts the RFID tag 336 for its data and receives the data.
The data is then used to set internal con?guration, function
of: a bar code scanner, a CCD reader, and an RFID tag
65
7. A portable data reading system according to claim 5
further comprising a cable for connecting the data reader to
the handheld terminal.
US 6,612,495 B2
11
12
8. A portable data reading system according to claim 5
12. A method according to claim 10 further comprising
the step of
activating the data reader and the handheld terminal;
obtaining the data from the label With the data reader;
setting a function of the data reading system on the basis
of the data obtained from the label.
13. A method according to claim 12 Wherein the label
wherein the cable has a ?rst end plugged into the translator
module and a second end plugged into the data reader.
9. A portable data reading system according to claim 5
further comprising a bar code label containing con?guration
data, Wherein the data reader is laser bar code scanner,
Wherein scanner obtains the con?guration data by scanning
the bar code label and uses the con?guration data to change
a function of the scanner.
10. A method of data reading comprising the steps of:
10
providing a handheld terminal With an externally acces
sible connector;
plugging a translator module into the connector on the
handheld terminal;
connecting a portable data reader to the translator module,
the translator module converting a signal from the data
reader into a form accepted by the handheld terminal.
11. Amethod according to claim 10 further comprising the
step of interfacing the data reader to the handheld terminal
via the translator module.
15
comprises a bar code label and the data reader comprises a
barcode reader.
14. A method according to claim 12 Wherein the label
comprises a radio frequency identi?cation tag and the data
reader comprises a radio frequency identi?cation reader.
15. A method according to claim 10 Wherein the data
reader comprises a handheld laser scanner.
16. A method according to claim 10 further comprising
connecting the data reader to the translator module via a
cable.
UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE
CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION
Page 1 of 1
PATENT NO.
: 6,612,495 B2
DATED
: September 2, 2003
INVENTOR(S) : Brad R. Reddersen et al.
It is certified that error appears in the above-identi?ed patent and that said Letters Patent is
hereby corrected as shown below:
Column 1
Line 38, “peripheral,” should read -- peripheral.
Column 3
Line 52, insert -- 20 -- after “printed circuit board”.
Column 4
Line 49, “TEST DATA” should read -- TEST_DATA --;
Line 50, “READ DATA WAND” should read -- READ_DATA_WAND --;
Line 51, “START DATA” should read -- START_DATA --.
Column 5
Line 67, “may provides” should read -- may provide
Column 6
Line 9, before “stamped” insert -- be --;
Line 16, before “provides” delete “is”.
Signed and Sealed this
Third Day of August, 2004
m W34,”
JON W. DUDAS
Acting Director ofthe United States Patent and Trademark O?‘ice
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