by September 12, 2002 0 comments

This is a portable data terminal for storing barcode data. The device is handheld and comes with a cradle for synchronizing with a PC. The PDT 3100 is meant for data intensive field applications like retail products (for price auditing), inventory control, asset tracking, shipping (courier companies), transportation and logistics. The device is ergonomically designed for fast and comfortable usage. The adjustable scanning head in combination with two trigger buttons on either side make it adaptable for both right-handed and left-handed operation. It has the option of a 4-line or 8-line by 20 characters LCD display on the front. The operation, navigation and optional data entry is through a 46-key alphanumeric keypad. 

The PDT 3100 is meant for data-intensive field apps

Rs 70,000
Meant for: 
Inventory control, retailing
16-bit DOS operating system, 640 kB RAM, communication cradle
Flexible right and left handed operation, long lasting NiMH batteries
Bar Code India, New Delhi

The PDT 3100 runs on an 8 MHz processor and has 128 KB EPROM for running the 16-bit DOS operating system, the BIOS and the diagnostics. The barcode data is stored on 640 KB RAM (upgradeable to 1.1 MB). Its interface with the PC is through the cradle, which connects to the PC on its parallel port via a 25-pin cable. The handheld terminal in turn fits into the cradle on a RJ-41 (limited RS-232-C) port. The cradle also has the option of an internal modem for communication.

Additionally, the cradle houses a charger circuit for the rechargeable NiMH batteries in the handheld terminal. These batteries last a whole day of intensive data connection on a full charge. 

The communication software for the PDT 3100 can download stored data as comma-delimited text files, which can readily be imported into any spreadsheet or database application. The software also allows you to upload DOS programs, custom made to your barcode-scanning requirement as well as something called data files and check files. Normally when purchasing the terminal, the company creates the database to fit your requirements. If you want to create the programs yourself, you must purchase the SDK separately. The data files are text files that store preset information about locations and other fixed parameters. Check files are text files that are used in applications like asset tracking. A check file has the information on the assets stored at a particular location. Using this, an operator can directly go on scanning barcodes at that location. If an item is found that is not on the check file, the device alerts the user. 

The Bottom Line: Scanning data is quite easy with the Barcode Scanner. You just have to point the scanner to a barcode and it immediately picks up the data. The PDT 3100 is priced at Rs 70,000 and is a worthy investment for companies whose core business is assets and logistics.

Ashish Sharma at PCQ Labs

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