NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Discussion of ideas for your ultimate dream charger/analyzer
ukoda
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Re: NFC Support

Post by ukoda » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:13 am

Actually, giving it more though a CueCat style scanner (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CueCat) would only cost a few cents to implement, and could handle 1D barcodes that label printers make. Mount a single LED and photo-transistor off the main PCB edge in a simple molded plastic assembly (3D printable) that was curved like a AA cell profile, then just slide the battery down it to read it's number just before inserting, no PC needed.

Mark
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Re: NFC Support

Post by Mark » Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:55 am

That sounds like quite a good solution!

Cheap and easy to use does it for me!

Paul.Allen
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Re: NFC Support

Post by Paul.Allen » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:20 am

I like it! So we just make a spot on the outside of the charger where scanning happens. You power it up with no batteries, then scan a cell and put it in a slot. The scan and that slot are tied together and you repeat for each battery. Hit a button when you are done loading however many you are going to load. With the ARM micro we will be able to handle much larger SD cards. Combine that with the scanning and it will be even easier to keep track of all your batteries.

Mark
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Re: NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Post by Mark » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:41 am

That's pretty much how I'd see it working.

If you were going to include it in the 4 cell charger, I'd be doing it as a groove machined into the top of the charger - on the right hand side. To use it, you'd touch the negative end of the cell (polarity wouldn't actually matter since bar codes can be read in either direction) and then drag the cell towards yourself until you hit the bottom of the groove. The screen could then indicate whether the scan was successful and if so the identifier for that cell.

I'd include a micro switch to detect the cell being placed in the slot so that the LED only turns on as required.

2114L3
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Re: NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Post by 2114L3 » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:02 am

while a little this example is overkill https://www.adafruit.com/products/1906 this with colour bands on the cells could track the cells.
this could be simplified - but some barcode rings or resistor colour code bands with an optical processing of the cells.

might be possible to put the camera on the PCB facing up with a fisheye lens to catch both cells in the single shot?

Mark
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Re: NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Post by Mark » Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:05 am

Although it's quite interesting, the cost for something like that is always going to be too much for this type of application unfortunately - IMHO.

I think that the bar code scanner would be about the best that could be done for something like this - even then, it may not be really feasible.

individual

Re: NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Post by individual » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:38 am

How about this way of identifying batteries?

If the charger is bluetooth linked to an App/Mobile (or PC), then wouldn't be easier to:
1. give names or serials numbers to batteries (and stick small printed labels to them),
2. declare them in the app as an "inventory",
3. simply asign battery name from this inventory to a charging slot within app,
4. sync it back to the charger when charging starts?

Maybe charging start could be initiated from the app as well... Slot asignment could be memorized... history of each cell from the inventory could be logged...

This way, there wouldn't be hardware based scaning nor the associated components cost.

Mark
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Re: NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Post by Mark » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:35 am

That's pretty much what I'm currently planning to do.

The 4 cell charger will most likely connect to a PC via a USB cable and I'm planning to make it so that data is logged on the PC and the PC can also monitor/control the charger.

moz
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Joined: Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:41 am

Re: NFC Support -> Bar Code Scanner

Post by moz » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:48 am

Barcode scanners aren't especially cheap. I wonder whether a powered RFID tag would work, or a 1-wire ID tag? I've played with 1-wire ID before but only the button tags, and they're ridiculously easy to work with. You already have an electrical connection, so adding a third terminal might not be too hard (a sticker with an exposed foil patch hitting a springy metal contact on the bottom of the cell holder). That would be relatively cheap if someone like you bought 1000 of them, and some packages are designed to be thin and semi-printable, so you'd "just" need a sticker with the right foil printed on the underside. But it would be yet another thing to design, test and fix before you discovered whether there were more than 3 people interested.

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