Reading bar codes with Arduino and unaltered CueCat

[Damcave] decided to try out some bar code reader projects. He got his hands on a CueCat years ago. The problem is that it outputs encrypted character sets instead of a clear text string. To get around this he used his Arduino to decrypt the CueCat’s data output.

Originally you could get you hands on a CueCat for free. It was meant to work like QR codes do now — you see a bar code, you scan it to get to a web address. It never really took off but you can still get your hands on one for about twelve clams. We’ve seen projects that clip a pin on the processor to disable to encryption. But [Damcave] didn’t want to mess with the hardware. Instead he connected the Arduino via the PS/2 connector and used software to translate the data. The encryption format has long been know so it was just a matter of translating the steps into an Arduino function.

CueCat, meet Arduino

Have you ever felt like you needed a portable barcode scanner around the house? No? Well, [Mkanoap] did, so he made one. He has hooked his CueCat up to his Arduino to capture barcode data and store it on an SD card. He is using it as an inventory tool for his personal library. Where before he had to carry a laptop around to do his scanning, or lug the books to his desk, he now just scans wherever he pleases.

You may notice some silly sounds dubbed over the video. Take note, these are the actual sounds it plays. The camera didn’t pick them up well enough, so he dubbed them in. You wouldn’t want to miss out on the entire experience would you?


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