Building your own RedBox machine?

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Building your own RedBox machine?

Postby tmontney » May 4th, 2014, 5:21 pm

I"m building a shelf with slots. I'd like a bar code reader in every slot. I know nothing of bar code readers, is it possible to extend additional readers from one bar code reader? Otherwise, I'd have to restrict an item to a certain slot.

Edit: After seeing the inside of a redbox, that would achieve exactly what I want. A RedBox machine would be a perfect sorting device. Now the question is, where do I start?
Last edited by tmontney on May 5th, 2014, 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Adding extra readers to a bar code scanner?

Postby Osgeld » May 4th, 2014, 5:47 pm

most scanners show up in different modes, rs232, usb hid, or usb serial to name a few.. problem is they area ll embedded do hickys, so you get 1 module that plugs into your target, want more than one, you need more than one scanner.

its the optics and mechanics (in the case of 1d) that makes them expensive, the decoder part inside the scanner is practically nothing

it would be possible to come up with some complex system of mirrors and shutters to take one scanner and have it cycle though each slot ... dunno if thats cheaper and its not more reliable than multiple scanners.
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Re: Adding extra readers to a bar code scanner?

Postby tmontney » May 4th, 2014, 7:23 pm

Osgeld wrote:most scanners show up in different modes, rs232, usb hid, or usb serial to name a few.. problem is they area ll embedded do hickys, so you get 1 module that plugs into your target, want more than one, you need more than one scanner.

its the optics and mechanics (in the case of 1d) that makes them expensive, the decoder part inside the scanner is practically nothing

it would be possible to come up with some complex system of mirrors and shutters to take one scanner and have it cycle though each slot ... dunno if thats cheaper and its not more reliable than multiple scanners.


I thought about mirrors and what not. I mean, it'll be a shelf with slots. Not sure how mirrors will work. Perhaps doing something else, like using a CD changer? Or perhaps how the RedBox does it.
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Re: Adding extra readers to a bar code scanner?

Postby Osgeld » May 4th, 2014, 11:10 pm

AFIK redbox scans when the code slides into the system, then its filed (there is only one slot to enter and exit, not multiples)

if you have that option then you only need one
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Re: Adding extra readers to a bar code scanner?

Postby tmontney » May 5th, 2014, 12:04 am

Osgeld wrote:AFIK redbox scans when the code slides into the system, then its filed (there is only one slot to enter and exit, not multiples)

if you have that option then you only need one


Exactly. I'd be perfectly happy with that solution. I'm looking for the solution that requires the least amount of remembrance. In this case, avoiding labeling each slot, and having to keep the same item in the same slot. I wonder how do-able the mirror idea is.

I just don't know how it files the item after it's inserted, and how it comes out. Anyone ever opened one up before (assuming they had access)? The programing part, shouldn't be a big deal. It's just the electrical side I'm unfamiliar with.

Original post updated.
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Re: Building your own RedBox machine?

Postby Retroplayer » May 7th, 2014, 5:24 pm

Sounds like something more suited for RFID, in my opinion.
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Re: Building your own RedBox machine?

Postby k-ww » May 7th, 2014, 5:37 pm

Why not scan the barcode, then on a 1 / 2 line display, give the slot # it goes in.

Or liht up a led at the slot if you wish to be fancy.
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Re: Building your own RedBox machine?

Postby st2000 » May 8th, 2014, 1:34 am

Are you trying to build a "Ziotek Media Carousel"? As for how disc vending machines work, I am fairly sure the bar code is on the hub of the media. That way the container is not really needed except for transport protection. And the 1-specific-slot for every disc falls apart when considering discs can be shuffled between vending machines. It's more likely each vending machine maintains it's own data base which is aggregated over a network (I'll guess cell phone) such that you can browse the entire collection and reserve a specific disc at a specific location. Of course this entire industry hinges on an quote credited to Andrew Tanenbaum that is now decades old: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneakernet#Non-fiction Except today we would replace the word tape with bluray discs and terabyte hard drives. And, perhaps, replace station-wagon with cross-over.
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