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First, I don't know about your hardware problem and why its not working, but it sounds like you're using a format that doesn't have a check digit at the end. If it did, it would not validate such rearrangements of numbers. So I would first start using a format that includes a check digit at the end and invalidate bad scans as a method of quality control.
A check digit works something like this. Take a scan like *025*. You would add an additional digit at the end that has some formula like multiplying each digit by its position and adding them up. So for this number, you would have ( 0 * 1 ) + ( 2 * 2 ) + ( 5 * 3 ) = 19 and then you take the right digit which is a 9. So the check digit with this formula would be *0259*. If you were to scan this and get *0529* or *5029", the check digits would not be 9 and therefore they would be invalid. Only *0259* would be considered valid with the 9 as a check digit. There are a lot of different check digit formulas and this is just one of them. But having a check digit is a good way to validate scans and let you know if a scan was bad.
Thanks for the tip - that's a great idea to add a checksum (digit) at the end to guard against these bad scans. There are less than 100 bar codes so it'll be easy to redo them. Thanks again for the tip.
Now if I could only figure out what's causing this problem...
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Is it a smart or dumb bar code scanner? Dumb scanners just act like a keyboard with no processing. Smart scanners can gather lots of data for batch processing, do checksums and validate digits, and some have a full programming language. If your scanner is a smart scanner, then try to upgrade the firmware and software on it. If it is a dumb scanner... it could be like a bad keyboard that has been over used and just starting to fail.
I assume you know you do scans with iPads, iPhones and iTouches. They are not commercial scanners obviously and they tend to be a lot slower. But for just a few scans here and there, they can be a great tool. However, they are not good for a heavy duty warehouse setting that does many scans all day long. But it sure is nice to be able to scan numbers right into FileMaker fields with FileMaker Go and then you can have FileMaker do the check digit validation.
My experience with scanners is limited but I'd classify this as 'dumb' - it's merely acting as a keyboard. As far as I can tell the drivers are up to date, but I will triple-check.
This solution is in a restaurant - the scanner is used to track pagers handed out to customers waiting for a table so FM Go really wouldn't work that well here. When this scanner works it's been a real help - entering the wrong pager number had been a real problem as the users had to manually punch in the number to make the pager buzz.
The scanner was purchased last summer so I'm hoping it's not going bad. Again, this was all working fine until the FM 13 upgrade.
Do you still have FM12? You can have FM12 and FM13 running on the same machine at the same time. I was curious if you would do some tests on both of them say do 100 scans on FM13 and then 100 scans on FM12 and see if it really is a FM13 issue. Since it is a keyboard, what happens if you go to a text editor and scan it 100 times. Does it work there?
The reason I doubt the problem is FM13 is that it is almost impossible to get a keyboard to work with one version of FileMaker and not another. I would tend to be looking at the scanner as being more of an issue. If it is used a lot, I would be more suspecious of things wearing out like bending of the USB cable. One idea is to try a different USB port and see if that makes a difference. Or swap out the USB cable. I would try that first.
I assume you don't have a second one to compare.