I've had a cuecat barcode scanner sitting around for over 10 years. Basically it connects to a PS2 port (apparently there is a USB version) like a keyboard and spits out a barcode when scanned. Nice!. The annoying thing is that it is "encrypted". What I set out to do is;
- unencrypt the barcode in software on the arduino
- i didn't want to cut into the Cuecat in case I broke it, not hard to replace, but that's not the point ;-)
- get it to write only the bar code to the serial port, and I can use some terminal emulator (TeraTerm,Putty or SecureCRT) to write the data to a file as I furiously scan like a boss all items with a barcode in the house.
Step 1: Connecting the CueCat to Arduino
The cable connected to the CueCat is a Y cable that connected to a PC PS/2 port. The connection to the PC is a male adapter. There is also a female, that allows the PC's keyboard to share the port.
There is no continuous path between the 2 ports (Except Power and GND) as a multimeter and continuity test confirmed. So using the female port as a way to access the cuecat signal did not work.
PS2 female connectors are hard to find these days, so I cut the female connector from the cuecat and used that to break out the wires...
The Cue cat cable has 6 wires, marked on the board as 1-6
1. Brown (+5V)
2. Red (DATA Female connector)
3. Black (Clock Female Connector)
4. Orange (DATA Male connector)
5. Yellow (Clock Male Connector)
6. Black - Cable is thicker than other black (Ground)
When cut, the female adapter, has the following which will map to the connector inside the Cuecat as follows
1. Brown (+5V)
2. Red (DATA Female connector) to Orange(pin4)
3. Black (Clock Female Connector) to Yellow (pin5)
4. Bare wire (GND)
I tinned the wires with flux and solder to make them a little more durable, and wired them to a terminal shield on the Arduino.