One thing that kept me from ever seriously using it to catalog all my books was the fact that being a keyboard emulator, a cuecat required me to lug a laptop around to read the output. A recent conversation with a friend about the daunting task of inventorying hundreds of books made me think, "wouldn't it be nice to have a smaller device that would would store all the data for later transfer to a computer?"
So I built this device, an arduino and waveshield based box that the cuecat can plug into that will store scanned data on an SD card. The SD card can then be popped out and mounted onto a computer. The scanned data will appear as text files on the card.
For extra fun, it plays a goofy^H^H^H^H^H impressive startup sound to let you know it has successfully been turned on, and meows (it is a cueCAT after all) to let you know when it has successfully read a barcode.
Step 1: What you will need
You will need the following tools
- Soldering iron
- dremel or other tool to cut and shape the enclosure
- Diagonal cutters
- Hot glue gun (optional)
- Helping Hands to hold the board while soldering (optional, but recommended)
- Multimeter (mostly for assembling the wave shield)
- Hot glue (optional)
- Heat shrink tubing (optional)
- Arduino Duemilanove or clone (I'm using the ATMega328 version, don't know if the 168 has enough ram or not)
- cuecat PS2 version (or other PS2 barcode scanner)
- Female PS2 connector (only if not using a CueCat or if you don't want to mutilate yours)
- Wave shield
- 8 ohm speaker
- 1GB SD card
- battery holder
- wire (required for Wave shield)
- Some sound files in .wav format
The speaker came from radio shack (part #273-092) but an 8 ohm speaker salvaged from a toy would probably work as well if not better. The battery holder I had lying around, but also probably came from radio shack.
As detailed later, the female PS2 connector was cut off the cuecat itself.
While I started this project with the intent of "let's use that old CueCat" I couldn't actually find mine, so I bought a "new" one off of ebay. When purchasing one, it is extremely important that you get one of the original PS2 models. Some of the ones for sale at places like library thing are USB and those WILL NOT WORK with this project.
For the enclosure I used a box from pactec, model PS36-150, which fit everything nicely with only a few modifications.