Metrologic MS700 laser scanner Dissected

by on Jan.19, 2010, under Hardware, Hardware Pr0n

In the first post for the new “Hardware PrOn” category, we will be dissecting a common point-of-sale barcode scanner.  This particular victim is the MS700 laser scanner manufactured by Metrologic (now owned by either Honeywell or Gilbarco) which reveals a very nice discovery inside.  So, grab your screwdrivers and let’s take a look.

I got this particular discovery from EPO (see “Places to get stuff”) and since it was untagged and in their “Bargain Corner”,  I was able to get it for the awesome price of $2.   I figured that for that price if I didn’t score something awesome, then at least I’m only out  the $2 dollars.  Since this was a laser based scanner, I figured I could get another laser diode and maybe the beam splitter mirrors for working on my line generator project.

First off, we’ll start off with some pictures. Here is the gallery of photos taken during the disassembly.  You can click on any of them to get a brief description. Clicking on the image again will give you a much larger image.

As indicated in the gallery images for the laser diode mount, don’t remove the focus lens.  I doubt I’ll ever get mine put back to a working order.

Additional Research

If you want to see if yours works first, you will still need to take it apart.  On the power supply PCB, there is a brown connector with three pins.  The center pin is ground and the bottom (towards the metal box side of the PCB) will be the positive voltage side.  This device ran comfortably on 12 volts DC but can go as high as 30VDC if need be.

According to some research, this is an RS-232 barcode scanner however I have not been able to figure out the pinout of the 15 pin header in order to hook it up.  If you are able to get this information, please let me know in the comments section of this post.

As indicated in the gallery images for the laser diode mount, don’t remove the focus lens.  I doubt I’ll ever get mine put back to a working order.

What you can do with it

I’m sure that there are a lot of things that one could do with an optics setup like this.  Not knowing the optical characteristics of the optical receiver I’d hazard to say that this would be a good base for object detection and avoidance on a robot. You could read the position of the mirror cube using the pulses of the yellow wire and then some math could determine where the object is in relation to the robot.  Failing that, you could always make a line generator for some really nice rock-concert effects.  If you take this approach, I recommend going with a green laser, but you’re probably going to need a heavy duty laser or one that can withstand being on for extended periods.  Most laser diodes in laser pointers are not rated for this kind of work so choose wisely.

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