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Troubleshooting Scanners

Troubleshooting Scanners

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Published by: JCM on Apr 04, 2013
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Troubleshooting Scanners

When you have completed this lesson you will be able to: 1. Understand the various scanner types available 2. Understand scanner connectivity issues
3. Understand image scanning and document scanning



In computing, a scanner is a device that analyzes an image, printed text, or handwriting, or an object and converts it to a digital image. Most scanners today are variations of the desktop (or flatbed) scanner. The flatbed scanner is the most common in offices. Hand-held scanners, where the device is moved by hand, were briefly popular but are now not used due to the difficulty of obtaining a high-quality image. Both these types of scanners use charge-coupled device (CCD) or Contact Image Sensor (CIS) as the image sensor, whereas older drum scanners use a photomultiplier tube as the image sensor. Another category of scanner is a rotary scanner used for high-speed document scanning. This is another kind of drum scanner, but it uses a CCD array instead of a photomultiplier. Other types of scanners are planetary scanners, which take photographs of books and documents, and 3D scanners, for producing three-dimensional models of objects, but this type of scanner is considerably more expensive relative to other types of scanners. Another category of scanners are digital camera scanners which are based on the concept of reprographic cameras. Due to the increasing resolution and new features such as anti-shake, digital cameras become an attractive alternative to regular scanners. While still containing disadvantages compared to traditional scanners, digital cameras offer unmatched advantages in speed and portability.

CES Industries, Inc. Copyright  2007


The aperture is the actual opening that allows light into the optical bench of the scanner. blue and green beams in the optical bench of the scanner. The sample size is the area that the scanner encoder reads to create an individual pixel.Lesson 88 Troubleshooting Scanners A Typical Flatbed scanner Types Nowadays there are different types of scanners depending on users’ purposes. which read red. While drum scanners are capable of scanning both reflective and transmissive artwork. Copyright  2007 . however. the scanner drum. Inc. Most modern color drum scanners use 3 matched PMTs. Light from the original artwork is split into separate red. which rotates at high speed while it passes the object being scanned in front of precision optics that deliver image information to the PMTs. The following are the most common which are scanners and used scanners that can be found in the market: Drum Drum scanners capture image information with photomultiplier tubes (PMT) rather than the charged coupled device (CCD) arrays found in flatbed scanners and inexpensive film scanners. Film. drum scanners are rarely used to scan prints now that high quality inexpensive flatbed scanners are readily available. One of the unique features of drum scanners is the ability to control sample area and aperture size independently. is where drum scanners continue to be the tool of choice for high-end 272 CES Industries. blue and green light respectively. a good quality flatbed scanner can produce excellent scans from reflective artwork. Reflective and transmissive originals are mounted to an acrylic cylinder. As a result. The ability to control aperture and sample size separately is particularly useful for smoothing film grain when scanning black and white and color negative originals.

Flatbed A flatbed scanner is usually composed of a glass pane (or platen). and blue filters. Currently only a few companies continue to manufacture drum scanners. Most hand scanners were monochrome. and require special accessories that illuminate them from the upper side. drum scanners continue to be used in high-end applications. which has created a new niche market for the machines. due to the greater availability of preowned units many fine art photographers are acquiring drum scanners. some switches to set the optical resolution. Inc. very high quality flatbed scanners have replaced drum scanners. They typically have a "start" button which is held by the user for the duration of the scan. While prices of both new and used units have come down over the last decade they still require a considerable monetary investment when compared to CCD flatbed and film scanners. This property can be applied for hardware diagnostics. and a roller which generates a clock pulse for synchronisation with the computer. their use is generally recommended when a scanned image is going to be enlarged. being both less expensive and faster. In most current graphic arts operations. In addition. drum scanners are capable of capturing very subtle details in film originals. Because film can be wet mounted to the scanner drum and because of the exceptional sensitivity of the PMTs. as an uneven scanning rate would produce distorted images.000 PPI. Hand Hand scanners are manual devices which are dragged across the surface of the image to be scanned. since drum scanners are capable of resolutions up to 12. Also. and a moving optical array. for example the HP Scanjet 5 plays Ode to Joy if powered on with SCSI ID set to zero. Flatbed scanners are capable of synthesising simple musical scores due to the variable speed (and tone) of their stepper motors. Transparent images do not work in this way. Color scanners typically contain three rows (arrays) of sensors with red. green. drum scanners remain in demand due to their capacity to produce scans which are superior in resolution. such as museum-quality archiving of photographs and print production of high-quality books and magazine advertisements. Windows and Linux based software is available for several brand and type of flatbad scanners to play MIDI files for fun purposes. However. However. color gradation and value structure. Images to be scanned are placed face down on the glass and the sensor array and light source move across the pane reading the entire area. Scanning documents in this manner requires a steady hand. Copyright  2007 273 . whether CCD or CIS. An image is therefore visible to the charge-coupled device only because of the light it reflects.Troubleshooting Scanners Lesson 88 applications. and produced light from an array of green LEDs to illuminate the image. under which there is a bright light (often xenon or cold cathode fluorescent) which illuminates the pane. A typical hand scanner also had a small window through which the CES Industries.

There are four common connections used by scanners: 1. Manufacturers often claim interpolated resolutions as high as 19.000 ppi. The third important parameter for a scanner is its density range. because the number of possible interpolated pixels is unlimited.Connecting through the parallel port is the slowest transfer method available. Professional models adopted the SCSI-II connection. As of 2004. usually an Atari ST or Commodore Amiga. The higher the resolution: the larger the file. Inc. there is a trade-off between manageable file size and level of detail. Early scanners had parallel connections that could not go faster than 70 kilobytes/second. which was much faster (a few megabytes per second) albeit expensive. Instead of using the scanner's true optical resolution. the only meaningful parameter. In most cases. Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) . Copyright  2007 . Computer connection Scanning the document is only one part of the process. but you can use a standard SCSI controller instead. or LPT in machines pre-dating the USB standard). Color depth varies depending on the scanning array characteristics. A high density range means that the scanner is able to reproduce shadow details and brightness details in one scan. a good flatbed scanner has an optical resolution of 1600–3200 ppi. The other qualifying parameter for a scanner is its resolution. High quality models have 48 bits or more color depth. but such numbers carry little meaningful value. Therefore. Quality Scanners typically read red-green-blue color (RGB) data from the array.Requires a special SCSI connection. measured in pixels per inch (ppi). via the device's input/output interface (usually SCSI or USB. Most SCSI scanners include a dedicated SCSI card to insert into your computer and connect the scanner to. it must be transferred to a computer. 2. This data is then processed with some proprietary algorithm to correct for different exposure conditions and sent to the computer. manufacturers like to refer to the interpolated resolution. a fast connection is desirable. but is usually at least 24 bits.200 ppi. which is much higher thanks to software interpolation. 274 CES Industries. sometimes more accurately referred to as samples per inch (spi). high-end flatbed scanners can scan up to 5400 ppi. Parallel . and a good drum scanner has an optical resolution of 8000– 14. The amount of data generated by a scanner can be very large: a 600 DPI 9"x11" (slightly larger than A4 paper) uncompressed 24-bit image consumes about 100 megabytes of uncompressed data in transfer and storage on the host computer. Recent scanners can generate this volume of data in a matter of seconds.Lesson 88 Troubleshooting Scanners document being scanned could be viewed. For the scanned image to be useful. They were popular during the early 1990s and usually had a proprietary interface module specific to a particular type of computer.

Output data The scanned result is a non-compressed RGB image which can be transferred to a computer's memory. departmental scale.1 was capable of 1. you can choose to acquire an image from the scanner from within Adobe Photoshop because Photoshop supports the TWAIN standard. CES Industries. Originally developed for UNIX and Linux operating systems. Other scanner drivers that can be also used are: • • ISIS . Inc. the image can be processed with a raster graphics program (such as Photoshop or the GIMP) and saved on a storage device (such as a hard disk). Copyright  2007 275 .5 megabytes per second. Bitmap. Some scanners compress and clean up the image using embedded firmware. so long as the text can be read by the computer in a discernable font. In addition to the driver. Mac OS X. In common use. A computer needs software. It uses an averaging process to determine what the shape of a character is and match it to the correct letter or number. is used by large. USB 1.Usually found on higher-end scanners. Some scanners can also be used to capture editable text. ease of use and affordability in a single package. SANE (Scanner Access Now Easy) . Unlike TWAIN. This means that the application does not need to know the specific details of the scanner in order to access it directly. acts as an interpreter between any application that supports the TWAIN standard and the scanner. most scanners come with other software.created by Pixel Translations. TIFF. FireWire . FireWire is ideal for scanning highresolution (and therefore high volume) images. Universal Serial Bus (USB) .Is a free/open source API for accessing scanners. TWAIN. called a driver. eliminating the bottleneck. Once on the computer. machines. Recent models use USB 2. a scanning utility and some type of image editing application are included. that knows how to communicate with the scanner. which still uses SCSI-II for performance reasons. scanned pictures are stored on a computer's hard disk. The TWAIN driver. SANE does not handle the user interface. and PNG. Typically.Scanners combine good speed. A lot of scanners include OCR software. OCR (Object Character Recognition) allows you to scan in words from a document and convert them into computer-based text. In its first version.0 connections that can transfer up to 60 megabytes per second. 4. Most scanners speak a common language. originally used for low-end and home-use equipment and now widely used for large-volume scanning. This process is called Optical Character Recognition (OCR). For example. it has been ported to OS/2.Troubleshooting Scanners Lesson 88 3. This allows batch scans and transparent network access without any special support from the device driver. FireWire connections are faster than USB and SCSI. and Microsoft Windows. normally in image formats such as JPEG.

barcode sheets are inserted into the document files. in major operations it is performed on dedicated. but some manufacturers have developed specialized machinery to deal with this. Most scanners use ISIS or Twain device drivers to scan documents into TIFF format so that the scanned pages can be fed into a document management system that will handle the archiving and retrieval of the scanned pages. Epson. One common practice is the use of barcode recognition technology. Copyright  2007 . Sophisticated document scanners have either firmware of software that “cleans up” scans as they are produced. Technical difficulties arise from the books usually being bound and sometimes fragile and irreplaceable. Many are capable of duplex (two-sided) scanning at or near full speed (20ppm (pages per minute) to 150ppm). The biggest issues with document scanning are preparation and indexing. generally larger than those found on copiers or all-purpose scanners. While document scanning can be done on general-purpose office scanners. Often special robotics are used to turn the pages automatically. folders and document groups. Infrared cleaning Infrared cleaning is a technique used to remove dust and scratches from film. It works by scanning the film with infrared light. Indexing involves associating keywords with files so they can be found later. Kodak and others. For instance. During the preparation process.Lesson 88 Troubleshooting Scanners Document processing The scanning or digitization of paper documents for storage is quite different from the scanning of pictures for reproduction though it uses some of the same technology. Many document scans are converted using OCR technology into searchable files. Atiz DIY scanner uses a V-shaped cradle and a Vshaped transparent platen to handle brittle books. but may involve manual labor. manufactured by companies like Atiz Innovation. the documents are saved into the appropriate folders and an index is created for integration into document management software systems. Inc. since higher resolution is usually not needed and makes files much larger to store. specialized scanners. Most modern scanners incorporate this feature. They scan at lower resolution than other scanners. This is a manual task and can be time consuming. Document scanners have document feeders. This process can be automated in some cases. A specialized form of document scanning is book scanning. Preparation involves taking the papers to be scanned and making sure that they are in order. usually in the range 150dpi to 300 dpi. They also usually compress the scan on the fly. Using automatic batch scanning. without staples or anything else that might jam the scanner. Böwe Bell & Howell. HP. A lot of scans can be made at high speed. From this. Fujitsu. unfolded. Canon. traditionally in grayscale but now in color as well. eliminating accidental marks and sharpening type. it is possible to detect dust and scratches that cut off the 276 CES Industries.

Epson. or automated assembly lines. there is one error in every 10.000 characters typed by a keyboard operator. For example.000 characters. Handheld vs. Nikon. CES Industries. when the quality of a barcode decreases. so it doesn't fail due to use or abuse. choosing the cheapest scanner may force you to buy another scanner in the long run.000 reads. shape and surroundings. Scanner manufacturers usually have their own name attached to this technique. or when you have to scan multiple items in different locations. while Canon uses its own Film Automatic Retouching and Enhancement system. you'll need a scanner with an appropriate IP Rating. size. most come in standard. Copyright  2007 277 . Inc. Microtek and others use Digital ICE. Such examples of this are Point-of-Sale (POS) applications. but can often be more efficient in their scanning ability. and extralong range capabilities. hard surface as CCD scanners are used in close contact situations. Speed A bar code label of twelve characters can be wanded in approximately the time it takes a keyboard operator to make two keystrokes. Imaging Laser scanners are generally more expensive than CCD scanners. Accuracy For every 1.Troubleshooting Scanners Lesson 88 infrared light and they can then be automatically removed based on their position. allowing workers to scan items on the top shelf of a warehouse without having to move closer to the item. typically outside. Laser Scanners have different options for the distance you need to scan. barcode systems approach one error in every 3. With wands. bulky items. they approach one error in 70 million entries. Handheld scanners are a better fit with large. long range. the read rate for imagers increases as the imager will look over the entire height of the barcode to find a complete strand automatically. They can be designed to read barcodes from a great distance. For an Optical Character Reader (OCR). A situation for a CCD scanner may be a bright location.000. Though cost savings maybe a large consideration. CCD Scanning vs. Though imaging technology may be slower. These scanners are also a better option when the barcode is not on a flat. Hands-free Scanners Hands-free scanners are more efficient when it is easier to bring the barcode to the scanner rather than the scanner to the barcode. Barcode Scanners There are many options to consider when choosing a barcode scanner. there are an average of ten keying errors. where placing the scanner directly over the barcode will block out most outside light giving a quicker and more accurate read. Imaging technology will take a picture of the barcode and then read the barcode from that image. Laser vs. Depending on your work environment. and with laser technology.

000 OCR Scanning 300 Barcode scanning 1 Troubleshooting Scanners Check to make sure that the scanner is receiving power. SCSI Scanners Check for ROM memory address conflicts if your scanner uses a SCSI card. Normally a light of some type will come on when the scanner is properly connected and turned on.400. Copyright  2007 . make sure the switch is on. Check for proper termination if you have a SCSI scanner. Make sure the power cord is plugged into the back of the scanner and also into an outlet that has power. Depending on the cable type the total length of the cables from the back of the computer.Lesson 88 Troubleshooting Scanners Probable number of substitution errors per 3. Make sure that the cables are not too long. Use the proper cables. Inc. Make sure the Parallel Port I/O address set correctly (378h or 3BCh) 278 CES Industries. Next make sure that the scanner is turned on. Make sure that the BIOS Parallel Port mode (EPP or Bi-directional) matches that needed by the scanner. If the manual calls for a Bi-directional cable use that. The typical On/Off switch has a 0 for Off and a 1 for On. If it is plugged into an extension block. if it calls for a IEEE1284 then use that cable. Try running tests provided by the manufacturer of the scanner. Check to make sure the scanner is unlocked (if your scanner has a locking mechanism).000 characters Data Entry Method Errors Keyboard Entry 10. through the scanner and to the printer can range from 7 feet to 32 feet. Parallel Port Scanners Make sure the connections to both the printer and the scanner are secure and tight.

Which type of scanner would be most efficient in a Retail store POS (Point-of-Sale). All of the above 2. Inc. Twain c. Hands-free Barcode c. Isis b. Sane d. Scanner OCR Software is designed to do which of the following? a. d. c. Rotary Scanner d. Scanning Images and Text Playing music Both a and b None of the above 4. Firewire d. Copyright  2007 279 . Rotary scanner d.Troubleshooting Scanners Lesson 88 Assignment 1. Which is the most common driver for a flatbed scanner? a. Which of the following scanner connections has the fastest data transfer rate? a. None of the above 6. All of the above 3. Allows batch scans and transparent network access without any special support from the device driver d. Handheld scanner c. Handheld Barcode b. SCSI b. Flatbed scanner b. Allows you to scan in words from a document and convert them into computer-based text b. Which kind of drum scanner uses a CCD array instead of a photomultiplier? a. USB c. Acts as an interpreter between any application that supports the TWAIN standard and the scanner c. Flatbed scanners are capable of: a. Flatbed Scanner CES Industries. b. such as a grocery store a. Parallel 5.

600 megabytes per second 10. 60 kilobytes per second c.Lesson 88 Troubleshooting Scanners 7. Inc. Laser scanners c. Copyright  2007 . USB 2. Laser b. A 600 DPI 9"x11" uncompressed 24-bit image consumes about 100 megabytes of uncompressed data in transfer and storage on the host computer.0 connections can transfer data up to? a. 20 kilobytes per second b. Imaging Scanners d. False 280 CES Industries. a. The technique used to remove dust and scratches from film uses what type of light? a. True b. 60 megabytes per second d. Which of the following scanners is able to read barcodes from a great distance? a. Fluorescent 9. Klystron c. Infrared d. CCD scanners b. None of the above 8.

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