Decode code 39 barcodes manually

Craft & Design
Decode code 39 barcodes manually


Davis Remmel writes:

Code 39 is easy to recreate because it only uses two types of lines: wide and narrow. Also, each code has a beginning sequence (thin black, wide white, thin black), and an ending sequence (thin black, wide white, thin black, thin white, wide black, thin white, wide black, thin white, thin black.) To start the coping process, you need the following:

* Sheet of graph paper

* Writing utensil (pen is easier to see)

* Bar/ASCII translating tool (look at Wikipedia article for a table, format 2)

To start, look at the barcode you want to decode. On the graph paper, take record of the barcode using whatever means you feel comfortable with. I use binary, as it is very easy to read.

Davis sadly got a detention for using the decoded barcode info from his teacher’s ID to gain access to his attendance records, but I think this kind of ingenuity should be encouraged, not punished – decode code 39 barcodes by hand.


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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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