Code 39

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Posted Sep 22, 2010 2:37:49 PM by DecisionPoint Team & filed under

code-391It’s time again to take a closer look at a bar code symbology! Today I’ll be providing information about Code 39. Code 39 is also known as code 3 of 9 and 3 of 9 bar code. Code 39 is primarily used in industrial applications and internal applications and can be used to create various labels such as name badges and inventory labels.

Code 39 is capable of encoding uppercase letters A-Z, digits 0-9 and special characters such as SPACE, – (minus), . (period), $ (dollar sign), % (percent), / (slash), + (plus). An Extended Code 39 can also encode additional characters not normally supported by the code, such as lowercase letters. This is a low density symbol that requires more space to encode data than the similar bar codes, such as Code 128. Code 39 doesn’t require a check digit because it was designed with character self-checking. However, Code 39 does have a checksum character for standards that may require it, such as LOGMARS (Logistics Applications of Automated Marking and Reading Symbols) and HIBC (Health Industry Barcode)

Each Code 39 character is made up of 9 elements, 3 wide and 6 narrow. Therefore, a single character consists of 5 black bars and 4 white spaces. Each symbol includes:

  1. Quiet zone the width of at least 10 narrow bars
  2. Start character
  3. Encoded data
  4. Stop character
  5. Quiet zone the width of at least 10 narrow bars

Code 39 can be read by nearly every bar code scanner on the market today and is quite popular because of its simplicity and reliable reading results.

Let’s Get Mobile! Contact DecisionPoint Systems, Inc. for additional information about bar code software that supports Code 39 and applications that this symbology is best suited for.

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