i.d. mate OMNI Power Users

The following is a list of items for users who want to get the most out of their i.d. mate OMNI:

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Explanation of Flash Card Files and Folders

When we load a new flash card with the data necessary to function in an i.d. mate, the root directory will contain the following 5 or 6 items, generally:

  • SCANS Folder - In ID Mode, when a bar code is scanned and a voice memo is recorded for it, the i.d. mate creates a folder (or finds it if it's already present) inside the SCANS folder and names it according to the digits of the bar code that was scanned. The i.d. mate then places any voice memos for that bar code in this folder. Voice memos are saved as .WAV files and are named sequentially as follows: 00001.WAV, 00002.WAV, etc.
  • MEMOS Folder - In Memo Mode, voice memos are saved in and retrieved from the MEMOS folder using the same naming convention as ID Mode memos. See Customizing Memo Mode for a great way to organize your memos.
  • BARCODES.DAT - This file is the actual product database. Text-to-Speech technology makes it possible to get millions of items on the CompactFlash card. We are constantly adding products to this database, and we come out with a new version twice a year, typically in the spring and fall.
  • SETTINGS.INI - This is a simple text file that holds the parameters and values that change certain functions of the i.d. mate. These functions are Changing the Scanner Timeout Period, Customizing the Voice, Playback of Bar Code Information, and Recording Insertion Method. Depending on your OMNI's firmware version, the following may also be present: Bar Code ID Mode and Inventory Mode.
  • VOLNAME.WAV - This is the file that is played after the introduction when the unit is turned on.
  • INVENTORY.TXT - Depending on your OMNI's firmware version, there may also be a text file that stores the values used in Inventory Mode.

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Reformatting the CompactFlash Card

WARNING: Reformatting your CompactFlash card will erase all of the data on it. Proceed with caution!

This procedure requires that you have a CompactFlash card reader connected to your PC, which should be available under My Computer as a Removable Disk. Please make yourself familiar with how to find and interact with this resource before attempting the following steps to reformat your CompactFlash card.

Before reformatting your Flash card, backup (copy and paste) all of the files and folders on it to your hard drive. These will be restored to the card after reformatting. Once the backup is complete, in Windows:

  1. Go to Start > Run...
  2. Type "FORMAT X: /A:32K /FS:FAT" (without quotes, and replace "X:" with the drive letter of your Flash card reader).
  3. When the MS-DOS command box titled "C:\WINDOWS\System32\FORMAT.com" opens, press [Enter] and wait for the format to complete.
  4. When formatting is complete, you will be asked for a volume label. Do not type anything; just hit [Enter].
Your Flash card is now reformatted and empty of any data. Copy and paste the folders and files you previously backed up to your hard drive onto the newly reformatted Flash card. You may now remove your Flash card from the reader and insert it for use in your i.d. mate.

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Updating the Product Database

This procedure requires that you have a CompactFlash card reader connected to your PC, which should be available under My Computer as a Removable Disk. Please make yourself familiar with how to find and interact with this resource before attempting the following steps to update the product database on your CompactFlash card.

  1. As a precautionary measure, make a backup copy of all the data on your flash card to your computer.
  2. Place the database upgrade CD in your computer's CD or DVD Rom drive if it is not already there. On the CD, the barcodes.dat file is the new database. Copy the barcodes.dat file from the CD and paste it to your flash card in the removable disk drive. This will replace the old barcodes.dat with the new one. Your computer should ask you to confirm file replace, "Would you like to replace the existing file" and it will describe the files in question. Confirm with the Yes option. Once copying is complete, remove the flash card from the reader and insert it into your i.d. mate.
  3. i.d. mate OMNI users may skip this step since the OMNI automatically detects the database version when the flash card is inserted and you navigate to Memory Mode, which will first say the amount of record time left on the flash card, then the database version. For i.d. mate 2 users, the opening greeting will remain the same unless you change the volume label. IF you would like to change the recording that plays after the introduction when the unit is turned on, while the recording is playing, press the erase button (lower right button) once. You will be asked to push the erase button a second time to verify that you do, in fact, want to erase the message. Push the erase button the second time and the unit will confirm the erase. Turn off your unit, then turn the unit back on. It should say "Voice label does not exist, to record, press and hold the record button." Press and hold the record button while you speak the new message stating the card size and database version, or whatever else you would like. This procedure may be done as many times as needed until you are happy with your opening greeting.
  4. As an alternative to Step 5 for I D Mate 2 users, you can copy the file VOLNAME.WAV from your update CD to your flash card. However, this wave file will only say the database version and not the size of the flash card.
  5. Once copying is complete, wait a few moments to be sure that Windows is completely finished with the process. When you believe it is safe to do so, remove the flash card from the reader and insert it into your i.d. mate.
  6. Your i.d. mate should now be ready to go. Enjoy!

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Transfer Custom Voice Memos Between Flash Cards

This procedure requires that you have a CompactFlash card reader connected to your PC, which should be available under My Computer as a Removable Disk. Please make yourself familiar with how to find and interact with this resource before attempting the following steps to transfer your custom voice recordings from one CompactFlash card to another.

  1. Create a folder on your PC's desktop called "ID Mate Backup" (or whatever you wish).
  2. Insert your old flash card (the one with the voice memos you wish to transfer) into your PC's card reader and open it. When you do so, you will be in the root directory. As it will be necessary to copy some files to your PC to complete this process, it will be best to copy and paste all of the files to the backup folder you just made. These files are:
    • One folder called MEMOS
    • One folder called SCANS
    • Three files called BARCODES.DAT, SETTINGS.INI, & VOLNAME.WAV
    • For i.d. mate OMNI users, you may also have and wish to copy a file called INVENTORY.TXT. If you don't, no problem.
  3. When the copy and paste is complete, safely remove your old flash card from the reader, insert the new flash card, and open it.
  4. From your backup folder, copy the folders named MEMOS and SCANS, and paste them into the root directory of your new flash card. You may wish to also copy the SETTINGS.INI file to the new card if you have adjusted the sound of the voice or have made other changes this file in the past.
  5. When the copy and paste is complete, safely remove your new flash card from the reader, insert it into your i.d. mate, and you should be ready to go!

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customized folders in Memo Mode

Customizing Memo Mode

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer.

An additional feature added to the OMNI is the ability to add additional, customizable memo-style modes. For example, you can add a memo mode called "Groceries" by adding a folder named "Groceries" to the Memos folder on your CompactFlash card. After you add this folder, an additional memo mode called "Groceries" will be accessible as you move through the modes using the mode button. You can record memos under this customized memo mode as you would in normal memo mode.

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where to find Voice Settings

Customizing the Voice

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer.

i.d. mate OMNI uses DoubleTalk text-to-speech technology, which allows the ability to customize more than just the onboard speed and pitch settings. Be sure to make a backup of this file on your computer if you decide to make changes.

On the flash card there is a plain text file called "SETTINGS" (or "SETTINGS.INI" for those who have file extensions active) that you will need to access using your PC and a compact flash card reader. The first thing to note about this file is that any line that starts off with a semi-colon is meant as a comment for humans and is effectively invisible to the i.d.mate’s program. At the top of the file is the section for the Voice Settings. The first 2 settings are Volume and Speed. You can leave these alone since they can be changed using the ID Mate keypad.

The other 7 voice parameters are Freq (short for frequency), Expression, Articulation, Tone, Reverb, Pitch, and Delay. Place a semi-colon at the beginning of each of these 7 lines to "comment them out". After the [MiscSettings] section, there is a section for "Standard DoubleTalk voice definitions". Find one of these you would like to try and remove the semicolons before the 7 parameters. Save and close the file. Safely remove the flash card from the reader and insert it into your i.d.mate. Then turn it on and give it a listen.

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where to find the Scanner Time Out setting

Changing the Scanner Timeout Period [ScannerTimeout]

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer.

You can adjust the length of time the scanner will stay on before going into sleep mode by adjusting the ScannerTimeout setting in the SETTINGS.INI file on your CompactFlash card. The default is 45 seconds. The maximum setting for timeout is 245 seconds. A setting of 0 will stop the scanner from going to sleep.

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where to find the Auto Mode setting

Playback of Bar Code Information [AutoMode]

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer.

There are two ways that OMNI can playback bar code information. The first method is to have the device speak the first entry then indicate that more information exists by saying the word "Continued". This default method is called Manual Playback and is activated by setting the AutoMode parameter in the SETTINGS.INI file on your CompactFlash card equal to 0.

The second method is to have the device automatically playback all information from start to finish. You can activate Automatic Playback by setting the AutoMode parameter in the SETTINGS.INI file equal to 1.

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where to find the Record Mode setting

Recording Insertion Method [RecordMode]

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer.

With the OMNI, there are two ways new recorded messages can be inserted into memory. The first method is to insert the new recording after the recorded message that was played last. This is the default method and is called Record Insert. It is activated by setting the RecordMode parameter in the SETTINGS.INI file on your CompactFlash card equal to 0. The second method, called Record Append, will place the new message at the end of all other recorded messages stored. Record Append is activated by setting RecordMode equal to 1.

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where to find the Bar Code ID Mode setting

Bar Code ID Mode [BCID]

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer. Also, Bar Code ID Mode is only available on i.d. mate Omni's with firmware version 2.10 or later and on i.d. mate II's with firmware version 1.10 or later. Directions on how to find out your unit's firmware version can be found in the next section titled "Determine Firmware and Dictionary Versions".

When enabled, Bar Code ID Mode will make available the ability of your i.d. mate to read back the actual digits of the bar code itself, instead of the information about the item the bar code is associated with.

To enable Bar Code ID Mode, follow these steps:

  • Remove the CompactFlash card from your i.d. mate and insert it into the flash card reader.
  • In the reader's root folder, open the SETTINGS.INI file.
  • Find the BCID parameter, and change its value to 22. The line should read BCID=22. To disable the feature, the line should read BCID=0.
  • Save the changes to the file, safely remove the flash card from the reader, and insert it back into your i.d. mate.

You will now find that a new feature, called Bar Code ID, will be available after ID Mode.

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where to find the Inventory setting

Inventory Mode [Inventory]

Note: This process requires the use of a CompactFlash card reader attached to a computer. Also, the Inventory Mode functionality is only available on i.d. mate OMNI's with firmware version 2.20 or later. Directions on how to find out your unit's firmware version can be found in the section on this page titled "Determine Firmware and Dictionary Versions". The instructions below are in regards to version 2.30 or later of the firmware, and may not fully apply to earlier versions.

    To enable Inventory Mode, follow these steps:
  • Remove the CompactFlash card from your i.d. mate and insert it into the flash card reader.
  • In the reader's root folder, open the SETTINGS.INI file.
  • Find the "Inventory" parameter, and change its value to 1. The line should read Inventory=1. To disable the feature, the line should read Inventory=0.
  • Save the changes to the file, safely remove the flash card from the reader, and insert it back into your i.d. mate.

This will enable two new modes, "Inventory" and "Browse Inventory", that will follow "ID Mode" (or if "Bar Code ID" is enabled [see above], they will follow this mode). There is no Inventory Mode firmware available for i.d. mate I or II.

Inventory Mode Instructions

    To Add an Item and Quantity:
  • Scan the item's bar code.
  • Use the Next and Previous (triangle) buttons to choose the quantity.
  • Press the Record (round) button to save the quantity.
  • Listen for two chimes to verify the quantity has been saved.
    To Edit the Quantity for an Item Already Entered:
  • Scan the item's bar code.
  • Press the Next and Previous buttons to modify the quantity.
  • Press the Record button to save the change.
  • Listen for two chimes indicating the change has been saved.

You cannot erase a record from Inventory Mode. Items without descriptions in the En-Vision America database on your CompactFlash Card will be given a description of "Item not Found" in the Inventory.txt file (see below). Descriptions can be added directly to the Inventory.txt file at a later time if desired.

To change a quantity rapidly, press and hold the Next or Previous button. The OMNI will change the count by 1 for the first ten, then will change by 10 for the next ten, then will change by 100 for the next ten, then by 1,000 for the next 10, then by 10,000 for the next 10.

Browse Inventory Instructions

Use the Next and Previous buttons to browse through inventory items. The recorded quantity will be spoken before the item description. To change a quantity rapidly, press and hold the Next or Previous button. The OMNI will change the count by 1 for the first ten, then will change by 10 for the next ten, then will change by 100 for the next ten, then by 1000 for the next 10, then by 10000 for the next 10.

    To Edit the Quantity for an Item in Browse Inventory Mode:
  • Use the Next and Previous buttons to find the item you wish to edit the quantity for.
  • Press the Record button once.
  • Use the Next and Previous buttons to modify the quantity.
  • Press the Record button once more to save the change.
  • Listen for two chimes indicating the change has been saved.
    To Delete an Item from Inventory:
  • Use the Next and Previous buttons to find the item you wish to delete.
  • Press the Erase (square) button twice.

Working with the Inventory.txt File

Caution: It is best not to work directly with the original Inventory.txt file on your CompactFlash Card unless absolutely necessary. Even a seemingly innocous change to the file's syntax or structure may disrupt the ability of the OMNI to properly access and manipulate it. It is best to work with a copy of the file on your computer. You may wish to edit the name of this copy to include the date (and possibly time) of the save.

It may be best to work with the Inventory.txt file's data by importing it with either a database program, such as Microsoft Access or OpenOffice Base, or a spreadsheet program, such as Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice Calc. When doing so:

  • The data is semi-colon delimited with no text qualifiers.
  • The first column is the bar code number and should be formatted as "text" not "general". Neglecting this will eliminate any leading zeros and may turn it into scientific notation.

One of the big differences between the Inventory.txt file and a BARCODES.DAT file that has been run through the Bar Encode Lite program is that the BARCODES.DAT file MUST be in numerical sorted order, otherwise, it will not work. Inventory Mode does not require this as the items are saved and worked with in the order they are scanned.

Also in Inventory Mode, there are only three fields: the bar code number, the item description, and a five digit number for the quantity (i.e., if you only have one item, it must be entered as 00001). However, the description can include a price as part of the description if you type it yourself in the Inventory.txt file. It is vitally important not to use commas if you will be importing into a spreadsheet like Excel.
For example:
041196805499; Progresso Soup $1.45; 00002;
094000183566; A-von Moisturizer 24 $4.45; 00002;
036000282009; Kleenex $1.24; 00005;

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Creating Your Own Database

This procedure requires that Summit users have an SD card reader, and Omni users have a compact flash card reader. The reader should be available in Windows XP under My Computer, and in Windows Vista and Windows 7 under Computer, as a Removable Disk. Please make yourself familiar with how to find and interact with this resource before attempting the following steps.

The following describes the process for creating a custom data file for the i.d. mate Summit and Omni. These instructions assume that you have a working knowledge of either Microsoft Access or Excel. Omni users may have only one *.DAT file exist on their card at a given time, and it must be named BARCODES.DAT. Summit may accommodate more than one. See final instructions below for more details.

Barcodes are subject to these criteria:

  • Barcodes must be comprised of numbers only - no alpha (letter), punctuation, or symbol characters; no "white space" (e.g., spaces, tabs, line breaks, etc.).
  • The actual printed barcodes may have leading zeroes, but the barcode values must have any leading zeroes removed before they are sorted. Formatting the column (or field) as a Number with no decimals should accomplish this. This process has a (small) chance of creating duplicates, which will need to be rectified before processing the .txt file with BE_Lite. There can be no duplicate barcodes in a BARCODES.DAT file.
  • Barcodes may have a maximum length of 20 characters.

Creating the Custom Database

  1. Prepare Data:
    1. Note: For all options below, there must be at least one description field in addition to the barcode field, and multiple description fields will be navigable when scanning the barcode. See the criteria above for valid barcodes.
    2. Option 1: Enter data manually - The first field should always be the record's barcode.
    3. Option 2: Use Inventory Mode - See the instructions for using Inventory Mode to generate an Inventory.txt file on the i.d. mate's flash card. Import this file into your Access or Excel file, leave out or remove the quantity field/column, and modify the descriptions, as necessary.
    4. Option 3: Acquire manufacturer data - Treatment of barcode data received from a manufacturer may need to be handled on a case-by-case basis. Be sure to import the barcode column into the first field and formatted as Number with no decimals. Import the descriptive information as Text.
  2. Sort data ascending numerically by barcode values. Be sure the barcode column is formatted as "Number" with no decimals. For Excel users, if some values appear to be in scientific notation, double check that the column is actually set to "Number" with no decimals.
  3. Remove any duplicate barcodes.
  4. Replace all commas (,) and semi-colons (;) in descriptions either with spaces or with periods. A period will create a pause in the speech like a comma or semi-colon.
  5. Recommended steps for "cleaning" your descriptions:
    1. Remove all double quote characters (").
    2. Replace all double spaces with single spaces. Repeat until no replacements are reported.
  6. Make sure each record ends in a semicolon. Place a semicolon at the very end of each record before the line break/return.
  7. Add your database announcement for the system menu using barcode number "0" (i.e., 0;Database Version My Database 1.0;)
  8. Sample file. Download this Excel file to see an example of a properly prepared master data set in Excel or download this comma delimited file to see an example in Notepad.
  9. Make your file into a semi-colon delimited file and save as text. Download this text file to see an example of the final format in Notepad.
    1. Option 1: Export from Access. When exporting from Access, choose to export as "text files." On the first screen, choose "delimited". On the second screen, choose "semicolon". Also make sure to indicate {none} where it asks if you want Text Qualifiers.
    2. Option 2: Convert Excel file to semi-colon delimited file using Notepad:
      1. Select File > Save As.
      2. Change "Save as type" to CSV (comma delimited) *.csv.
      3. Save the file using File > Save (or Ctrl + S).
      4. If prompted that the selected file type does not support workbooks that contain multiple sheets, click OK. Then if prompted that the file may contain features that are not compatible with CSV (comma delimited) - "Do you want to keep the workbook in this format?" - choose Yes. Select File > Close. When prompted to save changes, choose No.
      5. Open the file in Notepad (For Windows, go to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad).
      6. Using Edit > Replace, replace all commas (,) with semi-colons (;).
      7. Save the file using File > Save (or Ctrl + S) with a .txt extension instead of a .csv extension.
    3. Option 3: Change Regional Options and use Notepad. If your file is very large, the replacement function above may take too long. Here is another way of doing it: Before saving your .csv file, change your computer's regional settings: Go to Start > Control Panel > Regional and Language Options > Customize (from the numbers tab), then under the List Separator, choose the semi-colon (;). This will make any .csv files semi-colon delimited instead of comma delimited. Return to the Excel file and save as a .csv file format. Leave Excel and open the file using Notepad (right click and choose "Open With", then Notepad). Now save the file as a .txt file.
  10. BE_Lite. Download the BE_Lite_220.zip file. This file is a stand-alone program and does not require installation on your computer to work. It processes your sorted, normalized text database file into one useable by the i.d. mate.
    1. Run the BE_Lite executable. The executable file must be run from the same directory as the included Enc32.dll file.
    2. For databases to be used with i.d. mate Omni V3's and Summits, be sure that "Version 3 DB" is checked.
    3. Click [Process Database…]
    4. Navigate to the .txt file.
    5. Click [Open]. A BARCODES.DAT file will be generated in the same folder as the .txt file.
    6. If any processing errors are reported, click [View Log] for details.
  11. Copy the BARCODES.DAT file to the root directory of the unit's card:
    1. Summit users may have multiple databases co-exist on their SD card. The "official" En-Vision America BARCODES.DAT file should remain named as it is. Your custom barcodes files should be renamed with a sequencing number with the following pattern: BARCODES01.DAT, BARCODES02.DAT, etc. Enumerated DAT files are queried in numerical order before BARCODES.DAT.
    2. Omni users may have only one *.DAT file exist on their flash card at a given time, and it must be named BARCODES.DAT.

For further technical assistance, contact En-Vision America at 1-800-890-1180 and ask for help creating a custom barcode database.

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Determine Firmware and Dictionary Versions

To determine the firmware and dictionary versions of your i.d. mate, in any mode you may press the Mode and Record (rectangle and circle) buttons simultaneously.

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Determine Battery Power Level

To determine the battery power level of your i.d. mate, in any mode you may press the Mode and Erase (rectangle and square) buttons simultaneously.

One good thing to know is that, if the scanner motor is running, an ID Mate will report a number an average of 5 points lower than when the scanner is off. So it's a good idea to check the level while the scanner motor is running.

The low battery threshold for ID Mate 2, and Omni's with firmware version 2.03 or earlier, is 115. A change was made in Omni firmware version 2.04 and after so that the threshold is 112. This allows the user to get more out of the batteries than before. Press the Mode and Record buttons to check your firmware version.

I generally recharge a unit whenever it gets down into the low 120's or if it hasn't been charged for about 2 weeks regardless of the level. The full charge level can depend on the age and condition of the pack. A full charge for a new pack can usually reach the low 140's, and a used pack in decent condition will reach the mid 130's.

It's important to understand how the charging cycle works in order to reach a full charge. The ID Mate's charging circuitry has 2 features that protect the battery pack from being overcharged, so charging will cease for one of the two following reasons, whichever comes first:

  1. After two hours of constant charging or
  2. When the ID Mate detects that the amount of energy the batteries are accepting falls to a certain level

So, depending on the energy level, it may take multiple charging cycles to reach a full charge. You can begin a new charging cycle by simply unplugging the charging plug from the ID Mate for a few seconds, and plugging it back in.

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