Probably I'm asking a nonsense question but I'm new at interfaces.

I want to connect an USB barcode scanner to an Arduino (Uno or Mega). I've read that I need a USB host shield to achieve this. But I don't have any. I have a FTDI, so I suppose I could plug the USB output of the scanner into the FTDI and connect the FTDI to the UART port of Arduino. Then, I would be passing the USB output to Serial.

Is it correct? Thanks and sorry if I said something stupid!

1 Answer 1


No, that is completely wrong.

In USB you have hosts and devices. A device has to connect to a host. Your FT232 is a device. The barcode scanner is a device. Both of them need to be connected to a host for them to do anything.

So you need a USB host shield to act as that host.

However - check the manual for your barcode scanner: it may well have a RS-232 mode that it can be switched into (may need a different cable attached).

  • Okay thanks! Yes, RS-232 was my second option. I need extra hardware apart from the cable, don't I? Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:47
  • Maybe, maybe not. It depends on your barcode scanner. Read the manual - see what it says.
    – Majenko
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 18:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.