Software and Hardware for Check-Ins

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You don't have to buy anything additional for Check-Ins to work for you, but if you want to print labels for name tags or use designated classroom materials instead of volunteer devices, you need to purchase a device to check-in and a printer. Beyond that, you can grow and expand your Check-Ins experience with many other hardware options, such as Scanners, Barcodes, and Kiosks. This article will show you some of our supported hardware options.

Start small with one classroom at a time, and use any devices you already have instead of purchasing newer ones at first.

Check out this video to see us model the recommended devices.

 

Stations App

Download the Check-Ins app on Mac, Windows, Android, or iOS to use as a station for checking people into your event.

Computer or Tablet

To use Check-Ins, you need a computer or tablet with access to the internet. The computer or tablet needs the Stations app downloaded to it, so you can use it to check people in.

  • If you're going with Android, opt for the newest, name-brand tablet your budget can accommodate. They last much longer than an older, cheaper model, and name brand tablets tend to have fewer issues with our printers. It'll be a little more upfront cost, but it'll save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
  • Kindle Fires run Android apps even though they technically have a Fire OS. So, you can go that route, but you'll want to get the latest Fire HD and not an older model.
  • iPads work well but can be pricey. To save money, consider an iPad mini with lower storage models and WiFi only. You don't need the latest version of the iPad for it to work well; however, we recommend a version that can run the latest iOS.

Printers and Labels

There are several ways to print your labels, and we support multiple printers based on the type of station device you have. You can also set up any combination of printers and devices by printing to another station.

Check-Ins supports the following printers:

Each printer supports its own labels, and those can be found in their corresponding links. If you use Universal Printing, you can customize the label appearance.

Check out the table below to see which printer would work best for you.


Dymo Zebra Brother Citizen
Print from Mac/Windows Station Device
✓*


Print from iOS/Android Station Device



Custom Label Sizes



Uses WiFi



Uses Bluetooth



Portable




Under $100



$100-$300



$300-$500



* Because of the lack of a native driver, printing to Zebra from a Mac will not have the same clarity and sharpness that you will see with the other printer/OS combinations.

To see how the printers work in real time, check out the video below.

 

Church Center App

Encourage your congregants to download the Church Center App in order to pre-check into your event, and use a tablet camera or scanner to scan the QR code and check in.

Scanner and Barcode

Checking in by scanning barcodes or QR codes is extremely fast. When you scan a barcode, mobile pass, or the Church Center app, the whole family can check in at a Self or Manned station. Church Center cannot be scanned when the station is a Roster Station, but mobile passes and barcodes can be used.

To use the Church Center app or a mobile pass, make sure the Organization Administrator has added a location to Accounts. You can add as many as ten locations to each pass to help with campuses.

Android or iOS Stations allow you to use their built-in cameras for scanning codes; however, if you're on a Windows or Mac, you'll need to purchase a scanner.

The Honeywell 2D Scanner scans printed labels, key tags, QR codes, and mobile passes on a smartphone.

scanner image

When you plug the scanner into any device, the scanner replaces the keyboard, which does not allow you to type with the on-screen keyboard. So, if you are using a manned station, you will need to either unplug the scanner, or, if it has an off switch, turn it off in order to type.

This scanner is programmable and needs to be programmed to add a carriage return or 'enter' key after the scan. They refer to this as a Suffix.

To program the scanner, scan a code from their manual that automatically adds the Enter button after a scan. The directions are in their manual on page 69 (4-3: To add a Carriage Return to All Symbologies).

Another setting you may need to enable is the ability to scan mobile screens, found on page 60 (3-8: Mobile Phone Read Mode).

Barcode scanners act as external keyboards to your computer. In order for a barcode to be accepted, the scanner needs to type the equivalent of "enter" after it scans the numbers. Not all barcode scanners do this by default. If your barcodes aren't scanning, most likely "enter" isn't being pressed. To test this, scan a code and press enter on your keyboard. If that works, program your barcode scanner to always add an "enter" (or carriage return) suffix after each scan. Check the manual that came with your device for instructions.

Barcode

If you'd like to scan barcodes instead of the Church Center app or mobile pass, you can either use barcodes people already carry on them or order some tags to give out to your people.

Barcodes do not contain any personal data on them; they are just random numbers.

Existing Barcodes

Many people have existing barcodes, such as on their keychains or their driver's license. You can connect any of these barcodes to their account in Check-Ins by scanning and assigning them when you check them in.

Use Existing Barcodes

Printed Tags

You can buy a collection of already printed barcode tags or make your own.  Select Code 39 or Code 128 barcode symbology to work with both 1D scanners and mobile devices because the standard barcode recognition used in mobile device cameras cannot scan Codabar symbology.

If you're using only mobile devices or 2D scanners, order tags with QR codes instead of 1D barcodes, as QR codes scan quicker.

Do not use codes that are 4, 7, or 10 digits long, since they could interfere with phone numbers.

If you create a custom Dymo label with a barcode, use Code 39 from the Symbology dropdown.

Buy Printed Labels

Kiosk

To make setup easy, we recommend using the Tablet Kiosk. This Check-In Kiosk allows up to three people to check-in at the same time while only occupying a 15" x 17" space. This kiosk gives the feel of a permanently installed kiosk but you only need to tip the kiosk and wheel it away.

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