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588 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 85195 15-Jun-2011 19:40
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Hi there,

At the moment I have a PC connected via ethernet to a TP Link TL-WR1043ND router. My laptop connects wirelessly. There is a printer connected via USB to the PC. I'm hoping to connect the printer to a device that connects directly to the router.

The printer currently employed in this house is a HP Officejet J4580 All-in-one. Unfortunately, TP Link don't have any print servers compatible with my printer, and have suggested using another product.

I'm hoping for some advice on the appropriate product to use to connect this all-in-one device to the router, so that any computer connected to the LAN can print to it, and also at the same time make use of it's scan features (i.e. initiate a scan from any connected computer, and have the final product of the scan [whether it be an image or PDF document] saved onto the initial computer who requested the scan's hard drive).

Thanks for any help!

Stevie

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  Reply # 481604 15-Jun-2011 19:53
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I take it then that your PC may not be switched on every time you want to print from the laptop?

I have a printer here which is connected to my (Windows 7) media server via USB and is shared across the network so other devices can print to it whenever they want. works nicely irrespective of whether the device being printed from is attached wirelessly or via ethernet.

If you want a seperate device, have a look through the print servers listed here as a starting point.

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  Reply # 481664 15-Jun-2011 23:10
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If you were willing to experiment with 3rd party firmware I think DD-WRT and OpenWRT work on that model, pretty sure they have usb and print server support that could work.

Probably requires a fair amount of jiggery pokery so not for the faint of heart.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 481714 16-Jun-2011 08:56
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Most of the cheap Chinese made USB-NAS devices on trademe and dealextreme, etc. will work quite reliably as a USB print server.  Not sure if they'll do scanner pass through though.

I've got a spare one sitting around (was using it as a NAS/torrent box, but it didn't quite cut it in the end)that you're free to borrow if you want to experiment.  PM me if you're interested.





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  Reply # 481719 16-Jun-2011 09:04
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Its been a while since I had a dedicated print server (some d-link thing with parallel & usb ports). From what i remember, sharing scanner functions wasnt possible then.

The apple airport express works as a print server quite well, and can be had for $150 through apple's refurbished online store, but again wont share scanning functions.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 481724 16-Jun-2011 09:09
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If you're wanting to do scanner passthrough then I would recommend a Netcomm NP3680 or NP3860W. I think the NP3680 is discontinued but the NP3680W should still be available.

These units will network anything using driver software installed on the client PC that maps the print server to a virtual USB port. We've done printers, MFC's, scanners and even webcams.

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  Reply # 481732 16-Jun-2011 09:27
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Hi, as has been mentioned by others there are two types of print servers, ones that support normal/conventional printers with LPR interfaces and those that create virtual USB ports, the latter is the only type that will support all MFP products along with pretty much any USB periferal as it creates a TCP stream of the raw USB traffic.

This is a more conventional LPR type server.
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=375931

Here is an example of a virtual USB server, I have not used this particular one but have used near identical LevelOne versions, they seem to work very well.
http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=381865

Personally for the price of printers these days I would just get a new machine that has wireless or wired ethernet builtin, the reason is simply less bits dangling around no other technical reason.

Cyril



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 481785 16-Jun-2011 11:22
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Yeah, I may look at getting a new printer sometime soon (one that allows wireless/ethernet connections). Would those connections allow for my scanning requirement mentioned in the first post?

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  Reply # 481789 16-Jun-2011 11:28
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Hi, as mentioned the type that provide virtual USB type connectivity (as opposed to classic LPR) do allow scanner functionality, essentially the USB port is extended across the LAN in its raw self, the drivers provided create USB ports in your PC that are virtual ones on the LAN.

With the virtual lan products I have used to date I have found no issues with the scanner/MFP devices I have used, but a MFP with builtin networking (wired or wireless) is far cleaner and certain for sure.

Cyril



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 482296 17-Jun-2011 17:48
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So you would suggest this product - http://www.ascent.co.nz/productspecification.aspx?ItemID=381865 - for my network scanning and printing needs?

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  Reply # 482905 19-Jun-2011 20:25
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Yes, although that exact model I have not used, but similar spec'd and functional units I have and they work just fine.

Cyril

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  Reply # 492698 12-Jul-2011 22:18
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I have a brother mfc 5860cn conected to a 16 port hub conected to a wireless router and that works fine for me but there are plenty of routers with printer/scaner conections

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