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Any networking options for Graphtec plotters?

Discussion in 'Graphtec' started by CES020, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    I have a FC-7000MK2 and currently it's sitting right next to the computer that runs it. On the other side of the computer, there's a piece of equipment that runs off the computer and cannot be networked. I'd like to move the plotter to another place in the office, but I've not seen anyone ever mention how to do that. Can you network it some how so it can be just about anywhere? The 6ft USB limit is stopping me from moving it.

    Any tips on how to get it further than the 6 foot of the USB cable? (and don't say "get a longer USB cable" :) ).
     
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  2. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    use a serial port....
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    and "get a longer serial cable" :Big Laugh
     
  3. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Any way to network the serial port? Sure would be nice to get it so I could plot from any computer. I thought I'd see some people experimenting with wireless print servers. Would a wired print server work, do you think?

    Plug the print server into the router, then the plotter into the print server (USB)?????
     
  4. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    I don't know anything about this subject, however, I would also like to connect to my Graphtec FC7000 by a wireless connection?

    :help
     
  5. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    Insteadof needing plotter drivers, why not just remote access to the machine that usually sends the jobs, and then you can "send" the file from any computer, but the plotter can still be hard wired to just the one machine you usually use...
     
  6. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Can you remote access it when someone else is running the computer?

    The computer runs a laser engraving machine, so many times there's someone there, running the machine and I could be plotting something, but I can't get to the plotter because the computer is tied up.

    The computer that runs the laser doesn't have a serial connection, go figure (no slots either- it's basically a laptop board in a mini case).
     
  7. Greggie

    Greggie Member

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    You can share the "printer on the computer whiich is connected to the cutter. In this case, every computer connected to the network can use the cutter.
    Thanks,

    Greg
     
  8. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    I'm pretty sure there's a way to run the plotter over a network, but I'd guess you would encounter more communication errors, causing wasted time and material...

    My experience with remote access is that it would only allow one user at a time, but once a laser job was sent, you could send your plot, and then log off again.. Is the other worker using that glorified laptop between laser outputs too?

    Since you wanted to move the Graphtec anyway, maybe hook it to your machine, and run a serial connection... And let the laser guy remote in to that machine when he sends plots...

    Actually, it always surprises me how many costly production bottlenecks I read about that could be helped with a $400 computer. I have several dedicated machines for different machines... One for inkjet, one for edge, and one for CNC... so no bottlenecks
     
  9. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    It can be done. I have a friend who has been running his plotter through a Linksys print server for years. It is a wired version, although I am sure the principle is sound for wireless as well. He hasn't had any major communication problems, but it is a little more of a pain to connect in the beginning.
     
  10. CES020

    CES020 Very Active Member

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    Yeah, I'm with you Doug, but that's my issue. We already have more PC's than people :) Oh, that reminds me, I have a laptop that's sitting with a cracked screen somewhere here. I could always hook that to a monitor and use that, I suppose. I think I'll do that. Problem solved!
     
  11. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    wireless between the two computers?

    Hey, that will work for me, I'll use an old Dell running Windows XP connected to the plotter, then use a wireless (something) to connect to the design workstation..... Problem solved!

    Now, how or what should I use to go wireless between the two computers?

    :help
     
  12. astro8

    astro8 Active Member

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  13. iSign

    iSign Major Contributor

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    cat5 is cheap... if it's in the same building, why go wireless?
     
  14. Molenbeek

    Molenbeek Member

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    i know with the FC8000 models there is a ethernet option that you can get- maybe it would work with the FC7000? Ether way= the FC7000 should be able to be connected via USB or Serial- that was the standard set up.
     
  15. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    I agree with Doug. Run Ethernet if possible. Transferring larger files over wireless can take a while. Wired Ethernet is MUCH faster and more reliable.
     
  16. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    i have to 2 roland printers and a roland cutter all on my network via cheap $20 print servers (wired)
     
  17. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    I'm new to this CAT5, Wired Ethernet, network via cheap $20 print servers!

    What is a cheap $20 print servers?

    Anyone know a site where I can get info on setting up a WIRED network like mentioned above?

    Sorry, but in my past life, the companies I worked for always had I.T. folks work all this out, I was just a designer.

    I guess I need "networking 101"

    :help
     
  18. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    Ok, is this what you call a Wired Ethernet using CAT5 cable and then you add a Ethernet print server to the end of the cable at each printer?

    :help
     
  19. round man

    round man Active Member

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    I can understand why somebody would want to network a printer as they can be preloaded and run long continuous jobs unattended. But with a plotter, unless you intend to cut every sign you do out of one color why would one want to network it and or go to the trouble to network it when 9 times out of ten someone is going to have to physically walk up to the machine and load the media ? Is there some sort of plotter monkey who will do it for you?

    edited to add it doesn't take much of a machine to run a plotter so if connectivity is a problem wouldn't it be better to run some sort dedicated computer?
     
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