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Wireless Plotter

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by WVB, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Has anyone been able to go wireless with their plotter via usb or parallel port? I have contacted D-Link who states none of their wireless devices are compatible with plotters. I have tried to contact Linksys (which I like the best) but get connected to someone in India who has no idea what a plotter is. He did go on to say that theirs will not work with anything but a standard printer not even a multi function printer will be compatible. Any luck?
     
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  2. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    If you are talking wireless from a lap top to another computer connected to the device, yes I am doing it! If you are talking directly wireless to the plotter I don't know how this would be done!
     
  3. Kevin Huffman

    Kevin Huffman Member

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    Wireless

    The issue with wireless vs wired is the way information is sent or packets.
    With a wired connection (Parallel, usb, or serial), the packet opens, all the information is sent, the the packet is closed. The plotter see's 1 job and it has all the information.
    With a wireless connection, the first packet opens, part of the information is sent, first packet is closed, then the second packet opens, a little more info is sent, the second packet is close, so on and so on. Any given job may have 30 to 40 packets to complete one job. But the plotter see's the first packet as the complete job when there really isn't enough information to do anything with it.
    You would have to have one of two things to make this work:
    1. A Radio Frequency (RF) connection that opens up, allows all the informtion to come through and then closes. But then you have Line of Sight issues, and people walking between the two devices.
    2. A wireless device with a buffer on it, which accepts and holds all the packets. Then it puts them together into one job then sends it to the plotter.

    I have tested a lot of different type of wireless devices and have yet to find one that works for Plotters or Lasers.
     
  4. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Well I know that Summa is using a Bluetooth wireless adpater (USB) with their cutters and it works fine. The issue I have with bluetooth is the distance. From my understanding bluetooth has a very short wireless distance. Since I do not use bluetooth for anything I don't know much about it.
     
  5. azsignguy

    azsignguy New Member

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    what is the purpose for going wireless? distance? convenience?
     
  6. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Well for for example, if you have a printer on one corner of room and a plotter on the other side of the room opposite side,running to the middle of the room where said computer is you would not have to worry about wires.

    Or

    If you run your printer in one room and your plotter/computer in another room you could go wireless to the one in the other room.

    For me I do a lot of designs with customer in front of room. If they like it I could wirelessly send it to plotter while staying with client in another room. I mean you would have to load media up but still its just convenient.
     
  7. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    I have a hp650c printer, hp laser jet color printer, 2 cannon printers all hooked up and working on a wired and wireless network. The only issue I have had is getting the proper driver installed in the computer sending the file to the device. The two hp printers are network connected and the cannon and graphtec plotters are hooked up to the network through computers. The one that the plotter is hooked up to is connected to the network wireless. I have not had any problems printing or plotting on this network. The network consists of a wireless router and a hub, OS windows 95 through xp pro. Hope this helps Will.
     
  8. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Well I appreciate it Brian. Your wireless network works because you have one computer connected to your network and your plotter connected to another computer on your network. So you can network the plotter between the two. As long as you have Flexi installed on both machines.

    My problem lies because I have one computer and one wireless router. No second computer to act as a buffer if you will. So I need to send from laptop to router to plotter. I don't think it can be done that I have found. The only option so far is the wireless bluetooth adapter. However, from my understanding bluetooth is a very short distance such as infrared transfers.
     
  9. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    Will you can find used lap tops on ebay fairly cheap if all you want to do is use it to run you plotter. Just a thought. I am using an IBM t20 to run my graphtec it has a pc wireless card and a parallel cable hooked to the plotter!
     
  10. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Well I a used laptop would be a lot more then $100 for the wireless parallel or wireless print server would run. I guess I will just carry the laptop to each room when needed. Eventually I will just build a new computer for that room, then I can send through the network to that machine to plotter. For now, I will just carry the laptop to that room. Thanks though I do appreciate it.
     
  11. azsignguy

    azsignguy New Member

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    What I have done is network my plotter. my computer is in my back room and my plotter is im the front of my store. All I did is run cat5 cable just like normal networking and they have adapters that go from cat5 to serial or parallel. one on the computer one on the plotter and network cable in between. So you could use the comuter ant where there is a network plug. Hope that helps
     
  12. Cadmn

    Cadmn Very Active Member

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    no one here has problems with wireless networks being Hi Jacked ?
     
  13. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    My wireless network is not broadcast. WEP encryption is enabled, Zone Alarm Pro installed as well as MAC/IP addresses I have set are the only ones router will allow.
     
  14. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    No use encryption! Had a tech-no geek neighbor try to break in and couldn't. he got into the other neighbor though.
     
  15. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    There are various "WiFi" b/g print server devices on the market -but are mainly geared to data being sent via LPT or USB. I'm not sure how those same devices can handle RS232 serial type data -which is pretty much what most plotters rely on to this day.

    I am surprised that the various players (Graphtec, Summa, Gerber, etc.) have not pursued the wireless thing more aggressively. I can see a lot of benefits to it. For one thing you can place the plotter where ever you like without having to run a bunch of cables to it. We have a "speed bump" on our studio floor protecting the serial cable for one of our plotters. It would be nice not to have that there anymore.
     
  16. signage

    signage Major Contributor

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    I agree that they should look into this! Maybe someone from one of those companies belong to this forum.
     
  17. WVB

    WVB Very Active Member

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    Well I know on another board Jim Doggett Vice President of Summa, Inc. stated he uses a Bluetooth wireless adpater (USB) with their cutters. He states It's flawless and the range seems to be good from one room to the next. He has not tried longer distances though.

    He also stated he has not used a Bluetooth Serial adapter. But he cannot think why it wouldn't work.

    BTW: I do use encryption. But the the wirless name is not broadcast. So a wireless scanner will detect the signal but will not pull the network name etc.
     
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