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RE: COMP: DesignJet 600 Plotter on a COM port

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Some problems with your solution:

I believe a network card will require an IRQ (which is the problem in the
first place). Although I can eliminate IRQ demand by using a network card,
this solution means that I have to have two computers running which I would
like to avoid. This is my last resort solution.

A three way print server would probably mean that I could only run one
printer at a time. This would be a big problem when I have a lot of plots to
do and I cannot print to my other printers in the meantime. My clients don't
pay me to sit around and watch the plotter plot :o).

So far:
I have my Laserjet 4+ running great on USB1. In fact, it runs better than on
a parallel port.
My Deskjet 1000c won't run on a USB port (it is not supported, verified by
HP tech support, don't waste your time or money).
I have successfully setup my DesignJet 600 plotter to run on COM1 at 9,600
baud. Rasterizing is slow (3-1/2 minutes vs. 1 min. 20 seconds on one of my
detail sheets). I get a parity error when trying to bump it up to 19,200
baud but maybe I need to play around with the setup. If I can get this thing
running at 19,200 baud, I think this will be acceptable.
I can get the computer to recognize my OfficeJet LX as a printer on USB2,
but the scanning software will not work. HP tech support confirmed that the
Twain driver will not work on a USB port. The only reason I want to hook up
my OfficeJet is for the scanning features. I guess I just have to wait for
HP (or someone) to develop a USB driver or piggy back it on my Ditto Tape
drive currently hooked into LPT1. I have not had the same problems with the
Ditto Tape as I have had with the Zip drive.
I have purchased (but not yet installed) an ATAPI Zip drive. Once installed,
hopefully I can hook up my Deskjet 1000c to LPT2.


-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Vines [mailto:dan(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Monday, October 05, 1998 8:09 AM
To: 'seaint(--nospam--at)'
Subject: RE: COMP: DesignJet 600 Plotter on a COM port

One solution that nobody has posted yet, though it involves a little

Add a $50 network card to your PC (assuming you aren't networked
already).  If you don't have a network and a hub, you will need a
crossover ethernet cable ($10-$20 depending on length).

Use one of the following:  Your old P-150 dog, an even older 486
machine, or get an external print server (HP JetDirect, Intel Inetport
Express, etc.) for your plotter.
The HP will run about $175.

An even better option may be to purchase a 3-way print server.  Linksys
sells a 10/100 external server for less than $275.  I am seriosly
considering this unit for my office right now.  It will control any 3
parallel capable printers, so you could scrap your USB solution, and put
all 3 printers off the same box.


-----Original Message-----
From: Bill Allen, S.E. [mailto:Bill(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, October 02, 1998 9:12 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: COMP: DesignJet 600 Plotter on a COM port

Thanks for the info. I have plenty of LPT cards but no available IRQs to
drive them. I have to try to use the available resources that I have.
why I'm trying to run my plotter off of COM1. I managed to divert my
Laserjet to a USB port (thanks to a Belkin USB to Parallel cable-$75).
11x17 inkjet (Deskjet 1000c) cannot run from a USB port. My Zip drive
work on this box (even though it did on the old box) so I just picked up
new ATAPI Zip drive which works off the IDE controller. This is O.K.
I only have one HDD and the resources are already dedicated to the 2nd.

Anyone out there running a Designjet 600 on a serial port at any higher
speed than 9,600 baud?

Thanks again,

-----Original Message-----
From: Edward Chin [mailto:echin(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Friday, October 02, 1998 4:02 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Cc: Bill(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: COMP: DesignJet 600 Plotter on a COM port

I'm guessing that you are using a serial connection because you have a
normal printer on LPT1 and do not want to use a manual switchbox?
Another possible (I'm not sure about it using an IRQ) but an auxilliary
I/O card could give you extra parallel connections.  There are some
"automatic" parallel switchboxes out there with their software loaded,
can route the LPT signal properly.

You can always drop some big dollars by setting up a network at home and
buy a printer server to run your plotter, or use an old 486 connected to
the network and have your plotter hooked up to that parallel port to act
like a print server.

Ed Chin, PE
Seattle, WA

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Bill Allen, S.E. [SMTP:Bill(--nospam--at)]
> Sent:	Friday, October 02, 1998 1:57 PM
> To:	seaint(--nospam--at)
> Subject:	COMP: DesignJet 600 Plotter on a COM port
> With my new computer, I have fewer resources available than my old
> P150 dog,
> particularly IRQs. To help solve this problem, I am trying to set up
> my
> plotter on the existing (but free) COM1 port. This was a little
> hassle, but
> once I ordered the special HP cable, it works at 9,600 baud. I know
> new 350
> Mhz P2 computers and cable modems have made me less patient, but it
> takes
> about three times longer (3-1/2 minutes vs. 1 min. 20 secs. on one of
> my
> detail sheets) to get the computer back while the computer is
> rastorizing
> the .dwg file. I have tried 19,200 baud but I get parity errors (yes,
> I
> changed the setting in the device manager) and HP tech support warned
> me
> that I may get errors at speeds in excess of 9,600 baud.
> Any suggestions?
> TIA,
> Bill Allen