|Technical support & download Application notes
AN25: Replace a serial printer with the PortStore - network serial buffer
A serial printer is still nowadays used to monitor reports from various devices like is a central alarm unit or fire alarm. Sometime it can be useful to monitor printed data over Ethernet network or simply replace the serial printer with any unit and collect data over the network. Application Note 25 describe how to use the
unit (blackbox with 2MB flash memory inside) to store the data incoming to the serial port, buffer them and share over the network. You can replace with PortStore your serial printer or connect it in parallel with your printer.
A serial printer is a computer printer, which is connected to computer trough a serial link (RS-232c port - Cannon DB9 or DB25). Serial printers are usually impact (9 pin dot-matrix). They commonly act as accessories to security centrals or as cash desk printer etc.
Serial printers are legacy system nowadays that is why it could be profitable to utilise
RS-232 buffers with them. Serial printers are connected to some source of data and it could be efficient to place PortStore buffer box between them to store data and/or send them to a central site in origin electronic format instead of archiving tons of paper. Alternatively the serial printer could be completly replaced by the data logging device - PortStore data logger.
Let us make an example of a security central which is a serial printer connected to. There are two posibilities how to send logs from the security central to e.g. archivation on magnetic tapes in a central office.
The first way is to connect PC between the security central and the printer or instead of it. However, this way is expensive and time-consuming. There is also need of maintaining the computer. At least we have to solve how to connect PC to the serial printer along with to the security central.
The second option is to use PortStore. The PortStore buffer and converter eliminates extra costs of the dedicated computer. Once configured it does not need any additional administration. The data is stored in internal flash memory where
it can be downloaded from from time to time. This feature is very useful if remote serial device logs occasionally.
The connection of the PortStore to security central or to any remote serial device is simple. It suffices to connect the PortStore by RS232 serial line to the port of the security central. PortStore could be configured via serial line or via network (PortStore can be connected directly to Internet or intranet). Download of data could be done automaticaly by free software utility
PortStore can substitute the serial printer and by it you can prolong using of legacy systems by connecting them to network.
PortStore is able to operate in all available modes of RS-232. This is important feature because printers or other remote logging devices of different vendors are varying in settings of the serial port.
The PortStore is absolutely quiet; it has very low consumption of electric energy, too.
- Data can be safely downloaded from the unit all over the various points on the intranet/internet using encryption. Our buffer box is provided with free
utility which is able to download data from the buffer at specified intervals or on demand; PS Eye can also manage several buffer at the sime time. The PortStore is independent network device, which do not require any other support hardware.
- Whenever the PortStore’s buffer is about 75% full, it sends an e-mail to a responsible person. If the responsible person is not available (for example on vacation), the buffer unit sends an email to the second listed address to alert when only 10 % of the capacity remains.
unit can send you email, when the buffer is full, the
do not support SMTP emails, but support TCP Client mode. The PortStore2 data starts attempting to establish TCP connection as the TCP client and send data to predefined IP address.
Both versions supports standard TCP server mode, difference is only in function, started if buffer contais more data, than safe range is.
List of Supported Printers
PortStore supports every printer or other device which is equiped with RS-232 serial port. You can find most common printers below.
LX-300, LX-300+, DFX-5000, DFX-5000+, DFX-8000, DFX-8500, DFX-9000, EX-800, CR-420i, P-80
Microline 186, Microline 320, Microline 395, Microline 395C, Microline 420, Microline 421, Pacemark 4410, Pacemark 3410, OKIPOS 425D, OKIPOS425S
SP500 series, SP2000 series, SP200 series, SP300 series, SP298, DP8340
- And many more...
FAQ & Support
Q: What benefits can PortStore bring by replacing a serial printer?
The PortStore or PortStore2 is more efficient than serial printer because it does not need any maintance; logged data is remotely accessible via network. The stored serial data is easy to archive so audit or controlling are cheaper and faster to complete.
How are the stored data protected?
The security is very important to us. Every device can use an IP filter.
For increasing the security of data transfer in TCP mode it's possible to authorize both sides on establishing any TCP/IP connection via
TEA 128 algorithm
with symmetric signature. The configured password of both sides then will not go through the network.
Why are there 2 email addresses for buffer overflow alerts?
It's a practical fallback in cases where the responsible person is out of the office for varying periods of time. It's very useful to set a second email address to reception or to a general email so overflows are not overlooked.
We want to develop our own software, are there any examples available?
Yes, check our
Support & Download
page for many examples for
(as well as
Visual Basic ,
). We have released a software for reading the buffered data -
2,048 kB flash memory, supports the TCP Client/Server mode. The typical application is connecting phone branche exchanges over ethernet network and reading the stored data.
2,048 kB flash memory, supports TCP Server mode and email notifications. The typical application is connecting phone branche exchanges over ethernet network and reading the stored data.
- SW for
PS Eye is a simple utility which remotely reads data logged in buffer memory over network in regular intervals. The software is a simple utility but it can also be used as a background for your own application. Source code is free to download on our site.
- Other Application Notes
- HW Virtual Serial Port
Free Virtual Serial Port driver for Windows is a software tool, which adds a virtual Comm port to the system, for instance COM5, and all the data from this port is re-directed to another TCP/IP device on the Ethernet network.
Eth. I/O Controller
Connecting binaty inputs/outputs to Ethernet, together with the serial line. In the Server mode, the binary input/outputs can only be monitored, in the TCP Client/Server mode, the box will report input changes.