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AN26: PortBox and Epson lx-300+

Epson LX300 is a typical dot matrix printer with single sheet/fanfold paper feeder. It can be connected to LPT or RS-232. This article describes how to connect this printer to a serial port and make it accessible via ethernet network using the RS-232 - Ethernet converter PortBox.

 

The original package includes only the LPT printer cable, or does not include any cable at all. Therefore you need to make sure you have the RS-232 cable. In general, the printer immediately prints any character sent via the serial line.

With the original printer drivers, you can create connection to a "Standard TCP/IP port" even if you have no virtual serial port. (tested on Win2000 and XP, may not be available in Win98). If you are using the printer with our converters, set the communication mode to RAW and select the device port.

 

RS-232 clable wiring

Please note, that the printer cable is wired differently (conversely), than most other devices. Therefore you cannot usethe standard expanding cable with Canon25 reduction, because the RxD and TxD pins are swapped (see printer connector wiring).

Recommended connection to the PortBox

PortBox DB9M direction
Epson lx-300+ DB25F
Pin No. 2 (RxD) <--
Pin No. 2 (TxD)
Pin No. 3 (TxD) -->
Pin No. 3 (RxD)
Pin No. 5 (GND) --- Pin No. 7 (GND)

 

Recommended connection to the PC

PC DB9M direction
Epson lx-300+ DB25F
Pin No. 2 (RxD) <--
Pin No. 2 (TxD)
Pin No. 3 (TxD) -->
Pin No. 3 (RxD)
Pin No. 5 (GND) --- Pin No. 7 (GND)
Pin No. 6 (DSR) <--
Pin No. 20 (DTR)
Pin No. 7 (RTS) -->
Pin No. 5 (CTS)
Pin No. 8 (CTS) <-- Pin No. 4 (RTS)

 

The printer does not support the HW handshake, the CTS input signal is ignored, the RTS output is activated permanently. The print-ready state is reported by the DTR signal on pin 20, the full funcion can be achieved by a 3-wire connection, you just need to test the serial line speed (9600 Bd by default).

 

Connecting the printer to the Ethernet

This paragraph describes how to use two PortBoxes to connect the printer to any serial device via the ethernet network. For example you can connect the printer to your central alarm unit or stock reporting.

To use the scheme on the picture, you need to set both PortBoxes to communicate with each other and to create a virtual serial port through the ethernet network.

It might be enough to set one portbox as a TCP client and the other as the TCP master, but we prefer to use the active (Client / Server) mode.

PortBox1:

  • I: Address and J: Port - IP adress and port of PortBox1
  • S: Send to IP and U: Port - IP adress and port of PortBox2

PortBox2:

  • I: Address and J: Port - IP adress a port of PortBox2
  • S: Send to IP and U: Port - IP adress a port of PortBox1

Other settings

  • T: IP mode TCP
  • V: NetworkVirtualTerminal On
  • &B: Speed 9600
  • &T: Serial Line Timeout 0 - Automatic mode

Other parameters can be left set to default...

 

Troubleshooting

  • The printer sometimes works, sometimes doesn't
    Problem may be in switching from serial to parallel communication on the printer. Power the printer up and hold the "Font" button. in the following menu you can setup other printer parameters (just after the language setup). There you can see the "I/F mode", where you can select: Serial / Parallel / Auto.
    Select "Serial", this should solve the problem.
     
  • The printer works with PC, but doesn't work with my device
    If your device is powered from the serial port, it may not be working, because the power from the serial port is too weak and the whole serial interface is off during the startup (if you are using the "I/F mode Auto").
     
  • Sometimes the printing gets corrupted, when connected to PortBox
    If you connect the printer to the PortBox and you use the "Standard TCP/IP port" on your PC, you need to turn off the NVT (Network Virtual Terminal) support on your portbox, otherwise the printing may be corrupted.

 

Related pages

 

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