Replace a serial printer with the PortStore - network buffer
A serial printer is still nowadays used to monitor reports from various devices like is Central Alarm Unit or Fire alarm are. 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. The PortStore unit is blackbox with 2 megabyte flash memory inside to store the data coming 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). Because of the speed the serial port (RS-232), they are only able to print single characters or rows of plain text. They commonly act as support to security centrals or cash desk printer etc.
Serial printers are legacy system nowadays that is why it could be profitable to utilise PortStore/PortStore2 RS-232 buffers with them. Serial printers are usually 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.
PortStore is able to operate in all available modes of RS-232. This is important feature because printers of different vendors are varying in baudrate, flow control or parity. Flow control is necessary to guarantee that no character could be lost during printing.
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 archivation on magnetic tapes in a central office. The first way is to connect PC between the security central and the printer. 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 PortStore is absolutely quiet; it has very low consumption of electric energy, too. In addition to this, the PortStore easily solve the problem how to put PC between two devices on single serial line. The PortStore has got feature that makes possible to connect two PortStores together via Ethernet, this enables keep printing and at the same time sending data to back up process. Picture below shows connection diagram. The data which are being sent to the serial printer could be stored in 2 MB internal flash memory. There can be saved up to 80,000 records. The stored data is accessible via TCP/IP connection and it can be downloaded in RAW format.
The PortStore unit can send you email, when the buffer is full, the PortStore2 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 in RAW format.
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
Q: How are the stored data protected?
Q: Why are there 2 email addresses for buffer overflow alerts?
Q: We want to develop our own software, are there any examples available?