Serial printers

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Dale Harris
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Serial printers

Post by Dale Harris » Sat Jan 22, 2005 6:13 pm

it seems that about one third of my email is on the topic of how to get a serial printer to work with my POS software even though I have mentioned several times in the documentation and several places on my website that....
Serial printers are the bane of all human existance, will probably not work at all, will not work at all under versions of Windows after Windows '98, will require a huge amount if time and effort to get it to work under DOS or versions of Windows from 3.1 to '98 assuming that you can get it to work at all which is doubtful, will require you to know the SPEED, PARITY, DATA BITS, STOP BITS and MODE for your printer, and that serial printers are a really bad, terrible, thoughtless, horrible, depressing, lame, useless, agonizing, painful, pointless idea!!!!
WHAT IS UNCLEAR ABOUT THIS?????


On the other hand all you have to do to get a parallel port receipt printer to work is to connect it, plug it in, turn it on, and you are done. Occasionaly you will have to load the "Generic" printer driver into Windows. Parallel port receipt printers will ALWAYS work with my POS software.

So this thread is a place to post all the email that I get about serial printers. Maybe if people see the problems that other folks are having trying to get serial printers to work they may finally realize what a bad idea serial printers really are and just decide to make their lives easy by avoiding them.

If you have a question about getting a serial printer to work post it here and prove that you have not been paying attention, not that it is going to be possible to help you but miracles have been known to happen.
Last edited by Dale Harris on Wed Feb 02, 2005 4:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dale

tony

parallel interface cards

Post by tony » Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:53 pm

What are your trying to say?

No. I just wanted to thank you for making a free program. It works wonderfully. I can't believe it was free. THANK YOU DALE!!

On a second note - one easy solution to serial printers is to buy a parallel interface card for your printer. For Epson receipt printers, the card costs maybe 15 bucks and turns your serial printer into a parallel printer.

Tony

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Post by 2dFx » Sun Jan 23, 2005 8:56 pm

lol next thing we see is Dale Harris on COPS getting busted for going into the local Staples and vandalizing all the serial receipt printers :lol:

hussainman

Re: parallel interface cards

Post by hussainman » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:44 am

Hi Tony;

would you know of any sites that I can get hold of this device. The blackbox.com site has the device but its toooo expensive.

Thanks
Ali.
tony wrote:What are your trying to say?

No. I just wanted to thank you for making a free program. It works wonderfully. I can't believe it was free. THANK YOU DALE!!

On a second note - one easy solution to serial printers is to buy a parallel interface card for your printer. For Epson receipt printers, the card costs maybe 15 bucks and turns your serial printer into a parallel printer.

Tony

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Dale Harris
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Printer codes

Post by Dale Harris » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:45 am

I have had two people contact me with this problem in the last week. A serial printer prints through APRINT but the program locks up when configured to set the codes to open the cash drawer.

We tried many things over the course of a week and nothing worked. Finally they switched to a parallel printer port type receipt printer. They plugged it in, turned it on, changed the printer port to LPT1: and it worked like a champ. No problems at all.

So another problem chalked up to the general perversity of serial printers.

So if you are bored, if your life lacks direction, if you are trying to add a purpose to your life that will never end, may I suggest that you obtain a serial receipt printer and try to get it to be fully functional with DHPOS.

Think of the advantages. You will always have something to do for the rest of your life. Your frustration level will be kept as high as conceivable. You will always have an excuse for bad behavior. (It's not really your daddy's fault honey, he just spent all afternoon again with that damn serial printer.) And at the end you can be buried with it to keep you occupied throughout your entire afterlife. After all, St. Peter will let anyone into heaven if he is carrying a serial receipt printer because no matter what else they have done in life they have obviously already suffered enough to make up for it.
Dale

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Post by RollerBall » Tue Jan 10, 2006 5:56 am

Dale - I'm thinking of getting a serial printer......which make and model would you advise :?
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ha ha just joking :D

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Post by SwedaGuy » Mon Jun 05, 2006 2:57 pm

I think you're giving serial printers a bad reputation! What other interface is more versatile?

Not that there is anything wrong with parallel printers in particular, except the bulky cables...

Serial devices are not difficult to set up, as long as you know the rules...and there really aren't very many rules...
There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary, and those that do not...

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Post by RollerBall » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:25 pm

Yaknow what?

I've tried one or two serial printers just lately (Epson and Star) and all have worked fine.

Seriously.

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Post by SwedaGuy » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:57 pm

I have never understood the mysticism that seems to surround serial printers and serial devices in general. We've installed hundreds of serial printers (not to mention terminals, credit card processors, scanners, scales, coin dispensers) without incident. It's not really that big of a deal...
There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary, and those that do not...

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Post by daleadmin » Mon Apr 16, 2007 6:13 pm

But have you installed them to use DHPOS?

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Post by SwedaGuy » Tue Apr 17, 2007 9:50 am

daleadmin wrote:But have you installed them to use DHPOS?
No...why would it make a difference. From what I've seen of your software, it simply requires a DOS device for printer output, ie., LPT1 or COM1. Configuration of COM1 is an OS function, not an application software function.

If you're talking about control code issues, that's another story, but unrelated to the line discipline utilized by the serial communications.

Make sure both ends of the connection have the same parameters for speed (Baud Rate), parity, number of data bits and number of stop bits.

A common mode statement for a 9600 baud character driven device is:

MODE COM1:9600,n,8,1

Set the dip switches on the printer to match the settings of the computer (or vise versa), plug in the cable and you're good to go. We sometimes run into cable issues because we sell a lot of hardware that has non-standard serial ports, but hooking these printers up to a PC has never been a problem.
There are 10 types of people, those that understand binary, and those that do not...

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Serial printers.

Post by daleadmin » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:01 pm

The problem is that Windows versions after Windows '98 do not want to let DOS software access the serial port. And DHPOS is DOS software.

But if you have nothing better to do for the rest of your life give me your email address and I would be real happy to forward all of the email I receive about serial printer disasters to you so you can tell them the simple, easy solutions to their seemingly insurmountable difficulties with serial printers.

Dale

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Post by RollerBall » Tue Apr 17, 2007 6:56 pm

:D

Was experimenting with a TM-T88II serial this evening. Tried installing it in DHPOS in an XP Pro environment and although it printed a perfect sample receipt via APRINT2, it wouldn't print a real receipt. Just kept chomping the paper with the cutter.

But was a breeze in 98SE. Installed as easy (more or less) as a parallel. The trick is just to switch on with the Form Feed button held down - then it'll print out the port settings for you. Put those into DHPOS but don't forget you also have to change (probably) the printer ready code.

I don't mind serials at all now and I just ignore Ole Father Dale's scary warnings ;)

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Post by peewee3ie » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:11 pm

I also have no problem with serial printers i win98 and win98se. Anything after windows 98SE will not work without using drivers and aprint2.

there is a patch for windows 2000 and XP that will let program access the port dreict. If I find the site its on I will post a link to it here under this topic
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Post by daleadmin » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:54 pm

(Dale beats head against desk)

I am not trying to stop anyone from using serial printers.

I am trying to stop the desperate emails, phone calls, letters, etc. demanding that I stop whatever I am doing and devote whatever time is required on my part to get their serial receipt printer to function perfectly including popping open the cash drawer, activating the cutter bar, and not too much space between receipts.

Fortunately serial printers have several parameters and DIP switches that you can fool with for hours of fun and frustration. After all who would want to deal with parallel printers where all you have to do is to plug it in and turn it on. Where is the fun in that?

Although there is the price difference between serial and parallel printers. Oh wait, they cost the same!

So everyone has a choice. A parallel printer that works every time with no problems ever under all versions of DOS and Windows.

Or for exactly the same amount of money you can end up in the Twilight Zone of serial printers. And eventually everything may work out just fine as has been pointed out above, or you could end up babbeling to yourself in the corner as the men in the white coats cautiously approach you to haul your sorry butt away.

So if you are a serial printer aficionado, cool, go for it. Just please, Please, PLEASE <U>PLEASE</U> stop the phone calls and emails trying to get me to fix the situation you have found yourself in.

Dale

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