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Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

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Evelyn Daroga
Regular Advisor

Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

We're printing from HP-UX 11.0 to an old DEC LA424 (line) printer attached to a JetDirect box. The printer indicates it is "Ready", but JetAdmin reports it has been "taken offline" and cannot report any additional information until the printer is put back online. Instead of an Online/Offline button, this one has a "Ready/Pause", which I verified with the vendor is the same as online/offline.

Is there anything in the JetDirect that could make it think it is offline when the printer actually thinks it is online?
8 REPLIES
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

Jet Direct cards can, for lack of a better way to explain, loose it's ability to communicate right. You can go into JetAdmin and 'reboot' the jetadmin card.
From Jetadmin on HPUX
Select 3 - Administration
Enter the printer ID or IP
Select 3 - Jet Direct Remote Card Config
( I generally kill active communication Select 1
then I:)
Select 3 Reboot HP Jetdirect card

You may need to re-enable the printer again too..

Just a thought,
Rita
paul courry
Honored Contributor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

I've had what I consider to be your problem many times before. I can ping the box, everything appears online, a print job shows active and nuthing comes out.

My solution is to powercycle the jetdirect card or the whole printer if necessary and 90% of the time the problem goes away.
Edward Alfert_2
Respected Contributor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

this isn't just a problem with jetdirect... i use external intel netport print servers and every once in a while have to reset them... luckily they have a web interface that lets me click "reset"... then i do:

#disable printername
#enable printername
"Do what you love and you will never work a day in your life." - Confucius
Evelyn Daroga
Regular Advisor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

I had the user physically reboot (power off) both the JetDirect and the printer, which should do the same thing, right? I also re-created the printer in JetAdmin on the Unix, which had no effect (no surprise there). I'm beginning to think the printer itself is not really putting itself online, only changing the display to state "Ready". But before I have the user take it somewhere for service, I want to make sure the JetDirect could not be the problem.

Also, I didn't realize I was in the "databases" forum when I posted this, so thanks for responding. Should I re-post somewhere else?
A. Clay Stephenson
Acclaimed Contributor
Solution

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

Hi:

One suggestion to know for sure is to connect that printer directly to a UNIX box or a PC through the parallel port. You then know which problem you are fighting.

My 3 cents, Clay
If it ain't broke, I can fix that.
Evelyn Daroga
Regular Advisor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

We haven't tried printing directly to the printer from a PC -- we'll try that next week (the user is unable to spend time today) -- or put that JetDirect on another printer and try that as well. Thanks for the suggestions!
Steve Post
Trusted Contributor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

IF you are talking about a jetdirect printserver.......
1. ignore the UNIX box.
2. turn off printer.
3. turn off jetdirect print server.
4. turn on printer.
5. have printer on line.
6. make sure printer in plugged into the FIRST port on the jetdirect box, and the lan cable is plugged in, and you have power.
7. turn jetdirect box on.

NOW, you can go work on UNIX. If you have a multiple port print server and nothing is in the first port, stuff won't work. I say this from a few days experience with those old printers and multiple port servers. I spent 1/2 day on it, until I deduced this procedure.

There is also a button to run a test on the printserver? Press it. It should print out a config page that tells you the printservers ip address, etc.
Hope this is applicable.
Steve
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Can JetDirect think printer is offline when it is really online?

Since you are seeing similar behavior on another network adapter, it sounds like the 'Centronics' compatibility issues that were common during the late 80's. Do a:

man cent

and you'll see no less than 6 different handshake modes. And older Centronics style interfaces are especially sensitive to cables and cable lengths.

The issue is with the JetDirect/Centronics handshake. While the internal status is online, the JetDirect box is waiting for a go-ahead signal (normally once per character) that has not been seen. So both the printer and the JetDirect box will wait forever.

Newer printers follow the Bitronics standard and don't have these issues.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin