Inkjet Connection Types
USB, USB CABLES and PORT CONNECTIONS Ethernet vs. USB
USB and USB cables:
No longer than a 6 foot USB cable should be used. The longer the cable and/or “multiple connections” increase the risk for poor communication and failures. Frank Lee Speaking! Any time you can use Ethernet over USB you should.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) is a convenient technology but not a “strong technology”. Here are things to do to improve performance.
1. Use one cable and don’t patch cables together. Patched cords can cause fatal packet errors. This may cause files to fail to print or to skip when printing. Skips are caused when the USB drivers recover too slowly and the data stream is interrupted.
2. A 6 ft cable (or less) is best. Since USB is a low powered technology the signal strength drops off as it travels over a distance so the longer the cable the weaker the signal.
3. If you must run a long USB cable you may want to investigate a signal booster.
4. “A USB to Ethernet print server adapter” may be a good option for USB only printers that must be located a great distance away. The computer sends the print via TCP (Ethernet) to the print server adapter (hub) that converts the signal to USB at the end.
Ethernet vs. USB
USB is a bit easier to setup but if your printer offers you the ability to use Ethernet then it is highly advised to take the time to set it up. Transmitting and canceling print jobs is faster and more efficient than USB.
Epson offers an easy to use free utility called “Epson Net Config” which is located on your Epson installer CD or downloaded from the Epson website which makes this process very easy to manage. If you wish you, may also refer to the printer manual to configure the address from the front control panel of the printer.
Larger Epson printers such as the 4900, 7890 and 9890 now come with Ethernet on board but it is configured with odd IP addresses. You will want to lock in a “static” address (one that does not change) that conforms to your local network address range (192.168.0.XXX or 192.168.1.XXX or 10.1.1.XXX). Once you have the number set in the computer you simply use that number in the RIP setup and that allows printing to begin.
A Common User created issue:
USB is popular but in fact a slower technology, so interrupting the RIP process by pushing buttons on your printer, pulling the USB cable in the middle of a print, or turning off the printer are all bad ideas. As the transmission of the data discovers the interruption it will cause prints to go into a loop. That loop will try to complete the last instruction, creating a backlog of new prints to fail until the trouble is addressed.
Windows users can best stop a printer right from the Epson Stylus Print driver. Yes the Epson driver, after AccuRIP has converted the data to a proper format it passes the data to the Epson driver to be delivered to the printer.
Mac users can stop files from the AccuRIP to Epson print monitor window.