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Anyone know about using CAT5 as a serial cable?

 
 
Andy
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-16-2004
I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer barcode
printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a result,
they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial interface
back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).

The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the DB25 or 9
connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed a lot of
places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and use a
standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to) have
intermittant flow control problems.

eg.
1- Large print job gets sent.
2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
3- Host thinks the job has printed.

What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I would
suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX lines were
not on a pair together.

Any clues?





 
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-= Hawk =-
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Posts: n/a
 
      02-16-2004
On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 19:44:10 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:

>I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer barcode
>printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a result,
>they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial interface
>back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).
>
>The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the DB25 or 9
>connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed a lot of
>places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and use a
>standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to) have
>intermittant flow control problems.
>
>eg.
>1- Large print job gets sent.
>2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
>3- Host thinks the job has printed.
>
>What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I would


100 Meters.

>suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX lines were
>not on a pair together.


Run shielded cable or run them through a shielded conduit.

>Any clues?


And see what kind of machinery the cables running near....

--
'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
Riddles II, v3
- T. Pratchett
 
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Andy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-16-2004
"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:2s3130l0r34l5cvasvej8lkdb3dd1fg7ut@news-server...
> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 19:44:10 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
>
> >I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer barcode
> >printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a

result,
> >they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial

interface
> >back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).
> >
> >The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the DB25 or 9
> >connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed a lot

of
> >places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and use a
> >standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to) have
> >intermittant flow control problems.
> >
> >eg.
> >1- Large print job gets sent.
> >2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
> >3- Host thinks the job has printed.
> >
> >What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I would

>
> 100 Meters.


I'm pretty sure that 100 meters only applies when it is used as a network
cable which relies on synchronized signals going in opposing directions down
a pair of wires. The RS-232C standard is only 50 feet ,athough of course in
practise it can be much more, 100m would be a VERY long serial cable, but
would probably work with shieled cable and a slow baud.

>
> >suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX lines were
> >not on a pair together.

>
> Run shielded cable or run them through a shielded conduit.


Yup. I think I'm going to have to prove the point.

Trouble is I have 2 deal with sysadmins who INSIST that thier system is good
and it must be MY printer gobbeling up their perfectly good data.
>
> >Any clues?

>
> And see what kind of machinery the cables running near....


They use these things in places like chocolate factorys, steel mills,
textiles, frieght depo's, jewelers, chemical plants, car factories, .......
to name a few - they print stuff like those little barcodes on the back of a
mobile phone. So - all kinds of machinery.


>
> --
> 'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
> Riddles II, v3
> - T. Pratchett



 
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-= Hawk =-
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-16-2004
On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 21:17:11 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:

>"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news:2s3130l0r34l5cvasvej8lkdb3dd1fg7ut@news-server...
>> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 19:44:10 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
>>
>> >I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer barcode
>> >printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a

>result,
>> >they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial

>interface
>> >back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).
>> >
>> >The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the DB25 or 9
>> >connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed a lot

>of
>> >places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and use a
>> >standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to) have
>> >intermittant flow control problems.
>> >
>> >eg.
>> >1- Large print job gets sent.
>> >2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
>> >3- Host thinks the job has printed.
>> >
>> >What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I would

>>
>> 100 Meters.

>
>I'm pretty sure that 100 meters only applies when it is used as a network
>cable which relies on synchronized signals going in opposing directions down
>a pair of wires. The RS-232C standard is only 50 feet ,athough of course in


I've seen multi-hundred foot RS-232 cables plenty of times.
We borrowed one from a place a friend used to work for to
null modem his mom's PC to her sons BBS in the cellar
it worked fine.

>practise it can be much more, 100m would be a VERY long serial cable, but
>would probably work with shieled cable and a slow baud.
>
>>
>> >suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX lines were
>> >not on a pair together.

>>
>> Run shielded cable or run them through a shielded conduit.

>
>Yup. I think I'm going to have to prove the point.
>
>Trouble is I have 2 deal with sysadmins who INSIST that thier system is good
>and it must be MY printer gobbeling up their perfectly good data.


Have them buy a new printer and put it in place, if the
problems persist, and they probably will, you can laugh
behind your hand at them....

>> >Any clues?

>>
>> And see what kind of machinery the cables running near....

>
>They use these things in places like chocolate factorys, steel mills,
>textiles, frieght depo's, jewelers, chemical plants, car factories, .......
>to name a few - they print stuff like those little barcodes on the back of a
>mobile phone. So - all kinds of machinery.


Oh I know, I spent a couple years running Weber Legitronic Highspeed
thermal barcode printers creating Mil-Spec label formats and such. What
I meant was 'machinery that would cause a large amount of electrical
interference. If you're dealing with a decent printer company you might
be able to get one of their tech reps out to advise you on the problem.
I had the Weber guy out a couple times trying to get some issues
resolved.



--
'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
Riddles II, v3
- T. Pratchett
 
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Andy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-16-2004

"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news48130pv039ls05nqh2l0tm6brg2j97m1v@news-server...
> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 21:17:11 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
>
> >"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> >news:2s3130l0r34l5cvasvej8lkdb3dd1fg7ut@news-server...
> >> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 19:44:10 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
> >>
> >> >I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer

barcode
> >> >printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a

> >result,
> >> >they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial

> >interface
> >> >back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).
> >> >
> >> >The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the DB25

or 9
> >> >connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed a

lot
> >of
> >> >places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and use a
> >> >standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to)

have
> >> >intermittant flow control problems.
> >> >
> >> >eg.
> >> >1- Large print job gets sent.
> >> >2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
> >> >3- Host thinks the job has printed.
> >> >
> >> >What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I would
> >>
> >> 100 Meters.

> >
> >I'm pretty sure that 100 meters only applies when it is used as a network
> >cable which relies on synchronized signals going in opposing directions

down
> >a pair of wires. The RS-232C standard is only 50 feet ,athough of course

in
>
> I've seen multi-hundred foot RS-232 cables plenty of times.
> We borrowed one from a place a friend used to work for to
> null modem his mom's PC to her sons BBS in the cellar
> it worked fine.
>
> >practise it can be much more, 100m would be a VERY long serial cable, but
> >would probably work with shieled cable and a slow baud.
> >
> >>
> >> >suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX lines

were
> >> >not on a pair together.
> >>
> >> Run shielded cable or run them through a shielded conduit.

> >
> >Yup. I think I'm going to have to prove the point.
> >
> >Trouble is I have 2 deal with sysadmins who INSIST that thier system is

good
> >and it must be MY printer gobbeling up their perfectly good data.

>
> Have them buy a new printer and put it in place, if the
> problems persist, and they probably will, you can laugh
> behind your hand at them....
>
> >> >Any clues?
> >>
> >> And see what kind of machinery the cables running near....

> >
> >They use these things in places like chocolate factorys, steel mills,
> >textiles, frieght depo's, jewelers, chemical plants, car factories,

........
> >to name a few - they print stuff like those little barcodes on the back

of a
> >mobile phone. So - all kinds of machinery.

>
> Oh I know, I spent a couple years running Weber Legitronic Highspeed
> thermal barcode printers creating Mil-Spec label formats and such. What
> I meant was 'machinery that would cause a large amount of electrical
> interference. If you're dealing with a decent printer company you might
> be able to get one of their tech reps out to advise you on the problem.
> I had the Weber guy out a couple times trying to get some issues
> resolved.
>
>
>
> --
> 'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
> Riddles II, v3
> - T. Pratchett


Yep - exactly the same machines except branded Zebra (seen them as Brady
also) - some of them are built into Weber print and apply engines.
Zebra give pretty good email supprt, but with stuff like this they tend to
just quote the user manuale back at you.
The last time I was working on printers was 1986 ie. pre CAT5 revolution and
I wasn't sure of it's limitations. It looks a lot easier to set up this way
though. I hate soldering serial connectors, but I think I'm gunna have to
buy some good shielded cable and make a few cables (and then charge like a
wounded bull if the problem goes away).


 
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-= Hawk =-
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-16-2004
On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 01:25:42 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:

>
>"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>news48130pv039ls05nqh2l0tm6brg2j97m1v@news-server...
>> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 21:17:11 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
>>
>> >"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> >news:2s3130l0r34l5cvasvej8lkdb3dd1fg7ut@news-server...
>> >> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 19:44:10 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
>> >>
>> >> >I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer

>barcode
>> >> >printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a
>> >result,
>> >> >they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial
>> >interface
>> >> >back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).
>> >> >
>> >> >The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the DB25

>or 9
>> >> >connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed a

>lot
>> >of
>> >> >places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and use a
>> >> >standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to)

>have
>> >> >intermittant flow control problems.
>> >> >
>> >> >eg.
>> >> >1- Large print job gets sent.
>> >> >2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
>> >> >3- Host thinks the job has printed.
>> >> >
>> >> >What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I would
>> >>
>> >> 100 Meters.
>> >
>> >I'm pretty sure that 100 meters only applies when it is used as a network
>> >cable which relies on synchronized signals going in opposing directions

>down
>> >a pair of wires. The RS-232C standard is only 50 feet ,athough of course

>in
>>
>> I've seen multi-hundred foot RS-232 cables plenty of times.
>> We borrowed one from a place a friend used to work for to
>> null modem his mom's PC to her sons BBS in the cellar
>> it worked fine.
>>
>> >practise it can be much more, 100m would be a VERY long serial cable, but
>> >would probably work with shieled cable and a slow baud.
>> >
>> >>
>> >> >suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX lines

>were
>> >> >not on a pair together.
>> >>
>> >> Run shielded cable or run them through a shielded conduit.
>> >
>> >Yup. I think I'm going to have to prove the point.
>> >
>> >Trouble is I have 2 deal with sysadmins who INSIST that thier system is

>good
>> >and it must be MY printer gobbeling up their perfectly good data.

>>
>> Have them buy a new printer and put it in place, if the
>> problems persist, and they probably will, you can laugh
>> behind your hand at them....
>>
>> >> >Any clues?
>> >>
>> >> And see what kind of machinery the cables running near....
>> >
>> >They use these things in places like chocolate factorys, steel mills,
>> >textiles, frieght depo's, jewelers, chemical plants, car factories,

>.......
>> >to name a few - they print stuff like those little barcodes on the back

>of a
>> >mobile phone. So - all kinds of machinery.

>>
>> Oh I know, I spent a couple years running Weber Legitronic Highspeed
>> thermal barcode printers creating Mil-Spec label formats and such. What
>> I meant was 'machinery that would cause a large amount of electrical
>> interference. If you're dealing with a decent printer company you might
>> be able to get one of their tech reps out to advise you on the problem.
>> I had the Weber guy out a couple times trying to get some issues
>> resolved.

>
>Yep - exactly the same machines except branded Zebra (seen them as Brady
>also) - some of them are built into Weber print and apply engines.


Weird, according to Weber the Zebra's just a model of theirs...

>Zebra give pretty good email supprt, but with stuff like this they tend to
>just quote the user manuale back at you.


I guess times change....

>The last time I was working on printers was 1986 ie. pre CAT5 revolution and


I also had to ancient 9 pin C.itoh printers doing ribbon feed labels

>I wasn't sure of it's limitations. It looks a lot easier to set up this way
>though. I hate soldering serial connectors, but I think I'm gunna have to
>buy some good shielded cable and make a few cables (and then charge like a
>wounded bull if the problem goes away).


Good luck....

--
'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
Riddles II, v3
- T. Pratchett
 
Reply With Quote
 
Andy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      02-17-2004

"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:2am130drjbev4j0lv2nuu5to5s3ffkhmpm@news-server...
> On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 01:25:42 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
>
> >
> >"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> >news48130pv039ls05nqh2l0tm6brg2j97m1v@news-server...
> >> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 21:17:11 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)> scribbled:
> >>
> >> >"-= Hawk =-" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> >> >news:2s3130l0r34l5cvasvej8lkdb3dd1fg7ut@news-server...
> >> >> On Mon, 16 Feb 2004 19:44:10 +1100, "Andy" <(E-Mail Removed)>

scribbled:
> >> >>
> >> >> >I've just started a new job repairing a type of thermal transfer

> >barcode
> >> >> >printer that is used a lot in manufcturing and transport, and as a
> >> >result,
> >> >> >they are often located in factories or warehouses and use a serial
> >> >interface
> >> >> >back to some sort of distribution board (like a Stalion card).
> >> >> >
> >> >> >The ones with the older kind of shielded 5 core cable, with the

DB25
> >or 9
> >> >> >connector hard wired I don't have problems with, but I have noticed

a
> >lot
> >> >of
> >> >> >places use these small RJ45 to DB25 converters on either end and

use a
> >> >> >standard network cable between them. These ones sometimes (seem to)

> >have
> >> >> >intermittant flow control problems.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >eg.
> >> >> >1- Large print job gets sent.
> >> >> >2- Printer starts, gets to a certain point and stops (can lock up).
> >> >> >3- Host thinks the job has printed.
> >> >> >
> >> >> >What is the limitation on the length? CAT5, being unshielded, I

would
> >> >>
> >> >> 100 Meters.
> >> >
> >> >I'm pretty sure that 100 meters only applies when it is used as a

network
> >> >cable which relies on synchronized signals going in opposing

directions
> >down
> >> >a pair of wires. The RS-232C standard is only 50 feet ,athough of

course
> >in
> >>
> >> I've seen multi-hundred foot RS-232 cables plenty of times.
> >> We borrowed one from a place a friend used to work for to
> >> null modem his mom's PC to her sons BBS in the cellar
> >> it worked fine.
> >>
> >> >practise it can be much more, 100m would be a VERY long serial cable,

but
> >> >would probably work with shieled cable and a slow baud.
> >> >
> >> >>
> >> >> >suppose be more subject to "noise", especialy if the TX and RX

lines
> >were
> >> >> >not on a pair together.
> >> >>
> >> >> Run shielded cable or run them through a shielded conduit.
> >> >
> >> >Yup. I think I'm going to have to prove the point.
> >> >
> >> >Trouble is I have 2 deal with sysadmins who INSIST that thier system

is
> >good
> >> >and it must be MY printer gobbeling up their perfectly good data.
> >>
> >> Have them buy a new printer and put it in place, if the
> >> problems persist, and they probably will, you can laugh
> >> behind your hand at them....
> >>
> >> >> >Any clues?
> >> >>
> >> >> And see what kind of machinery the cables running near....
> >> >
> >> >They use these things in places like chocolate factorys, steel mills,
> >> >textiles, frieght depo's, jewelers, chemical plants, car factories,

> >.......
> >> >to name a few - they print stuff like those little barcodes on the

back
> >of a
> >> >mobile phone. So - all kinds of machinery.
> >>
> >> Oh I know, I spent a couple years running Weber Legitronic Highspeed
> >> thermal barcode printers creating Mil-Spec label formats and such. What
> >> I meant was 'machinery that would cause a large amount of electrical
> >> interference. If you're dealing with a decent printer company you might
> >> be able to get one of their tech reps out to advise you on the problem.
> >> I had the Weber guy out a couple times trying to get some issues
> >> resolved.

> >
> >Yep - exactly the same machines except branded Zebra (seen them as Brady
> >also) - some of them are built into Weber print and apply engines.

>
> Weird, according to Weber the Zebra's just a model of theirs...


I don't know anything of the history of Weber/Zebra, but the Weber stuff I
work on has the Zebra logo printed on the circuit boards, so I just assumed
they were just re-badged.

>
> >Zebra give pretty good email supprt, but with stuff like this they tend

to
> >just quote the user manuale back at you.

>
> I guess times change....


The contact point for Zebras' Dealer Support in Australia is their Asia
Pacific head office in Singapore, they are not directly represented here.

>
> >The last time I was working on printers was 1986 ie. pre CAT5 revolution

and
>
> I also had to ancient 9 pin C.itoh printers doing ribbon feed labels



Wow - this is getting frieky! The printers I repaired in the 80's were
C-Itoh - Everything from big shuttle printers to little one's made to suite
a Commodore 64 and even color dot matrix.

Incidently - What's a ribbon feed label?

>
> >I wasn't sure of it's limitations. It looks a lot easier to set up this

way
> >though. I hate soldering serial connectors, but I think I'm gunna have to
> >buy some good shielded cable and make a few cables (and then charge like

a
> >wounded bull if the problem goes away).

>
> Good luck....
>
> --
> 'What Profiteth It A Kingdom If The Oxen Be Deflated?'
> Riddles II, v3
> - T. Pratchett



 
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