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Ethernet printer to USB computer

Discussion in 'Networking' started by DeadPixel, Feb 18, 2013.

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  1. DeadPixel

    DeadPixel Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2013
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    (I hope this is the appropriate forum. The Hardware forum did not seem to deal much with network connection issues for peripherals.)

    Here's the situation:

    We have a server for our POS system that does not have a LAN connection (nor can it; it's a proprietary system for which we cannot install third-party drivers) and can only send reports to Laserjet printers connected to the USB port (internally using a virtual LPT port, I believe, if that matters).

    We wish to send prints to an ethernet printer located on another floor. The printer (a Laserjet) is connected to our LAN. The printer does also support USB, but running a cable for that is not an option.

    I see hundreds of solutions for connecting networked computers to USB devices but, thus far, have identified none for doing it the other way around.

    What I'm looking for is a standalone device that our server could see as a USB printer, but would translate the USB signal into IP traffic destined for the remote printer. As noted above, adding any device-dependent configuration or drivers to the server is not an option. (However, we certainly have the ability to configure the device over the network or with another machine prior to installation, if need be.)

    Now, I'm not sure whether the printer could even process such a data stream. A print job generated for a USB or parallel printer might be a completely different format from what the printer expects from its network port. I don't know. (If it makes any difference, I believe the server only supports unidirectional parallel; thus, there shouldn't be any heavy back-channel data to deal with.)

    Alternatively, a pair of devices (one at the server to translate USB to IP and one on the printer's USB port to translate it back again) might suit our requirements.

    Anyone ever heard of such devices?
     
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