View Full Version : Printer switching problem

17-05-2002, 12:48 PM
I have two PCs and one printer. I want to be able to print from either computer using the ATEN AUTOSWITCH.

If I connect the printer directly to either computer, it prints perfectly, every time. However, if I now attempt to connect both PCs to the one printer using my ATEN AUTOSWITCH, neither PC will print. There is not even a peep out of the printer. Eventually I just get a timeout error.

I was beginning to wonder if Kyocera and ATEN are compatible. However, recently I have been told the switch I have is uni-directional and that I require a bi-directional switch and I need to buy another switch. I am loath to rush out and buy an ATEN bi-directional switch only to find Kyocera and ATEN switches in general are incompatible.

Has anyone else had a similar experience with Kyocera or ATEN?

My System's Technical Specs:
A TL PC running Windows Me and the latest Kyocera printer drivers;
A PCDirect PC running Windows 98 and the latest Kyocera printer drivers;
A Kyocera FS 680 Laser printer;

Things I've tried:
1) I have worked through the troubleshooting FAQ section on the ATEN web site. As far as I can tell, it's not a fault of the cables from the ATEN to the PCs:
2) I have systematically tried all combinations of automatic switching and manual switching --- nothing works.
3) The ATEN AS-251P doesn't seem to require a driver so it can't be that.
4) It's not a power fault. The LEDs light up on the ATEN as expected when I switch between automatic and manual.
5) The ATEN switch is NOT a faulty unit -- it has been checked out by ATEN.

17-05-2002, 03:43 PM
These switches were made for use with dot matrix printers. All the switch had to do was wait for one of the computers to start printing. It would set the busy line on the connector for the other computer, until the first computer had not printed for some time.

Modern (both inkjet and LED/laser) printers need to use more than just the busy line and data strobe to work. They talk back to the computer. They might want to do that even when they are 'officially' not doing anything.

You could probably get a manual switch (be careful to get one with the full 25 wire switching --- some have DB25 connectors, but are made for serial switching and handle only 7 wires).

Otherwise it looks like the (more expensive?) bidirectional switch. It will cost more --- the added complexity makes it more like a netork printer server.

Which, BTW, would be a good idea. A network printer server gives you more than a switch. It can do buffering, and the printer can be put anywhere, not a metre or so from a computer.