My career has been in IT for over 30 years and I do at least have some idea about IT hardware, software and networks. I really pity people that don’t because so often the technology is less than perfect and then you’re exposed to the nightmare of the support call-centres. My advice is to put the kettle on and make a nice cup of tea instead of calling them. Invariably your support comes from another continent and they haven’t much more clue about the technology than you have. This was my recent experience with Kodak but I have to say, only last year I spent the equivalent of three whole days with HP convincing them that I had a real bug and I hadn’t made a silly mistake in installing the software.
Problem: Kodak ESP-5250 printer has no wired LAN ethernet support!
The Kodak ESP-5250 is a good All-In-One printer which has WIFI and USB connections. Kodak clearly believe that their printer’s WIFI connectivity is infallible but after 18 months of frustration with the flaky wireless connectivity of the ESP-5250 I decided it had to be connected via a wired ethernet connection to my LAN.
Kodak support will tell you it isn’t possible but they don’t seem to have heard of print servers whose entire reason for being is to provide ethernet connectivity to printers that don’t have it! They used to be more available in the past but the rise of networked printers has made them rather more scarce.
My Print Server
My Print Server is a Belkin All-in-one Print Server model F1UP0002 which I bought around 2005. It has both wireless and wired (RJ45) ethernet connections and a USB connection to the printer. It’s wireless configuration is a pain although I have had it working in the past, however as a wired print server it works a dream from factory settings.
Here are some instructions which I have quoted from below (for safety) from the Sparklekitten blog…
http://sparklekitten29.livejournal.com/23866.html <– full article has much more info
The device is an embedded Linux system, which acts as a print server using LPR (Line Printer Daemon protocol LPR or LPD). Basically the system treats the printer as if it is installed locally, but runs the data through a fake port to the network.
Note that the Print Server’s default login credentials are username=admin password=1234
- Connect wired ethernet (RJ45) plug into the Print Server
- Connect USB cable between printer and Print Server
- Switch on the Print Server and Printer
- Using your LAN Router’s Admin options, set the IP address it has assigned to the Print Server as permanent (you don’t want a new address being set as that will cause the PC Printer set up to fail in the future). Note that the defaults are: username=admin password=1234
Installing LPR Support in Windows
- Windows > Control Panel > Programs
- Under the Programs and Features heading, click the Turn Windows Features On or Off link, and then authenticate yourself to User Account Control. Windows displays the Windows Features window.
- Expand the Print Services item, and then select the LPR Port Monitor check box. Don’t select the LPD Print Service item; this service makes printers attached to your computer appear to be LPD printers, so that Unix computers can print to them.
- Click the OK button. Windows closes the Windows Features window and installs the LPR Port Monitor feature.Configuring the Printer in Windows
(assuming that you have already installed and configured the printer as a USB printer)
- Windows > Control Panel > Devices & Printers
- Right click on “Printer Properties” (note this is different from “Properties” at the bottom).
- Click on the “Ports” tab. Hit “Add Port,” LPR Port. Enter the static IP you assigned in step 4 above. Realize you have no idea what the print queue is called. Don’t bother using the printer name, this doesn’t work. Don’t try random guesses, that doesn’t work either. Thanks to this glorious article on installing the gadget in OSX, we know the right answer is lp1. Again, for archival sake, here are those entire directions, which if you’re on a Windows PC you can ignore.
- Print a test page. Think you’re done and celebrate!
What about Scanning?
I wasn’t able to get scanning to work through the Print Server and the rubbish Kodak set-up utility couldn’t see the printer on its own WIFI (situation normal!). However, the Windows View Scanners and Cameras utility allowed me to set my PC up to use the printer’s WIFI with no problems.
- Windows > Control Panel > View Scanners and Cameras
- Add Device
- Pick your Printer’s manufacturer and if you see your model use it but as I didn’t I picked a similar model
- Find your AIO Printer’s WIFI ip address on your LAN Router network and enter this (and make this permanent too as in step 4 above)
You can now scan documents using the Windows Fax and Scan utility