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Windows 7: Cant get Windows to submit ASCII to an old printer.

28 Feb 2014   #1
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 
Cant get Windows to submit ASCII to an old printer.

I think this may be my first or second question on the forum so I wasn't sure whether to put it here or in Drivers. This problem was resurrected after going through my cable stash and found a USB to Serial RS232 adapter. In any case; for the life of me, I can't get a small receipt printer to work with Windows 7. Apparently, it's common problem on the web but I couldn't find where anyone has solved a similar problem. Perhaps it's just "it won't work" but I thought I'd post the challenge here in case someone found a fix.

Here's some background:

The printer is a VeriFone 250 with a serial interface. (I use a DIN to DB-9 cable)

The USB to Serial adapter came with a Vista driver that installs and Windows 7 sees it as working and assigns it a COM port.

The printer works. I use it often connected directly to a digital scale in the shop for mixing paint and weighing engine and transmission parts for balancing. (Down to a tenth of a gram.) I use the same DIN to DB-9 cable.

The output from the scale is 9600 baud, 8 bits, no parity, 1 stop bit, no flow control. However, I've tried XON/XOFF, RTS/CTS and DTR hand shaking with no change in printer function. It works great.

I'm able to add the "printer" in Windows, assign it to the COM port Windows gave the serial adapter and set the port options to match that of the scale. (9600, 8, n, 1, N) I used a Windows 7 stock driver for a Generic/Text Only printer.

The printer receives text (or something) and prints garbage for about the length of the text. I tried changing the Code Page (437 and 1252) and even UTF-8. No option presented by Windows works. It still prints garbage.

I tried using other Text Only drivers from Epson and a few others that listed old 9-pin impact printers but the results were the same. It seems as though Windows isn't really sending ASCII. (Codes 0-127).

Would like any suggestions or a fix if you happened to have seen one in a past life.
TIA, Ken


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2014   #2
matts6887

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit
 
 

well car; I hate to say it but since ascii is such an old technology as far as printers go; I do believe it probably wont be compatible with 7. Unless my thinking is off??. Even though i know you said the printer still works; I believe since its probably way old; that it just wont accept ascII. At least thats what im thinking at this point.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2014   #3
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

It does print ascii. That's what the scale sends. That's what I'm saying. The printer works.

I do recall one thing that may be a clue. There's an option in text only drivers that allow you to set the output to RAW or TEXT. When ever I set the option to TEXT, save out of the panels then go back to the option, its reverted back to RAW. This could be a bug in Windows 7.

By the way, USB is a serial interface too.

And UTF-8 is ASCII only extended. The point is, codes 0-127 ("old technology") are still the same in UTF-8.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Feb 2014   #4
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

Can you add a USB virtual port for the printer?

This is making my head hurt - does every time I have a similar issue with an older printer.

edit: yeah, I was going to ask about RAW and IMF output, but see that your driver has RAW and Text.

Regarding it not sticking to TEXT... now my head really hurts.... it's a driver issue, or was in my case. I had to change it save it, and exit.... maybe restart.

Someone else might point you right to it. I'll keep thinking about what I did for the older printers I carried forward to Win7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2014   #5
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

I wonder if that's why MS did away with the old Terminal program. They couldn't get it to work either.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2014   #6
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2014   #7
carwiz

Windows 7 Pro-x64
 
 

Thanks Bart! I have a couple of XP machines I can grab HT from and see if can output to the COM port. It won't be until tomorrow though. I took the printer back to the shop. I should be able to test the adapter with it. Thanks for the memory refresh on HT. Although that may not be a cure for the problem, it's a step up.

Now I have to go and relearn XP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2014   #8
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

You're welcome. I swear that you'll have to change the port though, I have two Minolta printers, one works fine with Win7 (the older one) and the other drives me crazy when I reinstall (I should write down, but then I have to find it).

It always came down to RAW/IMF, the port, or hmmmmm what was that other thing? I'm fairly certain it has nothing to do with any of these settings (baud, bits, parity, stop bit, flow control, XON/XOFF, RTS/CTS or DTR), but I'm old and forgetful

Man does that bring back 'fond' memories.... now if you asked about the pin outs, I'd feel young again!

If an old brain cell wakes up, I'll post again.

Bill
.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Feb 2014   #9
Slartybart

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
 
 

sheesh! I was closing down for the evening and almost lost this.

http://resources.merchante-solutions...=1390944444397

It might be the answer you're seeking or point you in the right direction.

Bill
.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Mar 2014   #10
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

@ carwiz.

Just on the outside chance that the printer did something screwy during manufacture, try a null modem cable and see if that works.

Otherwise, I agree with Slartybart. It may be a driver issue.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Cant get Windows to submit ASCII to an old printer.




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