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Replace a serial printer with the PortStore - network serial buffer

A serial printer is still nowadays used to monitor reports from various devices like is a central alarm unit or fire alarm. Sometime it can be useful to monitor printed data over Ethernet network or simply replace the serial printer with any unit and collect data over the network. Application Note 25 describe how to use the PortStore unit (blackbox with 2MB flash memory inside) to store the data incoming to the serial port, buffer them and share over the network. You can replace with PortStore your serial printer or connect it in parallel with your printer.

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A serial printer is a computer printer, which is connected to computer trough a serial link (RS-232c port - Cannon DB9 or DB25). Serial printers are usually impact (9 pin dot-matrix). They commonly act as accessories to security centrals or as cash desk printer etc.

Serial printers are legacy system nowadays that is why it could be profitable to utilise PortStore RS-232 buffers with them. Serial printers are connected to some source of data and it could be efficient to place PortStore buffer box between them to store data and/or send them to a central site in origin electronic format instead of archiving tons of paper. Alternatively the serial printer could be completly replaced by the data logging device - PortStore data logger.

Let us make an example of a security central which is a serial printer connected to. There are two posibilities how to send logs from the security central to e.g. archivation on magnetic tapes in a central office.

The first way is to connect PC between the security central and the printer or instead of it. However, this way is expensive and time-consuming. There is also need of maintaining the computer. At least we have to solve how to connect PC to the serial printer along with to the security central.

The second option is to use PortStore. The PortStore buffer and converter eliminates extra costs of the dedicated computer. Once configured it does not need any additional administration. The data is stored in internal flash memory where it can be downloaded from from time to time. This feature is very useful if remote serial device logs occasionally.

The connection of the PortStore to security central or to any remote serial device is simple. It suffices to connect the PortStore by RS232 serial line to the port of the security central. PortStore could be configured via serial line or via network (PortStore can be connected directly to Internet or intranet). Download of data could be done automaticaly by free software utility PS Eye.
PortStore can substitute the serial printer and by it you can prolong using of legacy systems by connecting them to network.

PortStore is able to operate in all available modes of RS-232. This is important feature because printers or other remote logging devices of different vendors are varying in settings of the serial port.
The PortStore is absolutely quiet; it has very low consumption of electric energy, too.

PortStore serial Ethernet buffer

  • Data can be safely downloaded from the unit all over the various points on the intranet/internet using encryption. Our buffer box is provided with free PS Eye utility which is able to download data from the buffer at specified intervals or on demand; PS Eye can also manage several buffer at the sime time. The PortStore is independent network device, which do not require any other support hardware.
  • Whenever the PortStore’s buffer is about 75% full, it sends an e-mail to a responsible person. If the responsible person is not available (for example on vacation), the buffer unit sends an email to the second listed address to alert when only 10 % of the capacity remains.

 

PortStore2 differences

The PortStore unit can send you email, when the buffer is full, the PortStore2 do not support SMTP emails, but support TCP Client mode. The PortStore2 data starts attempting to establish TCP connection as the TCP client and send data to predefined IP address.

Both versions supports standard TCP server mode, difference is only in function, started if buffer contais more data, than safe range is.

List of Supported Printers

PortStore supports every printer or other device which is equiped with RS-232 serial port. You can find most common printers below.

  • Epson: LX-300, LX-300+, DFX-5000, DFX-5000+, DFX-8000, DFX-8500, DFX-9000, EX-800, CR-420i, P-80
  • OKI: Microline 186, Microline 320, Microline 395, Microline 395C, Microline 420, Microline 421, Pacemark 4410, Pacemark 3410, OKIPOS 425D, OKIPOS425S
  • Star: SP500 series, SP2000 series, SP200 series, SP300 series, SP298, DP8340
  • And many more...