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For those of you who didn't know

Last response: in Computer Peripherals
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February 23, 2001 3:24:59 AM

1)USB scanners suck. Even the good ones. It is a problem with the slow USB bus.
2)Most Parrallel port scanners are the same slow speed as USB scanners but are less likely to have problems, as for some strange reason the USB bus is prone to glitches with many scanners.
3)Parrallel ports have about the same transfer rate as USB ports. (see 2)
4)The only soluitons to slow scanning are SCSI and firewire. Cheap SCSI cards can be had for $20 or less that support one external device, Adaptec makes them and I have sucessfully used them with 2 devices although they officially support just one. Firewire cards start at about $40.
5) SCSI scanners have become rather cheap recently because of the popularity of inferior USB.
6) SCSI cards are also handy for faster transfers on other devices, such as external ZIP drives and CD-Writers.

Suicide is painless...........

More about : question

Anonymous
February 27, 2001 6:20:32 AM

What usb scanner did you have?
February 27, 2001 12:48:10 PM

Since I sell confususers, I have had a few of them, HP, Umax, Epson....and the few parallel scanners that I had were the same slow speed.

Suicide is painless...........
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Anonymous
March 1, 2001 5:15:20 AM

Any Canons?
March 1, 2001 11:51:14 AM

NO, but they are still limited to (1.2?) MB/s if they are on USB. Funny thing is, my CHEAP SCSI scanners are at least 5x faster than EVERY USB scanner I've had (even good ones) at the same resolution, and I seriously doubt that Cannon is any exception, due to limmitations of the USB bus.

Suicide is painless...........
March 5, 2001 3:10:00 AM

Hmm,

Just looking for a scanner - thanks for the USB warning. USB is 12Mbs/sec - a raw high res image can be +12Mb so the transfer would take a little time I guess, factoring scan, render and image transfer, plus re-rendering.

I like the Firewire option but all the scanners seem to be pro at $1000+ - any sub $500 that you can recommend?

Thanks,

Pete
March 5, 2001 5:20:28 AM

I can't really recommend any Firewire scanners because they all seem so expensive. Remember that 12Mb is megabits, so that is still only 1.5MB (megabytes). So it is rather slow for USB. But I have a CHEAP SCSI scanner, the Acer Prisma 620ST, I paid $60 for it (the S model without the transparency adapter was cheaper yet), and it would work with the cheap 1 device Adaptec SCSI card that is marketed under several brands (such as Zip Zoom) for around $20. Mine came with one, but it was ISA, and I already have a PCI SCSI card. I have tried several SCSI scanners from Umax, HP, and a few others, and they were all much faster than USB. SCSI scanners have become less popular due to the marketing of USB scanners (people don't know how slow USB is), and so many places are now clearencing them. Check pricewatch.

Suicide is painless...........
March 6, 2001 1:10:52 AM

And then I saw the microtek 5700, which has pretty much all the features I need for an MSRP of $450 - less than 50% of the next higher performing scanner. Unfortunately it only does letter size and I want A4!!!!

Any thoughts on Firewire2SCSI devices? I know it sounds like I'm really trying to duck the SCSI issue, but I like PnP and I have Firewire ports spare on my machines. SCSI is a pain (although I have capability for both PCs, I'd rather not reinstall and further complicate my machines.).

Thought and opinions welcome.
March 6, 2001 1:28:01 AM

Keep ducking-the cheapest one's I've seen were $385 and I can't even remember where. You could go SCSI with the scanner and a 1 device card for under $100. And you don't need to worry about settup hassle with a 1 device card. And you really only need one computer set up to use the scanner anyway.

Suicide is painless...........
March 6, 2001 2:39:33 AM

Probably sounds like I'm nuts possibly? :o )

I have a SCSI card I can use in my machine, but I'd rather not since it already getting a bit on the complex side. Since I'm using Firewire anyway...

I'll keep looking but I need an A4 scanner that I can buy and get shipped out to Japan (it is actually cheaper to buy most stuff in the US and have it shipped than buy in Japan - even Japanese stuff...)

Thanks muchly for your help and advice!

Pete.
March 6, 2001 2:50:32 AM

oh yeah - seen the Umax 6400 on Outpost.com for $250, but only 600x1200 :o (
March 6, 2001 3:54:06 AM

More money than talent maybe, but anyway, over half of my scanners hve been A4, it seems to be a common size.

Suicide is painless...........
Anonymous
March 7, 2001 8:04:51 PM

Yes Crash, I have to agree with you, they are slow, a full colour A4 scan on a Canon usb scanner takes 116 seconds, My HP 5p scuzzi scanner is a lot faster that that, and its 5 yrs old, dosent stop us selling them though
Anonymous
May 3, 2001 3:16:42 PM

Boy am I glad I read this thread! I am upgrading to a new machine, and have a Umax SCSI scanner now. I was going to get rid of it and buy a USB scanner since my old SCSI card was ISA and I won't have an ISA slot in the new rig... now I know better!

I've actually decided to buy a SCSI DVD drive as well, so could anyone recommend a PCI SCSI card that can control both?

Alternately I may try to find one of the elusive MSI K7 Master-S motherboards with integrated SCSI support, but I have no idea how much more expensive they will be yet.

Wayne
Anonymous
May 17, 2001 4:05:03 AM

I don't understand the entire speed issue. Personally, I don't care how long it takes to scan a photo. I'm not working in a photo processing lab, and it's gonna be a lot if I scan a photo a week, if that. I can wait long enough on such a rare occasion. :) 

So, if there are no actual issues caused by low speed, I'm happy. Or is it possible that the quality might be affected? I mean, if the buffer is too small, and the data is passed too slowly, can there be an overrun, and thus lost pixels?

Leo
May 17, 2001 6:11:29 AM

I have personally seen the program stall before the image got done loading. High resolution scans with common USB scaners took up to 3 minutes, and when I scan something I want it now! And the worst part was, if I wanted to scan SEVERAL things, at 3 minute each, well, you can do math. Anyway, even the CHEAPEST SCSI scanners I have used have don the same job in 30 seconds or less. At more resonable resolutions, a cheap SCSI scanner can do a job in 15 seconds that takes the equivalent USB scanner up to 90 seconds. If you want to scan a 15 page document at medium resoution, this time can really add up!
Also, I have had problems with several USB scanner with drivers that simply did not work with the chipsets of several computers I owned. And I have seen USB scanners "magically disapear" in windows many times.

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
May 20, 2001 4:26:56 PM

Hey - I'm back on the scanner trail again.

Still looking for a decent scanner to do A4 sized imaging and high quality photo scanning.

I have an old Ultra Scsi card (not used for anything and not installed) and Firewire already in my system.

The bus is overclocked, so I'm not sure how well the SCSI card will now take that.

I want to spend ideally no more than $750 on a fast high res scanning solution. Firewire is attractive, but all the high res scanners for firewire seem to be $1000+

I have a long history of family photos to scan into the PC and I'd ideally like the scanner to be portable between rooms and PCs so my wife can scan photos whilst using the living room pc.

I am not totally adverse to SCSI, but I have got lazy and like my PnP. It seems that $300 will do in SCSI what nearly a $1000 is needed for Firewire?

Given free reign, what do you think your direction would be with this one? I would need another SCSI card for a second PC - and maybe a primary if an old Ultra micro SCSI is not up to it. Many scanners I have heard of ship with a SCSI card.

What says you?

-* This Space For Rent *-
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May 20, 2001 5:43:15 PM

I say your on the right trail-you can equip MANY computers with a cheap SCSI card, and buy the scanner, for far less than what it would cost to do the same thing with firewire. Hey, I have an old HP SCSI scanner for sale that is full sized, it should hold an A4 fine, I can't remember the bed size, but I think it was something like 9x15 or something. Anyway, it was wider than letter sized, so it should hold the A4. I'll have to dig it out if you want more information.

Cast not thine pearls before the swine
!