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USB y-adapter?

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July 23, 2003 5:54:24 PM

I've got a nice printer (Canon i850). I have two computers. I want both computers to have access to the printer <i>without</i> a network connection. (Because both PCs may not be on and it'd be annoying to have to boot one up JUST to print.)

Right now I have one PC connected using the USB cable and the other connected using an old parallel cable. While this works, the USB connection is MUCH faster.

Is there such a thing as a USB y-adapter (or even a switch like those old parallel switches) so that I could run two USB cables into the printer? (And thus have both PCs on the fast USB connection.) Or have I pretty much set it up in the best possible way that I can?

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>

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July 23, 2003 11:49:15 PM

A Y-cable would not be possible, unless you only have one PC powered on at a time. However you would have to make it yourself, because I am reasonably sure that no one would sell such an animal. If both PC's were to be powered on with such a cable attached, you could seriously damage both PC's and the printer. However there are USB switches:

<A HREF="http://www.cablesnmor.com/usb-switch-box.html" target="_new">http://www.cablesnmor.com/usb-switch-box.html&lt;/A>

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Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
July 24, 2003 1:18:15 PM

Quote:
A Y-cable would not be possible, unless you only have one PC powered on at a time. However you would have to make it yourself, because I am reasonably sure that no one would sell such an animal. If both PC's were to be powered on with such a cable attached, you could seriously damage both PC's and the printer.

I would have thought that an unpowered USB Y-cable should be possible. It wouldn't work for devices that draw their power from the USB port, but I would imagine that it'd work just fine for devices that have their own power and just use the USB for data transmission. Maybe I'm wrong, but if I am I'd like to know why. :) 

Quote:
However there are USB switches:

http://www.cablesnmor.com/usb-switch-box.html

Thanks for the link. :)  I'm glad that someone at least makes something. It's kind of expensive though, I mean just for a switch. I'll keep it in mind for Yule or something.

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
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July 24, 2003 5:18:49 PM

I thought that the speed difference between the LPT port with DMA enabled and USB wouldn't be that big?

I love my Delta 60HP 7000 RPM fan that puts out more dB then CFM :eek: 
July 24, 2003 10:58:07 PM

It shouldn't be, they're both 12mbps connections.

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July 25, 2003 3:49:32 PM

Well, I assume you would want a Y to split between both PC's and the printer. With both PC's trying to pump 3.3 volts at 500mA through the cable, I just assumed it could damage something. But even if you remove the power issue, the printer is going to assume that it is only talking to one PC over the cable, and each PC is going to expect just a printer, not a printer and another PC. No telling what might happen with a Y if both PC's are on and nothing to direct the data traffic. But as long as the voltage isn't a problem, I guess it wouldn't hurt to try. Don't quote me on that though. :wink:

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Armadillo<font color=orange>[</font color=orange><font color=green>TcC</font color=green><font color=orange>]</font color=orange> at Lanwar and MML
July 25, 2003 4:34:10 PM

**shrug** All that I can go by is the simple fact that the printer works noticably faster (about 1.5x to 2x as fast) using the USB connection. It doesn't matter for text much, but when printing graphics it's jerky on the parallel (prints a segment, stops for a moment, prints another segment, stops a while longer, etc.) but completely smooth on the USB.

But then maybe that's a problem with my Celeron's parallel. For some reason my scanner doesn't work at all on the Celeron box. I had to use my wife's Pentium 166MMX laptop just to scan in any photos. :(  (I haven't tried it yet on the new PC though.)

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 26, 2003 5:13:54 PM

maybe you dont have a bidirectional cable or its not set right in the bios

wpdclan.com cs game server - 69.12.5.119:27015
July 28, 2003 2:37:07 PM

Quote:
maybe you dont have a bidirectional cable or its not set right in the bios

It is a bidirectional cable and there are no BIOS parallel settings for this PC to change. (As I said, it may just be the Celeron's mobo itself.)

"<i>Yeah, if you treat them like equals, it'll only encourage them to think they <b>ARE</b> your equals.</i>" - Thief from <A HREF="http://www.nuklearpower.com/daily.php?date=030603" target="_new">8-Bit Theater</A>
July 28, 2003 4:07:32 PM

Does Windows show a DMA channel in use for the LPT 1 port?

I love my Delta 60HP 7000 RPM fan that puts out more dB then CFM :eek: 
July 31, 2003 12:15:53 PM

You could not use a USB Y cable for such a purpose.


You would not blow anything up at all but it would simply not work due to the way that USB works with the Host controller and you cant have two hosts driving the same line.
(Imagine if the water companies supplied hot and cold water to your house and decided to used one pipe so you just got warm water and could not get hot and cold seperately the tempurature of the water would be effectivly "corrupt")

Just goes to reason that IEEE 1394 is a better architecture, allowing devices to be shared between PC's as there is no host. IEEE1394 is more like ethernet in that respect.

Anyway, if it has a parrallel port and a USB it might allow you to share it like that, otherwise USB is plug and play, just have 2 USB hubs next to each other to allow easy device swapping.
July 31, 2003 2:38:46 PM

If the printer has both a PPT & USB connection simply the easiest method is to use the USB for one and PPT for the other. This is how I share my Samsung ML4600 between the LAN server & an ageing Acorn R-PC (I’m not willing to pay 130£ for a 10BaseT NIC) and besides the occasional it will crash when both machines try to print at the same time, a quick power down & up is all that is required, it works perfectly.
!