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Relztrah
10-21-2006, 05:21 PM
My company just spent $400 on a HP Color LaserJet 1600 with the intention of using it as a network printer. I took it out of the box and set it up hoping to find a section of the instructions titled “How to set up your HP LaserJet 1600 as a network printer” but there’s nothing on the setup CD nor did I see anything on the HP website. The website shows how to use it as with a host/client configuration, but that’s not what I want. I was hoping I could just plug it directly into the router—actually a hub that is connected to the router--and then install drivers on all machines on the network so that anybody could print to it.

There is a place in the back where it looks like you can install a NIC with a little window where, apparently, the network cable would plug into the NIC. But I’m not sure this is the case. Also, it has a USB and I’m wondering if I can use a USB to RJ45 cable to go from the USB to the router and install it on our network that way. We have a peer-to-peer network with no domain controller. All computers connect directly to the router or to a hub that connects to the router. All are running Windows XP Pro.

I have an e-mail into HP Tech Support but I'll probably get an answer here sooner.

Thanks,
Relztrah

Variable
10-21-2006, 07:20 PM
I would take it back and buy a network printer.

http://reviews.cnet.com/HP_Color_LaserJet_1600/4505-3159_7-31766651.html

Erik
10-21-2006, 10:15 PM
Yes, getting a network ready printer (denoted by an n after the number like 2420n) is the easiest way. The other way would be a JetDirect card, if that printer can even accept one.

Then do you have a server? If so just set it up as a print server and put the privers on that. Then let the clients connect to it in order to print, you save a lot of headaches from having to load drivers on each PC.

carrot
10-21-2006, 10:28 PM
You could try using a print server like this one. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833139009)

Relztrah
10-22-2006, 08:25 AM
Yes we have a server but it is simply connected to the router as another PC on the peer-to-peer network, not a domain controller. I don't want to put the HP printer where the server is because that means walking to the other end of the building to get print jobs for 90% of the people who will be using it. Right now the printer is in a common area very convenient for people who will be using it but there is no PC nearby. However there is an Ethernet network connection in the wall just behind the table it's sitting on.

I'm thinking that using a JetDirect card or something like the IOGEAR GPSU21 will be easier than taking the unit back and getting another one at this point. I'm more than willing to purchase either depending on which will give me the least headaches. The one thing I don't understand in the IOGEAR GPSU21 specs is: This unit also supports multiple protocols and multiple operating systems, and it integrates Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) in this print server to allow users to print from any computer over a LAN/WAN or the Internet by specifying the device's URL. Does that mean giving it a static IP address like I can do with an individual PC rather than automatically acquiring an IP address? And if so, how do I do that with a printer? What does it mean to specify a URL for a device?

Hmmm. I'm getting really close to the border of my Comfort Zone. Maybe I'll end up taking it back for a different model after all...

Thanks for your (plural) help,
Relztrah

Whyzman
10-22-2006, 08:59 AM
I suspect that a network printer, as Variable and Erik point out, would be the easiest way to go. Using some sort of adapter, as you point out, will require an educational curve and might prove to be interesting. However, I would profer that a quick fix resulting in the printer up and running would send your competency rating through the roof... ;)

Erik
10-22-2006, 09:00 AM
Hmm, what OS does the server run? If it is a server OS then you should still be able to setup as a print server even if it isn't in a domain. You can still connect the printer to any ethernet jack in the network. Just give it an appropriate IP address, and setup the server for it.

carrot
10-22-2006, 12:53 PM
I'm thinking that using a JetDirect card or something like the IOGEAR GPSU21 will be easier than taking the unit back and getting another one at this point. I'm more than willing to purchase either depending on which will give me the least headaches. The one thing I don't understand in the IOGEAR GPSU21 specs is: This unit also supports multiple protocols and multiple operating systems, and it integrates Internet Printing Protocol (IPP) in this print server to allow users to print from any computer over a LAN/WAN or the Internet by specifying the device's URL. Does that mean giving it a static IP address like I can do with an individual PC rather than automatically acquiring an IP address? And if so, how do I do that with a printer? What does it mean to specify a URL for a device?


I think it means you would be giving the print server itself a staic IP address.
The URL just means that you can print across the internet from a remote location, but you probably won't need to do that.

Erik
10-22-2006, 02:58 PM
An IP address can serve as a URL in this case, unless you have your own DNS server, which without a domain I doubt. Basically lets say you give the printer an IP of 192.168.1.10, then go to a PC on the LAN and open up a web browser and type in: http://192.168.1.10. It will take you to the printer so you can make settings and what not, in any OS as it is just a web interface. Adding the printers to the PCs would be similiar, just set them up to print over the web to that IP and you should be good.

What I don't like about those solutions is that it requires you to go to each and every PC to add in the printer. If you have a server OS it is much easier to put the drivers there, and install the printer to that. Then you just let the clients add the printer by searching for a network printer.

Just as an example to hopefully make things clearer. I have a Windows 2003 server on the first floor (192.168.1.1) and a color laser printer in the basement. Both connect to the same network through switches/patch panels, or whatever means happen to be around in the environment. I setup the printer with a static IP inside the range of the server (192.168.1.10). Then I go to the server and add in a network printer in the print server setup. This is done by inputting the IP address I gave the pritner. The drivers will then be loaded to the server, and when I sit at my desk and search for network printers it will be found. The drivers will get loaded from the server to the PC autmoatically, and it will be able to print even though the server and printer are not anywhere near each other or directly connected.

Now if you don't have a server then you will just need to get either a JetDirect card (if that printer takes one) or buy a printer with built in network support. Program an IP on the printer itself, and then setup each PC to use that printer via that IP. HP usually ships a CD that you can run to setup the printer on the network after it has an IP address hard coded in.

carrot
10-22-2006, 05:17 PM
He said that it's not a network-ready printer. Dosn't that mean that he can't assign it an IP address or do any network stuff with it at all?

Erik
10-22-2006, 06:09 PM
If he buys a JetDirect card for it (if it can take one) it will work.

Whyzman
10-22-2006, 06:17 PM
It also appears that HP has external JetDirect adapters...

Rick
10-22-2006, 06:20 PM
It ( printer) doesn't list the jetdirect as an option on HP's web site.

A print server unit is the way to go.
Or replace the printer and buy a new network printer ( jetdirect or other brand )

Next color laser printer on HP's list with network built in is twice the money

classicsoftware
10-22-2006, 08:06 PM
A print server is the clear easy and affordable answer. It will take the IP address and the printer will attach to it.

Rick
10-22-2006, 09:19 PM
I agree
But drivers can be an issue

If HP doesn't support attaching the 1600 to a print server jetdirect or other brand.
Like some of the other low priced laser jets
Once connected they only work as emulated or Not at all
So the print server unit may need to support the printer directly and not rely on HP drivers.

Relztrah
10-22-2006, 09:56 PM
I will be taking this printer back and replacing it with a network-ready printer. I stopped by Staples, where the unit was purchased, and spoke with an associate about this situation. Whether or not HP makes a JetDirect card for this model--and the associate wasn't sure--Staples doesn't sell it. A similar printer (I forget the model number) has an Ethernet port built in and is only $60 more than the LaserJet 1600. A JetDirect card or external printer server box would cost that much, and require additional steps to install and configure.

Thanks for your suggestions which convinced me to return to where the unit was purchased, and I'm glad I did.

Relztrah