Wireless Network Components – Basics of Any Wireless Network

Client Software and Adapter

Any client computer, laptop or wireless device with a compatible wireless client adapter allows connectivity with an access point. The client adapter is a radio transmitter with firmware that supports any of 802.11a/b/g signaling. That is needed before the device can associate and authenticate with the access point. Some access points have a no client mode that doesn’t allow any association from clients extending network distance. Client wireless software included with the adapter must be implemented with specific Windows platforms. The client adapter will be integrated with the laptop, PCMCIA slot or desktop PCI bus slot. They will support specific wireless standards, antenna characteristics, WiFi certification, WDS, network range and security. The wireless manufacturer software must be implemented for all available features. The following is a list of some client adapter configured settings.

Access Point (AP)

As the name suggests an AP (access point) allows connectivity between the wireless client or wireless device and the wired network. The AP takes wireless data packets from a client and translates them to standard Ethernet data frames before transmitting across the wired network. Standard category 5 twisted pair cabling will connect the AP point Ethernet port with a catalyst switch Ethernet port. The maximum distance between access point and network switch is 100 meters standard with Ethernet design.

WLAN Controllers

Wireless designs with hundreds of root APs on an enterprise network will sometimes deploy wireless LAN controllers. The design specifies lightweight APs connecting to a network switch. The 4404 WLAN controller device acts as a hub connecting 4 network switches supporting 100 access points. Cisco wireless control system (WCS) wireless network management software is sometimes deployed with WLAN controller design for planning, configuring and optimizing the network. Continue Reading


Specifications of the Lexmark X463 Printer and Toner

Choosing which printer is best for you or your business can seem like a minefield. There are so many makes and models out there promising the highest quality and wide variety of functions that it is helpful to do a bit of constructive research. Samsung is a well trusted brand in the technology market and has developed their printers for every customer.

The Lexmark X463 Printer is a strong competitor, it is network ready with 3-in-1 features and a customizable color touch screen. Touch screen is a relatively new technology and can be seen as good or bad in terms of functionality and reliability. It is often seen as more advanced, modern and simple to use however there are the downsides of it being a delicate and sometimes temperamental thing.

The page per minute output of the Lexmark X463 is 40ppm and the replacement toner cartridges boast a high-yield. Each cartridge is able to print up to 9,000 or 15,000 pages. This printer also offers multifunctional aspects such as scanning, copying and duplex printing which is great for customers concerned about saving money and the environment. The multi-use nature of the printer is also great for an eco-friendly workplace as it reduces the need for two other machines and the power to run them (a scanner and copier).

The size of this printer is 20.9 x 19.2 x 17.2 and it weighs 22.7kg. it has an energy star rating that means it runs efficiently, only using an estimated 5.85 kilowatt-hours per week. The maximum printing resolution is 1200 x 1200 dpi (dots per inch) and the standard input capacity of 300 sheets. This means it is most likely appropriate for a smaller office environment as the speed and capacity are around average for this classification of printer.

The quality and the multi-usage compatibility brings it to the top end of the list of competitors. This model eliminates the need to purchase a scanner or copier for an office. However each feature can only be used individually at any one time.

It is important for a business to choose the right printer and the Lexmark X463 might just be that one. The touch screen feature and its intricate laser quality printouts could sway many prospective customers. The 300 sheet input capacity and 40ppm can be productive enough for many offices especially because the eco-friendly aspects as discussed above.

Thermal Printer Series – Tips for Maintaining Thermal Printers

Thermal printers are great at printing bar code labels and tags, but do you have the repair technicians out often to work on the printers? There are some easy to follow tips that can maintain your print quality and maximize the life of the components that wear out like print heads and platen rollers.

Thermal printers are used in many industries and come in many shapes and sizes. From the little desktop units provided by shipping companies like UPS or Fedex to the larger units that can be used as integrated or stand alone printers in packing, warehouse and/or production environments. There are two ways to use thermal printers. Using a thermal printer with an ink ribbon is called “Thermal Transfer” printing. In other words, the printer passes the heat from the print head to a ribbon that melts the ink at a specific temperature and “Transfers” that ink to a media substrate such as a label or tag. The other method is “Direct Thermal” printing. This method does not use a ribbon. To use direct thermal printing, the media (Labels or tags) needs to be direct thermal media. This type of media has a “Thermal Sensitive” chemical coating that turns color at a specific temperature, the most common color being black. The printer passes the heat from the print head “Directly” to the media and it’s the media that changes color in response to the heat of the printer.

Tip 1: Keep the print head clean. Read the operator manual and follow the manufacturers recommendation for cleaning the print head. In general the head should be cleaned with Isopropyl alcohol of at least 70% concentration. For thermal transfer printers the print head should be cleaned when you change the ribbon. For direct thermal printers, the print head should be cleaned when you change the media.

Tip 2: Do not use sharp objects to remove label jams. Thermal printers have a platen roller, that is made of a rubber compound that pushes the media out the front of the printer. This roller also provides counter pressure to the print head so you have even print. If the roller is cut, this soft spot will not print clearly and will show as a repeating faded spot in a label. This might not be a big deal for descriptive labels, but It is very bad for bar coded labels. Also make sure to clean the platen roller with alcohol once a week to avoid build up of residues that might cause problems in the long run or any time you have label adhesive stuck to the roller.

Tip 3: blow away the dust at least once or twice per month. Dust in the air as well as dust on the media will accumulate in the printer over time. The dust build up can cause print quality problems as well as sensor issues. To blow out the printer use a dry source of compressed air. Either a can of air or from a compressor. If you use a can of air, make sure that you don’t spray the liquid of the can in to the printer. This will instantly freeze and cause a moisture build up when it thaws out. If you use a compressor, make sure that there is a moisture trap / filter that will keep moister from spraying out the nozzle. Make sure not to let the dust settle back down in to the printer after blowing it out. It is common to have poor print quality for the first few labels as the dust got blown in to areas that fall on to the labels when printing. It is often a good idea to feed or print a few linear feet worth of media to clear out any remaining loose dust in the printer.

Tip 4: Know the resolution of your printer. 203 “Dots Per Inch” (DPI) is a standard resolution for thermal printers. This resolution is good for larger labels or labels with bar codes of low density. Another common size is 300DPI. This resolution is good for most large to mid size labels with medium bar code density. Some manufacturers make print heads with a resolution of 600DPI or higher. These are good for small labels or bar code labels with high density. As the resolution of the head increases, the replacement cost of the head increases as well. Also, because the higher resolution has more data to process to create the print image. As a result, the maximum print speed usually decreases.

Every manufacturer has some slight differences on user maintenance. I recommend following the instructions listed in the user manual. In the case of not being able to find a user guide or manual, these tips will help maximize the print quality and the life of the wearable parts of a thermal printer.

Is the Lexmark E260 Printer and Toner Reliable For A Fast Paced Business

Choosing a printer for your business is an important decision. The printer is one of the most frequently used items in an office environment and therefore cost, performance and energy saving aspects are essential to evaluate. There are many printers out there competing against each other to be the best for office use. Some are aimed at very small businesses and others at the larger faster-paced office.

The Lexmark E260 is a laser printer and claims to be a desktop printer which means it is much less bulky than many conventional office printers. It offers a 35 page per minute printout rate which is around average for a small office printer, however this printer comes at a much lower price than some of its competitors.

35 pages per minute is arguably a little slow for a fast paced business but as printing Is the machines only function it can be appropriate for a small busy office. The Lexmark E260 is durable for an office environment. Its monthly duty cycle can be up to 50,000 pages which is a large number for a lot of offices.

This printer is also ultra-quiet and a second paper drawer can be added for higher volume usage. This makes it a somewhat flexible choice for a business. The Lexmark E260 does not skimp on quality. It prints at a maximum resolution of 1200 x 1200 dots per inch. This is a high enough quality for intricate graphics and fine text.

This particular printer is monochrome and therefore ideal for money saving work environments where mostly text documents are needed. The toner for this printer outputs a 30,000 page yield, a decent amount for an office printer although if the printer is being used at maximum capacity this technically means that a replacement is needed at least once a month.

A positive aspect of the toner for this printer is its recycle policy. It is possible for Lexmark customers to return their used cartridges and for them to be recycled free of charge. This is helpful for the environment and at no extra cost for the business. The toner has a shelf life of 2 years and comes in black.

As far as a desktop printer goes, the Lexmark E260 is a high performer. It is small in size, produces a decent output and is simple to use. However a busy office may find it slightly too slow and durable. In terms of saving money on price however it is hard to beat.

The Inkjet Printer: An Entrepreneur’s Best Friend

When it comes to the office or home office, inkjet printers are one of the most useful tools to be had for any small business owner or entrepreneur.

How do they Work?

Inkjet printers use a stream of ink which is sprayed on to the paper. The jet of ink causes tiny drops of ink or spots which come together to make images or text. Color inkjet printers combine the colors in different ways to make up sharp, high definition images and photos with no effort at all.

Benefits for Small Business Owners

Inkjet printers possess many features which benefit the small business and home office:

  • Low cost – This particular form of printer can be purchased for under $200. Cartridges are also reasonably inexpensive.
  • Wireless – With a wireless printer that uses Wi-Fi, many computers can use the same printer, cutting back on costs again for the office.
  • Good all-rounder – the inkjet printer has the ability to print high quality images and text, meaning that the same printer can be used to supply all the printing needs that would be expected of a small business such as documents, graphics, business cards etc.
  • Small size – The compact size of the printers mean that even the smallest of office spaces can accommodate the printer.
  • Multifunction – Scanning, photocopying and faxing are all available functions with the inkjet printer. It is literally a one-stop shop for all business needs, saving on space and money without compromising on functionality for the small business owner.

For the entrepreneur, it is vital that they are able to produce professional looking prints in order to showcase their talents, whether they need text documents or graphic designs. The inkjet printer can meet the demands of many types of businesses from admin based tasks to more specialized design tasks. The low cost aspect of the printer’s make them ideal for fledgling businesses that cannot afford to spend hundreds of dollars on multiple machines such as printers, fax machines and photocopiers.

Overall Costs

Although the printer’s themselves are cheap, and the ink cartridges do not look expensive at first glance, many people are of the opinion that it can be expensive to keep replacing the cartridges which may not print quite so many pages as one might like for the money that they cost. That being said, compared to the price of laser printers which do not quite provide the same quality of work and are more expensive than the inkjet printer, they are ideal for low to medium sized print orders.

Tips for Saving

There are a number of ways to further reduce the costs of the inkjet printer:

  • Make use of features – Using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi features effectively will help to save money.
  • Cartridges – There are a number of different options available when it comes to new ink cartridges. Refill packs can be bought or even recycled cartridges. When considering different ink cartridge options it is better to look at the operator’s instructions. Using the wrong kind of cartridges in a printer may break the warranty.
  • Be vigilant – Check and double check all work before printing. Pointless duplicate prints cost money for no reason.

Printer Not Responding – The Solutions to Printer Not Working Problem

Printer is not responding? It is a common problem that many people have dealt with. Although you have followed some guides to troubleshoot it, you might not successfully resolve the problem. This article is to tell the real causes of the “Printer Not Working” problem and how to resolve it for good.

If you plug your printer to a USB port and there is not a green icon showing in the taskbar indicating a device was connected, you can plug it to other ports and see if it is detected. If there is still no icon, it is probably that your USB driver is corrupt or outdated. USB driver is not used by Windows system for recognizing USB devices like printer, scanner, camera and so on.

If it is corrupt or outdated, your system will have difficulty in detecting a device and there will be no any icon shows in the taskbar. That is one of the common causes of “Printer Not Responding” problem. In this case, to fix the problem, you only need to update your USB driver.

In another case, if you get an error message “USB Device Not Recognized” when you attach your printer to your computer, the problem must be caused by the printer driver error. Firstly, you should check if your printer driver is installed properly. Unsuccessful driver installation will lead to your printer not be able to work properly. And if the printer driver is outdated or damaged, your printer will not respond too.

To fix the problem that cause by the driver error, you should check the model of your printer, download and install the latest version on your computer. The printer problems that stem from out-of-date or corrupt driver software can be solved by installing or reinstalling the latest driver.

Troubleshooting Your Non-Printing Printer – Five Things to Check

Has your printer stopped printing? This always seems to happen as you try to print the boarding pass for your Caribbean cruise. Please try these five checks first before you kill your printer.

Several things can fix printing. Some are easy simple checks and others are more complicated. This article presents the five things you can do to repair printing. After that, you are free to get a hammer, take out your frustration on your device, and buy a new cheaper one. We begin here with a simple easy checks and then progress to the more complex issues to resolve.

Check 1: Printing devices must be powered-on to print. Please make sure that the power is turned on and that the power-on light is lighted. At this time it is best to make sure that all cables are plugged into the device and that there are no error indicators lighted. A quick check of the paper tray and paper hopper is in order as well. These should have a sufficient supply of fresh paper in them.

Check 2: Please make sure that you are using the printer you are expecting. To verify this when using Microsoft® Word, please click on the upper left menu item “File” and then “Print” from the drop down menu. This reveals the printing panel to the right of the drop-down menu. In the printing panel on the upper left is the print button. Immediately below that the printer is identified. If the name of this device is not the printer you are expecting to use, there is a triangle pointing down on the right-hand side. Clicking on this triangle reveals a drop-down list of printers to which your computer can send the document for printing. Please make sure you have selected the printer that you expect. There are similar selections another computer programs that permit you to verify and to select the printer you wish to use.

You can print on a different printer as a test. When the document prints on the other printer, your printer has the problem. This helps you identify precisely the problem hardware and software components.

Check 3: Please verify that the documents waiting to print are not stopped. When a printer encounters any problem printing a document, it just stops printing. Any document that is subsequently sent to the printer cannot be printed until the previous document is completely printed.

Printers print one document at a time. This is similar to cows crossing a stream. If the first cow comes the stream and does not cross, all remaining cows wait in line to cross the stream behind the first cow. If the first cow does cross the stream, the other cows follow. When one of the other cows refuses across the stream, the cows following it stop and do not cross the stream.

Similarly, printers print all documents in the order that they are sent to the printer. If the ink runs out, if there is a paper the error, or if there is some other malfunction that stops a document from printing, that document and all remaining documents stop printing. After the error is corrected, the document may or may not automatically start printing. Sometimes you must restart the document printing for that document and subsequent documents to print.

The printer document waiting line on Windows 7® is found by clicking on the “Start” button and opening “Devices and Printers”. In the “Devices and Printers” window you select the printer you are using. Clicking the right mouse button opens a pop-up menu from which you select “See what’s printing”. This opens the printer queue. If there are no documents listed, then Windows® believes that all documents have been sent to the printer and printed.

Sometimes a printer is set to work offline. In this event nothing can print because the device is offline. When a printer icon is colored light grey, the printer is likely set offline. In the “See what’s printing” window, clicking on the “Printer” menu item produces a drop down menu. The “Use Printer Offline” selection appears about three lines from the bottom of this menu. Since Windows 7® is context sensitive and displays only the possible menu selections appropriate, the “Use Printer Offline” menu selection is often not visible. To place the device online, please un-check the “Use Printer Offline” menu item.

Check 4: Many printing problems are caused by the loss of connection between the computer and the printer. To check the printer connection on Windows 7® you again click on the “Start” button and open “Devices and Printers”. In the devices and printers window you select the printer you are using, click the right mouse button to open a pop-up menu, and you select “Printer properties”. The printer properties window should open on the “General” tab. In the lower right should be the “Print Test Page” button. Clicking on this button is a quick way to test whether the computer is connected to the printer. It should immediately print a test page on the printer. If it does not print a test page, then the link to the printer may not be functioning properly.

To verify the computer’s connection to the printer you select the “Ports” tab. The “Ports” tab identifies the port that connects the computer to the printer. When the printer is connected by a USB cable to the computer, the port label identifies a USB port. Sometimes unplugging a USB cable and plugging it into a different USB port re-establishes the connection between the computer and the printer.

Driver programs connecting Windows to the printer port may not be functioning properly with Windows. In this case reinstalling the latest printer driver programs can resolve this issue. The driver programs must typically match exactly the version of Windows on the computer. Often separate driver programs are used for the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows®. The latest driver programs are found at the printer manufacturer’s website.

If the printer is a network printer, a standard TCP/IP port is checked. A TCP/IP port connection can be broken when the incorrect printer IP address is used. To reconnect the printer to the computer, make sure that the IP address on the computer is the same as the IP address assigned to the printer. When the printer is a wireless printer, verifying the connection becomes more difficult. Similar to any other network connected printer, a wireless printer must have the IP address match the address used by the TCP/IP port on the computer.

Sometimes the printer may be identified by name and not by IP address. If the name is correct, a test page should print on the printer. When a test page does not print, the most direct resolution of the problem may be re-installation of the printer. This would require the original printer installation CDs or a download of the installation software from the printer manufacturer’s website.

Check 5: Wireless printers often lose their connections to the network. This can be verified by going to the printer and selecting from the printer menus a print out of the network configuration. An alternate test is to use a different computer to print a test page to the wireless printer.

When a wireless printer has lost its connection to the network, the simplest and most direct solution may be to reinstall the wireless printer on the network. This again would require an installation CD or a download of the installation software from the manufacturer’s website. Wireless printer installation differs from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some printers require an active USB connection into the printer to complete wireless network installation. Other printers can be installed without such a USB connection. Wireless installation requires knowing the network key or password. Sometimes the latest Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) security must be used for the printer to connect into the wireless network. The older Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) does not permit some printers to connect to the network properly.

Performing these five checks should at the very least identify where the problem lies. You should be able to then zero-in on the root of the problem.

If a printing problem is caused by physical damage, it is not cost-effective to repair the printer. In this case it is best to get out a big hammer and take out all your pent-up frustration on the device. Next go to the store and buy a newer, faster, and better one.