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Old 08-20-04, 11:02 AM   #1
Stacey
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Computer tech question

I have two Win98SE PC's each have an UMAX Astra 610P (Parallel) Scanner attached. On one computer I have the OE data interface cable and everything works fine. The other rig was missing the data interface cable, so I ordered a 25m - 25f Parallel cable from UMAX, which their tech dept insists will work, tho when I run a scanner test I get a connectivity error message. When I swap the data cables between the rigs, the error message moves with the cable. I've also tried a similar cable, obtained locally, and get the same error message. I can understand the likelyhood of one cable being 'bad', but two? UMAX tech says the cable they supplied is identical to the OE cable with regard to the thru-put on the pin-outs. If that's the case, it should work, but it dosen't!


WTF?
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Old 08-20-04, 12:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Stacey
I have two Win98SE PC's each have an UMAX Astra 610P (Parallel) Scanner attached. On one computer I have the OE data interface cable and everything works fine. The other rig was missing the data interface cable, so I ordered a 25m - 25f Parallel cable from UMAX, which their tech dept insists will work, tho when I run a scanner test I get a connectivity error message. When I swap the data cables between the rigs, the error message moves with the cable. I've also tried a similar cable, obtained locally, and get the same error message. I can understand the likelyhood of one cable being 'bad', but two? UMAX tech says the cable they supplied is identical to the OE cable with regard to the thru-put on the pin-outs. If that's the case, it should work, but it dosen't!


WTF?
Stacey,

Your diags are correct! If the problem moves with the cable, it is probably just the wrong pin out on the cable.
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Old 08-20-04, 04:58 PM   #3
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I have always had bad luck with that scanner
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Old 08-20-04, 05:04 PM   #4
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With parallel cables I woudn't trust the original to be wired up 'conventionally'. If you feel like a laugh get a multimeter and check which pin goes to where on the different cables. There may well be a crossover on one or more pairs. Good luck.
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Old 08-20-04, 05:16 PM   #5
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Parallel ports can operate in one of many modes. There's the old slow legacy unidirectional mode (SPP), a faster bidirectional mode and EPP/ECP. Most scanners require EPP/ECP mode but yours may not. Check that first. Most cables are built to high enough tolerance for EPP/ECP. Most moden machines and OSes (Win98SE included) support EPP/ECP. However several things can be amiss. First, check that the parallel port hardware supports EPP/ECP and is configured for in the BIOS. Secondly, check the settings in Win98SE. And thirdly check that the cable is compatible with EPP/ECP. Of course this presumes that the scanner indeed requires EPP/ECP. If it doesn't then you have to reset everything to use SPP. Another thing that may confuse everything is that Win98SE tries to autodetect and sometimes this doesn't always work out because it will guess wrong and configure the parallel port into the wrong mode.
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Old 08-20-04, 05:47 PM   #6
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Stacey,

Your diags are correct! If the problem moves with the cable, it is probably just the wrong pin out on the cable.

That's what I thought, thanks. The bloody tech dood kept trying to tell me it's my system/scanner. No Way!
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Old 08-20-04, 05:51 PM   #7
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I have always had bad luck with that scanner

Odd, mines is a workhorse. 50-100 scans a week... every week. Plus, I love the customizability offered by the VistaScan interface. My biggest complaint is the quartly cleaning when I start to get that vertical yellow stripe.
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Old 08-20-04, 05:56 PM   #8
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Parallel ports can operate in one of many modes. There's the old slow legacy unidirectional mode (SPP), a faster bidirectional mode and EPP/ECP. Most scanners require EPP/ECP mode but yours may not. Check that first. Most cables are built to high enough tolerance for EPP/ECP. Most moden machines and OSes (Win98SE included) support EPP/ECP. However several things can be amiss. First, check that the parallel port hardware supports EPP/ECP and is configured for in the BIOS. Secondly, check the settings in Win98SE. And thirdly check that the cable is compatible with EPP/ECP. Of course this presumes that the scanner indeed requires EPP/ECP. If it doesn't then you have to reset everything to use SPP. Another thing that may confuse everything is that Win98SE tries to autodetect and sometimes this doesn't always work out because it will guess wrong and configure the parallel port into the wrong mode.

Khuon... were you the tech guy I spoke with this morning? Gawd, it's exactly what he said almost word for word... and it didn't work.
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Old 08-20-04, 06:23 PM   #9
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Khuon... were you the tech guy I spoke with this morning? Gawd, it's exactly what he said almost word for word... and it didn't work.
No. I don't work for UMAX but I have dealt with parallel scanner finickiness with my old Plustek scanner. My suggestion would be to try forcing EPP or EPP/ECP. You may need to set this both in the BIOS and Win98SE. Then if that doesn't work, try Bidirectional and then SPP/Standard. Also check that your cable is 1284-compliant. A 1284-compliant cable will support all the various transfer modes.
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Old 08-20-04, 07:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by khuon
No. I don't work for UMAX but I have dealt with parallel scanner finickiness with my old Plustek scanner. My suggestion would be to try forcing EPP or EPP/ECP. You may need to set this both in the BIOS and Win98SE. Then if that doesn't work, try Bidirectional and then SPP/Standard. Also check that your cable is 1284-compliant. A 1284-compliant cable will support all the various transfer modes.
Thanks for the advise. We set the BIOS for EEP this morning, to no avail. Where would I go in Win98SE to set EPP, Bidirectional & SPP/Standard? How can I tell if a cable is 1284 compliant?

I'm not really that computer naive, But it seems like it would be a full time job trying to keep abreast of protocols, standards and other acronyms.
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Old 08-20-04, 07:18 PM   #11
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Thanks for the advise. We set the BIOS for EEP this morning, to no avail. Where would I go in Win98SE to set EPP, Bidirectional & SPP/Standard? How can I tell if a cable is 1284 compliant?
Hmmm... I'm not sure. Probably in the hardware control panel for the printer. I don't have any Win98 machines so I can't really advise. The cable will usually be marked 1284 or EPP/ECP compliant if it is so. Most cable manufacturers do that so they can justify the higher cost.


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I'm not really that computer naive, But it seems like it would be a full time job trying to keep abreast of protocols, standards and other acronyms.
Tell me about it. And while I live in a world of standards, for me, the PC portion of the industry is far from my forte.
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Old 08-20-04, 07:26 PM   #12
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But if the problem moves with the cable and not which scanner or computer it is hooked up to, the odds are it is the cable.. IF the one good cable works with both scanners, I would still bet it is something with the cable.
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Old 08-22-04, 10:57 AM   #13
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Well, after a week of fighting this damn thing, I said FUGGIT! Went to Circut City this morning and bought a new scanner. Epson 2400 that does everything the UMAX did and more. Faster too!

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to throw money at it!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!
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Old 08-22-04, 03:05 PM   #14
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yep....old tech is so hard to work with sometimes. I have an HP scanjet 4p that's jsut gathering dust in my closet...I'm about to just put it in the alley and let the thieves take it.
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Old 08-22-04, 03:50 PM   #15
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yep....old tech is so hard to work with sometimes. I have an HP scanjet 4p that's jsut gathering dust in my closet...I'm about to just put it in the alley and let the thieves take it.
I got you beat. I have an old IBM B/W scanner that I use as a monitor stand. it puts my second monitor at just the exact height as the one on top of the Ultra2's case.

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Old 08-23-04, 06:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Stacey
Well, after a week of fighting this damn thing, I said FUGGIT! Went to Circut City this morning and bought a new scanner. Epson 2400 that does everything the UMAX did and more. Faster too!

Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to throw money at it!

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!
Sell the old one on Ebay.. Someone is always looking for old computer equipment. I met a guy who bought all my old 8 meg sims for 20 bucks..
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Old 08-23-04, 09:47 AM   #17
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Sell the old one on Ebay.. Someone is always looking for old computer equipment. I met a guy who bought all my old 8 meg sims for 20 bucks..
If those were old 60ns 80-pin SIMMS and that guy was someone like me, those memory sticks found themselves a nice new home inside a Cisco 1600 or 2500 class router.
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Old 08-23-04, 09:52 AM   #18
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Heh, I wish I could use my old 4P as a monitor stand, stupid curved tops

On nother note....I do have an old full-height 380MB SCSI srive somewhere....the thing is practically a cinder block for nerds. I need another 9 of them so I can use them to build a bookshelf.
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Old 08-23-04, 09:57 AM   #19
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On nother note....I do have an old full-height 380MB SCSI srive somewhere....the thing is practically a cinder block for nerds. I need another 9 of them so I can use them to build a bookshelf.
I have a bunch of similar 355MB and 650MB full-height Maxtor drives (ca 1990). They were for use in my RS/6000. They each came attached in their own fan tray. Yes, each drive in the RS/6000s had their own fan. The model 530 I have can fit up to five of those suckers internally. Just the fans alone on that beast makes it sound like you're standing in an open ramp area at an airport.
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