The interface is how the host generating the print job
communicates with the printer. It’s important to know how you intend to connect to the host so
you can make sure the printer has the appropriate interface installed ahead of time.
As a general I/O
port, an IEEE 1284 parallel port is a simple, efficient
choice. With parallel printers, graphical data and even
large amounts of non-graphical data can be handled without
buffer overflow or information loss. This method supports
the transfer of more data at a faster speed than the older
RS-232 serial standard.
communication may have limited transfer speed, but it’s
still a reliable method of communicating with a peripheral
device. Serial communication will often suffice when
printing simple receipts without graphics. Graphical
printing is better suited to IEEE 1284 or USB communication
Serial is limited to about fifty
feet, while parallel is limited to about fifteen feet. USB allows you to
connect up to 127 devices to a single PC from as far as 82 feet away. USB
version 1.0 offered data transfer rates between 1.5-12 megabits per second
(Mbps). The recently introduced “Hi-Speed USB” available in USB version 2.0
offers data transfer speeds of 430 Mbps.
Ethernet has become the most common
method for connecting thermal printers.
With this method, the printer serves as an actual device on the network,
complete with its own IP address.
Putting the printer on the network eliminates many of the limitations of other
Modern ethernet is significantly faster than serial or parallel, and with a
maximum cable length of 328 feet (100 meters),
the printer is free to be placed wherever it’s needed. As a network device, the
printer is also available to any host on your network,
so long as they have the right permissions.
Taking it one step further, the
printer can be fitted with a wireless network interface. This allows the printer
to connect to an existing 802.11 wireless network. This is very useful for
printers that are used at different stations (rolling cart, for example) or
printers utilized at locations where running cables would be
The RS-422 and RS-485 serial
interfaces were the standard for connecting multiple devices
over long distances. There are still a few high-end printers that support
Coaxial and twinaxial cables, also
known as coax and twinax cables, are military-spec cables used for transmitting
data. Coax cables are versatile and work best for low-frequency signals, such as
radiofrequency. Twinax cables provide a clearer, better protected signal due to
having two conductors, but require short range and high speed.
For more information or to discuss your project, Contact Us or call 888-237-8525.