SUMMARY:Laser Printer Problem

From: Lau, Victoria H (
Date: Sat Mar 25 1995 - 11:52:32 CST

Dear Sun Managers:

As usual, a big THANK YOU to all of you.

I had a tough week first trying to talk to the AMT TracJet III
formfeed laser printer from a SUN 4/600 running OS 4.1.3 through
the serial interface, and now still trying to make it work
through the parallel interface.

I loved all of your valuable suggestions which, even though had not
solved my problem, were very good info to have for my next printer
setup. The problem was due to the length of the cable. I followed the
manufacturer's spec and made sure the length of the cable used did
not exceed the maximum allowable length. I was able to print
approximately two postscript files out of a total of ten jobs that
I submitted to the printer. Some print jobs stayed in the queue
forever without printing! When I changed the cable to a much
shorter one, I was able to print every print job, including those
with multiple postscript 8 gray scale ones.

My original request:
>We have a laser formfeed printer TracJet III by Advanced Matrix
>Technology, Inc., which should be compatible with the HP.
>The printer is hooked up to a SUN Sparc 10 on serial port b, running
>OS 4.1.3.
>I used the following commands to generate a postscript screen dump:
> % xwd -out filename
> % xpr -dev ps filename >
> % lpr -Plpg
>The lpg line in /etc/printcap is as follows:
> lpg:lp=/dev/ttyb:br#9600:ms=cs8,-parity,raw,ixon:mx#0:sh:
>The file sizes vary from 100000 bytes to 2600000 bytes.

>When I sent these files to the printer, the READY light kept
>flashing and sometimes the files were flushed from the printer
>and the print queue. Other times, I had to manaully "lprm" them.
>I checked the User's Manual under "Files Fail to Print." It says
>that the user should issue an end-of-job (04H) before and after
>each file to resolve this problem. Can anybody help me with a
>good printcap line and/or how to send the above code to the

Response from Poul (
(Thanks for the /usr/local/bin/psfilter--we only have the executable
and I always wondered whtat the contents would be--vlau)

Does your printer have enough memory to cope with that large files?

You could try to include a :tr=\004: , restart the printer and then
send 1 file to it. If this works, then you should delete the field
again (as it only works when you have one lonely file in the queue),
and start to write an input filter (an :if=...:is invoked for each
file (what you want), an :of=...: is invoked for each lpr command
(which may specify more PS-files, and that ain't good enough)).
PostScript files does NOT concatenate...


# Untested by:
# ARGS for if:
# [-c] -wwidth -llength -iindent -n login -h host accounting_file
# ARGS for of:
# -wwidth -llength
# ARGS are all ignored here...
# STDIN - data to be printed
# STDOUT - printer
# STDERR - :lf=...:
# exit 0 on success
# 1 if job is to be reprinted
# 2 if job is to be thrown away
/usr/5bin/echo "\004"
cat -
/usr/5bin/echo "\004"
exit 0

Response from --- Truck (Don Lewis)
(I definitely will look for the lprps package--vlau)

If you are only printing Postscript files, then the easiest fix is
to add "ff=^D:tr=^D" to the printcap entry. If you want something
fancier that handles both text files and Postscript, pick up the
lprps package from your nearest comp.sources archive. This package
also notifies you of paper-out and paper-jammed conditions by writing
to the console and mails Postscript errors back to the user.

Response from Glenn Satchell (

Try adding :tr=^D: to the printcap entry. That's a "^" followed by a
"D", not a single control D character.

Response from Chris Habasinski (
(Now I know what they meant by sending a ^D to the printer.

When sending Postscript files to a serial Postscript printer, you
should send four "control d" characters to the printer immediately
prior to the %! at the start of the file. You can use textedit to
add these. This should initialize the serial line correctly prior
to sending the Postscript.

Response from Tim Wort
(I'm ignorant about NeWSprint--could you pls expand on it?
You can't send PostScript to a HP printer unless is PostScript
compatible, I don't beleive the AMT is. Connect it through
NeWSprint as a HP printer or find a conversion program that
will convert the PS file to RTL or HPPCL.

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