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Host Based Printer Conversions: From EBCDIC Coax (3270) Or EBCDIC Twinax (5250) To Ethernet/TCP/IP


Host Based Printer Conversions: From EBCDIC Coax (3270) Or EBCDIC Twinax (5250) To Ethernet/TCP/IP. Many thousands of printers are installed via cluster controllers (3274, 3174, 5394, 5494, etc.) because of the host application reliance on SNA. Users looking for cost-effective solutions are stymied by:
  1. Expensive (+) external conversion options(1)
  2. Expensive recapitalization required to replace all existing coax or twinax equipment(2)
  3. Changes necessary to the host print jobs to print correctly to ASCII based printers
  4. Complications regarding remote configuration and support of Ethernet/IP attached devices
  5. Too many varieties of potential solutions (no "universal" solution)
We have successfully solved these major obstacles.

Impact printers(3) , because of their efficiency as slave devices pose limitations over laser printers which bring into play two distinct issues with regard to printing from mainframe (3270) and midrange (5250, AS/400) hosts:

  1. conversion of topology to TCP/IP over Ethernet
  2. conversion of protocol to ASCII
Host jobs that correctly address impact printers in, say, a coax (3270) environment may often not print correctly when making conversions from host based print output to Ethernet LAN/WAN-based printing.

Print jobs generated at the host system (AS/400 or S/390) handle print jobs differently than PC-based systems. Conversion from host-generated reports to LAN- and IP-based resources and protocols may actually be a step down in performance and report control. Report headers used for print control and setup configuration must either:

  1. be stripped down to ASCII in order to be correctly printed to a non-host-based impact printer, or
  2. be re-interpreted at the slave printer in order to print correctly at the destination device, or,
  3. be generated as an ASCII job at the source.
The last item creates significant complications: In order to print correctly in an ASCII environment, changes must be made which will cause existing applications to print incorrectly. That is, unless you can change all the printers, you cant change any or them.

When sending a print job to an impact printer via IP, one may inadvertently sacrifice the great benefits of host controlled print characteristics. For example, part of the data stream in an Advanced Function Print (AFP) are control codes which set the proper print characteristics on the printer (16.7 characters-per-inch, portrait, etc.). Managing report outputs to 20 locations makes these types of control imperative. Can you imagine each user having to make sure his printer was set up correctly receive each different report? It is clearly an important long-term factor when evaluating print strategies.

Our line of conversion devices allow your current host-based impact printers to function correctly without changes to your applications. Host jobs can remain unaffected while the print streams print correctly to your converted (IP-addressable ethernet-attachable) devices.

Virtually any coax or twinax can be quickly and easily converted to run correctly over Ethernet/TCP.

Impact printers supported include:

  • IBM 3268
  • IBM 3287
  • IBM 4214
  • IBM 4224
  • IBM 4230
  • IBM 4245
  • IBM 4247
  • IBM 4248
  • IBM 5224
  • IBM 5225
  • IBM 5256
  • IBM 6252
  • IBM 6262
  • IBM 6400
  • IBM 6408
  • IBM 6412
  • Printronix
  • Memorex-Telex
  • Genicom
  • Tally
Features include:
  • Easy configuration
  • Static IP configurable
  • Web configuration
  • HP JetAdmin compatible
  • HP JetDirect compatible
  • DHCP
  • Telnet
  • ARP
  • IPDS pass-through
  • SNMP
The same technologies can be used as internal or external solutions with prices ranging from -
(1) If prices to convert desktop printers hover around many users find that they cannot justify the cost of the conversion. Our solutions are much less expensive.
(2) Any other impact printer of comparable durabilty and speed will cost at least as much as the expensive conversions already considered. (For example, IBM 4232-302 with external ethernet connection to this ASCII device has a list price of over Other examples are similar)
(3) Laser printers can handle the conversions easier because of the existence of EBCDIC to PCL conversion protocols in software or hardware, which take advantage of the processing power inherent in most modern laser printers.