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Motorola radio modem/station printer

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ocguard

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If you've read my second most recent post, you'll begin to notice a trend of municipal firefighters "nursing" an antiquated system of components with the know-how they can bring together, and equipment that can be "acquired." This post will be similar.

While this problem mainly revolves around a PRINTER, the hub of the operation is a Motorola VRM, so I'll hope that the good graces of the forum admin and the brain power that never fails will keep this post a success.

Our station printer is connected to a Motorola VRM 800. The printer, upon reciept of a dispatch, prints out the dispatch ticket on one side, and a street map of the associated firebox area on the other side. We have one of the few VRM/printer combos in the city that continue to operate (the city has decided not to support dispatch printing anymore, but the data stream continues to feed our modem).

To make a long story short, the Genicom Microlaser 210 printer that has always been used to print information from the VRM has lost it's battle with the elements of a firehouse.

Our hopes are to take a Xeros Phaser 3600 printer and plug it into the VRM, and keep on plugging. My question is, once I acquire the cable needed to make the connection, will this be a "plug-and-play" operation, will the new printer pick right up where the old one left off? Or will settings within the new printer need to be tweeked to match settings in the old printer. Since there is no PC involved in the process, I'm just not sure if the radio modem will "talk" to the printer in a way where it will be able to operate as situation normal.

As usual, any input is greatly appreciated.
 

Mr_Observer

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May 2, 2007
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The VRM uses a standard RS-232 serial port to connect with DTE usually this means a computer but apparently in this case its a printer. The VRM is capable of operating and affialiating to the network with no DTE attached. You can see this by the lights on the front of the unit. So the printer will need the proper RS-232 settings programed into it at a minnimum this will allow it (the printer) to talk to the modem itself. Additionally there may be software and configuration in the printer that is required to allow the print payload to pass through to the printer. As I am not familler with that printer I couldn't say for sure. If you know the RS-232 settings for the printer you can program them into the VRM with the WINRSS CPS program from Motorola. I would look at the system components that are sending the print job accross the network to better understand what configuration will be required at the modem/printer end.

Hopefully your agencies are in the process of updating to a newer data network because the old RNC based data systems are no longer supported and if yours loses a critical component it could be done for good.


MR_O
 
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