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EPC THERMAL PRINTER MOD. 9802


INTRODUCTION


EPC Thermal plotter mod. 9802
EPC Thermal plotter mod. 9802



PRINTER USAGE


The EPC Mod. 9802 was intended as plotter for the Simrad Topas PS018 narrow beam sediment parametric profiler onboard the RV "G.O.SARS".

From the start, the plotter's analog input channel was supposed to be used. This has, however, been hampered by signal interface problems. We now want to investigate if the plotter's digital interface can be used instead.



TEST PATTERN


Click to see larger images.

EPC Test pattern
EPC Test pattern



EPC F.A.T. SOFTWARE


A CD with documentation and test software, including F.A.T. ("Factory Acceptance Test") procedure, is included in the delivery. The test programs are presented from the following menu. Notice the column labelled "FOR MODEL"; we have model 9802 and there are only two programs suitable for this type.

EPC Model 9802 Test Software
EPC Model 9802 Test Software

We use the 9205.exe program, running on a "pure" MSDOS ver. 6.22 machine, invoked by this command:

   c:\>9205 9802

where "9202" is a program parameter. A screenshot of this program, running the F.A.T. (Factory Acceptance Test) procedure:

EPC Model 9802 FAT program
EPC Model 9802 FAT program.

Note: BIOS setting parallel port: MODE = SPP



GEO TOPAS DESKTOP PC: FAULT-FINDING REPORT



TOPAS software version on the WinXP desktop PC used.

Our aim has been to get the EPC to work as printer from Kongsberg-Simrad TOPAS software. We have a WinXP desktop PC dedicated to this purpose. So far we have not managed to operate the EPC from the Topas software.

As there are meny possible error sources, we have tried to eliminate each in turn:

  1. On a separate old MS-DOS maschine we ran the F.A.T. software:
    SUCCESS, which tells us that the EPC and printer cable is OK.
  2. Using the TOPAS desktop PC, we ran the F.A.T. software from a bootable MS-DOS floppy:
    SUCCESS, which tells us that TOPAS desktop parallell port hardware is OK.
  3. On the TOPAS desktop PC, the LPT1 parallell port is set in BIOS to "AT-MODE", which is assumed to be equal to "SPP"-mode ("Standard Parallel Port"); "SPP" is not listed as option (the mode used on the old MS-DOS machine mentioned above.
  4. In WinXP Device Manager, the LPT1 is mentioned as an "ECP Printer Port", which suggests that BIOS settings are ignored from the operatings system level.
  5. TOPAS dektop is running in Admininistrator priveledge level.
  6. On the TOPAS desktop, it's not possible to run the F.A.T. software from a terminal window - there is no longer any contact with the keyboard. (There are only USB inputs on the desktop).
  7. Have tried various settings in Control Panel -> Device Manager -> LPT1 Properties (see section below).



TOPAS desktop PC: BIOS setting for LPT1 parallel port


On the TOPAS desktop PC, the LPT1 parallell port mode is set to "AT-MODE" in BIOS , which is assumed to be equal to "SPP"-mode ("Standard Parallel Port"); "SPP" is not listed as option (the mode used on the old MS-DOS machine mentioned above.


TOPAS desktop PC: BIOS setting for LPT1 parallel port.

TOPAS desktop PC: BIOS setting for LPT1 parallel port.



F.A.T. software in MS-DOS mode runs OK


Click to enlarge
EPC F.A.T. software running OK on GEO TOPAS desktop PC (click to enlarge).
WARNING: USB keyboard plugged into one of USB inputs shown. It can be very difficult to get F.A.T. software recognize keyboard if other USB inputs are used. Would be better if desktop had old-style Mini-DIN keyboard input connector.



TOPAS desktop PC: WinXP Control Panel settings


Click to enlarge
TOPAS desktop PC: WinXP Control Panel settings (click to enlarge).



Topas desktop PC: Attempt to print out from Topas software


Click image to enlarge:

Click to enlarge
Attempt to print out from Topas software, without success. (Click to enlarge).



Attempt to use factory FAT software from WinXP terminal window


This test is not successful - the keyboard will cease to work when software is started.

Click image to enlarge:

Click to enlarge
Attempt to use EPC F.A.T. software from WinXP terminal window - doesn't work: No contact with keyboard. (Click to enlarge.)
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Page last modified on May 15, 2012, at 01:02 PM
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