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DataPro International Inc.

Parallel Printer Auto Switch

> Parallel Electronics
Parallel Printer Auto Switch

This product allows multiple CPUs to share one parallel printer (or other parallel device) without the need for manual selection or sharing.  

3220-402   Auto Switch Parallel IEEE-1284   4:2 $ 99.00   4 in stock   Add to Cart

The 3220-series Auto Parallel Switches are electronic data switches which support Bi-Directional Centronics Parallel data transmission, including IEEE-1284 "nibble" mode.

This product allows multiple CPUs to share one parallel printer (or other parallel device) without the need for manual selection or sharing.

Automatic input selection is on a first-come, first-served basis.  When one user  is finished printing, the auto-switch waits for a period of time (adjustable from 5-60 seconds), then reverts to polling all input ports for activity.

Special Note for Really Really Really Old Computers:
Most Bi-Tronics (BiDirectional) auto switches support the two drivers HP LaserJet 5 provides, "Explorer" (under DOS) and "Status Window" (under Windows 3.1), but are not suitable to work in these two drivers.

In the old version of Explorer (provided with HP LaserJet 4), the user has to request the printer status manually.  In the HP 5 version of Explorer and in Status Window, however, the  CPU requests the printer status automatically whenever it is free; in case any odd situation occurs in the printer, it is shown on the monitor right away.

If the 3220 Parallel Auto-Switch unit is in use with the new version of Explorer or Status Window environment, two unexpected incidents will occur:

  1. When one PC is requesting the printer status, the        printer is occupied for about one second.  In the       meantime, if another PC attempts to request the       printer status, its request will not be accepted.       Because this request is automatically performed by       the CPU, it will often happen that while a user is       using applications other than Explorer or Status       Window, the user will surprisingly get a message       on the monitor saying that the printer is offline       or that the cable is disconnected.
  2. When one PC is sending its print job, it occupies       the printer for a time.  The other PC then gets a       message on the monitor saying that the printer is       off, or offline, or that the cable is disconnected.

The 3220 does support Explorer and Status Window, but the above two situations are unavoidable when either of these are active.  Therefore, to avoid being disturbed by these messages, we suggest you use the switch in applications other than the newest versions of Explorer and Status Window.

To disable Explorer, comment out the STAT command in the autoexec.bat file.

To disable Status Window, close the Status Window  application when in Windows.

Related Products:


  • Dual Channel
  • Full IEEE1284 compatible


  • Transfer rate of 2Mbps

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