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Print Serving

As tends to be the case with integrated print servers, the visibility and control over the AP's built-in print server is very basic. The USB page will only show you information about the printer(s) that you attach. For example, attaching my Epson C80 resulting in the following display:

MFG:EPSON;CMD:ESCPL2,BDC,D4;MDL:Stylus C80;CLS:PRINTER;DES:EPSON Stylus C80;

But you don't get any info about the printer's actual status, nor can you kill any pending or in-process print jobs from the AP's interface. The Printer Test Page button on the USB page is also inviting, but clicking any of the three test type buttons on the page it brings up will only result in error messages. Belkin says they're aware of the problem and working on a fix, but didn't give me a time frame for its availability.

I had a difficult time getting the Print server to work. I tried it via a Belkin F8T003 Bluetooth USB adapter that I first installed on a Win98SE machine, then later on a laptop running WinXP Home.

Tip TIP: Bluetooth access to the Print Server requires that your Bluetooth client support the Serial Port profile.

After multiple attempts to print on both machines, I put in a call to Belkin Tech Support late on a Friday afternoon. The tech who answered my call was very helpful, and even tried to gather material together to try to duplicate my problem. But after he wasn't able to lay his hands on what he needed, I thanked him and went back to hammering at the problem myself.

The following Monday, I received a call from a tech who was more familiar with the product, and once again tried to get things going. This time, after a machine lockup and reboot, I was able to successfully print, but at very slow speed. The tech offered to replace the AP and check out the one I had upon its return, but I had run out of time to spend trying to debug the problem.

The Belkin tech said she'd personally successfully tested the AP's print server with a number of Epson and HP printers, so I hope that your experience goes more smoothly than mine. If it doesn't, try disabling bi-directional printing features in your printer's Windows properties and, if you can, killing any special printer utilities that your printer's install software might have insisted on installing.

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