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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Fried serial port?

Fried serial port?
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Dec 14, 2000, 06:43 PM
My sister-in-law has a Performa 6300CD hooked up to an Apple Stylewriter 2400. She inherited the Performa from me when I upgraded to a G3 a couple of years ago. She's a teacher and still new to the Mac. She only uses it for writing in Claris Works. I am trouble shooting it for her, and I'm stumped! The system has been working fine for years and now suddenly I'm getting an error code that there is a problem with the connection! I thought is was the printer at first but the printer still works-it prints test sheets just fine, but won't print any files at all. Goes through spooling process then says please connect printer! Is it possible that the serial port is broken somehow? I've checked and rechecked all the cables, reinstalled the drivers, the power is fine, cartridges are fine...is there anything else to check? It's running system 8.0. I don't suppose it's worth taking in for fix?? How do you know for sure if the port is broken?
Thanks for your help!
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Join Date: Dec 2000
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Dec 18, 2000, 01:50 PM
I've seen many problems like this. They are usually do to improper setup. The serial ports on the Macs are protected from large signal spikes stemming from pluging devices into the Mac without first powering down or by someone touching the pins of the port releasing static charge. I've seen serial ports fail, however, this is very rare.

Make sure the computer/printer is configured properly. Select the chooser and the 2400 printer icon and make sure the printer is connected to the proper port. Also, I believe that the 2400 is a serial only printer so make sure that AppleTalk is turned off. This can be done in the chooser window or in the AppleTalk control panel. If the 6300CD has Ethernet open the AppleTalk control panel and select the Ethernet port as the port of connection.

I have seen computers which have a bad battery installed continuously loose this information forcing the user to re-setup the printer. The battery can be checked by unplugging the computer for several hours and then plugging the computer back in and rebooting. If the date reverts to January of 1904 (04) the battery is probably bad.

To test the port:
1. Connect the port to a modem.
2. Run a terminal program such as ZTerm (Versiontracker.com)
3. Make sure the connection setup in the program is correct, especially the selected port the modem is connected to.
4. Type "AT" without the quotes and a RETURN and the modem should response with "OK"
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Dec 18, 2000, 06:36 PM
Thanks, I'll try it and let you know what happens!

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