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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Long Distance Printer Connection

Long Distance Printer Connection
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ltlredwagon
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Jan 10, 2021, 03:14 PM
 
Just to say in advance: I have no WiFi in my house, don't want it. Everything is wired.

Old System -- no problem, printer shows up fine and works. Internet connection is great.
1. Canon Photo printer and ethernet cable (with USB adapter) connected to...
2. Powered USB 3.0 hub connected to...
3. 20 foot active extension repeater cable connected to...
4. 2013 MacBook pro running Sierra.

New System -- problem: Internet works great -- BUT  printer does NOT show up, is "offline":
1. Canon Photo printer and ethernet cable (with adapter) connected to...
2. Powered USB 3.0 hub connected to...
3. 20 foot active extension repeater cable connected to...
   4. New "Hyper Drive" (Best Buy) USB-C hub connected to...
   5. New 2019 16" Macbook Pro running Catalina

So with the new system, the internet connection (with ethernet to USB adapter) is perfect over the 20 foot connection. But the printer does not show up. If I move the printer next to the Mac and plug the 6 foot printer USB cable directly into the USB-C hub, it's fine. But over the distance -- with the additional USB-C hub -- the printer does not show up. The USB-C world is new to me. Not sure why the USB-C hub is ok with plugging the 6 foot printer cable directly in, but doesn't seem to accept the long distance connection.  

Am I just doing something wrong?  Is there a different type of USB-C hub that will work fine?  Appreciate any comments.
     
reader50
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Jan 10, 2021, 04:02 PM
 
Two changes caught my attention.
• OS change from Sierra to Catalina. Later OSs can drop older drivers.
• You're now passing through two hubs, rather than one.

It sounds like you're using the Ethernet jack on your printer. Any chance you can run a long ethernet cable directly from printer to MBP docking adapter, skipping the two hubs?
     
ghporter
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Jan 10, 2021, 07:37 PM
 
I agree; try to run an Ethernet cable all the way to the printer. My Canon laser printer is connected to my network switch and it runs fine. Edit to add: Ethernet is spec’d for 100 meter runs. If you have to run farther than that (and I doubt it if you were using a USB adapter), then you’d need a switch/repeater gadget in there somewhere. End of edit.

Also, which specific photo printer are you using? My trusty Pixma MX310 inkjet is my photo printer, but nobody has “current” drivers for it. It’s looking like I need to fall back on the CUPS community to run it. (It runs fine on my Linux machine, so hopefully there’s a CUPS driver that works with OS X Mojave.

One other issue: Canon’s network printer drivers sometimes don’t play especially nice. I’d make sure you downloaded the latest drivers directly from Canon, and install the printer over again. Clearly the hardware isn’t the issue, since your USB/Ethernet hook up worked before (though all Ethernet is better), and drivers for Catalina may not be any different from High Sierra, but reinstalling the drivers from scratch may be needed anyway.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ltlredwagon  (op)
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Jan 10, 2021, 09:24 PM
 
Thanks reader and gh. Much appreciated. Looks like ethernet is the way to go. Let me give that a shot.
     
ltlredwagon  (op)
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Jan 14, 2021, 08:33 PM
 
FWIW, thought I would offer an update. I took out the second hub, the "Hyper-drive". I put a USB-C to USB-A female adapter on the end of the 20 ft. USB active cable. So now I have 2 printers (the Canon and Epson 3880) and internet which are all working fine. I also got a USB-C monitor, which is charging the Mac, so no need for a separate power adapter for the Mac, which frees up another USB-C port. (Actually I still have the multi-port "Hyper-drive" - I use it only for a wired mouse and 2 ext. USB-C hard drives.)
     
ltlredwagon  (op)
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Jan 15, 2021, 08:29 PM
 
Fail! My solution is not stable. So I gather that an ethernet connection of some sort is the way to go, but I don’t know anything about how to do this (and I’m not too tech savvy to begin with). So.... I have a CAT6 cable that runs from a modem/router 80 feet underground to an outside office. Unfortunately the office is set up necessarily with 2 printers on one end, where the CAT6 cable enters the room, and the MacBook Pro is about 20 feet away on the other end of the room. So I need to connect these three items (CAT6 IN from modem, printer #1, printer #2) to some sort of device (?) and then a CAT6 cable runs out of this device and over to the computer...where I'm guessing I use an RJ45 female to USB-C male adapter. Is that the basic idea, or am I way off? I just don't know what sort of device I plug the 3 items into. Sorry if I've got this all wrong. By the way, FWIW, I also posted over at MacRumours where I was able to upload a diagram. https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...ction.2279620/
     
ltlredwagon  (op)
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Jan 15, 2021, 08:40 PM
 
Fail!! My connection is not stable. I gather that an ethernet connection is the way to go, but I don't know exactly what hardware I need (and I'm not too tech savvy to begin with). So...I have an CAT6 cable that runs from a modem/router 80 feet underground to an outside office. The arrangement is not great but can't be changed without great effort -- the CAT6 cable enters the room on one end, where there are 2 printers -- and the new MacBook Pro is 20 feet away on the other end. So, I need to connect 3 items (CAT6 cable from router, printer#2, printer#2) to some device, and then I run ethernet cable OUT of that device over to the computer. Is that right, or do I have it all wrong? By the way, FWIW, I also posted at MacRumours where I was allowed to post a diagram.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads...ction.2279620/
     
andi*pandi
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Jan 15, 2021, 08:41 PM
 
ethernet hub? is that a thing?
     
reader50
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Jan 15, 2021, 09:09 PM
 
You can post diagrams here too, we just don't host the images. The usual solution is to use an image-hosting service (like imgur), then post the pic.

Wired ethernet to everything is usually a solid solution. It got harder when Apple stopped including an ethernet jack on new notebooks. Also, it helps if your printer(s) have ethernet jacks. So you don't have to use adapters. Every adapter is a potential fail point.
     
ltlredwagon  (op)
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Jan 15, 2021, 10:50 PM
 
Thanks reader. Didn't know about imgur. Will use that in future. So...wired ethernet. Then I guess I need a 4-in, 1 out ethernet hub of some sort going to the computer. One printer does have ethernet jack. I'll look into what device would work.
     
reader50
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Jan 15, 2021, 10:55 PM
 
If a USB printer is connected (via USB) to another Mac, on that Mac go to:
System Preferences -> Printers & Scanners -> (select that printer) -> Check the box [x] Share this printer on the network

Other Macs will be able to see that USB printer. I haven't tested with PCs on the same network. But at least for Macs, it's an easy way to make a USB printer visible over the network. Without an adapter.
     
ghporter
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Jan 16, 2021, 11:29 AM
 
I still believe that for the Ethernet printer, a fully Ethernet connection is what you need.

And you want an Ethernet SWITCH, not a hub. While it does require power, a switch actively switches data between its ports, and unlike a hub, the data coming is actively “repeated,” which is to say that there is no degradation of the packets. Switches are inherently more efficient, and can provide faster data communication among all connected devices.

Hubs tend to be cheaper because they can be simpler, but that also usually means that they’re not as rigorously designed. I’ve seen a 4-port hub become swamped by traffic simply because all of the devices were downloading graphics at the same time. Even at full rated speed, a switch won’t be overtaxed by every device connected to it working at the same time. I’m pretty sure that USB hubs have similar limits, unless you spend Big Buck$.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
ltlredwagon  (op)
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Jan 16, 2021, 01:55 PM
 
Thanks very much gh. So #5 is an ethernet switch. Let me try that. I know they make a USB-A female to RJ45 male adapter, so I might as well try that for the other printer and scanner while I’m at it.
     
   
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