How to connect an Epson Serial Printer
Installing and Setting the
Connect-It Serial Adapter
Install the Connect-It serial adapter into the Epson TM series printer
The adapter can replace the existing adapter and
is held in place by 2 screws.
Finding the Right Cable
The most common problem we've had with serial adapters and printers isn't the
printer at all - it's the cable! There's a wide variety of connection
schemes used to connect a serial printer. The most common is the null modem type
connection where the transmit and received lines are crossed. Epson also
recommends crossing the DTR with the DSR and the CTS with the RTS lines.
Very often the
printer is attached using a internally wired adapter which converts the DB-25 connector to
a phone type (RJ-11) connector. The connections can be wired inside the housing for
custom wiring options.
Note: The DB-25 cable connector
on the printer is a serial connection while the serial interface
connection on the
back of most computers is not a DB-25 connector but a DB-9 male. The DB-25 connectors commonly
found on the back of computers is the parallel interface. This is confusing, but
it's the way it is.
Epson's recommended serial Connection cabling:
We commonly use the
following 'Null Modem' arrangement with good results:
D-Sub 25 (TM)
Tip: If unsure on which cable to
use, first try a standard Null Modem cable.
Getting Initial Printer and
Connect-it Adapter Settings - the Self Test
Print the initial settings of the serial adapter by running the self test. Run the printer self test
by holding down
the feed button while turning on the printer. The printer will print a list of
initial settings including baud rate, data bits, parity, stop bit, flow control
These values will be needed when configuring the serial port in Windows.
Configuring the Computer
Check the POS application to determine what the port settings
should be on the computer. The POS application and the printer must have the
same baud rate, data bits, parity, stop bit for the printer to print legibly.
Also the handshaking must be set the same for the printer to print at all.
You can change the interface settings of the printer using the
switches on the underside of the printer. See the
support page for the model of printer you are using for specific switch
Verify the port you are using by checking the port in the Device
Manager under the System applet in the Windows Control Panel.
Installing the Device Drivers
To obtain the latest Device
Drivers from Epson:
Download and Install Epson’s
drivers available from
Click on TECHNICAL RESOURCES
Select the printer model under the menu
Click the download
drivers on the printer page
installation instructions, click here.
Configuring the Printer in
First off, it should be said that the serial printer is not Windows plug and play
You need to make a few changes in the printer settings in Windows to get it to work
with the serial adapter. Specifically you need to configure the serial port you are
using to connect with the printer.
|Installing the Epson Printer Drivers
Unpacking the Drivers
|After downloading the driver installer
from Epson, the drivers need to be unpacked before the installer can
Starting the Installation
|The installer walks you through
selecting the model and interface you are installing drivers for in
Add the Serial Printer
|Press the 'Add' button to add the new
printer to Windows.
Selecting the Printer and the Printer Port
|Choose the Epson model of the printer
installed from the pull-down menu and choose the type of interface in
use (Serial) for the port type.
Setting the Port Settings for the printer
|Insert the baud, bits, flow control
and parity settings from the printer obtained in the
Self Test, above. Also select the number of the
COM port on the computer connected to the printer.
Installing the Driver Files
|The installer will summarize the
drivers selected. You can back up and change the driver here, if
Completing the Driver Installation
|The drivers will now be installed with
the model and port selected.
|This completes the installation of the
Epson printer drivers.
Checking the Driver
Installation in Windows
Open the printer in the Windows Printer Folder. Select the Ports Tab.
Turn off bidirectional support, if experiencing problems printing.
You can try selecting the serial port in use (COM4
in the above example).
Press the 'Configure Port' button to open the properties screen.
Enter the same settings as were printed out in the adapter self-test.
We recommend that you run off the 'bidirectional printing' option on the Ports
Installing the Printer Driver
After installing the drivers, the printer should be visible in the printers folder of the Windows Control
Testing the Printer
You should now be ready to test the printer by printing some text or by pressing
the "Print Test Page" button in the General Tab of the printer properties.
If the printer fails to print the
test page then check:
Power cable is installed and
the printer is turned on
Data cable is installed on the
printer and the computer
Port settings are set the same
on the printer (from the Self Test) and in Windows
The COM port selected in
Windows is correct
The data cable has the right
configuration for the printer and computer in use. Using the wrong data
cable is the most common problem with new installations. The printer
will fail to print unless the cable is compatible.
Utilities to Run
on the Computer
You can verify connectivity by
running the Epson Flash utility.
Epson Flash Utility
The Epson Flash Utility is normally
installed along with the Epson printer drives. It is used to upload bitmaps to Epson
printers, but has a simple communication test which can check for basic
connectivity between the computer and the printer. Pressing the "Comm. Test"
button on the Setup tab of the utility will give a go/no-go indication of basic connectivity.
Running the TMNet configuration
utility on the Computer
The TMNet network utility is not compatible with the serial interface.
Connectivity Problems, never printed
The data cable is incorrect. Typically serial printers need
to use a Null Modem serial cable.
This cable is not straight through - it crosses transmit and receive lines.
The Epson printer driver has not been installed for the
serial adapter and printer in use. Check the cable is plugged into a serial
(COM) port on the computer side. On the computer side this is typically a
D-shaped connector with 9-pins.
The printer or the interface card is defective. Confirm
printer operation with self-test. Confirm interface
card by swapping with another interface card or printer.
The interface settings are not the same on both the printer
and computer. Run the printer self test to show the
current settings on the printer. Check the computer side to see that
settings are the same. Settings can be changed on the printer using
the DIP switches.
The printer selected in the software is not correct or the
software doesn't support the printer in use.
No longer prints
The TM printer is turned off. Turn on the TM printer.
Confirm the connection of the power supply unit or the voltage of the
The TM printer is offline. Turn the TM printer online.
The ERROR LED of the TM printer is on or flashing.
Remove the error cause.
The printing port of the driver on the computer side
is not specified correctly. Confirm the driver setting on the computer side.
The printer is not online in Windows. Check the status of
the printer in the Windows Control Panel, the printer should show status as
ready. Tip: try stopping and restarting the Print Spooler from
the Services applet of the Control Panel.
Printing is slow
Need some help? Try our Epson printer test utility