HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by Scooby Do » Thu, 29 Jan 2004 08:33:24

Another day, another question. I really appreciate the help I've been
getting in this group and in comp.sys.mac.system. Way to go!

Here's today's conundrum.

I've got a sturdy ol' HP Laserjet 4M with plenty of life left in it. It
still kicks out great 600 DPI black and white printouts, and one
cartridge seems to last forever. So, I'd like to keep it going as long
as possible.

I recently got a new G4 1.25 single Mac and in order to be able to use
the G4 with the 4M I had to do a bit of adapting. I've got two Macs in
my study (the other one is an old PowerCenter clone) and they were both
networked to the 4M via PhoneNet. In order to get that to work with the
G4 I bought a Griffin G4Port serial adapter which enabled me to put the
G4 on the PhoneNet appletalk network.

BUT, with this arrangement I can only print when I boot from OS 9.2,
because OS X doesn't recognize Appletalk/serial connections. Needless to
say, while this works more or less, it is a real bother if I just want
to print a page from my web browser in OS X, etc.

So, I'm pondering alternatives. The 4M is something like 14 feet away
from the G4 at the other end of the room. The 4M has 3 ports on it: the
round serial port that PhoneNet is hooked into, and 2 other unused
ports: a parallel port and a 25 pin serial port.

The 2 USB ports on my G4 are both tied up with my mouse on one and
Microsoft Natural Elite keyboard on the other. (The keyboard doesn't
have any USB ports on it). My Ethernet port has my DSL connection
running into it.

My question: am I just screwed or what? Can anyone imagine a simple
cabling solution that would let me run the G4 directly to the 4M and
print from OS X?

Would something like a USB hub allow me to plug-in both keyboard and
mouse and a USB cable that I could run across the room and then plug
into one of the serial ports with a USB/serial adapter (presuming there
is such a thing)?


HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by neillmasse » Thu, 29 Jan 2004 10:03:21

The simplest (but not necessarily cheapest) alternative would be to get
a JetDirect Ethernet card for your LaserJet's MIO slot. Check HP's web
site for JetDirect models that are compatible with the 4M. You might be
able to find a used JetDirect card on eBay, etc.


HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by Scooby Do » Thu, 29 Jan 2004 14:45:24

That'd probably work, except the MIO slot already has a round serial port
installed in it., which is what I've been running the PhoneNet into.

In there another alternative that comes to mind?


HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by neillmasse » Thu, 29 Jan 2004 22:05:06

Well, you replace that card with a JetDirect MIO card that has an
Ethernet port. The JetDirect J2552 has ~both~ Ethernet and Localtalk
connectors and is available on eBay right now.

Asante used to make an "Asantrint" device to connect LocalTalk
printers to Ethernet networks as well as an "Asantalk" device to
bridge Ethernet and LocalTalk networks. I think Farallon also made such
a bridge. You might be able to find one of these at one of the used
hardware outlets.

Apple also made a software Ethernet to LocalTalk bridge that might run
on the PowerCenter:
< http://www.yqcomputer.com/ ;.

At some point, you will have to abandon old hardware if you want to use
new hardware or software. IMHO, the easiest thing for you to abandon now
is LocalTalk, which Apple dumped four years ago.

HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by Scooby Do » Fri, 30 Jan 2004 16:09:35

Thanks for the eBay tip. Those certainly look affordable. I guess the question
I still have is: if I install a JetDirect card in the HP 4M, how do I deal
with the Ethernet at my G4, since I am running the DSL connection into the
Ethernet port now.

I've got no particular attachment to LocalTalk, other than it was cheap and it
worked. <g>


HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by neillmasse » Sat, 31 Jan 2004 07:45:38

Put a router between the DSL modem and your local Ethernet network.

HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by Scooby Do » Sat, 31 Jan 2004 08:45:26

OK. I get the picture. Thanks, Neill.


HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by Richard Fr » Sun, 01 Feb 2004 03:31:21

In article <1g8bw3l.fm442jh2pfieN% XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

I guess that's the optimal setup, albeit pricey. I use a Belkin
USB->Parallel adaptor for my HP 6MP. Seems to work >95% of the time.
Running 10.2.6 on a G4 Quicksilver.

HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by T Chao » Sat, 14 Feb 2004 06:52:36

In article < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >,

Isn't there a driver issue w/ the HP laserjet printers? I've tried a
couple of driver packages from HP's site to no avail. I'm fairly sure
that the issure I'm thinking of is resolved under Panther but not
working under jaguar.
My setup: a HP laserjet 4 Plus w/ jetdirect card, OS 10.2.8 on a Beige
G3, router, hub, cable modem.

HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by neillmasse » Sat, 14 Feb 2004 08:00:55

The MSRP for Belkin's wired router (F5D5231-4) is $2 less than for their
USB/Parallel adapter (F5U002), with street prices showing the same
relationship. These days, you can get a wired router with a four-port
switch for under $35
< http://www.yqcomputer.com/ ; that doesn't
require any special driver and works >99% of the time. And you won't be
spending money on an outdated interface.

HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by Scooby Do » Wed, 18 Feb 2004 07:27:54


Thanks for your advice. I ended up with a D-Link DI-604 router and
JetDirect J2552 card for the LJ4M printer and just got them installed and
set up and the arrangement works! Both DSL and the printer through the

The final challenge will be seeing if I can network in an older Mac clone
which is still running OS 7.x. I suspect I'll have to upgrade that to 9.2
for it to work. Alternatively, I can use the serial port on the JetDirect
card for PhoneNet to it, for printing, presuming that that doesn't conflict
with the ethernet connection.


HP Laserjet 4M to G4 - cabling?

Post by neillmasse » Thu, 19 Feb 2004 10:31:31

All of the ports on the J2552 should be active simultaneously. The only
restriction I know of is that you can have only one of the Ethernet
ports, 10BaseT or 10Base2 (Thinnet), connected at a time. You can use
the LocalTalk (miniDIN) port on the J2552 with your PhoneNet hardware or
you can connect it directly to the PowerCenter's serial port with a Mac
serial crossover cable, sometimes referred to as an ImageWriter cable.

You can also connect the PowerCenter to your Ethernet network and print
from it via EtherTalk (AppleTalk over Ethernet) to the LaserJet 4M.