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455CA Print Spool Speed under OS10.4



I have been using an HP455CA printer for over seven years. Originally it operated using the supplied HP RIP under OS9. I now use it under OS10.4 with the built-in system print driver utilizing GimpPrint.

The printer has always printed slow under OSX. I recently upgraded my computer to a Dual 2.3 G5 with 2.5 GB of ram. I anticipated that the printing would be faster, but it is not.

It appears that the slow printing is due to two reasons:

1. Slow spooling. The actual printing, or "ripping" takes very little time on the computer. But it takes many minutes for the information to spool.

2. The printer waits for all information to spool before printing.

Under OS9, the printer would print during the spooling process. As a result the printer would print continuously, only waiting while the print dried before cutting. It would print while it was ripping.

Currently it often takes 15 minutes to print one greyscale print. This is a tedious process to run any quantity of prints.

So the question is, does anyone know how to speed up the spooling process? And does anyone know why the printer waits for all spooled info prior to starting to print?

The printer is hooked up to a JetDirect Ex Plus which is connected by Ethernet to a Router and Switch.

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I too, have been using the HP 455CA with OS X and VWA 11.5.1. You are right. On average, the plots take about 10 minutes. I havve not found a way to speed it up at all.

This may seem obvious, but the reasons I have figured that it takes so long is that a) your computer is doing the processing since the 455CA is not a Postscript printer, and b) there is not much of a memory buffer built into the plotter.

I am currently comtemplating upgrading to the HP 800PS. It is a Postscript plotter with a good amount of RAM and storage and built-in Ethernet/Jetdirect internal printer server. You may want to look at it given that the average B/W-grayscale output for a 24x36 sheet is about 1.5 minutes.

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Speedy is right on ... OSX creates the raster very efficiently but then must wait around for the 9600 Baud echo from the plotter before sending packets via enet. In this case the speed of the print head determines the speed of the spool. The network is unlimited.

There are ways to improve performance:

1) print to PDF then print from Preview

2) Add more RAM to the Plotter.

3) Config the Plotter for higher baud rate.

4) Plot via USB using centronix connector ( if needed )

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Originally posted by Speedy Gonzales:

...there is not much of a memory buffer built into the plotter...

I assume that the printer memory receives and stores the information from the computer. It seems to me that insufficient memory would result in print failure or an incomplete print.

If more memory would speed this up, I would do it in a heartbeat. It just does not make sense to me that more memory would speed things up.

I would love to hear more on this subject

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EJ: This is good info. I hope that you could elaborate:

1. I find that printing from PDF is the same as from VW. The slowdown is in the spooling. The "printing" or ripping on the computer takes but 10 seconds. The spooling takes many minutes

2. How does adding RAM help? I assume that RAM is a storage medium like a cars gas tank. It either fills to capacity or not.

3. This sounds promising. The connection between the JetDirect print server and the printer is a parallel cable. The manual says that baud rate setting apply to serial and not parallel cables.

4. I am not sure that this is an option. The printer is over seven years old. Plus this would bypass the JetDirect box. Is the JetDirect not necessary?

Thanks in advance for your expert assistance. Your imput is always appreciated.

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2) RAM stores the spool based on the page size & dpi >8mb RAM is min recommended. These are standard old SIMMs and very cheap to get ( I put Laser 8mb SIMMS into my HP Plotter ). Only issue is the number of sockets available which then determines module size ...

3) Just as I thought that P cable is serial and set to 9600bd ... get a Belkan USB>parallel with centronix connector.

4) Age is meaningless ... if it works upgrade and use it till it dies ; )

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