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#502 HP DesignJet 2500CP Cuts print short v.5.2.6

open
mbroughtn
5
2011-02-03
2011-02-03
Tom Lovering
No

Running Mac OS 10.6.6 on a quad core 2.66 Ghz, Intel Core i5 Mac with 4GB memory, using Gutenprint 5.2.6. printing to an HP DesignJet 2500CP. Using CS3 Photoshop or Illustrator. Regardless of how I specify Custom paper size, landscape or portrait, print jobs all cut off at 36" long regardless of image size or paper size (in excess of 36" length). Does the Gutenprint driver support paper lengths in excess of 36"? Prior combos of the Mac OS and earlier versions of Gutenprint allowed me to print landscape up to 120".

Discussion

  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2011-02-04

    We've had some reports of this, not necessarily on OS X. Unfortunately, we don't currently have a maintainer for this driver.

    If you can find a version of Gutenprint that works, we could try to track down what (if anything) changed.

     
  • mbroughtn
    mbroughtn
    2011-02-04

    Tom also sent me a direct e-mail in which he stated that he thought the previous version might have been 10.4.x. The version of Gutenprint that was included with 10.4 was 5.0.0-beta2.

    In light of rlk's suggestion, you might want to try the Gutenprint 5.0.0 drivers <http://sourceforge.net/projects/gimp-print/files/gutenprint-5.0/5.0.0/gutenprint-5.0.0.U.dmg/download>. Be sure to run the Uninstaller from the 5.2.6 disk image before you install an earlier version. OS X does not downgrade packages very well. It would also be a good idea to do a reboot after you install a lesser version of the drivers.

    Also, I have been trying some print to file and Print to PDF experiments with a custom page size of 24 x 120 inches. My print jobs have been from BBEdit (a text editor) where I was able to have it print line numbers as a guide. The PDFs showed that it printed 708 lines per page and Preview showed the correct paper size. When I did a print to file and then used the pcl-unprint, I was also seeing 708 lines per page. The CUPS error_log looked fine and had the proper media dimensions being passed. For comparison, I printed a legal page from BBEdit to my HP DeskJet 870. It printed 77 lines per page. Extrapolating that for a 120 inch page would mean about 660 lines per page, so it looks consistent.

    Tom, the above paragraph is probably meant more for rlk. It would tend to show that our drivers are working as expected. However, pseudo printing is not real world printing.

     
  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2011-02-04

    That suggests that something could have changed in the output header or something that's making the printer do the wrong thing; I want to try to find out what.

    Tom, can you try printing something in pure black and white, and use the "Very Fast" dither algorithm, and print at the lowest supported resolution (either 150x150 DPI or 300x300)? That will make it easier to debug.

     
  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2011-02-04

    That suggests that something could have changed in the output header or something that's making the printer do the wrong thing; I want to try to find out what.

    Tom, can you try printing something in pure black and white, and use the "Very Fast" dither algorithm, and print at the lowest supported resolution (either 150x150 DPI or 300x300)? That will make it easier to debug.

     
  • Tom Lovering
    Tom Lovering
    2011-02-04

    Matt and Robert, per your recommendation I uninstalled Gutenprint 5.2.6. reinstalled 5.0.0, rebooted the computer and there is no improvement. Alhough the only black and white graphic shows as complete in the Print dialog box thumbnail the printer still cuts the job short so that the total paper used is 36". Line art resolution is set to 300DPI but in Illustrator I could not find a place to set a Dither Algorithm to "Very Fast" Any other suggestions as to what tests I can run and how to send the results to you? Since 5.0.0 did not fix the problem, should I uninstall it and reinstall 5.2.6? Thanks again for all of your help and support. Tom

     
  • mbroughtn
    mbroughtn
    2011-02-06

    I would recommend that you do reinstall 5.2.6. All you need to do is to run the installer. No need to reboot. Upgrading is easy compared to downgrading.

    You can find Dither Algorithm in 5.2.6 under Printer Features -> Output Control Extra 1 2.

     
  • Tom Lovering
    Tom Lovering
    2011-02-08

    Matt and Robert, A long and frustrating week end of trying every iteration I could think of, to no avail. The length limitation of 36" with 24"wide paper, and 54" with 36" paper is being triggered by which width of paper is loaded. If I have 36" paper and tell the print job the paper dimension is 24" x 60" it stops printing at 53" and leaves a 1" margin, total length 54". Likewise if I tell it a paper dimension of 36" x 60" and I have 24" paper loaded, it prints to 35" plus a 1" margin. All of these attempts were tried using both 5.0.0 and 5.2.6 and with Dither Algorithm set to "Very Fast".
    Per Matt's testing, I believe that all of the print lines are being sent to the printer, hence with 36" paper, a 24"wide job will run out to 53" instead of only 35" when the 24" paper is loaded.
    If there are any tests I can run for you I would be delighted to do that and send you the results. The only caveat is that you need to give me Bone Head directions as I am obviously not a programmer or technician. Thanks again to both of you for all of the help. Even if I am not getting this fixed your encouragement is causing me to quantify the current limitations.

    Tom

     
  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2011-02-09

    So if you tell Gutenprint that 24" paper is loaded, but actually load 36" paper, it goes to 54" anyway. Interesting -- that sounds like the printer is what's cutting it off. Gutenprint doesn't know anything about what's actually in the printer. That doesn't mean that it might not be a Gutenprint bug; it may be that there's something we have to send to the printer that we aren't doing correctly.

    What are the advertised limits for the printer?

     
  • Tom Lovering
    Tom Lovering
    2011-02-09

    Robert, you are correct in your understanding of the 54" limit being generated by the actual width of paper in the printer. I just ran another test to verify. If paper dimensions are specified as 24" wide in the print dialog box, but in fact there is 36" paper in the printer, it will print out to 54", but if there is 24" wide paper loaded in the printer it will only go to 36". When you load paper into this printer, the first thing it does is verify the dimensions of the paper. As for advertised dimensions, this machine was designed/promoted as a banner printer, hence the rolls of vinyl sign material and outdoor ink that HP still produces for it. As far as total length, I don't recall, but at some point in the distant past I ran a 120" banner. Thank you, as ever, for your efforts on this.

     
  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2011-02-10

    This suggests that there's something we're not doing correctly. Unfortunately, we don't have a maintainer for the PCL driver, so it's not going to be easy to fix.

    If you can generate a print to file for a large output, it may be possible to compare it to what Gutenprint is doing, but otherwise I probably won't be able to fix it.

    It's interesting that the limit appears to be 1.5x the width of the paper.

     
  • Tom Lovering
    Tom Lovering
    2011-02-10

    Robert, Good eye on catching the length limit as 1.5x the width. When I load paper into the printer the control panel asks if it is Roll or Sheet. If I tell it Sheet, it runs the sheet through to its far end to establish the sheets length. (the print head has paper edge sensors built in).If I load roll paper into the printer, it skips that step and so it is obviously aware of the papers width and roll length. It maintains that awareness until the paper feed mechanism is opened again.
    As for generating a "print to" file I would love to. In Illustrator, when I try to print to a PDF it tells me "The Save as PDF and Save PDF as PostScript options in the Printer dialog are not supported." So, I don't know how to print to a file, but if you can tell me how, or point me in the direction of a utility that would allow me to do that, I will gladly get the file off to you immediately.

    Tom

     
  • mbroughtn
    mbroughtn
    2011-02-16

    Tom, I think what we need is a print to file from a Windows machine. That will enable us to check to see if we are sending the correct set up codes to the printer for the long prints. Do you have access to a Windows printer or someone that could perform such a test?

    As for saving files as PDF, you could try using the CUPS-PDF software from https://bitbucket.org/codepoet/cups-pdf-for-mac-os-x/wiki/Home Adobe applications don't always play nice with Apple's print to PDF.

     
  • Sean Percy
    Sean Percy
    2012-05-10

    I can confirm this remains a problem with 5.2.3. I'd be happy to run any tests that might help, and you folks would earn my eternal gratitude if we found a fix.

     
  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2012-05-11

    I assume you mean 5.2.7 or 5.2.8-pre1?

    Unless we can get a file from the Windows driver, there's no way to fix this.

     
  • Sean Percy
    Sean Percy
    2012-05-11

    Oops, I see you guys were working with 10.5.6. The 10.5.3 is what comes with OSX 10.7.3, so I assumed it was later than the one Tom on OSX10.6.6 was running. My bad. I have a "test PDF" in black and white that I've been running to try to get the 2500CP to run long-axis prints past 53 inches - but to no avail. And I see this thread is more than a year old. Any success with it?

     
  • Robert Krawitz
    Robert Krawitz
    2012-05-11

    Actually, if you can find an earlier version of Gutenprint that works, that would also suffice.

     
  • Sean Percy
    Sean Percy
    2012-05-11

    No luck with earlier versions - been down that road. I have a couple windows machines I could try. What do I need to do? Install the Gutenprint driver, try to print the PDF, but print to file instead? (Easy to say, may take me a couple days to actually do.) Then what?