How can I easily iPad-print in my truck?...

Discussion in 'AirPrint' started by John L, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    I want to be able to print paper invoices in my truck. An inverter to power the necessary hardware isnt a problem. My question is...

    Will an Airprint enabled printer connected via USB to an Airport Express (without an internet connection) satisfy the iPads airprint/wifi connection requirements and work for me? I really need a solution to this.
  2. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    An AirPrint capable printer and AirPort express should be able to do what you want. However you will not need to plug the printer into the AirPort's USB port. You just need them both on the same network, and the AirPrint printer will join via it's Wi-Fi feature.

    I is not necessary to have internet to create a Wi-Fi network and have both your iPad and printer join it. Once they have, it should work. (I keep using should because I've never done it, of course).

    But only an AirPrint printer will do this without extra software.

    iOS: AirPrint 101
  3. Sally Marshall
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    Sally Marshall iPF Novice

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    We Print quotes and invoices from our truck from the iPad with a mobile router and PrintCentral Pro with an HP H470 portable printer and works really well.
  4. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    The extra software part. Thank you for mentioning it. I suppose I could have gone into more detail. :)
  5. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    Excellent! Would you have details on the mobile router?

    I assume also an Airport Express would get that part done too (but only with an AirPrint printer)?

    Thanks to all.
  6. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    The Airport Express is a fairly normal router (other than compact size). It should work with any wi-fi printer. Also, AirPrint printers should work with any router.

    The iPad on the other hand has been known to be picky about what routers it works with, so confirming that the router works well with it should be the priority.
  7. Sally Marshall
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    Sally Marshall iPF Novice

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    it sounds familiar - I think it could be one of those - he's still on tour (it was hard enough for me to remember the printer name!)

  8. cjjwhiteford
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    cjjwhiteford iPF Noob

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    I've been researching this for months and just got it to work today. I bought the ENVY HP printer. Today I went to best buy and for $31 bought a Netgear Simple Sharing router. I also got a power inverter with 2 outlet plugs. I walked to my truck plugged everything in and both the ipad and the printer immediately read the Netgear router once it was turned on. I didn't have to do anything. I don't have to be hooked up to the internet. It was a big burden to finally get this figured out and working. (By the way, this site helped me with the tips after reading so many unanswered questions for weeks out there on the internet. When I walked into Best Buy, the first guy to help me didn't believe me that I could do this without being on the internet, so it was frustrating to have them not even know. But it works great!)
  9. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    CJ,

    That's good news. Did you buy the printer at best buy too? Is that an airprint printer? How much was your printer? Are you printing right from the iPad o.s. Like airprinters do or are you using a printing app? I am looking to utilize the default o.s. Print function as much as possible.
  10. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    Sorry, I noticed the specs on the envy printer say "Built-in wireless 802.11b/g/n". I dont understand why we need to use the seperate wireless router
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2012
  11. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Wireless is not some free for all communications. It requires a central unit to hand out addresses and route the information to each device. Just like your cell phone, the printer's radio is useless without a central switch to communicate with.

    You can sometimes set up a kind of limited router with a computer, called an ad-hoc network, but neither the iPad nor the printer have the ability to do this. So, you have to have a router.
  12. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    Thanks
  13. cjjwhiteford
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    I bought the printer at Office Max. Their price was $250 but saw the same printer at Walmart for $199 and Office Max matched the price.

    I just print right from ipad os and have used Pages and printed email. I'm not connected to the internet when out on the road. Didn't want to pay that fee... so we just connect to our home network when at home.

    So I did not buy any print app.

    I did just have an issue where it stopped printing even though it was all connected. I have a thread on that above and the problem was just solved. Keep in mind that if you have wi fi issues, going back to reseting your network settings under settings, general, reset may solve alot of things. It worked for the most recent issue. I just have that typed up on a cheatsheet for my non techy hubby to use while on the road estimating.

    And - I agree - don't know why we need a router, but that's the solution.

    Have fun!
  14. cjjwhiteford
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    cjjwhiteford iPF Noob

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    I agree about the ad-hoc. I had read some posts about that earlier and tried to do it. No luck.
  15. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    Cj, thanks again for the update. I just bought the same setup as you have but I am having fits of trouble getting iPad to find the printer. I was able to print to the hp with my iPhone4 using the printNshare app but not the OS print feature which is what I wish to use. Curious, did you have to update firmware on your new printer to get it to work?

    I've read about others needing to update the printer firmware before seeing it all work properly. I guess that I will get the printer near a wifi I Internet signal and try to update it.
  16. John L
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    John L iPF Novice

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    Another hassle I can see me having is that apparently when IPad has wifi turned on (to use the router, and reach the printer) ... I won't be able to access the Internet with the iPad. At least not until I disable wifi under settings so that the iPad switches to Internet over 3G once again.

    If this setup is to work for me, I need Internet too. Does anyone know if this is how it has to be?
  17. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    Almost all devices and computers are limited to a single network connection at a time. The iPad is no exception. To have both the internet and the printer available at the same time you have to provide both on the same network connection.

    You'll either have to replace the AirPort with a 3G hotspot device, or tether/route a 3g hotspot device through the Airport. I'm not sure how (or if) the second option is possible.
  18. mhorvatic
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    mhorvatic iPF Noob

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    Please check the solution called Walk'n'Print (walknprint dot com), there is a solution for portable printing from iPad to portable printing devices from Canon and HP.
    The solution itself as well as the supported portable printers run on batteries as well as on 12V AC car charger.
  19. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    That link take me to a Quotes site. I can't find the site you are talking about in Google.
  20. keithwhite
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    keithwhite iPF Novice

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    Actually, there's a much more elegant solution ... I've been happily printing for a while from my iPad to my battery-operated HP H470 with absolutely no wires (and no router / pre-existing WiFi connection - it operates in AdHoc mode). Literally just the iPad and the H470 - in fact, one time in a marquee in the middle of a muddy field with no power and a long way from the nearest WiFi connection, so it can be done from literally anywhere.

    I couldn't find any info on a true mobile printing solution for iPad (or iPhone/iPod for that matter) but felt sure it must be possible, somehow - so once I'd sorted it all out, I wrote down the solution and the steps to get it to work in the hope of helping others:

    http://genuinely-original.blogspot.com/search/label/iPad Printing

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks,

    Keith

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