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Compatibility Problems with RF/MW VNAs and HP USB Printers?

Question asked by mmule54 on Jan 12, 2006
Latest reply on Jun 20, 2006 by rejiii
Hello fellow  RF/MW engineers,

I am an RF/MW inside applications engineer at the Agilent  Americas Technical Contact Center (Englewood CO).   My colleagues and I support our full line of  industry-leading  RF/MW network analyzers
( . This includes:
   1.  the PNA/PNA-L -family (model E836xB/N5230A) ,
   2.  the ENA/ENA-L -family (model  E507xB/E506xA) as well as,
   3.  our  older "Legacy" products such as the 8753 /8720-family, and  
        the  scalar 8757D.

As you can imagine, my colleagues and I handle many customer calls each day- many of which are about the compatibility of our older  "Legacy" analyzers with the latest HP Deskjet/Laserjet printers.  Some of these newer  printers may have the traditional parallel/centronics interface  while  others  have only a  USB-interface.

Newer HP Deskjet/Laserjet printers, that still have the centronics interface,  should be compatible with our Legacy  analyzers PROVIDED,  the printers are backwards compatible with the previous HP printer languages, i.e.,  PCL-3 language (for DeskJets) and PCL-5/6 (for LaserJets).   For those old/vintage  Agilent/HP analyzers that do not have  parallel printer ports (e.g., 8757D, 8720C, 8753C),  we recommend the use of the  Intelligent Interfaces GP-IB (IEEE-488) --> Parallel Interface Converter, Model  Microprint 45CH  (   However, as you know  our newer Legacy models (ie. 8753D/E/ES, 8720D/ES) do have parallel ports.

So my basic question is:

For our Legacy analyzers,  has anybody found a solution for using them with  HP printers with USB-only interfaces ?  In other words, have you successfully used  either a GP-IB-->USB convertor or a Parallel-->USB convertor?  If so, could you share  your information/experience with us? Thank you very much.