Networked printer via ethernet splitter?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by macstatic, May 28, 2017.

  1. macstatic macrumors 65816

    macstatic

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    Norway
    #1
    We have two computers (both Macs running OSX 10.9.5) and a multi-function printer (Brother DCP-7065DN) which we want both computer to use. The problem is that we only have two Ethernet connections available, so currently the printer is hooked up via USB to one of the Macs which the other one accesses via OSX's "printer sharing" feature. This works fine except for when the printer-attached Mac is turned off.

    I've heard about Ethernet cable splitters but get lots of conflicting information about what they can or can't do. So my question is if this would allow the printer to be attached to the network, or if I really need a third ethernet jack from a router?
     
  2. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #2
    Get a small switch and hang the printer and one Mac from it.
     
  3. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

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    #3
    Most modern home or small business printers can use wifi. Maybe worth a try with a new printer? My hp photosmart works with four different computers with three different os,and it also accept wireless printing from phones and tablets.
     
  4. cqexbesd macrumors regular

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    Germany
    #4
    An ethernet cable splitter relies on the fact that 10/100Mb ethernet doesn't use all the pairs of wires in a cat5/6 cable. NB Gigabit ethernet does use all the pairs so the splitter won't work if you need Gb.

    There is a standard for which pins in a port an ethernet device uses for TX or RX. A splitter provides 2 ports but connects the standard pins of one port to the, otherwise unused, spare pairs in the cable. You need a splitter at the other end to connect these spare pairs back to the standard pins.

    It makes one CAT5 cable carry 2 sets of ethernet signals as if it were 2 cables. I don't know if it violates some spec somewhere but it does work.

    So from the sound of things, in your case, a splitter would work but only if you could put one at the other end as well, and have a third connection to the switch. I'm not sure that is your situation so as belvdr suggests, just get a simple switch and things should most likely work without any further configuration.
     
  5. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

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    #5
    You mean an Ethernet switch such as this?

    I'm not sure if I'm using all the cables in wiring or not. It's been a while since I set up the wall sockets and wiring.

    My setup consists of a router where all my Internet related devices are attached. The two computers are a fair distance away from the router, so two cables (one for each port) are used to extend those two router outputs to somewhere else in the house
    Could I just buy a small switch (1 input to two outputs if possible) and effectively "splitting" that single cable into two outputs: one for the computer and the other for the printer?
     
  6. jtara macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #6
    I don't know what you mean by an "ethernet splitter". It's not a term commonly used.

    You just need a small Ethernet switch. They are inexpensive.

    You never need to run two Ethernet cables from A to B to run two devices at B. Just run one wire, and use a switch.

    Example, I have a 16-port switch in the rack cabinet in my office. My work computer(s), Wifi router, plug into that switch. I run a single cable to my AV equipment in the living room. I have a small 6-port switch that the Apple TV, receiver, TV, Bluray, etc all plug into.

    There is no problem putting a switch at the end of a wire that goes to another switch.

    ----
    HOWEVER, my experience with my Brother printer (MFC-J44200) is that the USB connection is faster than Wifi. It doesn't have an Ethernet connection, unfortunately. So, I use the USB on my Mac Mini. Nothing wrong with using the printer sharing feature.
    ----
    That "cable splitter" you found is a very specialized device that few have a need for. It does literally split the line. You would use it, for example, to get signals from two completely separate networks from A to B. It is NOT what you need.
     
  7. macstatic thread starter macrumors 65816

    macstatic

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    Norway
    #7
    By "Ethernet splitter" I was referring to one of these.

    So, here's my current setup: Normal setup (printer via Mac).png

    But with a switch as you suggested, is this the correct connection (assuming the goal is to print (it's a networking printer of course) from either computer, regardless if they're both switched on or not):
    Normal setup (printer via switch).png

    (I used draw.io to make the illustrations in case someone is wondering. Much cheaper (free) than OmniGraffle for instance)
     
  8. belvdr macrumors 603

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    #8
    That is correct. If the computer can successfully use the cable in the wall, there's no reason a switch should have any trouble.

    Skip the splitter. I would only use those in the most temporary of cases.
     
  9. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    #9
    When you get your switch be sure it's "gigabit" capable.
     
  10. jtara macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2009
    #10
    Yes. The laptop will be able to access the printer when the tower is shut down.

    Thanks for that bonus! Does it work well on touchscreens? Omni pulled the App Store trick of coming out with a "new product" instead of an update. NOT cool for a product that is that costly. I will NOT be updating! So, now I have a $50 app that won't run on my iPad any more.

    I needed to make an Entity-Relationship diagram recently. Went to use OmniGraffle, and CRASH. I wound up installing SQLEditor on MacOS, which is much easier to use any way, as it is dedicated to E-R. It is not cheap either, but will gladly pay.
     
  11. TriBruin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    #11
    In case it wasn't made clear, what you want is a switch. The Ethernet splitter you referenced would not work like you think it would. You would need a split on the other end of the ethernet run (ie. near the router). The purpose of this splitter is to run two ethernet runs along a single Cat 5(e) cable. It is works on the principal that typical Cat5e cabling only used 4 wires (2 Pairs) of a the 8 wire (4 pairs). The splinter uses the unused pairs as a 2nd run. However, it is only useful if you CANT run more than one ethernet drop to a location and you don't want to use a switch.

    As other said, go with a switch.
     

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