I think the title above is descriptive enough to answer the question which I’ve seen many people asking about this printer. We bought one for the office today along with a wireless print server not knowing whether we could get them to work together or not, but the answer is a resounding YES!
The Epson L1300 takes up a fair bit of desk space - thanks mainly to the bulk ink tanks on the right hand side of the printer. We needed a new A3 printer after our HP 7500 refused to print properly so we decided to just keep that for use as a multi-sheet A4 scanner and get a dedicated printer with an economical ink tank system instead of another ink cartridge-hungry all-in-one printer/fax/scanner, and the L1300 seemed to fit the bill.
The only problem with the L1300 - and this probably puts a lot of people off buying it - is that it only has a USB socket on the back which either means connecting it directly to a computer and sharing it with other users on your network, or connecting it to a wireless print server if you want everyone in the office to be able to access it, and the question on a lot of people’s minds is whether it will be compatible with the print server.
The TP-Link TL-WPS510U is a tiny wireless print server (just a bit bigger than a matchbox). It so happened that it was the only wireless print server we could find in the shops in Tbilisi so we just took a chance and figured that if it didn’t work then we’d just connect the printer directly to a computer and find another use for the print server, which was quite cheap.
Fortunately it worked straight away (just by following the instructions) so I have no hesitation in recommending it for use with this printer.
For the scared, these are the steps I took to het it all up and running:
1. Take the printer out of the box and remove all the sticky tape and polythene - open the lids on the printer and the ink tank holder because there are bits of tape everywhere!
2. Lift up the ink tank chamber to unhook it from the printer (its very easy to do this) and swing it towards you at 90 degrees to the printer - it’s just be connected by the umbilical ink tubes at this point - there’s no hinge - just position the thing so you can fill the ink tanks easily.
3. Pull the pair of rubber plugs off the first two ink tanks - why they didn’t have a single bung for each tank is anyone’s guess - you need to open them two at a time.
4. The ink tanks a clearly marked with what colour ink they should contain so pick up the bottle of ink for the first colour and break off the little “top hat” on the end of the nozzle. SAVE THIS as you will use it to seal the empty bottle before you dispose of it. Don’t be afraid of ink coming out at this point because you then need to unscrew the nozzle and peel off the foil seal on the top of the bottle. THIS is the bit where a bit of extra care is needed - tell everyone to stand well back and not to spook you while you do it.
5. Once it’s safely removed screw the nozzle on again (good and tight) then point it into the tank and start squirting until the bottle you’re holding is empty, then pop the “top hat” back on the end of the nozzle and discard it.
6. Repeat for the other two colour and for the TWO black ink tanks (yes, there are two black tanks and you should have received two bottles of black in with your printer.
7. Turn the printer on and follow the instructions to charge the print heads up with ink. This will take about 20 minutes during which time the central red (ink drop) light will flash to say that the ink is on its way through the tubes. Make sure you have the ink valve (on the front of the ink chamber) in the “up” position to let the ink flow. The other position (pointing down) turns the ink flow off in case you want to transport the printer.
8. Insert the CD into your computer’s CD-drive (or download the software from the Epson website if you haven’t got a CD-drive) and install the printer so it shows up in your list of available printers. There is no need to connect the printer to your computer to install it… I installed it on my laptop which is nowhere near the printer.
9. Connect the TP-Link wireless print server to the USB port on the back of the printer and make sure it’s plugged into the power socket and that its light is on.
10. Insert the TP-Link (mini) CD in your computer’s CD-drive (or, again, download the software if necessary) and either wait for it to load up on its own or double click the autorun file to set the print server up.
11. The instructions which come with the print server are almost as tiny as the print server itself, but you can follow the pictures easily enough - just make sure that you have the password for your wireless router/access point handy… and make sure that you have the printer driver installed (see item 8).
12. When it’s all done print a test page - this is important (see below)…
13. I needed to get one more computer to access the printer which I installed first by sharing the from my own laptop. The reason for this is that our company IT security is such that we need administrative rights to even install a new printer (crazy!) but if you install one which is shared from another computer then this should copy all of the driver files over to the new computer. You can then install the printer AGAIN but this time as a network computer using the IP address which you should find on the test page. You may see an option list appear which starts with “generic router” - just leave that as it is and click through to where you will see the list of printers, and the “Epson L1300 Series” is the one you want.
14. You should now be able to print a test page using this newly installed network printer - if so then you can go ahead and remove the printer which will say that it is shared via another user’s computer (or leave it, if you want to keep it as back-up in case something goes wrong.