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[wifi] arp role in Macbook to printer work around, what is my REAL problem/fix?

Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:42 pm

Just a small home network... for the garden and outside office I use hAP ac lite on ROS 6.45.1. The radios I have 1 on 2.4 and 1 on 5GHz - this has all been fine for my uses for months I get pretty fair 70Gbps data at my MacBook Pro laptop (El Capitan 10.11.6 - I do not want to upgrade this environment).
I had really old HP printer with only USB, it still works but poor for colour work so just got a new Epson ET-2710 with wifi (2.4GHz only) and USB.
USB = no problem.
Lost 2 days working with the wifi option issues, which is sort of fine - I like learning and puzzles.
The Epson install/configure utilities seems to take ages, 30mins to make various strategy attempts (wifi, then USB to set etc) & long timeouts/hangs/fails.
Same on my wife MBAir, hers is on the newer MacOS Catalina.

The printer can print a network config sheet, it has a sensible IP and settings: all good.
I registered the printer with Epson email printing service. If I send a file of email for printing to a special email it gets rendered on net (not 100% on all fonts) and prints fine on the printer within 1 minute.
I can't print to it myself, direct though! (Yes, I am on the 2.4GHz WLAN to test this!)

I can leave ping sending to it (ping -i60 overnight and 63% get lost, some have 30-60sec delay, a few get replies in 10-60ms.
Looking with WireShark when the ping goes out it is preceded by an ARP broadcast "who has", whenever I look there seems to be no answer from either the printer or router (it must have answered some times?).

I have not found any reason why that would be. Maybe printer & router think it is something else's problem.
Sometimes there is a response - and if I look in the (dynamic) arp data on my MBP that mapping to MAC appears with a 30sec life and rapidly expires.
Is that short life right? I read somewhere that MacOS normally gives a 20 min life, Cisco gives 4 hours. Either seems better than 30s.
Should/could the router provide a reply if the printer fails to reply? (and why did printer not, most of the time, reply? some sort of attack/DOS protect?)

For now my fix on my machine has been to hand add a permanent manual mapping (permanent) from the printer IP (which I have set fixed in DHCP) to its MAC.
sudo arp -S 38:1a:52:80:62:71 ifscope en0
Suddenly I can see the printer and print (once I opened the Printers preferences panel, when it presumably found the new network config).

I do not see that as a real solution, just temporary gum.
I'd love a pointer as to ideas on how and where this should be done properly so new family devices can find and use the printer.

The printer did work with Epson's iPrint app on iOS devices.
I suspect it would work with windows, which may have different networking approach... Un-testable until a son returns for Christmas.

The fact that the problem appears on both my older MacOS and a recent version, and the fact that Seiko/Epson have made a good deal of Mac tools and utilities/services (which they MUST have tested fairly well) makes me suspect my router could/should do more... It does know the IP and MAC of the printer, but does not seem to share it!

Thanks, and I hope this might save someone else who is in more of a hurry than me!
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Re: [wifi] arp role in Macbook to printer work around, what is my REAL problem/fix?

Fri Dec 11, 2020 9:03 pm

Small update to this info: some hours after last print a new print also hangs until I open the Printer Prefs again.
Ping has been 100% replies within 50-200ms, went up to 400ms during a printing.

Still erratic getting prints done, it seems despite ping and access to the printer web page status at it fails to show as active in the printer queue and also fails to show the printer web page from the print queue as it asks for "http://epson806271.local." This looks like a Bonjour/zero-config thing?
Tried to add this sort of address into arp table was a out but it will not have it.
Every 5 mins or so the printer whirrs a bit and I think is recovering from something. It just did it and I guess that it would now print and be online again... NOPE!
Last time it whirred it did become available.
I also saw a CUPS crash in MBP system logs after a recent print attempt:
Dec 11 19:08:23 ⋮ ReportCrash[89862]: Saved crash report for rastertoescpII[89857] version 10.85 (10.85) to /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/rastertoescpII_2020-12-11-190823_Colins-MBP115.crash
That 10.85 is Epson printer drier version and I guess that is their rasteriser crashing.

Ping IS still fine, responding well!

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