MacInTouch Amazon link...
Ric (or anyone), are you aware of a similar option [to prioritize network connections] for iOS?
A search for ios prioritize wifi networks at DuckDuckGo leads to things like Prioritize WiFi Networks on Your iOS Device which effectively say, “No, but you can sync settings with a Mac via iCloud.” Good luck!

<cynic>Target demographic won’t be bothered by such things, but annoying tech-savvy users can get what they want if they buy more Apple stuff! It’s a beautiful garden in here!</cynic>
 


Ric (or anyone), are you aware of a similar option for iOS?

My iPad and iPhone are making really dumb choices for connections. At my desk, with a 5G router three feet away, they will insist on using the 5G extension two floors down at the opposite corner of the house with two steel I-beams between. I set them to the near one, and they will switch back when I'm not watching (once when I was). Needless to say the distant one doesn't even show full bars.
Turn off and then on again the wifi on the iDevice, it will look for the nearest (strongest) network. Sometimes it will not release the old network even if a stronger signal is available (that is the advantage of mesh networks where all "stations" are equivalent).
 


I read about a similar issue somewhere that said assigning the printer a static IP address (make sure it is outside your DHCP range) solved the issue for them. It might be worth a shot.
With DHCP reservations, you don't have to make sure it is outside the range. Google Wifi has DHCP IP reservation.

I would pick a number outside of what it will initially probably hand out - e.g., printer(s) 192.168.86.50, 192.168.86.51, etc. The default range on Google Wi-Fi is 192.168.86.1-254. (If you daisy chain them in a 'weird' way, then the downstream Wi-FI will node will switch to a 192.168.85.1.0 / 24 network.)

For the HP printer, it would be a useful sanity check to make sure that the Google Mesh only sees one (Wi-Fi on, printer is off, and only path is via the wired Ethernet). Google Wifi should enumerate all the devices it can see. (I don't think you have to enter MAC IDs to do reservations... at least for devices that can automagically set a readable name.)

The other sanity check is to look to see if the printer is on a coherent subnet with the rest of your devices.

If the HP printer goes to sleep and some other device "steals back" the IP address, you could still get a ping answer, but the user would be pinging another device. With DHCP reservation the router never hands out the reserved address to anything else. Even if the printer disappears / goes to sleep / times out / etc. from the network, nothing else is going to jump in and take the address away. Pragmatically, it becomes a static address.
 


I just installed a Google WiFi mesh network, and now my HP L7680 printer can no longer print. If I delete the printer (in System Settings) and reinstall it, it will print for about a minute, maybe two. Then the next time a print job is submitted, the print queue window says the printer can't be found. However, using Terminal I can ping its IP address and it is definitely there on the network, so it's not a basic connectivity thing. I would say this printer is somehow incompatible with Google mesh WiFi, except that I can get it to print, briefly. This printer is hardwired via Ethernet to the master Google access point, so it's not a WiFi issue.
That is kind of odd. From the description, I presume that if you reset the printer again it works for another 1-2 minutes and then stops again.

I'd start with a reserved DHCP IP address. Google Wi-FI has an allocation range. (I think it keeps some put aside for mesh point assignments. I wouldn't mess with anything in that subrange).

Are your Mesh Points ( ot the main one but the others) hooked to the main via Wi-Fi or via hardwired (LAN -> WAN)? If hardwired mesh points, I'm not sure the subnets are "flat" (you can check the IP address of devices as they are hooked to different mesh points to see if there are any changes). If it isn't "flat', then as mentioned in another response, the Bonjour and 'auto find" kinds of features may not wok right, even though Google may be doing the more basic internet stuff "good enough" to work.

The other part would be to look at it from the printer side. If, before you had Google Wi-Fi, the printer was manually set to a static IP address entered at the printer's UI, then that may be an issue. The standard subnet that Google uses isn't what most routers default to. If it was all DHCP for assignment, then that is probably fine. (I posted about reservation above. A defacto static allocated from Google Wi-fi may be better.)

The other print-side issue is perhaps to hardwire the printer to a mesh point's LAN. If your master has a flakey LAN port, perhaps that is an issue (e.g., if you send a certain amount of traffic through flakey port). Printer may be a pain to move, but that would be a close to last step option.

The other potential "odd duck" about Google Wi-FI is how they do the guest network. They have an option that can add the private devices to the guest network. I suspect they do that through some firewall and/or VLAN tap dancing. If you have a printer straddling two networks, then that may be a potential problem source, also. Or even just [turn] the guest network all the way off to see if that makes a difference.
 


My iPad and iPhone are making really dumb choices for connections. At my desk, with a 5G router three feet away, they will insist on using the 5G extension two floors down at the opposite corner of the house with two steel I-beams between.
If you want to disable connection to any network, go into Settings > WI-Fi and click on the little "i" in the circle. That should give you the option to "Forget this network". The affected network can still be connected to manually but will not be joined automatically. (Of course, if you join it manually later on, you will have to go through the same "forget" process, since it has now learned of the network again.)
 


If you want to disable connection to any network, go into Settings > WI-Fi and click on the little "i" in the circle. That should give you the option to "Forget this network". The affected network can still be connected to manually but will not be joined automatically. (Of course, if you join it manually later on, you will have to go through the same "forget" process, since it has now learned of the network again.)
You can also de-select the "Auto-Join" option (just below the "Forget this network" button). This way you will need to manually select the network, but your phone will remember your configuration (access credentials, etc.)
 


a color [inkjet] printer, left just sitting around, will, if plugged in, burn through the cartridges just with periodic self-maintenance, while, if you don't leave it plugged in, the carts may self-destruct (dry out). If you do use it a lot, well, printer ink is [awfully expensive]. Toner is also expensive, but not quite as bad!
It depends on the printer.

For inkjet printers where the ink cartridge and print head are separate units, this can be a real problem. That periodic self-maintenance is needed to prevent the heads from getting clogged with dry ink. If it gets clogged to the point where it can't be cleaned, you may find that a replacement head costs more than a new printer.

For inkjet printers where the ink cartridge contains the head assembly, it's a bit easier - if the heads clog, you just need to replace the cartridge. Still a pain but usually less expensive than a new printer.

Regarding cost, I was surprised to learn that (at least for the equipment I used), an ink jet printer is slightly less expensive than a laser for color prints. For my color laser printer (a Brother HL3170), a set of four high yield toner cartridges costs about $300 and lasts about 1500 color pages, for a cost of about 20 cents per page. For my old inkjet (an HP DeskJet 842c), a set of ink cartridges cost about $60 and would last for about 500 pages, for a cost of about 12 cents per page.

Of course, for black-and-white printing, the economics reverse. For my printer, the black cartridge alone costs about $75 and lasts about 2500 pages (about 3 cents per page) and the HP's black ink cartridge cost about $25 and lasts for 500 pages (about 5 cents per page)

Of course, different printers are going to produce different prices, so your milage may vary. And no laser printer is capable of producing high quality photo prints the way a good quality ink jet printer can when used with photo paper.
 


Recently I discarded my two HP Inkjets after one's LED display failed and the other gave me such grief at 02:00 that, on a friend's recommendation, I bought a Brother L3510 duplex color laser scanner and have been overjoyed with it.
Further to my note about the Brother colour laser is that I still have and use an Epson EPL 6200 with duplex option and max RAM. I have had this for over 10 years, and it still performs well, except it often fails to pick up paper, so I have to push the sheet in off the tray. I suspect the pickup rollers need a clean, and advice on that would be welcome.
 


If you aren't printing photos, I think, in general, you will find laser printers to be much, much cheaper. That's especially true if you only use color now and then (which is why I bought a color laser when they were still $$$; a color [inkjet] printer, left just sitting around, will, if plugged in, burn through the cartridges just with periodic self-maintenance, while, if you don't leave it plugged in, the carts may self-destruct (dry out). If you do use it a lot, well, printer ink is [awfully expensive]. Toner is also expensive, but not quite as bad!
If you use HP Instant Ink, then ink wasted by maintenance cycles doesn't matter. Nor does it cost any more to print full color photos.
 



Be aware that, after sufficient years rubber can harden and the rollers may need replacing. There are some rubber reconditioning tricks, as well, which I have never tried.
Any ideas what these tricks are to soften and restore the stiction on the feed rollers? Your thoughts gratefully received.
 


Any ideas what these tricks are to soften and restore the stiction on the feed rollers? Your thoughts gratefully received.
Thanks to James R. Cutler for the link to the ManualsLib site with the Epson cleaning procedure. Unfortunately, I find Epson's suggestions to basically dust off the rollers woefully inadequate. For P Trinder, yes, if a rubber roller or pad is very hard from age, it will have to be replaced. However, I have resurrected many printer feeds by rubbing down the rubber rollers and any pads with 200 or 400 grit emery paper and then cleaning them thoroughly with >90% isopropyl alcohol (not rubbing alcohol).

Some disassembly may be required to effectively access the rollers and pads. Both the physical abrasion and chemical interaction of this approach make the rollers and grab pads more tacky. If the procedure doesn't work the first time, repeat it. If it still doesn't work, you'll have to replace the parts. Certainly worth a try.
 



Thanks to James R. Cutler for the link to the ManualsLib site with the Epson cleaning procedure. Unfortunately, I find Epson's suggestions to basically dust off the rollers woefully inadequate. For P Tinder, yes, if a rubber roller or pad is very hard from age, it will have to be replaced. However, I have resurrected many printer feeds by rubbing down the rubber rollers and any pads with 200 or 400 grit emery paper and then cleaning them thoroughly with >90% isopropyl alcohol (not rubbing alcohol). Some disassembly may be required to effectively access the rollers and pads. Both the physical abrasion and chemical interaction of this approach make the rollers and grab pads more tacky. If the procedure doesn't work the first time, repeat it. If it still doesn't work, you'll have to replace the parts. Certainly worth a try.
I remember a product called Rubber Rejuvenator that I used on my old reel-to-reel tape recorder rubber parts. Don't know if it is still available or is appropriate for print rollers.
 



Back in the late ’90s, when HP still made good printers, I bought an LJ 2100M, which, augmented with a JetDirect ethernet card, has been on my home LAN ever since. It never got a lot of use over the years but it was nice to have. About six or seven years ago, however, it started to get tired. Specifically, we began to get paper jams, and they eventually got worse until we couldn’t rely on the main paper tray input.

To avoid the aggravation, we simply started feeding pages in through the manual slot, one piece of paper at a time. For a few pages, this was not a big deal, but for the occasional (once a month?) longer print jobs, it was kind of a nuisance. I looked on the interweb and found that HP was selling an overhaul kit to solve this very problem, which was caused by the rubber parts getting old and thus hard, dry or smooth and, as a result, no longer grabbing and feeding the paper properly. But, the kit was something like $49.99, and I thought that that was a bit exorbitant, especially since the printer was getting older by the day, and who knows when some more serious, too-costly component would fail, requiring a complete replacement of the device? So we lived with it, the way it was.

Then, about a year ago, I found a Chinese outfit online that had a similar kit for $16, including shipping (!), so I ordered it. I found good instructions on the 'net. I had all the necessary tools. I took my time and worked carefully. There were five parts to replace: two pads, two rollers and a pinch-wheel. Four of the five were completely simple, but the fifth, the pinch-wheel, was deep inside the machine and required pretty much a complete tear-down to get at. Finally, a couple of hours later, I was done. I hooked it back up and — voila — it worked! As good as new!

Even knowing that this ol’ beauty could crap out tomorrow, for $16 and the fun I had in doing the job, I’m glad I finally got around to it. :-)
 



... ink wasted by maintenance cycles doesn't matter.
Inkjet printers I am familiar with (HP, Epson, Canon, Brother) all have thick felt pads in the bottom of the printer that catch the unused ink that comes from the startup, shutdown, and cleaning cycles. These pads will eventually near saturation. I have had ink jet printers give me error messages saying the printer had reached the end of life, and I expect the total unused ink is a major factor in that calculation, since theses printers were typically working well just prior to that "permanent" shut down. There could be some real liability should a printer start dripping dirty ink (blended colors) out the bottom of the unit.

Personally, I use a high-end Canon Pro inkjet for photos, and a Brother multifunction color laser for all else. The latest color lasers do an amazing job for color (relative to what the color lasers were capable of ten years ago), and it does handle photos pretty well (well, nothing I would frame and put on the wall). I find the Brother mechanicals, software, features, and price hard to beat, and have gotten more than ten years out of a few Brother inkjets and lasers. I tend to prefer HP mechanicals, but certainly not their software. The lasers are so much faster, and trouble-free, and cheaper to use, that anyone doing regular printing should consider them over inkjets. Inkjet cleaning cycles are a pain! However, high quality photo prints are not there yet with lasers.
 


I remember a product called Rubber Rejuvenator that I used on my old reel-to-reel tape recorder rubber parts. Don't know if it is still available or is appropriate for print rollers.
I was a newspaper press operator for many years, and we used Rubber Rejuvenator on our press rollers. Definitely softened up the rubber rollers. The fumes from this stuff are nasty. Be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.
 


Rubber Renue should not be used for one thing that interests me - rubber capstan pinch rollers, according to the top-rated review of Rubber Renue on Amazon:
Amazon review said:
Do not use MG Chemicals Rubber Renue to clean rubber capstan pinch rollers that come into direct contact with audio/video tape!
...
Conclusions:
For cleaning audio and video pinch rollers that come into direct contact with audio and video tapes, this product should not be used according to exerts, including those at MG Chemicals. If you do need to restore rubber pinch rollers that contact audio and video tape, be careful to not use a product that infuses oils into the rubber as this can damage or destroy the audio tape. American Recorder confirmed this, and said that if you need a good cleaner that will not dry the rubber roller, use their product: S-721H-4.
 


I, too, use a high-end Canon Pro printer to make archive-quality prints, some for sale. It is an amazing piece of equipment, and I also use it to print some graphic jobs I do for a non-profit. It has a separate maintenance cartridge for excess ink, which needs to be replaced every so often. The ink is very expensive, but for our needs, it is the best solution.

But for most of our printing, black-and-white is fine, and for that I have a perhaps 10-year-old Brother HL-5250DN that has worked flawlessly since I got it – I think it may have cost around $250. It is fast, and the output is incredibly sharp and clean. I often use the duplex printing option. I haven't replaced the toner cartridge yet, but it was one of those models that came with a full toner cartridge, unlike other Brother laser printers I've seen that come with a skimpy starter cartridge. Don't know if they still do that.

For fast color prints, I use a 4-year-old Brother MFC-J880DW we got when we still had need of a fax machine; it also serves as my wife's printer, when she has a (rare) need to print. Yes, inkjet cleaning cycles are a pain, and the only way to possibly avoid them is to use the printer regularly; but my inkjet printers inevitably have always had periods of rest, at the end of which I find clogged jets. In my experience, Canon and Brother have always been a little better in that regard than Epson, but I haven't used an Epson in many years.
 


Inkjet printers I am familiar with (HP, Epson, Canon, Brother) all have thick felt pads in the bottom of the printer that catch the unused ink that comes from the startup, shutdown, and cleaning cycles. These pads will eventually near saturation. I have had ink jet printers give me error messages saying the printer had reached the end of life, and I expect the total unused ink is a major factor in that calculation, since theses printers were typically working well just prior to that "permanent" shut down. There could be some real liability should a printer start dripping dirty ink (blended colors) out the bottom of the unit.
For at least some Epson printers, the "diaper" can be changed (at high cost) and the firmware reset to allow continued printing. You can also find online kits that divert the excess ink to a bottle outside of the printer. I did this several years ago with an Epson 1400. There was an Epson utility for resetting the printer, but it was only available for Windows. The amount of ink that went to the bottle was pretty shocking!
 


A comment on the economics of various printers:

Manufacturers' cost-per-page estimates should not be seen as standalone estimates. To be considered accurate, estimates are made in the context of "printer duty cycles," which assume a certain number of copies/prints over a specified period of time, typically expressed on specification sheets as "up to X copies per month." This helps to capture the impact of indirect costs, like the loss of ink due to automatic inkjet head cleaning, waste, or other maintenance tasks.

To give an idea of common duty cycle ranges, a basic consumer inkjet might have a duty cycle of 1,000 prints per month, while a business class printer shared by an office might have a duty cycle of 75,000 prints per month or even substantially more.

What does this mean in the real world? If your intended printer usage is significantly different from the printer's specified duty cycle, the manufacturer's cost-per-page estimate may be significantly different from what you will actually see in the field.

To take a relatively extreme case, we used to have an old Brother multifunction device in the office that was used primarily as a networked scanner, but rarely as a printer. Despite getting relatively light use as a printer, the device consumed a surprising number of ink cartridges due to frequent automated cleaning cycles and occasionally clogged heads.

When we actually did the math, the actual cost per page of that printer was approximately ten times higher the manufacturer's estimated cost per page! Had we purchased a comparably priced multifunction laser printer with a higher estimated cost per page, our actual costs would have been far lower than the "cheaper" inkjet, but only because our usage was so much lower than the associated duty cycle.

Especially for people with low volume personal printing requirements, a color laser printer can be substantially less expensive over time than an inkjet, given the absence of cleaning cycles and clogged head replacements. Indeed, I've seen examples in my extended family where people took several years to empty their starter cartridges, resulting in extremely low costs per page. For those occasions when someone required higher quality photo output, it was simple enough to visit the local FedEx Office location or print shop and print there, or even to use a friend's printer. (The caveat, of course, is that people who buy laser printers need to be prepared to pay the higher unit cost of laser consumables, even if their per page costs are much less.)

As with automobiles, your mileage may vary.
 


Yes, inkjet cleaning cycles are a pain, and the only way to possibly avoid them is to use the printer regularly; but my inkjet printers inevitably have always had periods of rest, at the end of which I find clogged jets. In my experience, Canon and Brother have always been a little better in that regard than Epson, but I haven't used an Epson in many years.
Yes, even the best inkjets are a pain, but that has been my experience with Epson as well. I also use a Canon Pro 10. Possible disclaimer: I have a small museum of Canon cameras dating back to the Canon TL that was my high school graduation present... ;-)
 


For at least some Epson printers, the "diaper" can be changed (at high cost) and the firmware reset to allow continued printing. You can also find online kits that divert the excess ink to a bottle outside of the printer. I did this several years ago with an Epson 1400. There was an Epson utility for resetting the printer, but it was only available for Windows. The amount of ink that went to the bottle was pretty shocking!
My (now retired) Canon i9100 actually gave a specific error code that the "diaper" was saturated. The replacement was neither particularly expensive nor difficult (but, yes, it was a good thing I did it outside... ;-) I got a few more years out of it. I honestly don't know how my Pro 10 handles this.
 


Since my installation of Catalina, I've experienced terrible loss of wifi connections with my HP all-in-one (HP 8620 series) printer/scanner.

I guess this model must be considered "old" by HP, because they haven't updated any drivers or firmware since about 2018. No matter how many times I "reinstall software" (HP's answer to every problem, it seems), the printer connects, but then loses its wifi connection within just a few minutes (fewer than 10), disabling printing, of course.

HP's online support is OK, but is, essentially, a closed loop: "What's wrong? Download and reinstall software. Connected! Problem solved."

Makes me wonder if this is a Catalina-related problem? Rebooting the printer successfully reconnects, but the printer drops the connection again within a few minutes. It's just not practical to have to reboot a printer every time I want to use it.

I've tried connecting by ethernet (which works great on my desktop), but in HP's world, connecting by ethernet automatically disables wifi (which means no printing from my laptop).

It's otherwise a very good printer, and not that old. I'm wondering whether there's some setting in my wifi router which I could adjust to ensure the router "sees" and "locks in" my printer?

Or someplace in Catalina printer settings to prevent my printer from being "kicked off" after a few minutes of idleness.

Or some way to access the printer's internal settings to trigger an "automatic" reboot when it loses its wifi connection. (That seems silly, to me.)

I'd welcome suggestions for troubleshooting.
 


Since my installation of Catalina, I've experienced terrible loss of wifi connections with my HP all-in-one (HP 8620 series) printer/scanner.
... I guess this model must be considered "old" by HP, because they haven't updated any drivers or firmware since about 2018.
According to HP's support page the most recent firmware for this printer is version 1828A, dated July 31 2018. It sounds like you already have this version, but if you don't, I would start by updating it.
I've tried connecting by ethernet (which works great on my desktop), but in HP's world, connecting by ethernet automatically disables wifi (which means no printing from my laptop).
What kind of Ethernet connection are you talking about?

I wouldn't try connecting the printer directly to your computer. While that might work, it pretty much eliminates the possibility of sharing the printer (unless you configure your desktop computer as a print server for it).

Instead, connect your printer's Ethernet port to an Ethernet switch. Connect another port on that switch to your Wi-Fi router (one of its LAN ports). If you like, you can connect other devices (like your desktop computer) to the switch as well.

In this configuration, everything connected to that Ethernet switch (and any other switches connected to it) should be accessible via Wi-Fi. The router will route packets between the Ethernet and Wi-Fi network segments as necessary to maintain connectivity.

In my experience (with various HP and Brother printers), this configuration allows both Ethernet and Wi-Fi printing for everything you have on-site. It even allows AirPrint if your printer's firmware has the capability.

If you haven't tried this configuration yet, give it a try. You may need to buy an Ethernet switch if you don't already have one, but they're pretty cheap these days.
 


What kind of Ethernet connection are you talking about?
... Instead, connect your printer's Ethernet port to ... your Wi-Fi router (one of its LAN ports). ...
In this configuration, everything connected to that Ethernet switch (and any other switches connected to it) should be accessible via Wi-Fi. The router will route packets between the Ethernet and Wi-Fi network segments as necessary to maintain connectivity.
In my experience (with various HP and Brother printers), this configuration allows both Ethernet and Wi-Fi printing for everything you have on-site. It even allows AirPrint if your printer's firmware has the capability.
I have always had my printers (HP, Epson, and now Canon all-in-ones) configured with WiFi off and connected via Ethernet in various ways to the WiFi router. I can print and scan from any wired or WiFi connected device. I highly recommend it since it is very reliable and avoids another potential WiFi security vulnerability.
 


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