This Canon MP495 is very sleepy...
November 8, 2011 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to stop a Canon MP495 multifunction inkjet printer from going to sleep? It has its own built in 802.11g/n network interface for sharing itself with the LAN, which works fine, until the printer snoozes and falls off the network...

The printer in question has a built in network interface. There's a piece of software in which you manually configure the printer (using a USB cable) to tell it the SSID and WPA2/AES PSK for the AP. This works fine. Clients on the same LAN segment as the printer can print to it.

The problem is that after about 15 or 20 minutes of inactivity, the printer goes to sleep, as evidenced by its top panel lights going out. If you wake it up again by pressing the 'reset' button or any other button, it gets a new DHCP lease and shows up on the network.

This power saving/sleep mode doesn't affect operations when it's used as a single computer printer in USB-connected mode, but when the goal is for multiple 802.11n clients to print to the same wireless connected printer, it's a real hassle to walk over to the printer and poke it to wake it up before sending a print job, every time.

Is there a power saving setting somewhere in the Canon utility software that I've missed? Or some other way to do the printer equivalent of using a cron job to 'touch' a file periodically?
posted by thewalrus to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I'm not sure if that printer has a sleep-mode adjustment... I have a Pixma type and it does not have it at all.

You have it on a static IP, correct? I'm wondering if the DHCP making the printer jump around in IP is ruining any chance of wake-on-LAN?
posted by Bodrik at 10:48 PM on November 8, 2011

You might try to find a Wake-On-LAN program for your PC. Cannon's site is a mess of gobblygook, but it seems like you have to use their special explorer program to find the printer. It may send a WOL packet out as part of its browsing process. (i.e. the printer would wake up and appear if you used Cannon's special software, but would not if you're relying on Windows native network browsing). Just a guess...

If it is Wake On LAN compliant, you should look for a WOL client for your PC, you could use that to send the wakeup packet and then maybe the printer would show up on the regular Windows network browser.

Wake On LAN doesn't rely on IP address, so no worries about the DHCP Bodrik mentioned. Wake On LAN sends a broadcast ethernet packet with a payload that consists of the to-be-woken-up device's MAC address repeated a few times in the packet body. A Windows WOL client would just ask you to configure the MAC address of the device that you would like to wake up.

You might be able to set up a cron like thing to connect and then close a session to whatever port/protocol the device is using and keep it from going to sleep, then again it might not work.
posted by zengargoyle at 11:03 PM on November 8, 2011

Wow, that seems like a flaw in the whole wireless printing idea, if you have to go wake up the printer before you can print to it.

I kinda doubt a printer is going to have WOL capabilities at all, especially through the wireless interface. Not even sure if WOL is possible on wireless. Leaving a machine's wireless adapter on sort of defeats the power savings.

Anyway, see if you can give it a dhcp lease time with a short enough expiration. I don't think there is any performance issue with giving out 15 minute leases, unless you have a huge number of clients hitting the DHCP server. If DHCP is working right, it shouldn't interrupt regular network usage.

Setting up some kind of reoccurring ping might work too. The printer might be "smart" enough to ignore ping requests when doing it's power savings countdown, so it might not work. If the printer has a built-in webserver, you could set something up where some machine on the network refreshes the webpage every 10 minutes.
posted by gjc at 5:59 AM on November 9, 2011

Yes, WOL is possible on wireless. It just takes a bit more power to keep the NIC awake enough to keep associated with the AP so that it can receive the packet. And it requires the AP to transmit broadcast packets (some don't or are configured not to). And it's a hardware/firmware/BIOS level thing, so the device either supports it or doesn't. The bit I read on Cannon's site seemed to imply that you had to use the special Cannon printer browser application to find a sleeping printer. I'm assuming that it just sends WOL and not some proprietary protocol. Power requirements aren't an issue for something like a printer or PC that is plugged in all the time.

Then again, it may not even be asleep in the WOL sense and may just be some other funky Cannon thing.

I would totally try a recurring TCP connection to the IPP or HTTP port to keep it awake.
posted by zengargoyle at 2:58 PM on November 9, 2011

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