Epson has a serious lack of documentation for its TM-88III and TM-88IV printers. We have been replacing any failing TM-88III printers with network-based TM-88IV printers. The IV model is much faster and the network form is more reliable than the USB or Parallel versions we have had in the past. The USB/Parallel versions were hooked up to one machine and typically shared through Windows and accessed by one or two other machines. The sharing queues through Windows can be quite problematic from my experience and just adds another layer for something to go wrong. (If you do connect to a shared printer, you’ll want to uncheck the “Enable bidirectional communication” setting under the ports tab. Prior experience says that this will allow the machine to print once, but then it won’t print again until after restarting and again it will be only the one job that prints.)
When using the TM-88IV printer with the network interface, you can first plug the power in, switch it on, add a paper roll, and press the button on the back of the printer (to the right of the network jack) to have it send out an initial information slip. This will contain the initial IP address and the MAC address that you’ll want to use if you’re setting up on DHCP-controlled network. Unfortunately, DHCP is not the default method. There is an application that Epson provides (if you can find it… Try the Epson Experts site) called EPSON TMNet WinConfig V2 that will scan your network for printers with the Epson MAC address format. This has proven to be unreliable when attempting to find the printers before they are configured. In one instance, the application was installed on three different machines. The third machine was able to see the new printer while neither of the others could.
The easiest way to reliably configure the Epson TM-88IV networked receipt printer is to use a cross-over cable and the information on the initial information receipt.
Run the cross-over cable between your computer and your printer.
Go to the Control Panel, Networks.
Locate the Local Network Connection you’ll be using and go into the properties and the TCP/IP properties.
Write down your current IP address, if it is not automatically configured for you.
Manually configure the computer’s IP address to be similar to the default IP provided from the printer information receipt. The last printer had an IP of 192.168.192.168, so I gave the computer 192.168.192.167 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. Leaving the default gateway blank, you can hit OK.
From this point, you can reliably either use the TMNet WinConfig or just open a browser and go to the IP Address of the printer. In this case, 192.168.192.168.
Using the tool, right click on the matching MAC address and go to properties to configure the printer to use a specific IP address or to use DHCP.
Using the browser, just enter the Printer’s IP address into the address bar. You can navigate the page to network settings, change the network configuration to DHCP or specify an IP address. Submit that information and be prepared for a 404 error since the page will not be found (the IP address has changed after all).
Disconnect the cross-over cable from the printer and the computer and plug both of them into the network using normal ethernet cables.
You’ll need to restore the IP address of the computer to either a different manual address or to automatically configured.
You can then enter the printer’s new IP address in a browser to confirm that it is configured correctly by successfully connecting to the page or just install the printer like normal and test.
This reliable method of configuring the printer was made by self-discovery. It was quite an adventure to find support from Epson and their password-protected page of Epson Experts. The TM Net software still works if you are on the same network as the printer and don’t know its IP address, but the web interface is just as easy if you do know the IP.
You can find the Epson TM-88IV driver by searching for ‘ATM_302E.exe’