Setting Up Your Rented OnSite Printer to Connect to PheedLoop Servers

The vast majority of events rent check-in kiosks from us here at PheedLoop which include printers that are preconfigured and do not require any additional configuration. If you have OnSite support included, our trained and experienced staff will set up the printers for you at the venue.

If you have chosen to purchase or rent printers separately, the process requires additional setup. We describe what you need to do below.

Step 1 - Configuring Your Printer

If you have rented your printers from us, you can skip Step 1 entirely and go to Step 2 - Linking Your Printer into the Event Dashboard.

Configuring your printer is required in order to ensure your printer knows what servers it must connect to. From the factory, your printer will not know that it needs to connect to PheedLoop's servers. A small command needs to be run on your printer to connect it to our servers.

Using a Windows computer, follow the instructions on Zebra's website to set up your Zebra printer as a Generic Text Printer. For convenience, we will display the instructions below.

Step 1.2 - Finding the port listed for your Zebra Printer

We will need to first document the port for your Zebra Printer for future steps.

  1. Connect the USB A to USB B cable between the printer and computer.
  2. Open the Windows Start Menu > Control Panel > Devices and Printers
  3. Right-click on the required printer and select Printer Properties
    1. You can quickly confirm the printer by unplugging the usb, the printer should be grayed out.
  4. Select the Ports tab and check for the selected port and note the name of the port.

Using the correct port is necessary to ensure you are using the correct printer when running the command. A common reason for printer configuration not working is because the wrong port was used. In most cases, the printer port will appear in the format of “USB001” with the number possibly changing depending on if other printers are connected to your device.

Step 1.3 - Configuring your printer to Generic Text

The next step is to add your printer as a Generic / Text only printer. This step is necessary to run the command to connect the printer to our servers.

  1. On your Windows device, navigate to Control Panel > Device and Printers
  2. Select Add a Printer at the top of the page
  3. Select The printer I want isn’t listed
  4. Select Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings and then select Next
  5. Under Use an existing port, select the port referenced in the above instructions and then select Next
    1. As a reminder, the printer port appears most commonly as ‘USB001’ with the number possibly changing depending on if other printers are connected to your device.
  6. Under the Manufacturer column, select Generic
  7. Under the Printers column, select Generic / Text Only and then select Next
  8. Optionally, enter a printer name and select Next
    1. In most cases, the name does not matter and it is fine to select Next to skip to the next step.
  9. Select Do not share this printer or Share this printer so that others on your network can find and use it and then select Next
    1. Just like with the printer name step, this part is optional and neither option will affect the process.
  10. Select Finish

Step 1.4 - Connecting your printer to PheedLoop

Once you are finished with the above steps, you are now ready to connect your printer to our PheedLoop servers.

  1. Open this link
  2. Right click on the page and select Save as…
  3. Save the file as a .TXT File
  4. Open the file in a text editor such as Notepad, and print it using the standard print function, Ctrl + P or via the File menu
  5. Select the Generic Text Printer you just set up above as the printer
  6. Your printer should restart automatically if the configuration file was executed successfully

Congratulations, your printer is now connected to our PheedLoop servers! This is the final step configuring your printer. The only task to do now is linking your printer to the Event Dashboard.

If you are connecting the printer to the internet via ethernet, connect the ethernet cable to the back of the printer (the ethernet connection may come directly from a router, switch, LTE hotspot device, wall outlet, etc.). Please ensure this internet connection does not have a password or a splash screen. As each venue is unique, we strongly recommend consulting with any venue technicians to ensure ethernet connection is possible at the desired location(s). For more information, please review our Understanding Internet (Ethernet and WiFi) Requirements for On-Site Success article.

A venue technician should be able to create an exception for the printer’s mac address. To learn more about this method, please review our Finding your Mac Address on PheedLoop Rented Printers article.

Note:  To ensure your ethernet connection is successful, it's crucial that the network you are connecting to has no security settings (e.g. a login page or MAC address restrictions) beyond the network username and password.

Step 2 - Linking Your Printer into the Event Dashboard

If you have rented printers from us, then the printers are preconfigured to work with PheedLoop and the only step you need to do is confirm your printer’s serial number matches the printer’s serial number in your Event Dashboard. If you have OnSite support at your event, your OnSite representative will handle this portion and answer any questions you may have.

For complete instructions on how to manually connect your printer to the Event Dashboard, please review our How to Setup your Printers in your Event Dashboard article. Once your printer is connected you will be able to print attendee badges which the article also covers.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: I've followed all the steps above but my badge labels keep feeding out from the printer when I attempt to create a test print. What should I do?

A: It's best if you conduct a smart calibration for the badge labels inserted inside of the printer. To do this, please follow the instructions below:

  1. Open the printer up and feed the badge labels through the opening. Ensure that the labels have the black bars facing downwards. Close the printer accordingly.
  2. On the printer, find the Pause Button and X Button. Click and hold on these two buttons at the same time. You should see the printer start "calibrating". The badges will move in and out and stop after a short while. Once this is done. Click on the Pause Button to unpause the printer.
  3. Send a test print of an attendee badge from your event dashboard (Step 3.1).
  4. Your printer should now be ready to use. You can confirm this is the case by performing a test print.
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