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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

[ Edited ]

I’m still very pleased with my Pixma MP640, but have run into problems with the only way I can print (from the phone app), and can’t think of anything else to try.  Any ideas?  (Sorry this is a little lengthy - just trying to save questions!)

 

My desktop & notebook computers have been awaiting attention for a year or so, during which I’ve been printing wirelessly from my (Android) phone using the Canon Print Inkjet/Selphy app, which worked most of the time.  A month or two ago I changed my internet and home wifi setup, and re-did the Pixma’s wireless setup (from its own display) with new wifi passphrase etc.

 

I did a few test prints (using the same app I’d been using all along), and they worked fine.  But having turned the printer off for the night, in the morning I could no longer print, with various error messages in the app.  I did the Pixma’s wireless settings again in case I’d overlooked some 'Save’ button, but no joy.  I’ve tried again several times in the few weeks after that, with no success.

 

I really need to print some things, and re-addressed the problem yesterday (including doing the Pixma’s wireless setup again), but with no success.  Trying to print is still always halted, with a variety of errors.  The app usually shows the file is loading, and the printer shows 'printing from PC....’ as normal, meaning from the phone (when I’ve gone up to look, at any rate).  The app's messages vary with the type of file, or the route taken to the Print command. E.g., ‘An error has occurred during the data conversion process’; ‘The printer is currently being used’; 'Save to PDF’ being the only option, even while trying to print the PDF already created.  And 'Unable to communicate with the printer’, while at the same time the printer has just opened its output door and is preparing to spit out a blank sheet.  At one point an ink cartridge needed replacing, and the app correctly said 'Check Printer’.  (There’s been enough paper in both front and back trays throughout).

 

Though an issue with the app seemed to be eliminated, I thought I might as well reinstall it before any further troubleshooting, in case an update (if any) helped anything.  So I uninstalled it, and reinstalled from the Play Store.  It’s obviously a different version from the one I was used to, as the interface has changed.  The text etc is much larger than before, and it has the feel of being a cut-down version.  But I haven’t been able to get far enough to see whether the functionality is the same as before, as I’m getting the same error messages.

 

From the printer’s own screen, I’ve printed out its network configuration page, and haven’t spotted anything amiss there (but printing worked at first anyway, after the changes in LAN configuration).  The router’s IP address on the internal side of its LAN (where the printer and phone are, as they always have been) is not a dynamic one, and is unchanged from its first setup years ago.  The Pixma still prints out fine from its own scans.

 

I remembered seeing more than one Pixma phone app in the Play Store, looked again and saw the Canon Print Service one.  I've searched for the differences between the 2 apps but am none the wiser.  Should I be using Print Service, even though Print Inkjet/Selphy worked once since the new setup?  Or are we supposed to use both?  Or perhaps there's some 3rd party app that's continuing the support for this model?

 

My phone is a Motorola (Moto G 2015 3rd gen), with Android 6.0.1 (security patch level Jan. 1st this year).

 

Any ideas re what on earth can be preventing printing would be very welcome!

 

I’m in Ireland, in case of any regional.differences; I came to this forum because it looks a good and well-used one.  (Being on different shifts from most of you, if I apparently vanish I’m probably asleep!).

Upfate

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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

[ Edited ]

Update Nov. 6th; I've now tried uninstalling Canon Inkjet/Selphy and installing Canon Print Service, but exactly the same things happen.  (Both are apparently compatible with the MP640, and Print Service has the better mix.of features for me, e.g. web and duplex).

 

Correction (probably!); I've now noticed Print Service is a plug-in (rather than an app), but have no idea what exactly it's a plug-in for; all I could find was 'for apps that are compatible with the Android printing subsystem'.  So is that things like Gallery, Google Docs etc?  (I don't think it can be a plugin for the Print Inkjet/Selphy app, as they both cause the same events when used alone?)

 

I really don't want to get another printer (I choose my hardware carefully!), but if I can't print soon I'll have to to (either that or buy a cheap extra computer, just to print from!).

 

Edit, Nov. 12th; I did post that on the 6th (no idea why it took 5 days to appear!).

Product Expert
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎01-20-2016

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

Hi whynot,

 

You're absolutely correct that Canon Print Service is not a stand-alone app, rather it supports third-party apps like Google Cloud Print.  As such, it is limited by the capabilities of the third-party app.

 

I see that you have printed a Network Configuration Page, and I'd like to gather some of that information.

Much of the information is not relevant, but the important things to look at are:

  1. Is the connection active or inactive?

  2. Does the SSID (network name) match the one the computer uses?

  3. What is the signal strength?

  4. What is the IPv4 IP address?

  5. If you type the IP address into a browser, are you able to reach the printer?

I look forward to your reply.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

Hi BillS - thank you for your response.  My reply's getting longer than I expected (adding some more details), and it's bedtime so I'll have to finish it off in the morning!

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

Hello again BillS.

My first post was the short story, believe it or not! But your questions suggest it may be narrowing down to a networking issue, so I’m adding some more details in that direction in case it helps.

Tinkering with computers holds no fears (having got my first one in 1986!), but it’s only during this recent printing problem that I’ve started reading up a little on the way IP addresses work. I only realised about 3 weeks ago that I could see such info on the printer’s settings screen. There may be something relevant among my notes etc during the earlier life of the printer and the network, but it would take some digging out among the piles of papers and files (especially the troubleshooting ones - if there’s a bug in anything I seem to find it!).

So, from 9 printouts so far in the last 3 weeks;

1 Active.
2 Yes.
3 Varying from 57% to 60% (of what exactly, I don’t know).
4 192.168.2.7 (currently*).
5 Yes.

*From the first printout, it was 192.168.2.xxx, with the last group of numbers usually 101 and 102. With the exception of one instance of 169.254.124.144, but the default gateway was missing on that occasion, so I guess I’d forgotten to reconnect the Linksys router during one of many power cyclings (maybe it was somehow assigned by the modem router, though with its WLAN off? It’s still all a bit of a mystery to me).

Meanwhile, I gathered from searches that a static address was best for a network printer, and it was the only reason I could think of for printing to work the first time but not again. (I hadn’t realised some printers had a web interface, like routers, until I searched on how to do the IP address, and found my printer had one!). I did that a week or two ago, making it 192.168.2.250 to start with (just one of the suggestions given in a blog), but still no printing. In case it made any difference, I tried changing the last section to 7 (putting it lower than the DHCP number range of the Linksys, as the printer’s default gateway IP is). (Re the computers’ IPs, so far I’ve only found an undated note of the laptop’s IP address, ending with 175. The Linksys was originally on DHCP, until an internet adjustment a few years ago needed a specific address).

The printing problem started when we changed our internet type this September, replacing a simple (dumb?) modem receiving a Wimax signal, with a Huawei wifi modem router receiving a mobile/cell one. I kept our existing discrete Linksys WLAN structure as it was, and was advised to change it to dynamic IP mode, to mesh with the Huawei. And then (when the smartphone wasn’t connecting to the internet), to change the Linksys’ default address 192.168.1.1, to differ from the Huawei’s (I changed it to end with 2.1). Then (well, once it dawned that the Huawei’s wifi signal was dominating and needed turning off!), my smartphone was able to connect to the internet again (via wifi, as before).

Our VOIP service carried on working as soon as I plugged it back into the Linksys (and much better than before). I found that for the first time there was a usable wifi signal just outside the house, by the road (I don’t know whether because of better internet speed, better router position or something else). In case it’s relevant, I’d never got round to securing the WLAN before (no near neighbours etc). I did it (using WAP2) soon after getting the phone back on the internet, before trying the printer (but having checked there’d be some way of telling it the passcode, and so discovering that it has a web interface!). I left SSID broadcast on in both routers (having gathered that it’s actually more secure).

I’m still confused about the workings of IP addresses. E.g. in the smartphone’s settings I recently found its own IP address, 192.168.2.101 (same every time I look). It matches one of the printer’s addresses before its fixed IP, but I haven’t a clue if it makes any difference, and none of the settings I’ve done has changed what happens when I try to print.

The setup; our home is open plan (a giant bedsit, basically), the main areas being one high-ceilinged room with a gallery. The Huawei router is up in the gallery (in order to receive a usable signal), joined by continuous cat.5e cable to the Linksys downstairs (the same cable that joined the previous modem to its external receiver).
The Huawei one is a Speedport LTEII B593u-12. Also known, if I’ve understood right, variously as a Vodafone B2000 and a Vodafone Huawei hg658c (though our moblile network isn’t Vodafone, another long story!). Not much interference here (we have an internet radio used occasionally, and couple of wireless handsets for the VOIP, but they’ve never seemed to interfere with the wifi).
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

I've just noticed, in the printer's configuration settings via its IP address (can't remember the short name for that?), in Advanced - Network Settings, the Network Type is AirPort Network (Infra). Maybe Infra is short for Infrastructure (as opposed to Ad Hoc), but I thought AirPort was an Apple thing? (I have no Apple devices). If it's wrong for an Android phone, I don't know how it happened (given I was able to print from the phone before), but how do I change it?
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

I've just seen a printer setting (via the printer's own screen this time), that also feels wrong to me. In Device Settings - Advanced Settings - Read-write attribute, it's set to "Not writable from PC". (In this case, for "PC" read "phone"). I tried to change it to "Writable from PC (3 times, power cycling the printer after each attempt), and it won't keep my setting. Could that be because of the above mentioned AirPort setting? (I gather AirPort is a router or similar for Apple.devices). The only other option (Writable from USB PC) isn't possible in this case.

Could this setting(s) have been done by the latest Canon Print Inkjet/Selphy app? (I updated the app from an older version in an attempt to solve the print problem, but the new version seemed much more limited and I uninstalled it).
Product Expert
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎01-20-2016

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

Hi whynot,

 

I apologize for the delayed response.

 

It looks like the signal strength is a bit low. Below 70-75% percent, you can see unreliable communication. There are a few things you can do to boost signal strength.

  • Move the printer and router closer to each other.

  • Unplug the router for 15-20 seconds, and plug it back in.

  • Move or disable other wireless devices in the area.

After performing one or more of these steps, print another Network Configuration Page to see if the signal strength has increased. 

 

It is unlikely that either of the Canon apps changed your phone settings, as they are designed to work within the current settings.

 

This didn't answer your question or issue? Please call or email us at one of the methods on the Contact Us page for further assistance.

 

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎03-05-2014

Re: Pixma MP640 won't print with either Canon phone app (& no computer to use)

Hi BillS - thank you for your help, and apologies for not reporting back!  (Thought I’d tied up all the ends in forums, but obviously missed this one in the rush to catch up on printing jobs).

 

Thank you for your useful suggestions, but none of them made any difference in my case.  The only thing that did was using a non Canon print app. The first one I tried was Hammermill, and as it worked right away I’ve been using it ever since.

 

I don’t know why Canon’s own app didn’t work for me at all after I changed to a slightly different (but equally common) wifi setup, or why an app written for all printers can allow access to more features of my Canon printer than Canon’s own app did.  But my searches found many others having problems with Canon’s apps, with some people thinking of abandoning their printer for another manufacturer’s. Which is a shame!

 

I find it very puzzling.  Apart from its app I've had nothing but good experiences with Canon, and not just with its hardware.  For instance, they did all they could to try and help get us out of an unfair 3rd-party photocopier contract I signed once (the Canon copier in itself was excellent, a joy to use after our previous ones).

 

But with the app, Canon seem to be (as we Brits say) spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar!

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