Making My Epson All-In-One Printer Wireless

When I bought my iMac almost three years ago, I decided to upgrade my printer at the same time and take advantage of the Apple printer rebate offer. Epson Stylus Photo RX640So I went for the more-than-I’d-usually-spend £160 Epson Stylus Photo RX640 All-In-One Printer, Scanner, Copier. With the £60 rebate, this made it £100, which was a bargain for a printer of this specification at the time. Although I didn’t have a particular use for the feature, I quite liked the idea of the advertised bluetooth connectivity. I know the range of bluetooth isn’t as good, but WiFi home inkjet printers were few and far between at the time, and using a USB print server would have left me unable to use the scanner function.

So the printer arrived, I got my rebate, and it has served me brilliantly over the last few years. I really can’t fault it. However, I was really quite baffled when I originally set it up as to how I enable the bluetooth connectivity. I found out shortly afterwards, that there was no bluetooth connectivity…at least not built-in. To enable the bluetooth functions, you have to purchase the optional Epson USB Bluetooth Adapter! This was a small-print item on the original product brochure, that I’d annoyingly overlooked, but what a swizz!! Feeling slightly misled after spending £160 on the printer, I was in no hurry to be spending yet more money on a bluetooth adapter for it.

I’ve recently had more and more need to be able to print to my printer whilst my iMac has been turned off. It’s such a pain having to wait for it to boot up, just to print a document from my laptop. So I decided to look into purchasing (begrudgingly) the Epson USB Bluetooth Adapter. Epson USB Bluetooth Adapter (C12C824381)I found that the price of this adapter varies wildly, but can be found for around £30. Well, I say ‘found’…..I couldn’t actually find one in stock anywhere. I even tried the trusty boot-sale in the sky – eBay. Trying to be as vague as possible, I searched for ‘Epson Bluetooth’, but there were very few results, mostly from overseas.

After searching a bit more though, one of the results was for a generic mini USB bluetooth adapter, but it was being being described as an Nano Bluetooth Adapteralternative to the Epson USB adapter. Many eBay sellers stock them, and some call it a ‘nano’ bluetooth adapter. They can generally be found for less than £3 including delivery charges. It just so happened that I was bought one of these very same adapters as a gift about a year ago. I’d been using it to make my old laptop bluetooth enabled. As that laptop has now been replaced with one that has built-in bluetooth, the adapter was just sitting in my drawer doing nothing. I had nothing to lose by plugging it into the printer and giving it a try.

I plugged it into the ‘EXT I/F’ port on the front of the printer, and the little green LED inside the adapter started to flicker. I checked through the ‘setup’ function directly on the printer to see if the bluetooth options were configurable, and they were. It had a valid MAC address, and I was able to set a pairing code. I set the printer to discoverable, and scooted over to my laptop. I scanned for bluetooth printers in the area, and it found the Epson! I continued through the setup of the printer on my laptop, and sent a test page. It printed perfectly. It wont print from the lounge, as it’s too far away, but as I only intend on using it wirelessly with my laptops, this isn’t much of a problem.

Wireless printing for £3? Bargain!

13 comments

  1. Hi Rob, very much like yourself I want to use my Epson Photo RX560 wirelessly by using Bluetooth. I also had trouble finding one and have found one on Amazon but it is £30+. Read your article and tried a spare “nano” type (bluemicropro is the make) but although the adaptor works ok in my pc ie it is not faulty, when I put it in the printer I get “Device not recognised” and I have tried “discovering” it etc and it does not work.
    Which “cheap nano adaptor” have you got, it may be worth me trying another one (perhaps a cheaper one may work better)? Thanks for your help with this.Hoping to get it working in time for my wife’s new Christmas prezzie bluetooth netbook…………
    Harry

  2. Hi Harry,
    Mine was bought from eBay for about 99p. Its unbranded, but the MAC address is assigned to “Integrated System Sol” (00-11-67). It looks exactly like the picture on this article. I know there are some nano adapters which are even smaller. I’ll try and see if I can find the eBay seller it was bought from.

  3. Hi Rob,

    Having finally got a Nano USB bluetooth off ebay, the Epson (R320) just gives “the connected deviced cannot be used”. The device works ok in a PC, so I guess Epson limited the dongles the R320 will work with. Shame – I was so keen on this idea.

    Jonathan

  4. Hi Jonathan,

    Thats a shame that your USB adapter wont work. I’m not sure what to suggest. Unfortunately, the eBay seller I got mine from is no longer trading on eBay. I had a quick look on the Epson site, and the R320 specs dont list Bluetooth capabilities. Do you have a bluetooth menu option on the printer itself?

    Rob.

  5. Hey Rob

    great blog!
    following your advice Ive bought a nano adapter for my epson rx640 – however I can’t ‘see’ the device from the bluetooth menu on my macbook pro – any suggestions would be much appreciated

    Jane

  6. Hi Jane,

    You need to go into the setup on the printer itself (screwdriver button), scroll down the list, set a Bluetooth PIN and change the connectivity mode to either discoverable or pairing. You should then be able to add the printer as a new Bluetooth device on your MacBook Pro. If memory serves, you’ll also need to then go into the Print & Fax System Preference to add the printer to your printer list. Hope this helps!

    Rob.

  7. Thanks for the reply Rob. Im not sure if the bluetooth adapter I bought is incorrect, or not compatible with macs, as the BT connectivity options etc are greyed out in the menu… I will try and purchase another bluetooth adapter instead… fingers crossed!

  8. Hi Rob,

    No – the R320 doesn’t have a bluetooth menu option by default. I had hoped that this was absent until the dongle was inserted.

    [BTW, the spec on epson.com has the C12C824142 bluetooth dongle as an accessory for the R320.....]

    Jonathan

  9. Hi Rob/Jane
    We are having the same problem. When trying to set up connectivity the areas are greyed out (we’re not using a MAC). Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  10. Thanks ever so much Rob just what I’ve been looking for.
    Epson helped me out with a confirmation that the Bluetooth Module would work for my general printing needs and not just printing pictures from bluetooth enabled mobiles.
    They quoted a model number of C12C824381 for the module that I could not find every easily either!
    So, I’ll give your suggestion a go and get back if we have any luck.

  11. Thanks for the info. I tried this on Windows XP but was unable to connect to my RX640. I tried updating the Bluetooth drivers but windows could not detect the printer. Incidentally, I bought the BT adapter via Ebay and there is no way of knowing if it actually works ie no flickering “little green LED”. Any ideas?

  12. Hi Guys, I am reding with interest your comments and answers re. Epson printers and bluetooth adapters, I have an Epson RX600 and cannot find a compatable bluetooth adapter, the original Epson onse is discontinued, the only ones i have come across are in America costing an arm and a leg……anybody got any ideas.
    Scott

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