Send print dialog to msg.payload by any method


I'm trying to send data from a "printer" so that I can display that data as text on a video overlay. It has to be done using methods accessible from Printers in Windows as the software only has access to that. Basically, it is similar to a grocery store that the checkout till data is displayed on a surveillance camera, except I want that data output to be from a printer.

The system prints out to a dot matrix printer currently, which I think I could take serial to IP unit and put it in, which seems easy enough, but I'm wondering if there is a way to bypass all of that and just create a Virtual Printer within Windows and use WSD or something to send the data via IP to the receiving device.

It is to an Axis camera, so Node Red can be installed on the Camera itself and act as an MQTT receiver or anything else that we can attempt. I'm just missing the link in my head on how to make this work.

Thank you, totally open to ideas.

Data displayed on a surveillance camera??? What tipe of camera is it that displays data? Don't you mean display on a monitor? What model camera do you have??


I have attached an image showing how I am using the Text Overlay to pull a message payload from openweather.api, this uses node red. I pull the data using an HTTP request and then break it down in to the 2 dynamic values of "current" and "feels like" temperature, and then write it to the cameras dynamicoverlay.cgi value which embeds the text on the video stream.

I want to be able to do the same but the dynamic text is sent from a software that can only send data when it's printed, so if there is a way to send the data to the camera and embed it on the video stream, then that's what I am looking for. This camera is an Axis P3255-LVE.

Thank you!

I think you answered your own question. Did you consider trying a virtual serial port software ? Most likely your dot matrix printer is connected with via USB or serial interface. You can easily create virtual port in the Windows computer to redirect (or split) the printing to the virtual port. I tested recently many alternatives in the market and found two of them reliable and capable: Serial Port Splitter (from Fabulatech) and Virtual Serial Port Driver (from Eltima). You can download trial versions (30 days) from their web sites.

Thank you, I will try this, I felt that I had an idea, but couldn't articulate it. I will report the result!

Thanks again!

Ahh so you want to overlay video from a camera with text and display it on a monitor,. Is that right?


Not even display it on a monitor, more just record the data in case the client needs to review it later. So, in this case, the computer software monitors how much product is in a container and sends it to a dot matrix printer in certain intervals. This would just allow the camera that is watching the container have a visual of that send and record it instead of the administration take the printed data and input it somewhere. Unfortunately, that software is old to only be able to send via printer, so thinking of options to allow that to potentially send over a virtual port, or "usb to serial to ip converter" long way to get something that can be pulled into the various Node Red possibilities. Thank you!

Looking at this from a different angle... How does this software get these values? Is it reading values from a AD converter card? Or perhaps it uses modbus or TCP to grab the sensors data? Could you get node-red to read the values and then you can retire this old software.

I really like this idea and will check at the system, you are correct, it must have a source device that sends the data to the pc in the first place. Thank you for this angle!

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