[sane-devel] Re: Epson Perfection 1670

Theodoros V. Kalamatianos nyb@users.sourceforge.net
Thu, 18 Dec 2003 00:05:09 +0200 (EET)

On Wed, 17 Dec 2003, Marco Zanon wrote:

> Hi :)
> A friend of mine has just bought this scanner, but it doesn't work 
> with sane 1.0.12, so I plan to make an upgrade to 1.0.13 for him 
> as soon as possible. I'm glad you reported it to work fine... :)
> Just a question, please. What's this story about the firmware?
> There was a yellow "caution" paper on the scanner telling to 
> insert the cd before plugging the scanner, and so on. Now I also 
> see your .bin file to download.
> Can you please explain me where the problem is?
> Thanks a lot :)
> Marco Zanon [http://www.marcozanon.com]

As far as I can understand the scanner has no persistent menory, apart for 
the minimum required to identify itself via the USB protocols. It does 
have some RAM, though, which is "empty" after powering on the scanner. As 
a result it depends on the OS to upload the firmware to the RAM.

Unless this is done the scanner is virtually useless. What is worse is 
that the lamp stays turned-on as long as the firmware has not been 
loaded. I guess that is why Epson recommends installing the drivers prior 
to connecting the scanner, so that the *other* OS can automatically 
upload the firmware as soon as it is connected and detected.

Now, as far as SANE is concerned, if you get the firmware file and 
configure correctly the snapscan backend you should not encounter any 
serious problems. SANE uploads the firmware file as soon as the device is 

The only problem is that the firmware is not loaded till the first time 
you use the scanner, contrary to windows where it is loaded after having 
the scanner detected. So there is a good chance that the lamp stays on 
for a long time, which might limit its lifetime. Fortunately the scanner 
keeps the firmware as long as it has power, so this problem exists only 
after power failures.

Now, here is my story on the firmware file:

The firmware is stored in a file in the drivers' directory under windows. 
The problem is that (unless I am missing something) there is no way to get 
it apart from installing the drivers on a Windows system. I have no 
Windows system nearby, so getting the file was quite a hassle. WINE and 
cabextract did not work, so I had to use VMware. After getting the damn 
file, I uploaded it so that other people will not have to undergo the same 
procedure. If you have installed the drivers in a Windows machine you can 
simply get it from there.

I hope I was helpful...

Theodoros V. Kalamatianos