Trouble seeing octopi on lan

I have setup octopi and can access via wifi but not on lan

reimaged, reset, pinged, reset network cards

I setup my rasp pi 2+ which has a wipi plugged in. I can get the thing running and have even printed a few items (and love it) Trouble is, I am in my shed and have ni wifi up there, so need to run a wifi booster to my laptop and then setup a hotspot on my laptop to get it working.
Problem with that is it turns off at regular intervals and then I have a hell of a time getting it to start again.
I want to eventually have 2 pi's setup for both my printers, so have an old wireless router which I have plugged in via lan cables to my laptop and the pi.
I can ssh the pi and even see it and ping it on the network, but it just comes up "refused to connect"
what am I doing wrong? any help is appreciated as I have searched the web and all I get is "it should work" I have spent days on this and am tearing my hair out.
Thanks in advance