What printer are you still using?

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gidandridge
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What printer are you still using?

Post by gidandridge »

HI All,

I'm curious how many of us might still be using a dot matrix printer with their setup?

I don't have one myself but have thought about getting one. Problem is what to do about printer ribbons? I've heard that some companies still produce new ribbons but I figure this must be for a limited number of printers. I've also heard about re-inking ribbons but I don't know if that's something that can be done reliably? Didn't the old ink's include some kind of oil/lubricant to keep things running?

Or perhaps some of us are using a more modern printer?

Either way I'd love to hear what you're doing, if anything. The idea of getting a good old dot matrix connected up to my Beeb or Electron is appealing, but I'm not sure worth doing if I can't get a reliable supply of ink. :roll:

Cheers.
Gav. :D

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flaxcottage
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by flaxcottage »

Epson RX80 F/T and BJ-10E/BJ-10S printers.

New ribbons are still available for the RX80 and ink cartridges can be obtained for the BJ-10.
- John

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rmbrowngr
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by rmbrowngr »

I stupidly threw away my Electron printer cable a few years ago just before became interested in retro computing #-o

I see on eBay a few cables, but not the same quality as I had a cable with a metal connector.

I could probably get hold of a dot matrix Epson printer but where to get a new printer cartridge and paper?

https://www.retroprinter.com/ A convertor to use with modern printers
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by Kazzie »

I've got a Panasonic KXP-1124i in my attic, along with a bnib ink ribbon that probably isn't as moist as it used to be. It seems that there are still more ink ribbons available to buy on the interweb, too. :) It was last used by my brother (with our Archimedes) almost two decades ago, but it's staying in the loft as the machines I'd connect it to don't have any permanent table space. I've got a good inch-thick stack of fan-fold paper for it, too.

Last year I acquired a Seikosha GP-80 as part of a job-lot. It's small and cute, and made a hell of a racket when "printing" text out from my Beeb. :shock: I don't have any of the 8-inch fan-fold paper it wants, so I'm unlikely to be able to make any use of it.
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1024MAK
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by 1024MAK »

Not that I use them much...

But I still have my original Star LC10. The colour mechanism died long ago, but it will still print out using black cartridges.

I also have a Epson printer (can’t remember the model number, but it’s newer than the Star).

I have a Memotech badged Panasonic in storage, it works but needs a new ribbon cartridge.

I also have an old inkjet printer with a parallel port. That works as well.
Spare Printer ribbon for Star LC10
Spare Printer ribbon for Star LC10
Spare Printer ribbon for Epson
Spare Printer ribbon for Epson
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by rharper »

My very first printer, many years ago, was a Panasonic KX-P1081, so when my Star LC-10 died I bought a KX-P1081 which works fine.
I have not done it recently but back in the day when the text became faint I re-inked the ribbon by putting some black QUINK ink on a cloth, gripping the ribbon lightly and twisting the knob that runs the ribbon through the cartridge till it had been completely round the cartridge - sharp text returned.
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by Coeus »

I don't have one but last time I looked, which was no more than a year or two ago, impact dot matrix printers were available new. I suspect they are little used at home but remained in use in industry. A local garage, until recently, still issued invoices which were an impact dot matrix printing over a pre-printed form rather than using a laser printer.
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1024MAK
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by 1024MAK »

My employer still uses them for systems that print out diagnostic information. Paper copy can't crash and take all the data with it (but paper jams are another matter...!!!).

Mark
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SimonSideburns
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by SimonSideburns »

Somewhere in my home (I suspect it's rotting away in an old metal shed at the bottom of our garden) I have my original Epson LX-400 printer which I bought around 1989 or 1990. That printer, the Altair Apex ROM/RAM board and twin Voltmace joysticks set me back around £400 at WeServe in Portchester.

I think (somewhere that I haven't found recently) I have a price list from WeServe from that time and from what I recall, some of the prices of things in it (especially Archimedes machines) were astonishing. It certainly could have turned into a very expensive hobby back then.

Thankfully I was on a YTS scheme and couldn't spend much of it on my Beeb or I probably would have struggled to make ends meet even more than I did back then.

Back to the printer, I don't think I ever had to buy new ribbons for it. My first one lasted an awful long time as I didn't print a whole lot of stuff with it. I did love the sound it made as it went along though.

When I eventually get my retro computer attic sorted (I need to convert the space into a habitable room first) I'll be going through that shed and seeing what has survived. I hope most of it is fine, but that metal shed does get damp for some reason and cardboard boxes aren't always the best thing when they get damp. I should have considered storing everything in plastic boxes with proper sealed lids. Oh well.
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by ChrisO »

I still have my Taxan/Kaga KP-810 that I bought from Watford Electronics back in the early 80's. I remember travelling there by train and carrying it home ! It hasn't been used for at least 25 years but I still have half a box of fanfold paper and a few ribbons (probably dried out ?). I plan to dig it out and see if it works on my System computer at some point.

Chris
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by BeebMaster »

I have about 3 dot-matrix printers, including an A3 Epson one I got from the South West show a few years back, which went on fire right on cue when I got it home.

Sadly though I am using a modern printer, a Brother HL2070N which originally was shared via its parallel port and a printer switch box between Station 1 and the BeebMaster Desktop PC as was. Now it's a networked printer and the parallel is still connected to Station 1. It gets nearly no use at as a "PC" printer, but I do a small amount of Beeb printing using it, mainly Inter-Word documents. I still print my cheques using an Inter-Word template I originally made in about 2005.

That printer replaced an Oki OL-400ex which did the same shared job for a few years before that.

As the main "PC" printer, the HL2070N was replaced in 2017 with a Brother HL3170CDW but it doesn't have a parallel port so I don't think I can connect it to a Beeb.

As a sort of running family joke, top of my birthday and Christmas lists every year is "printer", as it was something I always wanted as a kid, but I've never been given a printer as a birthday or Christmas present. This year, for the first time in probably 30 years I've changed the request to "3D printer".
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MartinB
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by MartinB »

For everyday transient use during all manner of Acorn tinkering, I use a Casio FP-40 thermal re-chargeable mini-printer with the optional parallel interface module and for longer ‘keeps’ stuff, I use a HP Thinkjet 2225D which has a serial interface. My Casio is shown below with some example printing (uses thermal roll paper) and there’s a library photo of the Thinkjet which uses standard tractor-feed fan-fold. Both printers are really nice units, the Casio is a bit slow and so not useful for longer stuff but the Thinkjet is reasonably quick, produces lovely quality print and is very quiet! Both are pretty much compatible with ubiquitous ‘FX80’ retro communication and control standard.


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scruss
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by scruss »

ThinkJets are nice. I guess there must be clever ways of refilling them by now. I remember the Diconix I had (a badged Thinkjet) would make quiet splat! noises as the ink hit the paper.

I have (and use) an Oki ML320. They are indestructible. The one printer I haven't got going very well (although I know it works) is a giant NEC Spinwriter. This appears to have most of an 8080 S-100 bus system as its internal controller, and its case is die-cast metal. Consequently, its weight is hernia-inducing
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sweh
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by sweh »

Back in the day I had a Centronics GLP with both roll-feed and tractor feed. It worked well, but I didn't bring it to America with me.

Today I have an Espon MX80, but I haven't printed anything on it for so long that I suspect the ribbon has dried out!
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Re: What printer are you still using?

Post by RobC »

I usually have a Star LC-10 attached to my Compact and an Integrex 132 connected to my M128. I've also recently got an Epson HI-80 plotter which I've been using with the Master.
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