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im_an_alien
June 8th, 2008, 08:08 PM
I got one my aunt was going to sell at a yard sale. It was my grandpa's, probably bought along with his PC , which is now (a few years ago), unfortunately, gone, off to goodwill or something... Anyway, I got it to print out "Hi!", and it came out VERY dark, like it was brand new, but now all it does it beep and flash the light next to "Ribbon." I would think this means I need a new ink ribbon, but as I said before, it's printing out very dark when it does print.

amouse
June 9th, 2008, 12:39 AM
Well this takes me back! The quietwriter was quite special because it was QUIET! A pleasant change compared with the rest of IBM's printers at the time.

it used an Electro Thermal ribbon.

The secure rule of thumb for printers applies here more than ever:

a) Printer manufacturers make most of their money on consumables rather than the printers themselves

b) Multiply that by a factor of ALOT if you are trying to find an old printer ribbon.

I did a not so quick google search for ribbons and could not get a price. So I'd take it to your printer recycling depot unless you'd just like to keep it for posterity.

regards marcus.

nige the hippy
June 9th, 2008, 02:59 AM
If you're not too bothered about print quality, you can rewind the ribbons (I think on the 5201, the two fingers of plastic on the bottom of the ribbon case are the ratchet, but it could (also) have a metal spring), but it's a fiddly job.

If the ribbon isn't completely used up, try reseating the head & ensure the ribbon is inserted & tensioned properly.

Unlike the 5202, the 5201 didn't have a print quality setting, (the very dark print is normal) as the ribbon advance is mechanical, so look out for ribbons where you can.

Unfortunately it was an expensive printer to run in the 1980s.:(

im_an_alien
June 9th, 2008, 06:13 AM
If the ribbon isn't completely used up, try reseating the head & ensure the ribbon is inserted & tensioned properly.

Well, considering I know just about nothing about this printer, I have no idea how to do that :p All I've figured out so far is that I can use the blue thing to make the printer let go of the ribbon. I'm asuming that has something to do with it...

edit: Can I use typewriter ribbons such as these (http://cgi.ebay.com/Lot-of-2-IBM-Typewriter-Quietwriter-Ribbons-1299790_W0QQitemZ370048175201QQcmdZViewItem)?

MikeS
June 9th, 2008, 08:44 AM
I don't think you can rewind QW ribbons; they're one-time use.

Seems odd that it would run out right after printing HI; are you sure the ribbon is finished? There's a slot in the top that lets you see how much ribbon is left (it gets wound up in the bottom half).

Maybe it's just not properly inserted (or, worse, there's a problem with the QW).

FWIW, I've still got at least one partially used ribbon somewhere if anyone's desperate (although it looks like they're still around on eBay; yup, those should be the right ones). They're not ink ribbons and don't dry out, so it's no surprise that the print is still black.

m

im_an_alien
June 9th, 2008, 08:59 AM
I can't see any ribbon in the slot in the top, but there is definately a little bit of ribbon left...

Btw, since nobody answered my question about using typewriter ribbons, I figured it out myself. I think I might get the ribbons I linked to...

MikeS
June 9th, 2008, 09:09 AM
<snip>
Btw, since nobody answered my question about using typewriter ribbons, I figured it out myself. I think I might get the ribbons I linked to...
---
Well, the listing says they're Quietwriter ribbons and presumably the picture looks like your ribbon, so I don't know why you asked or what you "figured out."

Nevertheless, I did say "yup, those should be the right ones;" what more did you expect?

m

im_an_alien
June 9th, 2008, 10:35 AM
Nevertheless, I did say "yup, those should be the right ones;" what more did you expect?

Sorry, I missed that part...

I figured out that the number is the same.

nige the hippy
June 10th, 2008, 04:55 AM
I don't think you can rewind QW ribbons; they're one-time use.

You're not supposed to rewind them;), but I used to repair QWs and soak tests would have pushed the price of the repair up higher than anyone would be prepared to pay.

Yep those look like 5201 ribbons, be careful the 5202 ribbons look quite similar.

to remove the head, remove the ribbon, then unclip the metal clip holding the head in place. Heads can get a bit cruddy on the edge. if it is cleanish leave it alone, otherwise CAREFULLY!!!!! wipe away the crud (never wipe into the edge it's super fragile) clip the head in, and re-tension the ribbon with the knob on the top. put it back in place & operate the lever.

usual business for test prints, press a button (???) whilst powering on,

also if there's a font cartridge in there, check it's in place (I'm not sure if the 5201 has a default font)

modem7
June 10th, 2008, 05:09 AM
(I'm not sure if the 5201 has a default font)
Not according to an earlier thread on the 5201: http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=8535

im_an_alien
June 10th, 2008, 06:45 AM
Not according to an earlier thread on the 5201: http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?t=8535

Well after reading that last post, I think maybe I have more of a problem than I thought...


For the more complex faults, one or more of the status lamps will be flashing and the printer will beep six times. When this occurs, the STOP button is pressed to reveal the second part of the error code. Using the error code and the 'Hardware Maintenance Service' manual, you should be able to isolate the fault down to LRU level. (refer to page 3-1200-1 of the 'Hardware Maintenance Service' manual)

Mine beeps 6 times, and flashes ribbon. When I hold stop, ready and font flash.

The Researcher
September 29th, 2015, 07:12 AM
Hi there :)
Our company, Pearse Trust, is celebrating 32 years in business in Ireland, and we are establishing a small museum as part of the commemoration. Our very first printer was an IBM 1985 Quietwriter 5201, and although we have examples of almost all our other technology, the printer was thrown out years ago.

We would be interested in purchasing a new or refurbished IBM Quietwriter Printer, preferably Version 1, but would also look at the Version 2 if that additionally came available. Do you perhaps have any idea where we could start looking for these vintage printers?


I got one my aunt was going to sell at a yard sale. It was my grandpa's, probably bought along with his PC , which is now (a few years ago), unfortunately, gone, off to goodwill or something... Anyway, I got it to print out "Hi!", and it came out VERY dark, like it was brand new, but now all it does it beep and flash the light next to "Ribbon." I would think this means I need a new ink ribbon, but as I said before, it's printing out very dark when it does print.

The Researcher
September 29th, 2015, 07:13 AM
Hi there :)
Our company, Pearse Trust, is celebrating 32 years in business in Ireland, and we are establishing a small museum as part of the commemoration. Our very first printer was an IBM 1985 Quietwriter 5201, and although we have examples of almost all our other technology, the printer was thrown out years ago.

We would be interested in purchasing a new or refurbished IBM Quietwriter Printer, preferably Version 1, but would also look at the Version 2 if that additionally came available. Do you perhaps have any idea where we could start looking for these vintage printers?

g4ugm
September 29th, 2015, 02:25 PM
Again this is from 2008. Start a ne thread.