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Computer Collector
August 22nd, 2005, 09:21 PM
I have a question about this printer. I found it at a thrift shop a year ago and its practically like new. Its very clean and works great, but it doesnt print very dark at all. Its very light. Should I change the Ribbon film? I didnt see a regular ribbon film cartridge inside. Its like 2 little ones on each side; kind of wierd. Actually, Im not sure if thats even ribbon film or not. Ive got rolls of new ribbon film, though. Apparently it is ribbon fil. How do I get those cartridges out? Should I open them up and roll on some new film? What have you done?

vic user
August 23rd, 2005, 08:17 AM
you may still be able to get the ribbons, perhaps from a ko-rec-type supplier.

i have been able to get ribbons for my old commodore printers this way.

here are some things i founf that might help you:

from Bo Zimmer's site:

These units have the most unusal printing mechanism ever made. They use a rotating ribbed drum behind the paper and a single uni-hammer that hits the paper (through the ribbon) and bangs on the drum when a ridge is in the proper place to make a single dot. Hence each dot is produced individualy. Normal printers used a multi wire printhead and created 8 or 9 dots at a time banging against a fixed platen. These printer mechanisms were manufactured by Seikosha.

from the Denial vic 20 forum, posted by a member 'bbell':

I may get scolded by some repair techs, but I have found it useful to squirt WD-40 into a dot matrix printer ribbon to extend its printing darkness. Not _too_ much, mind you, just a gentle dampening of the ribbon.

I find that most dot matrix printers print in the center portion of the ribbon, leaving alot of space above and below that is not used. The ink in those locations dries up and/or just sits there. If I put a small amount of WD-40 on the ribbon, the ink dissolves into the WD-40 and spreads into the printable area of the ribbon. Then the WD-40 dries up and the ribbon works well. If you put too much WD-40 the print will get a little fuzzy because the ribbon is over wet, although it is still legible. Hmm maybe poor man's antialiasing.

The worst part is finding a spot on the cartridge where to stick the little red tube to evenly coat the ribbon. However I think on the 10X it uses little spools of ribbon, which makes it easy.

I am sure this approach would work for re-inking as well with real ink, assuming you can find a compatible ink. Over application would probably still be an issue.

Another trick for the 10X might be to "flip" the ribbon over if the printed area is off center, causing the printer to print on a fresh area of the ribbon. You might have to despool the ribbon to do this, which could be messy, and this assumes off center printing.

chris

80sFreak
August 23rd, 2005, 07:32 PM
here are some things i founf that might help you:

from Bo Zimmer's site:

These units have the most unusal printing mechanism ever made. They use a rotating ribbed drum behind the paper and a single uni-hammer that hits the paper (through the ribbon) and bangs on the drum when a ridge is in the proper place to make a single dot. Hence each dot is produced individualy. Normal printers used a multi wire printhead and created 8 or 9 dots at a time banging against a fixed platen. These printer mechanisms were manufactured by Seikosha.


That is also how the MPS-801 printer did the printing. Back in the day this is the printer my parents and I had. Another thing about it - it had no descenders for lower case letters like 'y', 'g' or 'p'. The letter would print out, but it look like it was moved up a dot. There was a third-party upgrade we got for the printer - not sure if it was software or an eprom - that gave the MPS-801 true descenders.

Cheers,

80sFreak

Terry Yager
August 25th, 2005, 04:17 PM
Can you say..."Gorilla Banana"?

--T

80sFreak
August 25th, 2005, 06:21 PM
Can you say..."Gorilla Banana"?


But is this an external adapter or an eprom?

Cheers,

90sFreak

Terry Yager
August 25th, 2005, 06:48 PM
The Gorilla Banana was an early printer that used the same mechanism discussed above. It was very inexpensive (for it's day), which also made it quite popular. It was re-badged and sold under several other names, including an Axiom version for the TI 99/4A, IIRC.

--T

Terry Yager
August 27th, 2005, 09:21 AM
Here's one I just kicked-up on eBay:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Gorilla-Parallel-Printer-for-Ti-99-4a_W0QQitemZ5235468099QQcategoryZ1247QQrdZ1QQcmdZV iewItem

--T