View Full Version : IBM 5202 printer.

October 4th, 2006, 11:58 AM
Anyone know something about this printer? I didn't found any informations on google.
Was it shipped with PS/2 computers or earlier?

October 5th, 2006, 02:02 AM
Also known as the "Quietwriter III".
It used thermal printing technology (hence the name Quietwriter).

Picture at http://www.publicsurplus.com/IANAuction/nm/farmington?ianac=picviewer&auc=145720

October 5th, 2006, 03:15 AM
I have an IBM ProPrinter X24E, it looks very similar in it's design to the QuietPrinter III. The dates inside the plastics range from 1986-1988, so it would be PS/2 era. But it does work great on a 5150/5160!

October 5th, 2006, 05:53 AM
How long printed text is visible on paper?
Is thermal paper expensive?

Also seller don't include power cord... but he say, that's working.
The printer have built-in PSU, or PSU is on power cord?

October 5th, 2006, 05:54 AM
If you are not familiar with thermal printers, I suggest googling to find some background information first before continuing to ask questions here.

October 5th, 2006, 06:46 AM
If it is a thermal printer I think you need paper like fax paper.

Power cable on X24E is standard one.

nige the hippy
October 6th, 2006, 06:00 AM
Hello guys, i used to be company "expert" on the ibm proprinter and quietwriter range especially the 5201 and 5202. however I'm now senile so ignore anything I say.

The quietwriter was actually a lovely printer for the era, but a bit expensive to run. it uses plain paper, but a thermal melty plastic ribbon with resistive foil backing, and the head is just a row of contacts.

To print, it passes a current through the foil, and melts a bit of the plastic onto the paper, when set up right, with the right head, and ribbon, and adjusted correctly, it was capable of very high quality printing (again for the time), similar to that of a laser printer but bolder. however, if the wrong head was fitted (ie a 5201 one in a 5202) or the carriage was set too far back, or the ribbon tension was wrong, or the big silver chip on the carriage had gone faulty or......... at best, the ribbon would snap (I got good at salvaging ribbon cartridges) or at worst the head would burst into flames.

as far as i remember, to open the case, you bring the bail arm forward, tip it onto it's back, and ping the 4 plastic clips hidden in the slots in the "feet" power supply is in the big box at the back.

most of the circuitry is on the main board in the bottom, where secretaries drop paper clips onto the twin 8752 processors. Fortunately due to a quirk in the 8752, you can't code protect them if they are operating partly on external memory, so they got copied, and were replaceable, the big silver chips however, were on a 400 day (!) lead time for spares, so if one of those went, tough.

The chips are, however, very pretty inside, so i pinged the lids off, painted them with varnish, put a pin on the back, and gave them to a few nice girlies as brooches. It sometimes worked! (as did the glass hybrid-circuit (gold, white tin oxide & black carbon traces, with little chips on) earrings)

to replace the ribbon, make sure you slide the green knob on the carriage round till everything retracts, pop the ribbon in place then slide it back.

There are various test modes etc if you power up while holding various of the buttons.

beyond that, memory fades.......

PS don't print anything incriminating, you can read what has been printed by cutting the ribbon into strips, and ironing it onto bits of paper, ( or reading it directly off the ribbon in a mirror). we used to get them in from the Ministry of Defence, with fully used ribbons, oozing with sensitive information. good job i was a good upright citizen!

October 6th, 2006, 02:25 PM
I used to work on the Quietwriter III (and II) as well.

Yes, expensive to run. The place where I worked used them mainly for high quality prints, and for printing on overhead transparancies.
There is a cut-sheet feeder option.
We smelted the used ribbons (along with other sensitive items).

Going back through my notes reveals:

Known problems:

1. Poor quality printouts - worn print head.
2. Left hand margin slowly moves to the left with each line printed - carriage drive belt loose.
3. Character pitch compressed and stretched in the first inch of each line - screw that holds carriage assy to carriage drive belt is loose.
4. IBM's technical mananul is wrong in regard to the swtting of SW1-8. The manual indicates that the switch is 'not used'. SW1-8 is in fact set to ON when a cut-sheet feeder is fitted.

October 6th, 2006, 10:59 PM
So if 5202 printer is expensive to run, what printer would you recommend for me?
I just want monochrome simpe A4 printer.
Dot-matrix printer would be better?

It must be cheap and cheap to run ;).

October 7th, 2006, 01:11 AM
If you were simply buying a vintage printer for your vintage computer, then running cost should be a very minor consideration because you would be doing little printing.
Is the printer for one of your vintage computers, or are you looking for a vintage (cheap) printer for your modern computer?

nige the hippy
October 7th, 2006, 01:38 AM
Only thoughts I have is

5202 etc will keep for ever - ribbons don't degrade & with the sheet feeder fitted is a really useful printer however i doubt that you will be able to get the film ribbon easily - so occasional use only.

if you get a dot matrix, with an ink ribbon, you can re-ink the ribbons a few times (till they start to get holey) IBM proprinters are great, but avoid the 24 pin ones, as the heads are much more fragile than the 9 pin. They take tractor feed fanfold paper - truly authentic feel!

There are also loads of epson printers,
or just look for the cheapest commonest one you can find, and get two
again with as few pins as poss on the head.

Amstrad printers are chaeap and cheerful, but the PCW series use the electronics on the computer mother board to drive them, so no use to a non-amstrad person.

older inkjets from HP are quite authentic, and just keep going. they also are easy to get cartridges for. can't remember the number of the one I was thinking of, but my mate was fixing them in the 1980s, and I was using one until about 5 years ago

October 7th, 2006, 01:54 AM
I tough about printer, that I could use for printing listings, some monochrome graphics or 1-5 pages texts.
Downstairs my father have good HP DJet 5550 printer, but I'am not able to use it with older 386 or 8088s.

I don't need fast one, just old and working ;).

What Epson's series were made in '80s?

October 7th, 2006, 02:42 AM
If you are after some model numbers of early Epson dot matrix printers:

1. Goto to http://www.epson.com.au/consumables/ribbon/
2. Use the 'Find by printer' dropdown. A list of printers will appear.

The early Epsons have 80 and 100 in the model number, e.g. FX-80, FX80+, FX-100, RX-80, RX-100

October 7th, 2006, 03:06 AM
If you were in the US, you could cheaply get the IBM dot maxtrix offered with the PC.
That's the 5152 (an Epson printer with an IBM badge).

I see them from time to time. There appears to be one at http://www.c-reset.com/printers.html

October 7th, 2006, 05:29 AM
Citizen 120D/120D+ printers are very commonplace in the UK (I have 3!), they work well and are easy to get ribbons for.

Terry Yager
October 7th, 2006, 07:00 AM
I know this is OT, but speaking of Epson printers, I have a couple of sets of 'Dots Perfect' ROMs for the MX, etc. Pm me if anyone wants them.