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Numerous Dot Matrix printer problems, need a pro's assistance!


Somewhat eXPerienced
Hey guys,

I have been fighting the greatest losing battle for quite a long time now. We have quite a few dot matrix printers here in the building:

OkiData ML521
OkiData ML320
OkiData ML393
OkiData ML395
TallyGenicom LA650+.

3/4 of the printers will be printed from a vendor specific application, but it prints using standard printer drivers and the sort. 2 of the printers (Tally, Oki ML521) utilize something called "blue bar" paper which is tractor fed, and I know the ML 393 printer prints the purchase orders, also tractor fed.

My biggest problem with the OkiData's is setting the top of form. I have followed the guides online for setting the top of the form for all of the pages, and for some reason it never seems to work. I'm not sure if for whatever reason it can't seem to detect where the page breaks for all papers are, but it will print and start printing in the middle of the page and just never keeps it's appropriate setting.

Another issue with printing is the drivers. In the past, we typically used to have users add a direct port to the ip address for the printer, and use the Generic / Text Only driver. Now we share it out from the server. If we use Generic / Text Only, it prints fast, but information is missing... usually the last column or so needed. If we use the driver for that printer, it prints much slower, much smaller than it should, and on the ML393 it constantly alternates during size 10 and 12 while printing.

Are there any professionals here on the forum who have dealt with most if not all of the problems experienced with various dot matrix printers, and can offer help either in this post or by PM's? Your help would be greatly appreciated!!!


OSNN One Post Wonder
Punkrulz;826417My biggest problem with the OkiData's is setting the top of form. I have followed the guides online for setting the top of the form for all of the pages said:
We just got an Okidata Microline 320 Turbo here at my workplace and I'm having a hell of a time setting the TOF on it as well. I'm sorry all I have is a "me, too", but I really want to hear if anyone has a good way to fix this. :)
I used line printers for 12 years. Lossing TOF sync is a fact of life when using different programs with line printers. Just stopping one job and starting another can cause loss of sync. Switching applications is the kiss of death.

1) The applications you use have to be designed to live with lne printer quirks.
2) Generic drivers will not be adequate. If the application does not support the printer you will need to write your own driver or if you are lucky find a shareware driver.
3) Pick applications that support the printers you buy or vice versa.
4) Make sure every application uses a form feed at the job end to realign the forms.
5) Use good quality paper. Paper recommended by the printer maker. If the printer has auto page detection it may require special paper. Read the recommendations.


Somewhat eXPerienced
Thanks for the assistance guys. I believe I have narrowed down most of the problems that we have been experiencing, at least with the OkiDatas. Always in the past, we typically used to add printers by IP Port, using the Generic / Text Only driver. I also remember in the past, that if you used that driver, and you had a long printer name, the printer would not print right at all... which is strange because I don't know how the name of the printer for your usage affects that. When I was adding the printer to the server, using that driver but naming the printer like, "Okidata ML 393 (PO Printer)", it would cut some of text out.

I was still getting more and more complaints about the printer and had to fix it, but I was against going back to the add by IP method. I was able to get both of the printers to work by using the Generic / Text Only driver, and would name the printers generic_po, and generic_bluebar, respectively.

The PO printer would now continue using it's appropriate font, and would print quickly... it was working for one person and not another because they were using it specifically that way, short name, generic driver... didn't know it. The person who had to get up and manually align it every time no longer has to, since using the generic driver it's fine... again, printing quickly and everything.

The bluebar printer seems to have an issue with it's alignment. I would align the paper, ask the person to print. After they're done printing, the first page wouldn't be aligned correctly when printing again, but the second page was (After I had them begin using the print with page break option... didn't know about that previously)... I'm not sure if I should it FF / Load or something afterwards, and I don't know about the tear option or nothing... but it seems to be working pretty decent now.

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