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Parallel printer suddenly not working

GeoffB17

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
465
Location
Guisborough, England
Still sounds like the cable (incl the connectors) or the circuits inside the printer closest to the connector. Most other things would mess with the self test.

Note, if there is something up with the cable, touching it/moving it at any time while printing will change things, esp if there are any sort of funny connections inside. If other cables are similar, then extra checks on the connectors, or inside printer.

Check the board inside the printer next to port/socket. Any capacitors, esp electrolytic. Any sign of leaks, or a component looking odd. Funny capacitors of any sort will make a circuit do wierd things, while 'seeming' to still work.

Can you print a small doc, and touch nothing. Then print again, while moving the cable about. Any difference?

Geoff
 

Chuck(G)

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Pacific Northwest, USA
Also, check to see that the parallel port connector on the board hasn't developed an intermittent with the PCB traces. Could be a crack or cold solder joint.
 

Overmann

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
102
Location
Norway
I've been testing with a small document I wrote that looks something like this:

R#jioF o"#R OhOERGoiheruffwb jkhbR bf kBkj
dnjk BHvkbveR BKkjbvrE KbWOow Fkbkerjkebrkjreb l knkljg
kjfrew wjb
ewrjkfbkERJ
kjebkerbfKJEWR weffw

So just random gibberish, and the printer never prints more then one line. Something like:
E920 fioe ookejj 90

And the next time I try i prints something like:
DKROGJ OOOEJF(IS

But in a very large font perhaps. And the next time it might just print: K
It's very strange. I tried moving the cable but I can't tell if there is a difference. It's all just so random either way. I'll make an effort tomorrow to find some of the other cables i have.

I do have a feeling that the printer is making more of a smell then it used to. Like a warm electronic smell like old CRT's make. I don't think it made that smell last time it worked.
 

GeoffB17

Experienced Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2016
Messages
465
Location
Guisborough, England
Right,

I'd be inclined to say that this is TOO messed up to be just the cable.

A broken contact near the Centronics connector is possible, but I think the circuit is being too random for that even.

Use a bright light, and look closely at the components near to the connector. Esp any capacitors. Certain types of capacitors can fail. Certain types of failure will continue to 'work', but will alter the way the associated circuit operates. Problems could well cause associated components (such as resistors) to overheat, which might explain the smell.

Electrolytics are a problem (any that have (+) and (-) leads) but some others can be problematic. Tantalum ones (usually brightly coloured) have a bad reputation.

Capacitors can just be replaced, like-for-like. Ideally before total failure causes other damage.

Geoff
 

Overmann

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
102
Location
Norway
I've had a chance to test another parallel printer with the cables now and it works fine in Win95 (but not on the Amiga. Probably an issue with the driver I'm trying to use or the emulation mode of the printer). So it seems I'll have to recap and inspect the boards more closely.
 

Overmann

Experienced Member
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Apr 21, 2017
Messages
102
Location
Norway
Turbo Print is a must for a lot of printers.

On the Amiga? I have Turboprint 5 lite, but it won't print. This is my new printer, by the way, the one that works fine with the cables in Windows. I've not tested it in DOS yet.
Workbench has Epson FX-drivers, which the OKI Microline 280 Elite, my printer, is able to emulate, but the printer just sits there doing nothing. I've tried the EpsonX-drivers in TurboPrint 5 lite as well and the printer will actually do all the things its supposed to do while printing except move the print head and hammer the paper with needles. The paper moves jittery through the spool just like as if it was printing.

TurboPrint has the EpsonX-driver set to color. If I set it to B&W and try to print the printer just sits there again, doing nothing.
 

KC9UDX

Space Commander
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
7,468
Location
Lutenblag
In my experience, brand new printers are a total crapshoot in any OS besides Windows. The one thing that I can always get to work though (except in the case of the HP Colour LaserJet 1600) is text. No graphics, no formatting, just plain text.

Power cycle the printer, open a CLI, and execute
Code:
Copy S: Startup-Sequence Prt:
That doesn't require any kind of printer driver or emulation and should work on just about everything (excepting of course that blasted aforementioned HP).
 

Overmann

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
102
Location
Norway
In my experience, brand new printers are a total crapshoot in any OS besides Windows. The one thing that I can always get to work though (except in the case of the HP Colour LaserJet 1600) is text. No graphics, no formatting, just plain text.

Power cycle the printer, open a CLI, and execute
Code:
Copy S: Startup-Sequence Prt:
That doesn't require any kind of printer driver or emulation and should work on just about everything (excepting of course that blasted aforementioned HP).

Thanks, that worked perfectly so I've been fiddling with the drivers and ionstalling drivers in my programs (wordworth etc.) and the OKI appears to be working on the Amiga now.
I think I'll try to find someone more capable then myself to look at the STAR. I don't want to risk causing more damage and I REALLY want to get it working again. Great printer!
 

KC9UDX

Space Commander
Joined
Jan 27, 2014
Messages
7,468
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Lutenblag
I'm glad you got it to work. You obviously spotted the error in my "code" block which I can't edit anymore: There's an extraneous space between S: and Startup-Sequence.
 

Overmann

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2017
Messages
102
Location
Norway
I'm glad you got it to work. You obviously spotted the error in my "code" block which I can't edit anymore: There's an extraneous space between S: and Startup-Sequence.

Yep, saw it ;)
I have to say that his OKI is really nice once I've gotten it going. Amiga/DOS/Win3.1/Win95 etc. The documentation is quite terrible. It said nothing about storing the settings for Epson emulation before restarting the printer but I found a line in the F.A.Q of a similar model saying to press PITCH and MODE together when your happy with your settings.
 
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