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'[OT] Printer for TTP'
1999\02\06@200634 by Sean Breheny

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Hi All,

I am still in the process of trying to find a good way to produce PCBs. I
wsa going to buy a used cheap plotter,but now my regular printer is giving
me problems so I'm thinking of trying to buy one item which will do both
tasks.

I have two questions:

#1) Does Toner Transfer Paper work well enough to be a viable method?

#2) Will LED-based laser printers work with the Toner Transfer Paper?

I don't have enough money to buy a regular laser printer, but I see that
Okidata makes LED-type "laser" printers at almost half of the usual laser
printer prices. I think they are the same as laser printers as far as the
paper is concerned (they still use toner).

I would appreciate it,too, if anyone has any general "caveats" about LED
based printers, that they would let me know,please.

Thanks very much,

Sean


|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
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1999\02\06@202235 by Reginald Neale

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Sean asked:

>#1) Does Toner Transfer Paper work well enough to be a viable method?
>
 Yes, but it's a skill. There are a lot of variables, the learning
 curve is non-trivial, and you can count on quite a lot of scrap.

>#2) Will LED-based laser printers work with the Toner Transfer Paper?

 Yes.
>
>I don't have enough money to buy a regular laser printer, but I see that
>Okidata makes LED-type "laser" printers at almost half of the usual laser
>printer prices. I think they are the same as laser printers as far as the
>paper is concerned (they still use toner).

 I'm not familiar with the Okidata, but I have a GCC LED-type laser
 printer. AFAIK the toner is exactly the same as any other printer.

>
>I would appreciate it,too, if anyone has any general "caveats" about LED
>based printers, that they would let me know,please.
>
 IMHO the main difference is that because they are less expensive, they
 are likely not to support postscript. Not having postscript in a laser
 printer is a pain.

 Just my personal experience, other's mileage may vary widely.

 Reg Neale

1999\02\06@205524 by Bob Drzyzgula

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On Sat, Feb 06, 1999 at 08:03:50PM -0500, Sean Breheny wrote:
>
> I don't have enough money to buy a regular laser printer, but I see that
> Okidata makes LED-type "laser" printers at almost half of the usual laser
> printer prices. I think they are the same as laser printers as far as the
> paper is concerned (they still use toner).
>
> I would appreciate it,too, if anyone has any general "caveats" about LED
> based printers, that they would let me know,please.

I have an Okidata OL400e that I've been using for about
three years. I've been extremely happy with it.
The way it works is that there is a bar on the underside
of the cover with a row of red LEDs the width of the
paper. The paper transport moves the paper against this
light bar, which has the same effect as the laser beam
in a laser printer. Mine is set up to do 300dpi, but there
are 600dpi units. Generally it has been very reliable,
except for occasionally getting hungry on me (*). One
nice thing is that the toner cartridges are separate
from the fuser mechanism, so that when you run out of
toner that is all you have to replace. In three years
I've put maybe 40 or 50 reams of paper through it and
have maybe replaced the toner four or so times and
the fuser never. The toner cartridges usually run me
abuot US$ 20-25.

Generally, I find that print media that is designed for
laser printers are almost always compatible with the
Okidata. (I haven't found any that wasn't but I don't
want to claim that there this never happens). One nice
thing the OL400e is that if you extend the back tray and
supply the paper from the single-sheet tray in the
front, then the paper goes straight through the
printer without being bent over a roller; this is
really nice for envelopes and labels.

--Bob

* for some reason it seems to want me to give it some jam
-- "FEED JAM" it always says -- and it sulks and won't
print anything until I take the paper away from it and
make it restart. I refuse to give it any, however, 'cause
I figure it will just get my printouts all sticky :-).
I think that sometimes it must talk someone into giving
it some, because I find that I have to clean the paper
rollers on occasion.

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
.....bobKILLspamspam@spam@drzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\02\06@210403 by dave vanhorn

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>Generally, I find that print media that is designed for
>laser printers are almost always compatible with the
>Okidata. (I haven't found any that wasn't but I don't
>want to claim that there this never happens). One nice
>thing the OL400e is that if you extend the back tray and
>supply the paper from the single-sheet tray in the
>front, then the paper goes straight through the
>printer without being bent over a roller; this is
>really nice for envelopes and labels.


Straight paper paths are always better for ttp, since the bending of the
sheet could cause ripples or distortions in the toner (melted plastic)


>--Bob
>
>* for some reason it seems to want me to give it some jam
>-- "FEED JAM" it always says -- and it sulks and won't
>print anything until I take the paper away from it and
>make it restart. I refuse to give it any, however, 'cause
>I figure it will just get my printouts all sticky :-).

Just like human children, they often want things that aren't good for them. :)

1999\02\06@211147 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Thanks to Reg and Bob for their prompt responses,

I don't think that the OL400e is still available, or at least,it isn't
listed on Okidata's current products list on their website. The particluar
model I was looking to buy was the OKIPAGE OP4W. It sounds basically the
same as what you are describing,Bob, except for one thing that concerns me
a bit, it is a GDI-based printer, which as far as I can decipher, means
that the software on the computer does the translation from the format in
which you are prining into the bitmap raster which the printer's LED array
needs. So, you have to have winvirus 95 running at the same time for it to
work. I'm a bit concerned that certain DOS-based programs may not like
this(although, they claim it will work with most DOS programs if running in
a win95 dos shell). It's memory is also listed as being only 128k, I guess
that this is because it is GDI based and the  computer's own memory is used.

Okidata seem to be big on this GDI concept. Almost all of their low-end LED
printers use it, with one exception, the OP6e or OP6ex. However, that is
around $225. Still probably within my budget, but I'd rather not pay that
much more if it isn't necessary (it is also 6ppm, which I don't really need).

The price on the OP4W is incredible, only $150 at Microwarehouse and
several other dealers, and just as you said, the toner is only $25 per
cartridge, and the image drum (supposed to be rated for 10k pages) is about
$114.

Thanks for your help and I'd appreciate any further comments.

Sean


At 08:42 PM 2/6/99 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
.....shb7KILLspamspam.....cornell.edu  Phone(USA): (607) 253-0315 ICQ #: 3329174

1999\02\06@211404 by Bob Drzyzgula

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On Sat, Feb 06, 1999 at 08:21:48PM -0500, Reginald Neale wrote:
> Sean asked:
>
> >
> >I would appreciate it,too, if anyone has any general "caveats" about LED
> >based printers, that they would let me know,please.
> >
>   IMHO the main difference is that because they are less expensive, they
>   are likely not to support postscript. Not having postscript in a laser
>   printer is a pain.

I agree that this is a pain. My Okidata does support
HP LJ IIp, which most PC software can handle, and it
does a pretty decent job with it. For PostScript support,
I drive it with GhostScript, but I don't have much
memory in mine (I've been too cheap to upgrade it) and
a graphics-intensive PostScript document will overflow
on me. I could fix that with some extra memory, though,
and for pages that do fit in memory, GhostScript
usually does an excellent job, although the occaisional
non-standard postscript will hang it up.

Okidata does make PostScript LED printers, but the
the Adobe license as well as extra processing capacity
and memory requred does drive up the price.

--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
EraseMEbobspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\02\06@214908 by John Griessen

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My ol600e is reliable and high contrast, and I plan to text it out for
making toner transfers for PCB's and aluminum etching soon.

The lack of Postscript is a pain though, I was fooled by that for a while
using Adobe Illustrator output until I found a printer driver setting that
was reducing the effective resolution!

John G
> {Original Message removed}

1999\02\06@221355 by Bob Drzyzgula

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On Sat, Feb 06, 1999 at 09:09:17PM -0500, Sean Breheny wrote:
> Thanks to Reg and Bob for their prompt responses,
>
> I don't think that the OL400e is still available, or at least,it isn't
> listed on Okidata's current products list on their website. The particluar

Sometimes I think that manufacturers do this just so that
no one can make purchase decisions based on long-term
experience. I know that this isn't true, but it still
seems that way sometimes.

> model I was looking to buy was the OKIPAGE OP4W. It sounds basically the
> same as what you are describing,Bob, except for one thing that concerns me
> a bit, it is a GDI-based printer, which as far as I can decipher, means

UGH! Actually, I think that the OL4xx series may have
been the last low-end Okidatas to not require GDI
drivers. In fact, I recall now that, at the cost of a
small disagreement with my wife, I had rushed out to buy
the OL400e when I saw that the new models had no control
buttons on the top. I knew that I wanted to drive the
printer with DOS and Linux, and I knew that no buttons
was a *bad* sign.

> that the software on the computer does the translation from the format in
> which you are prining into the bitmap raster which the printer's LED array
> needs. So, you have to have winvirus 95 running at the same time for it to
> work. I'm a bit concerned that certain DOS-based programs may not like
> this(although, they claim it will work with most DOS programs if running in
> a win95 dos shell). It's memory is also listed as being only 128k, I guess
> that this is because it is GDI based and the  computer's own memory is used.

Bad, bad, bad. Avoid at all cost. I can see it now...
You: "Customer support? I'm having trouble printing on my
Okidata Printer." Them: "Have you tried re-installing
Windows?"

You might take a look at Electrified Discounters,
http://www.electrified.com. I haven't dealt with
them, so I can't vouch for them, but they are big
into selling remanufactured Okidatas. Right now
they're running a special on Electrified-remanufactured
OL410e printers for $99 with a 90-day warranty.
The OL410e is virtually identical to the 400e (it
still has the front panel), but it uses an image
enhancement mechanism to interpolate the 300dpi out
to an effective 600dpi. I recall wanting to get that
one when I got my 400e but I just couldn't afford it.

--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
bobspamspam_OUTdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\02\06@225557 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
Hi again Bob, and thanks,

more comments below:

At 10:01 PM 2/6/99 -0500, you wrote:
>UGH! Actually, I think that the OL4xx series may have
>been the last low-end Okidatas to not require GDI
>drivers. In fact, I recall now that, at the cost of a
>small disagreement with my wife, I had rushed out to buy
>the OL400e when I saw that the new models had no control
>buttons on the top. I knew that I wanted to drive the
>printer with DOS and Linux, and I knew that no buttons
>was a *bad* sign.

[SNIP]

>Bad, bad, bad. Avoid at all cost. I can see it now...
>You: "Customer support? I'm having trouble printing on my
>Okidata Printer." Them: "Have you tried re-installing
>Windows?"

Hmmmm. Unfortunately, this is what I was worried about. When I look at the
specs for the OP6e,however, it says that it is compatible with MS-DOS (this
is NOT stated about the OP4w)
and can emulate several different printers (PCL 5e(HP LaserJet 4),Epson
FX,IBM ProPrinter III XL, AND HiPerPrint GDI) and has 1MB of RAM. Sound
better to you?

Unfortunately,the lowest price for the OP6e I can find is $200, and the
average is about $240,although it seems that many places don't carry it at
all, even if they do carry the OP4w and the OP8w (also GDI only).

I guess I will have to bite the bullet and pay a bit more for a non-GDI
interface.

{Quote hidden}

Thanks, I was looking at used/remanufactured stuff, too, but I am a bit
scared about being able to find toner and image drums for discontinued
products. Yes, I have seen them available now, but for how much longer?

Thanks again,

Sean

|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
@spam@shb7KILLspamspamcornell.edu  Phone(USA): (607) 253-0315 ICQ #: 3329174

1999\02\07@030648 by paulb

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Can't resist!

Sean Breheny wrote:

> Okidata seem to be big on this GDI concept.

 Surprised?  It allows them to sell you half a printer and still charge
you money for it!

 Naturally it should be able to run from DOS as long as it has a driver
running under Windoze, intercepting "print" output.  I'm sure it could
"emulate" all sorts of things too because the computer is doing all the
work.

 It has enough buffer to keep writing the sheet as long as the computer
is doing *nothing* else at the time and doesn't get stuck too often with
disk accesses or whatever in which case - well you throw out the sheet
and start again.  But you wouldn't *want* to use your computer for
anything else while printing, would you?

Bob Drzyzgula wrote:

> Bad, bad, bad. Avoid at all cost.  I can see it now...
> You: "Customer support?  I'm having trouble printing on my Okidata
>      Printer."
> Them: "Have you tried re-installing Windows?"

 ROTFL

 Haven't I heard of "GDI" or similar concept modems somewhere? ;-)
--
 Cheers,
       Paul B.

1999\02\07@060321 by Roland Andrag

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Hello

I own an OKIPAGE 4w Plus printer, and am VERY happy with it. The print
quality is 600 dpi, and I have never run across a page that would not print
in its entirity (due to memory etc.). This includes complex PDF's, Autocad
drawings (try an hp with 1 mb on a big autocad drawing).  The processing is
done by the driver on the pc side, and there is a noticeable slowdown.  I
have used the fineprint utility (a 'printer driver' that interfaces with
your printer driver and shrinks 2/4 etc. pages onto one) without any
problems.  I must admit that I do not print out of dos, since I have no need
to.  As for linux, if it is as good as its supposed to be (and any linux fan
will tell you how good it is, and keep talking about it for the rest of the
evening), someone has probably already taken some of his OWN time and
written a BETTER driver for linux. Or otherwise linux is growing so fast
that oki will have to support it. But thats just what every linux fan tells
me.

Cheers
Roland

1999\02\07@073707 by Bob Drzyzgula

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On Sun, Feb 07, 1999 at 12:53:39PM +0200, Roland Andrag wrote:
> Hello
>
>  As for linux, if it is as good as its supposed to be (and any linux fan
> will tell you how good it is, and keep talking about it for the rest of the
> evening), someone has probably already taken some of his OWN time and
> written a BETTER driver for linux. Or otherwise linux is growing so fast
> that oki will have to support it. But thats just what every linux fan tells
> me.

Windows can do things that Linux can't and Linux can do
things that Windows can't; I use both. (Actually I also
use Solaris, OS/MVS, DOS, standalone Forth and even
Macs on occasion, they all have advantages). I do, however,
often get very frustrated with the intractability of
many problems that I experience in proprietary operating
systems such as Windows or Solaris. It is not very
reassuring to me that Microsoft itself cannot figure
out so many problems; e.g. I once had the "New... Folder"
menu option disappear from the right-click pop-up in
Windows Explorer, and even with paid support from Microsoft
the only solution they could offer was for me to re-install
the entire operating system. Whatever problems I have with
Linux, this sort of deep, mysterious, unknowable bug does
not seem to occur. Bugs, yes, bugs that cannot be diagnosed,
rarely.

Many times the Linux driver issue is not one of someone
wanting to write one. GDI printers often have the problem
that all the information that one would need to write
a driver is proprietary and unavailable to the user, for
whatever reason. Gone are the days of manuals listing all
the escape codes for the different functions of a printer.
Reasons why companies such as Okidata will refuse to
releas such specifications are the subject of much
speculation, but are often in fact inscrutable.

GDI printers are sort of like getting a device that is
driven by a code-protected OTP PIC; this is absolutely
fine as long as it is already programmed to do everything
you would ever want or need to do with it. If OTOH you
*do* need to do something else with it, it is a poor choice
for purchase. Still, this does not lessen its usefulness
or appropriateness for those who's needs are met by the
included function.

--Bob

--
============================================================
Bob Drzyzgula                             It's not a problem
KILLspambobKILLspamspamdrzyzgula.org                until something bad happens
============================================================

1999\02\10@181940 by tefan Ranguelov

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Hi !


Sean Breheny wrote:
...

> #1) Does Toner Transfer Paper work well enough to be a viable method?

Yes, it is possible to do this, but it is very tricky and the results
depend on many parameters.


>
> #2) Will LED-based laser printers work with the Toner Transfer Paper?

I don't have expiriance with LED printers, but LED or Laser should't
make
a big difference.


I have compard my new 600 dpi Laser with the older 300 dpi one we have
at work (both from HP) and it seems that the newer one uses less toner
to print the image. The toner powder is fine graind and the resin may
differ.
The images printed on the older 300 dpi printer with a thiker toner
layer are better suited for the toner transver method.


Just my 2 cents ...
St.

1999\02\10@184945 by Sean Breheny

face picon face
I want to thank everyone for responding to my question about TTP and
printers. I finally ordered
an Okidata Okipage 6e and it should be here tomorrow. The okipage 6e, as I
understand it, is an LED-type laser printer with 1MB of memory, and HP
laserjet IV emulation,in addition to GDI. I currently don't have any toner
transfer paper and it will be at least a couple of weeks before I get any,
most likely. However, I will let everyone know how much success I have with
TTP on this printer when I get a chance.

On the point about 300 dpi vs 600 dpi, this printer is 300x1200 dpi but I
believe it uses a fine-grained toner. Perhaps I can just turn up the
darkness all the way? There was an article a while ago (1.5 years
ago,August '97) in Electronics Now about using TTP and the printer they
used for all of the tests was an Okidata OL600e, the direct predecessor to
the Okipage 6e. They look almost identical and take the same toner and
image drum,so I'm hoping to achieve results which are as good as what they
got,after some practice, of course.

Thanks again,

Sean


At 12:04 AM 2/11/99 +0100, you wrote:
>Hi !
>
[SNIP]
|
| Sean Breheny
| Amateur Radio Callsign: KA3YXM
| Electrical Engineering Student
\--------------=----------------
Save lives, please look at http://www.all.org
Personal page: http://www.people.cornell.edu/pages/shb7
RemoveMEshb7TakeThisOuTspamcornell.edu  Phone(USA): (607) 253-0315 ICQ #: 3329174

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