Dot Matrix Printer - WTB

Can someone recommend a (sub-$900) new, current production model dot matrix printer? I plan to use it on Windows-7, USB.

My strong preference is for a wide carriage, but I could probably live with 80 columns given some compelling reasons, such as performance or reliability, etc.. I'm looking at: OKI62434101 - Oki Microline 691 24-Pin Wide Carriage Dot Matrix Printer.

If anyone has personal experience with this exact model (or even the smaller 690) I'd really appreciate hearing your thoughts and experience with it.

I just want something that is reliable and prints with reasonably good speed (for a dot matrix) and quality. The application is making printouts for assembly language programs.

I realize a laser or inkjet is the modern-day alternative, if one were going to print it at all.

But I actually PREFER to archive, review and update code the old-fashioned way - i.e., having the printout in a Presstex/ACCO hanging binder.

My last dot matrix (a Panasonic) finally died, and while I have spent most of this past year trying to get accustomed to different bindings, it just isn't happening. (Note: That's a sure sign of getting old!) :)

OKI and Epson seem to be the only ones making these things anymore?

Thanks in advance, as always.


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i'd go with whatever you expect will have the best ribbon availability down the road. I'll expect you'll still be able to buy Epson ribbons, but "Okidata"??

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Okidata has been making industrial quality printers since forever.

Around 1993 I got a used one (possibly the 691 mentioned above) with a broken pin for $3 and was able to disassemble the head and swap the bad pin to a less inconvenient location.

  When I tried casting out nines I made a hash of it.
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Jasen Betts

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My worm gear drive saws are much louder. Besides, that was a Chevy Volt, not a Tesla. Anyway, it does demonstrate my principle. If it moves, it breaks(tm).

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Jeff Liebermann 
150 Felker St #D 
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Jeff Liebermann

Yep. It's the job of a pedestrian detection system to alert the _driver_, they're in the best position to react, not sound some alert tone to the pedestrian in the (possibly futile) hope they'll recognize it and know what to do

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Good advice. Although with Amazon, you can pretty much get everything these days.

That said, I found a less expensive Epson wide-carriage (FX-2190II) 9-pin. Since it's probably going to be a single-purpose printer, I really don't ne ed all that near-letter quality stuff, speed, etc...

Someone else mentioned that Dot Matrix has gone the way of the dinosaur (or at least the wired MP3 player), but that's not entirely true. There is st ill a strong niche market for dot-matrix in settings that require multiple copies of the same form (i.e., NCR paper), particularly in cases where the customer has to sign the document. (Auto repair, warehouse pickup slips, etc...)

Though it is likewise true that some other stores will opt for an entirely wireless experience, where the customer signs a iPad (or whatever).

I'll give you one guess what I think about that? (Old fart that I am...) : )

If I get the printer, I'll promise to upload an "unboxing" video, complete with 24-bit Dolby sound of the print-head. (Translation: Don't hold your breath.)

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Oki, HP, Lexmark, Canon, Samsung. Newegg. Their search does not recognize "wide carriage".

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Robert Baer

trix printer? I plan to use it on Windows-7, USB.


DMs have no end of downsides as Jeff explained, and some he didn't, but tha t above's the one point that's not really an issue. There aren't many sizes in use, and it doesn't matter at all what make or model a ribbon was sold to fit, it just has to be the right width. That of course assumes you're ha ppy to transplant it into the old ribbon casing. If you're happy to live wi th a DM, you should have no objection to regular reinking of ribbons, insta lling a homebrewed ink reservoir, mixing ink and replacing ribbbons when th ey become a hazard to the pins. /Don't/ neglect the latter or your print he ad will be deaded.

Don't forget to put it in a different room to the one you're in. They reall y are noisy. And slow. And in consumer grade machines they stop frequently as the heads overheat. And sit them on rubber pads on a wobbly table to min imise noise transmission.

Colour DMs did exist - but you get few colours as well as junk resolution a s each pixel can't be modulated. When I looked for a replacement ribbon dec ades ago the cost was a bit outrageous, and they're much harder to reink.

I suspect ribbons could be made from haberdashery supplies, but I've never considered doing it. I have however used white printing ribbons from little reels of correction film.

Another downside is that the 'violet' ink often used slowly fades to nothin g. Put it in direct summer sun & it can be vanished in a day. Varying fadin g print density is ever an issue of course.

The only upsides I can think of is that the ink was extremely cheap & the p rinters free.

Daisy wheels were better if you only wanted to print plain text. Golfballs used to hammer the crap out of anything they sat on.


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