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Any RS232 Printer with nanoPEB?

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I just got my nanoPEB. I am interested in a cheap printer. I found the "SiPix Pocket Printer A6" thermal printer that has RS232. Strange thing is they don't list TI-basic as a compatible operating system....? 

Anyway, will any RS232 printer work with the TI? If not... what do I need to look for? 

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If you want to print text only, any printer, serial or parallel should do the work.

Different story for graphics printing.

For text I use a HP ThinkJet 2225 with no issues.

In the '80s I used a Mannesmann Tally MT80, in text and graphics. I wrote the graphics subroutines to be able to dump the TI-99 screen. Pretty easy in Extended Basic.

 

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The nanoPEB has only serial RS232, it's apparently not fully TI compatible. Best wait for a comment for someone who has one and successfully connected to a printer.

-Ed

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It's close enough for software using DSR calls..  but not for terminal programs and other things that write directly to the uart

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Yeah, NanoPEB RS-232 is immediately and straightforwardly functional via Extended BASIC for what that's worth.  So indeed, if you just want to send text, that's pretty easy. 

 

That having said, back when I was using NanoPEB RS-232 a lot for I/O, I almost exclusively used it in a more TIPI-like way.  Connecting the NanoPEB to an RS-232 port on a service computer where a service script would parse the data (or respond to certain queries) and use it toward whatever purpose in whatever way.  Mainly because that allowed me to route RS-232 traffic to/from various RS-232 devices selectively and regardless of incompatible bitrate, flow control, etc.  But opening it in XB, for example, with

OPEN #2:"RS232.BA=9600.DA=8.PA=N.EC",DISPLAY,UPDATE

 

 

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Good to know about printing from the nano. However, this does not look like a good printer, especially at the price of $100 on Amazon. Pretty sad reviews for it there. It only takes "receipt-size" thermal paper in rolls. Thermal paper fades over time, insists on curling and isn't all that cheap to buy.

 

It's from 2001 (yes, it's that old), and does not support any newer version of Windows beyond XP (if you can find the driver and get the settings correct). It may well work with the far older TI, but I think you'd soon be disappointed.

-Ed

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Ed in SoDak said:

Good to know about printing from the nano. However, this does not look like a good printer, especially at the price of $100 on Amazon. Pretty sad reviews for it there. It only takes "receipt-size" thermal paper in rolls. Thermal paper fades over time, insists on curling and isn't all that cheap to buy.

 

It's from 2001 (yes, it's that old), and does not support any newer version of Windows beyond XP (if you can find the driver and get the settings correct). It may well work with the far older TI, but I think you'd soon be disappointed.

-Ed

Ask victor Steerup, I think he has extra dot matrix printers.

Edited by GDMike

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I really liked using an HP DESKJET with the .../4A. I think that I still have one here somewhere.

They seemed to be much more reliable than other '90's printers! I like the B/W printing.

But I only recall using it with PIO.:twisted:

 

...Dot matrix printing is unreadable to me these days. Bwaaa!

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Well... Nobody probably will ever use one (except maybe me, since I happen to have one), but old vintage plotters (like HP7440A and pals) should work; you would just have to write the routines to control it yourself. (existing software basically expects ESCP, not HPGL).

 

Controlling such a plotter would be super duper easy to do from BASIC.  The only real commands you need to concern yourself with are these ones:
 

 

Gritty details inside spoiler.
 

Spoiler

 

IN;
DF;

SP#;

PS#;

PU[XXXX,YYYY(XXXX,YYYY)];

PD[XXXX,YYYY(XXXX,YYYY)];

 

which are INitialize, set DeFaults, set pen SPeed, PenSelect, PenUp, and PenDown.

 

Those are sufficient to draw anything with the plotter, albeit inefficiently/slowly.

 

At least in the case of the 7440A, the plotter's axis system goes from 0,0 to 10300,7650 (X, Y) for letter size paper. (Y is the short axis of the paper. Paper is loaded portrait style, but is treated like it is landscape by the printer's axis system). This corresponds to 10inx7.5in printable area, with an incrementation of .0025mm per step.  (If you could actually find a pen that accurate, you could draw images at 1000dpi.)

 

If you REALLY wanted to, you could "dot matrix" with the plotter by moving the pen with PUXXXX,YYYY; then quickly PD; then PUXXXX,YYYY; again at the next index.

 

The process to start printing with the plotter is to sent it IN;DF;SP0;PS1; then just start shooting it PU and PD commands.  When you are finished playing etch-a-sketch with it, send it PS0;IN; and you are done.

 

You can send a polyline statement of arbitrary length. The plotter will execute each X,Y coordinate pair as it receives them.  Both PU and PD commands can accept an unlimited number of XXXX,YYYY pairs, separated by commas.  eg, one can draw a closed box with this syntax:

 

IN;SP0;PS1;PU;

PD100,100,100,1000,1000,1000,1000,100,100,100;

PU;PS0;IN;

 

                |---Line 1---| |---Line 2---| |---Line 3---| |---Line 4---|

(EG, PU(100,100),(100,1000),(1000,1000),(1000,100),(100,100); )

 

(If you want to set a specific rate in cm/sec, give SP an integer for that value. SP0 tell s the plotter to plot at maximum speed. If you want to select a different pen, send it a PS command with the number of the pen you want to grab. PS0 puts whatever pen is currently held away, and does not grab another one.)

 

The plotter does ALSO have a "Draw raw text" mode, but the font is the fixed internal one. If all you are doing is a software listing, I suppose it would be fine.  I did not include it in the above, since it has a special syntax, and would not really be all that useful for making cards or signs. It's a bit touchy to use, since you have to tell the plotter how large letters are in centimeters, what orientation to write in, what slant angle (if any), etc... before you start sending the chars to be written.  Then you send it the value of chr$(3), which is the "end of string" designator byte.

 


 

 

 

 

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I use my NanoPEB to "print" to my Win98 system through a null-modem cable, then I import it into Word 2000 and print it that way.  It's a bit of hassle, but I do not have a serial printer.  Don't know if anyone even makes a "stand-alone" printer anymore; I thought they required Windows.

 

But then, I just print ASCII text-- program listings and the like.

 

K-R.

 

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In the "for what its worth" category.

 

I use parallel printers with my nanoPEB with a RS232 to Parallel converter (SXP-320).  For me, this has worked well.

I had/used Kodak Diconix 180si.  This was a was a really good printer that I owned for many years. It died recently.   😢

Also, I've successfully used my nanoPEB/converter with a Deskjet 310 (Parallel).

 

I found the converter on eBay (for a fairly low price).  Good "serial" printers at the time were fairly expensive.

 

DG

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Wanna know something hilarious that I did not previously know?

 

HP laser printers that speak PCL/5, are backward compatible with HPGL instructions. The whole HPGL language is a component of the PCL language. You can just ship the HPGL words right to the printer, and it will generate the image.

 

Writing a handler for an old pen plotter, would *MAGICALLY*, also give basic vector drawing capabilities on a laser printer. (which, again, you can get high DPI stippling/dot matrix out by hammering PU/PD commands, to generate a raster with.)

 

 

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16 hours ago, Kchula-Rrit said:

I use my NanoPEB to "print" to my Win98 system through a null-modem cable, then I import it into Word 2000 and print it that way.  It's a bit of hassle, but I do not have a serial printer.  Don't know if anyone even makes a "stand-alone" printer anymore; I thought they required Windows.

 

But then, I just print ASCII text-- program listings and the like.

 

K-R.

 

you should use ti print for this https://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99print/ti99print.html

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