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whaledriver

TRS80 Model 4 printer

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I am having an issue trying to print with my Model 4.  I have a non gate array M4 with a Star Micronics NX-1000 printer attached.  I have it set for Epson LX800 mode.  When I go to print something for instance with an LPRINT from BASIC I get a bunch of random characters.  The number of characters printed is correct but they are not the correct characters.  Any ideas?

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First question would be; has this printer worked for you before and has it worked with you before using a Model 4?

 

If you don't have the manual for this printer, you can download a copy at: https://www.manualslib.com/download/165053/Star-Micronics-Nx-1000.html

You'll need to create a free account before you can download. Otherwise you'll only be able to view it online. 

 

I would check the dip switches in the back to see if they are set right. Page 15 in the manual has the chart. Which I would think that it is also labelled on the printer itself. I would think that switch 1-6 would be set to STANDARD. You can test both positions and see what you get. 

 

Make sure your contacts are clean on the printer cable (both sides). Printer and Model 4 as well.

 

Through BASIC, you can send control codes using CHR$( )'s, and see what you get. 

 

Additionally; I don't know if the Epson LX800 driver is correct or not. Test out other drivers if they are available to you.

Edited by Michael Kline

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Thanks for the reply.

 

This printer worked fine when connected to my Atari 8 bit. 

 

I have the manual and checked the dip switches.  1-6 is on (toward the back) so it is set to use the standard set.  The manual says this printer is using the LX800 driver.  I'm not sure how to change that.

 

I will clean the connectors in both sides with some Deox-it and see if that helps.

 

 

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So I cleaned the contacts and nothing has changed.  I hooked the printer to my Model 1 and it has the exact same garbage output.  I plugged it back into my Atari 1200XL (using 850) and it works just fine.  So there must be some incompatibility between the TRS 80 and the NX-1000.  I have tried several different dip switch setting with no luck.  Hmmm......

Edited by whaledriver

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I'm working towards the assumption that printer driver you are using, is not compatible with your Model 4. I remember in the back of my head that there were Epson's being used a lot with the TRS-80s back in the day. Okidata's too. Along with the TRS-80/Tandy branded printers. 

 

I found this website https://www.trs-80.com/wordpress/manuals-hardware-page2/#printers-epson that lists printers used with the TRS-80 lineup. 

 

My suggestion is to try Epson drivers with your printer and see if they work. Where to find them... is out of my league. However, if you have Epson drivers for use with your printer, I would test those out. If you're not able to find drivers or what you have fails, then there is the possibility that your printer is not compatible with the Model 4. 

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The plot thickens.

 

So I wrote a small basic program where I enter a string and then print it across the page eg:  LPRINT ST$; where ST$ is the entered string.

 

If I enter the letter A it prints AAAAAAAAAAAAAA  forever.  Same for B etc.  But if I enter AB then if prints OLOLOLOLOL.

 

If I enter ABC it prints CCCCCCCCC forever.  So anything more that one character and it prints incorrectly.  Again this is using my model 1.

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I wonder if there may be an issue between 7-bit and 8-bit characters; i.e. the serial protocol is mismatched between the two devices. 

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I honestly don't know. There are two great resources of people that may be able to answer your question about compatibility with the NX-1000 and your CoCo. One is on Facebook and the other on Discord. Here's the links:

 

FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2359462640

 

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/4J5nHXm

If you don't have Discord set up, this YouTube video will guide you: 

 

Cheers!

Michael

 

 

 

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are you using a Radio shack cable or a ibm Centronics ? * they are not pinned the same *
i would check the pin out on the printer connections vs the printer port on the Model 4 (found in the service manual) my bet its not a 1 to 1 pin out.

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