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Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions
Section - 4.4) What other printers can I use with my Atari?

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Some third-party printers were marketed for use with the Atari 8-bit
computers:

Alphacom 42 + Atari interface cartridge
- requires 850 Interface or equivalent
- thermal
- 4 1/2" width paper
- supports complete ATASCII character set

Axiom AT-100 / GP-100AT Economical Printer (= Seikosha GP-100A)
- built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port for daisy-chain
- dot matrix
- early model 30-cps, later version 50 cps
- Graph-AX graphics software package

Axiom GP-550AT Dual Mode Printer (by Seikosha)
- built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port
- dot matrix
- 86 cps draft, 43 cps NLQ
- Graph-AX graphics software package

Axiom GP-700AT Full Color Printer (by Seikosha)
- built-in Atari interface, cable and connector, 2nd SIO port
- 4 hammer print heads, 4-color ribbon cartridge
- 25 colors
- 50 cps
- Graph-AX graphics software package

Epson HomeWriter 10
- plug-in cartridge interface for the Atari
- 80 column dot-matrix printer
- draft quality printing at 100 cps and near letter quality at 16 cps

General Electric GE 3-8100 / TXP 1000
- GE Printer Interface Module for Atari
- dot-matrix
- 50 cps draft, 25 cps NLQ

Okidata Okimate 10 Personal Color Printer
- available Plug 'n Print Interface for Atari
- a thermal printer.
- single-sheet or tractor-feed paper.
- 26 colors
- 240 words per minutes

Tesla BT-100 (Tesla Prelouc, Czech Republic)
- plugs into 2 joystick/controller ports
- Dot matrix, 1 pin (!)
- carbon paper instead of ribbon
- 480 dots per line
- 150 dots per sec (A4 paper in 10 minutes)
- Input power 5 W
- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwbt.htm
- Can be installed in the SP 210-T Data Cassette Recorder

Merkur Alfi (Kovopodnik Broumov, Czech Republic)
- Plotter
- Standard, size A4 paper
- Pens - Any
- Length of step - 0.15 mm
- sold only as kit
- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwal.htm

Alfigraf
- plotter
- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwag.htm

Minigraf 0507 Aritma (Aritma Praha, Czech Republic)
- plotter
- Paper - Standard, size A4
- Pens KIN 0577; Centropen 1939; KOH-I-NOOR 4443; Staedtler 40T06-S;
  Staedtler 32T03-S
- Speed	- max. 80 mm/s
- Length of step (error) - 0.125 mm (+- 0.005 mm)
- Input power 30 W
- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwmi.htm

Graficka Jednotka XY4140 / XY4150 (Laboratorni Pristroje Praha)
- Plotters 
- Paper	Standard, size A4 (297 x 210 mm)
- Printable space 260 x 185 mm (2600 x 1850 steps)
- Step 0.1 mm
- Speed 100 mm/sec
- http://jindroush.atari8.info/aczhwxy.htm

Beyond the above printer models, most any "industry-standard" line printer can
work well with the Atari.  For many years, most printers marketed for home use
could be classified into one of two categories: parallel or serial interface.
Parallel line printers were much more commonly used than serial line printers,
with the Epson MX/FX/LX series defining the market.

The most common way to use an industry standard printer with the Atari has
been to attach it through the 15-pin 8-bit parallel port of the Atari 850
Interface Module or equivalent (such as the ICD P:R: Connection).  One gotcha
here is that the 850's parallel port is DB15, where the PC world ended-up
standardizing on a DB25 configuration.  So you need to find or build a cable,
such as the Atari CX86 Printer Cable, that provides the DB15 connector for the
Atari end, and Centronics-type parallel connector on the printer end, in order
to attach a standard parallel printer to the Atari through an Atari 850 or
equivalent.  The pinouts necessary for building such a cable are available
in the Atari 850 Interface section of this FAQ list.

Many 3rd-party disk drives for the Atari (along with the Atari XEP80 Interface
Module) do include a DB25 parallel printer port, rendering the need for an
Atari-specific printer cable unnecessary.

The Atari 850 Interface Module and equivalents also provide standard DB9
serial RS-232-C ports, permitting use of standard serial line printers with
the Atari.  But this is much less common than parallel, both in the Atari
world and in the industry at large.

Some folks have connected more modern inkjet and laser printers with parallel
connections to the 8-bit Atari with success.  Graphics printouts from the
Atari may be less than ideal (look for a printer with an Epson MX/FX/LX
printer series emulation mode), but these types of printers should work fine
for plain text output if they can handle simple line print jobs.

Bob Woolley wrote on Sun, 14 Apr 2002:
     I use HP LaserJet 4Ps on my Ataris. They are one of the last front panel
     selectable cheap printers - from which you can select your default fonts,
     etc. The newer laser printers can only set fonts and operating modes thru
     the interface, not impossible, but not as easy as selecting on the panel.
     This does allow you to print just about any point size of the internal
     fonts in the printer on your Atari.
        
     Either way, you really have to do a little work to get properly formatted
     output from a word processor. I have managed to use the proportional font
     setting with AtariWriter and printer driver creation utilities to get good
     results.

Mathy van Nisselroy provides an AtariWriter printer driver for the HP LaserJet
here:  http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/special%20stuff.htm

Carsten Strotmann wrote on 30 Dec 2006:
     I'm very happy with the Kyocery Mita Laserprinters. They still support
     Epson and IBM ESC Codes (as well as PCL and Postscript), have all Codes
     documented in the handbooks (downloadable as PDF from the company
     webpage). Also the printers are very reliable and have low life cycle
     costs. Be sure to check the Emulation Features, as they also have some
     Windows only GDI Printer.

     I have the FS1200D (with duplex printing feature).

Modern printers designed for "modern" PCs now normally utilize USB connectors
rather than the older standard Centronics parallel connector.

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Top Document: Atari 8-Bit Computers: Frequently Asked Questions
Previous Document: 4.3) What are the Atari XMM801 and XDM121 Printers?
Next Document: 4.5) How can my Atari utilize my PC's printer?

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM