How to send a simple ASCII stream to printer?

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

I have an old Epson LQ570 printer purchased about 15-20 years ago for my
Commodore 64/128 system. It was set aside for bubble jets with my modern
IBM-compatible computers, but my bubble jet konked out the other day, so
I've connected the LQ570. It works fine except...

How do I make use of the built-in fonts in the LQ570? It has 10 built-in
fonts that can be selected from the printer's front console provided a
simple ASCII stream of data is sent to the printer, allowing the printer to
perform that task. However I can't figure out how to do it. The data outputs
I get from current software select a font and then send a complicated stream
of data to the printer in some kind of "graphics" mode. That prints VERY
VERY SLOWLY on this old dot matrix printer with nylon ribbons, requiring
several slow passes just to print one line. It takes like 5-10 minutes just
to print 1 page! But if I could make use of the printer's built-in fonts, it
would print quickly enough for my purposes. It's mostly used for technical
data printouts, so I don't care much about quality, just so it's legible.

I've tried Notepad, Wordpad, and MS Works, and I don't see any way to send
the proper stream of data to this LQ570 to use the printer's built-in fonts.
How to do it...??
--
skydiver
(this space intentionally left blank)
P.S. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.
7 answers Last reply
More about send simple ascii stream printer
  1. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 06:34:28 GMT, "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote:

    >I have an old Epson LQ570 printer purchased about 15-20 years ago for my
    >Commodore 64/128 system. It was set aside for bubble jets with my modern
    >IBM-compatible computers, but my bubble jet konked out the other day, so
    >I've connected the LQ570. It works fine except...
    >
    >How do I make use of the built-in fonts in the LQ570? It has 10 built-in
    >fonts that can be selected from the printer's front console provided a
    >simple ASCII stream of data is sent to the printer, allowing the printer to
    >perform that task. However I can't figure out how to do it. The data outputs
    >I get from current software select a font and then send a complicated stream
    >of data to the printer in some kind of "graphics" mode. That prints VERY
    >VERY SLOWLY on this old dot matrix printer with nylon ribbons, requiring
    >several slow passes just to print one line. It takes like 5-10 minutes just
    >to print 1 page! But if I could make use of the printer's built-in fonts, it
    >would print quickly enough for my purposes. It's mostly used for technical
    >data printouts, so I don't care much about quality, just so it's legible.
    >
    >I've tried Notepad, Wordpad, and MS Works, and I don't see any way to send
    >the proper stream of data to this LQ570 to use the printer's built-in fonts.
    >How to do it...??

    In Control Panel, add a printer.
    Manufacturer: Generic
    Printer: Text Only
  2. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Sped" <Sped@not_here.com> wrote in message
    news:83reu0du62um1494i4t52nev8abtcnr3m8@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 06:34:28 GMT, "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote:
    >
    >>I have an old Epson LQ570 printer purchased about 15-20 years ago for my
    >>Commodore 64/128 system. It was set aside for bubble jets with my modern
    >>IBM-compatible computers, but my bubble jet konked out the other day, so
    >>I've connected the LQ570. It works fine except...
    >>
    >>How do I make use of the built-in fonts in the LQ570? It has 10 built-in
    >>fonts that can be selected from the printer's front console provided a
    >>simple ASCII stream of data is sent to the printer, allowing the printer
    >>to
    >>perform that task. However I can't figure out how to do it. The data
    >>outputs
    >>I get from current software select a font and then send a complicated
    >>stream
    >>of data to the printer in some kind of "graphics" mode. That prints VERY
    >>VERY SLOWLY on this old dot matrix printer with nylon ribbons, requiring
    >>several slow passes just to print one line. It takes like 5-10 minutes
    >>just
    >>to print 1 page! But if I could make use of the printer's built-in fonts,
    >>it
    >>would print quickly enough for my purposes. It's mostly used for technical
    >>data printouts, so I don't care much about quality, just so it's legible.
    >>
    >>I've tried Notepad, Wordpad, and MS Works, and I don't see any way to send
    >>the proper stream of data to this LQ570 to use the printer's built-in
    >>fonts.
    >>How to do it...??
    >
    > In Control Panel, add a printer.
    > Manufacturer: Generic
    > Printer: Text Only

    Thanks. Works fine, for the test page at least!

    Next question, if I may...

    The printer's built-in features call for sending special codes preceeded by
    the ESC character (ASCII=27). I'm wondering how that can be done with
    current software. It was easy on my old Commodore 64, just write a little
    routine in Basic, but I don't know any programming languages for these
    IBM-compatibles. Is that what I need to do, learn a programming language? Or
    is there a utility, or a special word processor that will do it?
    --
    skydiver
    (this space intentionally left blank)
    P.S. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote in message
    news:ZsKFd.6409$pZ4.5351@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...
    > "Sped" <Sped@not_here.com> wrote in message
    > news:83reu0du62um1494i4t52nev8abtcnr3m8@4ax.com...
    >> On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 06:34:28 GMT, "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I have an old Epson LQ570 printer purchased about 15-20 years ago for my
    >>>Commodore 64/128 system. It was set aside for bubble jets with my modern
    >>>IBM-compatible computers, but my bubble jet konked out the other day, so
    >>>I've connected the LQ570. It works fine except...
    >>>
    >>>How do I make use of the built-in fonts in the LQ570? It has 10 built-in
    >>>fonts that can be selected from the printer's front console provided a
    >>>simple ASCII stream of data is sent to the printer, allowing the printer
    >>>to
    >>>perform that task. However I can't figure out how to do it. The data
    >>>outputs
    >>>I get from current software select a font and then send a complicated
    >>>stream
    >>>of data to the printer in some kind of "graphics" mode. That prints VERY
    >>>VERY SLOWLY on this old dot matrix printer with nylon ribbons, requiring
    >>>several slow passes just to print one line. It takes like 5-10 minutes
    >>>just
    >>>to print 1 page! But if I could make use of the printer's built-in fonts,
    >>>it
    >>>would print quickly enough for my purposes. It's mostly used for
    >>>technical
    >>>data printouts, so I don't care much about quality, just so it's legible.
    >>>
    >>>I've tried Notepad, Wordpad, and MS Works, and I don't see any way to
    >>>send
    >>>the proper stream of data to this LQ570 to use the printer's built-in
    >>>fonts.
    >>>How to do it...??
    >>
    >> In Control Panel, add a printer.
    >> Manufacturer: Generic
    >> Printer: Text Only
    >
    > Thanks. Works fine, for the test page at least!
    >
    > Next question, if I may...
    >
    > The printer's built-in features call for sending special codes preceeded
    > by the ESC character (ASCII=27). I'm wondering how that can be done with
    > current software. It was easy on my old Commodore 64, just write a little
    > routine in Basic, but I don't know any programming languages for these
    > IBM-compatibles. Is that what I need to do, learn a programming language?
    > Or is there a utility, or a special word processor that will do it?

    Googling a little I found this article which answers my own question:
    http://www.frogmorecs.com/arts/using_the_generic_driver.html
    It says:
    We now need to move on to configuring the driver for you specific printer or
    application, start by right clicking on the printer in the printers folder
    and selecting "Printer Properties."
    Problem:
    However the generic/text only printer I just installed is nowhere to be
    found. I can't find the printers folder nor a printer! Where? I believe it
    should be under Start, Settings, Printers and Faxes, but there's nothing
    there except the "Add Printer" option. So where's the new generic/text only
    printer located??
    --
    skydiver
    (this space intentionally left blank)
    P.S. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 07:24:41 GMT, "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote:

    >The printer's built-in features call for sending special codes preceeded by
    >the ESC character (ASCII=27). I'm wondering how that can be done with
    >current software. It was easy on my old Commodore 64, just write a little
    >routine in Basic, but I don't know any programming languages for these
    >IBM-compatibles. Is that what I need to do, learn a programming language? Or
    >is there a utility, or a special word processor that will do it?

    The simplest way that comes to mind, assuming you just have a few
    sequences of control codes that you'll be using over and over, is to
    put the codes in a little 2 or 3 byte binary file, and send them to
    the printer from a dos window with the copy command, like this:

    copy codes.bin /b prn

    I'd make a appropriately sized file in notepad, then use a hex editor
    to change the bytes to reflect the control codes you want. Maybe a
    batch file or two to run the copy commands.

    This is a very '80s approach, but you're using an '80s printer, so it
    kind of makes sense.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 07:51:37 GMT, "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote:

    >Googling a little I found this article which answers my own question:
    >http://www.frogmorecs.com/arts/using_the_generic_driver.html
    >It says:
    >We now need to move on to configuring the driver for you specific printer or
    >application, start by right clicking on the printer in the printers folder
    >and selecting "Printer Properties."
    >Problem:
    >However the generic/text only printer I just installed is nowhere to be
    >found. I can't find the printers folder nor a printer! Where? I believe it
    >should be under Start, Settings, Printers and Faxes, but there's nothing
    >there except the "Add Printer" option. So where's the new generic/text only
    >printer located??

    That's pretty neat. I didn't know you could set up control codes lin
    the generic driver like that. That might be the way to go.

    Where is your printer? Beats me. Mine is in Printer/Faxes along with
    all my other printers. Just make another, and don't lose it this
    time.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "Sped" <Sped@not_here.com> wrote in message
    news:trueu0lg9300bhmb9ns8auc0b5pfpv19pn@4ax.com...
    > On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 07:51:37 GMT, "skydiver" <abso@lut.ely> wrote:
    >
    >>Googling a little I found this article which answers my own question:
    >>http://www.frogmorecs.com/arts/using_the_generic_driver.html
    >>It says:
    >>We now need to move on to configuring the driver for you specific printer
    >>or
    >>application, start by right clicking on the printer in the printers folder
    >>and selecting "Printer Properties."
    >>Problem:
    >>However the generic/text only printer I just installed is nowhere to be
    >>found. I can't find the printers folder nor a printer! Where? I believe it
    >>should be under Start, Settings, Printers and Faxes, but there's nothing
    >>there except the "Add Printer" option. So where's the new generic/text
    >>only
    >>printer located??
    >
    > That's pretty neat. I didn't know you could set up control codes lin
    > the generic driver like that. That might be the way to go.
    >
    > Where is your printer? Beats me. Mine is in Printer/Faxes along with
    > all my other printers. Just make another, and don't lose it this
    > time.

    I tried that, but it's still not to be found. I didn't lose it. The
    generic/text only printer is simply not appearing anywhere! I can't make any
    more progress til I figure out that mystery. I also tried reinstalling it as
    a LQ570, which worked fine before, but even that isn't appearing now. I'm
    going to reset my computer to see if that's any help...
    ---
  7. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    >> Where is your printer? Beats me. Mine is in Printer/Faxes along with
    >> all my other printers. Just make another, and don't lose it this
    >> time.
    >
    > I tried that, but it's still not to be found. I didn't lose it. The
    > generic/text only printer is simply not appearing anywhere! I can't make
    > any more progress til I figure out that mystery. I also tried reinstalling
    > it as a LQ570, which worked fine before, but even that isn't appearing
    > now. I'm going to reset my computer to see if that's any help...

    All was OK after resetting my computer. The Start menu simply didn't refresh
    itself, so new added printers wouldn't appear. I've noticed the same thing
    in the past when adding scheduled tasks, which don't appear immediately nor
    update themselves properly in the Start menu. I guess that's a Windows
    Explorer bug.

    Now I just need to bite the bullet and work out the special code sequences
    to send to the printer. It's nice that they can be entered into the generic
    driver's properties box in the format <1B> which is the ESC command
    (ASCII=27 decimal), etc.

    Thanks for your help. I usually go to google first, but just didn't know the
    correct terminology, so had to ask a very dumb question on a NG such as
    this. The term "generic printer" opened the coffers at google, so all should
    now follow naturally... :)
    --
    skydiver
    (this space intentionally left blank)
    P.S. If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving's not for you.
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