|Frequently Asked Questions
- What is "Duty Cycle", and why are OTC duty cycles so much
higher than competing printers?
- What is TriMatrix® technology?
- Are OTC's warranties as good as competing printer manufacturers'
- Why does OTC use dot matrix technology in its family of line
- What is the difference between draft and super draft?
- How Do I Find A Part Number?
- Do you have Windows drivers?
- Where can I go for OTC printer repair?
- Where is the nearest Repair Center?
- Does OTC deliver and set up its printers?
- Do the LaserMatrix Series printers print wide carriage?
- Should a LaserMatrix Series printer be purchased with the
- What is the difference between the OTC1050 (4130) and the
- What are the most common 850 Series and OTC850 printer tonal
- What are the most common 4100 Series (4130/4140), OTC1050,
and OTC1450 printer tonal signals?
- What might cause the ribbon on my 560DL, 850XL/XLE, 4100
Series, or TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450) to stop advancing?
- How do I set the head gap for an 560DL, 850XL/XLE, 4100 Series,
or TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450) to achieve the best possible
print quality for various forms?
- How do I install a ribbon in a 560DL, 850XL/XLE, 4100 Series,
or TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450) printer?
- Can printer owners order ribbons and toner from OTC?
- How do I order from Output Technology?
- Changing Emulations in the Printer Config Menu of a 42XX
What is "Duty Cycle", and why are OTC duty cycles so much higher than competing printers?
Duty Cycle is the amount of time a printer is actually printing each day. Most printer manufacturers advertise a 25% duty cycle--their printers print 25% of an 8 hour day (2 hours) based on an 8 hour day, 22 days per month. OTC printers using TriMatrix® technology operate on a 100% duty cycle--you can print non-stop, 8 hours each day, all month long if you need to.
What is TriMatrix® technology?
TriMatrix® technology is OTC's triple printhead arrangement. Each dot matrix printhead is dedicated to a specific portion of the print line, putting less stress on the printheads and the mechanism that moves them across the page. This approach allows OTC printers to work at a 100% duty cycle (as opposed to an average of 25% for most competing printers) without loss of throughput or damage to the printer.
Are OTC's warranties as good as competing printer manufacturers' warranties?
No, they're better! OTC offers a 30-Day Unconditional Satisfaction Guarantee on all OTC printers. If you are not completely satisfied with one of our printers, you may return it to the place of purchase for full credit. All OTC printers come with 1 year parts and labor warranty.
Why does OTC use dot matrix technology in its family of line printers?
OTC's TriMatrix® design reliably delivers line printer performance with lower cost dot matrix mechanisms. Our approach was to build a high speed machine at a matrix printer price that operates 100% of the business day. Our 4200 (EuroLine) Series Model 4280 line printer, for example, produces 800 lines per minute and up to 180,000 pages of output per month, performance which is consistent with mid-range line printers industry-wide.
What is the difference between draft and super draft?
Draft is a 96 character print mode that produces both upper and lower case letters, 0 to 9 numerals, and special characters. Super draft is a 48 or 64 character set that produces only upper case letters, numerals, and punctuation. Line printer manufacturers frequently publish super draft speed specifications that make performance look good, but which are impractical for everyday business purposes that require readable, upper and lower case letters. All OTC print speeds are based on a full 96 character set.
How Do I Find A Part Number?
A complete parts listing for all OTC models is downloadable
on this site. You may select either a parts catalog listing all parts, or on
a specific printer's parts catalog.
Do you have Windows drivers?
Yes, we have Windows 3.1, Windows 95, and Windows NT 4.0 drivers for our 850XL/XLE,
4100 Series, 4200 Series and TriMatrix Series; and Windows 3.1 and Windows 95
drivers for our LaserMatrix Series continuous form laser printers. The 800MTP
does not require a custom Windows driver because its Epson FX1050 emulation
accommodates Windows print commands using the Epson FX1050 driver supplied with
Windows. Our LaserMatrix Series printers emulate HPIII printers and you are
able to use the HPIII drivers in all Windows products for these printers. A
copy of the drivers comes on a diskette with each new printer. These drivers
are also available for download here. Your
download includes a readme file of implementation instructions. Please note
that the NT driver implementation requires an update from Microsoft. The Microsoft
link is provided on the Drivers page.
Where can I go for OTC printer repair?
If your OTC printer is no longer covered by its original full year of warranty, or if you did not purchase an extended service option, you have several alternatives, any of which can be facilitated by a toll free call to us:
- You may return the printer to the factory for repair.
- In the U.S., you may purchase an OTC All-In-One, Factory Express Service
contract for the following printers:
850XL/XLE and 4100 Series
TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450)
This contract provides you with a factory-reconditioned printer the next business
day, plus a full year of FES service coverage.
- You may contact OTC for the phone number of a third party service provider
in your area.
- You may contact OTC for National Service Provider information.
- If your printer is worn out, you can trade it in on a new model.
- Contact OTC Technical Support for more information.
Where is the nearest Repair Center?
The easiest way to find your nearest Repair Center is to call OTC Technical Support. A Technical Support representative will inform you of all your service options.
Does OTC deliver and set up its printers?
Our nation-wide, 3rd party service network will set up OTC printers at your site for a nominal fee.
Do the LaserMatrix Series printers print wide carriage?
Our LaserMatrix Series printers use a pin tractor mechanism to drive narrow carriage (80 column) continuous media print jobs. For wide carriage applications they print up to a 33 inch line in landscape, or reverse landscape mode. So, for example, the laser will produce a wide carriage, 14 inch wide by 8 inch long financial report printed in reverse landscape that is exceptionally easily to read, and which can be bound in a traditional ledger book.
Should a LaserMatrix Series printer be purchased with the refolding stacker?
We recommend our patented refolding stacker with all our LaserMatrix Series models. The heat and pressure produced during the laser printing process irons out the perforations in continuous form media, causing it to lose its natural fold. The refolding stacker uses rotating helical coils that re-folds the media, making unattended printing with LaserMatrix Series printers trouble-free. OTC's refolding stacker is the most effective mechanism of its kind in the industry.
What is the difference between the OTC1050 (4130) and the OTC1450 (4140)?
The printers cost the same, and are mechanically identical, except for printhead arrangement. Both printers print on both wide and narrow, multi-part media, but each is optimized to print on one or the other. The OTC1050 (4130) is optimized to print wide paper applications (17"inch wide, 132 column spreadsheets, reports, label stock, etc.) at 300 lines-per-minute, 10 characters-per-inch, in upper and lower case draft mode. The OTC1450 (4140) is optimized to print narrow paper applications (8.5 inch wide, 80 column statements, reports, etc.) at 400 lines-per-minute, 10 characters-per-inch, in upper and lower case draft mode.
The OTC1050 (4130) prints 300 wide carriage lines per minute (1,062 cps), while the OTC1450 (4140) prints 400 narrow carriage lines per minute (1,416 cps). Due to the size of the optimized media, the monthly workload for the two models differ. The Model OTC1050 (4130) produces 60,000 pages per month, and the OTC1450 (4140) produces 80,000 pages per month.
We recommend the following rule of thumb on which printer to buy: If 75% or more of your work is wide carriage, select the OTC1050 (4130). Otherwise, choose the OTC1450 (4140).
What are the most common 850 Series and OTC850 printer tonal signals?
There are four tonal error messages performed by these printers:
- A 4-second long, solid tone (BEEEEEEP): You're out of paper. The tonal message will repeat if the ON/OFF line key is pressed. Load paper to stop the alarm. If the tone continues, there is a problem with the paper-out alarm switch or a board. Call OTC Technical Support for assistance.
- A solid tone continues until power is cycled (BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP....): This is a high electrical current detection signal. It means too much current is flowing through the printhead circuit. This may be caused by the heads, or cable, or board. Call OTC Technical Support for assistance.
- A 2-tone beep that cycles 3 times (BEEP-beep-BEEP-beep-BEEP-beep...): This is the paper jam detection signal. The tone will repeat even if the ON/OFF line key is pressed. Remove the paper from the unit, then re-load the media. If your unit is an 850XL/XLE or OTC850, turn the alarm off via the menu (check your manual for this procedure).
- A continuing, intermittent beep that goes on until the power is turned off (BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP...): This signal indicates a tachometer time-out error. You may have a defective carriage motor or board. This condition can also be caused by a defective ribbon, or printheads adjusted too close to the platen Change the ribbon and adjust the printheads. If the tone persists, call OTC Technical Support for assistance.
What are the most common 4100 Series (4130/4140), OTC1050, and OTC1450 printer tonal signals?
These printers have very good built-in diagnostics to help isolate problems. Different beep tones help accomplish this. Refer to page 112 and 113 in the operator's manual for tone descriptions. The most common tone descriptions are:
- A 2-tone beep that cycles 3 times (beep-BEEP-beep-BEEP-beep-BEEP): You have a paper jam. Clear the jam and resume the job.
- A 4-second long, solid tone (BEEEEEEP): You've either run out of paper, your left side tractor mechanism is set too far right and the paper-out sensor is uncovered, or your paper out sensor has failed. If reloading paper doesn't affect the tone, call OTC Technical Support for assistance.
- Seemingly endless single beeps (BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP-BEEP...): Your printer is receiving a long, intermittent string of corrupt serial data. Check the Troubleshooting information on Page 112 of your User Manual. If you are unable to correct the problem using this information, call OTC Technical Support for assistance.
What might cause the ribbon on my 560DL, 850XL/XLE, 4100 Series, or TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450) to stop advancing?
The ribbon may be incorrectly installed. Remove and reinstall the ribbon. If the condition persists, the pivot arm may either be out of position, or broken. Check your manual for pivot arm identification and positioning information. If the arm is broken, or the condition persists after a new ribbon is installed and the arm adjusted, call OTC Technical Support for assistance.
How do I set the head gap for an 560DL, 850XL/XLE, 4100 Series, or TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450) to achieve the best possible print quality for various forms?
The best way to set the head gap is to run a self-test pattern with each individual type of form you use. Different form thickness' require different settings. To extend the life of the printheads and ribbons make a list of each form you use and its head gap adjustment. Keep this list beside the printer and refer to it each time you change the forms. Doing so will reduce excess wear on your ribbons and the printheads. For best test results, use a new ribbon. Here is a simple procedure for testing forms:
- For best results, install a new printer ribbon.
- Turn the printer off, then insert the form you want to test.
- Set the head gap lever located to the left of the ribbon cartridge close to the platen, at setting 1-1/2 for 1-part forms, or at 2 for thicker forms.
- Press and hold down the key and turn the printer on. The self-test pattern will begin printing. The print may be smudged at this point.
- Gradually move the head gap lever back away from the paper (toward you) to a larger number. Watch the form--when the print is the quality you desire, and no more smudging occurs, this is the ideal setting for that particular form.
- When testing multiple-part forms, move the head gap lever just close enough so the last page is legible.
- Stop the self-test by turning the printer off.
- Test the next form.
Multiple-part and thick forms require higher settings. Be sure to watch these closely. As the ribbon wears there is a tendency to move the head gap lever too far forward, causing shredded ribbons and excess wear on the print heads and carriage motor. This can lead to costly repairs and downtime; new ribbons are far less expensive.
How do I install a ribbon in a 560DL, 850XL/XLE, 4100 Series, or TriMatrix Series (OTC560/OTC850/OTC1050/OTC1450) printer?
- Turn the printer off.
- Remove the ribbon from its plastic wrapper. Make sure the three black plastic ribbon guides are threaded correctly on the ribbon. Look at the top of the guides as you hold the cartridge as if it was installed. They are marked on top, left to right, with the words "left", "middle", and "right".
- It is important to get guide/printhead placement correct because each guide is slightly different, and print quality may be affected by improper placement.
Remove Old Ribbon:
- Move the head gap lever toward the front of the printer.
- Pull straight up on each the ribbon guides to remove them from the printheads.
- Using both hands, lift up on the ribbon case, left side first.
- Remove the ribbon.
Install New Ribbon:
- Pull the head gap lever far enough forward to get it out of the way.
- Using both hands, insert the ribbon case, right side first, making sure the tab at that end of the case fits into the slot in the right metal side plate.
- Tilt the ribbon case enough so the left side of the case can fit into the enclosure.
- Slip the tab into the slot in the left metal side plate.
- Move the head gap lever back toward the front of the printer again.
- Place each ribbon guide over its respective printhead--left, middle, and right, and push straight down, making sure the tabs on each side of the printheads fit into the slots in the ribbon guides. (Note: The words "left", "middle", and "right"are upside down when installed correctly.)
- Move the head gap lever back to the desired position.
Be careful when removing or installing the ribbon on the right side. Just below the ribbon on the right side is a small black plastic gear with a plastic armature that hangs straight down into a slot in the base of the enclosure. This gear assembly is called the "Pivot Arm". The gear engages a gear inside the ribbon case, causing the ribbon to advance. If the Pivot Arm is out of place, the ribbon will not advance. It is important that the Pivot Arm is not displaced or damaged.
Can printer owners order ribbons and toner from OTC?
Absolutely, but it may be more convenient to order from an authorized OTC distributor.
Go to the Consumables
page for more information.
How do I order from Output Technology?
Changing Emulations in the Printer Config Menu of a
- There are three level menus within the 42XX Euroline printer. The User Menu,
Installation and Maintenance Menu.
- To enter the menus selections, the printer must first be offline. Hit the
- The emulation is located within the Maintenance Menu. Hold down the menu
key for appox, 20 seconds. Once Maintenance Menu is displayed, release the
- Hit the arrow down key, until the Edit Setup option is displayed. Arrow
- Setup #1 is the default setup out of four available within the printer.
Arrow down to enter Setup #1.
- Hit the arrow down key until you reach the sub-menu option entitled "Emulation".
- There are four available emulations to choose from: IMB ProPrinter XL, DEC
LA120, Printronix 6080, Dataproducts LB615 and Epson FX 286e.
- Highlight the emulation you wish to change, by arrowing right. Once the
emulation is selected, hit enter.
- Your change has now been stored into the printer's memory. Hit online and
resume normal printing operations.