Dot matrix printers

  jg1990 21:45 14 Sep 2004

Hi everyone.

I've just started my GCSE ICT course and am currently studying Hardware.

Basically, we have to write about different inputs and outputs, what they're used for and how they work.

I've done the laser and inkjet printers but I don't really know anything about Dot Matrix.

Could someone please explain how dot matrix printers work?

Thanks, James

  wallbash 21:55 14 Sep 2004

A type of printer that produces characters and illustrations by striking pins against an ink ribbon to print closely spaced dots in the appropriate shape. Dot-matrix printers are relatively expensive and do not produce high-quality output. However, they can print to multi-page forms (that is, carbon copies), something laser and ink-jet printers cannot do.

Thats a definition, still used where muti page is required. Still remember how noisy they were.But in the early '90 's all I could afford.

I might be wrong, but think you could get at least 'red' by playing with the ribbon.Even pics/graphics were possible (but terrible)

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:02 14 Sep 2004
  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:04 14 Sep 2004

What about Daisy wheel printers? click here

  wallbash 23:52 14 Sep 2004

Dot matrix was bad but still much better than the old Daisy wheel.
Looking at my Canon i865 , trying to remember the output of the late '80 early 90's printers. Has any computer hardware developed as fast as the 'humble' printer?

Good Luck James

  Stuartli 09:42 15 Sep 2004

The quality of dot matrix printout depended on how many pins were used.

They are still produced today as some businesses use them quite extensively, especially when carbon copies are required such as for invoices.

  JayDay 09:53 15 Sep 2004

I had a 24pin dot matrix - how flash was that. Cost me £125.00 in 1991. They aslo did a 9 pin which gave lower quality charcaters.

Wallbash is right you could get red characters, but this required an ink ribbon which was half balck and half red. It reuqired alot of fiddling about.

In an office environment the dot matrix printers were often housed in sound proof cabintes.

  Stuartli 10:08 15 Sep 2004

Yes, over a similar or even less period of time.

Graphics cards for a start, CPUs for another, hard drives - in fact anything you care to mention.

My 1996 Canon BJC600e printer can print photos virtually as well as today's models (dpi is lower) and was conceived even earlier in the 1990s - the manual was printed in 1994.

Yet in the late 1980s I used to use an new Amstrad 2560 complete with basic printer - cost £399...:-)

  jg1990 12:12 15 Sep 2004

In school now carrying on with my hardware project and now understand dot matrix printers.

Many Thanks


  siouxah1 16:02 15 Sep 2004

As an addition to all the above,

There was at least one 24 pin dot matrix that purported to print in colour. It was the Citizen ABC and used a four colour ribbon that was raised and lowered by the printer mechanism to make use of the colours other than black.

It was not very successful. Eventually all the colours mixed on the ribbon and made a muddy mess. Still have some output examples from this machine.

Regards Brian j

  Confab 16:21 15 Sep 2004

Don't forget the plotter that pushed coloured pens around a piece of paper and of course the good old thermal printer from none other than Sir Clive!

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