Apple II Printers

Csa2 FAQs-on-Ground file: Csa2PRINTER.txt  rev012

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 1997 - 1999.

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 001- What is pin-out for a GS to ImageWriter I cable?
 002- What are the DIP switch settings for IW-II and IW-LQ printers?
 003- How do I do the ImageWriter-LQ alignment test?
 004- Can I use a 'straight-through' cable to connect my IW-II?
 005- My ImageWriter II doesn't print! What's wrong?
 006- How can I keep paper from jamming in my Imagewriter II?
 007- The bottoms of letters don't get printed. How can I fix this?
 008- What is the 'trick' for restoring a printer ribbon?
 009- How do I connect a "Centronics interface" printer to my Apple?
 010- Where can I get a Grappler+ cable? What is the pin-out?
 011- What are the DIP switches on my Grappler+ for?
 012- What printers will the Harmonie drivers work with on my GS?
 013- What's the best GS interface for connecting a parallel printer?
 014- How can I use my Epson Color Stylus 800 with my IIgs?
 015- Why aren't fonts found after being moved to a new GS volume?
 016- When I run Platinum Paint I get error $1301. Whats wrong?

From: David Empson

001- Can anyone tell me what the pin to pin throughput is on the
     GS to ImageWriter I cable?

Looking at the IIgs serial connector, the pins are numbered as follows:

  8   7   6

  5    4  3

    2   1

The signals on each pin are:

1  Handshake Out (DTR)
2  Handshake In (DSR)
3  Transmit Data minus
4  Signal Ground
5  Receive Data minus
6  Transmit Data plus
7  General purpose input (DCD)
8  Receive Data plus

Shield is frame ground.

The ImageWriter I or DeskJet 500 has a female DB-25 connector, arranged
in the standard order for DTE (Data Terminal Equipment):

1  Frame Ground
2  Transmit Data
3  Receive Data
4  Request to Send (output from printer, probably not used)
5  Clear to Send (input to printer, probably not used)
6  Data Set Ready (input to printer)
7  Signal Ground
8  Carrier Detect (input to printer, probably not used)
20 Data Terminal Ready (output from printer)

The pinout of the cable is:

IIgs (Mini-Din-8 male)       Printer (DB-25 male)
1 (HShk Out)                 6  (DSR)
2 (HShk In)                  20 (DTR)
3 (TxD-)                     3  (RxD)
4 (Gnd)                      7  (Gnd)
5 (RxD-)                     2  (TxD)
6 (TxD+)  no connection
7 (DCD)   no connection
8 (RxD+)  must be conected to signal ground (IIgs pin 4, printer pin 7)

If you have a shielded cable, also connect the cable shield to the
Mini-Din-8 plug's shielding, and to pin 1 and the shield of the DB-25.


From: Rubywand

002- I bought an ImageWriter II and an ImageWriter LQ. What are
     the DIP switch settings for these printers?

     While a number of settings are the same; there are some differences
between IW-II and IW-II LQ in DIP switch settings as well as which DIP
switches are present. 

ImageWriter II & II LQ DIP Switch Settings

     In Imagewriter manuals, "SW-1" refers to DIP switch module 1. Each
such module has several individually numbered switches. For example SW-1
#5 refers to switch #5 on the SW-1 module. When a switch is UP it is
open. When a switch is Down it is closed.

     The settings for SW-1 #1-#8 have to do with printout format. On
SW-1 all of the switches are normally open (UP) except #6 which is
closed (DOWN). These settings work for printouts under Appleworks and
several other programs which take care of page breaks. For tasks like
listing a program, doing a hex dump in the monitor, etc. you may want
SW-1 #5 to be DOWN. (This enables automatic skipping over perforations
between pages).

Character Set
SW-1        #1  #2  #3

American     U   U   U  default
Italian      D   U   U
Danish       U   D   U
British      D   D   U
German       U   U   D
Swedish      D   U   D
French       U   D   D
Spanish      D   D   D

Form Length
SW-1      #4

11 inches  U  default
12 inches  D

Auto Perforation Skip
SW-1      #5

No         U  default
Yes        D

Character Pitch
SW-1      #6  #7

10 cpi     U   U
12 cpi     D   U  default
17 cpi     U   D
160 dpi    D   D (proportional)

Line Feed with Carriage Return
SW-1      #8

No         U  CR only
Yes        D  CR plus LF

     The settings for SW-2 #1-#6 are concerned with hardware
interfacing. #1 and #2 set the baud rate the printer will expect:

#1        #2
UP        UP-    300 (on IW-II)      19200 (on IW-II LQ) 'LQ default
DOWN      UP-   1200
UP        DOWN- 2400
DOWN      DOWN- 9600  IW-II default
You should set the switches to match the speed of your printer

SW-2 #3 is usually set UP to enable DTR hardware handshaking. If your
interface wants to use XON/XOFF handshaking, set #3 DOWN.

If you have the 32K Memory Option, LocalTalk card, etc. installed, SW-2
#4 should be set DOWN. Otherwise, it should be set UP (the usual

IW-II: SW-2 #5-#6 on the IW-II are factory-set to optimize hammer firing
and should be left alone by the use (On my IW-II #5 is DOWN and #6 is

'LQ: SW-2 #5-#7 on the IW-II LQ are used to set the number of cut sheet
feeder bins attached to the printer. (The standard default setting for
SW-2 #5-#7 is UP  UP  UP.)

'LQ: SW-3 #1-#5 (only on the 'LQ)  are factory-set to optimize printer
operation and should be left alone by the user.

'LQ: SW-3 #6-#8 (only on the 'LQ)  control vertical allignment of dots
in bidirectional printing mode.


003- How do I do the ImageWriter II LQ alignment test?

The 'LQ Alignment Test

     With printer OFF, press Select, Line Feed, Form Feed.  Hold them
pressed, turn ON printer, and release buttons after printer head starts
to move.

     The printout shows four possible switch settings with six lines of
vertical bar printouts for each setting.

     Settings are indicated like this:  1  0  0  (which means  DOWN  UP 
UP). An asterisk by a setting means it is the current setting.

     Set the switches to the setting which best lines up the vertical
bars in the printout.


004- Will a 'straight-through' cable work for connecting an 
     ImageWriter II to my GS?

     No. In the ImageWriter cable, Pins 1 & 2, 3 & 5, and 6 & 8 are
supposed to be swapped from one end of the cable to the other.


005- My ImageWriter II doesn't print! The head moves, and I can hear
     the pins striking the paper, but I get nothing. What's wrong?

     Check ribbon positioning. If the ribbon is properly positioned,
then, you may need to adjust the the print head - to - roller distance
(sometimes called the "paper width" adjustment). There is a small lever
near the lower right side of the roller. Click-position it in a notch or


006- How can I keep paper from jamming in my Imagewriter II?

     A surprising number of Imagewriter users go for years putting up
with paper jams during long printouts. A nearly 100% cure is to just pop
up the top rollers so that they do not press the paper against the


007- I notice that the bottoms of letters on my ImageWriter II's
     printout are not showing up. How can I fix this?

     A likely explanation is that the printhead needs to be moved in
(toward the big roller) a notch. This is a standard "Paper Thickness"
adjustment on many printers. On IW, you do it with a lever to the right
of the roller.

     Another possibility is that the printhead needs cleaning. Be
careful what you use to clean a printhead because some solvents can
dissolve the mask which lines up the pins. Light oils and gasoline seem
to be especially bad. A fine bristle toothbrush plus some standard
detergent in warm water or a household cleaner (like Fantastik, etc.)
should remove most dust and gunk. Whatever you use, avoid soaking the
printhead in anything very long-- i.e. get it reasonably clean and then
blow/blot dry.

     Changing settings on the DIP with the factory settings which "users
should leave alone" _may_ have some effect on firing of the bottom pins.
I don't know. Probably, you would want to try everything else first.


008- What is the 'trick' for restoring a printer ribbon?

     For cartridge ribbons, such as the one in ImageWriter II, it is
easy to 'restore' a ribbon to dark printing with a few spritzes of
WD-40. Using a pocket knife, pry off the lid of the cartridge, and, as
evenly as possible, lightly spritz the bunched-up ribbon. Restore the
lid and roll the tape back and forth a few inches. Let the cartridge sit
for several days in a plastic bag.

     The idea is that the WD-40 spreads unused ink into the ribbon's
print area; so, it will not work for restoring multi-Color ribbons.
Since you are adding no ink, this trick is good for only one or two


009- Can anyone tell me how to connect a printer with a "Centronics
     interface" to my Apple II?

     The Centronics interface is the standard parallel interface for
many printers. To connect such a printer to an Apple II, you need a
printer interface card and cable. Since the cards were a popular item in
the early 80's and were produced by several different companies you
should be able to get a good one without too much trouble.

     The cards turn up fairly often at swap meets, should be easy to
find on comp.sys.apple2.marketplace, and are still sold by regular A2
vendors. MC Price Breakers (360-837-3042 Mon-Fri 9:30am-5:30pm Pacific
Time) offers a "Full Text & Graphic Interface" w/cable for Centronics
type parallel printers for $29.95.


From: Mitchell Spector

010- I bought a Grappler+ printer interface card at a swap meet.
     Where can I get a cable? What is the pin-out for the cable?

     The cable you need is the very common "Centronics cable". It is
sold by several Apple II vendors. The pin-out is shown below:

Grappler+ Pin Assignments	
STB   1 		
D0    3				
D1    5                 
D2    7 		
D3    9 		
D4    11		
D5    13		
D6    15		
D7    17                
ACK   19                
BUSY  21
P.E.  23                
SLCT  25                
N/C   -                 
GND   all others


011- What are the DIP switches on my Grappler+ for? 

     The DIP switches are used to configure your card for a series of
different printers out there. I'll list those settings:

DIP switch settings:	
DIP SWITCH POSITIONS     	     1    2     3    4
Epson Series and Star Gemini      OFF   ON    ON   ON
NEC 8023/C, Itoh 8510/DMP 85      OFF   ON    ON  OFF
Centronics 739-1                  OFF   ON   OFF   ON
Anadex Printers                   OFF   ON   OFF  OFF
Okidata 82A, 83A, 92, 93, 84      OFF  OFF    ON   ON
Okidata 84 w/o Step II Graphics   OFF  OFF   OFF   ON
Apple Dot Matrix                  OFF  OFF    ON  OFF
IDS Printers                      (Any position)

Notes: DIP switch ON = "+" side or set to right.
Switch 1 controls MSB, the 8th bit. Setting switch 1 to 'ON'
makes MSB _not_ transmitted...


From: Scott G
012- What printers will the Harmonie drivers work with on my GS?

     The 4550 automatically senses Epson LQ code and turns on emulation.
It is like if the DIP switch were set to automatic in older BJC models.


From: Jim Stafford

     My Canon BJ 600 works fine with the above driver. The only thing
the driver doesn't do is color!!! Make sure you have the epson dip
switch set on your printer(see the manual).


From: Joe Kohn

     I know for a fact that Harmonie supports HP LaserJets, DeskJets,
and DeskWriters.

     Tony Diaz (of Alltech Electronics) brought home an Epson Stylus 600
and connected it to the IIGS. Of all things, the first thing he tried
was Print Shop GS, and he said it printed out beautifully, in full
living color. The margins were all correct, and everything else about it
was right...using the PSGS Epson LQ driver.

     He was also able to output text at 360 x 360 from EgoEd, using
Harmonie's Epson LQ4000 driver; and, he could dump text to the printer
with a PR#1 from the Applesoft prompt. So, apparently these Epson Stylus
printers do have internal fonts and can be used from ProDOS-8.

     Tony was able to print out a graphic from Platinum Paint at 360
dpi; but, only in grayscale. In Fact, so far, everyone reports that they
can print in full glorious color from Print Shop GS, but that, when
printing from GS/OS via Harmonie's EpsonLQ drivers, the printout is
limited to grayscale.


From: Supertimer

013- I have recently acquired an Apple IIGS and I want to use my
     Panasonic PanaPrinter parallel dot matrix printer with it.
     What is the best parallel card to use with my IIGS?

     The best parallel card is no parallel card. The IIGS is has serial
ports and the best way to use parallel printers is with a serial to
parallel converter.

     Global Computer Supplies, , has a
bi-directional model (TAC6180) that is excellent. It supports serial
rates of 300-57600 bps, so using a fast serial driver on the GS can get
you printing at 57600 bps. I doubt most printers go faster than this.


From: Ronald Clark

014- How can I use my Epson Color Stylus 800 with my IIgs?

     I have an Epson 800 and it works with PrintShopGS and Proterm 3.1
with a Grappler+ card.


From: Supertimer

     You can also use the Epson 800 on the GS serial printer port. You
need an ImageWriter II serial cable and the Epson LQ4000 driver from the
Harmonie package of printer drivers. Send email to to


From: Owen Aaland

015- I have a problem with getting fonts recognized. I copied the
     entire contents of one PRODOS Volume (named "AA") to another
     hard drive with a different volume name for use on another GS.
     When I launch AWGS or any other GS word processor on the second
     GS, I am told to "insert disk AA" when a font is requested. Is
     this a Pointless problem? A Typeset problem? Should I reinstall
     the fonts or what?

     Reinstalling them should make them work but an easier thing to try
first is to go into the FONTS folder inside the SYSTEM folder and trash
the 2 files called TrueType.List and Font.Lists. When you restart your
computer it will search through your Fonts folder and rebuild these
lists. This is the procedure to use if you install fonts by dragging to
the folder instead of using an installer.


From: Joe Kohn

     If you are using Pointless, the problem is not a bug; it's a
feature ;-)
     When you open the Pointless Control Panel and click on a font name,
you'll notice that pathname information (where the font is stored) is
displayed. So, you could always open the Pointless Control Open, click
on a font, click the Remove button, and then click the Add button in
order to let Pointless know where on your other system the fonts are


From: Jim Pittman

016- When I run Platinum Paint I get error $1301. Whats wrong?

     Yes, I got the same error message when I tried to run Platinum
Paint with Bernie ][ The Rescue on a G3 Power Mac. The error code refers
to a missing driver, meaning, I assume, a printer driver. But even if
the correct printer driver is present, what Platinum Paint really wants
is for the D C Printer settings to be correct.

1) Be sure you have an appropriate printer driver in

2) Go to the Control Panel. Open D C Printer. Be sure the
   appropriate port or slot is checked, as well as the
   appropriate printer driver.

(If you have a cable connecting the printer port to the printer, then
"Select a Port" would be "Printer" and "Select a Printer Type" would be
"ImageWriter" or whatever you have. If you have a parallel card in Slot
1 then "Select a Port" would be "GrapplerPlus" or whatever, and "Select
a Printer Type" would be "DeskJet560C.HAR" or whatever you have.)