Loading non-Zebra 300-meter transfer ribbon in your printer requires the use of Zebra ribbon core adapters.
Minimum requirements to use non-Zebra 300-meter ribbons with your printer:
Inside core diameter inner diameter of 25.4 mm (1.0 in., range 1.004–1.016 in.). Material: Fiberboard; hard materials such as plastic cores may not function correctly.
The maximum outer diameter of the ribbon is 66 mm (2.6 in.).
Using non-Zebra media or ribbons not approved for use in your Zebra printer may damage your printer or printhead. Image quality may also be affected by poor or marginal ribbon performance (maximum print speed, ink formulation, etc.), core material (too soft or hard), and fit (loose or tight ribbon core or exceeds the maximum outer diameter of 66 mm).
The adapters help you align the ribbon and core to the media (and printer’s) center. The adapters include a core lock spring to engage the soft fiberboard inside of the ribbon core and scale measured from the printer’s center-line when mounted in the printer.
1 – Centerline
2 – Core-lock Spring
Load an empty ribbon core onto a ribbon core adapter. The empty ribbon core should be the same width (or larger) as the ribbon roll. Roughly center the core over the adapter's centerline. An empty Zebra ribbon core may be used instead of the adapter and an empty non-Zebra ribbon core. One 300m empty ribbon core is supplied with the printer.
Load the non-Zebra ribbon roll (4) onto the ribbon core adapter. Orient the adapter flange on the left side and verify that the ribbon unwraps on the backside of the roll as shown in the illustration. Roughly center the core over the adapter's centerline.
1 – Non-Zebra Ribbon Rol Adapter
2 – Flange - Place on Left
3 – Ribbon Core
4 – Ribbon with Ribbon Exiting in the Back
The maximum roll width of 110 mm (4.3 in.) does not require centering. For media less than the maximum width down to the minimum width of 33 mm (1.3 in.), use the graduated scale on the adapter core to align the ribbon rolls to the media and printer.
Place the adapter with an empty core on the take-up spindles and the adapter with the ribbon roll on the lower supply spindles. The right side of the core adapter fits on the cone tip on each of the spring-loaded right side spindles. Continue pushing the adapter onto the right side spindle and swing the adapter onto the left side spindle hubs. Rotate the adapters and hubs until the notches on the adapters flange align and lock ton the left spindles hub spokes.
While the ribbon and empty cores were being installed during the previous steps, they may have been bumped off-center.
Verify that the ribbon roll and empty core are aligned to the center of the media (labels, paper, tags, etc.). Remember that you can use the centerline scales on the ribbon core adapter to place their positions.
The ribbon width must be wider than the media width (including the label liner or backing) to protect the printhead.
Attach the ribbon to the take-up core. Use a thin strip of tape to secure the ribbon to the take-up core, if your media does not have an adhesive strip on the ribbon leader like genuine Zebra ribbon. Align the ribbon so that it will be taken straight onto the core.
Turn the ribbon take-up hub with the top moving toward the rear to remove slack from the ribbon. Rotating the hub helps to finish aligning the take-up ribbon position with the supply ribbon roll. The ribbon should be wound, at minimum, one and a half times around the take-up ribbon core.
Verify that the media is loaded and ready to print and then close the printer cover.
If printer power is on, press the
button to have the printer advance a minimum of 20 cm (8 in.) of media to remove slack and ribbon wrinkle (straightens the ribbon), and to align the ribbon on the spindles. Otherwise, wait to turn on the printer and complete the printer Getting Started instructions in this chapter.
Change the print mode setting from direct thermal printing to thermal transfer to set the printer’s temperature profiles for thermal transfer media. This can be done with the printer driver, application software, or printer programming commands.
When controlling printer operations with ZPL programming, refer to the
) ZPL II command (follow the instructions in the ZPL Programming Guide).
When controlling printer operations with EPL Page Mode, refer to the
) EPL command (follow the instructions in the EPL Page Mode Programmer’s Guide).