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Quick Reference Troubleshooting Guide for Zebra Thermal Printers

Problem

Probable Cause

Repair

No LCD display

Probable Cause

  1. Printer unplugged
  2. Printer turned "off"
  3. Display cable loose
  4. Bad display PCB
  5. Defective power supply
  6. Blown 15 Amp fuse

Repair

  1. Plug in printer
  2. Flip power switch "On"
  3. Reconnect cable
  4. Replace display PCB
  5. Replace power supply
  6. Replace fuse
Vertical lines in print

Probable Cause

  1. Blown printhead

Repair

  1. Replace printhead
Diagonal lines on print

Probable Cause

  1. Ribbon tracking

Repair

  1. Adjust ribbon guide bar
Print faded on end of label

Probable Cause

  1. Printhead balance misadjusted

Repair

  1. Adjust printhead spring tension hold-downs
Labels skewing

Probable Cause

  1. Label feed roller eccentric misadjusted

Repair

  1. Adjust label feed roller eccentric
Labels over or under feed

Probable Cause

  1. Tear-off position

Repair

  1. Set tear-off position
Print is very light

Probable Cause

  1. Dirty printhead
  2. Darkness sitting

Repair

  1. Clean printhead
  2. Increase darkness setting on LCD
Printer not receiving sent jobs

Probable Cause

  1. Comm cable disconnected
  2. Incorrect cable used
  3. Comm parameters mismatch
  4. Printer is in "pause"

Repair

  1. Connect Comm cable
  2. For serial-cable must be a "Null Modem"
  3. Ensure both PC and Printer Comms match
  4. Release "pause"
Printer not responding to Applicator

Probable Cause

  1. Printer IF cable disconnected
  2. Printer IF cable defective

Repair

  1. Connect IF cable
  2. Replace IF cable
"Paper out" displayed on LCD

Probable Cause

  1. Pitch sensor dirty
  2. Labels incorrectly installed

Repair

  1. Clean pitch sensor
  2. Reinstall labels
Labels keep spitting out

Probable Cause

  1. Label pitch sensor
  2. mis-calibrated or defective
  3. Sensor dirty
  4. Labels incorrectly installed

Repair

  1. Adjust pitch sensor
  2. Replace sensor
  3. Clean sensor
  4. Reinstall labels
Getting "Ribbon out" on LCD display

Probable Cause

  1. Ribbon empty
  2. Ribbon sensor dirty
  3. Ribbon sensor mis-calibrated

Repair

  1. Install new Ribbon
  2. Clean ribbon sensor
  3. Recalibrate sensor
Used ribbon not being taken up properly

Probable Cause

  1. Ribbon installed incorrectly
  2. Ribbon motors defective
  3. Ribbon driver PCB bad

Repair

  1. Reinstall ribbon
  2. Replace motors
  3. Replace PCB
Getting "Head open" on LCD display

Probable Cause

  1. Printhead latch not engaged
  2. Printhead microswitch loose or defective

Repair

  1. Engage latch
  2. Adjust or replace microswitch
Getting "Cover open" on LCD display

Probable Cause

  1. Cover is open
  2. Cover microswitch loose or defective microswitch

Repair

  1. Close cover
  2. Adjust or replace
Getting "label out error" on LCD display

Probable Cause

  1. Label Pitch sensor dirty
  2. Label pitch sensor calibration
  3. Labels installed incorrectly

Repair

  1. Clean sensor
  2. Recalibrate sensor
  3. Reinstall labels

NORMAL SET-UP FOR PRINTER (SETTINGS IN THE LCD PANEL)

  1. Media Type: Non-continuous
  2. Sensor: Web
  3. Print Method: Thermal Transfer
  4. Print Width & Length: Determined by media being used
  5. Host Port: determined by hook up to PC
  6. Backfeed: Before
  7. Applicator: Mode 2
  8. Factory default password: 1234

Note: The proper steps for calibrating a label is:

  1. Define label size first - length & width
  2. Place printer in "pause" and depress the calibrate key on panel

Download the Quick Reference Guide here.