DEC Letterprinter 100 -- what are they selling for?
ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Mon Nov 24 12:41:54 CST 2008
> >It's a 9 pin dot-matrix head which is tilted mechanically (a pair of
> >solenoids shuttling a shaped core to and fro inside the carriage) to give
> >18 pin resolution in 2 passes. I find them interesting because of that
> >curious mechanism.
> I have two LA100ro as they proved in the field to be rugged and I got to
> see that from the point of view of DEC printers engineering. The curious
> approach to "18pin" printing was twofold. One was to allow fast draft
> quality printing and the other was rugged high quality printing that could
> still punch multipart forms with a known reliable head. At that time there
> were a few 18 pin heads but they didn't have the long term life at sustained
> high print rates. Note, this is a 1984-5 design so understand that many
> printers at that time were of smaller or less rugged style or really
> imposing printers.
Sure. The idea of using multiple pases to increase resolution was quite
common at the time. Sanders Associates made a range of 7 pin printers
with an accurate paper feed mechanism which did 8 pases for some fonts,
and the result looked as good as and daisywheel I've ever seen. But the
DEC trick of shifting the printhead vertically I think was unique to the
LA100 printer, and it's interesting to me for that reason.
But as I've said many times before, I like unusual/curious designs
whether they're processors or not. So the LA100 printer (and indeed the
Sanders models I've just mentioned, which have some interesting
electronics) are things that I am glad to have in the collection.
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