old friend is slimming down the warehouse

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Fri Jun 24 14:17:10 CDT 2016

On Fri, Jun 24, 2016 at 1:01 PM, Mark J. Blair <nf6x at nf6x.net> wrote:
> I didn't see any printers mentioned, but I'm specifically looking for a DEC LP32 series band printer, or perhaps another printer made for use with the DMF32 controller.
> http://vt100.net/docs/tp83/chapter16.html

We had an LP25 on our DMF32.  ISTR it's a Dataproducts B300 or
something close to that.  It was a bit fiddly when it got old (I was
the one that got to fix it when it broke), but we ran multiple boxes
of paper through it per day.  It was _the_ printer on a VAX-11/750
with 75 to 10 users (decreasing over time)... developers code
listings, non-letter-quality documentation (serial LA210 for the "good
stuff", used sparingly), diagnostic sheets in every product box,
e-mails, calendars, customer lists... ASCII art.  ;-)

I think there's a simple circuit (a few TTL inverters and a pin
swabbing cable) to use an LA-180 (i.e., _non_ Dataproducts printer) on
the DC37 on a DMF-32.  The basic lines are all the same but a couple
of them need their sense inverted.  An LA-180 is much lighter
(van-sized and small pallet) as long as you don't need massive
volumes.  One could also rig up a Personal Computer-grade dot matrix
printer with a Centronics interface similarly, if the goal is just to
have some form of hardcopy, not specifically to "enjoy" the
band/chain-printer experience.  It is fun, though, watching and
listening to a band printer fire up and zip through greenbar paper.


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