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which printer to get? need something network ready + additional

Hey guys,

i need a printer for a warehouse.  currently we are using a panasonic kxp3626 (lpt connection) which prints 3 copies simultaniously with that carbon paper stuff (using quickbooks).

Now, we would like a printer that prints considerably faster and can easily be attached directly to the network.

Also, we have another question of: can a laser also do what we need somehow?  is there some type of paper we could get for a laser that prints 3 copies as well or are we stuck with these dot matrix impact type printers?  the paper we currently use looks like about 8.5x11 just preforated.

- Tom
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xtksystems
Asked:
xtksystems
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2 Solutions
 
jonoakleyCommented:
Sounds like you are using NCR(No Carbon Required) fan fold paper. I will also hazard a guess that this is  tractor feed . A laser will not properly use the NCR, it requires an impact. You can setup a laser to print multiple copies of a document.
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jonoakleyCommented:
There are printers that have a the ability to sort for you or coalate. Next is one sheet different from the others in the NCR, such as Terms and Conditions. This will require you to print from more than on tray or buy presorted paper.
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rshooper76Commented:
I would stick to an Impact printer.  I trypically user an HP Jet direct box to connect an Okidata dot matrix to my network.  This works really good for me.  The Okidata printers are fast, reliable and tend to have few problems if you take care of them.
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MrBillisMeCommented:
I'll second the vote for imact. We have coverted a lot our forms to Optio and sending them to Laser printer including UPS/Fedex using Clippership for shipping labels but we still have PC's running DOS and printing Freight Bills to dot matrix printers. Our work horse printer are Okidata ML591 and ML590's and some are still printing product labels on from the network.
I was in Fry's the other day and noticed they still print invoices with an Epson LQ570 dot matrix printer off their network and they have a store full of laser printers.
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jonoakleyCommented:
Is your Panasonic dying or do you just want to upgrade?
Impact offers distinct advantages over laser and the same applies ot lasers over impact.

Waht advantages are you trying to gain? There are High Speed impacts available and some do a decent job at graphics. What is your target?
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xtksystemsAuthor Commented:
i'd like to print faster, this panasonic is too slow.  then really, just to get an affordable printer that can print through the network.  Which hp jet direct box would i need?  would it be different for different printers?
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jonoakleyCommented:
Almost any external JetDirect will work. If you can find an old 170 or 300 it will do just fine.  But know the Jet Direct is in your case a shared computer with an LPT port attached. About all you will gain is not haviong to have a computer system on while the printer is accessed across the network.

There are three types of impact printers running around Daisy Wheel, Dot Matrix and Line printers
Daisy Wheel is glorified typewriter and mostly obsolete

Dot Matrix will print good qulaity with some graphics capabilities this includes many font typesbut not at laser speeds
Fonts not programed into the Dot Matrix are treated a graphics.

Line Printer are very fast but low quality no graphics

I have always had good luck with Panasonic,
http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelList?storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&catGroupId=13854
Okidata,
http://www.okidata.com/mkt/html/nf/SIDM.html
and Tally ( Tally calls them Serial Printers)
http://www.tallygenicom.com/products/serial.htm

Find one that fits your needs and budget
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jonoakleyCommented:
I looked at the stats on the 3626 not pretty there are definite alternatives out there
If you are printing LQ from a windows environment then it may seem you could wtrite faster if you put your mind to it. Turning off LQ will increase your speed but make a direct hit on output quality. You didn't mention if you were in a windows environment so this may not be the case.


If you are in a Windows environment there are a couple of settings but they won''t be miraculous



http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=63735&catGroupId=13854&surfModel=KX-P3626&surfCategory=Dot%20Matrix%20Printers&displayTab=F
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xtksystemsAuthor Commented:
i looked at the okidata page.  what printer on there would be good?  they have a really big selection as well as price differences.  this is using a windows environment

- Tom
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hdhondtCommented:
If you want multi-part paper you are stuck with impact printers. There is no way your paper or anything like it will work with a laser - to get 3 copies from a laser it has to be printed 3 times.

Epson have several models that will suit. The fastest is the DFX-8500 which prints up to 1120 characters/second. It is networkable (with an optional network card) and reliable, but not cheap. Other models include the DLQ-3500 (up to 550 cps) or the LQ-300+ (300 cps) and a range of others. See:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/ProductCategory.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&oid=-8185
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xtksystemsAuthor Commented:
whats the difference between 9 pin narrow/wide and 24 pin narrow/wide?
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jonoakleyCommented:
Qulaity of the output and speeds at higher quality on the Pin count  
It means you have 9 pins or 24 pins working in the same area
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jonoakleyCommented:
Evaluate your requirements for budget, quality, speed, duty cycle(quanity based on set time ) and expansion expectations.
No need tot pay for 10000 if a 3000 page will more than cover.
If the page is used as a pick sheet then tossed out, cut back on quality. I believe speed will be a non issue because almost anything will be a step up.
Do you plan to increase demand on this device?
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MrBillisMeCommented:
Mentioned earlier but I can recomend the use an HP JetDirect 170X print server connected to an Okidata ML591 printer. When we were printing invoices and acknowledgments they was our workhorse printers and they lasted for years. I actually have sone in good condition that we would like to sell since we retired them after going to a laser system.
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xtksystemsAuthor Commented:
okidata 591 looks nice.  they also have 591/n with built in print server.  looks like the best bet.  but in comparing say the 590 to the 591 the difference is the physical dimensions?  should i just get the 590 instead?  i dont need anything wider than almost standard size paper.
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MrBillisMeCommented:
Yes, just the size differnce, we have some 590 as well, in fact one assy line has two ML590's for making product labels. They's been running for over 5 years with virually no maintenace.
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jonoakleyCommented:
The difference between the 590 and the 591 is the Monthly Workload and the dimension

http://www.okidata.com/mkt/html/nf/ML591Spec.html
http://www.okidata.com/mkt/html/nf/ML590Spec.html
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jonoakleyCommented:
590 is 11,000
591 is 18,000
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MrBillisMeCommented:
I hadn't realized that load diffence existed.........Our 590 were always smaller.
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xtksystemsAuthor Commented:
can i get away with using a 590?  the dimensions shouldnt be too small right?
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WatzmanCommented:
You are currently using "impact" printers with "NCR paper".  [but "NCR" stands for NCR Corp, the company that invented this stuff 40 years ago (NCR was then an acronym for "National Cash Register Corp., but they changed their name officially to NCR Corp. a decade or two ago.  "No Carbon Required", is an interesting, although I think not entirely correct, acronym.]

A laser printer is a "non-impact" printer and can't make multiple copies, but can print "multiple originals".  You can get the 2nd and 3rd copies on colored paper, if needed, by using multiple input trays with a separate paper color in each tray.  You can use plain paper and print the "form", including shadings and rulings (lines) with the data.  It might take some programming to do all of this, however.  I would not recommend trying to use presorted pages, if there is a jam or "double pick", you will have a mess on your hands.

There are lots of "print servers" that will make almost any printer "network ready".  Many laser printers have what is often called an "MIO slot" for an internal print server (or other I/O card), or you can use an external device with either an parallel port or a USB connection to the printer.  Most of these are now extremely small (about the size of a pack of cigarettes), so size should not be an issue.

The advantage of laser is speed (up to 40 pages per minute) and print quality.  But dot matrix impact is going to be cheaper, simpler and more reliable (but a LOT slower, and with greatly inferior print quality).  Those tradeoffs are calls that you will have to make.
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jonoakleyCommented:
If you don't need or see the a use for the extra width in your application, save the money and run with the 590.
Does it meet and slightly exceed your expectations?
If the answer is yes then you have your printer. Oki has been doing the printer thing for quite some time and has a history of quality.
The Dots will not give you the speed of a laser but they make a very realiable workhorse.  Teamed with the NCR paper, can rival the speed of lasers.  

As far as the price of the Oki network printserver the price is compatible with most new print server. If you want to save  a small ammount, you may want to do some online shopping or go for a used one. As stated earlier almost any external print server will perform the required task.
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xtksystemsAuthor Commented:
why are the 591's so wide to begin with?  is there paper really that wide?  if so, ive never seen them used
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MrBillisMeCommented:
Yes, there is wide paper.
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jonoakleyCommented:
Good ol' green sheets. You would recognize them as green and white alternating stripes.
They will make paper as wide or thin as you want. folded in various lengths and as many sheets in thickness as your printer will handl.e
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MrBillisMeCommented:
We use to run all of our reports on those monsters.
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hdhondtCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is:
Split jonoakley &  MrBillisMe
Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER!

hdhondt
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