Just got a ZX Printer, recommended precautions?

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patters
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Just got a ZX Printer, recommended precautions?

Post by patters » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:51 pm

I just got one on eBay having been waiting for one at a reasonable price. Such a cute object. They're all sold untested these days so I want to be as careful as possible.

Any recommendations on what to check? Should I even risk connecting it, or should I just send it off directly to be refurbed with a new belt etc.? Is there a risk to my Speccy?

Outwardly it looks in decent condition but I am reluctant to open it as I seem to recall reading that they're a sod to reassemble.

I noticed that the metal spacer in its edge connector has come out - how easy is it to get a replacement? Could I pull out the equivalent piece from an old unused Kempston interface with needlenosed pliers for instance, or are they all likely to be a bit bespoke?
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Re: Just got a ZX Printer, recommended precautions?

Post by Guesser » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:09 pm

The belt is either broken now, or will break shortly after you apply power to print something. As far as I'm aware the only solution currently is to send it off to the Gledhills.
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Re: Just got a ZX Printer, recommended precautions?

Post by 1024MAK » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:24 pm

Err, I was going to say, run away quickly! But you have already bought one :lol:

DO NOT attempt to connect it to a ZX Spectrum or a ZX81 or a ZX80 if the locating pin in the edge-connector is missing or damaged. No matter how careful you are, there is a very high likelihood that the contacts will not line up correctly. The result of any slight misalignment will be multiple short circuits that WILL result in damage to the computer and possible damage to the printer.

It may be possible to reuse a locating pin from another edge-connector socket. But it’s not something I recommend. As once removed and then pushed into another edge-connector socket, you have no way of knowing if it will stay put, or fall out without you noticing... :twisted:

The alternative is to superglue a suitable piece of insulating plastic in place as a locating pin. Or drill a suitable size hole from the top of the plastic edge-connector socket through to the bottom. Then use a hot soldering iron to push a suitable nail through the previously drilled holes. Then cut the ends off the nail so that it is flush with the top and bottom of the plastic edge-connector socket.

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Re: Just got a ZX Printer, recommended precautions?

Post by beanz » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:10 pm

Guesser wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:09 pm
The belt is either broken now, or will break shortly after you apply power to print something. As far as I'm aware the only solution currently is to send it off to the Gledhills.
It's possible to 3d print your own belts (I've fixed all 3 of my ZX printers doing this) Using flexible filament. It's not something that you can really do for others though, I had to tweak the print settings for each belt on mine changing the size slightly for each one...here's some pics I took during the whole process...the blurry text was because I didn't have the post's spaced correctly, since fixed.

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