Ribbon Problems
10/27/05 S4M Maintenance Manual 13291L-001 Rev. A
Ribbon Problems
Table 21 identifies problems that may occur with ribbon, the possible causes, and the
recommended solutions.
Note • This section applies only to printers that have the Thermal Transfer option installed.
Table 21 • Ribbon Problems
Problem Possible Cause Recommended Solution
Broken or melted
Darkness setting too high. 1. Reduce the darkness setting.
2. Clean the printhead thoroughly.
The printer does not
detect when the
ribbon runs out.
The ribbon-out threshold is set
too high to detect the ribbon.
On a sensor profile, the
ribbon-out threshold (circled in
Figure 27) appears above the
black bars that indicate the
ribbon. This happens if you
calibrate the printer without
ribbon and later insert ribbon
without recalibrating the printer
or loading printer defaults.
Figure 27 • Ribbon-Out
Threshold Too High
1. Print a sensor profile (see Print Sensor
Profile on page 66), and note the location of
the ribbon-out threshold (circled in
Figure 27).
2. Calibrate the printer, this time using ribbon,
or load printer defaults. See Calibrate Media
and Ribbon Sensors on page 67 or Load
Factory Defaults on page 64.
Important • Loading defaults resets
all printer parameters back to factory
3. Print another sensor profile, and compare it
to the first one.
4. If the ribbon-out threshold is still too high,
you may manually change the value. See
Adjust Ribbon-Out Threshold on page 71.
When the RI BBON
parameter is set to
AUTO, the printer
remains in direct
thermal mode (shown
on the printer
configuration label),
even though ribbon is
loaded correctly in
the printer.
The printer indicates
that ribbon is out,
even though ribbon is
loaded correctly.
The printer was not calibrated
for the label and ribbon being
Perform the calibration procedure in Calibrate
Media and Ribbon Sensors on page 67.
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