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Need to have the print darker - Zebra QL 420 Plus Thermal Label Printer

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Resolving Print Quality Issues on Performance Line PrintersCheck this link for your model solutions:

https://km.zebra.com/kb/index?page=content&id=SO7322&actp=LIST_POPULAR

Posted on May 23, 2011

  • 4 more comments 
  • hermand25 May 25, 2011

    This is helpful but I forgot to mention. The print comes out perfect when doing a test print. But for some reason on two of our many zebras the labels come out very light when used for normal printing. Any suggestions to fix this?

  • Gale Todd May 25, 2011

    There are different types of issues due to light printing. Once a symptom is determined see the following for possible resolution:

    1. Light print on one side (left or right)
    2. Light print in the center
    3. Light print that occurs at fixed 2" intervals along the page or blurry streaks in printout
    4. Sharp streaks in printout.
    5. Universally light print, even over entire page.
    6. A section of the printout (from ¿ to 2") is lighter than the rest.

    For conditions 1 and 2, ensure that the print head is firmly latched in the closed position. There are two latches, one on each side that must be in position for proper print. If this does not solve the issue, the printer may need calibration, which can only be done in the field by highly technical users. It is usually best to have the printer returned for this procedure.

    If condition 2 is not solved by checking the print head latches, the printer must be returned for service (warped guide plate or bad screws on early TTP 8200s, usually before week 2 2002)

    For condition 3, open the print head and check the platen for physical damage or debris. Physically damaged platens must be returned for service for repair. Debris can be blown out with an air dusting can or IPA can be used to clean the print head and platen surface. It is common for the platen to become very dirty and require several cleaning passes. This condition can also occur when the print head has reached end of life.

    For condition 4, clean the print head surface with IPA. It is important to properly identify this problem correctly and not mistake it for a platen defect as covered in point three. Printers with sharp streaks in their printouts usually have many failures across the head from ion migration (usually 20+ pixels distributed randomly) may have a bank out (1/4 of the printout is missing), or may be missing single pixels from print head damage (usually less than 10). Usually this condition required the printer be returned for replacement of print head. Ion migration problems (that occur when the printer has been sitting powered on for long periods of time) are covered under warranty for 7 years from the date of manufacture. Missing pixels are not covered under standard new product warranty if they affect less than 10 pixels. Bank problems are covered under standard new product warranty.

    For condition five, verify the print head is locked down, and after that ask about the paper the customer is using and how much printing the printer has done. If you are not using a Zebra approved paper, the paper may be to blame for the poor print quality. If the printer has printed 60000+ pages, the print head may be worn and my require replacement.

    For condition six, there is always some minor variation between the four banks of the print head, but there shouldn't be any areas that are significantly less dark. If there are have, the customer will probably have to return the printer for print head replacement under 7 year warranty (firmware over burning caused greatly reduced print head life). At the same time as this replacement, the firmware will be updated to a version that does not have this problem

  • Gale Todd May 25, 2011

    There are different types of issues due to light printing. Once a symptom is determined see the following for possible resolution:

    1. Light print on one side (left or right)
    2. Light print in the center
    3. Light print that occurs at fixed 2" intervals along the page or blurry streaks in printout
    4. Sharp streaks in printout.
    5. Universally light print, even over entire page.
    6. A section of the printout (from ¿ to 2") is lighter than the rest.

    For conditions 1 and 2, ensure that the print head is firmly latched in the closed position. There are two latches, one on each side that must be in position for proper print. If this does not solve the issue, the printer may need calibration, which can only be done in the field by highly technical users. It is usually best to have the printer returned for this procedure.

    If condition 2 is not solved by checking the print head latches, the printer must be returned for service (warped guide plate or bad screws on early TTP 8200s, usually before week 2 2002)

    For condition 3, open the print head and check the platen for physical damage or debris. Physically damaged platens must be returned for service for repair. Debris can be blown out with an air dusting can or IPA can be used to clean the print head and platen surface. It is common for the platen to become very dirty and require several cleaning passes. This condition can also occur when the print head has reached end of life.



    For condition 4, clean the print head surface with IPA. It is important to properly identify this problem correctly and not mistake it for a platen defect as covered in point three. Printers with sharp streaks in their printouts usually have many failures across the head from ion migration (usually 20+ pixels distributed randomly) may have a bank out (1/4 of the printout is missing), or may be missing single pixels from print head damage (usually less than 10). Usually this condition required the printer be returned for replacement of print head. Ion migration problems (that occur when the printer has been sitting powered on for long periods of time) are covered under warranty for 7 years from the date of manufacture. Missing pixels are not covered under standard new product warranty if they affect less than 10 pixels. Bank problems are covered under standard new product warranty.



    For condition five, verify the print head is locked down, and after that ask about the paper the customer is using and how much printing the printer has done. If you are not using a Zebra approved paper, the paper may be to blame for the poor print quality. If the printer has printed 60000+ pages, the print head may be worn and my require replacement.



    For condition six, there is always some minor variation between the four banks of the print head, but there shouldn't be any areas that are significantly less dark. If there are have, the customer will probably have to return the printer for print head replacement under 7 year warranty (firmware over burning caused greatly reduced print head life). At the same time as this replacement, the firmware will be updated to a version that does not have this problem

  • hermand25 May 25, 2011

    This is very informative but its a brand newish printer and all of this has been done and checked. Its not a hardware problem its something to do with software or contrast settings. I just want to know how to do this....

  • Gale Todd May 25, 2011

    Resolution

    Change the darkness setting in the Windows driver.

    Click the "+" sign to open up the "Head Settings" option in the driver settings menu.

    Use the slide control to adjust the current settings to change the darkness of the printed output. This changes the temperature of the print head and so is also referred to as temperature. The higher the value, the higher the temperature and the darker the printed output.

  • Gale Todd May 25, 2011

    To set the print darkness in the driver;

    Click on Start Settings, Printers.
    Right click on the driver and select Properties.
    Select the Printers tab.
    Expand the Device Options tab by clicking on the + to the left of Device Options.
    Expand the Head Settings tab.
    Adjust your darkness setting.
    Collapse the Device Options tab by clicking on the - next to Device Options.
    Click on Apply, then OK.
    Close the printers folder and test your printer.

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