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My impact printer prints light/faded receipts or with missing dots

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This application note explains how to resolve light/faded print or with missing dots with a Star impact printer.
Note: Using non-Star brand ribbon cartridges may cause damage to the ribbon shaft of the printer. This guide depicts the SP700 for illustration purposes.

Supported Printers: SP500, SP700
Supported Interfaces: Any
Supported Environments: N/A
Required consumables/accessories: Star genuine ribbon cartridge 
Software Needed: N/A


I. Making sure a ribbon cartridge is set correctly.

1. Power printer [OFF].

2. Open the front cover by holding the protruding grips on both ends of the cover and lift upwards.

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3. Remove the ribbon cartridge by raising the “finger grips” as shown in the below figure:
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4. Reinsert the ribbon cartridge in the direction shown below, press down until it clicks in, and make sure the ribbon sits behind the print-head. If the ribbon cartridge does not “fit” properly, mount the cartridge while rotating the ribbon feed knob clockwise.

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5. Once installed, stretch any “saggy” section of the ribbon by turning the ribbon feed knob clockwise.

6. Close the front cover.

7. If light/faded print continues, please replace the cartridge with a new unit.

Note: For optimal operation please use “STAR” BRANDED ribbon cartridgeS. For information on where to purchase Star ribbons, please contact us.


II. Advancing a ribbon manually

1. Please advance the ribbon by turning the ribbon feed knob clockwise, print a test, and observe if the issue is resolved. If the ribbon does not advance, please replace the cartridge.

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III. Inspect printer for worn/damaged Ribbon Shaft

1. Please remove the ribbon cartridge and observe possible signs of damages to the Ribbon Shaft (shown below with an arrow.) A worn or broken shaft may cause light/faded print as the ribbon tape will not advance as printng progreses. Repair may be required should the Ribbon Shaft be damaged. Contact our support.

Use of Star branded ribbon cartridges is recommended for optimal performance.

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Below are images of worn/damaged ribbon shafts.

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