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Epson DFX-8000

The Epson DFX-8000 was launched in May 1990 and introduced alongside the DFX-5000 as a heavier duty printer, offering double the print speed using a newly designed printhead with two rows of 9 pins. The printer also incorporated printhead jump capabilities which enabled it to handle paper thickness variations throughout a single print run. Software switching between tractors was also included.

Product Controls: EPSON DFX-8000

Printer's Self-Test - LINE FEED/LOAD + Power-On (Draft) or FORM FEED/COPY + Power-On (NLQ)

Hex Dump Mode - LINE FEED/LOAD + FORM FEED/COPY + Power-On

Paper Park - Press FRONT/REAR button until continuous paper feeds backward to the paper park position

Microfeed Forward - Press MICROFEED UP button to move the paper forward

Microfeed Backward - Press MICROFEED DOWN button to move the paper backward

DIP Switches

The printer has three sets of DIP (Dual In-line Package) switches located between the front tractor sprockets. These switches control certain printer functions and default settings, the details of which are listed below.

Switch No.FunctionUp (On)Down (Off)
SW1-2Slashed ZeroValidInvalid
SW1-3ESC/P - Code TableGraphicItalic
SW1-4Protocol ModeIBMESC/P
SW1-5Print QualityNLQDraft
SW1-6Character SetSee Character Table
SW1-7Character SetSee Character Table
SW1-8Character SetSee Character Table
SW2-1ESC/P Default CGUser DefinedROM
SW2-2Draft Print Speed800cps1066cps
SW2-3Serial I/F Bit Length78
SW2-4Auto-line feedAuto LFNo LF
SW2-5Interface SelectionSee Interface Table
SW2-6Interface SelectionSee Interface Table
SW2-7Baud RateSee Baud Rate Table
SW2-8Baud RateSee Baud Rate Table
SW3-2Form Length12"11"
SW3-31" Skip-over PerforationValidInvalid
SW3-4Paper Memory FunctionMemory 2Memory 1
SW3-5Multi-part Overlapped FormsValidInvalid
SW3-6Multi-part Forms with LabelValidInvalid
SW3-7Skip Over BindingValidInvalid

Changes to DIP switch settings in IBM emulation mode. (When DIP switch SW1-4 is set to ON)

Switch No.FunctionUp (On)Down (Off)
SW1-3Carriage ReturnInvalidValid
SW1-6Character SetIf all ON CG Table 1, any other combination:
SW1-7Character SetCG Table 2
SW1-8Character SetCG Table 2
SW2-1FF Command At Top Of Form PositionValidInvalid

Character Table

Character SetSW1-6SW1-7SW1-8

Interface Table

8-bit ParallelOFFOFF
Serial - OddOFFON
Serial - EvenONOFF
Serial - NoneONON

Baud Rate Table

Baud RateSW2-7SW2-8

I was printing labels and one of the labels peeled off. Now my paper won't feed. Can I remove the platen to get the label out?

No, you cannot remove the platen from the printer. If you press the FRONT/REAR button to select the paper path and the label does not appear on the platen for you to remove, you will need to have the printer serviced. When printing labels, it is recommended that you only print with the front push tractor and do not reverse feed the labels. Labels have a tendency to curl and peel off underneath the platen when being fed through the rear push tractor.

What is the paper memory feature?

The paper memory feature allows the printer to remember special form layout, such as hospital patient invoices with a label attached or overlapped edges. Up to two forms can be kept in memory for the front tractor. Please refer to Chapter 3 page 20 of your User's Manual for operation details.

What is the optional paper cutter?

The optional paper cutter was designed to fit in the printer and allow either manual or software code changing of paper paths. The cutter was not designed for precise, perforation cutting or for use with special forms. For more information on this option, please seeChapter 5 page 19 of the User's Manual.

My software program doesn't have a driver for the DFX-8000. What printer driver should I choose?

The DFX-5000 is the best choice if the DFX-8000 is not listed. You can also use the FX-850/1050, FX-86e/286e, EX-800/1000, FX-85/185, FX-80+/100+, FX-80/100, FX series, EX series, LX series, RX series, MX series, 9-pin printer, standard printer, or draft printer drivers.

Is there a DFX-8000 driver for Windows 3.1?

No, there is not a specific DFX-8000 driver. For Windows 3.1, use the DFX-5000 driver provided by Microsoft.

Will this printer emulate an IBM Proprinter?

Yes, the printer has a built-in IBM Proprinter emulation selectable through the dip switch settings.

The printer does two sets of three beeps. What does that mean?

This error occurs when there is a carriage error. Turn the printer off and remove the paper. Check to see if there is any paper jammed in the printer. Reinstall the paper onto the tractor unit and try printing again. If the problem persists, have the printer taken in to be serviced.

Can I switch between tractors using ESC codes?

Yes, you can. If you install the optional paper cutter in the printer you can use escape codes to determine which tractor is used. The escape code and parameters used for switching loading positions is: 27, 25, n - where n is "66" for loading paper from the rear tractor or "70" to load paper from the front tractor.

Does the DFX-8000 use dip switches to change default settings?

Yes, the DFX-8000 has three sets of dip switch settings so you can easily change the printer's default settings. To find out what your current settings are, print out the self-test.

Can the DFX-8000 be connected to IBM mainframe (IBM 3270) and IBM minicomputer (AS/400 or System 3X) environments?

Yes, Sherwood Digital Electronics manufactures and distributes Type-A Twinax and Coax interface cards which enable users to attach their DFX-8000 printers to IBM 3270, System 3X, or AS/400 systems. The Twinax and Coax interface cards are available through EPSON Accessories.

My printer will not power-on at all when I connect the parallel cable. What should I do?

Disconnect the cable from the back of the printer and see if the power comes on. If the printer turns on after disconnecting the cable, you probably have a cable problem. Try a different cable, making sure that it is fully-shielded and preferably six-feet or less in length. If a different cable still has the same problem, try "masking" pin 31 on the cable connector that attaches to the printer. If you decide to mask pin 31, use masking or electrical tape.

Can I print on checks that are 3-inches in length?

Yes, you can print on special sized papers. If you are using Windows, you will need to setup the printer options for a User Defined Page Size in the Control Panel. If you are using an MS-DOS application, you will either need to send an ESC code or the application would have to be capable of sending a User Defined Page Size code to the printer. The dip switches on the front of the printer cannot be used to change the page size, the command must come from the application program you are sending the print job from.

Why does my printer print garbage from MS-DOS and Windows?

When a printer prints garbage, it usually indicates a faulty cable or a loose connection. Power OFF your printer and computer. Disconnect and reconnect the cable on the printer and computer. Once the cable has been reconnected, power the printer and computer back ON. Try printing from MS-DOS. If you are still getting garbage, change the cable. We recommend getting a fully shielded cable, preferably 6 feet or less in length. If you are still experiencing problems after changing your cable, you may have a computer or printer port issue. If you take the cable and printer to another computer and it works fine, have your computer's port checked by an authorized dealer. If it still gives you garbage from another computer, have the printer taken in to be serviced.

Why does my printer print much slower in Windows?

Since Windows is a graphic environment, the drivers are set to print unidirectional for better print quality. If you must print bidirectional, you can experiment with different FX series drivers to see if one will allow you to print bidirectional. If you are using the Windows DFX-5000 driver, go to the Control Panel, choose Printers. Click on Setup, then click Options. For Print Quality, choose Draft. This will enable you to print bidirectional.

My printer prints fine from MS-DOS. Why am I getting garbage only in Windows?

If you have already reconnected the cable on the computer and the printer, changed to another cable, and are positive you are using a fully-shielded parallel cable, chances are that you are having a conflict in Windows. The Print Manager or the printer driver usually causes the conflict in Windows. Save your work, then exit Windows (this will clear the Print Manager of any pending print jobs). Go back into Windows and verify the printer driver that has been selected is correct. To verify the driver in Windows 3.x, go to the Control Panel and choose Printers. For Windows 95 or 98, click on Start, go to Settings, choose Printers. Make sure that the driver you have selected as your default printer is compatible. You should have one of the drivers listed in Chapter 1 of your User's Guide. If you are using an IBM Proprinter driver, make sure that the default setting on the printer is in IBM mode. Try printing again. If you are still getting garbage, disable the Windows Print Manager. In Windows 3.x, go to the Control Panel, choose Printers, and remove the "x" from the box in front of Use Print Manager, then click Close. For Windows 95 or 98, click Start, go to Settings, choose Printers, point to the default printer then right click once on your mouse. Select Properties, go to the Details tab, click on the Spool Settings button, and choose the option "Print directly to the printer," click OK to exit the Properties window. Click OK again to save the new setting, exit the Printers window, then restart Windows 95 or 98. Try printing again. If this does not resolve your problem, take the cable and printer to another computer to determine if the problem is hardware related. If the printer prints fine from another computer, have your computer's port tested.

What is the recommended duty cycle for the printer?

The specification recommended is 25 percent. Epson's definition of a 25 percent duty cycle stands for the printer printing (not idle) for two hours per day based on an eight hour day at 22 days per month.

What is paper parking?

Paper parking allows the printer to switch between the front and rear tractors without having to manually remove the paper. By pressing the Front/Rear Paper Select button, the printer will eject and "park" the paper that is currently loaded, then load the paper from the other tractor.

What is micro-adjustment used for?

The micro-adjustment feature allows you to make fine top-of-form adjustments and short form tear-off position adjustments in increments of 1/216th of an inch. The printer remembers adjustments made to continuous paper, even after the printer is turned off. When micro-adjust reaches the minimum or maximum adjustment point, the printer will begin to beep continuously. Different top-of-form settings can be set for both front and rear feed paper paths

What is the automatic platen gap adjustment feature?

The DFX-5000+ has a special print head and paper sensor that automatically senses thickness of the form and adjusts the platen gap accordingly. This feature eliminates time spent and risks involved in manual adjustments.

What is the print head protection function for?

This function automatically protects the print head from overheating. If the head temperature exceeds a specific heat tolerance, printing will stop until the print head has cooled down. Printing will automatically resume when the print head temperature has sufficiently dropped.

There is paper loaded on the tractor unit. Why won't the printer load paper?

If you are using letter size (8.5" x 11") paper, make sure the paper is loaded over to the left side of the printer. The paper sensor is located on the left side of the printer. If the sensor does not sense that there is paper loaded, the printer will not operate properly.

Why does the printer stop or pause in the middle of a print job?

The printer has a built-in sensor that monitors the temperature of the print head. When the print head begins to get too hot, the printer may pause or slow down the speed of the print head unit to ensure that the print head does not overheat. If the print head begins to overheat, the thermistor will stop the print head completely until it has cooled down. Once the print head has sufficiently cooled down, the printer will resume the print job. Another reason for the printer to pause or stop can be that the printer is waiting for more data or is in the middle of processing data already received.

Why does my printer beep four times?

The printer has a sensor that will not allow jobs to be printed if the printer top cover is open. Close the top cover and press the PAUSE button to put the printer online.

The printer beeps (five sets of four beeps) and will not load paper. Why won't it load paper?

If the printer does five sets of four beeps (with a pause in between each set), the paper may not be installed correctly or there may be a paper jam. Remove the paper and check to see if there is any paper jammed in the printer. Reinstall the paper onto the tractor unit and try printing again. If the problem persists, have the printer taken in to be serviced.

What are the most commonly used escape codes?

Some commonly used escape codes include (in decimal values) - Reset (27, 64); Set page length in lines (27, 67, n - where n is a number from 1 to 127); Carriage return (13); Line feed (10); Form feed (12); Select 1/8-inch line spacing (27, 48); 10 cpi (27, 80); 12 cpi (27, 77); Select bold font (27, 69); Cancel bold font (27, 70); Select italic font (27, 52); Cancel italic font (27, 53); Turn underline on/off (27, 45, n - where n equals 49=ON or 48=OFF); Select condensed print (15); Cancel condensed print (18). For more escape codes, please refer to the Command Summary of your User's Manual.

The printer is not starting printing at the right position on the paper. How can I change the top-of-form setting?

You can change the starting print position by using the MICROFEED feature on the printer's control panel. Load your paper and wait until it stops feeding. Once it has stops press the TOF button to enter top-of-form mode. Then use the MICROFEED UP arrow or MICROFEED DOWN arrow to adjust the top-of-form position. The printer will beep continuously and will not move anymore when it has reached the maximum adjustment point. Once you have the paper where you want it, press the TOF button again.

What are the differences between the DFX-5000+ and the DFX-8000?

Both are reliable printers and each has its own advantages. The DFX-5000+ has a larger standard input buffer, front panel pitch selection, automatic tear-off feature, supports Ethernet, autosensing ports, fan thermistor, and paper jam detection. The DFX-8000 is faster, has an optional paper cutter, and a longer print head life than the DFX-5000+.