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Epson FX-880+

Product Controls:

Button/Light Functions

Font button - Selects one of the fonts. Font lights indicate which font is selected.

Reset - When you press both the Font and Pitch buttons simultaneously, the printer clears the buffer.

Pitch button - Selects one of the pitch settings.

Tear Off/Bin button - Feeds continuous paper forward to the tear-off position. Feeds continuous paper backward from the tear-off position to the top-of-form position. Selects a cut-sheet feeder bin when the cut-sheet feeder is installed. Tear Off/Bin light Flashes when continuous paper is in the tear-off position. On when bin 1 of the optional cut-sheet feeder is selected. Off when bin 2 of the optional cut-sheet feeder is selected.

LF/FF button - Feeds paper line by line when pressed quickly. Ejects a single sheet or advances continuous paper to the next top-of-form position when held down.

Micro Adjust to Top of Form - When you hold down the Pause button for three seconds, the printer enters the micro adjust mode. In this mode, you can press the LF/FF (for forward) and Load/Eject (for reverse) buttons to adjust the top-of-form or tear-off position.

Load/Eject button - Loads a single sheet of paper. Ejects a single sheet of paper. Loads continuous paper from the standby position. Feeds continuous paper backward to the standby position if a sheet is loaded.

Pause light - On when the printer is paused. Flashes when the printer is in the Micro Adjust mode.

Pause button - Stops printing temporarily, and resumes printing when pressed again. When held down for three seconds, enters the Micro Adjust mode. When pressed again, exits the Micro Adjust mode.

Lock - When Lock-out mode is on, the Paper Out and Pause lights flash if a locked button is pressed.

Paper Out light - On when no paper is loaded in the selected paper source or paper is not loaded correctly. Flashes when paper has not been fully ejected or a paper jam has occurred.

Self Tests/Functions

Note: To perform the following functions, hold down the button(s) indicated below while you turn on the printer:

Printer's Self-Test - LF/FF (Draft), Load/Eject (NLQ)

Data Dump Mode - Load/Eject + LF/FF

Default Setting Mode - Font

Default Setting, Simple Mode - Tear Off/Bin + Font

Quiet Mode - Font + Pitch

Copy Mode - Pitch + Pause

Bi-directional Adjustment mode - Pause

Control Panel Lock-out Mode (On/Off) - Load/Eject + Pause

Default Setting for Control Panel Lock-out Mode - LF/FF + Pause

Okidata ML 320T Mode - Tear Off/Bin + Pause

What type of computer interface does this printer support?

A computer running Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows NT can be used with the printer’s parallel interface. A computer running Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000 and Windows XP can be used with the printer’s parallel or USB interface. Optional interface cards are available to supplement the printer’s built-in nterfaces and provide added network compatibility.

What optional interfaces are available from Epson for this printer?

Some of the most common interface cards are:

  • C823051 - Serial interface
  • C823071 - 32KB intelligent serial interface
  • C823141 - Coax interface
  • C823151 - Twinax interface
  • C823452 - IEEE-1284 parallel interface
  • C823912 - EpsonNet 10/100 Base TX Internal Print Server

Other network cards are also available from Epson.

What printers does the FX-880+ printer emulate?

The EPSON® FX-880+ emulates the Okidata® Microline® 320 Turbo, IBM® PPDS and EPSON ESC/P printer. Note: You must set the printer mode and install the correct printer driver for the printer to work correctly.

Can the Control Panel Buttons be locked?

You can restrict the use of buttons on the control panel using lock-out mode. In the default lock-out mode, the Pause, Load/Eject and Tear off buttons are locked. Turning lock-out mode on and off:

1. Make sure the printer is turned off.
2. Turn on the printer while holding down the Load/Eject and Pause buttons. The printer beeps twice, indicating that the lock-out mode has been turned on.

When the lock-out mode is on, the Pause and Paper Out lights flash simultaneously 3 times when any locked button is pushed. To turn lock-out mode off, repeat steps 1 and 2. The printer beeps once, indicating that the lock-out mode has been turned off.

How do I change the lock-out mode setting?

You can select which printer functions you want to be locked while lock-out mode is on. Follow these steps:

1. Make sure paper is loaded and the printer is turned off.
2. Turn on the printer while holding down the LF/FF and Pause buttons. The printer enters the lock-out setting mode and prints the instructions. (You’ll need three sheets of A4 or letter size single-sheet paper or three pages of continuous paper that is at least 279 mm [11 inches] long and 210 mm [8.3 inches] wide.)
3. Follow the instructions to change the settings as desired.
4. Turn off the printer.

How do I select the font and pitch?

Usually you use your application program to select the font and pitch, however, you can select up to five fonts (in different pitches) from the printer’s control panel. Application settings will usually override the control panel settings.

The available pitch depends on the font you select.

  • USD - 10, 12
  • HSD - 10, 12, 15, 17, 20
  • Draft - 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, PS
  • Roman - 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, PS
  • San Serif - 10, 12, 15, 17, 20, PS

Make sure the printer is not printing and press the Font button until the lights indicate the desired font as shown below.

  • Off-On - USD
  • On-Off - HSD
  • On-On - Draft
  • Off-Flashing - Roman
  • Flashing-Off - San Serif

Press the Pitch button until the lights indicate the desired pitch as shown below.

  • Off-On - 10 cpi
  • On-Off - 12 cpi
  • On-On - 15 cpi
  • Off-Flashing - 17 cpi
  • Flashing-Off - 20 cpi
  • On-Flashing - PS

Note: Not all pitch selections are available with all fonts.

How do I select the Number of Lines Per Inch?

The printer comes configured to print 6 lines per inch. You can change it to 8 lines per inch (and back to 6 lines per inch) by entering the control codes below from DOS or UNIX®. ESC codes are used in Epson mode. In Okidata mode you can change the number of lines per inch in the default settings.

Code8 Lines per inch   6 Lines per inch
ASCIIESC 0ESC 2
Hex1B 301B 32
Decimal27 4827 50

How do I install the EPSON FX-880+ printer driver using the EPSON USB adapter cable with Windows 98 or Windows 2000?

You can download the printer driver for Windows 98 and Windows 2000 from Epson's website. The driver is in the download section of the FX-880 model printer. The installation instructions are also available at the same location.

How do I uninstall the printer driver from Windows 98 or Windows Me when connected to the USB port?

If you need to uninstall your printer driver and USB device driver software, follow these steps:

1. Turn off your printer and disconnect it from your computer.
2. Click Start, point to Settings, then Control Panel.
3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
4. Select EPSON Printer Software in the list, then click Add/Remove. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish removing your Epson FX-880+ software. When done, the Add/Remove Programs dialog box returns.
5. Select EPSON USB Printer Devices, then click Add/Remove. Follow the on-screen prompts to finish removing the software.
6. When done, reboot your computer.

How do I uninstall the printer driver from Windows 2000 or Windows XP when connected to the USB port?

If you need to uninstall your printer driver and USB device driver software, follow these steps:

1. Leave your printer connected to the computer during the uninstall.
2. Click Start, point to Settings, then Control Panel.
3. Double-click Add/Remove Programs.
4. Select EPSON Printer Software. Then click Change/Remove.
5. If more than one printer is shown, make sure the Epson FX-880+ icon is selected. Then click OK and follow the on-screen instructions to finish removing the printer driver software. When done, close the Add/Remove Programs dialog box. Then continue with the following steps to remove the USB device driver software.
6. In the Windows Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Hardware. Click Next.
7. Select Uninstall/Unplug a device, then click Next.
8. Select Uninstall a device, then click Next.
9. Select USB Printing Support. (You may have to scroll down in the ist to see it.) Then click Next and follow the on-screen instruction to finish uninstalling the software.
10. When done, unplug the USB adapter cable from your computer.

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.

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

When a printer prints garbage, it usually indicates the wrong printer driver, faulty parallel cable, or a loose connection. Check to make sure the driver matches the printer emulation mode. You may be trying to print using the FX-880+ driver and the printer is set up for Okidata or IBM mode. Check the character table settings. Next, power OFF your printer and computer. Disconnect and reconnect the parallel 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 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 serviced.

Which driver should I choose in my MS-DOS program?

Choose from any of the following EPSON printer drivers: FX-880, FX-2170, FX-870/1170, FX-850/1050, FX-800/1000, FX-85/105, FX-80+/100+, FX-80/100. Make sure your printer is set to Epson ESC/P mode.

What is the recommended duty cycle for the printer?

The specification is 25 percent. Epson America'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 are the most commonly used escape codes for the EPSON ESC/P mode?

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. If you need to use advanced escape codes for programming purposes, you can purchase an ESC/P Reference Manual from The EPSON Store.

When printing from MS-DOS applications, I'm getting italic characters instead of lines.

To print lines instead of characters, the printer needs to be in graphics mode. Select a graphics character table (PC437). To switch to PC437, enter your Default Settings mode and select character table PC437.

How do I change the default printer settings?

Follow the steps below to enter the default-setting mode and change the printer’s default settings. To print the language selection and default-setting mode instructions, you need four sheets of continuous paper that is at least 11 inches (279 mm) long and 8.3 inches (210 mm) wide.

Note: If you use single sheets, you need to load a new sheet of paper each time the printer ejects a printed sheet from the paper guide.

1. Make sure paper is loaded and the printer is turned off.
2. Turn on the printer while holding down the Font button. The printer enters the default-setting mode and prints the language selection instructions (one page). If you want the instructions in English, there is a faster way to enter default setting mode which skips printing the language instruction sheet. Hold down the Tear Off button and the Font button while you turn on the printer.
3. Follow the printed instructions to change the printer’s default settings from the control panel.
4. Press the Font button until the Font and Pitch lights indicate the language you want, as described in the language selection instructions.
5. Press the Tear Off/Bin button to print the current default settings and instructions in the language you selected.
6. When you finish making settings, turn off the printer to exit the default-setting mode. You may exit the default-setting mode by turning off the printer at any time. Any settings you have made remain in effect until you change them again.

How do you reset the printer?

To reset the printer’s EEPROM, hold down the Load/Eject, LF/FF, and Pause buttons while turning on the printer. The printer beeps once, and restores its factory default settings.

Should I use the knob on the side of the printer to adjust the paper position or to clear paper jams?

Never use the paper knob with the printer power on. Only use the knob when the power is turned off, otherwise you may damage the printer.

How should I print labels on my FX-880+ printer?

When printing labels, you should use continuous label sheets with the front or bottom pull tractor only. Do not use labels with the rear or front push tractor. Labels have a tendency to curl and peel off underneath the platen when being fed through the rear push tractor. Never feed labels backward using the Load/Eject or Tear off/Bin buttons. If a label gets stuck on the platen, you will need to take the printer in to be serviced.

How do you select bar codes on my printer?

The eight built-in bar codes are only selectable through software using an ESC code sequence. The built-in bar codes include: EAN-13, EAN-8, Interleaved 2 of 5, UPC-A, UPC-E, Code 39, Code 128, and POSTNET.

What is Auto-Tear-off for?

When auto tear-off is on and you are using continuous paper with the front or rear push tractor, the printer automatically advances the paper perforation to the tear-off position, where you can easily tear off the printed page(s). When the printer receives data again, it moves the paper back to the top-of-form position and starts printing, so you can use all of the next page. Auto Tear-off must be set up in the default setting mode. Please refer to your manual for instructions.

The printer starts printing too high or low on the page. Is there any way I can adjust the starting point of the print job?

There is a feature called Micro Adjust that allows you to adjust the top-of-form (TOF) position in increments of 1/216th of an inch. To use this feature, load the paper into the printer. If the tractor is in the push position, press the Load/Eject button to advance the paper to the current top-of-form position. Press the Pause button for three seconds (until Pause light flashes), then press LF/FF to move the paper forward or press Load/Eject to move the paper backward. Once you have the TOF position set where you want it, press the Pause button, then send a print job. The printer will remember the TOF setting and will position the print head accordingly for the next page.

How should I print on single sheet multipart forms?

Use the front paper entry slot with the optional front paper guide (C814021) or front sheet guide (C814001) installed. Thick paper such as multipart forms with up to 6 parts requires a straight paper path to avoid paper jams. Set the paper-thickness lever for the type of paper you are using as follows:

  • Ordinary paper - 0 or 1 (single sheets), 0 (continuous paper)
  • Thin paper - -1 or 0
  • Carbonless multipart forms with:
    • 2 parts (original + 1 copies) - 1
    • 3 parts (original + 2 copies) - 2
    • 4 parts (original + 3 copies) - 3
    • 5 parts (original + 4 copies) - 4
    • 6 parts (original + 5 copies) - 5
  • Continuous paper with labels - 2
  • Envelopes - 2 to 6

Why won’t the paper load from the tractor unit?

Make sure the paper release lever is set paper source you want to use. A single sheet of paper may be in the paper path. Press the Load/Eject button to eject the sheet. The continuous paper may not be loaded properly. See the online Reference Guide for instructions on loading continuous paper with the tractor you want to use. The paper-thickness lever may not be set correctly. Set the paper-thickness lever to match the thickness of your paper.

How can I determine a problem from looking at the control panel lights and listening to the printer beep patterns?

If the printer stops working and one or more control panel lights are on or flashing, and/or the printer beeps, use the following to diagnose and fix the problem.

Light Status - Paper Out (ON) + Pause (ON) Beep Pattern - 3 beeps

1. No paper is loaded in the selected paper source. Load paper in the printer or select a different paper source; the Paper Out light goes off. Then press the Pause button; the Pause light goes off and the printer starts printing.

2. The paper is not loaded correctly. Remove the paper and reload it correctly.

Light Status - Pause (ON) Beep Pattern - 3 beeps

Make sure paper is loaded.

The paper release lever is set to the wrong position. Set the paper release lever to the position for the paper source you want to use. If paper from another paper source is currently in the paper path, press the Load/Eject button to eject the paper; then move the paper release lever to the desired position.

Light Status - Paper Out (Flashing) Pause (ON) Beep Pattern - 3 beeps

1. A single sheet of paper is not fully ejected. Press the Load/Eject button to eject the sheet.

2. Continuous paper is not fed to the standby position. Tear off the printed page at the perforation; then press the Load/Eject button. The printer feeds the paper to the standby position.

3. Paper is jammed in the printer. Clear the paper jam.

Light Status - Pause (Flashing) Beep Pattern - No beeps

1. The print head is overheated. Wait a few minutes; the printer resumes printing automatically once the print head cools.

2. The printer is in Micro Adjust mode.

Light Status - Pause and Paper Out flash simultaneously 3 times Beep Pattern - No beeps

When Lock-Out mode has been turned on and a locked button is pushed.

All lights flashing and 5 beeps

An unknown or fatal printer error has occurred. Turn off the printer and leave it off for several minutes; then turn on the printer again. If the error recurs, contact your dealer or EPSON.

Is there a self-test to check the printer operation separate from the computer?

You can print the self test using either single sheets or continuous paper of at least the following width: Continuous paper (including perforated border) 9.5 x 11 inches, Single sheet A4 or letter size.

Follow these steps to perform a self test:

1. Make sure paper is loaded and the printer is turned off.
2. To run the test using the Draft font, turn on the printer while holding down the LF/FF button. To run the test using the printer’s near letter-quality fonts, hold down the Load/Eject button while you turn on the printer. Either self test can help you determine the source of your printing problem; however, the draft self test prints faster than the near letter-quality test. After a few seconds, the printer loads the paper automatically and begins printing the self test. A series of characters is printed. To temporarily stop the self test, press the Pause button. To resume the test, press Pause again.
3. To end the self test, press the Pause button to stop printing. If paper remains in the printer, press the Load/Eject button to eject the printed page. Then turn off the printer.

Do not turn off the printer while it is printing the self test. Always press the Pause button to stop printing and the Load/Eject button to eject the printed page before you turn off the printer.

What should I do if the vertical lines are not aligned properly when I print?

You can use the printer’s bidirectional adjustment mode to align the print. During bidirectional adjustment, the printer prints three sheets of alignment patterns, labeled High Speed Draft, Draft, and NLQ (near letter quality). You select the best alignment pattern from each sheet. To print the instruction sheet and alignment patterns, you need five single sheets or five pages of continuous paper.

If you use single sheets, you need to load a new sheet of paper each time the printer ejects a printed sheet from the paper guide. Follow these steps to perform the bidirectional adjustment:

1. Make sure paper is loaded, then turn off the printer.
2. While holding down the Pause button, turn on the printer. The printer enters the bidirectional adjustment mode and then prints instructions and the first set of alignment patterns.
3. As described in the instructions, compare the alignment patterns and select the pattern with the best alignment. Then select the pattern with the best alignment for each of the remaining sets of alignment patterns.
4. After you select the best pattern in the final set of alignment patterns, save your selection by turning off the printer.