GT800 Ribbon Overview

Article ID: 80450688

Issue / Question

How do I know if a ribbon should be used or not?
How can I tell which side of the ribbon is coated?

Applicable To

GT800

Resolution / Answer

Ribbon Overview
Ribbon is a thin film that is coated on one side with wax, resin, or wax resin; which is transferred to the media during the thermal transfer process. The media determines whether you need to use ribbon and how wide the ribbon must be. When ribbon is used, it must be as wide as or wider than the media being used. If the ribbon is narrower than the media, areas of the printhead are unprotected and subject to premature wear.

When to Use Ribbon
Thermal transfer media requires ribbon for printing while direct thermal media does not.
Direct thermal media should never be used with ribbon. Bar codes and graphics can get distorted. To determine if ribbon must be used with a particular media, perform a media scratch test, see Ribbon Scratch Test on page 49.

Coated Side of Ribbon
Ribbon can be wound with the coated side on the inside or outside. This printer can only use ribbon that is coated on the outside. If you are unsure which side of a particular roll of ribbon is coated, perform an adhesive test or a ribbon scratch test to determine which side is coated.




To determine which side of a ribbon is coated, complete these steps:

Ribbon Test with Adhesive
If you have labels available, perform the adhesive test to determine which side of a ribbon is coated. This method works well for ribbon that is already installed.

To perform an adhesive test, complete these steps:
1. Peel a label from its liner.
2. Press a corner of the sticky side of the label to the outer surface of the roll of ribbon.
3. Peel the label off of the ribbon.
4. Observe the results. Did flakes or particles of ink from the ribbon adhere to the label?
 

If ink from the ribbon... Then...
Adhered to the label The ribbon is coated on the outside and can be used with
the printer.
Did not adhere to the label The ribbon is coated on the inside and can not be used in the printer.


Ribbon Scratch Test
Perform the ribbon scratch test when labels are unavailable.

To perform a ribbon scratch test, complete these steps:
1. Unroll a short length of ribbon.
2. Place the unrolled section of ribbon on a piece of paper with the outer surface of the ribbon in contact with the paper.
3. Scratch the inner surface of the unrolled ribbon with your fingernail.
4. Lift the ribbon from the paper.
5. Observe the results. Did the ribbon leave a mark on the paper?
 

If the ribbon... Then...
Left a mark on the paper The ribbon is coated on the outside and can be used with
the printer.
Did not leave a mark on the paper The ribbon is coated on the inside and can not be used in the printer.

+ Applicable Products

  • GT800 Desktop Printer