G Series GX Models: Calibrating the Printer
Article ID: 90255897
Topic or Information
GX Series Printer Calibration
This information is useful for resolving issues such as:
- Feed Button Red Light Flashing
- Prints, then skips a label or is skipping labels
- Print is overlapping onto next label
- Print position is drifting up and down on the labels
- Labels stop printing in random locations
- Prints labels then the red light starts to flash
Common Issues and Resolutions
Flashing Red Light
Labels are skipping or the print image is wandering
A note regarding printer setup and configuration
The GX-Series printer can be configured by your driver, host application, or a utility. In these examples we will use the Zebra Designer Driver to configure the printer. (The configurations are sent when printing using the driver or printing the driver test page) If you are using a non-Zebra application/driver/label software determine the methods used to set these configurations and be aware the terminology for each setting in your environment may be different.
1. Understanding your media
The Zebra Printer supports the use of many types and shapes of label/tags and knowing your media detail is important for proper configuration.
Here are the details you should know for printer media setup and configuration. For our examples we are using the ZebraDesigner Driver to show the configuration selections for each topic discussed below. Note: When using the ZebraDesigner Driver the configurations are sent to the printer when you request to print a label. (i.e. printing the Windows Test page will send the printer configurations)
Media Related Configurations
>Media Type (Tracking Mode) - Selections - Continuous, Web Sensing (gap), and Mark Sensing (Black Mark). Default is Web Sensing
If you are using media with an inter-label gap or a center hole set the Tracking Mode for Web Sensing.
Helpful Info - Media identification details Read More>>
>Print Method (Media Type) - Selections - Thermal Transfer (Using Ribbon) or Direct Thermal (No Ribbon) – Default - Thermal Transfer
Note: Print Method does not apply if your printer is a GX420D Direct Thermal only. There are no ribbon spindles or settings.
ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences - Advanced Setup - Media Type) Read More>>
>Print Mode - Selections- Tear off, Cutter, Peel – Default is Tear off
This is related to the label presentation after printing and limited to the options you have installed. The GX Series Printer supports Tear Off, Peel (Dispense Option Required), and Cutter. (Cutter Option Required) Read More>>
ZebraDesigner Driver (Printing Preferences - Advanced Setup - Operation Mode) Read More>>
>Media Loading - The media must be properly loaded for the Print Mode you intend to use.
2. Understanding the Media Sensors
The printer comes with sensors for label tracking based on the Media Type used. There is a reflective and transmissive sensor positioned slightly off centered in the media path. An optional adjustable black mark sensor is available. The sensor you will use requires configuration of the Tracking Mode (Mark/Web/Continuous) setting to function with the media you are using. A hole or black mark must pass over the media sensor's position to function correctly.
See the GX Series Printer Sensors. Read More>>
See the GX Series optional adjustable black mark sensor. Read More>>
3. Media Feed Power up action
The first time you load media you should run the 2 flash calibration procedure described in step 4. The Media Feed setting then determines how the media is handled when the printer is powered on or when the printhead is opened and closed.
The printer defaults to feed one label after power up or when the printhead is opened and closed. This is intended to position an already calibrated label to its resting position to be ready for printing. This can be altered using the Media Feed setting to one of the following:
Setting the Media Feed (Power Up Action) on the printer requires sending the ^MF command to alter the Power Up Head Open value. Sending a file using the ZebraDesigner Tools feature. Read More>>
^MF (Media Feed command) Read More>>
Example of a ZPL Media Feed Command to Measure the Label Length when the head is closed.
^XA^MFN,L^XZ (Power Up = no motion, Head Close = Measure the length)
For recommendations on these selections Read More>>
4. Calibrate the printer for the media.
The printer does not measure the label length unless the default Power Up or Head Close values are altered to either Length or Calibrate. There are two calibration methods to consider if the labels fail to calibrate properly.
- The 2 Flash sequence will find the label gap and measure the label.
Performing the Calibration Procedure (Two Flash sequence) Read More>>
- The 7 button flash will perform a deeper analysis of the gap or mark and will produce a media sensor profile.
Performing the Manual Calibration Procedure (Seven Flash sequence) Read More>>
Note: The team Media = Labels, tags, card stock and so on. In summary the supplies you use in the printer
See Printer setup details for proper printer configuration settings and explanation of printer related terminology Read More>>
+ Product Codes
- G-Series GX Desktop Printers
- GX420Rx Desktop Printer
- GX420d Desktop Printer
- GX420t Desktop Printer
- GX430d Desktop Printer
- GX430t Desktop Printer