Getting Started with the KDU

Article ID: 81674472

Issue / Question

KDU - Keyboard Display Unit Information

Applicable To

The original KDU (May be Eltron branded).

Resolution / Answer

Image: Original KDU (Eltron branded)

If your KDU does not look like the product pictured above, select one of the keyboard products below:



IMPORTANT! For printers that support multiple languages such as the 2824Plus, make sure you are using the EPL driver or EPL command language.  If necessary, change the pnp string using the Set Get Do command (! U1 setvar "device.pnp_option" "epl"). See the ZPL manual for details. 

The KDU is strictly a terminal and does not have the capability to store data or set up parameters. The KDU is used for the following functions:

  • List label forms stored in an EPL printer
  • Retrieve label forms stored in an EPL printer
  • Input variable data
  • Printing labels usin forms stored in an EPL printer

The KDU connects to the serial port of the printer. The printer must support the use of the EPL (Page Mode) Language. One or more EPL forms must be stored in the printer's flash memory prior to connecting the KDU to the printer.  

Learn more from the EPL Programmer's Guide. Here is an example of an EPL form

The form contains fixed text and the variables that the KDU can display to prompt the user at print time. One can create the form(s) manually with  the use of EPL or use a Label Design Application like Zebra Designer to create and upload the form(s) to the printer.

Supported Desktop Printers:

The KDU can connect directly serial port of the following Desktop printers without the use of an adapter:
LP2824, TLP2824, LP2844, TLP2844, TLP3842,  LP2824 Plus, & TLP2824 Plus.

The G Series printers require the use of serial port adapter (Part Number 105850-026) you can purchase through your Zebra reseller.


Using the KDU

CAUTION Power off the printer before connecting the KDU to the serial port. Failure to do this may cause the fuse on the MLB to open requiring repair.

  1. Press the F2 key to print a list of saved forms.
  2. To recall a stored form from the printer:

  1. Enter the form name using the keys on the keyboard. Upper and lower case letters must match exactly as the form name was saved. 
  2. Press ENTER to continue. The form is now retrieved and active in the printer.
  3. The KDU will now prompt you for variable information. If no variables are present in the form, the prompt will ask for the number of labels to print. Learn more on this from the KDU User Guide

Troubleshooting Tips for the KDU:

The printer communication settings must be set to 9600 Baud, No Parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, if set otherwise the KDU will lock up. 

For the 2824 Plus or G Series Printers make sure the EPL language is enabled.  This can be done with the SGD command:  ! U getvar "device.languages" If not set for 'epl_zpl' or 'epl', send the following to the printer:

! U1 setvar "device.languages" "epl"

This will set the printer to support EPL only. For full detail on the SGD command, see the ZPL Programming Guide.

On the 2824 Plus printer, the default setting for the serial port is auto for Auto-detect. If the KDU is not recognized by the printer, try setting the serial pot for DCE with the following SGD command: 

 ! U1 setvar "comm.type" "dce"

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