S4M Printer -- Calibrating the Printer (With Video)
Article ID: 82375065
Understanding the media configurations needed for the S4M Series printer for proper calibration and avoiding media errors includes:
• Understanding printer calibration
• Adjusting the Media Sensors
• Correcting Paper Out Errors
• Correcting image drift problems
• Labels stopping at random locations
• Labels skipping or occasional blank label
• Labels are not lining up or are not aligned
Skip to troubleshooting suggestions
The S4M printer has an LCD Display for printer configuration but can use ZPL commands as well for printer configuration.
These are free utilities or applications that can be used to configure a connected printer
The printer can be used for a variety of media and verifying the media related settings is required when any problems are encountered.
By default the printer will calibrate and function correctly with the most commonly used standard gap labels. Problems can occur if there are specific setting required to use other types of labels or if the configuration settings are altered by mis-configured driver or label printing applications, or incorrectly altering LCD configuration settings.
This procedure will help understand printer setup and configuration for accurate calibration/registration of your labels.
Important: All printer menu settings can be impacted by commands from a mis-matched or misconfigured driver or software application. A printer that is functioning fine after setup but fails or indicates an error after label requests are received are most likely affected by the host side misconfiguration of the driver or printer software settings. The host device that generates the printer commands for printing typically have setup configuration that send these as commands to the printer. Make sure all settings match the printer settings to avoid intermittent issues.
Note: The team Media = Labels, tags, card stock and so on. In summary the supplies you use in the printer
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.
Media Related Configurations
>MEDIA TYPE – Continuous, Gap/Notch, and Black Mark. Default is Gap/Notch Read More>>
Helpful Info - Media identification details Read More>>
>RIBBON (Print Method) – Ribbon Yes (Thermal Transfer - Using Ribbon) or Direct Thermal (No Ribbon) – Default - Thermal Transfer Read More>>
>REMOVAL (Print Mode) – Tear off, Cutter, Peel – Default is Tear off Read More>>
This is related to the label presentation after printing and limited to the options you have installed. 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 two sensors for label tracking based on the Media Type used.
Selecting the Media Sensor Read More>>
Reflective Sensor – This is an adjustable position sensor that has a red light to helps you to position for proper sensor placement. It can be viewed when the printhead is opened and the printer is powered on. This sensor is used for sensing label Gaps, Holes, Notches, and Black Mark media. See the Reflective Sensor Read More>>
Transmissive Sensor - This is a fixed position gap sensor. This is used for media that is not compatible with the Reflective Gap sensor, typically media with dark pre-print. See the Transmissive Sensor Read More>>
3. Positioning the moveable sensor
The moveable or adjustable position Reflective Sensor must be placed so the top of form can be detected. This can be an inter-label gap, a hole, notch or Black Mark. When using typical labels on a backing with an inter-label gap, the sensor can be positioned along the width of the label as long as it is not over the rounded edge. If using a hole or notch position the sensor's red light directly under the hole or notch so it is seen as the labels feed. Here are more details on positioning the moveable sensor Read More>>
4. Media Feed Power up action
The printer can be configured to position or calibrate the media after head closure or when powered on. These are configured from your utility/application since there is no LCD Menu Item for this setting.
These configurations are detailed as follows
Setting the Media Feed (Power Up Action) on the S4M printer. - Change the Media Feed Setting using a Utility or create a file containing the ZPL ^MF command.
> Zebra Setup Utility allows you to configure "Media Feed Options" Read More>>
> Create a file that has the ^MF command settings and send this to the printer Read More>>
> Use ZebraNet Bridge to configure the Media Feed Setting Read More>>
> Use the ZebraNet Print Server Web Page (Calibration Selection) for a network connected printer Read More>>
5. Maximum Label Length
Note: You probably don't have to change this from the 39" default so ignore the Maximum Label Length discussion if you have defaulted the printer or are setting the printer up for the first time. If your printer is feeding less than a label length and experiencing a Media Out Error then you may want to see if this setting was incorrectly configured.
Label Length Max setting. It should be noted that if the printer Maximum Length setting is changed from the default 39” it should be set to a value 1 inch longer than the longest label you intend to use. For example, on a 203dpi printer using a 6" label, set the Maximum Length value to 7". ( 7x203 = 1421) Here is the ZPL (V58 only) - ^XA^ML1421^XZ Read More>>
To view the existing MAXIMUM LENGTH setting on the printer print a configuration label or request a configuration from your host Read More>>
>Setting the Label Length Maximum<
LCD Display - MAXIMUM LENGTH (Set to 1" longer than the actual length)
There are no settings in the Zebra SetUp Utility so if required create a ZPL (V58 only) file with the recommended Maximum Label Length- Example:
^XA^MLxxxxx^XZ (Sets the length in dots)
^XA^JUS^XZ. (Saves the value)
Send the file using your utility or application.
6. Calibrate the printer for the media. - (This step assumes you have not changed the Media Feed Power Up Action from the default Calibrate setting)
- With media loaded power on the printer
- The printer should complete the power on selftest and begin to feed labels
- The printer should stop feeding labels and be in the printer ready state
- Press the FEED button several times. A single label should feed and come to the same resting position each time.
- The printer has been calibrated successfully.
If the printer fails to feed properly or there is a Media Out indication, perform the Manual Calibration Procedure Read More>>
Click here to view video - > Printer Calibration Video
Common Issues and Resolutions
Helpful InformationPrinter Menu Item Descriptions Read More>>
- S4M Series