ZT200 Series Communication Interface Information

Article ID: 90297937



Topic or Information

Serial port and USB Communications

This document discusses 

  • Serial port & USB connections 
  • Setting serial port parameters
  • Serial cabling and pin out requirements
  • Diagnosing data received by the printer

Symptoms resolved by this solution include:

  • Data light does not flash when print job is sent
  • Data light flashes but does not print
  • No response to communications
  • Printing garbage, skips print, and random misprints

Applies To

ZT - Series Printers


The ZT Series Printer supports USB 2.0 and RS-232 Serial Ports for all printer models. Using the serial port requires a null modem cable and settings must match the host device comm rate and flow control selection.

USB is a common PC connection for many devices and components that have the driver resident in the Windows Operating System. It should be noted that the Zebra Driver, while Microsoft Certified, is not included in the Windows Operating System and must be installed on the host PC before connecting and powering on the printer.

 ZT Series communication interface details. Read More>>

Serial Communication

Limitations and Requirements

  • Maximum cable length of 50 ft (15.24 m).
  • You may need to change printer parameters to match the host computer.
  • You need to use a null-modem cable or adaptor to connect to the printer to a DTE device such as a PC serial port.

Serial Port Pinouts and Cabling details Read More>>

USB Communications

A Zebra Driver or the Zebra Setup Utility must be installed before connecting via USB and powering on the printer.

  • Install the Driver or the Zebra Setup Utility on your PC
  • Connect the printer directly to the USB port on the PC
  • Power on the printer
  • The printer should now be available for use or setup for your application

To download the Zebra Setup Utility Read More>>

If you have tried installing the printer before installing the driver you may get a windows related error. This usually applies to Windows 7 or Windows 8 operating systems. Read More>>


Problem and Resolutions

A label format was sent to the printer but was not recognized. The DATA light flashes but no printing occurs.
  • Make sure your data is correctly formatted for the printer language supported. The printer supports EPL or ZPL and will not respond if this command language is not received or is corrupted. Use the Communications Diagnostic to verify your data Read More>>
  • If you are communicating via serial assure your printer setting match your host communications configuration. Viewing the printer configuration Read More>>
  • Try sending commands using the Zebra Setup Utiliy Read More>> 
    This will confirm that the printer is communicating and you can focus on the host or printer as necessary.


A label format was sent to the printer but was not recognized. The DATA light does not  flash and no printing occurs.
  • Check to see if the printer is getting data by placing the printer into Communication DIagnostic Mode. Read More>>
  •  Try sending a file directly to the printer using a utility such as the Zebra Setup Utility send file feature. Read More>>


 Data or Label is intermittently corrupt
  •  If you are communicating via the serial port assure your host handshake is correctly set on both the printer and the host. A mismatch could result in flow control not being recognized and buffer overruns with data loss.
  • Verify your cable length is within the specifications. A long cable can be affected by electrical interference such as power surges or other high current devices switching on and off.



Additional Information

Create a ZPL test file and use the Zebra Setup Utility to test communications  Read More>>

 View the printer configuration information and printer settings  Read More>>


+ Product Codes

  • ZT200 Series Industrial Printers
  • ZT210 Industrial Printer
  • ZT220 Industrial Printer
  • ZT230 Industrial Printer