Parallel Communications

The printer support parallel communications through the 36 pin Centronics port located on the back panel of the printer. The only requirement for parallel communications is an IEEE1284 compatible cable. There is a printer LCD Display Menu Item " PARALLEL COMM." that should be set to PARALLEL.  To avoid data error conditions, the parallel cable should not exceed 10 feet in length and meet IEEE 1284 standards.

36-pin Connector

1 nStrobe/HostClk
2-9 Data Bits 1-8
10 nACK/PtrClk
11 Busy/PtrBusy
12 Perror/ACKDataReq
13 Select/Xflag
14 nAutoFd/HostBusy
15 Not Used
16 & 17 Ground
18 +5V @ 1A
19-30 Ground
31 ninit
32 nFault/NDataAvail
33 & 34 Not Used
35 +5V through a 4.7 KW Resistor
36 NSelectIn/1284 active


Xi-Series - The Xi will attempt to negotiate the highest speed it supports (ECP). If it cannot negotiate that speed, it will use drop to the next supportable speed (which will typically be compatibility mode).

Testing parallel communications in DOS

  1. Create a ZPL script in an editor (Wordpad or Notepad or any editor will do)
    Here is the ZPL for your file.....
  2. Save the file..for example "test.txt"
  3. Open a DOS window
  4. Copy the file to the LPT port where the printer is attached
    For example:
    >copy test.txt lpt1:
  5. If the printer issues a label it is communicating.
  6. If you get an error, you have the wrong cable or are attached to the wrong port or the port is redirected.
  7. If the data light flashes but the printer doesn't issue a label then check these LCD Display menu items 

Related Links 

Click here for general Zebra Printer Setup in a Windows Environment
Click here for general Zebra Printer Setup in a Unix Environment
Click here for AS400 communications information