Troubleshooting the Powis Parker P21x Fastback Printer

powis-photopress-smThis article is designed to help you troubleshoot some of the most common issues that users face when using the Powis Parker P21x Fastback printer. The article will provide you with several common problems and potential solutions. Unfortunately the list is not extensive. However, it should give you a good start in tracking down issues with your printer.

Problem #1: Cartridge is stuck in the carriage

1. Turn off the power.

2. Open the front cover and remove all cartridges on the cartridge holder plates.

3. Close the front cover, and turn on the power. The carriage will reset.

Problem #2: Power does not come on

1. Check to make sure the power cord is connected

2. Make sure the power cord is plugged into an outlet as well as connected to the printer. After checking the power cord, push the power button to turn on the printer. Is the printer plugged into an extension block or power strip?

3. After turning on the extension block or power strip, press the power button on the printer.

Problem #3: Printing is light, distorted, or has gaps

1. Stop the printing and reinstall all the cartridges. Take up any slack in the foils. If a particular cartridge repeatedly causes problems, try a different cartridge.

2. Clean the printer head. The platen often gets dirty at the same time as the head, so it is recommended to clean the platen after cleaning the head.

3. Clean the platen. If anything is stuck to the platen, remove it, being careful not to damage the platen. The platen often gets dirty at the same time as the head so it is recommended to clean the platen as well as the head. If cleaning the head and the platen does not work, contact your authorized Fastback dealer for assistance.

Problem #4: Printer does not print or stops while printing

1. Before printing make sure the printer is turned on.

2. Make sure that the front cover is closed properly.

3. Press the ready/insert button and make sure that the ready light comes on.

4. After connecting the cable, make sure nothing is putting pressure on the cable, and tighten the fastening screws and clamps to secure the cable.

5. Remove the sheet. If the sheet is caught in the rollers, open the front cover, push down on the release lever, and gently remove the sheet.

6. Recheck the printer settings in the application. NOTE: To use the parallel port for P21x printing you will have to set the printer port to LPT1 and not use the PPI_LPT1 port

7. Install the printer driver from the Installation Disc.

8. When one of the followings occurs, it is possible that the cable is broken or disconnected. 1) The gauge in the Print dialog box does not progress. 2) The “Out of Sheets” message appears repeatedly. Replace the cable with a new one. Are you using a printer selection switch or a printer buffer? With bi-directional interfaces, operation is sometimes unreliable when using printer switching boxes or printer buffers. If you are using a printer selection switching box or printer buffer, use one-way communication.

9. Do not use a cable that is longer than you need. The signals become more unstable as the cable gets longer.

10. Use the correct cartridges. The Foilfast printer will only accept Foilfast” premium foil cartridges.

11. Insert cartridges in the holders with the B side up.

12. When the foil in a cartridge has been spent, black and silver stripes will be visible on the ribbon. Install a new cartridge. After replacing the cartridge, printing will continue from where it left off.

13. Do you have enough hard disk space? The Foilfast requires work space on the hard disk when it prints. Keep enough free disk space to ensure that you can print without problems.

Problem #5: Printing is not working or is extremely slow

1. Make sure there is enough space on your hard disk. (The working space is released once printing is finished.)

2. Some applications have color printing enable/disable settings. Some applications do not support color printing. Read the manual for the application and check the color settings.

3. When very little memory is available for print processing, printing may take a long time or fail. Close as many applications as possible and try again.

4. Handling color images requires a lot of memory for the application and for the data. Sometimes there is insufficient memory left for printing. Make sure your computer has enough memory to print the size of images you are using.

5. General protection fault errors can occur when there is insufficient memory for color printing or when part of the hard disk has become corrupted. After decreasing the size of the print data or scanning the hard disk, try printing again.

6. The time required for printing can increase dramatically if the free space on the disk drive is extremely fragmented. Clean up your files and defragment the disk by periodically running a utility like DEFRAG, which comes with Windows.

Problem #6: Printer makes strange noises when the power is turned on, and the error lights blink

1. Has the carriage packing material been removed?

2. Has the packing tape on the case been removed?

3. Has a cartridge become dislodged from a cartridge holder? Open the front cover and make sure the cartridges are correctly installed.

Problem #7: Paper is not feeding correctly or not ejecting correctly from the sheet feeder

1. The cover material you are using may not be compatible with the Foilfast printer.

2. A curled sheet will cause sheet jams. The sheet should be curled the opposite way to flatten it out before it is used.

3. Sheets with folded or cut corners can cause problems if the sheet does not activate the position sensor and sheet length sensor properly.

4. Set the feed guide so that there is approximately 0.02″ between it and the sheets themselves.

5. The sheet feeder can hold up to 10 composition covers, 1 Clear Cover, or 1 Foilfast Title Sheet.

6. Composition covers should be between 16 – 18.5 points thick (.0016 – .00185 inches). Clear covers should be between 6.5 – 7.5 points thick (.0065 – .0075 inches). Covers that fall outside the bounds of these thickness ranges may work in the Foilfast printer, but Powis Parker does not recommend using them. Covers that fall substantially beyond these thickness ranges may damage the printer’s feeding mechanism and may void your warranty.

7. Make sure nothing is on the output tray as this can cause sheet jams.

8. Sheets must fanned at least once before they are loaded into the sheet feeder. If not, sheets may stick to one another, and cause multiple sheets to feed into the printer at one time, or other forms of misfeeding.

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