PE1AQP's Printers

Table of Contents

I have two ink-jet printers, which I would like to use to print my own QSL-Cards:

  1. An, about 20 years old, HP BI-2200 and
  2. a fairly recent Epson XP-7100.

(Not to be confused with my other "2200" and "7100" devices. 😊 )

"TL;DR" or "In Short"

Both printers produce disappointing results, when used to print QSL-cards.


Introduction

Using LaTeX, one has full control over the information to print on the "data side" of a QSL-card. See, for example, my "standard" QSL-card produced in this way: PE1AQP's QSL card.

The rear-side of the photo-cards that I order is empty and can, according to the cards-vendor, be printed with any ink-jet-printer.

I happen to have two such ink-jet printers, with different mixes of advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Hewlett Packard Business Ink-Jet 2200 : Tp1020632.jpg

    This machine was purchased about 20 years ago in a shop-closing sale. It still works fine and prints good looking texts on standard A4 printer paper; in color if needed. (I've very seldomly used it to print photographs, so I cannot comment on that.)

    The main disadvantage of this machine is that the ink is nowadays not off-the-shelf available in the shops and need to be ordered. This ink is then also very expensive (per cartridge). For the price of a full set of cartridges, one can buy a new printer!

    (And so I did, at some point.)

  2. Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 : Tp1020638.jpg

    Purchased some two years ago (2019). A machine with several attractive features such as a build-in scanner, duplex printing and the ability to print on small paper-sizes.

    This printer was judged as a (very) good device by the independent German "Stiftung Warentest (http://test.de).

    Ink cartridges are also more affordable, but are much smaller. I'm afraid that I've already spend a multiple of the cost of the printer on ink by now.

I didn't compute the printing cost per page (yet); but it would not surprise me if they are very similar.


Printing QSL Cards

As indicated, my plan was to use QSL-cards with a nice, professionally printed front-side and completely empty rear-side. This rear-side is than free to be filled with my own printer. This works, more-or-less.

The HP printer prints nice, sharp lines, see these detail pictures:
THP2200detailA.jpg THP2200detailB.jpg

But as the second detail picture already shows, the HP has problems printing the whole card. Only one rubber roller inside the printer catches these 90x140mm² cards and when a bit more than half the card is printed even that one roller loses contact, causing the card to shift and wiggle under the ink-jet-head. See these right-wards and left-wards printed examples:
THP2200fullA.jpg THP2200fullB.jpg

The EPSON printer, on the other hand, can print the whole card in a consistent way. But the lines are rather "rough" and "ragged". The logos tend to fill-up and become poorly readable:
TXP7100full.jpg TXP7100detail.jpg


Conclusion

Both these printers perform disappointing when printing on these cards.

  • The HP printer prints nice, sharp details, but fails printing the whole card.
  • The EPSON prints poor details, but is consistent over the whole card.

For the moment I print my QSL-cards on the EPSON, but I'll be on the look-out for a better device.


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Author: Jon Krom : See Colophon

Created: 2021-05-16 Sun 16:43

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