As supplied, the printer comes with both friction and
pin feed. The friction feed can handle roll paper and cut
sheet, the pin feed can handle paper from 9 1/2″ to 10″. I don‘t
think that it will handle the 9.25″ paper width of ‘A4’.
Optional tractors are available to handle from 9″ down to 4″.
There is a little more movement in the pinfeeds, but I’m not
sure if it will take that intermediate size. If you are into
roll paper feed (jumbo teletype rolls cost very much less than
pin feed paper), then order the machine with the roll paper
In its facilities. this printer offers a great deal. It
prints using descenders, which greatly improves the legibility
of lines. Normally, it prints in Pica, with 80 chars per line.
it can provide Enlarged with 40 cpl,
or Condensed at 137 cpl. Elite mode at 96 cpl, Enlarged Elite at 48 cpl
and Enlarged Condensed are all readily
available. It is also possible to print all characters
in Proportional spacing, where each letter occupies only its correct
width. Besides the above options. the printer can also print in
Italics, which font can be printed in all the above spacings.
But the good news I have kept until last – the printer can
have up to 256 programmable characters! These need not all be
programmed – it is possible to copy the standard character sets
over to the 2k buffer used for the programable characters, and
modify only those characters you wish. In this mode, one can
access the characters in proportional or constant width modes,
and print in the various weights of type illustrated in this
It provides 9 different alphabet options for the accent
symbols required in other languages. Which one of these is set
on powerup is determined by option switch selection. but they
can all he accessed under software control. You will have
noticed my use of à. This was achieved by switching to the
French character set, where it replaces the @ sign. The only
character get in which it cannot power up seems to be the
version intended for Japan. This uses the standard ASCII set
with \ replaced by ¥. Accompanying the FX80 is a substantial
manual, spiral bound and nearly 200 pages thick. This explains,
using a version of Microsoft BASIC, how to access all the
different facilities of the printer. These programs will be
easily adapted to the Nascom. Using XBASIC, it is only
necessary to substitute PRINT £1; for the LPRINT commands.
While printing plain text, the head whizzes along at 160 cps.
Fancy printing slows if down somewhat, as does selection of the
Quiet mode. This turns the printing speed down to 80cps, with a
reduction in noise – but it is not terribly noisy anyway!
Print can be executed in a number of type weights. This
example is in Emphasised, and this in Double strike. Not all
styles are available in all faces, but there are sufficient for
most purposes. Line feeds are software programable in a number
of options, and form lengths can also be software selected.
Both Horizontal and Vertical Tabbing are fully supported, the
vertical option supporting up to eight different forms, each
with different vertical tabbing positions. Reverse linefeeding