80-Bus News


May–June 1983, Volume 2, Issue 3

Page 25 of 59

can be achieved with software, which may greatly simplify Plotting applications. The various software selectable options are invoked by sending an ESCape code followed by specific byte(s) to the printer. Underlining can be turned on or off at will. The printer can be instructed to set the left margin of the print area, and also the right margin, forcing the type to wrap around when this position is exceeded.

For graphics, this printer can support a number of dot densities. These are

*ModeDots/8″Head Speed*
*Normal density48016*
*Dual Density9608*
*Dual den, dual speed96016*
*Quad density19208*
*CRT graphics 16408*
*CRT graphics 27208*

These can all be accessed by using the appropriate ESC code, followed by bytes indicating the length of the graphic code following, then by the bytes of graphic information. As the graphics are potentially very powerful. a cursory demonstration of them would not do them justice, so I won’t attempt one. I am looking forward to linking the FX80 to my still to be delivered Climax Colour Graphics board to draw (via Suitable software!) pictures in black and white of the screen contents.

The table of options printed above configure the FX80 so that it may be plugged in as a replacement for the IMP, with the proviso that the EPSON provides its handshake at RS232 levels on Pin 20 of the Microbuffer RS232 connector, while the IMP supplies it at TTL levels on pin 19. The level shifting circuit is dealt with in detail by David in 80BUS News Vol 1, No 3, p. 34.

As I am sure is obvious, I am very pleased with the printer. It costs approx £425 plus VAT. and the 8k serial buffer costs approx £125. A roll paper holder is strongly recommended, and tractor feed would be necessary for label or narrow form handling. Its speed of 160 cps is very impressive. though it does slow down for twiddly bits. I suqqest that many of its users will opt to drive it at 9600 or 19.2k baud. I look forward to many years of service from it, when I have finished customizing my text editor to allow for the differing spacings and type densities. This is being written on a quickly cobbled up set of patches to an existing text editor, but the printer demands better than that!

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