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1006  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: storing graphic on/for thermal printer on: July 07, 2012, 01:32:29 am
I tried running the Adafruit thermal printer test, with their own logo, it works until it gets to the logos then it churns out about 100mm ( 4 " ) of garbage symbols and blanks..

I have loaded my logo into the printers nvmemory using the PC, but I cant find any details of how to print from the nvm.

The printer is supposed to be comapatable with the T88 commands, but the best manual for that I could find is written for windows codes or something, nothing like the Arduino I know a bit of.

1007  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / storing graphic on/for thermal printer on: July 06, 2012, 11:51:59 am
The more I find out the less I know :-(

I have got my Posiflex 6800 Serial  thermal printer running now, using the scraps of information that I can understand from the manufacturer, Ladyada, Sparkfun, and some ESC/POS info from Epsom, and a few postings on our forum. ( thanks )
I have learnt a hell of a lot, but realise theres a long way to go, and I dont have any spare time at all to learn.

So, now I can print the important text -  bigger/smaller/inverted/ justified  etc. -  but now I need some help to get a logo ( 15k   .cpp file ) that I generated as per the instructions on the ladyada mini thermal tutorial , into the eeprom of the printer - unless I make it much smaller and try to save it in the 328 eeprom?

When I tried to run the ladyada sample,  ( I had made a seperate tab , and saved the file there as suggested , but when I try to run my sketch, it says progmem has not been defined , so I tried including   #include <avr/pgmspace.h>  but still no luck.

I have a feeling I am trying all sorts of bits from different libraries, that are not working.

Can anyone give me a clue ?    I can't seem to find how much memory the printer has now for NVM users memory, I can delete the barcode bitmaps there - I dont need them now.

1008  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: thermal printer interface ? on: June 23, 2012, 09:22:48 am
OK I have the printer working now, and I have used the thermal.h library, but all I can find on the posiflex site, is drivers for all the different OS.

I copied some code from somewhere and changed it a bit, but I have no idea what the first two lines do.
if ( queue == 0 ){
//thermal.print(0x1B,BYTE);             //ESC POS command
//thermal.print('@');                   //ESC POS initialize followed after command
thermal.print ("     EXPRESS TICKET NUMBER ");
thermal.print (Xcount);
thermal.println("check the top line of the display board");
thermal.println(" for which counter to go to when your ");
thermal.println("  number is shown");
thermal.print(0xA,BYTE);                    //Print and Line Feed from Buffer
  }//delay for 1 second
It works the same with or without those 2 lines....

If I run it at 19200 baud rate, it either adds a few characters at the begining of the first line, or if I run it at 9600 it is fine except it adds an E (with an accent ) or ascii 144 at the beginning of the first line.

 At the default 115200 baudrate it doesnt work at all ( I have ribbon cable connecting to the MAX232 converter, dont know if thats a clue ? )

I have tried to understand how to add a bitmap from the posiflex website 
but it is way over my head I am afraid.

Has anyone got an arduino sketch that will run on a posiflex 6800 serial printer, that I can mess around with , and how do you load bitmap images into the printers memory?
1009  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: use serial and newsoft together on: June 19, 2012, 12:09:19 am
So far the GPS RX side is working 100%, but if it interferes with the rest of the sketch I will give altsoftserial.
1010  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: use serial and newsoft together on: June 18, 2012, 02:40:06 pm
OK I will keep the printer on NewSoftSerial
1011  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: use serial and newsoft together on: June 18, 2012, 08:22:29 am
That would be really cool,  I will try it tonight, thanks

1012  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: use serial and newsoft together on: June 18, 2012, 08:11:19 am
Heres a snippet of my test that printed OK

#include <NewSoftSerial.h>
    #define RXPIN 14 //  
    #define TXPIN 15 //
    #define PRINTERBAUD 19200
NewSoftSerial thermal(RXPIN, TXPIN);

void setup ()
vopid loop () {

 expcount ++;
thermal.print(0x1B,BYTE);             //ESC POS command
thermal.print('@');                   //ESC POS initialize followed after command
thermal.print (" EXPRESS TICKET NUMBER ");
thermal.print (expcount);
1013  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: use serial and newsoft together on: June 18, 2012, 07:43:46 am
Thanks lesto,

Thats a good idea, but the printer with Xon Xoff work with just TX ?  ( new ground for me )

I am not on IDE 1.0  I couldnt understand the changes needed to libraries,  I am starting to get used to the old IDE and they moved the goalposts !

I have hooked up the printer to NewSoftwareSerial. and the GPS to RXD, and thats working.

Now for the virtualwire test...
1014  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / use serial and newsoft together on: June 17, 2012, 10:30:27 pm
On my data logging project, ( I havn't got to the display and logging end yet )  I have got a thermal printer to print a queue number.

This bit is working fine with NewSoftSerial using pins 14 and 15.

I want to use a cheapy GPS receiver that I use on another project so that there are no time settings or drift.

On the other GPS project I also use NewSoftSerial ,  but have read that if you want to use 2 NewSoftSerial connections you have to call one at a time, which I might be capable of, but as the Atmega chip will be programmed on the Arduino board, and then plugged into another pcb , can I just connect the GPS Tx pin to the Atmega pin 2, ( RXD )  and use ( with the right baudrate for the GPS ) :-
if (Serial.available() > 0) {
    // get incoming byte:
    inByte =;

I only need the basic default sentance from the GPS, so I don't bother connecting the GPS Rx pin ( which would need voltage buffering as the receiver runs on 3 v )

I only want to test for time from the gps every minute, ( or hour whatever ) just to keep the free running clock accurate.

I also want to use VirtualWire to transmit the data to the display on every event.

The question is , will these 3 comms systems clash ?     I think the newsoftserial is the only interrupt driven one?

And if I unplug the usb cable to the Arduino board after downloading the sketch, if I run the board on external 5v, can I connect to the RXD pin for testing without the USB chip affecting it?
1015  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: general ideas for data logging system on: June 17, 2012, 10:09:08 pm
Thanks FestusHagen

Perhaps I will log directly to the sd card each event then.

Or try and get one of the frams locally

1016  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: thermal printer interface ? on: June 16, 2012, 12:39:38 am
Thanks, thats it, I must change the handshaking to Xon Xoff I think for just using tx and rx lines,
 I have downloaded the software and must now try to set the software switch.  Unfamiliar ground here :-)
1017  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: DS1307 misbehavior on: June 15, 2012, 04:14:37 pm
I agree with El Supremo, especially if there are relays in the same room !
Decouple the 5 volt supply with capacitors ( 100nF near any chip, and 47 mFd nearby ) and definately at least  470mFd on any relay supply  ( plus a diode across the relay coil - reversed polarity )

I can post a sketch if you need
1018  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / thermal printer interface ? on: June 15, 2012, 04:00:26 pm
I have got a posiflex PP6800 Serial thermal printer that I want to drive from a 328 chip.( an arduino D'nove board for testing )

I have built a RS232 interface to connect to the Arduino board, and am using NewSerialSoft using pins 14 and 15 for the Tx and Rx.

Can anyone suggest a simple sketch to test the comunication ?

I have tried the Tronixstuff sketch for the cheapy Chinese printer, but it does nothing,..

1019  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: general ideas for data logging system on: May 31, 2012, 02:29:13 pm
Of course !  I keep forgetting CS as I never really  used it yet!
1020  Using Arduino / Project Guidance / Re: general ideas for data logging system on: May 31, 2012, 05:59:35 am
I  was a bit worried about a signal coming in while it was transferring data to the card.( I have found SD cards very temperamental )

I have the incoming call triggering an interupt on my existing part of the system, so I didnt know how this would work, I think I might try the Fram thing, it sounds pretty interesting.  Though I might run short of pins ,  can I have 2 different SPI outputs?   the display uses SPI
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