Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Troubles with your machine? Just want to speak about the latest improvements? This is the place!

Moderators: Mug UK, Zorro 2, Greenious, spiny, Moderator Team

stormy
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:39 pm

Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby stormy » Tue Sep 17, 2019 11:48 pm

Hey guys,

I recently got hold of an Atari SLM804 in great condition with the laser interface unit. I don't ever see these discussed on forums so I'm wondering how useful they are. Of course it might be good for compatibility with legacy printing applications etc. I personally don't know whether to keep it or sell it, as I don't see myself printing much from my Ataris, and if I do I will try to use my modern laser with phprint.

Any thoughts on the SLM804?
Falcon CT60e 060 - 256mb ram - Phantom bus and DSP accelerated // Atari TT - Thunder and Storm IDE 64mb ram - Lightning VME - USB LAN - ATI Mach64 2mb

User avatar
Atarieterno
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:40 pm
Location: Spain

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:25 am

It is a totally useless printer, so you must send it to me so that I can deliver it to a recycling center.
ST/fm/e, STacy, Mega ST/e, TT, Falcon, C-Lab MKX... and more music tools.

mikro
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 2034
Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:11 am
Location: Kosice, Slovakia
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby mikro » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:51 am

It's nice for a developer who would, for instance, try to create an emulator (thinking CosmosEx here). But I see your dilema, it's a huge piece of hardware. :-)

User avatar
wongck
Ultimate Atarian
Ultimate Atarian
Posts: 12774
Joined: Sat May 03, 2008 2:09 pm
Location: Far East
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby wongck » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:56 am

Atarieterno wrote:It is a totally useless printer, so you must send it to me so that I can deliver it to a recycling center.

ha ha ha :lol:
and my guess that the recycling center in this case is right next to your STFM/TT. :lol:
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
Shared SCSI Bus:ScsiLink ethernet, 9GB HDD,SD-reader @ http://phsw.atari.org
My Atari stuff for sale - click here for list

User avatar
alers
Atarian
Atarian
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 10:45 am
Location: NRW

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby alers » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:54 am

It is a totally usefull printer for the 16-/32-BIT-Systems :-) But cleaning_before_using is a must, imho.

User avatar
christos
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2451
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 8:24 pm
Location: Greece
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby christos » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:57 am

A more interesting question is if they are usable today. Can you get toners?

Videl
Atari freak
Atari freak
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:30 pm

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby Videl » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:14 am

If you have a nice ST set-up it's still useful, Calamus or Pagestream are still great DTP products. SLM toners can still be purchased at B&C/Best Electronics and there are some compatible units you can use (can't remember the manufacturers of the SLM's at the top of my head right now though). I got a brand new boxed SLM605 and some spare toners - I'm going to keep it for a retro display or something in the future, but I always had grand plans to use it years ago. Life goes so fast!
Karl
___________________________
www.atariexplorer.com
www.thespottybox.com
--------------------------------------
We Love Atari (Volume One and Two)
Available now @ www.zafinnbooks.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/zafinnbooks

User avatar
Atarieterno
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:40 pm
Location: Spain

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby Atarieterno » Wed Sep 18, 2019 11:23 am

wongck wrote:
Atarieterno wrote:It is a totally useless printer, so you must send it to me so that I can deliver it to a recycling center.

ha ha ha :lol:
and my guess that the recycling center in this case is right next to your STFM/TT. :lol:



How did you guess, mate? :mrgreen:
ST/fm/e, STacy, Mega ST/e, TT, Falcon, C-Lab MKX... and more music tools.

Miguel
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 157
Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:59 pm

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby Miguel » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:53 pm

How you going to print up an ascii picture of your cat on a flyer if it goes missing?

User avatar
Greenious
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 1462
Joined: Sat Apr 24, 2004 5:39 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby Greenious » Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:33 pm

christos wrote:A more interesting question is if they are usable today. Can you get toners?


Actually, you can.

The hardware was OEM and used by quite a number of brands.

All the info you need to find what you need can be found here: http://wiki.newtosworld.de/index.php?title=SLM-804
Updated my guides as of june 28th, 2016. Check'em out and feedback!
viewtopic.php?t=5040

User avatar
simonsunnyboy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5121
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:36 pm
Location: Friedrichshafen, Germany
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:14 pm

A CosmosEX based emulation would be nice, emulate the SLM towards the ST and actually print to any CUPS printer on the network.
Simon Sunnyboy/Paradize - http://paradize.atari.org/

Stay cool, stay Atari!

1x2600jr, 1x1040STFm, 1x1040STE 4MB+TOS2.06+SatanDisk, 1xF030 14MB+FPU+NetUS-Bee

User avatar
Atarieterno
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1218
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:40 pm
Location: Spain

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby Atarieterno » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:19 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:A CosmosEX based emulation would be nice, emulate the SLM towards the ST and actually print to any CUPS printer on the network.


+1
ST/fm/e, STacy, Mega ST/e, TT, Falcon, C-Lab MKX... and more music tools.

User avatar
mjvans
Atari freak
Atari freak
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:08 pm
Location: Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby mjvans » Thu Sep 19, 2019 3:38 pm

With the Heatseaker interface for the Falcon030 it was a very fast printer. Mine is at rest for 20 years. I can't just throw it away can I?

User avatar
alexh
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Fuji Shaped Bastard
Posts: 2747
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 1:52 pm
Location: UK - Oxford
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby alexh » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:08 pm

simonsunnyboy wrote:emulate the SLM towards the ST and actually print to any CUPS printer on the network.

Shame it would be more difficult to emulate ST towards the SLM so you could use the SLM as a normal networked printer. But that would probably be a re-write of the FPGA/CPLD in the CosmosEx.

stormy
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:39 pm

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby stormy » Thu Sep 19, 2019 10:42 pm

Thanks for all the info guys. I might give it a clean and test it out.
Falcon CT60e 060 - 256mb ram - Phantom bus and DSP accelerated // Atari TT - Thunder and Storm IDE 64mb ram - Lightning VME - USB LAN - ATI Mach64 2mb

User avatar
simonsunnyboy
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 5121
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2002 4:36 pm
Location: Friedrichshafen, Germany
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby simonsunnyboy » Fri Sep 20, 2019 2:56 pm

alexh wrote:
simonsunnyboy wrote:emulate the SLM towards the ST and actually print to any CUPS printer on the network.

Shame it would be more difficult to emulate ST towards the SLM so you could use the SLM as a normal networked printer. But that would probably be a re-write of the FPGA/CPLD in the CosmosEx.


I doubt it would be useful. Modern printers eat PCL or Postscript directly, why convert that to an inferior format just to be able to print?
This should make the ST print, the other way round does already work.

The SLM804 looks like a Windows style GDI printer to the late 90s to me, locked to a single OS and driver instea of implemennting a proper print language like PCL or PS.

So in the end, it is a curiosity to have these beasts from the past running with their intended platform, the ST. I don't see any use beyond.

This actually makes me think that an ESC P/2 emulator running on the CosmosEx printing to CUPS would make more sense. That would b way more compatible with existing ST software.
Simon Sunnyboy/Paradize - http://paradize.atari.org/

Stay cool, stay Atari!

1x2600jr, 1x1040STFm, 1x1040STE 4MB+TOS2.06+SatanDisk, 1xF030 14MB+FPU+NetUS-Bee

User avatar
1st1
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 850
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 11:48 am

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby 1st1 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:03 pm

christos wrote:A more interesting question is if they are usable today. Can you get toners?


That's a good point.

You might get toner. You might be able to take different toner and refill the toner box. There is for example from Xerox toner which comes in bottles for refilling. But it's a dirty task and a standard home vacuum cleaner will not do it's job well. It will suck the toner which you spread arround the printer, your desk and room, but it's filters are so 'big' that the toner particles mostly will fly trough it, and through the paper bag which normally catches all the dust in a vacuum cleaner, and then spread small toner particles all over in your room, in your mouth, mouth, lung, cancer, death.

The 2nd thing you need is developer. One reason you need is, because you vacuum cleaned your laser printer. So it has lost most of the developer, because you have let suck your cavuum cleaner on the wrong place. Devloper basically is very fine particles of iron powder. Normal toner has no developer inside. But these old lasers need it to transfer the toner to the drum kit. If you remove the toner cardridge you might see a magnetic roll over the full with of the paper in the oposite position of the drum kit. This must be full of that iron powder. Usually printers like the LSM 804 and 605 need a "starter toner kit" every 10-15 swaps of toner cardridge to enrich their amount of developer. That starter toner is a mixture of toner and iron powder. Modern lasers don't need that anymore. If you ask modern laser printer / copy machine technician about developer, he will asl with big big question marks in his eyes. Never heared about that...

The 3rd thing, and now it get's really hard, is to get a fresh drum kit. That is the large big green roll in the printer. This is a so called selene drum, a light sensible material, which is startic magnettic to the toner depending it has seen light or not. That light sensible surface looses it's function after so many years even if it doers not see (much) light over the years. Until now, and I am already searching for about 8 years since I got my first 804, I haven't found a single vendor who still refurbishs drum kits for the TEC LB 1301 printer, or produces new ones. It's a bit easier to get one for the SLM 605 which is based on the TEC LB 1305, and the list of printers using that mechanics is much much longer than the 1301. So in theory more chance to get something, but after 25++ years still allmost impossible, It also does not make much sense to buy "new old stock" 30 years old drum kits, because even if not used, still in orginal black bag, the selene losts it's function. I am experienced already with that disappointment.

I have three SLM 804, two SLM 605 plus an Olivetti PG 404 which is basically the same as the SLM 605, that means uses the same mechanics (TEC LB 1305), same toner kit, same drum kit, but has own powerfull 68020 CPU, some MB of RAM and a Centronics interface and is PCL/PostScript and Epson FX compatible. But I got for all some toner kits, but no working drum kit replacement, no printing with enough contrast to be able to read it.
Power without the Price. It's not a bug. It's a feature. _/|\_ATARI

1040STFM in PC-Tower (PAK68/2, OvrScn, 4 MB, 1GB SCSI, CD-ROM...) * 2x Falcon 030 32GB/14MB+ScrnBlstrIII * 2x TT030 73GB/20MB+Nova * 520/1040STFM * 520/1040STE * 260/520ST/+ * some Mega ST * 2x Mega STE 500MB/4MB+M.CoCo * Stacy * STBook * SLM605 * SLM804 * SLM605 * SMM804 * SH 204/205 * Megafile 30/44/60 * SF314 * SF354 * 5x Pofo * PC3

User avatar
dhedberg
Atari God
Atari God
Posts: 1123
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:36 am
Contact:

Re: Are Atari Laser printers useful today?

Postby dhedberg » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:35 pm

Wow. Lots of useful information in that post. Thank you. Seems like it is quite a challenge to keep these old printers happy indeed. Too bad.
Daniel, New Beat - http://newbeat.atari.org. Like demos? Have a look at our new Falcon030 demo and feel the JOY.


Social Media

     

Return to “Hardware”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests