band printer

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band printer (belt printer) A type of impact line printer in which the font – characters and timing marks – is etched on a steel band. The operating principle, involving horizontal movement of the font, is similar to that of the earlier chain printer and train printer. Although demonstrated in the mid-1960s it was 1972 before machines with satisfactory print quality and band life were available. Band printers have price/performance advantage over drum (or barrel) printers; any mistiming of the impact on a horizontal-font machine results in a change in the space between characters, which is less noticeable than the vertical displacement that occurs with mistiming in a drum printer.

The majority of new impact line printers from the late 1970s onward have been band printers. Machines are available at speeds from 300 lpm to 2500 lpm, the higher-speed printers using a 64 character repertoire. Designs for the lower-speed machines often time-share a print hammer between adjacent print positions.