8-Bit Software Online Conversion

8-bit Software (c) Duncan Webster April 1992 Issue 19 (c) Duncan Webster 3rd April 1992 PRINTER RIBBON RE-INKING (Chris Richardson) I have re-inked my printer ribbons for about 5 years. Some people reckon that if you re-ink your ribbons with endorsing ink (the type used on rubber stamp pads) you are likely to gum up your printer head and possibly melt it or glue it up solid. I have never come accross this problem. In fact, I write this note after having just dismamtled my printer head to clean it, it didn't require any attention whatsoever. The ribbon that I have just been forced to discard served me faithfully for 2 years and must have been re-inked at least 20 times before it finally gave up and wore out. I have used various re-inking techniques over the years. My present method is to put a glossy magazine onto a wooden board, place the ribbon on top of the magazine and gently clamp it all together with a G clamp. I use a large tap washer with the centre hole enlarged slightly so that it fits snugly over the knob on the ribbon cassette. I then hold the axle of a small electric motor salvaged from a kids toy onto the edge of the washer, when wired up to my mains converter it turns the ribbon at just the right speed for re-inking. I hold the bottle of endorsing ink angled downwards with the edge touching the centre of the ribbon, this puts a fine line of ink along the centre of the ribbon which soaks accross to just about the right amount. If there are areas that have been over inked a gentle wipe with a lint free cloth will take it off. At first the ribbon may be slightly over inked, if this happens, I usually print out a manual or my study notes. It is important to have the right sort of bottle for this job, the opaque squeezy sort with a cap that has a small hole in it enables you to see the ink and control it's exit from the bottle. One bottle of ink generally lasts about 6 to 8 re-inkings, that works out about 10p a time, quite a large saving. If you are going to have a go, I suggest that you wear disposable gloves and carry the operation out in the shed, because if you have an accident the evidence will be around for some time to come!