While helping a customer install and configure a GP-C831 printer, I had a “SURPRISE”: I learned Epson had made available a new driver; Version 188.8.131.52.
Offering several changes, this new driver is not necessarily “plug and play” with your existing label formats. In this post, I like to explain the new driver, and how the change may affect your work.
If you want to get the new driver, you first need to visit the Technical Resource pages: www.pos.epson.com or this specific page: https://pos.epson.com/developers/techresdetails.htm?productpk=678
The primarily reason you should upgrade to the new driver is the capability to print wider; now 8.25” versus the previous 8”. From my perspective, this capability is a major improvement; especially without requiring a change in the hardware.
With this change, please remember these details about the page settings/sizes. The print starting point on the right side (fixed) as you face the printer is still .51”. Therefore, you will have approximately a .135” (.51” -.375”) non-printable boundary on the right side when using labels with a .375” tractor-feed. This boundary will be eliminated, basically, when using labels with a .5” tractor feed. In addition, the top and the bottom of the label will have a .08” non-printable boundary as well.
In addition to the wider print capability, the driver has other notable changes. First, the default setting for print quality is “Plain Label” and "Quality" versus “Plain” and "Speed" in the previous version.
With the plain label setting, the default Mode setting is “Quality”. For producing most labels, the default setting is sufficient. You may want to test “Synthetic” and Quality for matte poly labels (http://stores.colorlabelsolutions.com/gp-c831-pin-fed-labels/) to determine which you prefer. During my discussions with Epson, I learned the color gamut is slightly different between these two settings. Therefore, I suggest you print your labels with both to determine which settings match your preferred colors the best.
In addition, you’ll find several changes on the paper tab as well. First Epson has changed the default page sizes; from seemingly random sizes to ISO standard pages:
In addition, you’ll now need to enter the width of the actual label size for user defined. In the previous driver, you needed to add the total construction (including the pin feed) in this section of the driver. However, you still use the size from perforation to perforation. (Please remember the difference in this setting for my later comments.)
In addition to the change in the print quality and page size, Epson added one more important feature; the ability to import and export driver settings.
Now you can export the settings as “BSF” files to import into other computers. This capability will save a lot of time for network installs. While on this page, don’t forget to set the Notification Settings to “No Beep” (I find the beep very annoying). Also, don’t forget to select these settings not only in the “Printer Defaults”, but also in “Printer Preferences”.
Although these changes are seemingly straight forward, please know; any templates you have created using the previous driver will not print correctly using the new version. For example, here is what I saw when I opened my example drum label in BarTender:
With the change in the driver from using the total construction to now using only the label size, the templates built using the previous driver do not work correctly. You need to change the templates. In BarTender, you’ll get this message when trying to print using a format created with the previous driver:
If you get this message, be sure to select cancel to get to the page setup. In page setup, be sure “Set Manually” is NOT selected.
And be sure the correct page size from the GP-C831 driver is selected:
After making these changes, you may still need to move the content on the label format. For example, the content on my new format was too close to the leading edge even though it worked well previously:
In situations such as above, you may want to move the print start position versus changing the position of the content on the label. To move the print start position in the GP-C831, follow these directions:
1. Open the top cover.
2. Hold down the Pause button for about three seconds. The Pause light flashes, the printer enters Micro Adjust mode, and then the paper is advanced to the current top-of-form position.
3. Press the FF D button to move the top-of-form position down on the page, or press the Load/Eject U button to move the top-of-form position up on the page.
After working with this new driver, I would recommend one key point: you need to use the same version of the GP-C831 driver for all installs within your company. You will not be able to print the same label template correctly from both drivers. If you want to stay with the existing driver, contact me; I’ll send you the previous version.
If you use BarTender and want to start with a template that should work, I’ve updated my post on Drum Label Templates to include the 8.5” x 11” format: http://colorlabelsondemand.blogspot.com/2014/09/ghs-drum-label-template-database.html
In addition, I’ve change the label size in my store to 8.5” x 11” as well: http://stores.colorlabelsolutions.com/gp-c831-pin-fed-labels/
If you are using the GP-C831, you should install the new driver. But don’t be SURPRISED when things change; Just contact us instead.