The Retro-Printer Module connected to the Raspberry Pi

The Retro-Printer Module connected to the Raspberry Pi – ready for a computer to connect to the Retro-Printer’s centronics connector

The Retro-Printer has been designed to replace an Epson standard ESC/P printer (such as a dot matrix printer, or early Epson inkjet printer).

It can understand plain text, or text formatted using Epson ESC/P and ESC/P2 control codes. The Retro-Printer can also interpret graphics sent to it in Epson ESC/P or ESC/P2 format.

For the majority of applications which expect to send their output via a parallel port to an Epson printer, this will allow you to connect a modern low cost printer in its place. You may wish to verify if your application (or software program) outputs either plain text, or allows you to select an Epson printer driver (such as Epson FX-80).

Applications may range from a DOS based program, a retro computer, such as the Sinclair QL, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad PCW and Commdore Amiga home computers, or even the parallel (centronics) port attached to an industrial lathe. If you have a serial port rather than a parallel port, you may need to obtain a simple centronics convertor – there are plenty of these available on the second hand market (if there is sufficient demand, then we may produce a serial version of the Retro-Printer).

If there is sufficient call we will look into adding support for other output printer formats, such as HP PCL format. We are also open to new ideas and calls to add additional functionality.

Continue reading – Supported Printers