Author Archives: SafeCard ID Team

Fargo DTC500 Prints A Light Bar Code

Printing ID cards sometimes is difficult as the exact card specifications are critical to the success of the identification program. One important printing requirement is a correct, dark version of the provided bar code. If your bar code is not meeting your requirements, check out the pictures below and see if your problem is displayed. If so, we have recommendations for you.

The light printing of the black in the center barcode is caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being adjusted too low. Note the horizontal streaking in the bars. Note also that the effect is across the full length of the card. (The light/dark banding on the upper and lower barcodes is due to “camera effect” and not to a problem with the printer)

To correct this problem it is necessary to raise the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar slightly.

The light printing of the black in the barcodes is caused by the angle of the printhead being to small. Note that the barcode darkens to normal as the print approaches the center of the card. Increasing the printhead angle will darken the beginning of the barcode. After adjusting the angle of the printhead it may be necessary to raise the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar.

To correct this problem increase the printhead angle by completing the printhead angle adjustment.

Please consult with the ID card intergrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo printers and current Fargo printer models, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Printer Prints ID Cards with Smudges

When an ID card is printed, sometimes it enters the output hopper with smudges appearing to be fingerprints. If you are wondering what to do, the following may provide the answer for you.

If your card looks like this:

You need to know that the white smudge marks are caused by contamination on the card surface which prevents the color from adhering to the card surface.

The problem can be the result of fingerprints on the cards. Always handle cards by the edges. If the problem persists on a number of cards, replace the card stock with a clean group of cards.

If your card looks like this:

The dark smudges are caused by fingerprints on the ribbon prior to printing the card.

This problem can normally be solved by careful handling of the ribbon during removal/replacement. Always handle ribbon by the spindles. This problem will usually disappear after printing a couple of cards.

Additional Fargo technical tips provided by Fargo authorized technical representatives are available through this blog. If you need additional assistance with Fargo printer information, please contact our ID card specialists toll free at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Printer Prints ID Cards with Pink Streaks

bad id printing

The pink lines on this card are caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being too high on the lower edge of the card (side towards the front of the printer).

bad id printing

The pink lines on this card are caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being too high on the upper edge of the card (side towards the rear of the printer).

bad id printing

The pink lines on this card are caused by the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar being too high on both edges of the card.

To correct this problem, it is best to consult with the technical support staff from the integrator who sold you the printer. They may recommend that you lower the end of the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar that towards the back of the printer. A very small adjustment is required.

For additional information about Fargo printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 Printer Prints with Incorrect Image Placement

Occasionally, someone who is printing ID cards will have an issue with the beginning of the card design starting somewhere after the front edge of the plastic ID card. There is a strip of white that is left prior to the beginning of the colored badge design. A picture of what this might look like is below.

The white strip on the leading (right) end of the card is the result of the card being too far forward when the printer begins printing.

To correct this problem, decrease the Print TOF (Top Of Form). This setting is adjustable from the LCD panel on the front of the printer.

For information about ID printers such as the Fargo printer models, feel free to contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 Printer Prints with White Pixel Lines Across the ID Card

It is common for our technical staff to hear a customer call and wonder why there is a white clear line across the ID cards that they are printing with their ID card printer. Following are pictures of two types of white lines on printed ID cards.

printhead damage

The white line in the above picture across the card is wide and is caused by physical damage to the printhead.

Printhead Problem

The light thin straight line across the card is normally caused by a bad pixel in the printhead. Although a line this thin can be caused by a damaged printhead, it is usually due to a burned out pixel.

To correct either of these problems, the printhead assembly needs to be replaced. For information about Fargo printer printhead replacements with the Fargo DTC550 or other Fargo printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC500 Printer Prints Light Edges

Various ID card printing issues cause ID card printing output to be substandard to requirements. The following recommendation may be helpful to those who find the edges of their card printed too lightly.

Light edges on the bottom of this card indicate that there is not enough printhead pressure on the bottom edge of the card. This problem can also be caused by defective card stock. To determine if the cause is the card stock, rotate the cards end for end in the card input hopper. If the light edge moves to the opposite side of the card the cause is bad card stock and not uneven printhead pressure.

To correct this problem either lower the end of the printing edge that is towards the front of the printer or raise the end of the printing edge that is towards the back of the printer. Our Head Pressure Adjustment page will walk you through this procedure.

Light edges on the top of this card indicate that there is not enough printhead pressure on the top edge of the card. This problem can also be caused by defective card stock. To determine if the cause is the card stock rotate the cards end for end in the card input hopper. If the light edge moves to the opposite side of the card the cause is bad card stock and not uneven printhead pressure.

To correct this problem either raise the end of the printing edge that is towards the front of the printer or lower the end of the printing edge that is towards the back of the printer. Our Head Pressure Adjustment page will walk you through this procedure.

Please consult with the ID card integrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo DTC550 and current Fargo printers, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Printhead Angle Adjustment

The following procedure, provided by technical support representatives for Fargo printers, can be used to adjust the Printhead Angle on the Fargo DTC-550 series printers. When bar codes print too light and also darker on the same card in the same printer pass, you may be directed by a technical expert to adjust the angle of the printhead.

Warning! Remove all jewelry, rings, watches, bracelets etc. from your wrists and hands before beginning work with the printhead. The printing edge is extremely fragile and is easily damaged. It is strongly advised that you work in a static protected area.

To adjust the printhead angle, loosen the printhead angle lockdown screws at both ends of the printhead.

dtc550 print head

Turn the Printhead Angle Adjustment Wheel to change the angle of the printhead relative to the ribbon. Turning the wheel clockwise (top of wheel moved in the direction of the back of the printer) will increase the printhead angle. Turning the wheel Counter-Clockwise will decrease the printhead angle. After making the adjustment re-tighten the Printhead Angle Lockdown Screws.
DTC550 printhead

Please consult with the ID card integrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo DTC550 and current Fargo printers, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Peel Off Bar Adjustment

Ribbon Peel-Off Bar Adjustment

The following procedure can be used to adjust the Ribbon Peel-Off Bar on the Fargo DTC-550 series printers. You may need to adjust the peel off bar when the color printed on the platic ID card from the printer is not consistant in intensity across the entire surface of the card.

Warning! Remove all jewelry, rings, watches, bracelets etc. from your wrists and hands before beginning work with the printhead. The printing edge is extremely fragile and is easily damaged. It is strongly advised that you work in a static protected area.

The ribbon peel-off bar should be adjusted to the lowest point possible without allowing any pressure on the card. If it is adjusted too low, the card will bump into it and cause a line to appear on the card. If it is adjused too high, the ribbon will lift off the card too soon and cause ribbon wrinkle.

To raise or lower the ribbon peel-off bar, loosen but, do not remove, both peel-off bar hold-down screws.

Raise or lower the Peel-Off bar by adjusting the Peel-Off bar adjustment screws. Turn the screws clockwise to raise the Peel-Off bar and counter-clockwise to lower it. Generally both ends should be raised or lowered equally to keep the Peel-Off bar parallel to the printing edge of the printhead.

After raising or lowering the Peel-Off bar, tighten the Peel-Off bar hold-down screws.

Please consult with the ID card integrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo DTC550 and current Fargo printers, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Fargo DTC550 Printer Head Pressure Adjustment

Head Pressure Adjustment

The following procedures provided from technical support personel are offered to balance the printhead pressure on the DTC-550 series printers. You may need to balance the printhead when the edges of the top or bottom of the the plastic ID card print too light.

Warning! Remove all jewelry, rings, watches, bracelets etc. from your wrists and hands before beginning work with the printhead. The printing edge is extremely fragile and is easily damaged. It is strongly advised that you work in a static protected area.

Loosen but, do not remove, the two peel off bar hold down screws. DO NOT let the peel-off bar come into contact with the printing edge as it may result in damage that can seriously affect print quality.
Fargo DTC550 Printhead

To balance the printhead pressure, either lower the end of the printhead that is printing light or raise the opposite end of the printhead. Typically, the printhead is assembled with the print edge at its lowest point making it necessary to raise the end of the print edge that is opposite the light edge. Usually about 1/64 of an inch is sufficient. Raising or lowering the print edge too much will result in a light edge on the opposite side of the card.

After loosening the two peel off bar hold down screws, only loosen the printhead mounting screw on the end of the printhead that you wish to raise or lower. DO NOT loosen the other printhead mounting screw.
Fargo DTC550 Print Head

Using a small pocket sized screwdriver, carefully pry the head of the loosened printhead mounting screw to raise or lower that end of the printhead.
Fargo DTC550 printhead
Fargo DTC500 printhead

After balancing the printhead pressure it may be necessary to adjust the ribbon peel-off bar to maximize print quality.

Please consult with the ID card integrator technical support area where you purchased your printer to obtain assistance for your specific printer issue prior to adjustment. For information about the Fargo DTC550 and current Fargo printers, contact our ID Card experts at 888-485-4696.

Download the Fargo HDP5000 Driver for Apple OS X Operating Systems

If you are operating a Mac computer and a Fargo HDP5000 ID card printer, you will need to download the Mac driver for the HDP5000 card printer. Standard drivers included with the printer are for PC computers. Directions from HID Global tech support for the Mac driver download are as follows:

1. Open your web browser and go to http://www.fargosupport.com/

2. On the HID support web page, select the HDP5000 card printer from the dropdown list.

3. After selecting the printer choice from the “What type of product?” list, a new list, “For what product”, will appear. Select HDP5000 from this list.

4. After selecting the HDP5000 printer, click the Go button.

5. Under the printer driver section, scroll down to the HDP5000 Macintosh Driver and click in it to download the driver.


6. Select the Save file and click the OK button. Your web browser settings will determine where the file is downloaded on your computer.

7. When the HDP5000 V1[1].0.0.4.pkg.zip finishes, you can close the Downloads window.

For more information about the Fargo HDP5000 printer or other Fargo printer models, contact our ID card experts at 888-485-4696.