Datacard Printer – SP35Plus – Ribbon Breakage


Following is a question received from our technical support response team:


Our Datacard SP35 Plus printer provides us with constant ribbon breaks. We are printing with YMCKO print ribbon. The printer will only print about one in 50 cards correctly. The ribbon looks like it is stuck to the card when it breaks. Any ideas?


Try the following steps:

1. Check the print head temperature to make sure that it is hot enough to transfer the ribbon to the card.

2. The surface of the PVC card may not be image compatible. Try another brand of card or opt to 60/40 composite cards for testing.

For additional information about the current Datacard printer models, let our id card experts provide you with a free consultation.

Connecting a Printer to the PC via a USB Cable

Fargo DTC400e

When installing a new id card printer, one of the first steps is to install the printer driver. The driver is located on the CD that is included with the printer.

When the driver is installed, an instructional window will advise you to connect the id card printer to the PC. To do this, locate the USB port on the printer. Connect the printer to the PC with the printer cable. Many printer models include a printer cable with the purchase of a printer.

To locate the USB port on the id card printer, look at the back of the printer. Some manufacturers place a piece of protective white tape over the USB port. The tape states that the ID card printer driver needs to be installed in the computer prior to plugging the printer cable into the port.

Once the printer and computer are connected correctly by the printer cable, communication can occur allowing the printer to begin printing the id badges needed.

For additional information about custom id cards and photo id card systems, contact our id card experts at 888-485-4696.

Smart Card Color Distoration

Proxcard II

When using smart cards in an ID card printer, there are times that the colors printed on the card do not turn out as expected. In a standard 30 ml card print, the colors are bright, crisp and consistent across the surface of the card. Sometimes smart cards show a variance in color leaving the printer operator wondering what happened during the printing of the card.

The occurrence is common. The variance produced is most likely due to microchip embedded in the card. The chip produces a bump in the card surface that prevents the color from printing evenly across the card surface. The composition of the microchip and accompanying antennas may affect the heat absorption as the printhead passes over the card during printing. The difference in heat may cause the resulting color difference.

Current Fargo printers that will allow encoding of proximity cards are the Fargo HDP5000, Fargo DTC550 and Fargo DTC400e. For information about cards that can be integrated with identification applications, visit our HID prox card page.

New Features of CIM Sunlight K3 Printers

id card printer

The CIM Sunlight K3 printers to print id cards now have new improved features. Following are new capabilities of this id card printer lineup.

1. Cards printed can be as thin as 9 ml and as thick as 40 ml. This encompasses a number of new card options including access cards.

2. Improved CR79 card printing

3. Magnetic Stripe encoding options

4. CHIP docking station

5. Bar coding capabilities

6. Printing in full color or monochrome options

7. Near to the edge single or dual sided printing

8. Easy to change print ribbons

CIM recommends this printer model for organizations such as clubs, libraries, companies and schools.

See a video about the CIM printer.

Firmware updates for the CIM printer are available from our website.

Additional information about the CIM printers and the over 112 configurations can be found with our id card experts. They can be reached toll free at 888-485-4696.

Need to select the right ID Card Printer?

Fargo Fargo DTC400e

Trying to figure out which of the many id card printer options is the best one for your current and future needs. Followin are tips for the right id card printer selection:

1. The design of the badge – Does the card require full color photos and logos? Does the card need to be printed only on the front of the badge or on both sides? Does the card require full color printing or will single color options work for your badging? Answers to these questions will guide you into certain models of printers and exclude others from available options.

2. The function of the badge – Is the card only for identification by humans or does it need to have the capabilies of being read by machine scanners and readers for access and enterance requirements. Some basic level printers do not have options for encoding.

3. The environment of the badge -Where will the badge be used? Will it endure harsh conditions? Will it be carried safely in a cardholder wallet? How many years is the expected lifespan before replacement is acceptable to the organization.

4. The number of badges printed – Some printers are made for light card production environments. Hand fed printers do not have the capabilities of production like high volume industrial printer models where thousands of cards may be needed daily.

5. Security requirements of the badge – Will the badge need to be highly secure and not able to be counterfeited? Is there a need for biometrics, access control features or holographic laminates on the badge.

6. Where is the information that will be printed on the badge – Will each badge be hand typed in? Is there information in an Access database or MySQL database that can be imported into the database? Will the printer system be on a network or be on a stand alone computer?

With the answers to the above questions, an id card expert can provide you with options that would perfectly fit the requirements of your organization. We provide and service Asure ID Software, ID Flow Software, EpiSuite, Fargo printer models, Evolis printer models, CIM printer models and Magicard printer models.

Tips to Incorporate Security in your ID Card Design

custom id

It is easy to duplicate a white card with a logo and name on it. There are additional security measures you may wish to consider when designing your id card for maximum security.

1. To begin the graphic design process, you may find it helpful to divide your card up into a grid. Place the larger and fixed elements into the card first and determine whether the card will be veritical or horizontal. Remember to leave a placeholder for the badge slot punch if there will be one on your cards.

2. Use color in your card. Avoid extremes. Dark colors are hard to read and light colors make the card look washed out. Bright colors work best with variance in color to distinguish different levels of access or achievement.

3. A colored photo of the cardholder as large as possible on the card increases the security of the card. A colored photo is more secure than a black and white picture. Although high resolution is important, a picture size that is too large will be combersome in some computers and id badge design programs.

4. Choose a good font or fonts that appeal to the reader and are in good taste. Too many fonts on the card are distracting. Often a sans serif font is recommended for the text.

5. You may wish to incorporate a hologram on the card. The hologram can be clear, a standard pattern or custom. The protective overlay makes it difficult for counterfeiters to reproduce.

6. If your budget allows for an advanced printer, you may wish to consider a printer that uses reverse image printing technology. The security level of these cards are greater than a standard direct-to-card print. With the additional benefits of a better quality print and durability of the cards, some organizations choose to go this route.

If you have additional questions about id card printing, contact our id card experts at 888-485-4696. We provide and service Asure Software, ID Flow Software, EpiSuite, Fargo printer models, Evolis printer models, CIM printer models and Magicard printer models.

Fargo Replacement Printhead Warranty

Fargo Printhead

Fargo id card printers use a printhead to burn color onto the PVC card as it passes through the printer. This process produces the colorful identification cards and membership cards that you carry in your wallet.

Occasionally, it is necessary to replace the printhead. You will often need to replace the printhead when you see a small white horizontal line consistantly in your printed cards.

The replacement printhead as a one year limited warranty. The replacement warranty is subject to review by Fargo Electronics Technical Support Team.

This means that the printhead would need to be returned to Fargo by way of an RMA. If they deem that the printhead was internally defective, they warranty the part. Shipping charges are the responsibility of the customer.

If you have additional questions about this warranty or other card printer questions, contact our id card experts toll free at 888-485-4696. For additional information about the Fargo DTC400e, Persona C30e or other Fargo printers, let our id card experts provide you with a free consultation.

Card Feed Error on a DTC525 and DTC 550 Printer

Fargo Fargo DTC550

When printing pvc cards with a Fargo DTC525 card printer or a Fargo DTC550 card printer, the LCD screen may display that a card feed error has occurred when a print job stops printing cards. Steps to follow to correct the card feed error and continue card printing are as follows:

1. Clean the printer with a printer cleaning kit. Make sure that all of the rollers are cleaned well.

2. Check and replace the card cleaner roller that is attached to the blue cleaner roller cartridge. This is located in the inside right hand side of the printer. Make sure that the cleaner roller cartridge is seated all the way down into the the slot.

3. Check your PVC cards for extensive static that can cause the cards to stick together and not feed properly.

4. Make sure the card thickness guage on the right hand side of the card hopper is set to the proper card thickness for the cards you are using.

For information about the Fargo DTC550 or other Fargo printers, contact us for a free consultation at 888-485-4696.

How to fix ribbon breakage on a DTC300, C30 & DTC400

Fargo Fargo DTC400e

If you have having ribbon breakage when printing with your Persona C30, Fargo DTC300 or Fargo DTC400 series machine, the first thing you need to do is calibrate the ribbon sensor.

The next step would be to clean the printer with a printer cleaning kit made for your printer.

Then, power off the printer by unplugging the small black power connector from the back of the printer. Plug it back in after a few seconds. This allows the printer to reset and adjust the ribbon to the correct color panel.

If you are still having problems, there could be an issue with the drive o-rings or pulleys. This problem requires an internal repair of the printer by a technician trained in Fargo printer repair.

Some of the early models of these printers had issues with the drive o-rings. They would tend to stretch after a period of time, causing printing issues or ribbon breakage.

For additional information about the Fargo DTC400e, Persona C30e or other Fargo printers, let our ID card experts provide you with a free consultation.

Black Bar Codes – How to Print True Black Bar Codes on your ID Badge

It is important for the correct working of your bar code that it print in a true black setting. Sometimes this will happen automatically, but it is best to double check your printer preferences prior to printing to make sure that you will obtain the bar code output desired.

The following instructions will provide a printed bar code that will print true black. The bar code in the following example is for a bar code close to the bottom edge.

1. Go to your computer and go to the start button in the left hand corner. Go to SETTINGS. Then go to PRINTERS and FAXES.

2. Right click on the correct driver for your printer and select PRINTING PREFERENCES>

3. Find the K PANEL RESIN tab. Click on the DEFINED AREA box.

4. Select PRINT K ONLY at the bottom of your form.

5. Double check to make sure that the X and Y axis settings are set to zero.

6. The height and width settings are found above the axis settings. If you have a vertical card, set the height for 2.11″. If you have a horizontal card, set the height for .500″. The width for both cards should be set at 3.377″.

Looking at your id card software design, you should see a black rectangle at the bottom of the card where you, hopefully, want the bar code to be placed.

For more information about designing id cards with id card software , contact our id card experts. We provide id card systems with Fargo printers, Evolis printers, CIM printers or Magicard printers.