How to Troubleshoot a Zebra LP 2844

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The Zebra LP 2844 is a thermal bar code label printer. It integrates into a number of printing applications, such as shipping and receiving, transportation and e-commerce postage. This is a sturdy, compact table-top unit, however, as with most office machines, glitches or problems can and do occur. Most of the fixes are relatively simple, such as a printer head that needs cleaning, or a media roll that is incorrectly inserted. There are a few steps you can troubleshoot before taking your printer in for a service.

Clean the printer head with a cleaner pen if the printing is poor or faded. Open the printer and allow the print head to cool for one minute. Swab the print element (thin gray line on the print head) from end to end. If this does not work, use Save-a-Print Head cleaning film to remove buildup on the print head. Call an authorized Zebra seller for information on purchasing Save-a Print Head cleaner.

Check that the label roll is securely loaded with the thermal side facing up if the media moves but nothing is printed.

Close the top cover securely if the media does not advance. Check that the interface cable connections from the computer to the printer are secure.

Unplug the power to the printer if any media becomes jammed in the cutter. Use tweezers to remove pieces of media from the cutter opening.

Reload a new supply of media and press the FEED button if the status light is a constant red glow. This could also mean there has been a power-up failure. Switch the power OFF and then back ON to clear the status light. If there is no light, check that the power connections between the A/C outlet and the printer are secure.

Check that the media is loaded correctly if there is no print on the label. Pull the release lever toward the front of the printer and open the cover. Remove the outside length of protective paper from the media roll. Separate and hold the media hangers in the printer. Orient the media roll so that the printing surface will be up as it passes over the platen. Lower the roll between the hanger and close them onto the core.

Replace the print head if there are long tracks of missing print (blank vertical lines) on several of the labels. Turn the power off and unplug the power cord. Unscrew the four screws that hold the latch frame to the top case. Pull the print head spring to the left and slide it free of the latch frame. Gently pull the wire bundle from the print head. Loosen the two screws and release the print head from the bracket. To replace the print head, reverse the process, taking care to securely insert the wire bundle into the replacement printer head.

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About the Author

Ross Glyn began writing for film and television in 1986. He wrote and directed the film “After The Rain” as well as the play “Soweto's Burning.” He is a member of the Writers Guild Of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Ross holds a performer's degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

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