Author Topic: What are ALPS printers  (Read 4733 times)

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kiwi_al

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2008, 08:39:49 PM »
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Resistance is futile prepare to be assimilated  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

http://www.alps.co.jp/brand/printer/md5500/

Ryan87

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2008, 12:14:25 AM »
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Ok Ok me Wanty!

Can anyone speak Japanese!
What would be cheaper and easier 200-500 bucks on Ebay
or whatever the Japanese company charges (what do they charge?)

Also how easy would it be to get stuff from Japan?
Swimming in a sea of Action Red...

diezmon

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2008, 01:14:42 PM »
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well, w/out getting into all the details.. it just never worked for me.. I read the alps yahoo board till my eyes were red, got the correct driver.. . after a few days of trying I just said screw it :)

did you try it on LPT1 ? (mine only work on LPT1 but they work fine under Win XP prof - with an old, mechanical printer switch box from the 90s...)   ;)

hmmm.. I think I tried various ports.. but I'll put it out and give it another try at some point :)

Now lets see.. where'd I save that driver?

3rdrail

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2008, 01:35:54 PM »
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Looked on Google for the ALPS MD5500 and no one in the USA is selling them. Not so bad if they can be bought from Japan, but what does one do for ink (or wax) cartridges? Sure can't run by Office Depot, Office Max, or Staples for a replacement.

Dammit, the market exists, why is no one trying to fulfill the demand?  :-\

nscalesteve

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2008, 03:08:07 PM »
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Ok Ok me Wanty!

Can anyone speak Japanese!
What would be cheaper and easier 200-500 bucks on Ebay
or whatever the Japanese company charges (what do they charge?)

Also how easy would it be to get stuff from Japan?

you can't buy them direct in Japan if you from oversea - Alps Japan does not deliver the printer outside of Japan - you need a friend or an agent in Japan who will order the printer for you and send it overseas - I was lucky that I know some people in Japan from my time when I was working in Switzerland and they did order the printers for me at Alps and they did send them to New Zealand - Alps (and OKI) cartridges are still available in Japan (and some places in Europe and Australia)

if you buy an used one on eBay the chances are that you'll receive a broken one (or that the printer will break on the transport because the seller does not know how to save them for transport) - if you have a printer with a missaligned printhead the printer is history ! (and that is easy done on the transport if the printhead is not secured properly - do not ask why I know this - I wont tell ya...)

DKS

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2008, 03:21:15 PM »
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Careful shopping on eBay may produce good results. Some of them are either new or close to new, and a few sellers appear to understand them. If you're handy, you could buy a couple of them for cheap and do some repair work. I missed out on that was new in the original packing, and was outbid on two fixer-uppers. I'm still looking, though, and will buy if I see a good one for a decent price.

As for ink, I see it available on aBay constantly. Loads of new white cartridges for sale.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

Ryan87

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2008, 03:58:37 PM »
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Oh bother... so getting an ALPS of E Bay is a crap shoot.

Steve you said there's places in Europe and Australia that sell the ink, do they sell just the ink or the printers as well?

I'm wondering, how practical would silk screening be? Has anyone tried it on a individual level?
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railbuilderdave

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2008, 04:32:28 PM »
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Okay, getting the printer from Japan is out, on e-bay is a shot in the dark.  Is there anyone out there that has a printer and willing to open a business and print pages for a price?  What about companies that will print decals for a price, anyone done this and had good experiences with that.  What about the decal sheets you but and print on your inkjet printer like HP or Epson?  Does anyone have thoughts on do-it-yourself decals?
dhd
============================

3rdrail

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2008, 05:44:26 PM »
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Okay, getting the printer from Japan is out, on e-bay is a shot in the dark.  Is there anyone out there that has a printer and willing to open a business and print pages for a price?  What about companies that will print decals for a price, anyone done this and had good experiences with that.  What about the decal sheets you but and print on your inkjet printer like HP or Epson?  Does anyone have thoughts on do-it-yourself decals?
dhd


Some thoughts:

Taken from an internet photo of the prototype:


Created using MSWord fonts from a b&w prototype photo:


Tom Mann did most of this, my contribution was the small lettering at right:


Taken from an internet photo of an Atlas O car:


That should give you an idea of the various possibilities.  8)

bsoplinger

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2008, 08:20:12 PM »
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I purchased one of the last half dozen new in the box printers from a seller in New Zealand (or perhaps Australia) in October. There are no more new printers to be had. This was my backup for my existing ALPS printer. The cartridges are no longer manufactured although they can still be purchased at a few places. I made my last purchases of cartridges last year in the Jan-Apr timeframe when ALPS (of Japan) was manufacturing the very last run (done in thirds delivered about a month apart hence the spread timeframe.) I spend $400 on about 80 carts, half of them white. Supposedly they have closed the manufacturing facility because of environmental concerns, but regardless of reason they are no longer being manufactured. Okidata of Europe sold a rebadged ALPS printer more recently (2004?) than ALPS USA which stopped in 2000. Oki cartridges can be used in ALPS printers and were actually manufactured by ALPS for Oki. The european Oki carts are about twice as expensive as their USA equivalents but also come in colors that the ALPS didn't have. They too are no longer being manufactured. So buy carts now if you think you'll need any in the next 10 years, since there seems to be no consumer choice for white printers in the near future.

The output is smooth and crisp for spot printing. Dithered output is awful, think 9 pin dot matrix type quality. The halftoning in the ALPS drivers is just plain bad. Most of the colors are actually translucent so can be combined to produce additional colors. White is needed as an undercoat for many of the colors.

When you have a color that the ALPS can produce by a single pass of 1 color ribbon or by overlaying a second color the ALPS outshines any other choice of printer for making decals. That included black and most importantly for railroad decals, white.

If you have a full gamut photo realistic type need, say the cityscape trailers, or the US Marines trailer the ALPS is an awful choice. Printing with any inkjet will look much better.

But you couldn't produce those route of the phoebe snow decals in white with an inkjet. ;)

pfs

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2008, 10:47:30 PM »
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I did not know the Oki carts work. I have access to one but was told the carts were next to impossible to get. Will have to look again.

engineshop

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2008, 04:54:22 PM »
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Alps and XP is not a problem, the problem is that newer PCs do not have a parallel port anymore. Even if you have a USB cable it will not work since the software only installs on a computer with parallel port. You need a computer, 95 - XP, with a parallel port hooked up. I even tried to "upgrade" my new computer with a parallel port but still the software would not load.
I have to keep my old and slow PC just for the printer.

ñiao

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Re: What are ALPS printers
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2008, 07:03:42 PM »
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If you have a machine with an LPT, but still can't get it to run under XP, download LINUX and install it as a doubleboot (about 10 gig are needed for a full install). At least my Ubuntu comes with Alps Drivers built in.