Issue #4 new
Anonymous created an issue


I have installed the printer-driver-ptouch from Debian unstable, which is based on your release 1.4. Unfortunately, my QL-500 does not print with this driver, it just blinks fast with its LED while CUPS reports a successful print. I am at a complete loss with debugging CUPS drivers and am open to any suggestions. Any hints will be appreciated.

Greetings Marc,

Comments (9)

  1. Mark Eichin

    Debian Jessie had 1.3-8, upgraded to Stretch with 1.4.2-2+b1 and my custom pdfs went from printing to blinking. A comment on led me to select "Concatenate Pages" (and Roll Fed Media: labels) which caused printing to work again - but the labels are not aligned, I'm measuring 82.3mm spacing of "ink" on a FileFolderLabel/File Folder label (17 x 87mm) (the measured-printable area on these "dk-1203" labels is about 83.5mm, the measured paper really is the advertised 87.1mm, and the paper-edge to paper-edge spacing is 93.3mm.

    While I've figured out a fair bit about printing to the ql-500 through cups (see gitlab/eichin/thok-qlabels) I don't know much about directly talking to the printer, and almost nothing about CUPS ppd model itself - where might that 11mm be disappearing to? evince Properties reports my files as "0.67 × 3.43 inch" (which multiplies out to 17x87.1mm) and they have /MediaBox [ 0 0 246.92850 48.19500 ] (same thing in postscript-points) in the raw pdf. (I'm using reportlab, and pypdf just for rotation.)

    Second question is "what does Concatenate Pages actually do", I'm failing to find relevant documentation on it.

    (Similarly on ubuntu, 18.04-pre with 1.4.2-3 blinks, not sure what previous version actually worked.)

  2. Mark Eichin

    (Hmm, and the problem is specifically concatenation - if I generate my labels one-label-per-pdf, the pagination is fine, I just did 40 labels with lpr -# 4 for each, and they've stayed in perfect sync throughout.)

  3. Philip Pemberton repo owner

    Long story short - I've been figuring out what the driver does by tracking things from the PPD through to the parameters passed to the filter driver, and seeing what control codes are generated. There was no documentation to begin with - and sadly the Linux printing model doesn't lend itself too well to label printers. When I started doing P-Touch stuff, I wrote a C library which took bitmaps and printed them on a PT-2450DX.

    Now back to the subject at hand...

    I suspect "Concatenate labels" merges multiple labels into one. This makes sense on the plastic-tape P-touch printers, as it saves you a little bit of label tape from the feed process. This is likely the cause of the misalignment.

    P-Touch paper-label printers (QL series) have a sensor which detects the start of each label on cut-label roll. In all honesty - that's all I have to hand. I don't have any of the continuous-tape roll and I don't know how the printer would handle that differently to cut-label. If you set "Roll fed media: Labels" -- that should tell the printer to look for that index mark. "Roll fed media: Continuous" should be the equivalent for (untested!) continuous tape.

    A QL-500 doesn't have an auto-cutter, but a QL-570 (which is my standard test printer) does.

    @Mark Eichin - what type of labels are you trying to print on? The Brother part number would be useful (it should be on a white label on one side of the plastic label roll holder)

    Also, could you attach an example PDF which causes the problem, and an LPR command line to print it?

    Does the printer work correctly when used with Glabels?

    Is the paper size correctly set in the printer settings (in CUPS)? Note that the "X" axis (width) is across the label as it feeds out of the printer - for most address style labels this is the shortest edge.

  4. Marc 'Zugschlus' Haber

    gLabels seems to print ok with my ql-500. However, when I tell gLabels to print more than one label in the print dialog, the second label is printed some 11 mm shorter than the first one.

    I am attaching my settings. Information about my labels and visualization of the misprint is in pictures posted to Screenshot_20180219_171355.png


    As soon as I can print multiple copies of a label, the next challenge is Libreoffice.

  5. Mark Eichin

    Requested output sample above. As stated in my first comment, DK-1203 labels, "FileFolderLabel/File Folder label (17 x 87mm)".

    Don't know if glabels works; it stopped working at some point and since I found "writing my own pdf with python" much more flexible, I stopped trying to diagnose it (once I'd learned enough to look into it, I'd also learned enough to do without it :-)

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