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To be scheduled for 8am every day. There's probably other stuff to be added here.


This is where the fun will happen. For now, it's forwarding whatever comes down the serial interface from the USB socket. I'd quite like to get an ethernet shield so I can remove the laptop from the equation. Spot the dodgy soldering, wrapped in masking tape.


More info:

Thinking: daily schedule printouts could end with barcode and text to identify them. Permalinks for print-outs. Assuming one per day, they could look a bit like this.


I used EvoBarcode Scanner to read it back in. It's a Code 39 barcode I printed using this code . Height = 45, width = medium.





printBarcode("/2009/02/22/", barcodeModeCODE39);

Much tidier. 64 characters per line. Only an inch longer than the font A example, but with twelve additional lines of content.


More ideas: today's calendar entries (like Tom's), recent Twitter @ replies and Direct Messages, recent emails, friends birthdays (via, Radio 4 schedule via, anything anyone wants to send @roo_printer, ...


More info:

Standard 80mm thermal receipt paper

30 minutes of my friends' twitter updates. Five feet of paper.

This isn't in the manual: hold down 'LF' (line feed) button while powering on the printer, and you'll get a two part self-test. Here's part one...

...and here's part 2 of the self test. A font listing.

This is 'catch up' mode, when it hasn't checked for a while. It then waits for a minute and prints whatever is new since it last checked (usually 2 or 3 updates).


More info:

This has to happen.


Tom T, I'm looking at you (and me). I'll find the space.

A random selection of MPs expenses, printed out as a receipt of their claims

The terrifying thing is that each one of these flimsy pieces of paper represents £100,000+ of claims.


And the box is over-spilling.

... but one copy is not like the other. A copy of Cory Doctorow's Makers printed out on two rolls of till receipt paper.

I was looking around for a suitable test image to try out on the Citizen CBM 1000 thermal receipt printer. It has to be a pure black and white bit-map, and 432 pixels wide. I realised that one of my PCB designs, suitably scaled, would be ideal. The paper I'm using is only 58mm wide, with blue thermal ink, and at least 20 years old. It'll work even better when I have an 80mm roll of new thermal paper with black ink.

Breadboard hooked up to arduino, hooked up to ethernet shield hooked up to Citizen CBM-231 receipt printer.

Each receipt represented on average £150,000 of expenses claims. When the printer got jammed at this point, I was too taken aback at the scale of it to want to continue the print.

The smallest computer I've ever programmed for, the Arduino Duemilanove. This has the Ethernet Shield mounted on top so I can do some network programming.


The first thing I'm planning to do with it is something similar to Tom Taylor's Microprinter.

What you need when doing electronics is a professional, well managed, tidy workspace

A Citizen CBM 1000 thermal till receipt printer connected (via RS-232) to the PC. The thermal paper must be 20 years old at least; it's from a junk-box and was probably intended for use with HP calculator printers. It has blue thermal ink instead of the more usual black, and is 57mm wide. The printer can accept either 57mm or 80mm paper rolls.


UPDATE: I now have some end-of-roll paper that I got from FreeCycle; it's 80mm wide and prints black, so I'll do some more tests and photos.


I know very little about electronics, but the MAX232 chip speaks the language of TTL, and RS232, meaning I my Arduino can speak to the printer.


Inspired by Tom Taylor’s Microprinter.

The strip on the top shows the same image printed 3 times at the lower resolution (67x101dpi)


The two images at the bottom were printed at the higher resolution (203x203dpi)

Showing the general scheme of things: netbook sending bytes over a USB serial to an arduino, which used the SoftwareSerial library to send signals to a CBM 1000 printer. A MAX232N chip was used to convert between RS232/TTL serial connection voltages..

All you need for an evening's electronics: a dualit toaster box, a buddha, a kids milk cup...

An Arduino speaking to a receipt printer (a Citizen CBM-231).


Inspired by Tom Taylor’s Microprinter.

Using the AWC RS-1 serial adapter. Need to plug into a PC to test the max232 interface, and then modify the rs-1 to face the printer instead of a PC. Still, this board might make the microprinter a little easier to deal with.

An overview of the whole thing.


I’ll post code, schematics, and pin–outs sometime soon.


Inspired by Tom Taylor’s Microprinter.