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 Post subject: Alphapat question
PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2008 6:51 am 
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Does anyone know, if I bought an alphapat at one location, and purchased an Intermec printer and downloaded my logo driver onto the printer, would it work with the alphapat?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 10:46 am 
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Location: Cornwall
Hi Matt, welcome to the forum.

I’m not overly knowledgeable when it comes to PAT accessories, however I did have a chat with one of the technical guys at Metrel UK concerning another matter, and mentioned the AlphaPAT and printer compatibility to him.

He told me that they supply their own printer (ATEK1020) and the AlphaPAT is pre-configured to use it, he was unsure if any other printer would work.

If you Google ATEK1020 you should get a link to a UK supplier, they may be able to help you out further or answer your question in more detail.

Sorry I couldn’t be of more help on this matter, perhaps someone else looking at the forum will have more knowledge on this subject.

Carl

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2008 11:47 am 
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Hi Matt - I am not sure what country you are from - but the ability for the Metrel AlphaPAT to print with an Intermec Printer is not straight forward.

Firstly, in order to be able to use this printer you need to have the correct firmware in your AlphaPAT. The Intermec Printer was set up by our company, Metrotest.Com Ltd in New Zealand.

Work was undertaken with both Metrel and Intermec to make this a working system, which will print tough rugged vinyl tags on a thermal transfer printer and took quite a while.

The UK do not seem to be into printing tough rugged labels straight from the PAT to printer. At the moment in the UK they use a normal mini printer which is not at all the same.

This ability has always been available with all PAT Testers on the market. The difference with the Thermal Transfer printer like the PC4 from Intermec, is that it has a chip in it and drivers are sent to the printer, telling it what to do with the information from the PAT, e.g. to print a pass or fail label etc. Once this has been set up, a password is then required for the AlphaPAT to talk to the PC4.

If you would like more information, then please email me at help@metrotest.com. You may be interest to know that Metrel have finally cottoned on to the idea of having a proper tag printer (not just a mini printer), and we have helped with the development of a really nice little rugged printer from Printek, which will be released with the new BetaPAT MI3304 when it comes out early next year.

This printer is significantly smaller than a PC4 and is a direct thermal printer (e.g. uses special stock which reacts with heat to form the impression) instead of a thermal transfer printer which has labels and a ribbon.

The disadvantage to this is that at present, the labels will not be as tough as the PC4, but again we are working on this area and are making real progress to making the tags much stronger and less affected by heat/light exposure.

The size of the printer is a real bonus though - again it is extremely durable and we have high hopes for it.

Hope this helps.

http://www.metrotest.com


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 Post subject: Re: Alphapat question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:01 pm
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Location: New Zealand
matt wrote:
Does anyone know, if I bought an alphapat at one location, and purchased an Intermec printer and downloaded my logo driver onto the printer, would it work with the alphapat?
Intermec uses EPL printer language
and any printer that uses EPL should work. I have sucessfully used a Zebra 2844 with only minor changes to the form that was downloaded to the printer. Hope this helps.


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 Post subject: Re: Alphapat question
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:26 am 
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Just to touch base - the TEK1020 is a mini printer - this is not the same as a tough label printer. This were where printers started at 10 years ago and with some testers like Avo PAT4 are still there. Seaward's own Test & Tag printers use tough labels if thermal transfer and if direct thermal then the labels will be far less robust and more vulnerable to the environment but still real labels and not a print out.


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 Post subject: Re: Alphapat question
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2008 12:49 pm
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clive wrote:
matt wrote:
Does anyone know, if I bought an alphapat at one location, and purchased an Intermec printer and downloaded my logo driver onto the printer, would it work with the alphapat?
Intermec uses EPL printer language
and any printer that uses EPL should work. I have sucessfully used a Zebra 2844 with only minor changes to the form that was downloaded to the printer. Hope this helps.


Any printer with EPL language will work is correct - however due to the time put in to making this idea work, you need a printer password to be entered into the PAT to make it work with the printer - so without this it still will not work.


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 Post subject: Re: Alphapat question
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 10:40 am
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I know this topic is quite old, but I use the AlphaPat and have just started thinking about getting a printer for it (which is why I stumbled over this thread). Any advice or recomendations?


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 Post subject: Re: Alphapat question
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:25 am 
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Posts: 102
Location: Leeton, NSW Australia
Hi Barkelectrical,

Whatever printer you use it should be able to print out tough vinyl labels for ongoing durability, especially protection from UV light as mentioned by Metrotest. You should also consider a clear vinyl overlay for adittional "rough house" or hostile environment use giving added protection.

I also run the AlphaPat with an integrated/connected Intermec P4 printer supplied by Metrotest (New Zealand) through A1 Testing and Tagging in Melbourne, Australia. Your decision to use a printer is a sound move as it saves on having to hand write labels and the print out is readable. The unit is not small, ie pocket size, however, Metrotest and A1 have now developed a smaller printer that prints out the same type of label. The integrated unit, printer and Alphapat, was demonstrated at the Sydney (Australia) Safety Show in October 2010.

From reading the above fourum comments and discussions with both Metrotest and A1 the connection of a printer is not as simple as purchasing a new printer to connect to your PC or laptop.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Glenfer


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:30 pm 
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barkelectrical wrote:
I know this topic is quite old, but I use the AlphaPat and have just started thinking about getting a printer for it (which is why I stumbled over this thread). Any advice or recomendations?

I can't offer much information on this subject as i have never used one of these printers, however as mentioned pairing a Portable Printer with a PAT Tester is not a matter of purchasing "any old" printer, most if not all PAT Testers will only print to units provided by the PAT Manufacturer or units that have been specially developed to work with the PAT tester.

You may also want to find out if the printer also requires specific consumables and media (labels), you may find that only consumables or media purchased from the PAT manufacturer will work, even though the printer is based on a standard Epson for instance.

Im not sure how popular this solution is in the UK, I know that various printers can be purchased through some online and store based PAT Testing Specialists in the UK, however it’s not something that our users are enquiring about on a regular basis.

I would say most PAT Testers I talk to in the UK ask about Pre Printed PAT Labels or Blank PAT Labels as a solution to Labelling and Identifying Portable Appliances.

Various companies specialise in providing PAT Label solutions, with Pre Printed PAT Labels being very popular. These will generally have a Unique Appliance ID (including the Appliance ID in Bar Code format) and Your Company Name / Contact Number printed on them, you then need to fill in the Date and add your initials if required by pen.

If setup as a consecutive run, the Pre Printed PAT Labels will also mean that every Portable Appliance you PAT Test will have a Unique Appliance ID, this is critical where traceability is concerned, and also important when entering the Appliance into a Database such as SimplyPats as computers like things to have unique id’s.

If you are using SimplyPats Version 6, you may also want to look at the software’s built in Print PAT Label feature available from the File Menu under Tools > Print PAT Labels. To use this feature you will need the Label Templates, which are available from us on request, and you will also need blank label stock.

This feature basically allows you to purchase selected blank PAT Labels on rolls or A4 sheets and overprint various information using SimplyPats, this may be used for creating new PAT Labels for a new job or you can load an existing PAT Data file to print labels for all or just selected appliances, ideal if returning for a new round of PAT Testing.

Obviously all solutions will have pros/cons and ongoing costs which you may want to consider.

Carl


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