It’s so dirty!

I can’t imagine there are many people that are going to recognize what this is. We are firmly back in the HP classic gear area, and this is a really oddball part. But I found the image rather interesting, so we’re going with it. Double-points if you had any idea what it is. If you didn’t, scroll for the reveal.

Even the reveal requires some explanation. What you are looking at is a print head from a 2932/2934 series printer. These are impact printers that were introduced in 1983. They were workhorses, but not exactly speedy about getting that work done.

Both of them could print at 200 characters per second, and the 2934 included a ‘letter quality’ option that further cut that down to 67 characters per second.

They were one of the longer lasting printers HP made, thanks to their design and simplicity. It is rather simple to take them apart and refurbish them with new foam wheels for the rollers and sensor. They were very popular as a replacement for Ruggedwriters. Ruggedwriters… I could tell you stories about Ruggedwriters…

Another interesting detail. These printers had no screens for setup. Instead, you would print the menu on your paper, then move the printhead to the section of the menu you wanted, and work through the menu that way. So, for example, if you wanted to change your baud rate, you would move the printhead to baud rate and press enter. The printer would print all the possible choices and you would move the printer to your selection and press enter to confirm the setting.

The printhead we are looking at is actually an old failed unit that was replaced. What appears to be dirt and grime on the head is build up of ink from miles of ribbon rolling across the head.

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