A dot-matrix printer is a printer that uses needles striking a colour ribbon (often black or blue) to print text and graphics in matrix printing on paper. It is available from about 7 needles or pins, popular in the home computer sector in the 1980s were the printer models with 8 or 9 pins, and a little later with 24 pins.
The following printer modes are available:
- Draft (normal computer mode) - fast printing mode, single printing, often with lower pins, e.g. 8 or 9 pins.
- NLQ (Near Letter Quality) - double printing than in draft mode
- LQ (Letter Quality) (only up at 24 pins or more)
Some dot-matrix printers has additional adjustable or built-in fonts (or character sets; e.g. Courier, Pica, Elite, Prestige-Elite, ITC-Souvenir, Bold-P.S.Times-P.S., Hevelette P.S, Draft-Gothic, Sans Serif, Roman) or font formatting such as big letters, wide font, bold, italics (cursive), underline, strikethrough, condensed, expanded, emphasized, superscript, subscript, shadow, outlined or lombination. Also the character pitch and line spacing could be adjusted.
- Low susceptibility to faults
- Low costs
- Possibility to create carbon copies
- Printing of graphics also possible
- Usability of continuous paper and also heavy paper
- High noise level during printing
- Poor resolution
- Long side pressure duration
Models of dot-matrix printers
Popular dot-matrix printers for the C64 are:
- FX-80 (many printers and programs are compatibility to Epson "FX-80"), JX-80 (MPS 1550 C)
- SL 80-VC 24, GP-700A, SP-180VC, SP-800, SP-1000VC, SP-1200VC
- Oki Microline 182, Okimate 20, NEC P6, NEC P2200