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Old 17-07-2017, 08:20   #1
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Printers on Board

OK , Obviously a printer is not a must have but I keep thinking it would be nice. I'm just wondering who has what, and what works for you. Longevity, form factor, and consumables, that kind of thing. Sorry I thought I remembered a forum on 12 volt vs 120 volt printers but couldn't find it. this is a bit different anyway.
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Old 17-07-2017, 08:32   #2
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Re: Printers on Board

We had one. Lasted about 6 months.
Now I go ashore and print stuff. Much cheaper in the long run.
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Old 17-07-2017, 09:21   #3
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Re: Printers on Board

Epson XP-630 is holding up well. Cheap and small, but there are others.

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Old 17-07-2017, 11:33   #4
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Re: Printers on Board

Ditto MarkJ ...

We had a printer on board for a while. Got used by friends more than us. Used it so infrequently, the ink kept drying up. Finally gave it away. Glad to have the space it used to occupy. Never had a marina refuse (or charge) to print a few pages, and internet cafes abound, at least in Mexico where we cruise.
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Old 17-07-2017, 12:20   #5
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Re: Printers on Board

Odd, I was just thinking about this last night. Not that I'm going to rush out and buy one, but I'm drawing up plans for cabinetry projects and it occurred to me that if I do ever need a printer/scanner/copier on board, it might be nice to mount it on the inside of a flip-down door, possibly with an office supply organizer behind. So a cabinet would have to be made big enough for this possibility. Possibly one of the shallow spaces behind the settee backs.

But as noted above, seldom-used inkjet printers tend to dry up, sometimes fatally. I've also had problems with ink cartridges that my Mom stockpiled - some printers can read the date on the cartridge and reject any that are too old, even if they're still sealed.

How would it actually be used? Print out weatherfax and chart details, or rely on on-screen viewing? Occasional snail mail? Log book pages? I've seen YouTube videos where the sailing protagonists had to print out a dozen copies of ships papers and permits to enter certain countries. But what are the chances of ever going to one of those places?

It's not that a printer is a big financial risk, but the stowage space is precious. Anyway, I'll look up some dimensions and leave a printer-shaped space somewhere, just in case.
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Old 17-07-2017, 12:36   #6
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Re: Printers on Board

Another thing to consider, some of the printer cartridges are country specific so getting replacements if you are travelling is a pain I know quite a few people who just buy a new printer when the cartridge finishes

On the very rare occasion we need a printer we go ashore
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Old 17-07-2017, 12:49   #7
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Re: Printers on Board

"Ink" cartridges are notorious for drying up if not used often. The printers are cheap but they make it up in the consumables.


There used to be portable dot matrix (impact) printers but I don't know if they are still in production.


A decent laser printer can be had for about $100 but just as with the ink jet printers, the lower initial cost is balanced by the higher cost of consumables.
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Old 17-07-2017, 13:57   #8
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Re: Printers on Board

It's not the ink drying up so much as all those little micro connections with open faces subject to corrision.

Have a look at the back of the ink cartridge, there's half a dozen of them that must all exactly connect with the ones on the printer.
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Old 17-07-2017, 14:20   #9
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Re: Printers on Board

I have been thinking about an all in one myself, just in case we had to make copies of ships papers etc. I have in the past when traveling in Central America had to run around trying to find some place to make copies and it was a pain, and we had a car, without a car it would have been a real pain.

So far I have had no corrosion issues on the boat, which has surprised me, but I do use silicone grease on almost everything that I can, USB connections etc.
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Old 17-07-2017, 14:40   #10
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Re: Printers on Board

Most printers barely work on land, let alone at sea.

You could consider a small A4 thermal printer. Something like the Brother PocketJet, but it's not cheap.
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Old 17-07-2017, 14:47   #11
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Re: Printers on Board

my printing is to PDF and conveyed via email. When I want to do a "project" I use the screen on the monitor on board or can take a tablet to the shop etc. If someone else is fabricating something for me.... let THEM print the PDF... that's what we do as architects... or keep a "screen" on the job which can be zoomed way in as needed.
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Old 17-07-2017, 15:14   #12
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Re: Printers on Board

We have used a Cannon Pixma IP 100 for years... keep it in an old flare case that fits perfectly. We find the Cannon cart's (at least for this printer) don'' seem to dry out as quickly as others (Epson, HP). There are newer ones that are wireless but using a USB cord works fine for us. This is the newer model: https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-Mobi...+ip100+printer
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Old 17-07-2017, 15:24   #13
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Re: Printers on Board

You know what's not on https://www.12volt-travel.com/ ??

Printers.

HP even makes a spare power supply that does 12v, but I'm having a heck of a time finding actual information about which printers are 12v.
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Old 17-07-2017, 16:09   #14
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Re: Printers on Board

FWIW, we've had a HP 1310 all in one on board for nearly a decade now, and (touching wood quietly) it still works. Has outlasted several laptops. Do get cartridge dry-up now and then, but a short dip in boiling water fixes that in most cases. Have refilled them a few times... messy but much less expensive than new. Been through 2 1/2 reams of paper now, so it has done some work.

We use it as a copier a lot, and use the scanner to try and reduce document storage on board, sometimes print chartlets from OPCN, etc.. All in all, a very useful device for a long term cruiser who does not spend much time in marinas, etc. We power it from a mod sine wave inverter without issues. No corrosion issues at all...

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Old 17-07-2017, 16:31   #15
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Re: Printers on Board

Quote:
Originally Posted by toddster8 View Post
I've seen YouTube videos where the sailing protagonists had to print out a dozen copies of ships papers and permits to enter certain countries. But what are the chances of ever going to one of those places?
Those chance are pretty high, for some of us...

Another use case is when flying out. Budget airlines often require that flight documents be printed in advance.

Some airports will not even let you get in the main door without documents in hand.

Some countries will not allow entry unless you have a return ticket. A printed one is best, if questioned.

I'm scanning documents quite frequently ... e.g. for asking advice about technical matters.

Registration and insurance documents need copying from time to time.

There are ad-hoc solutions to most of this, but I know a printer or all-in-one would be useful.
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