Acorn JP-150 bubble inkjet printer (ABJ01)

Launched in 1991 as part of the A5000 Learning Curve bundle, the Acorn JP-150 bubble inkjet printer is a rebadged Olivetti JP150 as at the time of production, Olivetti owned Acorn Computers Ltd.

The Acorn JP-150 bubble inkjet printer

The printer connects to a suitable computer via a parallel port connection and delivers manual feed single sheet black and white printing. An multi-page, auto sheet feeder was available for the printer as an add-on peripheral to the printer which allowed for easier printing of large documents.

Paper Feed

Unusually, the printer accepts blank sheets from the front of the printer and collates the document on the rear tray which is the reverse of most modern inkjet printers.

The Acorn JP-150 with the feed tray open

Collation tray

The Acorn JP-150 tray

Configuration

The printer has several fonts built in and can be extended with a special cartridge containing more fonts as an optional extra. All of the settings for the printer are configured by a set of tabs that run across the inside of the printer which are hidden away behind a beige strip that runs across the width of the printer. The meaning for each tab is set out in the paper insert which is affixed to the underside of the printer cover. 

Changing the default settings on the printer

Other config settings

There are other settings that may need to be configured in order to print out correctly on the BBC Micro and Archimedes computers when printing out raw program listings where a line of code exceeds the 80 character width that the printer uses with the default font settings.

The printer has a configuration setting called "Wrap Around" which configures how it deals with lines that exceed 80 characters in length. By default the Wrap Around setting is off however it can be enabled by issuing the following VDU command which sends a printer control sequence to the printer.

VDU 2,1,27,1,38,1,115,1,48,1,67

The above command sends the control sequence ESC &s0C to the printer which enables the Wrap Around option. The command sequence to disable the Wrap Around option is ESC &s1C and can be sent to the printer using the command sequence below.

VDU 2,1,27,1,38,1,115,1,49,1,67

These two command sequences make use of the VDU 1 and VDU 2 commands. The VDU2 command enables the printer and the VDU 1 command sends the next value in the sequence directly to the printer as a character code which results in the control codes of 27, 38, 115, 48/49 and 67 being sent to the printer to execute the matching control sequence.

After the control sequence has been issued, a LIST command can be issued to LIST the program and spool it to the printer.

Once printing has completed, issuing a VDU 3 command disables the printer.

Cartridges

The cartridges for the JP-150 must be Olivetti FPJ20 compatible and they are still widely available due to the fact that they were used in multiple printers and fax machines over the years. The cartridges are self contained and include the print head which means that these printers are extremely reliable due to the fact that the print head is changed when the cartridge is changed.

Olivetti FPJ20 ink-jet cartridge (sealed)

The Olivetti FPJ20 cartridge

The Olivetti FPJ20 cartridge showing the connections for the print head