Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Ribbon Out' Error on xi Series Zebra Printers

There are a few causes of this error:
  • Dirty or defective sensor
  • Opague ribbon in use
  • LED intensity too great
Check the ribbon sensor located on the left side just behind the printhead (printhead open).  Assure the eyes are clean.  Install the upper media guide plate.  It is the removable plate that is placed on the media deck with the rise stamped on the left side.  Many user remove this plate since labels jam underneath it.  Perform the voltage calibration.  This should calibrate the printer for the ribbon and media used.  If this fails, try it again.  If this procedure fails repeatedly, then check the feature 'Ribbon LED'.  Assure it is in the range of 45 - 65.  if not, set it there.  If this does not correct the error and the Ribbon LED keeps resetting itself at a high value, then the ribbon sensor is most likely faulty.

There is one other cause of this error.  In some cases,  the media sensor wires may become worn creating a voltage short to the frame.  Fuse 1 on the main logic board will blow.  This issue is quite common in later models of xi-Series and SL printers.  The printer will continue to display 'Ribbon Out' and 'Paper Out' until the fuse is replaced.

Thunderbird Technical Services experience and record of troubleshooting and printer repair is a model for the industry.  Thunderbird technicians are factory trained on Zebra High Performance, PAX, and Midrange printers.  95% of all calls are completed on the first visit.  80% of all calls involving a faulty main logic board or power supply can be repaired on-site at the board level.    It is for this reason Thunderbird Technical Services has a high customer retention rate.  Call us for efficient, effective, and affordable service on the Zebra High Performance (xi), PAX Print Engine, and Industrial (midrange) printers listed below.
  • Zebra Performance Printers (Z-110xi4, Z-140xi4, Z110xi3Plus, Z-140xi3Plus, Z170xi4, Z-170xi3Plus, Z-220xi4, Z-220xi3Plus, Z-90xi3Plus)
  • Zebra Industrial Printers (S4M, ZM400, ZM600, Z4M, Z6M, Z-105sl, Z-4000, Z-6000, TLP2746e, Stripe)
  • Zebra Print Engines (170PAX4, 110PAX4, 170PAX3, 110PAX3, 170PAX2, PAX172, PAX173)

Subscribe to our newsletter and view our free Barcode Printer Troubleshooting Guide as a quick reference to fix common problems associated with Zebra and other barcode printers. What appears to be a broken printer can be fixed quickly using this guide. It is viewable in Adobe Format and can be searched by symptom. And, we'll keep you in the loop on any developements specific to your printer.

Contact Information

Telephone: 513-659-1067
Fax: 781-459-6570
Mailing Address: PO Box 23, Batavia, OH 45103-0023
Service E-mail:


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Nice post with great details. I am in search of printer that can be able to use for Plastic card printing purpose. Where i can get the best one?

  3. Nice post. Here you provide some valuable points about company it's really nice. I like your post. Thank you for sharing................

    Zebra Card Printer Supplies

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  5. Great information about Printer Repair....thanks for posting this blog..

  6. Thanks for sharing this post. I really like and appreciate your blog post.Much thanks again. Want more printer technical support .