To identify the ribbon color in a cassette, an iButton (ribbon identification chip) has to be used. This iButton contains information about the ribbon’s color formulation and transfer energy, necessary for printing. The iButton also keeps track of the amount of ribbon available. The iButtons are color-coded for easy identification.
Due to general electronic component shortage, iButtons became available in small quantities.
As a measure to avoid shortage of iButtons, we decided to enable the reuse of a used iButton.
This requires a change in the firmware of the printer/cutter.
It may be necessary to upgrade the firmware of the printer/cutter.
Depending on the machine type, a different firmware version needs to be used:
This new firmware no longer uses the information about the available ribbon remaining stored in the iButton. The firmware assumes when more than 90% of ribbon is available, a new ribbon is used, and will therefore feed ribbon about the size of the blank leader. The detection of the amount of ribbon is done when loading the cassette in the cassette store of the machine, and when starting the machine.