My QMS-PS 810 printer
I am the happy owner of a QMS-PS 810 printer, which is based on a Canon SX
print engine as used by among others, the Canon LBP 8 II and HP LaserJet
2 printers. This page is a collection of links and information about that
printer. I have owned my PS 810 since 1995. The printer seems to be from
1989. As per april 1998 it has printed about 77000 pages.
If you have comments or additions to this page, please mail me on
I have had some questions from readers about finding a driver for the
QMS-PS 810 for their operating system.
The good news for those that can't find a driver,
is that there are many drivers that are compatible with the
First: For any of this to work, make sure that the dial on the back of
the printer is on the PostScript setting. See below
Here are some driver names that you may find in your operating system:
- "Generic PostScript printer"
- "Apple LaserWriter" (this should be in all versions of Windows)
If any one has packages with a driver (the files necessary) for a specific
operating system, I will be happy to host it here and place a link to it.
On Unix (including Linux, Solaris, *BSD...), you should treat this
printer as a PostScript printer. That
means that you do not need GhostScript or similar utilities to print
PostScript documents. If you want to print text files you do, however,
need a converter that will format the file to PostScript. E.g.:
Tips on using the QMS-PS 810
Emulations and interfaces (the dial on the back)
The PS 810 can run HP-LJ emulation as well as postscript. It has three
interface connectors: Centronics, RS232C and AppleTelk. The dial on the
back selects the interface and
selected emulation. Here are some
||RS232C, 1200 baud, parity ignored, XON/XOFF
||RS232C, 9600 baud, parity ignored, XON/XOFF
According to QMS it is not possible to use the RS232 and AppleTalk
interfaces at the same time. But the Centronics and RS232 interfaces may
be connected to one host each using the dial to select the interface you
want. Set the dial back to setting 0 before selecting anything new, QMS
instructs. I have'nt verifyed this however.
(Source for the above information was QMS
FAQ Database Search article 7007.
But it's no longer available.)
Disabling the start page
The start page is handy if you don't turn your printer on and off very
often, but it's not if you use it at home and turns it off after every
use. It's possible to disable the page by sending this little peice of
PostScript to the printer:
serverdict begin 0 exitserver
I assume that you just change 'false' to 'true' to reenable the start page.
How to do this:
- On Windows:
- Open Notepad. Enter the above code (e.g. by copy+paste from your web
browser), and save it in a file, e.g.
Open a command window (DOS-box) and type: COPY C:\DISABLESTART.PS LPT1:
(assuming that your printer is connected to LPT1).
- On Unix:
- On the shell command line type:
$ cat | lpr
serverdict begin 0 exitserver
If your printer is not on the default printer queue ('lp'), then add a
"-Pqueue-name" to the lpr command above.
(Source for the above information was a QMS FAQ Database Search article 7015.
But it's no longer available.)
The problem with the PS 810 from a DIY-addict's point of view is that it
does'nt have a display to show error messages. It has four LEDs on the
front panel, and that seems to be all the information one can get from
it. You can find out a little more if you connect a terminal to the RS232C
port and set the interface dial to 1. You can try send a document to the
printer this way and see what it responds. Unfortunately, the response
is usually limited to a postscript message indicating that the printer
The problems I have experienced with my printer is:
Here's a DejaNews link to the thread
with my comp.periphs.printers posting
in 1998 following my problems
(interesting to see how long this link stays active?).
For other diagrams, try SX
Assembly Location Diagrams at The Printer Works.
Spare parts are easy to find. On the Internet try The
Printer Works - SX Parts Catalog
. The part numbers they use are the
official Canon part numbers, so you can use them too if you order from
your local Canon representative or laser printer repair company.
The Printer Works - Laser Printers
"The Source of Sources for or HP LaserJet and other Canon engine-based
printers". I don't know if they are right, but it's true that they have
everything for repairing your QMS-PS 810. And they even sell refurbished
ones if you want one.
QMS FAQ Database Search
810 and PS 820 - information by The Printer Works on the PS 810.
- SX Parts Catalog - Welcome - print engine spare parts catalog. Select
the QMS-PS 810 in the Model-box and click the search button.
QMS does'nt support the PS
810 any more, but they have a FAQ database with answers to a few questions
regarding this printer. Try entering "PS 810" in the search box and see
what it comes up with. I find articles 7007 (about the dial on the back
that selects the different emulations and interfaces) and 7015 (about disabling
the startup page) particularly interesting. But that's about the height,
there's no technical manuals.
An apparantly complete transcript of the manual.
Pilchuk Laser Printer Repair
Pilchuks FAQ page can help solve some of the problems you may encounter
with a Canon based printer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
These are questions actually asked by readers of this page.
Feel free to provide both questions and answers.
- What toner's can be used?
- Toner for HP LJ II and IID can be used. Here are some part numbers from different suppliers:
- I just got the printer plugged up and connected to the PC. I'm using a Paralle Centronics Cable. When I print, I get crap...like for a 1 page output...I end up getting 7 or 8 pages of stuff. I have the printer set to #6 which is HP emulation mode.
- It's probably because you are using a post script printer driver to
print with, like the QMS PS-810 driver on Windows. If you set the dial to HP
emulation, then you must use a HP driver. Set the dial to #4
instead (see table above).
- What is the life expectancy and/or duty cycle that this printer is capable of?
The SX engines are very sturdy, sources I have been in contact with indicate
that it can run many hundred thousand pages.
- Why does the printer wait for some time between printing pages?
- It is because the PostScript processor in the printer is slow
(compared to modern ones).
It depends on the contents of the
page how long time it takes for the processor to format it. Word documents
with no images usually print quite quickly (about 2 or 3 pages a minute).
A full page image (e.g. a full page scan) takes about 10-15 minutes.
You'll have to live with it :-)
- Where do I find drivers for it?
- See above
- How do I disable the start page
- See above
In January 2002, Scott McDade
Thank you for the informational page on the PS810. The printer has served me
faithfully for over 10 years, but I was thinking of replacing it until I
read over your page and realized what an old treasure it really is. I'm
going to try eliminating the start page with your directions.
... somewhere north of Seattle, Washington, USA
In november 2000, Salli wrote:
What a blast ... that was absolutely my FAVOURITE printer of all time -
the PS810. Solidly built, honest and reliable. So glad yours is still
I sold mine when I got a QMS 1660 A3 which isn't of the same calibre but
is still better than HP or others available.
I REALLY MISS my 810.
How's yours still going?
Keep it as long as you can. It's a little like the original IBM computers
which were built solidly ... or a washing machine that has metal and not
Loved seeing this web page ....
Salli (in Western Australia)