Setting Up Your Sato CL4NX Printer
The Sato CL4NX UHF RFID Printer is a universal, industrial RFID label printer that has intuitive menu navigation and full color interactive LCD. If your application is need of an RFID printer, the Sato CL4NX is a great choice, but like many RFID printers – setting it up can be a tedious process if you do not have previous experience calibrating printers.
In order to make the process easy and get the application up and moving quickly, this video walks you through the following:
– Turning the printer on
– Placing the ribbon in the printer
– Placing the RFID tags in the printer correctly
– Correct positioning the sensors
– Calibrating the printer
[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW]
Hey guys! Today we are going to walk through all of the steps that involved with setting up the Sato CL4NX to print and encode RFID tags.
First, we are going to set up the Sato CL4NX printer with all of the necessary components to print and encode our tags. Then, we are going to walk through the process of calibrating printer for a specific tag.
In order to properly setup your printer for use with RFID tags, you will need the following components:
- Tags – Today we are using the Smartrac Dogbone tags with the R6 IC.
- Printer Ribbon – we are using the Zebra High Performance Resin ribbon.
First, you will want to connect the printer to power and turn it on. The CL4NX has a power switch on the front of the printer.
Loading Ribbon and Tags
Next, we will install the printer ribbon. The installation of the printer ribbon differs from printer to printer, but for this printer, the ribbon will spool from its position here, underneath the printer head, and up to the ribbon roller. Simply tape the ribbon to the ribbon roller and roll it back a few times to make the ribbon sit tight against the print head.
Now we will setup our tags to feed through the printer. The tag reel sits on the rod in the far back of the printer, and this piece needs to be moved so that it sits tight against the reel. The tags will then feed underneath the shelf here, and will need to be fed into this gap here.
The guide here is used to keep the tags from sliding, and this sensor that sits above the tags is used for calibration. Once this is done, the tags can be fed on through to the printer head.
Before we close the print head and perform a printer calibration, we will need to position the calibration sensors. Typically, the sensors will need to be positioned so that it lines up with the part of the tag’s inlay that has the widest surface area. This will differ from tag to tag, but here are some examples.
For paper faced tags, the laser can typically be placed anywhere on the left side of the tag. The laser will be able to tell the difference between the tag itself and the gap in between the tags.
For poly-faced tags, where the inlay of the tags can be seen, the laser will need to line up with the widest part of the inlay. This way, the laser can tell the difference between the inlay and the gap in between each inlay.
Once the ribbon and tags have been loaded into the printer and the calibration laser has been set, we can close the print head and move on to calibrating the printer for these tags.
Calibrating the Printer
Next, we will configure the printer to work with the tags that we have selected.
To access the printer’s menus, make sure to select the button for “Offline” mode. Pressing the “Enter” button brings us to the main menu of the printer, where we can configure the printer’s settings. The menu can be navigated using the directional buttons here, and options can be selected using the “Play/Pause” button. To go back to a previous screen, select the “Back” button.
First, navigate to the “Printer” menu option and press “Enter” to see the printer settings. Press the “Down” button until the Sensor Type option is selected and press the “Right” button to open the sensor options. Use the directional arrows to select the Gap option, and press the top button below the check mark to select this option. This allows the printer to use the calibration laser to find the length of the tags by finding the area in between the tags.
Next, press the “Back” to get to the settings again and use the “Down” arrow to select the Print Mode setting and select the Continuous option, using the same process as above. Additionally, select the None option for Backfeed. After these options have been set, we can setup the RFID settings for our printer.
Select the “Back” button a few times to go back to the main menu, and then navigate over to the “Interface” menu option and press “Enter”. Navigate to the RFID option and open it to see all of the settings for RFID tag printing. This screen allows the user to input specific RFID read/write values, as well as set the Antenna Pitch needed for a specific tag. For the Sato printer, each type of tag has a specific set of values that need to be input here in order for the printer to be able to print and encode that tag. These settings can be found in the document that comes with the printer.
Once these settings have been set, we can close the printer head and perform a quick media calibration by pressing the pause button on the printer. This function will feed the tags through the printer and will use the calibration sensor to find the tags.
Once this calibration is finished, press the “Feed” button a few times and ensure that an entire tag is fed through each time it is pressed. If only part of the tag or more than one tag is fed through, this media calibration will need to be tried again. If the problem persists, adjust the calibration sensor and try again.
That concludes our video on setting up the Sato CL4NX printer. Thanks for taking the time to walk through these steps with us. For information on all things RFID, check out our blog or our RFID resources page. And as always, if you have any questions at all, send us an email or give us a call.