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Ribbon Trailer Sensor

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244558D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-21
Document File: 6 page(s) / 1M

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention is directed to ribbon sensors within a media processing device. Media processing devices may use ribbons for transfer printing, direct thermal printing, laminating, etc. The use of ribbons generally requires sensors to detect the ribbon presence and to detect various characteristics of the ribbon. However, these sensors can add undesirable complexity and cost to media processing devices.

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Ribbon Trailer Sensor

    The present invention is directed to ribbon sensors within a media processing device. Media processing devices may use ribbons for transfer printing, direct thermal printing, laminating, etc. The use of ribbons generally requires sensors to detect the ribbon presence and to detect various characteristics of the ribbon. However, these sensors can add undesirable complexity and cost to media processing devices.

    Embodiments of the present invention described herein are designed to eliminate ribbon sensor calibration, eliminate the snap plate from media processing devices, sense all colored ribbons, and improve ribbon loading. According to embodiments of the present invention, two sensors are required:

1. Ribbon Present Sensor - Designed to detect the presence of uncoated ribbon base material and will therefore sense any colored ribbon.

2. Trailer Detect Sensor - Designed to sense the metallized ribbon trailer indicating the end of the ribbon.

    The ribbon present sensor may be an optical transmission sensor that detects path attenuation from ribbon surface reflection losses. The ribbon present sensor may be insensitive to ribbon vertical or angular position and insensitive to ambient light. The ribbon present sensor may be a stabilized LED circuit and/or may include a phototransistor.

    The ribbon trailer sensor may include an electromagnetic loss sensor. The sensor may include a Colpitts-type oscillator with split high-Q coil. In such an embodiment, oscillations cease due to losses in trailer material. The ribbon trailer sensor may be insensitive to ribbon v...