HP 2932A Dot Matrix Printer

  HP 2932A Dot Matrix Printer 


This document provides basic information on printer setup and use for the HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers (called 293X for short) which are HP's 12-pin dot matrix impact printers introduced in October 1983. The primary hosts were HP mainframes and terminals. On October 31, 1993, the HP 2934A, the last of the 293X printers, became the final printer in this series to be discontinued. The support life for the 293X printers ended November 1, 1998. This means that HP will no longer repair these printers and does not have spare parts available.

This document contains important product information about the HP 2932a Dot Matrix printer.

Printer operation
A printer owner's manual is necessary for operating the HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers. One manual covers operation of all three HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers.

Print speed

200 cps (2932A, -33A, -34A) or 67 cps and 40 cps (2933A and 2934A with supplemental font cartridge)

Common interfaces

RS-232-C, RS-422, Centronics parallel, and HP-IB

Printer operation
PC connect issues

NOTE:HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers were not designed to connect to IBM PCs or compatibles. This configuration is not supported by HP; however, with proper cabling and system configuration with both PC and printer, you may be able to get simple text output. Results will vary by application.

Several issues need to be considered when connecting HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers to an IBM PC or compatible:
  • Connecting to an IBM PC or compatible requires a Serial interface or Centronics interface on the printer and PC.
    Recommended HP cablingSerialParallel
    Input/output jackRS-232CCentronics-Type
    Cabling24542G for 9-pin port

    13242H for 25-pin port

  • Driver availability: although the HP 2932A, 2933A, or 2934A printers are able to establish electrical connectivity with PCs through proper cabling, there are no known printer drivers available for common DOS applications and there are no printer specific drivers for Windows available from Microsoft (R) or HP. "Generic," "Standard," "Unlisted," or plain "ASCII text" printer drivers may work as an alternative in some applications. The printers are programmable within a programming language like BASIC, and with the help of an HP 2930 Series printer owner's manual.
    Windows DriverGeneric/Text only
    DOS Application DriverStandard or Generic

Interface Input/Output notes
PCs normally have one Centronics parallel interface as the default printer port (called LPT1:). It is a 25-pin D-style female connector. It looks like a Serial port, but internally it is wired as a parallel connector. Because a male Serial cable can plug into this port, it is often times thought to be the Serial (Com:) port. The Centronics parallel port is not a Serial port. Centronics data is transmitted on eight different lines (wires), while Serial data is transmitted on one wire. Centronics parallel ports and Serial ports are electrically incompatible. The printer will not receive data on improperly matched ports and cables.

Serial cabling
Serial connection is probably the more common interface found on the HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers. Serial connectors are usually of two types: 25-pin D-style connector (male) or a 9-pin D-style connector (male). Below are two configurations for serial connections (25-pin female/male and 9-pin female/male). Check your PC documentation for information on the active serial ports for your computer.

25-Pin (F-M)
The cable wiring for end to end (pin to pin) connection to a 25-Pin D-style serial (male) port on a IBM PC or compatible is typically:
PC Cable Connect

HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers Cable Connect
Pin Description (Female)

Pin Description (Male)
Shield Ground1-----1Shield Ground
Receive Data3-----2Transmit Data
Transmit Data2-----3Receive Data
Signal Ground7-----
7Signal Ground
Carrier Detect (CD)8-----4Request to Send
(tied together) Data Set Ready/Clear to Send5, 6---20Data Terminal Ready

9-Pin (F-M)
The cable wiring for end to end (pin to pin) connection to a 9-pin Serial (male) port on an IBM PC AT or later PC compatible is typically:
PC Cable Connect
HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers Cable Connect
Pin Description (Male)
Pin Description (Female)
Receive Data2---2Transmit Data
Transmit Data3---3Receive Data
DTR4---5(No Function on Printer)
Signal Ground5---7Signal Ground
(tied together) Data Set Ready/Clear to Send6, 8--20Data Terminal Ready (DTR)
Ring Indicator9------(No Function on Printer)

Accessing printer settings
To access the Printer Settings or Interface Settings when the printer is online:
  1. Press the Select key on the printer's keypad and then the View key. The printer will print out a menu.
  2. Use the Left or Right Arrow key on the printer's keypad to move the yellow triangle (pointer) located on the printhead under the appropriate category to List or Modify the Printer or Interface Settings, then press the Select key.
  3. Use the Up Arrow key to move back to a previous menu and the View key to save the modifications and return to the Online printer ready state.
  4. Use the Reset key to exit the Settings mode without implementing changes.

NOTE: For more information on accessing printer functions, see chapter 2 of the HP 2930 Series printer Owner's Manual.

Serial printer settings
  1. To modify the Data Settings and Control Settings, you must first modify the Interface Setting.
  2. Match the categories in the Data and Control Settings of the printer menu to those listed below.
    Data settings
    Baud Rate9600
    Data Bits8
    Parity checkOff
    Strip null/delOff

    Control settings
  3. Press the View key to save and terminate the Printer Interface Settings.
Verifying Serial connection
To verify Serial connection between an HP 2932A, 2933A, or 2934A printer and a PC you need:
  1. The correct cable between printer and PC, plus
  2. The correct Data and Control Settings in the printer to match
  3. The correct DOS-Mode commands typed on the PC (see below).
DOS Mode commands
Two DOS-Mode commands are necessary to have the PC recognize the Serial or COM: port. The commands are typed at the DOS prompt.
  1. Step 1: at the DOS prompt type: MODE COM1:96,N,8,1,P (enter)
  2. Step 2: at the DOS prompt type: MODE LPT1:=COM1: (enter)
    • Step 1 allows PC transmission of data at 9600 baud rate, No parity check, 8-bit word length, and 1-stop bit; "P" prevents time outs on the Serial port. This needs to match the Data Settings you have made in the printer.
    • Step 2 redirects the output from the PCs default Centronics parallel port (LPT1:) to the Serial (COM:) port.

      NOTE: COM1: would be the first Serial port and COM2: would be the second Serial port. Substitute the correct COM port in the statements above to match the port your printer is connected to on the PC. Check your PC documentation for port location if you are uncertain. The MODE commands above will remain in effect as long as the PC remains on. If the PC is turned off between print sessions, the Mode commands will have to be re-typed. The Mode commands can be incorporated into your Autoexec.BAT file if you want this printer to become the default printer. Consult your DOS manual to modify the Autoexec.BAT file.

      If the system does not recognize the Mode commands:
    • Verify that the Mode commands are typed in as shown above.
    • Verify that the MODE.COM file is loaded on the PC (or reload DOS).
  3. Step 3: at the DOS prompt type: DIR>COM1: (enter)
    • Step 3 verifies proper printer cabling and system configuration by printing a copy of the directory from your PC.
Centronics parallel cabling
  • The Centronics-type parallel port on the HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers requires an additional short interface or "pig tail" cable between the printer port and the Standard Centronics Cable connected to the IBM PC or compatible.
  • A standard Centronics cable part number from HP is24542D or C2912B.
"PigTail" cable
  • The part number for the short "pig tail" cable which comes with the HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers, option 042, is 5061- 4001.
Verifying parallel connection
Printing to the Centronics parallel port (LPT1:) requires correct cabling--both the short interface ("pig tail"] cable and the standard Centronics cable must be attached to the printer and PC. The Centronics interface (LPT1:) is the default printer interface in the DOS environment. No Mode commands are necessary to redirect output to the LPT1: port.
  1. Step 1: Print a directory from the PC to verify connection:
  2. From the DOS prompt type: DIR>LPT1
Other input and output jacks
If you have another printer interface, like HP-IB, and want to change it to the Centronics or Serial interface, you will need to send your printer in for servicing. HP no longer services or repairs these printers.
Supplies and accessories
These part numbers are for informational purposes only. Except for the Owner's manual, HP no longer supplies these parts.
AccessoryProduct No.
Owner's Manual02932-90001
Service Manual02932-90007
Serial Cable (9 pin F-M)24542G
Serial Cable (25 pin F-M)13242H or
Centronics parallel cable24542D or
Centronics "Pig Tail" cable5061-4001
Printhead Replacement: (Avg. 50-100 million characters)92154B
Standard Ribbon Cartridges:
(approx. 8 million characters)
quantity 3 for normal printing
OCR Ribbon Cartridges:
(approx. 2 million lines)
quantity 3 for barcode or OCR

Font cartridges (2933A and 2934A)
Courier - 10 pitch92188Aor02934-60050
Courier - 12 pitch92188B-02934-60068
OCR - A92188G-02934-60076
Italic - 10 pitch92188H-02934-60064
Italic - 12 pitch92188J-02934-60069
Prestige Pica 1092188M-02934-60078
Elite - 12 pitch92188N-02934-60071
Letter Gothic92188R-02934-60077
OCR - B92188T-02934-60081

Common printer problems and resolutions
ProblemTroubleshooting tip
Ribbon is snagging on printheadAdjust Printhead gap to the proper form thickness.
Multi-part forms getting torn
Printing is lightAdjust Printhead gap to the proper form thickness.
Change the ribbon.
If ribbon is not advancing, possible defective ribbon or ribbon motor. Send in printer for service.
Missing DotsReplace Printhead.
Defective printer. Send in printer for service.
Unrecognizable text printed (from the serial port)Check Data Settings and Mode commands for correct match.
No print, but Self-Test is OKImproper Data and Control settings and Mode commands.
Wrong or bad printer cable.
Wrong or bad interface (I/O) port on printer or computer.
Defective printer. Send in printer for service.
Ink is tracking onto paper by drive rollerClean drive roller with damp cloth (use water) and let dry.
Replace ribbon.
Paper is not feeding properlyAdjust Printhead gap to the proper form thickness. See page 1-8 of the HP 2930 printer owner's manual for adjusting the printhead gap knob.
Adjust and lock tractor gates to provide taut paper tension. See page 1-12 of the HP 2930 printer owner's manual for proper loading of paper.
Check for paper path obstruction. See page 1-10 of the HP 2930 printer owner's manual for proper paper path movement.
Forms out of specification. See page 6-48 of the HP 2930 printer owner's manual for details.
Defective printer. Send in printer for service.
No Bold printingBold enhancement is not a feature with the HP 2932A, 2933A, and 2934A printers.