Troubleshooting the Receipt Printer

Solving Printer & Cash Drawer Problems

Problem: The receipt printer won't print and / or the cash drawer won't open
Here are a few things to check:

1 - See if receipt printer is online - a green light should be on and steady (not flashing). If an error light is on or green light is flashing, Open the receipt cover and check receipt paper.

2 - Be sure the correct type of receipt paper is installed. Using the wrong type or wrong width paper can cause offline status)

3 - If no lights are on - check the power switch on the printer. Also check the power cable going into the receipt printer. Be sure it is secure at both the printer end and power source. There are 3 cables that should be plugged into the receipt printer. See the pictures below. (Star TSP100 Series printer shown)

cables plugged in correctly but USB cable can easily be pulled out

cables correctly plugged in and locked in cable holder

PrinterCable1 PrinterCable2
cables shown L to R: USB, Cash Drawer, Power cables shown L to R: USB, Cash Drawer, Power

4 - Make sure the USB cable (or serial cable depending on your printer model) is securely connected to both the receipt printer and the computer. USB cables can slide out easily.

tsPrinter1 5 - If the USB cable gets plugged into a different USB slot on the computer, Windows will detect the receipt printer as a new printer. Check the Printers folder to see if another receipt printer with the same name has been installed. The dialog box below shows four Star Receipt Printers installed. The last two printers in the list below show how Windows treats a USB printer when the cable is plugged into a different USB slot. The last printer in the list is a copy of the one above it. As you can see below, the status of the original one is Offline. It has three documents waiting in the print queue. In this case this printer was originally set up to be used by the JPOS software programs. But when the USB cable was moved, Windows detected the change and installed a new Star TSP100 printer (Copy 1). If you see this scenario in your Printers and Faxes dialog box, try moving the receipt printer USB cable back to the original USB slot. Which is the correct USB slot? When you find the correct slot, the status for the original printer should change from Offline to Ready and the documents in the queue will resume printing. It may take a few seconds for Windows to detect the change so be patient. Once normal printing has resumed, the printer (Copy 1) may be deleted. It is not necessary to delete the extra printer if you are not comfortable doing that.

6 - In the printer dialog box, notice the top two printer icons are slightly different from the bottom three printer icons. The top two printers are network printers. If you are having trouble printing to a network printer, make sure the computer it is attached to is turned on and that Windows is up and running. In this example, the 2nd printer "Star TSP100 Cutter (TSP143) on Station1" is connected to a computer called "Station1". The icon is "greyed out" indicating that Windows cannot communicate with the printer.

Cash Drawer Won't Open
If the cash drawer does not open:

The cash drawer gets a signal from the receipt printer to open. If the receipt printer is not working properly, the cash drawer won't open. Follow the troubleshooting steps above to get the receipt printer online. If you are able to print a receipt but the drawer still won't open:

1 - Check the cable running from the printer to the cash drawer. There is a cable, usually grey, that has one end that is shaped like a phone cord plug. The other end goes into the cash drawer and is shaped like the end of a network cable.

2 - Click the No Sale button and listen to the cash drawer. If you hear a click coming from inside the cash drawer but the drawer still won't open, it may be locked shut. For normal operation, the key slot should be vertical | and not horizontal __. It is also possible that there may be an object inside the drawer that is catching on the drawer chassis. Rolls of coins are the usual culprits. Try running a butter knife along the top edge of the opening on the cash drawer. You may be able to push the object out of the way. Also try using the cash drawer key. If it won't open with the key then it may be actually broken.

Printer End - (narrow end)

Cash Drawer End - (wide end)