Task: Replace the Ribbon and Paper in an Atari 1025 Printer
Needed: 1025 printer, ribbon, paper
Time: 10-15 mins
I never had an Atari printer back in the day. We had an Epson MX-80 dot matrix that worked quite well. So, I have been slowly acquiring and trying all the Atari printers I can get my hands on. My first was a 1020 that had to have the plastic gears replaced. I did a post on fixing up the 1020 and resupplying it with pens and paper. Next was an 820 printer that I had to track down ribbons and paper for. I did a post on my experience with this lovely printer (my favorite thus far). I have it hooked up to my 800 and 810. I have two 1027 printers that will be the focus of a future post. They also have part issues. I do not yet have an 822 thermal printer. The focus of this post is the 1025 that I recently acquired.
From what I can tell, the 1025 dot matrix printer was the workhorse of the Atari printer line. These were very common back in the day and thus are relatively easy to find on eBay and through other sources today. I recently picked one up on eBay for about $90. It is in really good condition with very minor signs of wear which is why I was willing to pay so much for it. There are five on eBay at the moment and are priced around $50 to $75. My first impression as I was taking it of the box is how insanely heavy these things are. I had no idea. The 1025 weighs in at more than 13 pounds! A solid beast of a printer. Because of the weight it doesn’t move or shimmy while printing. It just sits there like a rock doing its thing.
I have been very impressed with the quality of the print from this machine. Below is a floppy disk directory I printed from Atariwriter. The left is a photo of the disk directory on my Sakata CRT monitor. The middle is the 1025 print. The right is from the 820. The 1025 is much sharper than the 820 (as expected). From what I can recall about my Epson, the 1025 seems like it has a better print and seems fairly quiet. I am impressed so far. Below are some instructions for finding ribbons and paper for this lovely printer.
Order ribbons from Ribbons Unlimited. They have a great product with great personal service. The ribbons are $8.95 each. My understanding is that this type of ribbon is pretty standard and fits may typewriters. You can probably find these lots of places.
Order paper from eBay. I got my tractor fed dot matrix paper for about $10 per 100 sheets. The prices vary a bit depending on the supplier but are generally in that range. I chose eBay because I could find smaller quantities. You can order from places like OfficeMax but they tend to come in larger quantities (e.g. 1000 pages). Note that you can also use single sheets of modern printer paper.
I didn’t think I would like this printer this much. It is really awesome. A nice addition to my collection. Note that I had to connect this through a 1050 to work with my 800. It did not work running the SIO cable through my 810 drive. This makes sense but good to confirm. Also, if you need help installing the ribbon and paper you can consult the 1025 manual. The instructions are pretty clear and it is not hard to do. There is even a little diagram inside the printer for how to thread the ribbon.