9866A Printer

Thermal Selection:

Name: 9866A
Product Number: 9866A
Introduced: 1972
Division: Loveland
Ad: Click to see
Original Price: $2975
Catalog Reference: 1973, page 485


The 9866A was designed for the 9830A computer. Because of its versatility, this printer was also connected to other HP computers including HP 1000 systems, 9825 and 9845. It was a character-only printer with a maximum print speed of 250 lines per minute. It printed characters (upper case only) in a 5 x 7 dot cell matrix. The 9866B was introduced in 1976 at a price of $3350 (by which time the price of the 9866A had increased to $3145). The 9866B had a 95-character set (including lower case characters), compared to the 65-character set on the 9866A. The 9866B could also print graphics at 400 dots per row.

In January of 1975, HP introduced the 9866A for use with 2100 and 21MX computers as subsystem 12996A ($3,700). In March of 1975, HP made the 9866A available for use with 2640A terminals as subsystem 13246A ($3,295). In May of 1976, HP made the 9866B available for use with 264X terminals as subsystem 13246B ($3,675).

The 9866B was obsoleted in February of 1981.

Collector's Notes:

These printers are suprisingly robust for their age. Six of the seven units at the museum are fully functioning. The non-functioning unit had a defective low voltage power supply. If you have power and paper advance, but no printing, then you probably have a defective high voltage power supply. Among the working units, none has degraded print quality. At the rear of the printer, there are black plastic pieces on each side. These become brittle and break away with time (just like at the back of the 9830), but this does not affect functionality.

Normal thermal rolls for fax machines will work as paper in the printer, and the media is easy to load. The biggest challenge in incorporating a 9866 into a computer system is often finding the right cable. Original cables are much more difficult to find than the printers themselves.

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