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HP Ruggedwriter Printer support

Printer Specifications for the HP RuggedWriter Printer

  • PrintPrint


This document provides the technical information for your HP RuggedWriter 480 printer. This information may contain reference to accessories or items that are no longer available from HP.

Model numbers

Model NumberPrinter Description
HP 2235A Centronics parallel and RS-232 dual I/O without sheetfeeder
HP 2235B HP-IB and RS-232 dual I/O without sheetfeeder
HP 2235C Centronics parallel and RS-232 dual I/O with sheetfeeder
HP 2235D HP-IB and RS-232 dual I/O with sheetfeeder
The standard unit includes: printer, power cord, ribbon, and Owner’s Manual. Sheetfeeder accessory is included for HP 2235C and HP 2235D. Power supply voltage is user-configurable to 100, 120, 220, or 240 V. Cables must be ordered separately.
This product was introduced 1-Oct-1987 and discontinued 1-Oct-1993

Serial number

The serial number is on the back of the printer, near the cable plug in.

Printer description

  • The HP RuggedWriter 480 printer (HP 2235 series) offers top-quality 24-wire impact printing (dot matrix).
  • The printer offers multiple interface operations, RS-232 (Serial), Centronics (Parallel), and HP-IB.
  • The printer operates in two basic modes: HP mode (HP computers) and Alternate mode (IBM compatibles and Epson emulation).

Printer features

Printer FeatureDescription
Print Technology 24-wire dot matrix impact printing
PCL Printer Language (HP mode) PCL 3
Alternate (Epson-type) Print Mode Epson ESC/P (LQ-1000/LQ-1500)
Interfaces HP 2235A/C: Centronics Parallel and RS-232-C Serial

HP 2235B/D: HP-IB and RS-232-C Serial
Baud Rates for Serial I/O 1200, 2400, 9600, 19200
Apple Talk I/O None
Font Cartridge Slot Yes
Optional Font Cartridge Fonts Times Roman, Helvetica, Prestige Elite, Letter Gothic
Buffer Size 2 KB (optional 16 KB with font cartridge
Speed - Draft Mode 480 characters per second (cps) at 12 characters per inch (cpi); 400 cps at 10 cpi
Speed - Letter Quality Mode 240 characters per second (cps) at 12 characters per inch (cpi); 200 cps at 10 cpi
Resolution - Graphics PCL mode format (dots per inch): 90x90, 180x180

Epson mode format (dots per inch): 60x60, 120x 60, 90x180, 180x180, 80x60, 240x60, 120x180, 360x180, 90x60, 60x180
Printer Ribbon 92156S - 3 Pack Ribbon (5 million draft character-life each)
Monthly Duty Cycle 5,000 pages per month maximum
Mean Time Between Failures 20,000 hours based on 2,000 annual hour’s power-on and 5,000 printed draft pages monthly usage.
Media Capacity with Single-bin sheet feeder accessory - up to 100-sheet capacity

Driver selection

There are two basic modes of operation: HP PCL mode and Epson Emulation mode.
  1. HP PCL mode would be used if there were a driver available for the HP RuggedWriter printer in the program you are using. To place the HP RuggedWriter in HP PCL mode, set the dipswitch B1 in the down position.
  2. Epson Emulation mode (Alternate mode) would be used if there were not an HP RuggedWriter driver available. In this mode, the HP RuggedWriter can emulate an Epson LQ 800 or an Epson LQ 1000. To place the HP RuggedWriter in Epson Emulation mode, set the dipswitch B1 in the up position.

Resident fonts

The resident fonts (internal fonts) are used to set the printing format for the HP RuggedWriter printer.
The following font tables provide the listings for each operational mode:
PCL Mode Control FormatEpson Mode Control Format
Print Pitch (Characters per Inch) Print Pitch (Characters per Inch)
10 Pica (136 columns) 10 Pica (136 columns)
12 Elite (163 columns) 12 Elite (163 columns)
16.7 Compressed (227 columns) 15 Compressed (204 columns)
20 Compressed (272 columns) 17.3 Compressed (232 columns)
5 Expanded (68 columns) 20 Compressed (272 columns)
Proportional Spaced 5 Expanded (68 columns)

6 Expanded (81 columns)

7.5 Expanded (102 columns)

8.53 Expanded (116 columns)

Proportional Spaced
NOTE: Sub- or Superscript, italics, bold, and underline are available in all pitches. Line spacing is variable.

Character sets

The following table provides the available character sets for each operational mode.
HP PCL Mode (B1 Down)Epson Mode(B1 Up)
HP Roman8 ( Default) Epson USA (Default)
PC-8 PC-8
PC-8 Danish/Norwegian PC-8 Danish/Norwegian
ISO 7-bit UK (04) Epson 7-bit England
ISO 7-bit Germany (21) Epson 7-bit Germany
ISO 7-bit France (69) Epson 7-bit France
ISO 7-bit Italy (15) Epson 7-bit Italy
ISO 7-bit Norway (60) Epson 7-bit Norway
ISO 7-bit Sweden (11) Epson 7-bit Sweden
ISO 7-bit Spain (17) Epson 7-bit Spain
JIS ASCII Epson 7-bit Japan
ECMA-94 Latin1 Epson 7-bit Denmark
Terminal mode Epson 7-bit Denmark II
ISO Portugal (16) Epson 7-bit Spain II
ISO Sweden (10) Epson 7-bit Latin America
Reserved Reserved

Character cell structure

The following table provides the available character cell modes.
Character Cell: 12 x 12 draft mode
Character Cell: 36 x 24 letter-quality mode
Wire size: 0.28 mm (0.011 inches)

Paper handling

The following tables provide the paper handling options.

Tractors (for Z-Fold and multipart forms)

Maximum width edge to edge: 380.0 mm (14.95 inches)
Minimum width between holes: 76.2 mm (3.0 inches)
Maximum printable line: 345.4 mm (13.6 inches)
Weight: 15 to 32lb/56 to 120 g/m (squared)
Maximum forms thickness: 0.46 mm (0.018 inches)

Hand-Fed paper (single-part paper only)

Maximum width: 370 mm (14.57 inches)
Minimum length: 140 mm (4.1 inches)
Weight: 18 to 24lb/68 to 90 g/m (squared)

Bin-Fed paper (single-part paper only)

Paper Size: 8.5 x 11 inches or A4
Weight: 18 to 24lbs/68 to 90 g/m (squared)
NOTE: Multi-part forms are accessible on tractors only. Handheld slot and sheet feeder accommodate single-part, cut sheet paper only.

Interface and cable requirements

The following table provides information on the type of computer, the I/O type port and the recommended cable.
HostPrinter I/OHost InterfaceHP Cable
HP Vectra PC Parallel


HP24541A (25 pin)

HP24540A/41A (9 pin)

HP 3000 (3X, 4X, 5X, 6X, 70, Micro XE/GX/LX) Serial ADCC and ATP (25 pin) or ATP (3-pin) 13242X
HP 3000 (900, MPE XL 1.1 or later Serial DTC (3-pin) 13232X
HP 9000 (800) HP-IB


10833 A/B/C/D

40242M or 92218A
HP 9000 (200, 300, 500) HP-IB Built-in 10833 A/B/C/D
HP 2932/93/94/97 Terminal Parallel

Opt. 093 or HP40210P

Opt. 092 or HP40210R
12343D or 40242D

13242G or 40242G
IBM PC Family and compatibles Parallel

IBM Parallel Printer Adapter or HP24540A

IBM Asyn. Com. Adapter (25 pin)

IBM Serial/Parallel Adapter (9-pin)



Physical specifications

Net Weight: 15.9 kg (35.0 lbs.)
Footprint (Physical Specifications): Height: 20.9 cm (8.2 inches)

Width: 60.0 cm (23.6 inches)

Depth: 35.0 cm (13.7 inches)

Add 14.5 cm (5.8 inches) for HP 22235C/D models


Voltage: 100,120,220,240 AC(+10% to -10%) user selectable
Frequencies: 47.5 to 63 Hz
Power Consumption: 20 W maximum, non-printing

80 W maximum, printing


Temperature (Operating): -41 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 40 degrees Celsius)
Temperature (Storage): -40 - 158 degrees Fahrenheit (-40 to 70 degrees Celsius)
Humidity: 15 to 80% RH non-condensing
Acoustics (Sound pressure level-Lpa): <56dB(A) @ 1m bystander position


One-year parts and labor from the original date of purchase.

Safety certifications

UL, CSA, IEC compliance, FCC Class B certified per FCC Rules, Part 15, subpart J, when used with a Class B computer device.


The manuals and part numbers are provided for reference, they may not be available from HP.
Part NumberDescription
02235-90002 HP RuggedWriter 480 Owner’s Manual
02235-90003 HP RuggedWriter 480 Service Manual

Control panel

The control panel (or key pad) contains the following operational buttons (keys) and lights (indicators).

Buttons (keys)

  • Select Print Mode
  • Up Arrow
  • Down Arrow
  • Select Paper Path
  • Line Feed
  • Form Feed
  • On Line

Lights (indicators)

  • On Line (Ready)
  • Print Mode Lights (Letter Quality, Draft, Compressed)
  • Paper Feed (Tractor Fed, Bin Fed, Hand Fed)
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