FAQ - Evolis Printers

Important Firmware and Driver Update from Evolis 12/05/2014

Evolis Primacy users should click here http://www.smartcardstore.co.uk//spree/product_downloads/1190/original/Updating Evolis drivers firmware May 2014.pdf?1399882034 to read notes on upgrading their Evolis Primacy drivers and firmware.

should Drivers and Firmware

No, the Driver for Pebble & Dualys models is the same. Only the Tattoo Printer has a separate Driver.
You can find them via the following link www.evolis.com
A driver is software used to communicate with the printer through the computer in order to manage ribbon choice, print intensity, contrast, insertion modes, magnetic settings, lamination settings, etc. The driver also broadcasts internal notification and information from the printer. The driver must be installed before the first use of the printer and must be compatible with the target operating system. Administrator rights are required for its installation.

A firmware is a resident software which is embedded in a flash memory on the main board and that operates as a layer between the hardware and the software. It is mainly used to directly manage the resource and is provided by Evolis for exclusive use with its printers. A regular update is strongly advised to receive all the latest improvements:

Enhanced performances
New command(s) and feature(s)
Bug fixing
Each main board has its own firmware, which can be downloaded from www.evolis.com.

All the latest firmware versions can be found on www.evolis.com :

    1. Download and unzip the firmware onto your hard disk.
    2. Connect your printer to the computer and switch it on.
    3. Click on the EXE file and follow the instructions on the screen.
    4. Select your printer and click on "update Firmware"
    5. Wait for the up & down movement of the print head when the update is complete.

You can check if the update has been successful by sending the Rfv command (or by opening the Dialog Box with the printer).

Before starting an Evolis driver installation on a Windows, Mac or Linux platform, make sure you are logged-in with ADMINISTRATOR rights, or else the computer will turn down the driver's installation. Make sure that the installation package you are using is compatible with your OS.
To know the driver version in use by the computer, open the Driver Properties/Graphic screen and click the About menu item. The driver version will be required by Evolis should you need assistance.

Operating Systems

Drivers for Pebble are available for the following platforms:
Windows XP (32 bits) /2003/Vista (32&64 bit)
Windows 7 32/64 bit
Mac OS X 10.2, 10.3, 10.4, 10.5 & 10.6
All Linux-based platforms

Printer Cleaning

Yes, the Printer will indicate when a clean is required.
For the Pebble & Dualys Printers – 1000 cards (light on), 1200 cards (light flashes).
For the Tattoo2 Printer – 400 cards (light on), 500 cards (light flashes).
Evolis recommend that a cleaning cycle is performed every time a ribbon is changed.

Once you have removed the ribbon from printer (printer must detect lid has been opened and closed). Remove cards from feed hopper and insert cleaning card and adjust the card thickness gauge to maximum setting. To start the cleaning cycle, hold down the control panel button on printer, select the ‘Printer cleaning’ button from Driver Properties>Tools tab, and send a ‘Scp’ escape command from Driver Properties>Tools tab. The card passes back and forth through printer cleaning the transport rollers, cleaning roller, printhead and any encoding heads. Locate and remove the cleaning roller. Use a cleaning wipe to gently remove any dust from the surface before reseating it in printer. Turn off the printer and use a cleaning swab to gently clean the printhead. Turn off the printer and use a cleaning swab to gently clean the printhead. Wait a while before closing the lid so the cleaning solution can evaporate. The cleaning cycle is now complete.

Yes. It is often prudent to manually clean your Printer in an attempt to clear persistent card feeding, printing & encoding issues; to thoroughly clean a very dirty printer; or to clean the unit after a spare part replacement. A manual clean should be carried out after a standard cleaning cycle. A manual clean is carried out as follows:

  • Open the lid leaving it open
  • Remove ribbon and card feeder module
  • Hold down the ‘clean’ button on the printer
  • The internal rollers will rotate
  • Place a cleaning card against each roller applying pressure
  • Use several cleaning cards if required

If you have a Dualys Printer you’ll also need to clean the flipper rollers by carrying out the following steps:

  • Send the ‘Scf’ command from the tools option
  • Place a card against the rollers and clean thoroughly
  • The flipper can be rotated manually to clean the opposing rollers

Printer Model

The age of the Printer is contained within the unit’s Serial Number.
For Printers purchased BEFORE June 2008 with a Serial Number of P62846701 the breakdown is as follows:
P = Pebble
6 = 2006
28 = Week 28
46701 = Production Number

For Printers purchased AFTER June 2008 with a Serial Number of PB08250099872 the breakdown is as follows:
PB = Pebble
08 = 2008
25 = Week 25
0099872 = Production Number


The replacement procedure should be done as follows:
With faulty printhead still fitted, print ‘Stt’ card
Keep this card as it must be sent with faulty printhead
Remove faulty printhead – simple push and twist operation
Disconnect cable from printhead
Reconnect cable to new printhead
Fit new printead
Send the ‘Pkn;xxx-xxxxxxxx-x’ escape command to set new (P)rinthead (k)it (n)umber
The (P)rinthead (k)it (n)umber can be found on a sticker on the printhead itself
The printer will request that a cleaning cycle be performed
If edge-to-edge printing needs adjusting then set the offset settings

For mechanic, adjustment and also warranty reasons, the print head of the other or previous ranges are not compatible with the Pebble4. Each print head has a specific part number.

Printer Ports

Pebble offers both USB port and Ethernet port.

Connecting a Printer to a Network

Yes, the printer can be linked to an IP or IPv4-based network using the Ethernet port. This can be implemented during the driver setup or manually. An embedded web server and documentation are available to edit/manage all Ethernet settings (IP address, DHCP, Subnet mask, Gateway, Host name…). For more information on the subject, please contact Evolis Distributor.
Printers with a LPT port (models before Pebble4) can be networked via a print server. Click on the following links to access technical details on print servers that have been successfully tested with Evolis printers: http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=322 http://www.axis.com/products/axis_5400p/index.htm

Power Supply

Yes, you can. The power supplies of other Evolis printers are uniform for Tattoo, Tattoo RW, Tattoo2, Tattoo RW 2, Pebble2/3/4, Dualys1/2/3, and Quantum 1.
Input AC: 100-240V ~ 1.8A
Output: 24V, 3.0A

Printer Commands

Evolis escape commands are used to:
Adjust internal parameters
Read internal parameters
Develop application

Two sections to send commands through the driver:
Driver properties/Tools/Direct command to printer
Command can be sent but answering not possible
Driver properties/Tools/Dialog with printer
Command/answer can be sent/received to/from the printer

Each command start with a CAPITAL letter
The separator characters is semicolon (;)

Programming Guides

To develop your own application(s) and monitor all Evolis printers, a development kit is available for download, which provides you with all the tools, escape commands, DLL and code samples that you require. Please contact Evolis Distributor for more information on this. www.evolis.com


Evolis printers use Windows drivers that let you print using most printing/desktop software.
Before printing, make sure the dimensions of the card (ISO CR80) are accurate. For encoding, compatibility with an Evolis printer is a matter of software design. For more information, please directly contact the appropriate software vendor or Evolis.
The latest version of the eMedia Card Designer software can be downloaded directly from the eMedia website via trhe following link:
All requests/questions/comments regarding eMedia software have to be sent to the following email address: support@emedia-cards.com .Technical notes as well as a quick start guide are also available on www.emedia-cards.com
No, you won't be able to open your stored templates in the new eMedia CS (.eccs file extension) software as the two software versions are not backward compatible. You would therefore need to create and store new templates using the new version of software.


The resolution, i.e. the details in an image, is of 300 dpi (11.8 dots/mm).


All PVC, composite PVC, composite PET, composite ABS*, and special varnished* cards can be used with Pebble. Please note that printing quality may vary depending of the card manufacturer. Paper cards can only be used with the Tattoo model. * Subject to special conditions
Dimensions correspond to the ISO CR80 norm of 54 x 86 x 0.76 mm
Due to the presence of INFRARED sensors which are used for the cards synchronization, the transparent or translucent card cannot be used correctly with the Evolis printers.
Pebble offers a CR79 option (smaller size card). With this option, both card size (CR79 &CR80) are supported.
The Stt card (or technical test card) will provide you with important information regarding the printer: serial number, firmware version, print head kit number, position of the image, number of printed lines, number of cleaning cycles and numeric values of different sensors.
During printing, if a card remains in the feeder or gets stuck in the middle of the printer, please check the following points:
  1. Has the printing job been correctly sent to the printer? If an error has occurred, the Windows toolbar will display a red circle with a question mark on the printer icon.
  2. Is the card thickness gauge adjusted to the actual card thickness?
  3. Clean the printer.
  4. Make sure that the cards are not sticking together, and also, that they meet all compatibility requirements from your printer.


No, the Evolis Printer doesn’t have RFID technology. Therefore the ribbon type must always be set within driver.
Evolis employs a ribbon recognition system to identify genuine Evolis ribbons. This was implemented via the Firmware (f/w 0804 onwards) for the Pebble4 and Dualys3. The marker on the ribbon is not visible to naked eye. Recognition information can be found on the Evolis test cards. Next 2 Firmware number there will be a data string, e.g. 0804 f:200 E. The E indicates Recognition ON - Evolis ribbon detected. Should the data string read 0804 f:200 EF. The EF indicates Recognition ON - Evolis ribbon not detected.
The information about “How to install a ribbon” is available on the user’s guide
    The 5-panel colour ribbon –-YMCKO- can print 200 cards.
  • The half panel colour ribbon -1/2 YMCKO – can print 400 cards
  • The 2-panel ribbon - KO – can print 500 cards
  • The monochrome ribbons can print up to1 000 cards (based a max print area of 70mm per card).
  • The hologram ribbon – H - can print 350 cards.

Note: each time the cover is opened and closed, the printer will automatically synchronize the color ribbon to the subsequent yellow panel.

  • YMCKO refers to a 5-panel ribbon. Each letter matches up to a panel colour:
  • Y Yellow
  • M Magenta
  • C Cyan
  • K Black
  • Overlay
Monochrome printing can be performed with different colour ribbons:
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Red
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Scratch-off (not for the Tattoo 2 )
  • White
  • Black Wax

Pantone references are:

  • Blue: 300C
  • Red: 186C
  • Green: 356C
The difference between the standard black monochrome ribbon and the Black Wax one is in the ink composition. The Black Wax ribbon will enable you to print on cards (ABS, PET, paper …) which are not compatible with the standard black ribbon.
A half-panel YMCKO colour ribbon is a dye-sublimation ribbon which has the same ink specifications as the standard or full-panel YMCKO colour ribbon. The difference between the standard YMCKO ribbon and the half-panel ribbon is in the Yellow, Magenta and Cyan panels which have a maximum length of 35 mm. This ribbon is useful and cost-effective if the colour-printed area of your layout is no bigger than a logo or an ID picture.
Evolis have a strict warranty conditions so only Evolis ribbons must be used with an Evolis printer. Using generic ribbons with an Evolis printer will expose you to printing problems, plus, the warranty will be null and void. No support request will be entertained if generic ribbons have been used.
If the ribbon gets cut during the printing process, please check the following points:
  • Clean the printer.
  • Check within the Driver Properties/Graphic menu if the contrast or quality values are not too high.
  • Check if the ribbon is not faulty (replace it with a new one)
  • Are you using a genuine Evolis ribbon?

If the problem persists even after checking out these points, please contact Evolis Distributor.
If the printer skips ribbon panels during the printing process, please check the following points:
  • Make sure you are using a genuine Evolis ribbon (not a generic one)
  • Make sure the printer has been upgraded with the latest firmware
  • Within the Driver Properties/Graphic screen, make sure that the selected ribbon type is correct and click on the Set Ribbon button to validate
  • Make sure there is a colour ribbon inside the printer. Open the Driver Properties/Tools/Bi-directional communication screen and send the following command which will adjust the colour sensor: Sa;c .
If you still have the same glitch even after following these points, please contact Evolis Distributor.
No, it’s not possible to print with an YMCKO ribbon on a card that has already been printed with this ribbon. The ink can only be applied once on each side of the card. In fact, printing will optimize colours only on a white background.
  1. For this please update the firmware for the Pebble 4 : http://www.evolis.com/eng/Drivers-Support/Product-support/Pebble-4/Drivers-and-firmware
  2. Clean the printer
  3. Check to make sure the cards are not defective
  4. Check to make sure that there isn't an Overlay already on the card

Printing Problems

Clean printer, rollers & p/head, clean cards and replace cleaning roller.
Change cards. For mono printing; change to a WAX ribbon, and check power supply.
First update the Driver & Firmware versions. Next try a different printing application and changing the USB port. If this doesn’t work then it might be that the main board needs replacing.
The cause of this is either a dirty Printer or a faulty printhead. First clean the printer, rollers & printhead. If this doesn’t rectify the problem replace the printhead.
Check ribbon and printhead kit number followed by reducing the contrast/intensity and checking the offset settings.
Reduce mono head settings, replace ribbon, and check for printhead fault or incorrect angle adjustment.
White lines on the printed cards mean that the print head is unable to heat the ribbon in this zone: the ink cannot be diffused/applied correctly onto the card surface. This issue may arise from a dirty or faulty print head. If cleaning of the print head does not clear this defect, please contact Evolis distributor.
The white margins on the edges of the printed card can be reduced by changing the offset settings. A technical process will allow you to move the position of the image and increase/reduce the number of printed lines on the card. For more information, please contact Evolis distributor.
  1. Are the contrast/intensity values too high or to low?
  2. Is the power supply an Evolis one?
  3. Make sure that the Evolis power supply is not faulty.

If the issue remains even after checking these points, please contact Evolis distributor.

This issue relates to the quality of the card.The card’s flatness (which is really important with sublimation printers) is thinner around the chip area. Ink cannot be applied appropriately onto this area. The only way to resolve this defect is to use higher-quality cards.
A colour profile may solve this issue; check the following points:
  • The colour profile of your screen needs to be installed on your computer. Contact your IT Manager for more information.
  • Select the Evolis colour profile from the printer driver as indicated below:

Open the Driver Properties/Colour Management screen and select the Evolis Profile (evolis_profile_v701) which was installed during driver setup.


The data that can be encoded on the track depends on the encoding format/standard:

  • ISO1 accepts up to 76 alphanumeric characters, from A to Z and from 0 to 9
  • ISO2 accepts up to 37 numeric characters, from 0 to 9
  • ISO3 accepts up to 104 numeric characters, from 0 to 9
  • SIPASS accepts up to 21 numeric characters
  • C2: custom mode
  • JIS2: Japanese industrial standard.
The easiest way to visually determine if a stripe on a card is HICO or LOCO is by checking the colour of the stripe. HICO stripes are black and LOCO stripes are brown. However it is best to check with the card specification with the card manufacturer if you are not using cards provided by Evolis.
  1. Check the card positioning inside the feeder (see figure under the feeder)
  2. Clean the printer with an Evolis cleaning card (see user’s guide for the procedure)
  3. In the Driver Properties/Tools/Encoder Settings screen, check if the coercivity is the same as that of the magnetic cards (stripe colour) and then click the Set button before clicking OK
  4. Check if the data is correct (number of characters and/or allowed character
If the issue remains even after checking these points, please contact Evolis distributor.
The coercivity has to be set in the driver before any magnetic encoding is carried out. Go to the Driver Properties/Tools/Encoder Settings screen. After checking the coercivity settings, a simple encoding test can be done from the Driver Properties/Tools/Bi-directional communication screen.
Before ordering a printer with an integrated smart/contactless coupler, make sure the cards and the application you are using are compatible with the coupler. Technical brochure for each coupler can be found on the relevant manufacturer’s website.
Printing and magnetic data can be sent to the printer through the Evolis Ethernet port. Smart or/and contactless encoding data have to be handled locally.
Pebble supports multiple encoding options:
  • Magnetic encoder ISO7811 or JIS2 – HiCo/LoCo (upgrade possible on Customer site)
  • Smart contact station ISO7816-2 (coupler has to be ordered separately)
  • Smart contact station + integrated coupler (GEMCORE EMV410, OMNIKEY Cardman 5121)
  • Various Contactless integrated encoding units
3 encoding options can be installed in the same printer (Magnetic, Smart, contactless)
The printer can be upgraded on site to support magnetic option encoding (your Evolis vendor will assist you with the upgrade). For the other encoding options, the printer must be returned to Evolis Distributor for a quotation.

Printer - General

If no LED light is on, including the power button, please check the following points:
  1. Is the power supply connected to a live electrical wall socket?
  2. Is the power supply an Evolis one?
  3. Is the power supply faulty? (The power supply displays a green light when it operates properly).
  4. Is the power supply suitably connected to the printer?
To get a complete list of spare parts for your printer, please visit the “Partners Section” on www.evolis.com , or contact Evolis distributor.


The warranty period for the Pebble 4 printer and print head is of 3 years. The new warranty applies on printers sold with new serial number format (eg: 12345678901).Each Evolis printer shipped will now come with the new Limited Warranty Conditions enclosed in each carton and are also displayed on the second screen of the driver setup wizard. Any product with the old serial number format (eg: PB08123456789) will continue to be covered by the previous warranty’s terms and conditions.For full details on warranty conditions please refer to www.evolis.com .
If the printer is no longer under warranty spare parts will be warranted for 6 months, starting from the date of the purchase invoice.

Note: information below is applicable for printers only and for printers that have the new warranty conditions (printers with the new serial number format, eg: 12345678901).

Wearable parts are elements of the printer which require periodic maintenance, linked to the use of the machine, its environment and the consumables used (such as cards, accessories and cleaning products).

The limited warranty for Evolis wearable parts is 6 months from date of purchase.

However, the original printer head, installed in the printer when manufactured benefits from the warranty period of the printer. If this printer head is replaced, the limited warranty conditions of the wearable parts mentioned in this paragraph apply.

Wearable parts list:

  • Print head
  • Cleaning roller
  • Contact station (option)

This document is designed to assist you. We are not responsible for the results of using this guide in your application.

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