GK420 Media 101

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Zebra GK420 Media 101

When you load media into your Zebra GK420 printer, you must place the roll onto the media hangers. You must also use the correct media for the type of printing you require.

Preparing Media

Whether your media is inside or outside would, you load it into the printer the same way.

  • Remove the outside length of the media. During shipment, handling or storage the roll may become dirty or dusty. Removing the outside length of the media avoids dragging adhesive or dirty media between the printhead and platen roller.


Placing the Roll in the Media Compartment

  • Open the printer. Remember that you need to pull the release latch levers towards the front of the printer.
  • Open the media roll holders. Pull the media guides open with your free hand and place the media roll on the roll holders and release the guides. Orient the media roll so that its printing surface will face up as it passes over the platen (drive) roller.


  • Pull the media so that it extends out of the front of the printer. Verify the roll turns freely.
    The roll must not sit in the bottom of the media compartment. Verify that the media’s
    printing surface is facing up.


  • Push the media under both of the media guides.
  • Close the printer. Press down until the cover snaps closed.

Loading Transfer Ribbon

  • With the printer open, place a new ribbon roll on printer’s lower ribbon supply spindles.
  • Rotate the roll until the notches align and lock into the left side of the supply hub.


  • Place an empty ribbon core on printer’s take-up spindles. Rotate the ribbon core until the
    notches align and lock into the left side of the take-up hub.


  • Pull the transfer ribbon’s leader off the roll and attach it with the adhesive strip on the
    leader to the empty ribbon core on the supply spindle. Center the ribbon on the ribbon


  • Rotate the thumb wheel on the left side of the supply spindle towards the rear of the printer until the ribbon is pulled tight across the printhead.
  • Verify that the media is loaded and ready to print and then close the printer cover.
  • Press the Feed button to have the printer feed a minimum of 10 cm (4 inches) of media to remove slack and ribbon wrinkle, and to align the ribbon on the spindles.
  • Change the print mode setting from direct thermal printing to thermal transfer to set the printer’s temperature profiles for thermal transfer media. This can be done with the printer driver, application software, or printer programming commands.


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