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LBP-8A1 and LBP-8A2

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Model Information

[Canon LBP-8A1 printer]

Model Data
Model Number Canon LBP-8A1
Canon LBP-8A2
Introduction Date 1984
Original MSRP LBP-8A1: $2,995
LBP-8A2: $4,295


Canon Brand CX-based Printers

The Canon name appears on several models of CX and CXD printers. This section covers the Canon brand LBP-8A1 and LBP-8A2, and the OEM-branded versions of the A1 sold by NCR and Data General. All of these printers were built in Japan for the U.S. market. A CXD-based model called the LBP-8DA1 was marketed in Japan and Europe, but to our knowledge, it was never offered in the United States by Canon or by any of Canon's OEM customers.

Canon 910P Facsimile Engine

Canon also made a plain-paper fax machine that used a special 391 dpi version of the CX VDO engine, called a 910P. This engine had the added feature of being able to sense the position of the toner dial and report low toner conditions electronically through the interface. The Canon 910P can be converted into a 300 dpi CX VDO model for use with a standard external video controller, such as QMS JetScript, by changing the scanner assembly and the DC controller.


The Canon LBP-8A1 and LBP-8A2 featured the red Canon logo. They were marketed primarily by the same dealers who sold Canon's other office equipment, such as copiers and calculators. Canon also authorized computer products wholesalers to sell the Canon brand to smaller computer dealers with whom Canon did not have direct relationships.

The -8A1 and -8A2 featured basically two languages: Diablo 630 Emulation and ISO 646/2022/2375/6429. The original HP LaserJet was actually a member of the Canon LBP-8A1 family, with custom firmware. HP contracted with Canon to implement HP's Printer Command Language (PCL), which had been evolving in various HP dot matrix printers, and then out-marketed Canon by getting more software support: HP beat Canon to the software houses and PCL became the standard in the U.S.A. In Europe, the ISO protocol was much more successful and Canon printers sold better in Europe than they did in the U.S.A. The Canon LBP-8A1 only contained four resident fonts and was sold with either a serial interface connector bracket or a parallel one, but not both, even though the controller board was built with both interfaces.

Canon LBP-8A2

The Canon LBP-8A2 looks a little odd when compared to other CX printers, as the lid is taller to allow extra memory cards to be added on top of the controller board. At the time the LBP-8A1/A2 controller was designed, 1 megabit memory chips were just becoming available and were very expensive. The controller board layout did not have room for any more chips, so Canon designed the -8A1/A2 controller to accommodate up to two daughter boards with 512K RAM on each one. The extra height of the daughter boards required that the top lid be raised about an inch.

NCR 6416

The Canon LBP-8A1 was also marketed by NCR as the Model 6416. The control panel colors were changed to maroon for the buttons and tan for the background. The NCR version usually used controller board part number SG4-6016 (C1).

Data General 4557/4558

Data General was another OEM that sold the Canon LBP-8A1 under its own name. Like HP, and unlike NCR, Data General used non-standard firmware. The part numbers of the firmware for the DG 4557 are IC25:SH7-9087, IC26:SH7-9089, IC41:SH7-9088 and IC42:SH7-9090. The DG 4557 had 128K of RAM. The model 4558 was the equivalent of the LBP-8A2 with 1.1 megabytes of RAM. The DG variations used font cartridges that were different from the standard Canon cartridges (for example, the Line Printer N/R cartridge is P/N S63-9090).


The Canon LBP-8A1 established a font cartridge convention that has been carried forward by HP far beyond what the original designers could have ever imagined. Even though the HP LaserJet firmware differs from that used by the Canon LBP-8A1, the Canon brand font cartridges can be used in HP printers. HP has maintained compatibility with older font cartridges in its new products. The LaserJet II, IID, IIP, IIP Plus, III, IIID, IIIP, IIIsi, 4si and even the HP LaserJet 4, have been built with font cartridge slots that can accept the same old bit-mapped font cartridge designed for the Canon LBP-8A1. Since all the new printers include scalable fonts, there is essentially no reason ever to install one of the old fixed point-size font cartridges.

The printer has the four following built-in fonts: Courier Regular (10 pitch), Courier Bold (10 pitch), Courier Italic (10 pitch), and Courier Footnote (15 pitch).


Although the Canon brand CX-based printer series has been discontinued, The Printer Works offers refurbished printers in like-new condition with a six-month warranty. For a price quote, select the part number of the model that interests you in the ordering information table.

Controller Notes

Model Information | Supplies and Accessories | Ordering Information | Text Only

[Canon LBP-8A1 Controller]

Controller Specifications
Part Number LBP-8A1 (original version): SG4-6011-070
LBP-8A1 (revised version): same as LBP-8A2
LBP-8A2: SG4-6016-040
Designer/Mfg. Canon
Design Similar to HP LaserJet/Plus/500/2000
Languages (Std & Opt) Diablo 630API-ECS, ISO 646, 2022, 2375, and 6429, VDM (American Natl. Std. Draft)
CPU & Clock Rate Motorola 68000 @ 8 MHz
Resolution 300 x 300 for fonts (A1 and A2)
300 x 300 1/4 page of graphics (A1)
75 x 75 for full page of graphics (A1)
300 x 300 full page graphics (A2)
Base RAM 128K
Max/ RAM 1.1 Megabytes
Font cartridges 1 Slot
Control Panel Type Canon 2 digit 7-segment
Standard Interfaces Centronics Parallel
Optional Interfaces RS-232

The Canon LBP-8A1 and LBP-8A2 use the same controller. The only difference is that the -8A2 contains up to two extra 512K memory daughter boards, for a total RAM capacity of 1.1 megabytes.

Supplies and Accessories

Model Information | Controller Notes | Ordering Information | Text Only
You can check prices or order these items from the ordering information table below.


The Canon LBP-8A1 and -8A2 printers use the same toner cartridges as all other CX-based printers.


The Canon LBP-8A1 and -8A2 use the same shaped paper trays as all other CX-based printers. All versions are physically interchangeable, but there are slight color differences. (See also Diagram 300, Paper Cassettes for CX Engines.)


The LBP-8A1 can be converted to an LBP-8A2 by adding one or two 512K memory boards. You will also need to replace the lid with the taller version.


Almost all CX-engine based laser printers can be converted to any other, usually with only the replacement of the Top Cover/Control Panel/Controller as a unit. Some conversions will also require the replacement of the Interface Bracket Assembly. The recommended upgrades for the Canon LBP-8A1/A2 are to an HP LaserJet Plus (512KB or 2MB version) or to a QMS-PS Jet Plus. The former gives you HP's PCL language for compatibility with most DOS-based applications; the latter gives you Adobe's PostScript language for desktop publishing applications, pre-press proofing, and Macintosh connectivity.

Ordering Information

Model Information | Controller Notes | Supplies and Accessories | Text Only
For price and ordering information or to place the item in your shopping cart,
select a Part Number in the table.
Part Number Description
R31-6504 Printer, Printer, Canon LBP-8A1, RS-232, Refurbished
R31-6604 Printer, Canon LBP-8A1, Parallel, Refurbished
R31-6704 Printer, Canon LBP-8A2, RS-232, Refurbished
R31-6804 Printer, Canon LBP-8A2, Parallel, Refurbished
R36-1105 Printer, Canon LBP-8DA1, 115V, Refurbished
SG4-6011-070 Controller, Canon LBP-8A1
SG4-6016-040 Controller, Canon LBP-8A2
SG4-6109-010 Memory Board, Canon, LBP-8A2, 512K
R33-0102-000 High Capacity Outlet Port, Canon Color
R33-0103-000 High Capacity Outlet Port, Federal Express Color
R31-0148-000 Top Cover, Tall, for LBP-8A2
S63-1220-000 FC, Courier 10 for Canon 8A
S63-1230-000 FC, Pica 10 for Canon 8A
S63-1240-000 FC, Elite 12 for Canon 8A
S63-1110-000 FC, Garland PSN for Canon 8A
S63-1120-000 FC, Garland PSR for Canon 8A
S63-1250-000 FC, Line Printer for Canon 8A
Model Information | Controller Notes | Supplies and Accessories | Text Only

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