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Model Information

[LBP-CX VDO printer with Imagen 2308 logo]


The LBP-CX VDO model was created by Canon for its OEM customers, who added their own external video controllers; hence the name "CX Video" or "CX OEM." Another often used, though undeserved, term for the LBP-CX video model was "brain-dead", as it had only a 37- pin video interface, not an intelligent embedded video controller with CPU, RAM, ROM and fonts. Ironically, these "brain-dead" printers are actually the most useful today, since high-quality, host-based rasterization is finally coming of age. Most of the embedded controllers that gave the PCB models their brains are now considered outdated and should be removed or bypassed in order to use a new, high-performance external controller that offers improved print quality and is compatible with current software.

These printers became available after Canon created the 2686A for HP and the Canon brand LBP-8A1 and LBP-8A2 for its own U.S. marketing department (Canon USA), which has since become Canon Computer Systems Incorporated (CCSI). Most of the part numbers for items unique to the CX VDO are higher than those of similar items used for the Canon LBP-8A1 and the HP 2686A. Canon gave priority to HP and to its own model before developing the VDO model for other, smaller OEM accounts. The LBP-CX VDO was used by about 20 companies, which sold small to moderate quantities of CX-based laser printers. Cordata (formerly Corona Data Systems) probably sold more CX-VDO engines than any other OEM. Other OEMs of the CX VDO included Corporate Data Sciences, CompuGraphic, CPT, Imagen, InterLeaf, Kidron and NEC. The Printer Works' JetScript-CX is also based on the LBP-CX VDO model.

The Canon LBP-CX VDO is called an "external video" printer, because of its lack of an embedded video controller or formatter board. The only interface is the DB-37 connector, directly cabled to the DC Controller. Unlike SX and LX DC controllers, the CX DC controller was designed for external controllers to be connected through cables as long as 20 feet. The DC Controller interface has many grounded signal return lines. The most critical signals for the laser video rasters and the horizontal sync are implemented with differential driver and receiver circuits that are more or less immune to the cable and power supply noise typically present on interface cables between computers and printers.

The CX VDO printers were less expensive than PCB models, because they did not contain the power supply or RFI shielding for the formatter.

When they were introduced, low-volume OEM customers paid Canon about $1,000 for CX VDO engines without toner. This price was set in around 1984 to 1985, when the dollar peaked at about 150 yen. Since then, the dollar has fallen substantially against the yen, which should have made the engines more expensive. The prices for most computer products integrated by OEMs (for example, chips and disk drives) tend to go down during their production lifetimes. The CX engine didn't really get any cheaper when the dollar fell against the yen during the 3 or 4 years it was being manufactured, but Canon effectively lowered its price like the other computer products, by keeping the dollar price of the CX more or less constant. Canon now includes price adjustment clauses for yen/dollar differences in its contracts to avoid any similar profit margin problems that could be caused by future currency fluctuations.

External Video Connector

[Diagram of DB-37 External Video Connector]

Pin No. & SignalPin No. & Signal
1 - Reserved for extension 10
2 - BD 11 - PRNT
3 - PPRDY 12 - VSYNC
4 - RDY 13 - VDO
5 - VSREQ 14-20 - Reserved for extension
6 - SBSY 21 - BD
7 - SC 22-31 - RET (GND)
8 - SCLK 32 - VDO
9 - CBSY 33-37 - Reserved for extension


Although the LBP-CX VDOs have been discontinued, The Printer Works offers refurbished printers in like-new condition with a full one-year warranty. For a price quote, select the part number of the model that interests you in the ordering information table.

Supplies and Accessories

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


The Canon LBP-CX-VDO printers use the same toner cartridges as all other CX-based printers.


The LBP-CX-VDO printers use the same shaped paper trays as all other CX-based printers. All versions are physically interchangeable, although there may be slight color differences. (See also Diagram 300.)


See our page on external and host-based controllers.

Ordering Information

Model Information | 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 NumberDescription
R31-0004 Printer, Canon, LBP-CX VDO, 300 dpi, 115V
R31-0006 Printer, Canon, LBP-CX VDO, 300 dpi, 220/240V
R31-0007 Printer, Canon, LBP-CX VDO, 400 dpi, 115V
R31-0008 Printer, Canon, LBP-CX VDO, 400 dpi, 220/240V
Model Information | Supplies and Accessories | Text Only

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