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QMS PS-810 Series

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Model Information

[QMS-PS 810 printer]

Model Data
Model Number QMS-PS 810
Introduction Date October 1987
Original MSRP $4,995
Replaces Model QMS-PS 800+
Replaced by Model QMS-PS 810 turbo


The QMS-PS 810 printer is a cut above the Apple LaserWriter II NT and a notch below the LaserWriter II NTX. As a result, it filled a popular niche for PC, Mac, and workstation users who were doing desktop publishing but couldn't justify the added expense, or didn't need the features and performance, of a LaserWriter II NTX.

QMS did just about everything right in specifying and manufacturing the 810, and in its day the printer won every award worth winning as the top PostScript laser printer. The PS 810 was one of QMS's best selling products ever. It was private labeled by NBI under the model name LP 910. The only difference was the name on the start-up page and on the cover.

Like the Apple printers, the 810 has no control panel, only a status panel. This is consistent with the Adobe and Apple philosophy that peripherals should be controlled entirely from the host computer.

The PS 820 is the dual bin version of the 810. All other features are the same. The PS 820 is popular in multi-user desktop publishing environments. The second paper tray allows two types of paper to be available at one time.


The PS-810 uses the now famous Plus Set of 35 scalable typefaces from Adobe Systems.


The QMS-PS 810 has been discontinued, but The Printer Works can build them from parts at special request. Refurbished printers are in like-new condition and come with a Six-Month Warranty. For a price quote, select the printer's part number in the ordering information table.

Controller Notes

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

[QMS-PS 810 Controller, shows new and original versions, both without functionality module.]

Controller Specifications
Part Number Original: 2390430-901A
Revised: 2390474-908
Designer QMS
Manufacturer Adobe
Design Similar to PS 800 II & JetScript
Std. Emulations PostScript, LaserJet+ (HP-PCL), Diablo 630, HP 7475A (HP-GL)
Opt. Emulations None
Emulation Brand Adobe
CPU & Clock Rate 68000 @ 16 MHz
Bitmap Resolution (max) 300 X 300
RET None
Base RAM 2 Megabyte
Max RAM 3 Megabytes
ROM 1 Megabyte
Font Cartridges None
Control Panel Type OEM LED Display
Standard Interfaces RS-232, RS 422/AppleTalk, Centronics Parallel
Optional Interfaces None

The controller derives much of its technology from improvements originally developed for the PS 800 II, which was the first QMS product to use the Advanced Systems Architecture for Printing (ASAP). The ASAP architecture was based on an Adobe-designed ASIC that sped up bit manipulations such as barrel shifting, a key operation needed for executing PostScript.

QMS wanted every advantage it could get over Apple. The 810 has a 68000 CPU running at 16 MHz instead of the 12 MHz of the Apple LaserWriter II NT. Two megabytes of RAM were standard and a third one could be added, whereas the NT was fixed at 2 megabytes. QMS added a Centronics parallel port, which was not included on the II NT.

To be compatible with HP, QMS had Adobe include its excellent HP LaserJet+ emulation. Adobe's emulation of the LaserJet is in some ways better than a real HP, since it builds HP fonts from the Adobe library. Therefore, the PS-810 in PCL mode works like an HP with almost every font cartridge available already plugged in! The HP emulation is fairly fast, and on some bench marks a PS 810 prints faster than a LaserJet series II.

Two different layouts of the PS-810 controller were made. The original version had all of the firmware on a daughter board called a "functionality" module. Two sizes of functionality module exist. A larger board with smaller ROMS and a smaller board with bigger ROMs. Latest revision boards replace the functionality module by moving the ROMs to the main board.

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 QMS-PS 810 uses the same toner cartridges as all other SX-based printers.


The QMS-PS 810/820 printer uses the same shaped paper trays and high-capacity feeders as all other SX-based printers. All versions are physically interchangeable, but there are slight color differences. (See also Diagram 300.)


In typical QMS style, 810 owners were prevented from buying the third megabyte of RAM from IC dealers because a PAL chip had to be changed in order for the board to recognize the third megabyte. And, of course, QMS won't sell the PAL by itself. Since there are two versions of the 810 controller there are two versions of the PAL and hence two versions of the RAM upgrade kit.


For increased speed, the QMS-PS 810/820 can be upgraded to an PS 810/820 turbo simply by changing the controller board. The turbo model has a faster processor and can have more fonts on line, since it supports more memory as well as a SCSI disk drive. For font-intensive applications, having more fonts on line can further improve performance. Upgrading to the 815/825 will provide about the same speed as the turbo and it offers SIO (Simultaneous Interface Operation) with ESP (Emulation Sensing Processor).

For improved print quality, the PS 815MR/825MR (Multi-Resolution) controller offers selectable 300 or 600 dpi resolution. One feature lacking on both the 815 and the 815MR is the SCSI interface. To upgrade to the PS 815/825 or the PS-815MR/825MR, the control panel must be changed.


Printers shipped from the Laser Connection subsidiary of QMS were bundled with a package of handy software utilities for PCs and Macs called PS Executive. Printers from QMS direct sales department did not include this software package and it was sold as an option.

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 NumberDescription
1012117 Printer, QMS-PS 810 w/2MB
1012122 Printer, QMS-PS 810 w/3MB
1012127 Printer, QMS-PS 820 w/2MB
1012132 Printer, QMS-PS 820 w/3MB
2390430-901A Controller, QMS-PS 810 w/o funct. module
2390474-908 Controller, QMS-PS 810 revised version
2290429 PCBA Functionality Module, Small, for QMS-PS 810
2390425-902A PCBA Functionality Module, Large, for QMS-PS 810
7014590001 Memory, 3rd MB for QMS-PS 810 (old rev.)
4722011-901 Memory, 3rd MB for QMS-PS 810 (new rev.)
1850024-901A Manual, User's Guide, PS-810
1730232-901B Manual, User's Guide, PS-820

Model Information
| Controller Notes | Supplies and Accessories | Text Only

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