Brother Label Tape Hack

Hack a Brother label cartridge

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I have a Brother label printer P-touch (PT-P300BT) model.
It cannot print shrink tube tapes.
The holes in the tape cartridge contain the tape information, which can be analyzed to trick the machine into printing.

The third image is what I figured out over the course of a weekend.

The blank spaces are not supported by the P-touch printer, so the code is either unreadable or there is no data at all.

The Brother label printer prints on the opposite side of the transparent film, so it produces a mirrored image.
However, if you set it to 12mm wide fabric or ribbon tape, it will print a normal image.

If you punch a hole in the tape cartridge or cover it with tape, set it to ribbon tape, and reduce the font size slightly, you can print on shrink tubes without any problems.

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Brian K. White wrote 07/02/2024 at 08:33 point

Thanks Buddy!
I didn't have any mirror image issue. I just plugged the one hole on the top and selected 12mm ribbon white black (the actual tape is 5.8mm tube) and it prints correctly on my P300BT.

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Gogan wrote 12/07/2023 at 03:45 point

Great work!

Created a git to (try) to compile every tape available

I've added the few ones I have (had to mod the heat shrink cassette to be correctly detected).

I've kept 0 for open and 1 for closed based on old service manuals of TZ tape labelers, but I think you've the opposite. Can you please confirm so I can add yours?


Please send me the ones you have and I'll update it

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JongHun.Lee wrote 12/23/2023 at 03:38 point

Sorry for late reply. Feel free to use it

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qtron wrote 04/17/2023 at 17:51 point

i wonder if all this good info is relevant for a Brother P-Touch 1180?

What is the fabric tape U refer to? - (i am not familiar with it)

My machine uses plain white tape.

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JongHun.Lee wrote 04/18/2023 at 03:35 point

Some tapes are made of fabric. They are used for gift wrapping ribbons or decorative purposes. 

These tapes print a normal image, not a mirrored image, because they are not printed on the other side of the clear coat like typical Brother Label tapes.(See photo)

Personal printers such as the P-touch cannot print industrial tapes such as shrink tubing, and the device will display an "incompatible tape" message. 
However, if you drill and plug the hole in the shrink tape cartridge and hack it like fabric tape, your printer thinks it is fabric tape and you can print on it.

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