ARRL

Forum Home - Rules - Help - Login - Forgot Password
Members can access, post and reply to the forums below. Before you do, please first read the RULES.

Print Quality of Digital QST

Dec 23rd 2012, 16:51

KL0S

Joined: Apr 6th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
For many years I kept all my paper copies of QST, 73, Ham Radio, CQ etc. I finally bit the bullet and went thru all those issues and extracted the articles that I wanted to keep for future reference and use. In recent years to create more useful copies I began using my color copier/printer to make copies of those articles I wanted to keep. When QST (and others) began distributing digital media I was encouraged that I could reduce my paper footprint even further by simply printing those articles I needed a print copy of at the time of use.

But I have found that the reproduction quality you get from the digital QST application falls short. My Mac operating system allows me to create .pdf file copies from documents. As an experiment I extracted an article I wanted to keep from the January 2013 QST and via the "nxt" application print function I saved the pages I wanted as a .pdf file. The initial file size was ~11MB for a six-page article. Then via a .pdf compression utility I was able to compress that to a file size of ~1.5MB.

When printed neither of those files provided a paper copy quality that approached the QST printed page. I then used the digital version to directly print the same pages with similar lower quality results.

Finally to prove that my color printer could actually produce a print quality that approached the printed page I simply made made a color copy from the article I snipped out of my QST. That print quality was VERY close to the QST paper print quality.

So for the foreseeable future I still need to use my paper QST to produce acceptable file copies of those articles I want to keep; why can't the QST digital application produce a clear, sharp printed copy that I can produce with the scan/print function of my color printer?

Dino KL0S
Dec 24th 2012, 18:32

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Dino -

I have found that the PDFs in the annual CDROM are very good quality. Chances are they will always be at least as good as, if not better than what you get via the digital magazine (and you get QEX, NCJ, and supplementary files.)

I have suggested that the annual CDROM should be bundled with the membership and QST subscription, either at no cost (best!) or for an (optional) low additional charge. If you agree, feel free to let HQ know.

73 Martin AA6E

p.s. It's worth a note that the on-line archives -- from the mid-90's (?) at least until this year! -- are available to members in high-quality PDFs. The CDROM is better, because you get the complete issues with ads, etc.
Jan 14th 2013, 15:15

VK4APN

Joined: Jan 17th 2005, 09:22
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I have just re-joined the ARRL. I opted for the digital version. I have found that if I print out an article from the digital version that the print quality is no better than a 5th generation photocopy - very poor, blurred and difficult to read. The images seem crisp tho. Am I missing a setting? My colour laser printer produces excellent output from every other source. Or is the print quality deliberately trashed on the digital version?
Paul vk4apn
Jan 14th 2013, 16:26

AA6E

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Paul, I get the same ragged results as you when I print using the Google Chrome browser under Ubuntu LInux, sad to say. (The copyright notice comes through nice and sharp. :-)

If you want to get a specific photo or figure printed in best quality, you can use the "Print Screen" function on your computer, but this is not a great solution.

Digital QST is clearly optimized for on-line viewing. For archiving and printing, the annual CD-ROM (or the on-line archive of older issues) with PDFs is a better way to go. Unfortunately, these won't help you print from a current issue.

73 Martin AA6E
Jan 25th 2013, 23:42

KF5VPK

Joined: Jan 16th 2013, 01:39
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
I have a HP P1102w B&W laser printer. I printed two pages. Some of the characters of the font are not consistent in letter thickness. Some areas of the text the letters are broken, missing part of the letters. Not common though. I currently use 2.0 diopters reading glasses and the print is readable. I can read it with little problems. I have Vista Home Premium for an operating system.
Apr 13th, 22:39

K6LCM

Joined: May 15th 2006, 14:50
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Same issue with poor text print quality here on the Mac printing from all browsers. I tried upgrading Adobe Flash on the Mac and making PDFs before printing but no joy. Prints from Windows 7 produced significantly better results.

Not sure if the worst of it is Mac/Linux specific. Can others weigh in with comparisons by OS?

Back to Top