FARGO DTC500 Series Brochure

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Choose the level of card personalization that's right for your organization.
The versatile DTC500 Series is perfect for high-volume or on-demand applications.

ID Badges

  • CR-80 Card

  • Direct-to-card Printing

  • Dual-sided Printing

  • Bar Code

  • Magnetic Stripe (on back)

Smart Cards

  • CR-80 Card

  • Direct-to-card Printing

  • Dual-sided Printing

  • 2D Bar Code (on back)

  • Digital Signature (on back)

  • Encoded Smart Chip

  • Clear, Generic or Custom

  • PolyGuard TM

  • Overlaminate (.6 mil to 1 mil thick)

ID and Membership Cards

  • CR-80 Card

  • Direct-to-card Printing

  • Dual-sided Printing

  • Clear, Generic or Custom PolyGuard Overlaminate (.6 mil to 1 mil thick)

  • Magnetic Stripe (on back)

DTC500 Series The most versatile and compact solution for printing, encoding and laminating plastic cards.

The FARGO DTC500 Series Card Printer/Encoders offer the modular features you need for high-volume or on:

Welcome to the new standard in card personalization systems.

Loaded with advanced features, FARGO's DTC500 Series is expertly engineered - yet surprisingly simple. Whether you print membership cards, employee access cards, student IDs or loyalty cards, you'll be impressed with the rugged reliability, ease-of-use and quiet performance of these versatile and compact printer/encoders. And now we've added even more modular capability to the DTC525 model. Its new Card Lamination Module lets you add clear or holographic overlaminates to your cards for maximum card durability and security.

Quality printing takes you to the edge.

Designed to make you and your cards look their best, the FARGO DTC500 Series features the finest quality and most versatile direct-to-card (DTC) printing available. Each model prints edge-to-edge on standard CR-80 cards from 10 mil to 50 mil thick, and consistently produces crisp, full-color or monochrome cards.

Print different types of cards quickly without having to reload.

With the FARGO DTC515 and FARGO DTC525 models, you can print longer without refilling. Each comes with Dual Card Input Hoppers that can hold up to 200 cards. With the dual hoppers, you can have easy, automated printing of two different types of cards - even cards with different thicknesses. Plus, the long-lasting, drop-in ribbons let you print up to three times as many cards as competitive printers.


Encode your cards for more functionality.

No other direct-to-card printer can match the encoding capability of the FARGO DTC500 Series. Its advanced technology lets you print and encode or read a card with up to three different e-card technologies plus a magnetic stripe - all in a single pass! It can print and encode standard e-card types, including contact and contactless smart cards, and proximity cards (read only). With the FARGO DTC500 Series, you can quickly print and encode your access cards, ID badges or loyalty cards - in volume and on-demand - all in one easy step!

FARGO's patented dual, auto-switching Card Input Hoppers let you load up to 200 of the same type of card. Or you can place a different stack of 100 cards into each hopper for added versatility and efficiency.

The most versatile and compact solution for printing, encoding and laminating plastic cards.

FARGO C500 Series Card Printer/Encoders offer the modular features you need for high-volume or on-demand applications.

Fargo DTC500 Series
Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder

  • In the future, the Card Lamination Module can be added to your FARGO DTC525.

  • Intuitive SmartScreen - LCD Control Panel displays helpful messages such as when to add cards and change ribbon.

  • Tape-based Card Cleaning System removes debris better and lasts far longer than competitive cleaning systems.

  • Access door with window lets you view remaining card supply, while keeping blank cards dust-free.

  • Secure, exclusive SmartGuard Printer Security feature restricts card printing access to authorized personnel only.

  • True Exception Card Feed allows you to manually feed and print a single exception card without interrupting printer/encoder operation.

  • Card Hopper Lock helps prevent theft of valuable preprinted, smart or holographic cards.


Revolutionary Card Lamination Module makes it easier than ever to have durable and secure cards.

Only FARGO offers you the option of adding lamination to your printer/encoder - even after you've purchased it! You can order a DTC525-LC with the Card Lamination Module factory-installed. Or, you can order a standard DTC525, and in the future as your needs change, the module can easily be added. Either way, it's an intelligent purchase! It applies overlaminate to the front and/or back of your cards - all in the same pass as your printing and encoding! Plus, FARGO's clear and holographic PolyGuard Overlaminates provide up to 25 times more protection than standard overlays



User-friendly setup has you printing in minutes.

Everything about the DTC500 Series is user-friendly, including setup and maintenance. It features plug-and print setup and simple, straightforward operation. And installation is easy with the interactive printer-driver installer CD. If you need assistance, a "Help" button on the LCD and a multimedia Online User's Guide make it easy to get answers at any time. Plus, flash upgradeable firmware enables you to download new upgrades online.

With its powerful print engine and 4MB of RAM, the DTC500 Series can breeze through 133 color cards, or over 500 monochrome cards per hour!

The most versatile and compact solution for printing, encoding and laminating plastic cards.

Fargo DTC525-LC

Direct-to-Card Printer/Encoder with Card Lamination Module "Smart" security package protects cards and printer/encoder.

  • LED Control Panel provides direct control of lamination for simultaneous operation of lamination and printing.

  • Card Lamination Module provides single- or dual-sided lamination.

  • Adjustable Card Flattener eliminates card bowing.

  • The DTC525-LC identifies errors and sends incomplete
    or improperly encoded cards to the Reject Card Hopper. Clear door shows status instantly.

"Smart" security package protects cards and printer/ encoder.

The DTC515 and DTC525 models also feature a printer security package that includes a Lockable Hopper to protect valuable cards, FARGO's exclusive SmartGuard Printer Security, and SmartShield - Card Security technology.

If you need a card printer/encoder that's versatile, reliable and easy-to operate, the DTC500 Series is for you.

DTC500 Series Input Hoppers Card Capacity Security Package* Encoding Modules** Lamination Module
Single Sided Card Printer /Encoders
DTC510 1 100 N/A Optional N/A
DTC515 2 200 Included Optional N/A
Dual-Sided Card Printer/Encoders
DTC520 1 100 N/A Optional N/A
DTC525 2 200 Included Optional Optional
DTC525-LC 2 200 Included Optional Included

* DTC500 Series Security Package includes Card Hopper Lock, SmartGuard and SmartShield.

** Encoding Modules include a choice of: magnetic stripe card, contact smart card and contactless smart card encoders and/or proximity card reader.

Contact an authorized FARGO integrator about the DTC500 Series Card Printer/Encoders!






DTC500 Series Specifications
Print Method: Dye-Sublimation / Resin Thermal Transfer
Resolution: 300 dpi (11.8 dots/mm)
Colors: Up to 16.7 million / 256 shades per pixel
Print Ribbon Options:

  • Full-color with resin black and overlay panel, YMCKO*, 400 prints

  • Full-color with two resin black panels and overlay panel, YMCKOK*, 350 prints

  • Full-color, no overlay panel, YMC*, 700 prints

  • Full-color with resin black panel, no overlay panel, YMCK*, 500 prints

  • Full-color with two resin black panels, no overlay panel, YMCKK*, 400 prints

  • Dye-sublimation black, BO*, 500 prints

  • Resin black (3,000 prints), green, blue, red, white, silver, gold and scratch-off, 1000 prints

  • Thermal Transfer Overlaminate, .25 mil thick

  • PolyGuard Overlaminate, 1.0 mil and .6 mil thick

Overlaminate Options:

All overlaminates available in clear, holographic globe design or custom holographic design

Print Speed:**

Batch Mode:

  • DTC510/515: 7 seconds per card / 514 cards per hour (K)*

  • DTC510/515: 12 seconds per card / 300 cards per hour (BO)*

  • DTC510/515: 27 seconds per card / 133 cards per hour (YMCKO)*

  • DTC520/525: 35 seconds per card / 102 cards per hour (YMCKOK)*

  • DTC525-LC: 30 seconds per card / 120 cards per hour (YMCK/lamination)*

  • DTC525-LC: 36 seconds per card / 99 cards per hour (YMCKK/lamination)*

Accepted Standard Card Sizes: CR-80 (3.375"L x 2.125"W / 85.6mmL x 54mmW)
CR-79 Adhesive Back (3.303" L x 2.051" W / 83.9mmL x 52.1mmW)
Print Area:

CR-80 edge-to-edge (3.37" L x 2.11" W / 85.5mm L x 53.5mm W)
CR-79 (3.3" L x 2.051" W / 83.8mm L x 52.1mm W)

Accepted Card Thickness:

Print only: .010" (10 mil) to .050" (50 mil) / .254mm to 1.27mm (single-sided printing only for 10 mil and 50 mil cards)
Print/Lamination: .020" (20 mil) to .040" (40 mil) / .508mm to 1.02mm

Accepted Card Types: PVC or polyester cards with polished PVC finish; monochrome resin required for 100% polyester cards
Input Hopper Card Capacity:

DTC510/520: Single hopper; 100 cards (.030"); auto or manual feed
DTC515/525: Dual hopper; 200 cards (.030"); auto or manual feed
DTC525-LC: Dual hopper; 200 cards (.030"); auto or manual feed

Output Hopper Card Capacity: 100 cards (.030" / .762mm)
Security Features: SmartGuard, SmartShield, lockable input hopper (DTC515/525 only)
Card Cleaning: Removable Card Cleaning Cartridge with replaceable cleaning tape
Memory: 4MB RAM
Display: User-friendly, SmartScreen LCD Control Panel
Software Drivers: Windows® 95/98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP; Optional Macintosh® (not available on the DTC525-LC)
Encoding Options:

  • ISO Magnetic Stripe Encoding Module, dual high- and low-coercivity, Tracks 1, 2, and 3

  • JIS II Magnetic Stripe Encoding Module

  • E-Card Docking Station (required for all e-card Encoder (MIFARE®) options or 3rd party smart card encoding)

  • Contact Smart Card Encoder (ISO 7816), Parts 1-4; T=0 & T=1

  • Contactless Smart Card

  • Prox Card Encoder (HID read-only)

System Requirements: IBM-PC or compatible, Windows 95/98/Me/NT 4.0/2000/XP, Pentium® class 133MHz computer with 32MB of RAM or higher, 200MB free hard disk space or higher, ECP parallel port with DMA access
Interface: Centronics Parallel, IEEE 1284 compliant Optional EIA-232C serial interface (for embedded fonts and bar codes) Optional USB-to-Parallel Interface Cable (Windows 98/Me/2000/XP only)
Operating Temperature: 65 to 80 F / 18 to 27 C
Humidity: 20-80% non-condensing

DTC510/515/520/525: 10.75"H x 18.5"W x 11"D / 273mmH x 470mmW x 279mmD
DTC525-LC: 10.75"H x 30.5"W x 11"D / 273mmH x 775mmW x 279mmD
LC Module: 10.25"H x 30"W x 11"D / 260mmH x 762mmW x 279mmD


DTC510/515/520/525: 24 lbs. / 10.8 kg
DTC525-LC: 43 lbs. / 19.5 kg
LC Module: 19 lbs. / 8.6 kg

Agency Listings:

Safety: UL 1950, CSA C2.2 (No. 950-95), TüV-GS (IEC-950), CE and CCIB
Emissions: ITS (EN 55022 Class B:1995), FCC Class B, EN 50082-1:1997, BSMI, CRC c1374, CE and CCIB

Supply Voltage:

DTC510/515/520: 100-240 VAC, 1.2 A
DTC525/525-LC: 100-240 VAC, 2.2 A

Supply Frequency: 50 Hz / 60 Hz

Printer - One year; optional Extended Warranty Program (U.S. only)
Printhead - One year, unlimited pass with UltraCard¿ Cards

FARGO Certified Supplies: FARGO Card Printer/Encoders require highly specialized media to function properly. To maximize printed card quality and durability, printhead life and printer/encoder reliability, use only FARGO Certified Supplies. FARGO warranties are void, where not prohibited by law, when non-FARGO Certified Supplies are used.

  • Printer Cleaning Kit External

  • Print Server (Windows only; required for stand-alone networking of printer/encoders)

  • USB-to-Parallel Interface Cable (Windows 98/Me/2000/XP only)

  • Card Lamination Module

  • Embedded Fonts and Bar Codes to print from AS/400, mainframe and other systems:

    • Code 39, Code 128 B & C with and without check digit

    • 2 of 5

    • UPC-A

    • EAN 13

    • PDF-417 2D bar code and other symbologies available via Windows driver

    • Resident: Swiss Bold 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 22

















*Indicates the ribbon type and the number of ribbon panels printed where Y=Yellow, M=Magenta, C=Cyan, K=Resin Black, O=Overlay, B=Dye-Sublimation Black

**Print speed indicates an approximate batch print speed and is measured from the time a card feeds into the printer to the time it ejects from the printer. Print speeds do not include encoding time or the time needed for the PC to process the image. Process time is dependent on the size of the file, the CPU, amount of RAM and the amount of available resources at the time of the print.

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