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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Gosh, I actually managed to fix my printer (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Gosh, I actually managed to fix my printer
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-14-2018 05:53 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had my HP 2550 for about 15 years and yesterday it started printing nothing but yellow.

Thanks to Uncle Google I discovered that this is a common problem with that printer when a piece of felt deteriorates on a solenoid and causes it to stick, forever after printing nothing but yellow.

So I found a copy of the service manual that I could download and spent the afternoon taking the printer apart and replacing that felt with another little scrap of felt that I had laying around.

And hey, it works now! I'm rather surprised.

Vacuumed out the bits of toner that were in it while I had it apart. I've never done that before and boy, talk about filthy. I guess it's little bits of toner that fall off when it's printing and accumulate at the bottom of the case.

Three hours with a screwdriver sure beats spending $700 on a new printer.

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8002
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-14-2018 06:42 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You got lucky with the toner, I suspect. Most vacuum bags have holes that are big enough for toner particles to go through, so that the toner just goes through the holes and ends up on the other end of the vacuum. There actually are special vacuum cleaners made just for toner.

In any case, you should keep that old HP running. The new ones are garbage by comparision. I am still using a 4050 from the last millennium, myself.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 07-15-2018 07:14 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm sorry to say but I don't like Hewlett-Packard anymore.

Their ink and toner is too expensive for what you get.

They stop working when ANY of the cartridges get low...NOT empty...just go below a certain level.

When the printer says a cartridge is empty, there's still ink inside.

If one cartridge goes down, the WHOLE printer locks up! You can't even print in black.

When you replace a cartridge, you have to replace the print head/nozzle/drum because they are a one-piece unit.

The printers are cheaply built and break all the time.

And...for all the time, trouble and expense, the print quality is no better than any other complany's product.

I took all of my HP printers and threw them in the trash and I don't regret it one bit.

I bought a Brother color laser printer and I haven't looked back, since.

The only people who buy Hewlett-Packard are those who buy their products based on the nostalgia of their name.

I don't even like their calculators anymore!

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Tony Bandiera Jr
Film God

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From: Moreland Idaho
Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 07-15-2018 08:14 AM      Profile for Tony Bandiera Jr   Email Tony Bandiera Jr   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I second what Randy said, but also commend Frank on the repair..sounds like he has one of the higher-end printers, so repair is more practical than replacement. Most printers today are so cheaply made (and ink so expensive) that it is almost worth it to replace a whole printer after you've used say 5 ink refills..

I never used HP printers after seeing all the trouble my brother-in-law has had with his over the years (yet stubbornly refusing to get a different brand). I have used Epson and Canon for ink printers with pretty good luck over the years, and had a Sharp laser printer for a long time that finally had issues with the paper feed.

My current laptop (the one I am on now) is an HP I got at Wally World for $189 new as a closeout (15-bs020wm touchscreen) that so far has worked well, but only after having to do the initial 8+ HOUR Win 10 update....until that update was completed this thing was slower than the dinosaur IMSAI 8080. But now it boots up fast and works pretty good, much better that my old Toshiba Satellite. (I still absolutely HATE WIN 10 though...)

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Jim Cassedy
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From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Dec 2006


 - posted 07-15-2018 10:11 AM      Profile for Jim Cassedy   Email Jim Cassedy   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good for you, Frank. While there is a point beyond
which most machines are just past their useful life,
it doesn't hurt when we can keep them going as long
as possible and out of jumkpiles & landfills. Living
in a large city, hardly a week goes by that I don't
pass 3 or 4 printers just left on a curb as I go about
my daily business. Even though there are rules here
about disposing of or recycling used electronics,
they are enforced about as rarely as our immigration
policies. (no politics intended [Roll Eyes] )

I recall passing two printers just this week that looked
a lot newer than mine, and probably just needed a good
cleaning or a few adjustment tweaks to bring them back
to life. In fact, I almost considered going back later in
the day to get one them, but something else came up.

I have an HP C4480 that's at least 7 years old.
I use it more for scanning documents than for printing,
and about once a year or so I do give it a good cleaning.

I managed to find two online vendors whose
re-manufactured ink cartridges work reliably and are
priced reasonably, and don't cause a "non-compatable
ink cartridge installed" error message to pop up.
(There is a work-aound for this posted online that
involves pushing buttons on the front of the printer in
a certain sequence to get it to ignore this error
message, but although it works, it's a P-I-T-A to use
because you have to enter the code every time you
want to print a page, so I'm glad I was able to find
a source for re-manufactured ink carts that 'work')

Ironically, over all the years I've had this printer,
the only two ink cartridges I've had which failed
early or didn't print well right out of the box were
actual OEM ones from HP, that I paid full price for.
Geez!

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Steve Guttag
We forgot the crackers Gromit!!!

Posts: 12296
From: Annapolis, MD
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 07-15-2018 03:39 PM      Profile for Steve Guttag   Email Steve Guttag   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good for you Frank! I too have an HP2550L and had the dreaded yellow output.

I did the same repair (because there's always a "kid" on YouTube ready to show you anything). I opted to replace the foam with tape (several layers to get the thickness) rather than worry about another piece of foam going away.

The only difference is now it makes more of a "clack" when the solenoid pulls in.

I wouldn't call the 2550 a high-end printer at all. Then again, I don't print anywhere NEAR as much as I used to so I didn't want to spend money on an occasional use item. For things that don't need to be in color, I tell it to just print B&W and that saves on the toner even more.

I've never really liked the 2550. It was a gift from someone that worked for HP at the time. It has done well for us though the driver for it for the Mac hasn't worked right since about mid way through the OSx versions (it was okay through 10.4 or so but now, you have to power cycle between print jobs. It is evident that HP couldn't care less and isn't going to fix it as it has been complained about for years. With each passing year, I'm sure fewer and fewer are out there.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 07-15-2018 04:40 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
For office purposes we rent a Xerox machine with service contract. But for home use, after becoming fed-up with newish crappy HP products after several failures, I bought a Brother HL-3140CW a few years ago. It's a pretty compact machine and can connect via WiFi to your home network (for some reason, most likely costs, no hardwired LAN port).

The original toners that came with the machine lasted for more than 4 years. Although the machine started to squeal about empty toners almost right after the unboxing, I found a key combination to override the "I don't want to print black, because Yellow is empty" behavior.

Now, after those 4 years, the toners are really empty and I suspect even the drums might need replacement.

In the end, I bought exactly the same printer, again, including a set of new "starter" toners, for the same price as a new set of CMYK toners.

So, now I have a new machine, toners that probably last me another 3-4 years, 2 years of warranty on the hard-ware and an old machine as a junkyard for potential spare parts, for the price of a new set of toners...

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Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2016
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 07-15-2018 04:53 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The toners (or ink cartridges) that come with a new printer come with less toner/ink in them than the toners that you buy afterwards. So you might get 2000 pages out of the "starter toner", you could get 10,000 out of a full one that you buy later on.

This fools a lot of people. Printer $109 and toner $99. Hey, for $10 more I can get a whole new printer with that toner.

You actually get less printed pages doing it that way.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-15-2018 09:45 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Count me among HP haters. Between home office, theater office and day job, I have six printers in my life. I'm replacing HP printers with other types as they crap out. So far I have a Canon at home (which is nice, but "higher end" than what I really need) and a Samsung, Brother and Oki lasers at work. My wife has an Epson inkjet at home that she really likes.

My big gripe with my one remaining HP at work is, it's an all-in-one with a fax machine. It works well and does nice prints, and will even let me print with a toner being out...but there's no way to turn off the "auto print" when a fax comes in. So we tend to waste too much toner on junk faxes from vacation offers and other crap we don't need to print. So my low-tech solution is, unplug it from the phone line unless we're sending a fax.

Why is nonsense like that even necessary? WHY DON'T THEY PUT "TURN OFF AUTO PRINT" AS AN OPTION?!

Every one of those manufacturers is a freaking thief with the ink/toner prices. Remember when there was an HP guy on here who tried to feed us a line about "smaller dot nozzle technology" and other crap for the reason why almost each and every printer has to have a new model ink cartridge.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 07-15-2018 11:08 PM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Frank Cox
The toners (or ink cartridges) that come with a new printer come with less toner/ink in them than the toners that you buy afterwards. So you might get 2000 pages out of the "starter toner", you could get 10,000 out of a full one that you buy later on.
Sure I know about that trick. Yet then again, for my home purposes I got roughly 4 years out of the starter toners of this Brother printer, using the simple "toner reset" hack. I really don't print that much at home and a normal ink jet would never have lasted 4 years without the ink cartridges drying out...

What was immediately clear to me is that the printer doesn't really measure the amount of toner left in the cartridge, but simply calculates it from usage.

When it first started to refuse to print, because of an empty toner, it was also immediately clear by the weight of the toner itself that it wasn't empty.

What I've heard, but I don't know if it is true, is that in some cases, the starter toners or ink cartridges are actually the same as the standard units (not necessarily the high-capacity units sometimes also available), but simply "initialized" on a lower capacity, as in the chip that's on them is effectively told that the starting capacity is lower than it actually is. This might also explain why I could stretch it so long, by keeping resetting the toner capacity.

quote:
Why is nonsense like that even necessary? WHY DON'T THEY PUT "TURN OFF AUTO PRINT" AS AN OPTION?!
Because wasting your time and paper is their specialty. You don't want your precious ink cartridges to dry out or your toner to go bad, don't you?

But can't you just switch the answer mode to "Manual"? At least my HP multi-functional used to have it. In that case you need to hit the "Start Fax" button, when somebody sends you a fax. Alternatively, you could answer a phone with DTMF tones activated on the same line and dial 123 to wake-up the fax. That was a simple hack to share the phone line with the multi-functional.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10727
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-15-2018 11:44 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't even have a personal printer since I have a war going on against accumulating any more paper. I'm all about reducing that kind of clutter. I can understand some people wanting a paper hardcopy of every freaking JPEG image they ever received. I'm at the exact opposite of that. I totally understand the risks of keeping digital images all in the digital realm (stored on hard discs). But I think that's easier to manage than boxes full of paper just wasting space.

Consumer printers are mostly garbage. Every make, including HP, has their share of problems. They're not making things any better since desktop printing it not even close to being a growth industry. The printers are built too fragile and the ink cartridges cost too damned much. So many people (myself included) are keeping the vast majority of their images in the digital realm rather than wasting space with prints.

It's a different matter when you get into the professional printing end of things. I've never been a huge fan of HP. Nevertheless we now have two of these big hulking 54" HP Latex printers in the room where I work. They're not cheap to buy, but they work pretty damned well. We bought the first as a step up from a Roland VersaCamm printer, but we kept the VersaCamm running for print & cut operations. Then we bought a 2nd HP unit along with a new Graphtec plotter that could work tandem with the HP for print and cut operation and retired the decade-old VersaCamm.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12492
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-17-2018 12:12 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
But can't you just switch the answer mode to "Manual"? At least my HP multi-functional used to have it.
I don't know if it has that or not, but either way I don't want that..... I want it to save the image to a file, the way our old computer fax program used to do. The stupid thing can SCAN an item to a file, but for a fax, it insists on printing the thing out. But I'm sure you're right, it's just an insidious attempt to sell more toner -- and of course the junk faxes are always heavy with images, so they use a lot of black.

Luckily we don't send or receive many faxes any more so it's no huge hassle, just an annoyance that will go further toward me never buying another HP product when this one craps out.

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Marcel Birgelen
Film God

Posts: 2646
From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
Registered: Feb 2012


 - posted 07-17-2018 02:04 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I can tell you that probably none of the cheap multi-functionals is going to do that. Their business model is to sell you consumables. They made no profit or even a loss on your machine, now they want to sell you toner, ink and if possible, even paper. (Those faxes will look so much better on genuine HP paper [Wink] ). I remember that in my last cheap HP, it was even almost impossible to turn off the fax report after every fax you sent with it. This report included a scaled down copy of the first-page you sent, wasting another good page of paper and ink for you.

I think our big Xerox at the office can probably do it. But that's a professional machine were you actually pay the cost of the machine and get the consumables at a reasonable price.

About a year or 15 back we still had a dedicated fax server, connected with two modems. I've since forgotten what software was running on it. You had a client for both Mac and Windows that allowed you to manage the fax queue. You could forward faxes as mails and also easily block known numbers of spammers.

But that was in an age when the fax was considered to be one of the few legally accepted "instant communication" methods.

We then moved from a dedicated server to an on-line "fax to mail" service, which might also be a solution for you. They simply send all the faxes they receive to a generic e-mail address you can provide. In our case, they even offered an on-line portal where you can view the faxes. Initially we just forwarded our fax number to the number provided by them and later on they could also assign the fax number to the service directly.

About a year or 4 ago, we ditched the fax entirely. Since the only thing I was receiving on the fax number was spam and even all the legal stuff is done by mail or other on-line portals those days. There is no legal requirement to provide a fax number (at least not around here), so we ditched it one day and never really looked back. Besides many forms that still allow a slot for "Fax number", I've never really had an inquiry about what our fax number is since then. Suppliers that asked for orders to be faxed had switched to e-mail or on-line portals a while before already.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10727
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 07-17-2018 10:30 AM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Marcel Birgelen
I think our big Xerox at the office can probably do it. But that's a professional machine were you actually pay the cost of the machine and get the consumables at a reasonable price.
We have a Konica-Minolta Bizhub C220 office printer that can scan documents to a number of file formats (TIFF, JPEG, PDF). The printer has user folders for storing documents and those are accessible on the network. The unit has fax and email functions too. It's pretty handy. The scanning quality isn't the best however, so I still use my old desktop scanner (an Epson Perfection 4490 Photo scanner) whenever I need to scan photos or artwork for design purposes. That doesn't happen very often these days; most customer-provided materials arrive in some kind of digital format (some of it is useful, some of it is just crap).

Our Bizhub office printer comes with a service contract. There is a meter running for each page printed, toner consumed, etc. Considering the amount of paper this thing generates the operational cost is a lot cheaper than running that kind of volume through a consumer-class printer.

Faxes are pretty useless for the most part these days. It seems like 90% of the stuff that comes out of our fax machine is spam. But we have to keep the damned thing connected because there's still a few "Luddite" customers and sign product suppliers who insist on sending things via fax.

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Rick Raskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

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From: Manassas Virginia
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 - posted 07-17-2018 01:52 PM      Profile for Rick Raskin   Email Rick Raskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have an HP laser Jet P1102. Once the warranty expired I started buying refilled toner cartridges off of Ebay for less than $10 each. So far so good after probably 10 cartridges. I return the carcasses to Staples for $2 credit each.

At my VFW Post we have HP printers and buy just enough HP toner & ink to keep the Staples gig going.

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