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Ramblings from the Restaurant at the Ragged Edge of Reason

My Brain Transplant - of a Brother HL-2040

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by , 26th April 2010 at 10:28 PM (9861 Views)
My opinion of Brother printers is well known to my employers and to anyone who has read more than a few of my forum posts so todays weird task was rather strange.

At one site we have many Brother HL-20X0x series printers which routinely work fine, fine being a loose definition of cheap and only likely to jam once or twice a day. They also have a nasty little habit of burning out or cooking their paper sensor, oddly the newer ones more so than the originals.

Quote Originally Posted by Mary Shelly
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.

Evil PrinterToday I went all Dr Frankenstein and dumped a couple of carcases onto the bench with the intent of building my very own monster. One functioned alright, accepting print jobs over USB and parallel, printing whole pages at a time but then had a habit of chewing them up and attempting to set itself on fire. The other showed up to a PC, just as offline and a different printer each time. It could print a test print (printer based) perfectly without chewing it or catching on fire but even when connected via parallel would only print business card sized bits of jobs on paper before going nuts and attempting to throw its own disco with error lights.

In true Frankenstein fashion I had a beast that needed a new brain, I even had another brain from a worn out wreck two years its senior. After removing the side panels and the top I was eventually able to scoop out the squishy goodness of a functioning brain from the older unit.

Upon opening the newer unit I found to my disgust the most probable reason for the newer unitís premature brain failure. The older model had a large heat sink on one of the primary ICs of the main board, the newer, probably cheaper manufactured one had no heat sink on the IC at all.

Fourteen screws later the board was in place and I was ready to harness the power of lightning to shock my beast into life. Although it in breathed deeply a troubling red light began to blink signalling a problem, paper, paper it cried. This turned out to be an issue with the toner door sensor that was not quite depressed enough to think that the door was closed.

The next issue was a toner and drum warning, as the brain had been transplanted so covertly it was unaware of its new body. Removing and reseating the toner had no affect so I had to reset the toner and drum counter. To do this you simply hold the Go button for four seconds till all four lights light up while the toner door is open then close the door and do the same thing again. This spurred the brain into action and caused it to reassess its toner and drum.

A single greet light then remained on the device, signalling its newly found confidence it its ability to control its new body. I switched it off quickly and then on once again while holding the Go button. All of the lights came on and then went out again in sequence, a short tap of the Go button and the green light reappeared, blinking this time as the insides of the beast stuttered into life.

Success, paper emerged from its grubby interior with perfectly formed markings appended its surface. I quickly plugged it in to a computer and made sure the new brain was functioning as expected, again full pages of text emerged, un-crumpled and not the least bit on fire.

My monster was complete, a sin against consumerist nature and, as an accursed Brother remains destined to spend the rest of its days driving me slowly insane.

Updated 26th April 2010 at 10:37 PM by SYNACK

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