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General Chat Thread, Help me show off! (Laser printer related) in General; A really random question came up yesterday in the office: "How can a laser printer tell a waste toner unit ...
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    Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    A really random question came up yesterday in the office:

    "How can a laser printer tell a waste toner unit needs replacing and will refuse to work until a new one is fitted, even after completely cleaning out the old one when all the waste toner unit is is a piece of plastic"

    Answers on a postcard

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    Maigc? Printer fairies?

    Seriously, the bottle retaining clip/microswitch might be broken or the sensor needs cleaning. Is there any waste toner still anywhere on the unit?

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    fooby's Avatar
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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    There always was a little silver mirror inside the cart on the ones I cleaned. It seemed to think it was empty after I attached a white sticker to it

    fooby

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    The waste detection systems normally use a photoreceptor/photodiode system.
    The transparency of the container allows the light to be detected by the photoreceptor and the logical output from the detector = 0
    As soon as the waste container fills up the receptor looses sight of the led source and the detector =1
    The printer logic prevents further use until changed.
    Depending on the sensitivity of the detector emptying the waste box may not be enough to restore the light source to the required levels.
    Wash or clean the waste box thoroughly to restore the detection levels to a satisfactory level.

    Other printer components use embeded logic ic's to reset internal counters.
    Drum & Fixing units to name just two, these when installed reset the counters and will prevent printer use when expired.
    A good way to make you buy a new one even though the old one is probably still serviceable.

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    Midget's Avatar
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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    that man is correct, I used to extend the life of toner by sticking some bluetack over the transparent hole.

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    Having kept records of pages printed against cartridge replacement - its apparent that most of our HP printers simply signal that a cart is empty after a set number of pages have been printed (eg 5000 on the 4600s).

    Fortunately many allow you to override the cartridge out message by fiddling about in the menus and keep on printing until it really is empty.

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    Many HP and Canon printers use a chip developed and produced by Canon which uses a logic chip to back up the existing smoke and mirrors.

    It works out when a cart should have finished via some algorithm and then kicks off a warning if you exceed that. Same tech is in a lot of inkjet cartridges now and is part of many anti-trust lawsuits, etc...

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    With some HPs it is possible to get extra life out of the toners by covering the chip contacts on the cartridge/drum so the printer is unable to read the information.

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    The epson colour lasers have a fuse built into the toner, so the installation of a new toner can be detected.

    After counting the expected pages they declare they have run out. This can be overwritten via the menu.

    But this causes problems if you need to move a toner from a failed unit to a working one.

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    Watch out, the latest Canon devices use IP connectivity to phone home!

    They can currently send statistics via smtp to Canon Europa who use the info for product development whilst cc'ing the dealers with usage and other useful statistics.
    The little boxes look like an ethernet modem and only one is needed for a whole site's photocopiers/printers.

    I have seen it sending SNMP type data for most functions including jam info, error code info and interestingly enough the contents of the FAX No MEMORY!!

    These things can send documents as pdf's to any other compatible copier in the world if you let them!

    The scary thing was the Canon Engineer had no idea how it worked and just expected to be provided with an IP address, gateway and an SMTP server he could use in order to activate it!

    So back to our first post, soon the printer will not only know when the waste is full, but how much is in your current account and where you last used your credit card!!

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    I've had the problem of Epson C900 and Konica-Minolta 2300DLs (which seem to use the same engine) still thinking the waste toner bottle is full after it has been vacuumed completely empty.

    I find that if you unscrew the little round covers over the outlet spindles which go into the openings of the waste toner bottle (taking care with the springs!) and clean out around them with a brush, an air duster or just by blowing, then put it all back together the printer then stops moaning about the box being full. I guess the 'drains' get clogged and printer can detect that, an assumes the bottle is full?

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    Re: Help me show off! (Laser printer related)

    Quote Originally Posted by crc-ict
    I guess the 'drains' get clogged and printer can detect that, an assumes the bottle is full?
    Mechanical Waste Detection.
    The waste is scraped off of the imaging units photoreceptor by a neoprene blade or neutralising HV charge into a waste/reclaim unit where a helical screw mechanism rotates and pushes the waste horizontally out of the cartridge into the waste box.
    If the box is allowed to fill up to the point that it backs up into the reclaim unit and screw mechanism, a safety switch/trip or motor load sensor kicks in and prevents any serious damage from occuring.



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