View Full Version : A simple printer
27th Jul 2012, 05:31
Having purchased a USB to LPT printer lead, I found the computer got the data from the little used HP Laserjet 4, but would not run it. Is it a power-to-port issue do you think?
Tonight, I've taken the sad offerings of Epson and Kodak times 2, ready for scrap. Always heads blocking up causing problems.
Last summer I went 'home' to England and took out an HP printer that Noah had on the ark. Of course, it worked. Never missed a beat all summer.
All I need is a simple printer. No scanner. Fair quality, but good value and never, ever needs the ink replaced. Okay, I'll buy some ink, but not often.
Which way do I turn? Kodak was a really tasteless joke. Their offer of compensation for the one that all the hype was about, was one that looked like it was made by some kid in China. When I protested, they stood firm, until I pointed out one could buy them new for $55 on Amazon. The original was 380 odd. They seemed as dumbfounded as I was angry.
Is there anyway I can find value these days?
27th Jul 2012, 07:54
"Is it a power-to-port issue do you think?"
probably just a driver problem. What version of Windows are you using?
As to replacement
If you only want monochrome then something like this
Samsung ML-3310ND Mono Laser Printer (ML-3310ND/SEE) - www.misco.co.uk (http://www.misco.co.uk/product/Q303194/Samsung-ML-3310ND-Mono-Laser-Printer)
Canon i-SENSYS LBP6000 Mono Laser Printer (4286B009AA) - www.misco.co.uk (http://www.misco.co.uk/product/Q313924/Canon-i-SENSYS-LBP6000-Mono-Laser-Printer)
If you want colour then look at
Canon PIXMA iP4950 Inkjet Printer (5287B008AA) - www.misco.co.uk (http://www.misco.co.uk/product/Q441883/Canon-PIXMA-iP4950-Inkjet-Printer)
27th Jul 2012, 10:50
I deal with four Brother laser printers. They have been trouble-free for years. US$70 is about what I've paid.
Three of these printers are USB-only. The fourth also has Ethernet / RJ-45, which I use on a local network with both XP and Win7 PCs. It is a little more expensive.
For even more money, they have one which can be reached by WiFi ... but the wired interface can't be used if you've configured the printer for WiFi.
There is a safe way to get more copies from a toner cartridge. My friend, who recent bought a low-end USB one, has followed these instructions and has made over 1000 extra copies from the "introductory" toner cartridge.
27th Jul 2012, 12:55
Try a different cable if you can. Not all cables are equal. Also, in the driver settings, deselect "bidirectional" if it's selected.
27th Jul 2012, 20:30
Glad to see Misco are still going. I must have been one of their first retailing customers.
I'm on Win 7 professional on the PCs and Vista on my laptop. (I know)
I'll look into the driver and bi -directional issues when I get a new lead - or abandon what was a fine old printer.
The thing is, is it advisable to keep an old HP Laserjet 4? Do they have an industrial strength that the new ones simply don't have?
It was given to me like new, but lately it's been greying the paper, so probably time to give up on it. Funnily, it was okay for a day after reloading paper, but is now not good again. I don't need anymore repair projects!
The laser was primarily for the book, and may well have to churn out 2,000 B & W pages in a day depending on the invitations to submit. More folk are accepting software now, so it may all become academic.
It seems I should perhaps abandon having two printers and have one colour unit, though I've heard bad things about the cost of toners. Can I bash out 2,000 pages at reasonable cost on cheap laser units?
What I didn't say is I'd accept a non scanner replacement for my Epson CX6600 - but it seems inkjet problems are to this day, tedious. When they go, they're good - and so instant. But I've had enough of heads drying out when I go away.
Is there a straightforward inkjet solution with medium colour quality that stand out above the rest - or has laser really taken over? If there were, I'd run a B&W laser as well.
So much design work has gone into the Epson and the first Kodak, but the little black replacement goes to show just how low they could sink.
Three of the five I've scrapped. With my son, we've scrapped eight or nine - mostly due to gummed up heads, and he uses his every day.
All going out on Craigslist Free Stuff.
Edit to show picture - nothing else - just the darn picture. I hate that edit thing :suspect:
27th Jul 2012, 22:39
I too hate printers ( even more than women driving and texting ! ) but must confess that we have used a Brother B & W basic laser for many years now with no problem other than occasionally inserting a new toner cartridge as they run out. I regret that I am away from home and can't recall the model - 4 digits, something like 2400 ? USB connection.
I've thrown 3 colour printers ( ink jet ) into the garbage, 1 Canon, 1 Epson and 1 HP. and will never let one darken my doorstep again. Cheaper to take my Flash Drive to the local print shop. If Colour Laser ever becomes affordable for the little used home office needs, I might reconsider - maybe.
Best of luck !
27th Jul 2012, 22:47
I have been very happy with my 'cheap' Brother L@<hidden> printer (HL-2142). I paid about $149 AU for it some three years ago. They've since come down below $100. Mine is a USB connection and other computers on my home network are able to use it with good results via the main desktop.
I'm only a home users these days but for me it's been completely trouble free and fast, and with a print quality which excellent. It also does an acceptable job of printing out the occasional black and white photo onto standard A4 copy paper.
I know of another person who also has one and which is also working very well.
The replacement cartridge price was quite a shock at one stage but I think these have also come down in more recent times.
Your mileage may vary of course .....
PS I still have my original Epson MX-80 printer for which I paid over $800 AU all those years ago. Needless to say, it hasn't used for a very long time. I've probably had about 8 different printers since the early 80's - all but three wound up in the tip eventually. This is a terrible waste, but that seems to be the price of progress (sigh...)
27th Jul 2012, 23:21
Its simple really
For black and white printing a lazer will be cheaper, and for home use anything from Samsung or Brother will be the best bet - reliable and cheap. The two brands are made at the same plant anywa
Canons are worth a look as well
Colour lazers are still too expensive to run: theres no price advantage over an inkjet, and inkjet quality will be better anyway
Canons are probably the best bet for an inkjet, closely followed by a Brother ink for both is better priced than the others,a nd reliability is better
A A Gruntpuddock
28th Jul 2012, 00:15
I had an Epson printer which was really excellent, but the heads gummed up and a repair would have cost more than a new printer.
Switched to Canon simply because the heads were incorporated into the cartridges.
Loads of rubbish talked about clogging up using using non-Canon inks, rubbish, because you get a new head every time you replace a cartridge.
My IP4500 (with duplex printing) cost about £55 delivered but a new set of 'proper' inks cost far more than that, so I bought a double pack of dirt cheap ones from ebay at about 1/10th of the price and they work fine.
If you really feel you need to use Canon products for a particular project, fine, buy them then go back to the cheap stuff when they run out.
28th Jul 2012, 03:41
Beginning to see a misty picture of reality. :8
One went this evening, when still sober, to Staples. 'twas a culture shock. Not that there wasn't stuff to see, but that there was too much of it. Just couldn't believe it. Like shopping for gluten free biscuits, not the dearth, but the plenitude.
No, I don't want it to send faxes and then orbit Mars. I don't want it to make toast. (Apologies to Jasper Carrot.) I just want it to mermmmkin' PRINT. One left the store, then found reversing to the correct angle too demanding. Like my 89 year-old neighbor with one eye, driving and decision-making has to be done in small doses, and not at the same time.
Tomorrow's another day, as I said on my car diagnostics thread. :\
28th Jul 2012, 20:11
Cleaned the transfer roller of the HP 4 Plus. Suddenly, a 25 year-old memory came back about greying pages. How many service calls to copiers and printers are resolved by diagnosing damp paper? Lots, if I remember rightly. Sometimes the A/C is shut down for 6 months, time for even the packs of paper to feel the humidity. New paper.
It looks quite good, and now I see it has a serial port. Is it possible a USB to Serial lead would be better? ie, is it a common procedure with older kit?
Failing this, I can of course print via my old HP PC - unless there is something stopping network printing being sent into a parallel port.
If it's okay, could someone jog my memory how to set it up. I'm not sure if it makes a difference how they're connected, but both PCs use yellow wire to the router. Vista laptop, wireless.
Sigh. I think I'm going to have to buy a colour läser soon.
I have a seriously antique HP läser, and a Canon inkjet IP4000. The HP is parallel-port only (I don't think USB had been invented then), so I bought a parallel port card for the new PC, and B&W printing continues with no problems. I changed the toner cartridge a couple of years ago; I have one spare left - I suspect that by the time that's gone, they won't be available.
It just sits on top of the filing cabinet, and prints when asked. 90% or so of my printing is with that.
The Canon is the last Pixma that doesn't have chips in the ink tanks, so ink from "alternative" suppliers is around £2 a pack. I find myself changing one of the 5 inks every week, on which basis I'm not going to buy a printer that makes me pay silly money for ink with chips in! Sadly the print head on this one is a separate unit: I replaced it a couple of years ago when the original clogged up and even isopropanol and distilled water failed to fix it. This one is on the way out now, so decision time is nearing. Chip-free inkjets seem to be extinct, so it'll probably be läser.
The choice with colour läsers seems to be cheap printer with "original" toners that are good for about 100 pages, then silly-expensive toner, or expensive printer with original toner that will do 200 pages, then not quite so silly-expensive toner. Every time I do the research (usually when I've just had to coax the Canon into printing some colour stuff) the "best buy" is a different model.
28th Jul 2012, 21:34
Morgan Computers appear to have some good offers on printers (inc. Lasers).
I say 'appear' because I'm not an expert on prices.
28th Jul 2012, 21:42
Windows7 has drivers for that HP Laserjet 4 built into the system as part of windows update. If you plug it in with a USB - parallel connection it should simply just work, though you may need to manually select the driver when PnP kicks in
As for the serial port - forget it. It was always a PITA to set up, and not supported in Win7
Canons don't have chips in the cartridges even now. They use a more subtle approach - UV/light chromatography to see if the cartridges have "their" ink inside. Much cheaper than a chip - if the ink shows the wrong absorption band then the warnings flash up. Canon cartridges are stil a lot cheaper than the others though
A for colour lazer - the economics don't work unless you run very large numbers or need something for high quality publishing
You've got that the wrong way round
Epsons have the head in the cartridge - thats what the metal foils are
Canons have a separate replaceable head that acts as the "carrier" for the ink tanks
A A Gruntpuddock
28th Jul 2012, 22:01
"Epsons have the head in the cartridge - thats what the metal foils are
Canons have a separate replaceable head that acts as the "carrier" for the ink tanks"
Any chance of an invitation to visit your planet - sounds interesting.
28th Jul 2012, 22:55
I have a five-year old HP 3600 colour laser - still a few about; see them from time to time. 'tis a big lump on the corner of the desk, but I've printed 44,500+ pages since I got it. Recycled toner carts are about £30-ish, giving about 4,000 pages from colour & 6,000 from black.
Sadly it's just beginning to lose its original colour fidelity - maybe the transfer belt going home. So it's going to have to be the Canon inkjet for photos I guess. Don't regret the HP tho' - cost me about £130 new... but that was a huge discount.
29th Jul 2012, 00:43
though you may need to manually select the driver when PnP kicks in
Milo, that may well have been this issue, but the setup seemed to be so automatically normal. Just didn't go. Maybe I'd forgotten to write anything.:p
The lead was from CompUSA, and I eyed it up, making a comparison with a useless piece of wire and a bottle of something nice. Pity that, cant try the setup again.
I'm glad the serial is a non-starter, I'd hate to upset the old 4's setup.
My son has a Canon. Loads of inks. Does it go if one is empty? He couldn't remember. That's something that really :mad: me orf.
I wrote on here years ago about the string of Epsons and my attempts to clean the heads. Epson e'd me while I was doing it, and said send it back. 18 months old! I was impressed. I was impressed with the replacement, but not with the replacement to that. The ink capacity was about a quarter of the original.:*
Then came the replacement. But wait! I hadn't sent anything back. I pleaded not to have to go to Fedex again. They said, you don't have to. You don't owe us anything. Yes I do. No you don't. etc., etc. I was still arguing when the next one came. I made a net and agreed gain of one. Unlike Kodak, they also sent ink. One was rich in ink, but after a few days it wouldn't come out of the little holes. But . . .
I must be one of the few people that know you can blow blue windshield cleaner through the heads. One of those quite-by-chance, discoveries. But you have to blow very, very hard.
29th Jul 2012, 17:59
I must be one of the few people that know you can blow blue windshield cleaner through the heads. One of those quite-by-chance, discoveries. But you have to blow very, very hard.
Nah! you been beaten to it, matey!...a previous poster remarked that isopropanol had no effect on his blocked head....that's what screenwash is( isopropyl alcohol AKA isopropanol).
I've used cotton buds and meths (methyl alcohol AKA wood alcohol)
Ethylene alcohol should be reserved for drinking...the other two share it's attribute of being water-miscible, in fact, isoprop. is used in the print industry to break down the surface-tension of water so it "wets" more easily and evenly (so I'm told)
I'd be tempted to try a bit of acetone (cellulose thinner0 if really desparate, but so far the meths/cottonbud routine has worked on a seldom-usedEpson C42. (it was free, hate the expensive cartridges with the chip that stops you re- using them (though there's a "chip-resetter" available on the net :8 ) )
30th Jul 2012, 09:14
we tired of inkjet printer heads becoming blocked and refilled cartridges being less than perfect a few years ago. We then bought a Samsung laser monochrome (ML-1610) which has been very good despite the usage patterns being very up and down. Sometimes it is not used for months at a time and then other times we need a hundred pages in a couple of days. The one thing I would say though, the Samsung lasers are good on paper but don't try to use them on anything approaching card thickness. This is a bit dissappointing when you want to print photographs, much of the photo quality paper is too heavy gauge for the feed mechanism. Sometimes you can hand assist it through but you can also waste a lot of paper and toner......
After having good use from the monochrome Samsung we saw their cheap colour laser (CLP-300N) on offer and that too, has been good for some years, same issues with heavy gauge paper and card though.
About 2 years ago a friend upgraded to an all in one printer copier faxer double sider unit and, having failed to sell his old printer, gave it to me. A Lexmark C522 network. I plugged it in for the first time about a month ago. Once the drivers were installed the test page started a bit shakey but the second page printed perfectly despite the low toner warning for all 4 colours flashing. I think I am going to cough up for the 4000 page toner set and put it into regular use.
30th Jul 2012, 16:22
I was given my 4 Plus. It looked like new. However, after cleaning the transfer roller and printing two perfect pages, it again started putting a wide band of grey across the page. I'd just put it in prime position, and re run the massive cable.:ugh::ugh:
Right now, Staples have the HP P1606 on offer for $178. The toner is half the price of the 4 Plus. Tempting, but I may be pulling out of here, and I already have masses of stuff that will lose money.
This one's toner is $134 plus 8.25% tax.
Clone toner. Lots on the big river site, but so many funny reports on the stuff. Also, what I didn't know is that its shelf life is two years. (6 months once opened. [yep, I know we've all bettered that] so the Staples clone unit has probably got sticky toner. It certainly hasn't done many miles.
Further attempts to get this one right have failed. A bit like my car thread, actually. .000000000001% of the time, perfect.
30th Jul 2012, 18:19
Just ordered a clone toner. $49 plus $6 shipping. No tax.
Since the toner was coming onto the green roller in a stripe - even out of the machine, I'm hoping that will be the reason for the grey striping. One waits with baited breath.
My skills as a diagnostician have become depleted lately. With current luck, the new one will probably explode and paint the room black.
Goodness! That brings back a vivid memory of coming home to find a squirrel had come down the chimney. About the only things that weren't black, were his eyes when he blinked at us.
30th Jul 2012, 20:00
"Since the toner was coming onto the green roller in a stripe"
The green roller is the selenium transfer drum which holds the charge - and the image
Its worn out
You mentioned in a previous post that you cleaned it - thats probably damaged the roller even further. Just touching those things damages them. Believe me I've been there and tried it
From memory I think the transfer drum and fuser unit are integral on these, though I suggest you call one of the specialist spares suppliers. From checking the web it looks as it new units are no longer in production - you're faced with buying reconditioned one
for instance, try calling this company (you'll find many others)
HP Fuser for LaserJet 4+ & 4M+, and LaserJet 5, 5M, 5N (http://www.printerworks.com/HP-Parts-LaserJet/Fuser-HP-LaserJet-4-plus.html)
30th Jul 2012, 23:53
Twas only the one in the cartridge. Brother, for example, have a separate unit. About $100 part, so the lad in Staples told me yesterday.
My lint-free cloth experiment was based on trying to revive what was already a dead duck. What's so odd is that it was so good for two sheets.
It seems there is a scraping strip that wipes this roller and dumps the residue in a waste bin in the cartridge. I never knew that.
It seems some people clean the sensitive surface, but what I was surprised about is that it needs to be kept in a low light level to avoid permanent damage. So much for my Anglepoise fluro and spotlight combo. :ooh:
What's naggin' at me now is whether the supplier of my $50 part will change the roller. I doubt they can at that price.
31st Jul 2012, 03:46
Milo, that link certainly is of use to me. I had no idea the 4 Plus was still being sold by refurbishing companies as the RR of Lasers. I may well need a primary ink thingie. The full roller kit is $39.
I've no doubt you know, but the little green hook/brush is to get that roller out.
Mac the Knife
31st Jul 2012, 10:58
The Samsung ML-3310ND is a solid little printer - had mine for a while now and it just chugs on.
Easy to set up and administer - all OSes seem to handle it without problems.
31st Jul 2012, 14:08
If it's just a B & W laser you want, look for a HP 4000 or 4050. The son of the 4 and 4+. The last of the 'good' HP lasers. No longer in production, but refurbs can be bought reasonably priced. Add a network card (the 4000N & 4050N come supplied with one) and away you go.
Printer Data Sheet - HP LaserJet 4000 Series (http://www.printerworks.com/DataSheets/laserjet4000.html)
1st Aug 2012, 07:40
Printers are very "random" these days.
In the old days (20 years ago) an HP Laserjet would go for ever - until the developer drum wore out and then you binned it, but you would get years out of it.
I have run a Kyocera laser (something-1800) for maybe 10 years now, maybe 20k-30k pages, and it has been fine. The toner refills are cheap.
On inkjets, avoid Lexmark (ripoff ink) and I no longer use Epson. I use Canon and they seem to last well. Several i850s have run for 5-7 years, with one going in the bin recently.
BTW Canon cartridges are chipped nowadays. But the RSA private key was leaked and the Ebay ones are 1/4 of the price and work superbly, with great colours, in my new Pixma ip4950 duplexing inkjet. The Ebay # for the ink is 250965964429. This seems to be a very good inkjet.
If you look on Ebay you see the old Canon inkjets which take the 3E cartridges fetch more than new prices. For a good reason too. But the print heads eventually clog up and if the special reset sequence doesn't work (it rarely does) it has to go in the bin.
I also have a duplexing HP colour laser, 2605dtn, which is the biggest pile of crap ever. It never makes more than a few dozen pages before jamming, crashes on many "complex" pages (forcing a time wasting sequence of cancelling the job on the PC, waiting for the queue to empty, then power cycling the printer, and then reprinting the job on the Canon inkjet ;) ). The printer was £450, the refills are £250! The Ebay ones are £90 but deliver rubbish colours (which is OK on a laser as the colours are rubbish anyway) and not many pages (probably not such good value then). The cost per colour page is outrageous.
Now I think a fast duplexing inkjet, and an old mono laser, is the best way to go if you want everything i.e. reliability, low b+w costs, and reasonable colour costs, and top notch quality for photo printing.
I am 100% sure the Canon 4950 costs much less per page than the HP laser - assuming Ebay inks for both.
I wonder if anybody can recommend a really solid mono duplexing laser?
1st Aug 2012, 16:13
If you don't mind buying a used printer on eBay I'd suggest a Lexmark "workgroup" grade laser. Very reliable and designed to print a serious number of pages. The downside is they aren't small. The duplexer is an optional extra but is often included so look for it.
I've had a T522 for a number of years (plus several bought for friends and family) and have printed 60,000 pages - it had already printed 100,000 and is still going strong. They're designed to print 250,000 between services. The cartridges do 20,000 pages and can be had very cheaply if you're lucky - there are some going on UK eBay right now £19.95 +£6.95
Newer models are T640, T642, T644 and T646.
I'd suggest looking for one that has done 100,000 pages or less.