How to fix Brother DCP 130C ink recognition problem

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If you use a Brother DCP 130C or similar Brother printer, at some point you might encounter the following problem: after you change the ink cartridge, the printer displays an "ink empty" message.
Sometimes you just need to follow the instructions on Brother's site to fix the problem.

But if this does not help, often the reason might be that your cartridge has leaked ink on the circuit board  and is causing a malfunction of the diode responsible for detecting ink level.
This usually happens when you are using third party ink replacements. Brother inks do not leak and using 3rd party replacements cancels your warranty. Service companies are usually not willing to repair this printer as it is not reimbursable by Brother.

The solution is to clean/repair the plate yourself.

Before you start remove the ink cartridges, paper tray and the back paper feed panel.

You will need to remove the plate from the printer.
To do than you need to unscrew all the screws below the cover (not the one where you place scanned material, but the one you open to remove jammed paper). Start by removing the main cover - first remove the blue element that is keeping the cover open (on the left when you open the cover). Next  remove the cable covers and unplug the cables. Open the cover fully and remove it (it will come off gently off the hinges.

There are 6 main screws - 2 in the back, one in the middle and 3 in the front. To remove the front ones you need to remove the gray front panel - unscrew 3 screws and firmly pry on the cover to remove it. Under the panel you will see the main screws.

After you have removed all screws use a small flat screwdriver to unhook the cover from the bottom frame. There are 2 hooks on the front. After you have unhooked the cover firmly pry on the cover to remove it.

Once the cover is removed, gently remove the container that holds the cartridges. Be careful as there are ink pipes connected to the container. Unscrew 2 small screws on the back of the container, unhook the white panel and remove the plate.

Once you have the plate there are two options: the plate might be only dirty or it is damaged. Assume that it is dirty. Place the plate in an appropriate solvent for cleaning circuit boards. Let the ink dissolve and then delicately clean the inside of the detector that is malfunctioning. Let the detector dry, assemble the printer (don't worry about the screws) and see if that has helped.

If cleaning did not help, you will need to remove the malfunctioning detector (other option is to replace the plate, but it's hard to find spares). Delicately but firmly pry on the detector to remove it from the circuit board and clean the circuit board. Assemble the printer once more and see if the printer works properly.

Once the detector is removed, the printer will see the black ink as full. The downside is that you will need to check the ink level manually.

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