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HP DJ 500 - Printing is crooked on paper

Posted on 1998-02-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-12
I have tested and checked the paper handling and found that the paper is indeed going through straight. I have also checked the cable (belt) that moves the print head and see nothing out of the ordinary there either.
What happens is that as it prints a page, It consecutively moves the print to the right (viewing the paper in my hand)with each pass of the print head. the final result is that the print is out of place by almost a half an inch per page. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:chinman
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013311
1) Does this happen when printing from both Dos, and windows?
2) What printer driver are you using.

Sorry if that is an insult to your inteligence,

What are the dip-switches set on the printer?

There are 2 sets of 8 dip-switches
bank 1, 1-8 should be down, bank 2, switch 2 up, all others down.

are you printing to this printer via serial, or parallel?

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by:chinman
ID: 2013312
I just bought this printer from a guy through an internet auction. He said it was like this... I fugured I could fix it and use it.
It is not even hooked up to a computer yet... It does this when it is running its own test page. I'm assuming it will do exactly the same thing under a computers power....

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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 2013313
The DJ500 is quote old.  I've seen more than one of these get ink, dust, paper flakes, or a combination of these built up around the print head end stop (at the right as you face the printer).  The problem is that there is an optical sensor that detects the head reaching the home position.  If this is partially blocked, the controller get confused about where exactly the head is and you get lines aout of wack.  I'd check the mechanism for such buildup.

Another problem with these older units is failure and stretching on the rubber belt that runs the head back and forth.  If it's slipping or stretching, you get the staggered printing as well.
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by:chinman
ID: 2013314
I just took the entire "home position" assembly out... You know where the print head parks... Anyway two observations: I can not see any optical sensor and with all these parts cleaned of any residue - It still continues to do the same thing. The belt appears to be very tight and not slipping in anyway.
Please advise.

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by:jhance
ID: 2013315
The sensor itself is on the underside of the head carriage.  The part that moves and takes the cartridge along with it.  There is a small tab that sticks up and interrupts the light beam when the head moves all the way to the left (of the paper).

It could be some type of software problem, but my suspicion is some type of mechanical problem due to the age or the printer.  It is still doesn't look like this is the problem, perhaps someone else can suggest another solution.
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013316
Could you respond to my post?
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by:chinman
ID: 2013317
I thought I answered your question correctly in my 1st comment. It is not hooked to any computer as of yet. There for it is not using win or dos. It is printing it's own test page! All dip switches are in the down position.
Thanks

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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013318
I appologize.

Have you tried printing from windows?
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by:chinman
ID: 2013319
No, because the previous owner indicated that this was a problem he had been experiencing, So I know the problem exists. I just need to determine what is causing it.
Will HP talk to me?
With or without a charge?

DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS?

thanks!

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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2013320
Call Parts Now! a printer parts company, they could tell you whats wrong.
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by:chinman
ID: 2013321
Thanks to everybody who responded to me on this question. Unfortunately, nobody was correct. I wound up discovering that the timing wheel (under but attatched to the motor) had some foreign matter present that was actually causing the logic not to know where the print head was or giving false data.
As suggested by "jhance", there is no such sensor on the underside of the carriage to detect the home position (wrong model I guess) - So your answer is incorrect. I AM ONLY POINTING THIS OUT SO IN CASE THIS QUESTION SHOULD EVER POP UP AGAIN.
Thanks Again!
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jrhelgeson earned 50 total points
ID: 2013322
A HA!
So that's how it detects the position,  whats the plastic "knob-on-a-spring" thing for?  Who knows, it was HP's first real attempt at an ink jet printer.

While you've got it torn apart, make sure you lubricate the slide bar with a lithium based grease (it's good for the fibre plastic slide bearing/washer things).

Take off the little rubber thing that covers the print head park/rest area, then you can take a toothpick and dig out all of the dried up ink gunk..

Clean the pickup paper rollers w/alcohol.

How much did you pay for it?

That's the only extra things I can suggest to keep that thing working for you.
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