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ACTION LASER BANDING

Posted on 1998-05-15
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Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I have an Epson Action Laser 1000 printer that I have really enjoyed for several years.  It produces rich blacks BUT I have had intermittent trouble with banding.  I do a lot of graphic printing.  It seems when it happens if I take the toner/drum cartridge out and do a lot of shaking it sometimes gets better.  At other times if I clean the contacts on the cartridge it might get better.  This is all conjecture but it just seems to improve when I try to do these things.  When I get a new cartridge I do a lot of shaking and it may clear the banding but then it comes back later.  When I get a re-filled cartridge, same thing.  (The re-fills may even do better than the new ones.)

Can anybody help?  I would LOVE to keep using the printer.

ttoulis  
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Question by:ttoulis
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17 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:ttoulis
ID: 2014294
I would like to add a comment to my question about print banding.  Sometimes the banding is gross and sometimes it is minor.  The banding is horizontal if I am printing "portrait" and vertical if I am printing "landscape".
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2014295
What do you mean by *banding*?

I need more of a discription,  Thanks.
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2014296
Also, what kind of toner cartridge does it take?
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Author Comment

by:ttoulis
ID: 2014297
jrhelgeson - Thanks for reply - I am getting skips / faint places - in the print / graphics - I do a lot of "reverse" printing in graphics - i.e. make the background black and the lettering white for emphasis - it is particularly noticible when you print large black areas.  Sometimes there will be a LOT of white bands sometimes a few - as you probably know, the toner for the Action Lasers comes with drum - the toner/drum combination makes the toner price much more expensive if you are buying new - I do use some re-fills.


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Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2014298
Sounds like you might be either loosing your drum, or your Mag Roller.  Most likely the drum.

Make sure that your corona wire is clean.

Use canned air to blow out any toner & dust that may be inside your printer.

Give that a shot until I can get more info about your printer.

JR
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Expert Comment

by:tstaddon
ID: 2014299
I go along with that. This is reminiscent of a drum problem I had.

Where the bands are, do you get toner wiping off the paper? If you do you might be having fusing problems.
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by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2014300
A fuser problem would be evident by the image "ghosting", where it writes the word once, then 3" down the page it print's it again but much lighter.

Sounds like you're out of toner, needs a good cleaning, or needs a new drum.

Try those three suggestions, in that order.  That should take care of it.
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Author Comment

by:ttoulis
ID: 2014301
Thank you guys very much -  Jrhelgeson and tstaddon - I ordered another cartridge (toner/drum come together in the cartridge for the Action Laser printers)  It will be here this week (it is a re-fill but hopefully my problem will go away when I put in the new cartridge.  I may have a spent drum - regarding jrheleson's comments about dirty innards due to toner being scattered around in there - I found by wiping toner off the drum (very carefully) my prints were a lot better.  I really don't know the process but every time I run the printer the drum gets a coating of toner on it - in my ignorance of the way the thing works it seems to me like the drum is "attracting" which might indicate the drum is "spent"?  In any case I will know more this week.
and get back to you.  I wiped the lens but I haven't found the corona wire in there??  
Thank You - Tony.

Thanks a lot!!  Tony.

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Author Comment

by:ttoulis
ID: 2014302
I would like to open question up for more comments while we're waiting for a new drum.

Thanks - Tony
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Expert Comment

by:datn
ID: 2014303
Just a little info:
It also sounds like toner filming due to the wear and fatigue placed on the cartridge. Paper wear and electrical cycling fatigue I would say are the two harshest forces on a photoconductor drum. With paper wear, imagine that you're sanding the surface. This, over time will create defects in the drum where toner and other small particles can be trapped.  With cycling fatigue, the residual voltage remaining behind after each print gets higher. The charge then gets higher causing more and more toner to get "attracted" to the drum. Both of these adverse conditions will give you the problems you are mentioning.

 With a new cartridge, if your problem is due to electrical and physical fatigue like I describe, your problem will be fixed.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 2014304
Tony,
Does it happen all the time, or occasionally?
How does it print with a page of normal text? (Without using the "reverse printing")
What software/printer driver are you using?
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:ttoulis
ID: 2014305
Hi rmarotta and datn - thanks for your responses.

datn - since I am using RE-FILL cartridges I will never know until I buy a NEW toner cartridge if the problem could be related to drum wear.  However, your comment about losing the drum because of photoelectric fatigue and the inability of the drum to repel toner sounds like what I am experiencing since I seem to keep a layer of toner on the drum which I believe should not be happening.  I put a second re-fill on the printer and am still getting inconsistent results.  I blew out the toner that was really contaminating the cartridge so that is gone now.

rmarotta - I am not real sure if I am using the Microsoft printer driver or the driver that came with the Epson.  But I believe I am using the one that came with the printer using the thought process that that one might be more current.  As far as happening all the time or occasionally.  That is what is so maddening.  Sometime the print is perfect and sometimes the banding/skips happens.  I try to clean the contact points of the cartridge to printer, clean the drum, shake the cartridge but I don't know what is making any difference??!!  Epson doesn't make the Action Lasers anymore so they don't support them.

Hope this has been of some help.

Thank You Guys!!  ttoulis

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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 2014306
Does the problem change if you change programs or documents to be printed?
Ralph

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Accepted Solution

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seychell earned 200 total points
ID: 2014307
Hi...

I worked in the printer industry - Support manager for a different Printer company not Epson - a few years ago. I used to train the qualified service guys..

BUT - I do have some knowlede as to what you are describing.

OK.  In the industry there is certain information that companies don't want the general cusimer to know becuase it will impact sales.. so what has this to do with you ?

The early batch release of the Epson Action Laser 1000 has a firmware bug.  The consumer usually took it off for service, the guy would change the ROMs and the customer would never know.  I would bet that you have always had this problem.  It would really only effect larger graphic files, (or big text) - so this is why it seems intermittant. Epson may deny it - but I would hunt around for a firmware upgrade.  It is not fuser, corona wire, laser servo, drum,your optics or dry solder.  It is an "industry known" flaw - not for general consumer knowledge.

The reason I know this ?? Epson used the laser engine for your printer, made by the company I used to work for, and we had the same problem (obviously !)

You need 2 chips, mounted side by side - square in shape. (I think from memory).  You will need to have these replaced - it not a case of Flash - they need to be exchanged.

Given the age of the unit, tracking down the Firmware - this may be a BIG ask !!!

PS: given you one guess why they discontinued the range.. So it may be now almost impossible to fix.

Sorry about the facts

Cheers
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Author Comment

by:ttoulis
ID: 2014308
In response to sechell's answer - I get the banding in ALL applications - (Not just graphics/large text.

I would like to thank all the respondents for diligently working on my problem - the closest to the answer came from jrhelgeson and I would like to award the points to him with a grade of "B".
Thank you all very much!!  For a job WELL DONE!!

Tony
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Expert Comment

by:jrhelgeson
ID: 2014309
What was the answer?
Please reject the current answer so I can place one.

JRHelgeson

8·)
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 2014310
Tony,
Is your problem solved yet?
Ralph

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