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HP Color Laserjet 5--Duplexing

Posted on 1998-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I need to be able to print on both sides of a sheet of paper on a color laserjet 5.  However, each time I try to do it, the printer jams and an error message is displayed.  It is critical to my business that I be able to do this "Manual Duplexing."  Is there any way to do this, and what are the risks if I do it?  I'm assuming that there is some kind of a sensor in the machine that can be disabled. let me know what you come up with.  Thanks
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Question by:garwiliso
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mark2150 earned 100 total points
ID: 2012541
Ok, couple of things to try.

First, when you load paper into the printer make sure that you place the paper in "right side up". The ream of paper will normally have an arrow pointing to one side with the notation "print on this side first". Make sure that this matches the indicator on your paper tray.

This sounds silly, but is not. When they manufacture paper it is made in big rolls. This imparts a slight curve to the paper even after it's been cut down into reams. Feeding the wrong side in tends to make the paper misfeed in the rollers and give you excessive jams. (I used to work for Xerox and learned that there!)

The same thing happens when you attempt duplex feed on a heavily printed page. By heavily printed I mean where you have a large photo or somesuch on the page. Printers are generally designed for 5% coverage, that is, only 5% of the surface of the page will be covered with ink/toner. When you have large graphics or photos, the coverage area can approach 100% in a hurry. This doesn't hurt you on single sided printing, but on duplexing it can impart a signficant curl to the page and, again, you get jams.

One test for this is to see if simple, text only (5% coverage) pages can be fed duplexed. If the printer only tends to jam on the back of your "photo" pages, then you have the answer and there's not a lot you can do about it.

If the printer is jamming on the backside of low density pages, then we have another problem.

The feed path thru the printer will normally bend the paper back and forth. Try using the manual feeder. This usually has a much straighter paper path and is much less likely to jam. Ditto for using the "page up" output tray. Look at your printer and see if you can't select the straightest path thru the printer for the 2nd side.

What weight paper stock are you using? Have you tried moving to a heavier grade of paper? This will make it less susceptable to crumpling than standard 20# copier bond. Try Hammermill "Laser" grade paper. It has an ultra bright, smooth finish on it and is of an opaquer/denser paper than regular bond. It is somewhat more expensive, but the brilliant white background will make your colors *snap* to life. Worth the investment if you're doing presentation work.

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by:garwiliso
ID: 2012542
I've spent several hours since posting this question, playing with my printer.  I've learned that Mark2150's answer is right on.  The printer was jamming on the reverse side due to the curl in the paper.  I was surprised because the curl seemed so slight.  However, the curl was causing the paper to try to wind itself around the printing drum instead of travelling straight through to the fuser.  I've been trying several tricks, including changing the output bin to the lower face up output bin so that the paper path is straighter.  I might also invest in a manual rear feed unit in order to further straighten the path.  I was already using the hammermill laser paper, which does provide a crisp look, and hopefully will be able to make the trek easier.  I have also turned the second page upside down in my design software so that I can feed it through the printer in reverse.  The reason for this is that the tail end of the paper seems to get curled less the first time through the paper than the front edge.  By turning the second page upside down, the the less curled tail end becomes the leading edge the second time through, which seems to help encourage the paper to go through the right paper path.  So far so good.  I'll keep my fingers crossed. thanks
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