HP Laserjet III - Help

Posted on 2000-02-23
Last Modified: 2013-12-15
I have a Laserjet III that has developed a tiresome fault.

When first turned on and after selftest etc, trying to print will cause the printer to appear to start printing and feed the paper. It will then stop show an error of 51 and then produce one sheet of paper with 2 horizontal smudged lines one third of the way down.

Nothing will get to restart except turning off, opening the top, pull the cartridge out and in again, and then turn on. It then sometimes, about 20% of the time, start working.

I have replaced the cartridge and have cold-reset. The printer has fairly low usage in the past but it is still a good printer and am loath to get rid of it

Anybody have any ideas???
Question by:leeuwin

Expert Comment

ID: 2553402
If your printer has an internal JetDirect card, try removing the card and then restarting the printer.

Expert Comment

ID: 2553438
Here are some other things to consider:

It is possible that the toner cartridge is defective; there may be a bad cable in the laser scanner to the DC controller; the fiber optic cable may be faulty; the laser scanner assembly may be defective; the printer could be unable to detect the laser beam.

Expert Comment

ID: 2553531
Generally error 51 is either your scanner or your laser so I don't think anything you do except for changing one or the other will help fix the problem.

Expert Comment

ID: 2556512
from the hp services manual
51 error loss of beam detect
possible causes
1. defective toner cartridge
2.Bad cable: Laser/Scannerto DC controller.
3.Cuts or kinks in Fiber Optic Cable
4. Defective Laser/Scanner assembly

My experience with printers says try a new toner cartridge. It is my biggest cause for problems. Some of those rebuild carts have high failure rates.
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Expert Comment

ID: 2560045
The previous comment from Joed is the answer for your problem, I only would say that it's more likelly to be the laser scanner or the fiber otic cable instead of the toner cartridge.

Author Comment

ID: 2560184
Thanks guys, I have cleaned everything in sight, taken the covers off replaced them and now the printer appears to be working OK. The toner catridge, BTW, is a new genuine HP one. I also cleaned the scanner mirror which was a bit dusty. Perhaps I disturbed something back into place.

Accepted Solution

stephenjhall earned 500 total points
ID: 2591806
Had exactly the same problem a few months ago!

1) Clean the Gold Tinted mirror on the top door of the printer with a mild alcohol and make sure there are no traces of smudge/dirt and is perfectly spotless. (Remove the toner cartridge to gain access to the mirror)

2) Remove the top cover of the printer (you would have to dismantly on of the side panels to gain access to the screws securing this top cover!)
You should know be able to see the BLACK laserbox with the yellow sticky on it!.

3) Carefully remove the cover of this black laserbox by lifting the tabs on the many sides of the cover and locate a shutter which lifts and drops according to whether the tope door and toner cart is closed or not.
(When closing the top door be carfull that the shutter dosen't fly out!)

4) Make sure that the shutter is free to operate and be carefull that you re-insert it in the slot correctly.

5) Carefully clean the lenses with a lin-free soft cloth or tissue.

6) You should see on the left side (facing the front of the printer) that there is a fibre optic cable which runs out of the laserbox and attaches itself onto one of the many PCB Boards on the right hand side of the printer. Check that this cable is securly attached and that the lens which sits in fron of it in the laserbox is also clean. In the path of this lens, on the far right hand side of the laserbox you will see a mirror which reflects light from the rotor back to the fibre optic lens which you've just cleaned. if this path is in any way obstructed or distorted you will get the 51 thingy.

Any of the above could result in the 61 thingy so I suggest you go through the entire process. Don't rush and select the cleaning materials you use carefully. If in Doubt DON'T !


Author Comment

ID: 2593508
I thought that might be the problem. I will make a note for the next time :)

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