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Heavy Banding, shadows on Oki 410e

Posted on 2003-03-01
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
My OL410e started to develop banding recently.  The (second) drum is only about 3,000 pages old so I figured something else is the cause.  I tried "cleaning" the drum with alcohol and a rag.  This made it worse, where the bands are almost solid black.  A new toner cartridge showed no difference.  What is likely the problem / cure?

This cropped up rapidly within the last 100 pages.  It is humid here right now (Florida springtime).  Key factor, it was only light banding till I "cleaned" the drum.  How do I "unclean" the drum?

Update, with continued testing and use, the problem has escalated to a significant amount of toner on the roller (under the paper) which transfers itself to the back of the paper as well.  It is as if toner is adhering to the entire drum, (and then rubbing onto the roller after the paper passes through).  The printed characters are sharp and distinct however.

Question by:Volibrawl

Expert Comment

ID: 8052129
Trya anew derum. They do sometimes go bad before they are suposed to. If that is not the problem then you have a spare.

Author Comment

ID: 8052393
If I could be sure that it was the drum, I would get one, but I would prefer not to have a "spare" $139 drum along with my new $30 toner for an old printer that still doesn't work.  Thus the question, can anyone tell me based on the symptoms, what possibly could cause it and what likely is causing it?

Expert Comment

ID: 8065305
Sounds like you need a new cleaning kit. This is a special roller, usually about 1 inch diameter that removes excess toner during the print process.  They are usually fairly cheap to buy.  Consult the documentation that came with the printer - it should tell you how to go about  ordering one.

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Accepted Solution

Gtrist earned 200 total points
ID: 8066302
Let me start out by stating that the service manual clearly states the following:
"Do not let anything touch the surface of the image drum."

Since you have cleaned the drum, which you should not have done, you need to start by doing what joed suggested, which is to replace the drum. A good printer cleaning wouldn't hurt either.

Also, by banding do you mean dark vertical steaks running the length of the page? If so, then the first step would be to swap the toner cartridge, which you already tried. The second step would be to replace the image drum cartridge. This will probably correct the problem. However, if it does not, the next steps would be to replace the LED head followed by the main control board.

Author Comment

ID: 8068394
By Banding I mean dark HORIZONTAL stripes running the width of the page.

I did not suspect either the drum or the toner to be the problem since BOTH had been working fine until this and NEITHER one is anywhere near its "useful limits".  The drum has maybe 3,000 pages on it, the toner was not at all "low" and had probably less than 1,000 pages since replacement.

Let me refresh / update the sequence:

1. Problem started with light horizontal banding.  The toner was about "half" gone, had been using this toner for maybe 6 months( 1,000 pages) without problem.
2. Banding became more pronounced, darker and covered more and more of the page.  Rapidly deteriorated, within say 40 pages, it was very heavy more or less covering the entire page.
3. I cleaned the drum with t-shirt and alcohol.  First prints were worse, almost total black.
4. I changed toner cartridge, no difference.
5. Noticed that toner was always on drum in heavy quantities and seemed to be getting on the paper rollers, etc.  ie it never got "wiped off" or "decharged" from the drum so it ended up spinning around everywhere.
6. Took drum cover apart to look for "wiper" since someone mentioned such a thing.  Could not find one, but did see some rubber rollers that roll on the drum, presumably to apply toner.  During this process,  I noticed that the toner was already in the drum area so replacing the toner cartridge probably did not get any "new" toner to the drum area.  I mixed the toner up a bit.
7. Prints now with "heavy to moderate" banding.  Not as bad as the worst case, but still very apparent and totally useless.

I am now guessing:
1.the remaining toner was no good (although the first half of it was fine),
2.the replacement did not show improvement since it was still using the old stuff and
3. I maybe damaged the drum with my cleaning.

I am leaning toward buying a new Brother HL 1440 ..

unless any other recommendations.

I don't print a whole lot these days (less than 5oo pages a month).  This printer has suited my needs for several years, so I prefer to stay with a "laser", rather than inkjet.

Expert Comment

ID: 8068561
Given that the Okidata 410e is old technology, it probably isn't worth the money it would take to repair it. The Brother printer has a very attractive price (under $200 in my search), but I don't know anything about their reliability.
I would also stay away from low end HP Laserjet printers such as the 1100 and models with a similar engine, unless you don't mind tearing it down to replace the separation pad about every 5,000 pages.
Good Luck.

Expert Comment

ID: 8172566
mate just take it apart and clean ever mirror in the laser scanner unit with a lint free cloth and white spirit
this will defo sort u out. ur problem is dust on ur mirrors , and never touch ur drum , now u need a new one because both light and the oil from ur skin will distroy it
but once you get a new drum and clean those mirrors u'll be in business

Author Comment

ID: 8177426
Thanks all for the info.  I am throwing the printer away and getting a new one.  A new drum and toner is far too costly to justify ...


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