Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Printer stops printing before toner cartridge is empty

You have to keep replacing your toner cartridge before it is empty. It could be anywhere from 1/4 to 3/4 full and the printer says that it is empty and needs to be replaced.

This happens because of the sensing mechanism used in toner level sensing system. For the printer to know when the cartridge needs to be replaced manufacturers generally use a simple, and generally reliable system of infared emitters and sensors. An infared beam is shined through the toner cartridge from one side and a receptor senses the beam on the opposite side. As long as the beam can't shine through the cartridge all is fine and the printer thinks that the cartridge has toner. When the beam is detected by the sensor the printer thinks the cartridge is getting empty. All you need to do for a sensitive sensor is to block the path. The only thing you will lose is the ability to be warned when the toner is getting near empty. As long as you have a new toner cartridge on hand this should be of no consequence.

To defeat the sensor remove the toner cartridge and look at both ends. There should be a clear window on each end for an infared beam to shine through. When full of toner the beam is blocked. If you have a sensitive sensor which can detect the beam before the toner is gone you will get a warning before the toner is completely gone.

Carefully place a small piece of opaque tape, (masking or electrical tape) across the window to block the beam. Make sure that the tape is secure and will not fall off inside the printer. This should solve your problem and allow your printer to print until the toner is completely empty.

max