Canon BJC-85 and BJC-55 ink cartridge configurations

30. November 2011 08:28 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Canon BJC-85 ink printerThe Cannon BJC-85 and BJC-55 printers are lightweight, portable printers that offer convenient printing options for the traveling business person. They are capable of printing in both monochrome and color. Both printers do well when printing color documents, charts, graphics, and photographs. The Cannon BJC-85 and BJC-55 use the same Canon ink cartridge, and there are three different ink cartridge configurations for the printers. The type of print project is the determining factor in which configuration a person uses. While having to change ink cartridges depending upon the task may seem bothersome at first, it is actually quite easy and is the tradeoff for such small printers.

The three ink cartridge configurations available for the Cannon BJC-85 and BJC-55 printers are the BCI-10 cartridge for printing black and white, the BCI-11 cartridges for color printing, and the BCI-12 cartridges for printing photos. The BCI-10 configuration requires only one ink cartridge and prints only in black and white. It is possible to use the other configurations for printing black and white, but is recommended against. The BCI-11 configuration for printing color requires two separate ink cartridges; the BCI-11 black and the BCI-11 color ink cartridges. This configuration is ideal for printing all color documents including charts, graphs, etc., but is not intended for printing photographs. The BCI-12 cartridges are for this purpose. Again, this configuration uses two separate ink cartridges; the BCI-12 black and the BCI-12 color cartridges.

Canon BJC-55 ink printerChanging the ink cartridges is easy and only takes a second. First, the user should remove the new cartridge from its packaging, including any protective packaging on the cartridge itself. Next, open the top cover and turn the printer on. Press the "cartridge" button and position the cartridge holder in the middle of the printer. Align the ink cartridge with the holder, there are guide marks, and then press down at a slight angle until the cartridge locks into place. After this, close the cover and press the "cartridge" button again. The printer is now ready to go.

To accommodate every printing need with BJC-85 and BJC-55 printers, a person needs all three ink cartridge configurations. This means having 5 ink cartridges on hand that need changing depending on the project. This may seem inconvenient at first, but is the tradeoff for the lightweight and compact size of both printers. Swapping out cartridges only takes a second and is a small price to pay for a quality portable printing option.

What is a printer driver?

28. November 2011 10:18 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Printer driverA lot of people may decide to change operating systems on their computer at some point of time, while others may have some type of issue with their computer's USB port(s). Most people really do not think to much about it, but these issues can actually make it to where the computer does not recognize the printer any more. When people see the prompt on their computer that it cannot recognize the device, they will know that it is an issue with the driver. Now, people know that they need to get a driver to allow the printer to work; however, most people probably think that a driver is some external hardware that needs to be plugged into the computer, which is a good guess, but not quite the right answer.

A driver is actually a type of software that allows the computer to recognize what is hooked up to it. The driver is extremely important, because the computer cannot give the appropriate commands if it does not know what is connected. The driver will essentially allow the computer to translate data into codes that the printer can actually understand, thus allowing it to print. People can find the proper printer driver by searching the brand and model of the printer. If they cannot find the exact model, they will likely be able to use the driver for the same brand of printer and achieve the same results.

A printer driver is something that every printer needs to function, but it will not require a visit to the office supply store to buy, in fact, it will not cost them anything at all. People will be able to change operating systems without every having to worry about the stress of their printer not working. The installation of a printer driver only takes a few minutes at most.

Why you should upgrade your printer memory

25. November 2011 10:08 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

When people are printing documents, especially large documents or graphics, they will notice that the printer seems to take forever. This is essentially because a stock printer does not have a lot of memory, so it can only process so many commands at once. Most people assume that there is nothing they can do about the issue, aside from buying a new printer, but they actually can upgrade the memory of their printer.  Now, most people are probably thinking that they have only heard of upgrading the memory on their computer, and this is probably the case since it is not a highly discussed procedure. Most laser printers can be upgraded, however ink cartridge printers typically cannot. There are several advantages to upgrading a printer's memory.

HP LaserJet 2300The first advantage is that the speed of prints will speed up substantially. When the computer tells the printer what to print, it will be able to process more commands in less time than a stock printer. In addition, a memory upgrade can actually allow users to print more complex graphics and texts. A typical laser toner printer simply cannot remember everything the computer tells it on complex projects, which can lead to a very low-quality print. In fact, the printer may simply give the user a message that the printer is not even going to print the document, which is extremely frustrating.

People can upgrade the memory in their printer by taking it to a computer store, or if they know a fair amount about electronics, they can attempt to complete the process on their own. People will also discover that memory upgrades really are not very expensive, especially considering all of the advantages they offer. Now that people know they can upgrade their memory, they will not have to wait several minutes for their prints, nor will they have to buy a new printer.

Instructions for installing the Lexmark P915 software

23. November 2011 08:05 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Lexmark P915 inkWhen people purchase a printer, especially a used or refurbished model like the Lexmark P915 ink cartridge printer, it may not always come with the proper software. Many people do not really think about this being a big issue, because their main focus and excitement is driven by the savings they received. The problem occurs the second they get ready to hook-up their printer, only to get the stressful message that the device cannot be recognized by the computer. At this point, people are ready to throw the printer across the room or call the seller to inform them that the printer does not work. Fortunately, people can save themselves the hassle and embarrassment of confronting the seller by downloading the software online.

When people go to the Lexmark P915 support site, they will be able to find the software they need. They will find that the software will not cost them anything, because Lexmark understands that people do not always buy the product when it is new. In addition, if someone has to reformat their computer, which most people do, Lexmark realizes that the person may have lost the disc. People will also be able to download the driver for every Lexmark printer from the Lexmark site. The driver is essentially what converts the computer's codes to codes that the printer can read. People will see a menu bar at the top of Lexmark's home page that includes a software option. Upon scrolling over the software option, they will see a drop-down menu that lists drivers and software. Once they click the driver or software link, they will see their choices to download from. They will want to select the 'save' option during the download process, and it is important to remember where the files saves.

By downloading the Lexmark P915 software, people will save a lot of time and stress. They will find that the process does not take any more time than it would to install the software with the regular disc. In fact, people may find that it is easier to install the software from Lexmark's site, because they will not have to worry about losing the disc. The next time people begin to stress out over the computer error message, they will know how to fix the problem.

Common toner cartridge problems

21. November 2011 08:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Printer problems are an unavoidable reality when owning a printer. New printers can have problems out-of-the-box as well as older printers with many hours of usage. Many people are unaware of the fact that most printer problems are not caused by the printer at all, but are caused by the toner cartridges. Fortunately, these issues can be easily fixed with just a small amount of knowledge on common toner cartridge problems.

Printing Failure – “Unidentified Cartridge”
Oftentimes when a printer fails to print it will cause an error message reading “unidentified cartridge” or “unrecognized cartridge.” This can be caused by an incompatible toner cartridge being installed into the printer or a defective chip on a compatible cartridge. Compatible LaserJet toner cartridges usually have a chip on the cartridge that registers with the printer.  If the chip is defective, you typically get the unidentified cartridge message.  Many times, powering off the printer, unplugging it and waiting for 15 minutes will resolve this issue.

Additionally, printing failure can be caused by a cartridge that isn’t fully seated in the printer. Sensors inside of the printer may fail to detect the cartridge if it isn’t seated correctly. Removing the problem cartridge(s) and reseating could also fix this issue.

Printer Toner Readings Incorrect
Failure to use the correct printer drivers and failing to install drivers at all can cause problems that resembled printer toner issues. For instance, the print maintenance utility included with most printers can possibly read that the toner is low, or the toner is empty, or that there is no toner cartridge at all. If there is no actual problem with the cartridge(s), the printer driver might be the culprit.

When an incompatible printer driver or an outdated printer driver is installed on a computer failure to print can result, with error messages that point to “driver” problems as well as incorrect toner readings. Drivers are software programs that hardware depends on to function correctly or at all. Most computer operating systems will automatically install the correct printer drivers during installation, but many instances occur in which the driver can’t be found for a particular operating system or computer. Searching the manufacturer’s website online usually helps to locate the correct driver for the printer model that you own since all companies have technical support teams to contact for further assistance.

Failure To Print Due To Firmware Problems
Manufacturers release “firmware” updates for printers which can be downloaded to fix bugs, increase functionality and improve features. Printer firmware updates can be found by visiting the website of your printer’s manufacturer and searching under “downloads.” In rare cases printer problems such as incorrect toner cartridge errors and incorrect printer status readings can be fixed by updating the firmware.

How to correct ghosting on prints

17. November 2011 11:26 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Ghosting on printsGhosting is defined as slight images of previous print jobs that are embedded in newly printed pages. This occurs during the printing process and can be caused by several different issues. Ghosting is visually described as multiple images and text that is printed onto a page when there should have been one of each printing. There can possibly be a problem with the toner cartridge needing cleaning, a problem with the power supply connected to the printer, bad drums or imaging kits and other scenarios.

For instance, ghosted images will appear lighter than the relatively darker areas of text and images found in the newly printed page. Fortunately, there are several simple and relatively inexpensive solutions for a ghosting printer, without the need to buy a new unit. Here are several troubleshooting tips to correct ghosting on prints, which requires little to no prior technical experience.

Lowering Humidity
High-humidity environments can contribute to a ghosting condition in printers that would otherwise have no such problem. It is best that printers are operated in rooms with relatively low humidity to prevent ghost images and text.

Imaging Drum/Imaging Kit Failure
Depending on how many pages were printed using the printer, limited-lifetime parts such as the drum or imaging kit could be approaching the end of their life spans. Every printer is tested and rated to print a certain amount of pages before vital components start to fail. If the printer has printed more pages than it was rated to print, the imaging drum and imaging kit may need replacing.

Cleaning Cycle Needed
Nearly all modern printers are included with software or built-in firmware that allows cleaning of the toner and fuser rollers. Excess toner that has been building up on the fuser rollers can cause ghosting. Using the cleaning cycle normally found in the printer software utility (or the printer LCD panel) can sometimes correct ghosting issues.  Many printers, like the Konica-Minolta toner printers, do a self-cleaning during startup and therefore do not have the option in the software.

If cleaning the printer components using the utility isn’t effective, or if there is no cleaning utility available, try manually cleaning the printer using our best practices for cleaning your laser printer.  If physically cleaning the printer does not stop the ghosting, the fuser assembly in the printer will need to be replaced. When toner is not fused properly to the paper smudging may occur while the paper passes through the fuser roller, causing ghosting and smudging of toner. 

Testing the Printer
An easy test can be performed to narrow down the ghosting problem to the fuser or another culprit. First, a test print will need to be printed while paying close attention to the sound of the paper moving through the printer. Next, open the front door of the printer while pulling the page away from the printer, before the paper reaches the fuser. Afterwards, open the printer door and remove the sheet of paper. If the toner smudges on the paper after gently placing your finger across the page, the toner is not properly fusing to the paper, thus causing the ghosting effect.

Pinpointing the reason for ghosting during printing can be an easy process as long as the guidelines explained above are used diagnose and repair the problem. Regular maintenance of printer components and proper cleaning will ensure that your printer has a long life with few to no incidents of ghost printing.

Best practices for cleaning your laser printer

12. November 2011 09:15 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

If you want your laser printer to produce high quality prints and function for many years, basic maintenance is required. The following supplies are needed:isopropyl alcohol

  1. Lint free cloth
  2. Small soft bristle brush
  3. Can of air
  4. Cotton swabs
  5. Isopropyl or ethyl alcohol

The first thing you should do is shut-off the printer and unplug it from the wall. Laser toner printers burn the powder into the printed documents, so the interior of the printer will be extremely hot. Once the printer has cooled down, approximately 60 minutes, you will want to carefully remove the toner cartridges. Using the lint free cloth, wipe down the interior of the printer and use the soft bristle brush and can of air to get toner off of other parts in the small nooks of the printer.

The next thing you will clean is the paper feed rollers, which come into regular contact with the paper. Clean rollers ensure the printer has no problem grabbing the paper. You can clean the rollers with a swab coated with either of the alcohols listed above.

Finally, wait 10 to 15 minutes for the alcohol to dry/evaporate on the rollers then re-install the toner cartridges.

By cleaning a laser printer on a regular basis, you will find that the quality of the prints will stay at the highest possible level. In addition, the printer will stay cooler, which can extend its life and will keep the working area a little cooler.

What to do when the paper jams in your printer

8. November 2011 09:07 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Paper jamOne of the most frustrating things that you can experience when printing a document is a paper jam. This problem always seems to occur at the most inopportune time. People typically try to yank the paper out of the printer or cancel the print. The problem with yanking the paper out is that it can make the situation even worse, especially if the paper rips. The next time paper jams in your printer, follow these steps.

The first thing you will need to do is to determine how much of the page has made its way out. If a good portion of the paper is showing, you can try to gently ease the page out manually. It is important not to rip the paper. If this does not work, you should shut-off the printer and allow it to cool down for a few minutes. From there, you will want to open the printer's lid, remove the toner cartridge and paper tray and see if you can remove the jammed paper. Typically, once the lid is open the paper will be showing enough to easily pull out and there may be some levers you can lift to release the pressure on the paper. Once the paper is out, you will want to ensure that there are no other sheets jammed or little pieces of paper stuck in the paper from a prior jam. Also, inspect all of the other sheets in the paper tray to ensure that they are not bent. You should also not fill the paper tray to capacity, because this can lead to a paper jam. Lastly, make sure the type of paper is supported by your printer. If the paper is too thick and you have a U-Shaped paper path, this may be the cause. The printer paper path varies by printer and typically dictates the type of paper supported.

While it is extremely rare, some jams may actually be a hardware issue, which would require repairing the printer. If the printer is a home or small office printer, many times the cost of repairing the printer is more than purchasing a new printer.

When you should replace your toner cartridge

5. November 2011 10:02 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

High capacity black HP 1320 toner cartridgeEveryone who owns a printer realizes that it is very important to change the toner cartridges at the proper intervals. A toner cartridge may start producing less than premium quality once it starts to run out of toner. In addition, once the cartridge runs out, people will no longer be able to print. If a cartridge runs out because people failed to change it, they may not be able to meet important deadlines, whether it be for a school research project or a major sales proposal. If people follow a few recommendations and guidelines, they will never have to worry about low-quality prints, nor will they ever have to worry about missing key deadlines.

The first thing that people should analyze is how long the manufacturer claims their cartridges will last for. For example, the high capacity compatible HP 1320 toner has a page yield of 6,000.  This assumes a 5% coverage, but more often than not the  coverage is more like 10% meaning the cartridge will probably only last 3,000 pages. One thing people will need to keep their own eye's on is the quality of the prints. If the print quality begins to appear faded, it is a good sign that the cartridge is running low. In addition, if it begins to take a longer period of time for the prints to start and finish, the cartridge is also getting low. People can visualize writing with an ink pen that is starting to run out, they shake it a few times and it writes a few letters, then they have to shake it again. When cartridges begin to run out, another common thing that a lot of people note is that a particular color is missing. This stands out when people print off a colorful document or image, only to discover that something looks a lot different than it did on the computer screen.

Keeping an extra cartridge on hand is our recommendation on how to ensure you never get caught with a non-functional printer. Toner cartridges have a shelf life of 2 years if stored in the proper conditions. If you do not know how to store your toner cartridge, read our informative blog post. Under worst case scenarios, toner cartridges can usually be bought at your local office supply, however you will pay a premium for that convenience versus stocking up ahead of time with us.

What to do when your toner cartridge is not recognized

3. November 2011 07:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Toner cartridges contain an embedded microchip that can cause problems with the printer detecting it properly. Oftentimes a “toner cartridge not recognized” error will appear when attempting to print. There are several reasons why a printer can fail to recognize a toner cartridge as described below.

Failure to Power-Down the Printer
Installing a cartridge without turning off the machine can cause a cartridge not recognized error. Affecting the main memory of the printer, this problem can be remedied by turning off the printer, removing the toner cartridge and unplugging the printer for at least five minutes. After five minutes has passed, reinstalling the toner cartridge will reset the printer’s memory and it should print successfully. This is the most common solution and has helped me resolve the error when replacing  my Dell toner on many occasions.  Many people fail to do this step because they do not think it will make a difference.

Improperly Connected Toner Cartridge
Certain brands such as the Lexmark or HP toner cartridge are created with the print heads directly on the cartridge. The cartridges make direct contact with electrical circuits connected to the print heads. One slight issue in the connection can cause the toner not recognized error. Removing the cartridge from the printer and placing it back in should fix the problem.

Smart Chip Problems
Toner cartridges contain a chip that communicates the remaining level of toner to the printer. Printers will often refuse to accept toner that has a particular kind of chip.

If the printer refuses to recognize the cartridge after following the methods highlighted above, try another cartridge.

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