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Engineers Additions

Manufacturer: HP
Submitted By: JASON
Date Submitted: 14/05/08
Date Entered: 14/05/08
The following are GENERAL guidelines to help you assess, diagnose and repair the majority of
Design Jets, in all cases you will still need to apply your own diagnosis, as I cannot envisage every
situation, you should also allow at least a couple of hours to carry out tests and calibrations even if not
doing any physical repairs.





Get the customer to show you previous examples of prints, not just test prints while you are
on site, look for colour variations, jagged or broken lines, lines that curve gradually when
they should be straight, or any anomalys the customer may not have noticed.
If possible do a test from the machines memory either test plot or service configuration;
also get the customer to send a test plot from the PC and program they are using.
Get a history of the machine from the customer, was it purchased new? How long ago?
What sort of prints and how many do they do? If not new was it a refurb? EBay in which
case it might not have been working in the first place? Have they ever had it serviced
before? Any previous work done? From this you should get an idea of the state of
components that do not necessarily show physical wear, like sensors, trailing cables,
service stations and spittoons.
After removing panels look at over sprayed ink is it excessive (suggesting a high mileage
machine) or is ink spilt in one area (possibly machine has been moved or tipped up).
Check the platen roller for any damage, is it still lubricated ok, check the white line sensor
marker at the end of the platen roller and make sure it is clean, clean the line sensor set into
the carriage by removing and dismantling it, make sure all the LEDs are clean as well as
the holder itself, please make sure you note how you take it apart, where all the tabs and
clips go as it will only go back one way (mark the pieces as necessary).
Remove and clean encoder strip, check for voids in the markings or blobs of ink, either will
cause carriage movement errors or misaligned print, can also sometimes give motor errors,
ink drop detect errors and pen errors.
Remove Spittoons and cleaning station, be aware these units will have ink in them at
varying levels, keep upright at all times and cover suitable surfaces before putting the
unit down, clean rubber and felt pads, check for damage, to pads and wipers, replace if
required, also replace if unit has too much waste ink in it, assess this on the weight and
condition of the unit and condition of the machine (see note 3), some machines also have
an ink drop detect assy, between the platen and spittoon, again clean or replace, this can
give carriage errors as well as pen errors and ink errors.
Remove carriage, note how trailing cable is attached and mark as necessary then remove,
remove any ink tube systems and check for any leakage from the tubes also check where
the tubes join the pump assy and the carriage assy, if any ink is present from the ink tubes
they must be changed, remove carriage being aware of any sprung loaded bearings
normally at the rear, clean carriage bearings, also clean carriage, printhead/cartridge
contacts and the printhead/cartridges themselves, when reinstalling carriage assy make sure
you insert trailing cable firmly and up to any marks on it, also reseat cable at electronics
module end as a precaution.
Clean carriage rails and surroundings, make sure mounts are secure, when lubricating only
use HP specific oil or a fine sewing machine oil, sometimes a silicone spray grease can be
used, but may need to be wiped over after applying, normal grease will cause too much







drag and will either give you intermittent carriage errors or you can get curved horizontal
lines when printing (this is due to the grease rolling up inside the carriage bearings and
raising the carriage as it travels).
Remove cutter assy if not already removed when removing carriage, again be aware of any
sprung loaded arms or bearings, I have found cutters normally stop working or work
intermittently due to two reasons, the grease on the cutter shafts and bearings becomes
contaminated with paper dust and stops rotating freely, or the rubber tyres get covered in
ink and stop rotating freely, cleaning and greasing these units normally solve cutter
problems, watch out for sprung loaded cutting wheels when dismantling, replacing the
cutter is up to you.
This covers the majority of plotter faults by component cleaning and where necessary
replacement, when reassembling make sure you give the machine a general clean, cleaning
up ink overspray inside machine.
Check the service manual, as most of these machines have a set of procedures to follow
when replacing various items, follow these procedures in correct sequence for each item
that was replaced or serviced, always note where a specific type of paper must be used for
certain setups, if the customer does not have the correct paper, make them aware that this
calibration was not carried out due to paper not being available and may cause problems in
return and finish the setup, you should always try to at least do a printhead alignment and
colour calibration.
Print off service configuration and self test prints from the machine and ask the customer to
carry out several different everyday plots and replot anything that was printed before
servicing took place (step 2).
Always be wary of machines with large amounts of ink build up in specific areas, this may
indicate the machine has been moved, stored incorrectly or carriage not parked in correct
In some cases carriage and printhead intermittent problems are caused by trailing cables
making and breaking when they are rolled back over themselves, but when stationery they
will check out ok, when checking continuity with a meter try and make sure you move the
carriage back and forth along its full axis, if you have intermittent faults change the cable
even if it passes tests as a precaution,
Always replace encoder strips if there are any missing lines on the strip or if you cannot
clean the ink off of them, also dont forget to clean the sensor in the carriage, they can also
become clogged and dirty with ink, especially if there are wear marks on the encoder where
it has been scraping on the sensor assy.
Always check carriage belts, pulleys and motors, any debris on the carriage or cracking of
the belt means it needs changing, also check motor gear and pulley for rubber deposits that
block the teeth up and can cause the belt to jump off, always clean or replace these items
when servicing even if you are not replacing the belt.
ALWAYS AVOID changing electronic modules except on 1xx series machines, they are
hugely expensive and on older machines, need firmware updates that are no longer
available, exhaust all avenues before resorting to this, in most cases you should be able to
tell within a few minutes of arrival if it needs a module, in which case you can always
decline the callout, saving everyone a lot of money and hassle.

I hope I have covered enough to give you an idea where to start, unfortunately I cannot go into
individual errors as they are too complicated and numerous, however when dealing with faults on
these machines always refer to the manuals, but keep an open mind, think how the machine works
and do not think that the solution given in the manual is the correct one, i.e. ink sensor problems
are not just caused by faulty ink sensors but can also be due to the carriage stopping in the wrong
place hence no ink passing the sensor as an example.