Author Topic: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150  (Read 5463 times)

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Offline woodchipsTopic starter

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Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« on: May 28, 2015, 09:22:53 am »
Hi, just had to replace the black toner on our Brother HL3150, note that the old toner isn't empty, but IT has decided I have to spend £40 on a new toner cartridge.

How does it sense how much toner is in the cartridge? And more importantly what is different from a new cardridge to a used cartridge?

We also have a Xerox 7300, there is a wonderful web site showing you how to fix them, including fooling it into believing that the toner cartridge is new. This obviously means that you can refill them and reuse them.

I have closely inspected the Brother, and can find no physical differences between new and old. The Xerox used a 50mA fuse which was blown when a new cartridge was inserted, and then it counted pixel until IT decided it was empty.

Would the Brother use something more sophisticated? WIFi link or something? I will take the cartridge to pieces but it is a very messey job and wondered if anyone else had done similar recovery job to this, or other, toner cartridges.

Seems to me this is a useful money, and planet, saving thing to do. Next time looks like someone other than Brother will get the business. It really gets up my nose thois sort of forced spending of my money.I am perfectly able to decide when the toner has run out and the printed density is no longer acceptable.

If the EU wanted to do something useful, then why not stop this sort of thing happening, also standardise on power tool batteries so any make will fot any tool. Grrrr!
 

Offline PA0PBZ

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 10:41:30 am »
The HL3150 probably just counts pixels too, and that there is some toner left is normal. You would be more pissed if the black toner stopped in the middle of a full colour 100 page print job and you had to reprint 50 pages and waste a lot of CMY toner. More important is did you get what was promised, the specified number of pages with the specified print density? If not you have a reason to complain.
Keyboard error: Press F1 to continue.
 

Offline g***!

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2015, 01:41:10 pm »
I have the HL4150 printer, the toner messages work on the number of drum rotations...Simply put your old cartridge back into the printer, open the top cover, hold in secure and cancel buttons, and select the cartridge you want to reset. Lots of you tube vids on the procedure, and you will probably get around 500 or more extra copies! >:D
« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 01:48:02 pm by g***! »
 

Online amyk

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2015, 02:39:58 pm »
Likely to be an EEPROM on the cartridge somewhere.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2015, 05:47:35 pm »
Most modern cartridges have a small PCB with 2 contacts on the one section of the unit, which contacts 2 contacts in the printer when inserted. The PCB has a small 1 wire EEPROM which has data like serial number, capacity and such in it, and the printer writes to it with each print ( isn't that 100 000 write cycle life of modern EEPROM nice for this) to have a remaining toner quantity. When it is down to the preset low level the printer will show the "Cartridge is getting low" display, and when it reaches a lower level an optical path through the toner reservoir ( a small clear plastic window and light guide, with a IR LED on the one end and a phototransistor on the other end, with a path in the cartridge that will only allow light through when it is nearly empty) will tell the printer the cartridge is empty. Take out, shake gently and put back and it will print another 100 pages till it is uncovered again.

This is for HP/Canon units, which are the most common ( used in many other printers as well, Canon is the largest supplier of laser engines in the world, so they have may other makes that use the Canon engine with OEM designed electronics and cases) and many are refillable, with you needing generally toner of the right type ( there are a few blends for different engines) and a new PCB to make the printer think you have put in a new cartridge.

Most of the printer driver updates serve no use other than to update the firmware so as to block the refilled cartridges, they are not bug fixes but DRM upgrades to make you buy "genuine part" toner cartridges ( at a massive markup). You will find that the box with the original cartridge comes with a preprinted and prepaid return label, so you return the used cartridge for "recycling", which is then that the OEM simply refills them, puts a new tear strip on and sells you a used cartridge at a new price.
 

Offline wasyoungonce

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 07:03:23 am »

How does it sense how much toner is in the cartridge? And more importantly what is different from a new cardridge to a used cartridge?

Pretty sure most Brother toner cartridges use a "flag" gear that trips a microswitch in the printer that it's empty.  The toner you feel in the cartridge is "returned" toner...toner that was not used in print and returned back to the toner cartridge.   Bother units like this do not have a waste toner bottle like many other mfgrs.

This returned toner mixes with the new toner and eventually it becomes more difficult to "charge" the toner, thus Brother printers use a variable voltage corona wire.  You are supposed to wipe this with the inbuilt wiper occasionally.

So, you can usually buy "flag gear kits" to make your starter cartridges or other cartridges into full cartridges.  Its just a a matter of resetting this flag gear and printer with a few appropriate button presses.  Wiping the corona wire and away you go.  Some of these cartridges have a refill port on the side, so do not and require a hole to be cut (with a heated hole tool) and when you fill it you put a bung into this hole.

This said, some USA models do not use the "flag gear" system.

I'd forget my Head if it wasn't screwed on!
 

Offline woodchipsTopic starter

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2015, 09:19:32 am »
Well, thanks to everyone!

The video says everything you need to know, ordered a starter kit and the rainbow pack, so all set for the next toner out message.

Have to say I am impressed. With this knowledge freely available then why does Brother bother to make it so difficult?

Before buying a laser, find out if you can reset and refill the toner yourself, thoes that can't will hopefully get no sales and die away.

Super!
 

Offline wasyoungonce

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2015, 10:23:41 am »

Before buying a laser, find out if you can reset and refill the toner yourself, thoes that can't will hopefully get no sales and die away. Super!

This...I suspect Brother isn't bothering and most users don't refill their carts.  Well, USA models can differ in that some have a low toner window and LED, but, as said, most just buy replacement carts.  I have been refilling mine (HL2270DW with TN2250 carts) for many years now, no problems.  Cost is ~ $8 per fill (once I fitted a flag gear) I run one cart in the unit, one refilled rest and ready to fit.

Oh don't forget, most brothers require a few button presses to reset the machine even when fitting a refilled and reset cartridge.  Do this before fitting it then close the cover, then you can print a status page to see it's been successful.  If not, just reset the flag gears and printer again.

Happy printing
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Online amyk

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2015, 01:52:47 pm »
Have to say I am impressed. With this knowledge freely available then why does Brother bother to make it so difficult?
The same reason the inkjet manufacturers do - to extract profit - although there they tend to be far more aggressive in changing their protection schemes.
 

Offline woodchipsTopic starter

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2015, 03:45:22 pm »
Right, got a replace toner cartridge error message, for yellow.

Opening the lid with this message showing, lifting the toner cartridge out then back, pressing Secure and Cancel together and closing the lid. Goes through a series of starts and stops but still get the toner empty message?

My understanding was that the button presses just over rode the toner out count, and it would continue printing until it physically ran out of toner. Doing the change to the flag is only needed when the cartridge is physically refilled with toner, or have I got this wrong?

Thanks
 

Offline woodchipsTopic starter

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2015, 04:16:10 pm »
More delving.

Reset the little gear at the end of the toner cartridge as in the video. Re-installed the cartidge and off it went, no other button pressing needed.

Now have a 100% full yellow toner.

Wow!

Thanks to everyone.
 

Offline wasyoungonce

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Re: Laser printer toner cartridges, Brother HL3150
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2015, 12:55:38 am »
I found I had to refill, reset the flag gear (and align the other gears) and then software re-set the system counter via a few button presses, insert the toner, close door.  You hear it power up, the flag gear moves and you hear a "click" this is the flag gear lifting a spring that hits a small micro-switch (in the machine) that re-sets the machine ......that you have a new toner fitted.

Yes, it counter-intuitive that I have to do a software reset of the counter when the flag gear resets the system counters....but...works for me.

Well done...happy printing
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