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Is this an ink flow sensor? (Ink Jet printer)

Discussion in 'Electrical Engineering' started by DaveC, Jan 28, 2010.

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  1. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    I'm trying to troubleshoot an error with an HP ink jet printer (Photosmart
    3210) that says "Ink System Failure". All other components seem functional.

    In the printer there is a small PCB with a few soldered components that
    appear to sense ink flow or pressure. It is in series with the pump output.



    How does this work? Are these 6 LEDs and photodiodes? Just detecting the
    presence of ink doesn't seem likely. Wouldn't movement or pressure be what is

    What does this PCB do and how does it do it?

  2. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    Upon closer examination:


    it looks like the printer controller is testing for continuity of the ink.
    Could this be a simple presence / absence of ink in these tubes? I suspect
    that some ink residue has built up on some of these tiny probes which may be
    indicating no ink and generating this error.


  3. pimpom

    pimpom Guest

    If you're talking about the tiny black rectangular parts numbered
    R1-R6, they are resistors.
  4. TheM

    TheM Guest

    I had a HP inkjet fax with several hundred MB of driver bloatware.
    It refused to print B/W fax and complained colour cartridge was empty.
    It has a separate B/W cartridge that was full. Sounds like their firmware
    and software was written by sales people.

  5. Hammy

    Hammy Guest

    You can reset the memory on some cartridges.

    You tube video

    Google reset memory for your model and you can probably find specific
  6. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    I read somewhere that inkjet printers have a storage compartment for
    I can see this reservoir. It has one side covered by a translucent plastic
    film. It's nearly empty.

    And the "full" indication is calculated from the number of cycles it goes
    through, not a sensor (there's no sensor on the reservoir). This is one of
    the counters you can see in the service menu of the firmware (as well as
    total pages printed).

    Can anyone help me identify the part in the photographs and their function?

  7. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    If those 6 pairs of solder pads are connected to 6 devices/components inside
    Those 6 pairs of solder pads connect to the 6 pairs of heavy wires (I think
    they're probes, not simple conductors) that terminate inside the plastic ink


    If there were indeed components inside the manifold (LEDs, photodiodes, etc.)
    they would be much finer wires rather than these large conductors.

    I suspect these are probes that detect the impedance of the ink when it is
    present in each of the manifold's ducts. My guess is that it's a go/no-go
    indicator of whether the pump has failed or an ink supply is empty (although
    I think there are other sensors to detect this in the cartridge) or a hose is
    plugged up.

    Indeed, any technology in the hardware to boost HP's (and other
    manufacturer's as well) bottom line from maximum ink sales.

    Thanks for your reply.
  8. Gnack Nol

    Gnack Nol Guest

    This is from the wonderful world of Epson it is so well known that you can
    buy cartridge reset devices to reset the counter chips imbedded in their
    cartidges. It looks like the new generation of these chips are using
    serial numbers to keep you from being able to reset the chip.

    An even dirtier anti consumer activity by Epson than they have done

    It sounds like the "Kodak" printer is actually an Epson in disguise since
    thier sales are going away because of this.

    It's a good reason to always aviod anything from Epson and spread the word
    about them to kill all of their business as they deserve for this very
    dirty anti consumer trick.

    Forcing the throw away of up to half full cartridges is a real crime
    aganst the customer!

  9. [SMF]

    [SMF] Guest

    Two things: Each is its own separate process.

    1) Reset the system by holding down the OK, Cancel, Black, and Color
    buttons down at the same time and turn the 3310 off. Keep holding
    the buttons down until the printer shuts off and the turn it back
    on. You will have to turn the printer off twice and then it will
    recalibrate. Make sure you have new cartridge in the printer so that
    it can reset.

    2) There is a patch available for your printer that might fix the
    the problem. The link below is to HP's site.
  10. [SMF]

    [SMF] Guest

    Oh, and I believe that is the heater circuit for the jets.
  11. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    Have you actually looked for the repair manual for that printer online?
    Yes. Nothing turned up.

    If someone knows where to find the manual for HP Photosmart 3110/3210/3310
    all-in-one printers (not the LaserJet 3210 -- why a company would duplicate
    model numbers...?) please let me know.

    Thanks for your reply.
  12. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    Oh, and I believe that is the heater circuit for the jets.

    There is 18 inches (45 cm) between this pcb and the print head. Hmm...

    Thanks for your reply.
  13. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    1) Reset the system by holding down the OK, Cancel, Black, and Color
    I saw this item on a printer repair forum last week. Tried this 8 or 10
    times. No help.
    This is for another model printer. While similar, there is no such patch for
    the 3110/3210/3310 printers. I'm not encouraged...

    Thanks for your reply.
  14. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Can you take some measurements to figure out what it is? I would try
    ohms and diode check between the pairs of pins, that ought to provide
    some clues.
  15. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    Can you take some measurements to figure out what it is? I would try
    No diode effect measured. Resistance between each of the 6 pairs of "probes"
    is 100K ohms. This, of course, is the measurement of the parallel SMD

    Note, there is only one sense conductor per color, and one Vcc (or Gnd --
    haven't delved into the assembled and powered printer to determine this).

    So, heaters are out of the question.

    Would a centimeter of ink be in the neighborhood of 100K ohms? This, in
    parallel with the SMD resistor, would create a 2:1 change in the voltage
    across them when ink flows in the tube.

    Just measured tap water, submerging DMM probe tips in a beaker: 300K ohms
    across ~0.75 inch (~2 cm). (Don't have any ink lying around to measure.)

    I'm tempted to just add 50K ohm resistors parallel to the probe connections
    and see what happens.


  16. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    No diode effect measured. Resistance between each of the 6 pairs of "probes"
    A correction: R1, R5, R6 measure 100K; R2, R3, R4 measure 200K. This is true
    of 2 different PCBs (the "subject" printer and a used spare), both from
    printers with the same error code.

    Maybe a manufacturing error (ie, these were supposed to all be the same


  17. Slang

    Slang Guest

    DaveC ha scritto:
    In that printer there is a sensor that can verify the presence or air
    bubbles in the ink circuit.
    I don't know if your piece is that sensor, but there is.
    I am trying to fix a C6180 with the wll known ink system failure
    problem: i can't find the service manual but i think i can have a
    failure of the pump motor or of the circuit that control this motor.
    The pump is located (in my case) in the left side of the printer (facing
    the control panel) and (my thought) there is no sign of life of the
    related motor even if i switch off and on the printer.
    I am not sure about that: maybe this pump works only when a new set of
    cartridge is installed in the printer (initialization) but, in my case
    (following the instructions found on the net), i was not able to force a
    cycle to eliminate trapped air.
    If you have any solution, please, msg to me.
  18. DaveC

    DaveC Guest

    If you have any solution, please, msg to me.

    Check your mail.

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