asked Sep 26, 2008 at 3:39pm
Apple Apple LaserWriter LaserWriter

PLW NTR black lines

Starting this week, my Apple Personal LaserWriter NTR is printing random heavy black lines across the pages I print. This happens with paper printed from either the cassette tray or the manual feed tray. The lines often contain highly compressed text from the top of the document, say, the first line of my letterhead. The lines are usually about an eighth to 3/16 inch high. The NTR is old, of course, but it has printed only approximately 62,780 pages. The NTR has 3 megs memory. I am using a toner cartridge that I refilled using some toner that I bought on eBay. I bought printer itself, used, in January.
I printed some samples and mailed them to a local technician. He says that the defect is either in the cartridge or in some small device that is between the cartridge and the rest of the machine. The technician recommends looking at the small device before buying a new cartridge. He didn't want to tell me what the small device is. Does anyone know?

First, never ever refill an NTR cartridge. There is a 100\% probability of it failing within the first several hundred copies. Pretty much a waste of money buying refill toner. I suppose you also had to buy a tool to burn a hole in it, when there is a very visible plastic fill cap in the end of the toner bin. Second, the small device is no secret. It's been discussed numerous times on this forum. It's the contact between the drum and the printer HV ontacts on the left side. Simple test to see if the contacts aren't making firm enough contact. Take a piece of folded cardboard and wedge it between the right side of the toner cartridge and the inside of the printer. That will push it harder into the contacts.
by moe on Sep 26, 2008 at 8:59pm Add comment
I guess I was lucky. I've got several thousand pages out of this DIY refill. Fortunately I did not have to buy the burning tool. I borrowed it from the colleague down the hall whose idea this was.

I have just now tried wedging a folded-up paper between the right side of the toner cartridge and the inside of the printer. It made no change.

The contacts do appear to be sticking out properly. That is, they're not pressed down against the side of the printer.

Maybe I'll just have to go buy a new cartridge. - RVG
The other issue may be a loose drive gear on the drum. I used to come accross loose drum gears quite often on this particular cartridge. If the gear is loose, you can simply re-attach using super glue, but be sure not to get glue on the copper contacts on the inside of the drive gear.
by unknown on Sep 27, 2008 at 6:12am Add comment
No, the drum gear is quite firm. - RVG
The problem is attributable to intermittent High Voltage. The HV comes in on the pin at the left end of the drum and charges the drum surface. Whenever the voltage drops out, the drum isn't charged or gets a weak charge. That is where the toner is attracted, since the High Voltage charge serves to repel the like charged toner. The other thing you can try is to remove the 2 screws holding the pin/axle and bang out the pin about 20\%. This will also result in a more positive contact. If you do need to buy a new cartridge, keep in mind that OEM ones are no longer produced and any new OEM cartridges are way expired and "guaranteed" to fail. The only reliable cartridges are remanufactured ones where the drum wiper has been replace as part of the remanufacturing process. This can be seen by looking at the top of the cartridge. If the words "Made in Japan" are visible, the wiper blade has not been changed and the cartridge is pretty much guaranteed to fail.
The remanufactured cartridges sold on this site do have the blade and the drum replaced.
by moe on Sep 27, 2008 at 3:27pm Add comment
OK, I bought one of your remanufactured cartridges and installed it about half an hour ago. The black lines are gone, but now the printer won't work at all.

I started by printing the Cleaning Page on 24-lb.bond paper from the cassette. That went through beautifully. I followed by attempting to print two copies of the same letter from the cassette. The first page, on colored 20-lb. Astrobright, worked just fine. The second page, on 24-lb.bond paper, went maybe 40\% into the printer, and then the text stopped printing altogether. Since then, nothing has worked. When I try to print from the casette, the bond paper comes up to the bottom of the flap on the toner cartridge and stops. The feed continues to push the paper up, and the paper crumples up against the bottom of the cartridge.

The manual feed tray operates differently. I have tried printing both bond paper and #10 bond envelopes through this tray. Half the time the envelopes go about halfway into the printer and stop. Again, it appears that they are stopping when they reach the bottom of the cartridge-flap. The other half of the time, the envelopes go all the way through the printer, but they come out blank. Nothing gets printed at all. I tried printing one sheet of bond paper through the manual feed tray. It just went half way in and stopped, too.

I did remove the long plastic string from the cartridge before putting the cartridge into the printer.

Help! - RVG
Check the shutter on the toner cartridge. It could have gotten dislodged. Put the old cartridge back in. Does it have the same problem with jamming?
by moe on Oct 4, 2008 at 6:33pm Add comment
Since my last post I have gone through the other postings here on this website. I see some discussion about the inside-printer accordian-repair kit. One post, dealing with a PLW NT, recommended checking the white-gear drive assembly inside the front left of the printer. I have removed the top of my PLW NTR, and I think I found the white-gear drive assembly, but it's on the front right of the NTR. The gears all appear intact. There is one spacer between the outermost gear and the clip on the end of the axle. This spacer has an open gap in its rim, but that gap looks like part of the design. - RVG
This is getting weirder. I put the old cartridge back in and got varying results. The first time I tried to print through both the manual-feed tray and cassette, the bond paper jammed, just as with the new cartridge. I looked all through the feed drive (or as much as I could without doing any disassembly), and I did not see any scraps of paper stuck anywhere they were not supposed to be. The next two times I tried to print through both feeds (again, with the old cartridge), the paper would not feed, and the printer's two amber lights went to blinking. I tried once more to print through the manual-feed, and this time the paper jammed again.


Thanks for your continuing assistance.
by RVG on Oct 6, 2008 at 7:50am Add comment
The symptoms point to the drum drive clutch that is contained in the Inside Accordion Jam Kit. To prove it is the clutch, all that you need to do is determine if the drum is rotating or not. To do so, just put a mark on the right edge of the drum with a magic marker. Start the printer up and the drum should turn and the mark should move. If it doesn't, the clutch is bad.
I guess it's just coincidence that it failed when the cartridge was replaced.
by moe on Oct 6, 2008 at 10:39am Add comment
More oddity. Today, out of curiosity, I plugged the PLW back in. I figure it's had a good long rest for three weeks. Maybe it's had time to recuperate or sleep it off or whatever laser printers do when they don't feel like going to work. And surprise! It works.

I'm still expecting it to conk out again, but, for at least for several hours today, it's been working normally. - RVG
OK, I installed your Apple PLW Inside Printer Accordian Jam Repair Kit that you sent me on October 6. The printer is not jamming now, but I am getting the black lines across the page again.
by RVG on Oct 11, 2008 at 1:40pm Add comment