asked Nov 29, 2002 at 7:42am
Hp HP Color Copier 120

HP III error 50, listening in

I cruised your site yesterday, am following a thread on HP III/error 50 today, have searched/read the archives, and am attempting to figure out where *my* time/expense/value ratio fits into the mix.

I have an HP III that was retired twice at my former employer's before I got it (they "threw it out" in my direction), and I've been running it 2.5 years (heavy use for a one-person business).

*If* I'd known about your site when I first started getting error 50 messages, I would likely have replaced the AC module and might have avoided the current non-resetting error 50 messages that I suspect indicate the fuser problem as well.

Sounds like the AC module and instructions are about $70 (plus postage?) and the fuser's on special at about $50 plus $10 postage. That comes to $120, plus about $6.50 for a digital tester (or do I need to bother? is it already obvious?).

My question: $120 plus the time is a fair investment in a printer that's on at least its fourth life. Is this the start of a cascading set of parts failures?

I am not a technician. Yet (1) I don't have spare money and (2) I have added drives, sound boards, memory, and stuff to computers over the years. Slowly <g>, but they have worked.

Thanks. Regardless of your answer, I will be visiting your site frequently and at the very least I should be able to catch, order parts for, and fix future problems before they become serious.
Our philosophy is "if it ain't broke don't fix it". From your description, all you need is a new power module. The only reason to replace the fuser would be if the teflon roller was chewed up, or the fuser had overheated from a failed power supply. The way to tell is to lift up on the cleaning wand, it should come up real easy. We don't want you spending any more money than necessary.
by moe on Nov 29, 2002 at 9:38am Add comment
Indeed, the cleaning wand comes up just fine.

I noticed my costing-out math was off--I wrote my note while disassembling the pipes under the kitchen sink to clear a clog in the trap. It's been an interesting few days.

I'd love to keep this printer going. No, it's not small. But it's built like a tank and does what I want it to: print clean copies cheap. I get memory overflow messages a little more often than I like, and I note that you don't have the ozone filters in stock (thought I might swap in a new filter when I have the machine opened up). But fixing those would be "extras."

This computer doesn't have sound enabled. Will I need sound to follow the CD-ROM instructions for the error-50 (AC module) repair kit?


by unknown on Nov 29, 2002 at 7:25pm Add comment
Get some extra memory. (Assumming the printer can be fixed)

It's dirt cheap, and will never go bad. You'll get what you paid for it if you ever junk the printer.


(Who went to Staples today and was shocked at what passes for laser printers today. I wouldn't buy a new one for less than $5-600 )

Of course, I can get a used IIP for $60, and I see some on Ebay, refurbed for $35.

Just can't beat that.

by unknown on Nov 29, 2002 at 9:51pm Add comment
Thanks, Phil. I was figuring I'd look around when I'm inside and see what memory is in there and what kinds of slots might be open. I just maxxed the memory on my computer--although I'm seeing results, I think they'll be more dramatic on the printer.

Agreed on the new lasers. I comparison-shopped online, and a friend went to the stores to "look" for me (she's a shopper). Her hubby's a software geek, so she's not technologically naive. She came back with stories about how fast they print, how small they are, and how cheap (her idea of "cheap" isn't mine <g>--I agree that the printers she mentioned appear to be "cheap," but not in price). You're right; $5-600 is where the new printers *begin* to be tolerably well made.

Assuming the AC module fixes my problem, I'll beef up the III's brain.
by unknown on Nov 30, 2002 at 7:29am Add comment
It's easy enough to check how much memory you have...take printer offline, press and hold the Test button until 05 SELF TEST shows on the display. If RAM Size shows as 1024K, you have no extra memory. You'll see a metal plate on the side of the printer under the main cover. It usually says RAM. Remove it and you will see 2 RAM slots. RAM boards are getting scarce, but I'd bet Moe has 1 or 2 around for sale.
by KenC on Nov 30, 2002 at 11:28am Add comment
The printer doesn't want to play the self-test game; I think I need to get its AC module revamped first.

However, the Phillips-head test suggests that I have two open RAM slots--they sure look like slots, and there sure isn't anything in them.

Thanks. I'll check with Moe again.
by unknown on Nov 30, 2002 at 1:36pm Add comment
Hello printer pro's. I recently found your forum, after googling error 50. As you can guess, it is an HP Laser III. After sitting a number of years, I recently fired it up. Self test went smooth. In short order error 50 appeared,the ready and manual leds, on line lamps etc.,went dark. I shut down the power. Opened the top cover and tripped the cover in place switch on the right. I applied power and in short order the fuser lamp can be seen cycling on for a few seconds and going out. I tried the power up sequence a few times, waiting ten to twenty minutes between each. Self test usually passed ok and actually got it to print the HP test page and the PC test page ok. Successive printing attempts, resulted in lights out, paper jam display, and error 50. the paper jam indication occurs right after the printers attempt to move the paper in to position for printing. It seems that when a higher demand for current occurs, the error 50 appears.I only had one real jam occur.The error 50 indication is irratic. What are your thoughts?
After reading a number of posts, I thought the AC power module might be a good start. Thank you for your time. Regards.
by smoketest on Nov 14, 2007 at 9:40pm Add comment
The fuser is normally heated to an idle temperature. When you send a print command, it heats up another 20 degrees C to printing temperature. The AC power module would be the first thing I would try.
by moe on Nov 15, 2007 at 9:21am Add comment