asked Jan 30, 2001 at 6:31pm
Brother Brother Compactronic I

HP IIP+ 51 error

My HP IIP+ is giving me a 51 error when I try to print. It makes a noise like it is going to spin up and print but it never picks up the paper. The sound ends up at a higher pitch than normal.
The sound is not erratic but it does end up at a higher pitch than normal.
One other fact, this is the first non-HP cartridge that I have used in the nine years that I have owned this printer. So I would really be interested in knowing if it could be the cartridge. I looked at your troubleshooting page and could not find the lever on the print cartridge that you referenced.

"HP IIP/IIP+/IIIP could be either the laser pca or the scanner motor. Listen for erratic sounding scanner motor. There is a tab on the front of the toner cartridge that could also cause the problem. If its damaged or worn, it won't open the laser shutter. Check fiber optic cable for kinks or other damage."

What is the prognosis?

Thanks in advance.

(I went ahead and bought a Brother HL-1240 since my wife depends on this printer for her business BUT I have 14 days to get my money back so a quick response would be appreciated.) The Brother appears to be way to "cheap" to suit an old HP owner.
The 51 error could be caused by the scanner motor. The higher pitch could mean it's spinning faster than normal. The 51 is a beam detect error, but I've seen more scanner motors cause it than laser pcas. The tab is at the top leading edge of the toner cartridge near the center. I had one once that looked good, but it didn't open the shutter far enough. I built the end up with some instant plastic and it cured the problem. I measured against a cartridge that worked, but didn't see any difference. There are some things that defy logic. I hate it when that happens. I'm glad someone is actually using the troubleshooting features of the site before resorting to the message board. The Brother was a bad choice. Cheap, but bad. Check the prices on consumables before you buy printers. Never, never pay attention to magazine reviews. They raved about the NEC superscript door stops. The opinions expressed on this site are my own based on over 10 years of working on all brands of printers.
by moe on Jan 30, 2001 at 6:44pm Add comment
I pulled the cartridge out and found the tab. It looks fine.
I turned the printer back on and sent a page to print. This time it actually printed a page but the page had no text on it. The page is essentially half black. It also failed to send the page all the way out of the printer but it was not jammed or bound in the printer.
Any ideas?
by unknown on Jan 30, 2001 at 7:05pm Add comment
That's symptomatic of a failed Laser PCA which would give you a 51 error.
by moe on Jan 31, 2001 at 2:47pm Add comment
What is a "failed Laser PCA "? It didn't look like you sell a kit to fix this. Should I just give up and buy a new HP?
I was looking at the HP 2100. Good or Bad?
Anything else you would recommend?
by unknown on Jan 31, 2001 at 3:03pm Add comment
Is it beyond repair? What is a failed Laser PCA ?
I'm considering buying a new HP 2100 or could you recommend another good laser.
by unknown on Jan 31, 2001 at 3:34pm Add comment
We don't offer it as a kit because they rarely fail. The laser pca is the board that the laser diode is mounted on.
by moe on Jan 31, 2001 at 6:09pm Add comment
I am also getting the 51 error. I have the IIp. I have already replaced the scanning motor. Dont know if this is a toner cartridge problem. I have not replaced it as of yet. I do know that this toner is old but I dont think it has too many pages printed. Any other suggestions on how to fix the IIp would be appreciated
by unknown on Feb 1, 2001 at 6:06am Add comment
I've only seen one caused by a toner cartridge. If you replaced the scanner motor, the only other thing that can cause it is the laser PCA.
by moe on Feb 2, 2001 at 8:59am Add comment
Does it make sense for the 51 error to be random if it is the laser PCA? I started tinkering with my printer again today and I can't get the 51 error to occur.

Thanks in advance!!
by unknown on Feb 2, 2001 at 4:53pm Add comment
If it were the laser pca, it would be a hard error. Once the laser quits firing it doesn't come back. Intermittent errors are extremely difficult to pin down when they can be caused by several things.
by moe on Feb 3, 2001 at 9:31am Add comment
Do you sell the laser pca and is it an easy install? I did the scanner laser with your kit. No problem.
by unknown on Feb 4, 2001 at 3:40pm Add comment
I haven't got any new ones. We don't stock them because we change less than one a year. I've got some good working used ones in stock. They sit on the housing the scanner is in. You just have to be careful not to touch the red painted screws holding it together.
by moe on Feb 4, 2001 at 3:59pm Add comment
I sent you an email regarding the laser pca but forgot to refer to this posting. Let me know the price for the used laser pca. Thanks for your help!

by unknown on Feb 6, 2001 at 7:37pm Add comment
Read the above postings. Also read the troubleshooting. I replaced the scanner motor about three weeks ago for a 52 error message. The printer worked OK until today. It is now giving me a 51 error message. Changed the cartridge but the error message is still appearing. What next, Laser pca, or should I just give up on this one?
by unknown on Jul 23, 2001 at 8:24pm Add comment