Baking a malfunctioning printer

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aebrown
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Baking a malfunctioning printer

Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 20, 2009 5:45 pm

I just had one of the strangest electronics repair experiences of my life, and it might help others, so I thought I'd share it.

One of the wards in my stake had an HP P2015 printer (issued by our FM Group about 15 months ago). All of a sudden, the Paper Jam alert light went on, and it refused to print. I tried every technique I know of to reset this condition:

  1. I checked the paper path for any jams, or even tiny loose scraps of paper. There were 5 places to look, and I checked them thoroughly.
  2. I turned the power off and back on.
  3. I did a cold reset.
  4. I did a hard reset.
Nothing worked. So I started doing some research, and found that this is actually a fairly common problem with 2015s. It is caused by a faulty formatter board (a PCB located on the left side of the printer). One site I found taught me how to press a little button located immediately below and to the right of the formatter board to bypass the formatter and print a simple test pattern of horizontal lines. That worked fine, which proved that the paper feed mechanism had no problems -- indeed, it had to be a faulty formatter board.

So now comes the weird part. With further research, I found a forum thread which proved to be the gold mine at http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/forums/laser/48992#47. It's a long thread, but quite a ways down the thread is the post I linked to, which recommends baking the formatter board to repair a cold surface mount solder joint.

So I had nothing to lose, because I had proven that the formatter board was bad. So I:

  1. Preheated my oven to 350F.
  2. Carefully removed the formatter board (disconnect the 5 connections, and remove 4 screws)
  3. Removed the piece of plastic by the DIMM slot.
  4. Put the formatter board on a cookie sheet, propped up with some pieces of ceramic.
  5. Baked it for 8 minutes.
  6. Let it cool for an hour or so (it was completely cool).
  7. Put it back in the printer (replaced 4 screws, carefully reconnected all 5 connections)
  8. Plugged in the printer
  9. Turned on the power and ...
  10. It worked!
Now of course anyone who tries this should first do extensive troubleshooting to isolate the problem. And it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway) that you do this at your own risk. But if you've tried everything else, and you're faced with spending $120 on a new formatter board, you might give it a try.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:24 pm

So 350˚ F for 8 minutes worked as well as the 400˚ F for 5 minutes that the other forum user used. Why did you adjust the temperature and time? (just curious)
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:27 pm

jdlessley wrote:So 350˚ F for 8 minutes worked as well as the 400˚ F for 5 minutes that the other forum user used. Why did you adjust the temperature and time? (just curious)


If you read the whole thread, you'll see that several users chimed in with actual successful experiences with baking the board. The majority of them used 350˚F for 8 minutes, and I thought a somewhat lower temperature would be a bit more conservative (there are plastics on the board and this was my first time baking electronic components of any kind).

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:33 pm

How about just "until golden brown?" :)

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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 20, 2009 8:35 pm

Good enough ;). I was just expecting an electrical engineering answer referencing the melt temperature of CB solder.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 21, 2009 1:15 am

jdlessley wrote:I was just expecting an electrical engineering answer referencing the melt temperature of CB solder.


I'd be more concerned about the absolute temperature limits of the chips on the board. I did a quick spot check for a IC picked at random and found the maximum storage temperature to be 150C or 302F.

But since you asked, it looks to me like 350F might be a bit on the low side for melting solder.

Good to hear that it worked. I'll keep that in mind if I run into the same problem.
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

harrydupape
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This does work done it many times

Postby harrydupape » Wed Oct 20, 2010 10:42 am

I have performed the 350 for 8 minutes on over 12 HP 2015's
the issue stems from a plant in china where the boards where manufactured. they had a batch that used a soldier that was less than standard. Also for all you Xbox 360 users with the read ring of death. those where also made in the same plant and this fix also applies to them.
happy nerd baking as my wife calls it.

DWlsn-p40

Baking Solder Works

Postby DWlsn-p40 » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:58 pm

I have heard of this being done with electronics in 3rd world countries. Fascinating. Thanks for the lively discussion.


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