SUMMARY: Sparcprinter with smudge and poor page feed

From: Ted Rodriguez-Bell (ted@ssl.Berkeley.EDU)
Date: Thu Apr 15 1993 - 21:16:16 CDT

Last week I asked the Net's wisdom on the following two issues:

> ...The first problem is that it is printing a smudge in the same
> place on every page that runs through it. ... The second problem is
> that on some pages the printer starts printing too low on the page.
> The bottom of the output page is cut off, as if the page is being
> pulled up too far before printing starts.

The general opinion on the first was to replace the drum. That did
it. I was warned by Tim Beyea not to let this go on for long or other
parts of the printer might be damaged; Thomas Oliver sent me a long
letter suggesting some additional cleaning we could do.

Most people suggested checking the magnet placement to cure the
second. This was not the problem. The page location would be fine
for the first two pages of a job and then bad for the rest, suggesting
some problem deep inside. Our service person was stumped too; he
replaced the printer. Bob Thompson suggested this might be caused by
a temperature problem. Our symptoms didn't quite match his; his
printer would stop in the middle of a multi-page job and ours did not.

One person asked me who how I knew how many pages had been printed.
Printing the np/utils/ file will write that out. William
Unruh wrote a program that will query your printer without wasting a
page; I've included that as well.

Thanks to all who answered. The most detailed responses follow. (Jeff Mittelman)
   Tim Beyea <> (Robert N. Thompson)
   rr6204 <> (Thomas W Oliver)
   Doug Neuhauser <> (Doris Harrington) (Danielle Sanine) (Dave Cress) (Susan Coghlan)

I do not know about your page placement question. But, as for the
smudge, get the service call. If you look into the output end of
the printer, where the fuser wick goes, you can probably see a gray
on the orange hot roller that fuses the ink on the page. This is
where your smudges come from. The coatring on the fuser for these
guys seems to wear off. In time, if you do not service your machine,
it will get too hot, and actually melt the fuser and cause all
kinds of damage. Experience speaking here.

Hope you find this helpful.

     / |
====/ |===============================================================
| /Starkville Tim Beyea Mississippi State University |
| / * | Computer Systems Administrator Engineering Research Center |
| \ | Fax: (601)325-7692 2 Research Blvd. |
| | | Phone: (601)325-3709 Starkville, MS |
| / | beyea@ERC.MsState.Edu 39759 |
===/ |===============================================================
  |______ |
        / |

Please note that the following is a suggestion only. If anything goes
wrong with your printer by doing any of the following, I am not responsible.
Please weigh the cost of repairs and factor in your ability to do hands-on
hardware maintenance.

I see you too have been sucked into purchasing a sparcprinter. We have
our equipment under maintenance contract with a third-party company, so
I just hand it off to them for repairs. The only thing I can suggest is
to check the corotron wire for build-up (clean with a q-tip) and to
check the fuser wick. The fuser wick gets a lot of build-up on it and
you only get a new one with each drum cartridge you buy from Sun. Sun
may sell them separate, but I don't think so. I cheat by scraping the
gunk off, but the fuser wick is treated with silicon oil which can cause
eye problems, so I am not suggesting that you do the same without checking
into other options first. Read your manual.

If this does not help, then you can try delving into the guts a bit more.
Turn off the printer. Wait about five minutes for everything to cool down.
Open the front cover. Under the fuser wick there is yellowish plastic panel
with one screw in the center. Unscrew the screw and set aside in a safe
place. The panel will swing on hinges on the top part. CAREFULLY push the
hinge on one side in and slide out of the hole. I recommend trying this on
the right side. The left side will be a bit trickier to free. Once you have
freed the panel, the only thing connecting it to the printer will be wires.
Carefully turn over. There will be 3 or 4 anti-jam arms which sit on the
fuser roller (that orange roller thingie). These will be covered with dirt,
toner, fuser wick dust, etc., that has been baked onto the arms and hardened.
This 'crust' will start to eat into your fuser roller and leave permanent
grooves in the roller. This can be expensive to replace, and is a good thing
to check on each time you do maintenance or replace the toner cartridge. You
can clean these by taking a razor blade and carefully scraping off the crust.
Now check the fuser rollers for gunk and smudges. You should be able to clean
carefully with a dry kimwipe. Carefully turn the rollers to expose new surface
area to be cleaned. When you are finished, place the panel back into the hinge
holes and screw back into place. Check via printing to see if this helped any.
Try not to get fingerprints or oil on the rollers.

As to the magnets, try turning off the printer to see if that resets things.
I only get that problem when someone goes to refill the tray and slams the
tray back into place, thus moving the magnets.

I hope that this helps, and if not, that someone else is more helpfull.

Good luck!

Thomas Oliver | telephone: 619 458-5175
Science Applications International Corporation | fax: 619 558-1391
4161 Campus Point Court MS E3 | e-mail:
San Diego, CA 92121 |

We had a problem similar to your second one. It sounds like it is the
classic "magnet problem" but, if you have the following symptons then it
may be something else. When the page is printing does it go through a
"start/stop/start/stop" process? If so, it may be temperature
related. ie: errors are logged stating the unit is waiting for the drum to come
up to temperature. We had to move the printer away from a drafty window and
the problem went away.

Hope this helps, good luck.

Bob Thompson
Computer Manager
School of Mathematics
Institute for Advanced Study
South Olden Lane
Princeton, NJ 08540
phone: (609)-734-8331
fax: (609)-924-8399
>From agate!!ames!!!!wupost!gumby!destroyer!!!unruh Mon Nov 16 10:32:37 PST 1992
Article: 8342 of comp.sys.sun.admin
Path: agate!!ames!!!!wupost!gumby!destroyer!!!unruh
From: (William Unruh)
Newsgroups: comp.sys.sun.admin
Subject: Re: SPARCprinter page counts
Date: 14 Nov 1992 01:32:36 GMT
Organization: The University of British Columbia
Lines: 79
Distribution: world
Message-ID: <>
References: <>
Keywords: SPARCprinter page counts

As far as I know you can only get the page count truncated to 100s from
the sparkprinter itself. I have a program to do this if you want it.
Otherwise you have to keep track yourself ( or Newsprint 2.0 is supposed
to do page accounting but I do not know if it keeps track of total

Actually here it is. You need the -I newsprint/np/devkit/include line in
your cc
Note as usual no guarentees- I use it, it works for me, but I
cannot guarentee that it will for you or that it won't do something bad
for you. IE, use at your own risk.

[ On flair, compile with:
cc -I/usr/openwin/include -I/disks/detect/accts/newsprint/np/devkit/include pages.c

#ifndef lint
static char sccsid[] = "@(#)pages.c 1.00 91/03/28";

 * Includes
#include <sys/types.h>
#include <stdio.h>
#include <errno.h>
#include <NeWS/psio.h>

#include <sys/mman.h>
#include <sys/file.h>
#include <sys/stat.h>
#include <sys/param.h>

#include <sys/ioctl.h>
#include "lpviio.h"
#include "bpp_io.h"
#include <sys/signal.h>
#include <sys/time.h>
#include <sys/asynch.h>

#include "handler_if.h"
#include "handler_comm.h"
#include <setjmp.h>
#include <fcntl.h>

 * inq_meter():
 * Reads the page count meter in the printer.
    int result = 0;
    struct lpvi_inq inq_struct;
    int fd;
    if (ioctl(fd, LPVIIOC_INQ, &inq_struct) == -1) {
    /* inquiry failed */
        fprintf(stderr,"pages: page get failed\n");
        result = 1 ;
    } else {
         printf("%lu \n",inq_struct.counters);
    return (result);

Ted Rodriguez-Bell
Alexis group, Space Sciences Lab, UC Berkeley

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