Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : HP DeskJet 560C Detailed problem descrip..  
 Copyright © 1994-2007, Samuel M. Goldwasser. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this document in whole or in part is permitted if both of the following conditions are satisfied: 1. This notice is included in its entirety at the beginning. 2. There is no charge except to cover the costs of copying. I may be contacted via the Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ (www.repairfaq.org) Email Links Page.

  << HP DeskJet 520 - Crunch! |  Index  | Cartridge detection on HP.. >>

HP DeskJet 560C Detailed problem description and possible solutions

"I have a HP DeskJet 560C, Model C2168A that is behaving badly. When I power it on initially, it appears to run through a diagnostic self-test (as evidenced by the sequence of LEDs on the control panel). It gets to the point where it moves the print head and that is where things go bad. I think it is attempting to report some sort of error code because it then flashes some of the LEDs in a repeating pattern (more on that later).

First let me describe mechanically what it is doing. When it gets to the point in the power-up routine where it moves the print head, it should do the following:

  1. Move print head to the extreme right.

  2. Prime the print head (???), a stepper motor on the right raises a mechanism to contact the print head.

  3. Position the print head in a ready position.

OK, here is what it is doing (please forgive my feeble attempts to describe in words what is happening):

  1. I hear three distinct sounds (whirring of various stepper motors I think) before the print head moves.

  2. The first two sounds seem normal from what I can remember when the printer used to work.

  3. The third sound is the loudest and doesn't sound at all normal. It sounds as if the stepper motor that does the priming is oscillating back and forth between two "steps" (the sound is like a stripping gear).

  4. The print head moves approx. 1" to the right.

  5. The print head immediately moves approx. 1.5" to the left (note, this sequence of print head movements happens bang-bang (no delays between movements).

The end result is that the print head winds up about 0.5" to left of the position it was in when the unit was powered on. If I continue the power on sequences enough times it will end up at the extreme left and will be accompanied by a much uglier, more sinister sound of the print head slapping against the leftmost guard (as if the printer is attempting to throw the print head through the case).

Now let me describe the sequence that happens with the LEDs. The control panel has 9 LEDs arranged in three columns of three LEDs each. The leftmost column of LEDs lies between the "CLEAN" button at the top and the "Font" button at the bottom. The middle column of LEDs lies between the "Alignment Test" button and the "Status" button. Finally, the rightmost column of LEDs lies between the "Install Print Cartridge" button and the "Quality" button. Here is some ASCII art:

                              CONTROL PANEL
 ||                                                                       ||
 ||                                  Alignment         Install Print      ||
 ||  RESET          CLEAN            Test              Cartridge          ||
 ||                                                                       ||
 ||                 ,--,              ,--,              ,--,              ||
 ||                ( #1 )            ( #4 )            ( #7 ) o o o       ||
 ||                 '--'              '--'              '--'              ||
 ||                                                                       ||
 ||                 ,--,              ,--,              ,--,              ||
 ||                ( #2 )            ( #5 )Busy        ( #8 ) o           ||
 ||                 '--'              '--'              '--'              ||
 ||                                                                       ||
 ||                 ,--,              ,--,              ,--,              ||
 ||                ( #3 )Condensed   ( #6 )Ready       ( #9 )Econo Mode   ||
 ||                 '--'              '--'              '--'              ||
 ||                                                                       ||
 ||  Load/Eject      Font             Status            Quality           ||
 ||  Paper                                                                ||
 ||                                                                       ||

I have numbered the LEDs (using my own numbering scheme) so that I can reference them below.

Here is the sequence that the LEDs progress through each time the unit>is powered on. The sequence is always the same.

      LEDs On       Duration                   Description
    -----------    ----------     --------------------------------------- 
  1. 123456789      2.5 secs       Happens immediately when I switch the
                                   power on.  Then LEDs 234789 turn off.

  2. 1   56         0.5 secs       This is a flash (longer than a blink).
                                   Then LED 5 turns off.

  3. 1    6         2   secs       Then LED 7 flashes on.

  4. 1    67        0.5 secs       This is a flash.  Then LED 7 turns off,
                                   LED 5 blinks on.

**5. 1   56         ----           Here LED 5 just blinks on then off.

  6.  234  789                     This starts the alternating sequence
                                   where I believe the printer is trying
                                   to report an error code.

  7. 1    6                        This is the rest of the alternating
                                   sequence.  The printer then repeats
                                   these two patterns forever (LEDs 234789,
                                   followed by 16).

** Step 5 is the point where the printer starts moving the print head."

(From: Jason D. Pero (JDP6640@ritvax.isc.rit.edu).)

The grinding sound from priming area is the jammed lever black stick that is pushed towards a bit towards right. If it good, it should be in upright position. If stuck too very right, unstick it by pushing it back to upright position towards left. This stick can be seen between the carriage rod and the printhead's purging rubber nipples and wipers. Also clean (gently!) the clear plastic strip with that fine black lines on it. First the clear strip must be removed first before doing this operation: The sensor is behind the printhead riding the clear strip, remove it by unengaging two triangular fingers inwards from outside and pull the sensor unit outwards towards back. Dust off inside that sensor gap and snap it back in.

Finally clean and oil both carriage rod and the angled underside area where the bearing block contacts upward onto it. Oil that carriage motor carefully and all stepper motors.

That should solve everything. This have happened to my 520, and my friends' 540 and 560C. Pretty common problem! Usual action when misbehaving is slamming either stops or do a "rushed start/stop" and some odd scary noises. All complains with pretty, interesting alterating flashes from the LED's on the control panel.

Pure or almost pure alcohol stuff is best as it does not melt anything or rub marks off and some 2 in 1 heavy duty oil "blue band" can. Top and bottom white shells comes apart easily after unengaging four snaps, doing one at a time and pulling gently and with a small flat screwdriver. Top off, the engine is free. disconnect with care to both ribbon cables one for carriage motor, and the flat white ribbon, or in some models that uses dual printheads, unplug another stepper motor. All connections you need to worry about is only from the mainboard side. Then the print engine lifts out without any fastening hardware.

WELL DESIGNED 5xx series compared to many printers past and now! I have a 520 chugging away after this fix and real cheap for that printer from a owner who does not want it.

Only problem is cost of cartridges. :( $50 of two versus $13 can of toner powder for an Okidata 400 that will last thousands of papers. Only problem is Oki. 400 LED laser thinks (processing graphics) very slowly. Is there a hack to swap the proper circuit boards from other similar Oki 400/800 series to make it work faster and more useful than a pokey 186 cpu equipped Oki 400???

Your comments and suggestions on which brand of refill inks that is perfect for those cartridges. I know how to refill it right after experimenting on a bad cartridge and successfully refilling one good cartridge from a bad cartridge (dead jet out of 48 jets I think).

(From: Glenn Allen (glenn@manawatu.gen.nz).)

It is not a stripped gear is it?

The old DJ500 used to have 2 levers on the right hand side at the back that went up and down. Sometimes these got stuck and noises could be heard. Normal paper feed problems here.

A problem with a DJ850 was that paper got stuck and to get it out I had to remove the paper feed motor on the drive shaft, when put back it would bang the left hand side of the case. Needles to say it needed the cog setup back to right place it expects when powered on.

Those printers have an index strip that the printhead follows doesn't it? Is this clean, i.e. Not ink all over the place.?

Lastly if you are repairing and turning your printer up and down, check you do not lose the rubber cap where the printhead sits, and clears the guns, If you do your cartridges will become clogged in no time.

Also clean the print head shaft, any gunk on it will cause the printhead head to stick thus giving error light or worst powers down the printer.

 <<HP DeskJet 520 - Crunch! | ToC | Cartridge detection on HP..>>