Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : General image quality problems - Clean t..  
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General image quality problems - Clean the optics first!!

The office here has a Xerox 5310 (Rebadged-Sharp) and it's been getting progressively worse with respect to overall image quality. A new drum ($140) has helped but things go down the crapper too fast for comfort. (~90 thousand copies, 4th drum now.)

So, I cleaned the optics. That was it! 2 mirrors were CLOUDED with white dust. Geeeee, do ya think that could do it? ;-)

Light-path in each is going to differ but I'll give you this one as an example. The 5310 can enlarge and reduce and the table does NOT move, i.e., more hoopla under the glass :-)

 ddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd                         LEV 1
 ========================================= glass         LEV 2
    [1    ]                      \2                      LEV 3
   A[  \  :                        \                     ..
    [     ]                          \B                  ..
                                     /                   ..
       4/          ()L             /3                    ..
    C /            ()            /                       ..
-----|  |---------------------------------------         LEV 4
     5\                          \6                      LEV 5
        \                          \D                    ..
                      [P]   .--.                         ..
                          /      \                       ..
                         |  DRUM  |                      ..


dddd - represents the paper document you are copying
A - Moving assembly that holds the exposure lamp and (1) first mirror.

B - Moving assembly containing 2 mirrors: (2) second mirror and (3) third mirror.

L - Movable assembly containing enlarge/reduce lens.

C - Movable assembly (covered by black sheet-metal cover that also covers the top of the Lens) containing (4) fourth and (5) fifth mirrors.

D - Fixed (6) sixth mirror that directs light onto the drum.
P - Erase lamp assembly.


LEV 1 - External to the copier, look for whiteout and layers of smudges.

LEV 2 - Glass pane (see LEV 1)

LEV 3 - Scanning layer, exhaust fan to keep dust from settling... Does that for about 2 minutes and then starts accumulation of very fine dust on all mirrors. :-)

- Some assemblies are covered to 1) keep the stray light and 2) reduce dust accumulation - do NOT skip them in cleaning. ESPECIALLY Assy C!

LEV 4 - Structural sheet-metal separates Scanner from drum/toner assembly below.

LEV 5 - Toner and Paper transport layer

See the document: Notes on the Troubleshooting and Repair of CD Players and CDROM Drives for appropriate chemicals and materials for cleaning mirrors (and lenses) In a pinch, a bit of my [clean] 100% cotton T-shirt works well - followed by a good blow with duster can and soft, [fake] camel-hair brush. The object is to have a mirror as clean as the minute it was made.

Apply a half dozen drops of non-detergent light oil onto the felt 'washers' on any movable assemblies' rods, if present. Might want to dampen a piece of cloth with oil and wipe the rods. This helps to prevent drips, etc.

I would remove the glass (LEV 2) completely from the machine and give it a good scrub from BOTH sides with the usual chemicals (ammonia-content is superior, IMO) for 2 reasons: 1) to keep ALL overspray from rest of machine and 2) to do a really GOOD job... not half-assed worried about overspray :-)

Don't skimp on corona wires... many machines include a plastic/felt wiper than prevents injury to the wires, USE IT. I keep a supply of scavenged wires for times when it goes 'TwhanNNnnnG' for the last time... :-|

Density control - some machines, the 5310 included, have a density adjustment under the front cover. This is in addition to the DARK-NORM-LIGHT control on the front panel. I find that after this cleaning, it can be turned back to somewhere near the middle. This cleaning is often needed if even THAT adjustment doesn't compensate for crappy copy :-)

After this cleaning, the copy will OVERALL have whiter (read: less toner wasted) background... this will improve contrast and lead to greater toner cart life. We get them recharged, BTW, for ~$49 or so... New it's $120 from Office Depot. ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH....

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