Printer and Photocopier Troubleshooting and Repair Collection : HP LaserJet IIIP - error code 52        
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HP LaserJet IIIP - error code 52

"I have inherited a dead HP LaserJet IIIP printer and would like to hear your thoughts on its chances.

The machine goes through its warm up routine OK but if I do an internal font printout or print from a PC then it sits quitely for about ten seconds, then raises in pitch for a second and simultaneously displays: 52 ERROR.

The manual states that this error is a 'scanner fault'.

I have dismantled the unit down to the laser and rotating mirror but can see no obvious faults. Perhaps the motor that drives the mirror is burnt out or the laser is dead??

HP have quoted me a repair price equivalent to a new Oki!!!

(From: Frank Reid (reid@indiana.edu).)

That symptom can often be cured by re-seating the cables between the laser assembly and the dc controller (smaller board under bottom cover). Also check the optical fiber running from the laser scanner housing to the dc controller: Sometimes it goes bad or the end gets dirty. If you can shine a flashlight through it, it's probably ok.

(From: Ralph Wade Phillips (ralphp@prysm.net).)

About 50% dead laser and 50% bad DC controllers (photoreceptor dies, or interface chip it drives is dead ... gives SAME error!)

Without a spare printer for parts, it'll cost you about a new printer for parts ... sigh.

(From: John Fiskio-Lasseter (johnl@yin.earlham.edu).)

Not necessarily. There are a number of places where you can simply buy the parts themselves, often refurbed - even a DC controller and laser assembly together would be cheaper than getting another printer.

Adam, at a guess, I'd say that you really are looking at a failed laser/scanner assembly. Of the possible causes, that's the part that gets the most wear and tear, and the most likely to fail under normal operating conditions.

A few places to try for parts:

Both PW and LI will do repair, parts sales, and exchange parts sales, and you may find them a good bit cheaper than Hewlett-Packard.

Also note that the engine parts from all other HP LaserJet II's and III's are interchangeable with yours. So are the engine parts (except the DC controller) from the Apple LaserWriter II printers. Other printers based on the same Canon SX engine are: QMS 410, Brother HL-8e, and several others that I can't remember off the top of my head.

(From: Steve Pepin (steve.pepin@mogur.com).)

You may not need to dump the printer or even pay for a new scanner assembly. I had exactly the same problem with mine and it turned out to be only the cable that attaches the scanner assembly to the main PCB. It's only a $28 part and you can possibly simply repair the one you have. I don't know how mine failed, but that is what our local HP service center replaced.

(From: Frank Reid (reid@indiana.edu).)

Correct! I repair at least 100 of those things per year. The connections fail far more often than the $canner. The problem can usually be solved by removing and re-seating the connectors on both ends of the cables that connect the scanner and laser to the 'dc controller' board (smaller board under bottom cover).

(From: TAltmeyer (taltmeyer@aol.com).)

Sometimes the driver-IC for the mirror motor is defect. It's a circuit from Hitachi HA1XXXX, i can't remember the number exactly. A half year ago i had such a printer with error 52 and i replaced the chip and all was fine.

The chip is a little bit difficult to get but if your're encouraged enough you can get it (after a lot of telephone talking) from your local hitachi distributor. It's much cheaper than a complete unit :).). The scannerunit itself was made by Canon (as the complete printerdrive is made by Canon)

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