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Printer Knowledge Hub

While its not a really discussed thing on the forum. there is a need for printer knowledge.

A small hub for printer knowledge sharing, repair, modding, privacy, and more. while this is normally a one time buy item and forget it exists. many people have high demands for printers and good ones at that.

As has been shortly discussed in the cringe thread having a place for printer discussion may be useful for some office techs here.

I used to be a Cannon* repair specialist for a non profit out side DC in Maryland. We received government surplus to be repaired and then donated to low income family’s. some times we got large office printers fax copy print, those printers where known the be hell to work on for the little documentation that existed. Cannon proactively made it hell to fix these printers dmca’ing pdf’s of the repair docs and requesting you pay them for a tech to repair. Cannon also took measures with the Hard drives in the printer to firmware lock out repairs. Low level binary copy’s of the hard drives had to be made to get around this issue if a drive was to fail and they FAILED.

from that time as a printer repair specialist, i was tasked to set up pos printers (i hate thermal printers), Cannon, Hp, Xerox, and brother printers.
I WOULD ONLY RECOMMEND OLDER HP laserjet printers those things are rocks they would require extreme beating to fail and the only bad failure you would see if not beaten is paper rollers getting gunked. those printers are the gods of printers. i would avoid pretty much every other brand for repair costs and aftermarket toner costs.

plus xerox has a big hand in MIDC which puts unique identifiers for printers by printing micro dots in yellow on pages. this would be bad for those who are whistle blowers and need extreme anonymity.


Cool idea. More knowledge is always better.

I work helpdesk at a small to medium sized company. All our laser printers are HP. Our copiers are mostly Cannon, and under contract. We don’t touch the copier machines beyond verifying it’s borked and calling support.

I know very little about the laser printers. I got into this job with no real IT field experience and no IT related degree. Just a “I like computers a lot and I’m good with hardware” got me in. I do wish I knew more about printers, as I’m usually intimidated when a ticket comes in about one.

I did take over the label printer maintenance and repair role at this job, though. Again, no experience with them before. Just mechanically inclined and figured them out. Now I perform all PMs and repairs on the 40 or so Zebra label printers in our building. Once you figure out what they’re doing you realize they are actually very simple machines and there’s only a handful of parts that actually go bad or wear out.



this is true for the hardware of most printers when you start getting to the large format and high volume printers there starts to be shitty software that has so many bugs that printer ‘firmware’ its self with a bit of knowledge could be the ways to shut down entire offices. Hp has been working on this in recent years by actually making a custom low level ‘printer operating system’

this will not solve the repair issues (i have) but more a security hole patching method for newer printers, as holes are found. older printers are mainly firmware+driver bam it prints.
that firmware has probably never been updated with many printers needing to be networked this can lead to EXTREME issues fast. using a rpi as a print server with correct security this quickly becomes a non issue… until you are working in a government office, public library, and or public network. which tend to use these old networked printers that have never seen a update ever. i remember a old xerox machine mining lite coin once.

laser printers are a whole beast unto them selves repair of printers as a trope has always been the person on the bottom of the food chain because of the hell they are. [insert toner explosion feet outline]. paper jams from these printers was common from government surplus as the reason it needs repair. taking apart the printer finding the gunk and cleaning with 40% alcohol (no not drinkable because the rollers could melt if you used the wrong cleaners) most jams are from the rollers becoming mush or being stupid dirty.

if the laser printer was also a copier/scanner the hell continued. finding replacement scanner lights, motors and power supplies, adapters was a living nightmare of flipping through recycle centers for a week to have enough donor parts for the next month or so. those huge 5 add on scanner printer fax combos power supply those fuckers… when one failed i spent at least a good month tracking one down for replacement on a 12000$ printer…

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Tried being a printer repair tech for HP while I was in between jobs. It lasted one day:

They sent me two hours on my dime (there were closer techs) to a truck stop. The truck stop had nowhere to repair the printer at, so I ended up doing it in the mechanic’s waiting room.

Random kid kept taking screws and throwing them. Parent wouldn’t do anything about it.

And, every 15 minutes and Indian call center kept calling me even while I was driving to the location. I left so I would show up 30 minutes early to the site. They wouldn’t stop calling me even when I wasn’t yet supposed to be on site. They were not polite, some of the call center guys that called would even yell.

After about 45 minutes of working on replacing the feed system they called again.

I snapped, I was only being paid $60 for this job and I had to pay for a tank of gas. I told the Indian where he can forcibly insert the printer and left with it still partially disassembled.



Printers are spawn of satan.

Had to repair the infeed of a card printer once. The roler that is supposed to clean dust of the cards ripped appart a bit and got stuck in the allignment section.
About 2 hours of taking out plastic (!) screws and tiny gears led to 5 hours of cleaning sticky stuff out of rollers. No fun, -2/10 would not recommend.

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you charge time x4 when ever printer is in the ticket for repairs

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