Is this an ink flow sensor? (Ink Jet printer)

I'm trying to troubleshoot an error with an HP ink jet printer (Photosmart 3210) that says "Ink System Failure". All other components seem functional.
In the printer there is a small PCB with a few soldered components that appear to sense ink flow or pressure. It is in series with the pump output.
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http://i48.tinypic.com/o8xz84.jpg
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http://i49.tinypic.com/r76kib.jpg
How does this work? Are these 6 LEDs and photodiodes? Just detecting the presence of ink doesn't seem likely. Wouldn't movement or pressure be what is detected?
What does this PCB do and how does it do it?
Thanks.
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Upon closer examination:
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http://i50.tinypic.com/2vdoa4m.jpg
it looks like the printer controller is testing for continuity of the ink. Could this be a simple presence / absence of ink in these tubes? I suspect that some ink residue has built up on some of these tiny probes which may be indicating no ink and generating this error.
Ideas?
Thanks.
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DaveC wrote:

If you're talking about the tiny black rectangular parts numbered R1-R6, they are resistors.
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I had a HP inkjet fax with several hundred MB of driver bloatware. It refused to print B/W fax and complained colour cartridge was empty. It has a separate B/W cartridge that was full. Sounds like their firmware and software was written by sales people.
M
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I have a Kodak printer in which the "print head" is a separate assemply from the ink carts.
I note that there is a "chip" in each cartridge that, I ASSume, has a serial number.
I just printed out a test page in which the cartriges 20 digit serial number is printed.
The software also knows have many cartiidges of each type it has used and the number of drops of ink (of each color) for this set of ink cartridges AND for the print heads.
Part of that "bloatware" seems to be to get you to spring for a new cartridge when the software "decides" it should be low on ink rather than waiting for the user to decide. That seems to be a wave of the future. (Lexmart cartridges for newer printers also seem to be "smart."
Re-cyclers can re-fill the cartridges since you are unlikely to get your old cartridge back.
But if you just put more ink into your own cartridge, the software (which tracks serial numbers) will still refuse to use it.
Were I not so lazy I would run experiments in which I would, for example, switch "id chips" between a black cartridge and a color cartridge. Or re-install the driver software to see whether the memory of the old cartridges has been extinguished.

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On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 09:15:27 -0500, "John Gilmer"

You can reset the memory on some cartridges.
http://www.misterinkjet.com/hpreset.htm
You tube video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zVR2dHebmTI

Google reset memory for your model and you can probably find specific instructions.
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I note that HP drivers here switch to "color" very often when printing B&W documents, I manually check before each print run now. PITA. I did have some HP carts reloaded for my mom's home printer-copier, which she uses to keep her medical bills straight (at age 82, she's not into the net) It runs, but shows the ink as low constantly. Popping open one cart revealed that its definition of low is NOT my definition of low.
Sounds like we need a "truth in printing" rule from the CPSC, instead of them going after things like fireworks and lawnmowers.
Steve
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On Thu, 28 Jan 2010 09:15:27 -0500, John Gilmer wrote:
trimmed:

Trimmed:
This is from the wonderful world of Epson it is so well known that you can buy cartridge reset devices to reset the counter chips imbedded in their cartidges. It looks like the new generation of these chips are using serial numbers to keep you from being able to reset the chip.
An even dirtier anti consumer activity by Epson than they have done prevously.
It sounds like the "Kodak" printer is actually an Epson in disguise since thier sales are going away because of this.
It's a good reason to always aviod anything from Epson and spread the word about them to kill all of their business as they deserve for this very dirty anti consumer trick.
Forcing the throw away of up to half full cartridges is a real crime aganst the customer!
Gnack
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On a sunny day (Thu, 28 Jan 2010 13:26:53 -0600) it happened Gnack Nol

Bull, my Epson works great with https://www.continuousink.com/home.html the cartridges that come with it always report full :-)
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True enough. If the printer gets set in 'photography' mode, the black hues get printed with an excess of color ink, sometimes. I had a LONG session getting a printer reset after that happened, the menu selections were demonically incomprehensible. And, of course, it used three expensive color inks instead of the cheap black ink, until the problem was fixed.
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I can see this reservoir. It has one side covered by a translucent plastic film. It's nearly empty.
And the "full" indication is calculated from the number of cycles it goes through, not a sensor (there's no sensor on the reservoir). This is one of the counters you can see in the service menu of the firmware (as well as total pages printed).
Can anyone help me identify the part in the photographs and their function?
Thanks,
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The pics don't show what's mounted to the side of the PCB that the hose fittings are on. I realize that the separate parts weren't meant to be separated.
Can you see a component on the end of the board, at the opposite end from the wiring connector?
It looks as though there are components mounted on that side, marked as positions 1 thru 6.
If those 6 pairs of solder pads are connected to 6 devices/components inside the hose connectors, I wouldn't even have a WAG what they might be.
It looks a lot like MNOS more needlessly overcomplicated *crap* designed into almost everything being made nowadays.
-- Cheers, WB .............

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Those 6 pairs of solder pads connect to the 6 pairs of heavy wires (I think they're probes, not simple conductors) that terminate inside the plastic ink manifold:
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http://i50.tinypic.com/2vdoa4m.jpg
If there were indeed components inside the manifold (LEDs, photodiodes, etc.) they would be much finer wires rather than these large conductors.
I suspect these are probes that detect the impedance of the ink when it is present in each of the manifold's ducts. My guess is that it's a go/no-go indicator of whether the pump has failed or an ink supply is empty (although I think there are other sensors to detect this in the cartridge) or a hose is plugged up.

[WB]
Indeed, any technology in the hardware to boost HP's (and other manufacturer's as well) bottom line from maximum ink sales.
Thanks for your reply.
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On a sunny day (Thu, 28 Jan 2010 11:08:14 -0800) it happened DaveC

Have you actually looked for the repair manual for that printer online? I found the one for my Epson R200 without much problems. All parts are listed...
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Yes. Nothing turned up.
If someone knows where to find the manual for HP Photosmart 3110/3210/3310 all-in-one printers (not the LaserJet 3210 -- why a company would duplicate model numbers...?) please let me know.
Thanks for your reply.
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On 1/27/2010 10:56 PM, DaveC wrote:

Two things: Each is its own separate process.
1) Reset the system by holding down the OK, Cancel, Black, and Color buttons down at the same time and turn the 3310 off. Keep holding the buttons down until the printer shuts off and the turn it back on. You will have to turn the printer off twice and then it will recalibrate. Make sure you have new cartridge in the printer so that it can reset.
2) There is a patch available for your printer that might fix the the problem. The link below is to HP's site.
http://tinyurl.com/7jqdc3
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I saw this item on a printer repair forum last week. Tried this 8 or 10 times. No help.

This is for another model printer. While similar, there is no such patch for the 3110/3210/3310 printers. I'm not encouraged...
Thanks for your reply.
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On 1/27/2010 10:56 PM, DaveC wrote:

Oh, and I believe that is the heater circuit for the jets.
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There is 18 inches (45 cm) between this pcb and the print head. Hmm...
Thanks for your reply.
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I had a wild guess along the same lines (not saying SMF was guessing - just me). Maybe a heater element inside the black cylinders causes air expansion, pushing air down the tubes as a purge function?????????
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