hp laserjet 4L printing light

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

okay, I just bought a used hp laserjet 4L, brought it home. first few
powerups were paper jams, so I replaced the paper in tray and now seems okay
as far as paperjams, however, printing a few pages gives me lighter, much
lighter (or in econo mode, barely visible) print on the left handside of the
printout, for I'd say 1 inch of the print, top to bottom.

is this a sign the toner is running out? maybe cleaning? how do I check
toner left??? if not toner, how to resolve this problem?

by the way, I installed this printer with xp builtin drivers, should I have
used other drivers perhaps? besides drivers, are there any other tools I
should be using for this printer? maybe toner level check utility?

regards
9 answers Last reply
More about laserjet printing light
  1. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    forgot to ask, is there a way to get the pagecount on these? I tried looking
    on test pages, but nothing is there.

    also, I am curious if this is the 4L or anyother models like + or M. the
    front sticker says 4L.

    a good gracious lord! I just saw this thing was manufactured in 1993! is
    this possible?!

    thank you for the input.

    "tiktak" <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:N4wQe.10189$j63.427445@wagner.videotron.net...
    > okay, I just bought a used hp laserjet 4L, brought it home. first few
    > powerups were paper jams, so I replaced the paper in tray and now seems
    > okay as far as paperjams, however, printing a few pages gives me lighter,
    > much lighter (or in econo mode, barely visible) print on the left handside
    > of the printout, for I'd say 1 inch of the print, top to bottom.
    >
    > is this a sign the toner is running out? maybe cleaning? how do I check
    > toner left??? if not toner, how to resolve this problem?
    >
    > by the way, I installed this printer with xp builtin drivers, should I
    > have used other drivers perhaps? besides drivers, are there any other
    > tools I should be using for this printer? maybe toner level check utility?
    >
    > regards
    >
    >
  2. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    tiktak wrote:
    > okay, I just bought a used hp laserjet 4L, brought it home. first few
    > powerups were paper jams, so I replaced the paper in tray and now seems okay
    > as far as paperjams, however, printing a few pages gives me lighter, much
    > lighter (or in econo mode, barely visible) print on the left handside of the
    > printout, for I'd say 1 inch of the print, top to bottom.
    >
    > is this a sign the toner is running out? maybe cleaning? how do I check
    > toner left??? if not toner, how to resolve this problem?
    >
    > by the way, I installed this printer with xp builtin drivers, should I have
    > used other drivers perhaps? besides drivers, are there any other tools I
    > should be using for this printer? maybe toner level check utility?
    >
    > regards
    >
    >
    Yes, the toner is running out, or it has merely
    settled to one side. Remove the cartridge and
    gently shake from side to side to get the toner to
    level out. Then put it back in.

    There is no paper count on a 4L, which was
    marketed as an inexpensive (not by todays
    standard)home product My 4L doesn't have a
    sticker, the name is molded into the plastic right
    above the paper tray. Mine has receives light
    interspersed with some heavy use (e.g. printing
    200-300 page drafts) and is still being used. The
    4M and 4+ were for office use with larger memory
    capacity.

    The printer could easily be made in 1993. I
    purchased mine in 1994 for $596 locally minus a
    $50 rebate. Seems like a lot, but then my first
    9 pin dot matrix (wide carriage) cost about $300
    and I had to buy a $125 adapter to use it with my
    Commodore 64. Times do change.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Thank you George. and thank you Tony as well.

    I also bought a hp laserjet 5L from same person today. have not tested it
    yet. does that one allow pagecount review? if so, I hope its a simple
    procedure.

    I was basically sick and tired of my inkjets, I've been buying used inkjets
    all my life, paying $10-20 each, refilling on my own etc. I Said enough is
    enough. so a guy in my area (I'm in canada) was selling used, still printing
    laser printers.. hp 4l, 5l and nec superscript 1400 (pagecounts here?).
    picked them all up for around $120US for the lot. I just tried the 4l for
    now. will wait for toner to run out then try the 5l. then the NEC. I
    think the nec is fairly new, low pagecount... hope its a decent printer. I
    think the 5l is also a major step forward from the 4l, but I don't know that
    much about them.

    at this point I don't even care if this was a decent deal or not, I'm just
    glad to go laser way. now I have around 10 ink printrs I'll probably sell
    in a lot and try to at least recover the $120US I just invested in lasers.
    :)

    regards.

    "George E. Cawthon" <GeorgeC-Boise@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    news:67xQe.856$ym5.737@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    > tiktak wrote:
    >> okay, I just bought a used hp laserjet 4L, brought it home. first few
    >> powerups were paper jams, so I replaced the paper in tray and now seems
    >> okay as far as paperjams, however, printing a few pages gives me lighter,
    >> much lighter (or in econo mode, barely visible) print on the left
    >> handside of the printout, for I'd say 1 inch of the print, top to bottom.
    >>
    >> is this a sign the toner is running out? maybe cleaning? how do I check
    >> toner left??? if not toner, how to resolve this problem?
    >>
    >> by the way, I installed this printer with xp builtin drivers, should I
    >> have used other drivers perhaps? besides drivers, are there any other
    >> tools I should be using for this printer? maybe toner level check
    >> utility?
    >>
    >> regards
    >>
    >>
    > Yes, the toner is running out, or it has merely settled to one side.
    > Remove the cartridge and gently shake from side to side to get the toner
    > to level out. Then put it back in.
    >
    > There is no paper count on a 4L, which was marketed as an inexpensive (not
    > by todays standard)home product My 4L doesn't have a sticker, the name is
    > molded into the plastic right above the paper tray. Mine has receives
    > light interspersed with some heavy use (e.g. printing 200-300 page drafts)
    > and is still being used. The 4M and 4+ were for office use with larger
    > memory capacity.
    >
    > The printer could easily be made in 1993. I purchased mine in 1994 for
    > $596 locally minus a $50 rebate. Seems like a lot, but then my first 9
    > pin dot matrix (wide carriage) cost about $300 and I had to buy a $125
    > adapter to use it with my Commodore 64. Times do change.
  4. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    "tiktak" <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote:
    >forgot to ask, is there a way to get the pagecount on these? I tried looking
    >on test pages, but nothing is there.
    >
    >also, I am curious if this is the 4L or anyother models like + or M. the
    >front sticker says 4L.
    >
    >a good gracious lord! I just saw this thing was manufactured in 1993! is
    >this possible?!
    >
    >thank you for the input.
    >
    >"tiktak" <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote in message
    >news:N4wQe.10189$j63.427445@wagner.videotron.net...
    >> okay, I just bought a used hp laserjet 4L, brought it home. first few
    >> powerups were paper jams, so I replaced the paper in tray and now seems
    >> okay as far as paperjams, however, printing a few pages gives me lighter,
    >> much lighter (or in econo mode, barely visible) print on the left handside
    >> of the printout, for I'd say 1 inch of the print, top to bottom.
    >>
    >> is this a sign the toner is running out? maybe cleaning? how do I check
    >> toner left??? if not toner, how to resolve this problem?
    >>
    >> by the way, I installed this printer with xp builtin drivers, should I
    >> have used other drivers perhaps? besides drivers, are there any other
    >> tools I should be using for this printer? maybe toner level check utility?
    >>
    >> regards
    >>
    >>
    Yes, a very old printer they were available in 1993, the symptoms sound like
    the toner is low, best to try that first.
    The 4L does not retain page count after power off so there is no way to know
    how many pages it has printed.
    Tony
  5. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Sorry but the 4L,5L and 6L behave in the same way, no NVRAM so they lose their
    pagecount at power off. There may be other HP's that do the same but only those
    aimed at the lower end of the consumer market. They are all good printers with
    only 2 bad habits.
    1. The pick up rollers and separation pads wear (same really with all lasers)
    but can be replaced cheaply with a bit of mechanical knowledge or in some cases
    rejeuvenated with Isopropyl alcohol for a while. The symptoms are failure to
    feed paper and/or feeding more than one page.
    2. They sometimes experience failures that result in permanent patchy missing
    or light print, this is an electronic failure (DC Controller PCA) that costs
    more to replace than the printer is worth, don't worry too much since not all
    of them have this problem but if you do see this it is worth being forewarned.
    The problem you described does not sound like that because when it happens it
    does not affect the whole length or width of the page.
    Tony


    "tiktak" <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote:
    >Thank you George. and thank you Tony as well.
    >
    >I also bought a hp laserjet 5L from same person today. have not tested it
    >yet. does that one allow pagecount review? if so, I hope its a simple
    >procedure.
    >
    >I was basically sick and tired of my inkjets, I've been buying used inkjets
    >all my life, paying $10-20 each, refilling on my own etc. I Said enough is
    >enough. so a guy in my area (I'm in canada) was selling used, still printing
    >laser printers.. hp 4l, 5l and nec superscript 1400 (pagecounts here?).
    >picked them all up for around $120US for the lot. I just tried the 4l for
    >now. will wait for toner to run out then try the 5l. then the NEC. I
    >think the nec is fairly new, low pagecount... hope its a decent printer. I
    >think the 5l is also a major step forward from the 4l, but I don't know that
    >much about them.
    >
    >at this point I don't even care if this was a decent deal or not, I'm just
    >glad to go laser way. now I have around 10 ink printrs I'll probably sell
    >in a lot and try to at least recover the $120US I just invested in lasers.
    >:)
    >
    >regards.
    >
    >"George E. Cawthon" <GeorgeC-Boise@worldnet.att.net> wrote in message
    >news:67xQe.856$ym5.737@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
    >> tiktak wrote:
    >>> okay, I just bought a used hp laserjet 4L, brought it home. first few
    >>> powerups were paper jams, so I replaced the paper in tray and now seems
    >>> okay as far as paperjams, however, printing a few pages gives me lighter,
    >>> much lighter (or in econo mode, barely visible) print on the left
    >>> handside of the printout, for I'd say 1 inch of the print, top to bottom.
    >>>
    >>> is this a sign the toner is running out? maybe cleaning? how do I check
    >>> toner left??? if not toner, how to resolve this problem?
    >>>
    >>> by the way, I installed this printer with xp builtin drivers, should I
    >>> have used other drivers perhaps? besides drivers, are there any other
    >>> tools I should be using for this printer? maybe toner level check
    >>> utility?
    >>>
    >>> regards
    >>>
    >>>
    >> Yes, the toner is running out, or it has merely settled to one side.
    >> Remove the cartridge and gently shake from side to side to get the toner
    >> to level out. Then put it back in.
    >>
    >> There is no paper count on a 4L, which was marketed as an inexpensive (not
    >> by todays standard)home product My 4L doesn't have a sticker, the name is
    >> molded into the plastic right above the paper tray. Mine has receives
    >> light interspersed with some heavy use (e.g. printing 200-300 page drafts)
    >> and is still being used. The 4M and 4+ were for office use with larger
    >> memory capacity.
    >>
    >> The printer could easily be made in 1993. I purchased mine in 1994 for
    >> $596 locally minus a $50 rebate. Seems like a lot, but then my first 9
    >> pin dot matrix (wide carriage) cost about $300 and I had to buy a $125
    >> adapter to use it with my Commodore 64. Times do change.
  6. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    One thing to note with new lasers is that for some reason the 'toner
    unit' always seem to come 'half filled'. The 'El cheapo' Samsung
    ML1510 I have was the same, it's a real work horse being the main
    text printer and used for printing PCB designs using 'toner transfer
    paper', the stuff you iron on after printing.

    Although only £50 (UK) brand new and guaranteed it has had two toner
    refill's to date costing about £12 for two bottles... l.o.l a new
    toner assembley is around £60 - more than the printer.

    Davy
  7. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 00:36:31 -0400, "tiktak"
    <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote:

    >forgot to ask, is there a way to get the pagecount on these? I tried looking
    >on test pages, but nothing is there.
    >
    >also, I am curious if this is the 4L or anyother models like + or M. the
    >front sticker says 4L.
    >
    >a good gracious lord! I just saw this thing was manufactured in 1993! is
    >this possible?!
    >
    >thank you for the input.

    I had a 4ML, bought as soon as it was out. It was the cheapest
    PostScript printer available. It's the same engine as the 4L, with a
    PS chip and an Apple interface as well as parallel.

    I used it for 6 or 7 years and racked up about 35,000 pages (the $ML
    does have a pagecount), still going when I left. It did get jams about
    every 100 pages, but these were easily fixed by popping it open and
    yanking out the page.

    Have a look at TPW's info on HP printers for specs.
    <http://www.printerworks.com/Printers/Laser-Printers.html>
    the Ultimate Printer Manual
    <http://www.nefec.org/UPM/>
    the actual HP manual
    <http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/reference/manuals>
  8. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    thanks.
    shaking the toner side to side did and does seem to help. the print is much
    more even now, though still little pale on the left side, but definitely
    better than before.

    so thank you to the person who suggested this.

    but why exactly would a toner need shaking like this? is this something
    that needs to be done time to time? or is it some defect in these
    printers/toners specifically? I suppose if I shake it some more, it'll
    eventually give perfect print throughout.

    lastly, is there any way to check how much toner is left??? either with
    software or by looking at toner directly? most inkjet printers show ink
    levels with software.

    regards.

    "Alan" <none@none.com> wrote in message
    news:1125392033.4c6f1eb6ca477100f7af2b01dc00beb5@teranews...
    > On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 00:36:31 -0400, "tiktak"
    > <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote:
    >
    >>forgot to ask, is there a way to get the pagecount on these? I tried
    >>looking
    >>on test pages, but nothing is there.
    >>
    >>also, I am curious if this is the 4L or anyother models like + or M. the
    >>front sticker says 4L.
    >>
    >>a good gracious lord! I just saw this thing was manufactured in 1993! is
    >>this possible?!
    >>
    >>thank you for the input.
    >
    > I had a 4ML, bought as soon as it was out. It was the cheapest
    > PostScript printer available. It's the same engine as the 4L, with a
    > PS chip and an Apple interface as well as parallel.
    >
    > I used it for 6 or 7 years and racked up about 35,000 pages (the $ML
    > does have a pagecount), still going when I left. It did get jams about
    > every 100 pages, but these were easily fixed by popping it open and
    > yanking out the page.
    >
    > Have a look at TPW's info on HP printers for specs.
    > <http://www.printerworks.com/Printers/Laser-Printers.html>
    > the Ultimate Printer Manual
    > <http://www.nefec.org/UPM/>
    > the actual HP manual
    > <http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/reference/manuals>
    >
  9. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Shaking the toner cartridge redistributes the toner in the cartridge and will
    sometimes improve print quality.
    This only has an effect if the the toner is getting low or has been stored
    other than horizintally.
    I do not believe there is a toner level indicator in the driver for this
    printer or in the printer itself.
    When the print quality starts to deteriorate again you will probabl;y need to
    buy a replacement toner cartridge.
    Tony


    "tiktak" <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote:
    >thanks.
    >shaking the toner side to side did and does seem to help. the print is much
    >more even now, though still little pale on the left side, but definitely
    >better than before.
    >
    >so thank you to the person who suggested this.
    >
    >but why exactly would a toner need shaking like this? is this something
    >that needs to be done time to time? or is it some defect in these
    >printers/toners specifically? I suppose if I shake it some more, it'll
    >eventually give perfect print throughout.
    >
    >lastly, is there any way to check how much toner is left??? either with
    >software or by looking at toner directly? most inkjet printers show ink
    >levels with software.
    >
    >regards.
    >
    >"Alan" <none@none.com> wrote in message
    >news:1125392033.4c6f1eb6ca477100f7af2b01dc00beb5@teranews...
    >> On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 00:36:31 -0400, "tiktak"
    >> <hikoryERASETHISPART@gmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>>forgot to ask, is there a way to get the pagecount on these? I tried
    >>>looking
    >>>on test pages, but nothing is there.
    >>>
    >>>also, I am curious if this is the 4L or anyother models like + or M. the
    >>>front sticker says 4L.
    >>>
    >>>a good gracious lord! I just saw this thing was manufactured in 1993! is
    >>>this possible?!
    >>>
    >>>thank you for the input.
    >>
    >> I had a 4ML, bought as soon as it was out. It was the cheapest
    >> PostScript printer available. It's the same engine as the 4L, with a
    >> PS chip and an Apple interface as well as parallel.
    >>
    >> I used it for 6 or 7 years and racked up about 35,000 pages (the $ML
    >> does have a pagecount), still going when I left. It did get jams about
    >> every 100 pages, but these were easily fixed by popping it open and
    >> yanking out the page.
    >>
    >> Have a look at TPW's info on HP printers for specs.
    >> <http://www.printerworks.com/Printers/Laser-Printers.html>
    >> the Ultimate Printer Manual
    >> <http://www.nefec.org/UPM/>
    >> the actual HP manual
    >> <http://www.fixyourownprinter.com/reference/manuals>
    >>
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