(This article has been updated)
It can be jolly annoying to be printing away at the end of a hard day and to then find that your Konica Minolta 2530 DL printer decides it has had enough and it is not going to print for you because the OPC drum cartridge has reached ‘end of life’. Okay the warning has probably been flashing for the last 500 pages and you meant to do something about it, but it is 11pm and you need that document.
This article will show you how you can reset the error message and get that document printed. I discovered the answer here but I thought some pictures would probably help.
(The 2430DL and other Konica Minolta 2400/2500 series printers use the same parts so this should be just as applicable to them)
Obviously you do all the following steps at your own risk.
So the display shows
end of life
(I should have taken a picture, shouldn’t I!)
Firstly where is the OPC drum cartridge?
Open the top of the printer using the handle underneath the exit paper tray.
Inside the printer you can see the green handle of the OPC drum cartridge. The OPC drum cartridge collects the waste toner and eventually fills up. The printer calculates when it should be full and displays the warning that it is end of life. It isn’t, it is just a calculation and you can eek more life out of the cartridge until it is really full.
For the record I reckon you actually get about 6500 pages from a drum cartridge if you are married to a primary school teacher, with about the last 500 from a drum which is stated as being at 0%. I will update this article to say how many extra pages I got after the ‘paper-clipping’ the drum. See below for the update.
(Of course you already know you can do a lot more printing from the toner cartridges than the printer actually says… don’t you? Maybe I should do another article with info on that, including the weights of full and empty toner cartridges…)
So how are we to get rid of the message?
We need our secret ingredient, a paper clip.
Open it out to get rid of the longer loop. We only need the shorter loop (you could use wire for the task but a paperclip seems to be exactly the right size). Snap off the longer loop by repeatedly bending the wire till it snaps, or use a pair of wire clippers.
Switch off the printer.
Take the OPC drum cartridge out of the printer and put it on a desk. In the top right corner you will see a fuse.
Lever the fuse out carefully with a biro.
If you examine it you will see it has no internal wire. What I think happens is that the printer passes a current over the fuse at a high enough current to blow the fuse. If current passes, the printer knows that a new cartridge has been inserted and it will restart it’s drum use counter. So we are going to place the fuse inside the inner loop of the paperclip. It will fit quite snugly.
Carefully put the fuse back into the holder, making sure that the paperclip loop is visible. The loop itself is held in place by the fuse which in turn is held in place by the fuse holder.
Look inside the printer. You can see the two copper strips used by the printer to touch the fuse ends. We are going to allow current to pass between the two strips using the paperclip loop, thereby fooling the printer into thinking we have fitted a new drum cartridge.
Put the OPC drum cartridge back into the printer and shut the printer top.
Power up the printer. After all the normal self tests have completed, together with any calibration, you will see that the ‘end of life’ message has gone.
Switch off the printer and remove the paperclip loop from the fuse. Place the fuse back into the holder and put the drum cartridge back into the printer and power the printer up.
You may now print again. Just make sure the document was really worth all the effort.
Dec 2012 Update:
So I managed to eek out another 13 months of life from the so called full OPC drum cartridge in which time I (or mostly my wife) printed more than 7800 extra pages!
The OPC drum cartridge was heavy when I removed it, weighing 1289g. That is all unused, waste toner for which you have paid a hefty price.
You know when it really is time to replace it because it will start to drop waste toner onto the toner cartridges and also onto the bar above the toner cartridges. When this dust settles on the bar (or on the electronic chip on the front face of the toner cartridges) it causes the ‘Toner Not Installed’ message to appear. You can almost always get rid of this message by cleaning the chip and the bar with a clean rag.
Remember that toner can be harmful, so you should always wash your hands, and wherever possible recycle the OPC drum (and toner cartridges). Konica Minolta have a very worthy return-to-base-postage-paid scheme. Personally I NEVER use re-manufactured cartridges in my printer but others may do so.
Apr 2014 Update:
Based on what ‘Troy’ commented, I thought I would try the tin foil solution and it is even easier than using a paperclip. make sure you have reasonably chunky roll of foil so it is the same diameter as the fuse and then you can just slide it into the holder.
Here is a picture of both ‘implement’ types, but in future I will probably use the foil method:
(You can snip the end off the foil if it is too long for the fuse holder)