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HP Forum Archive 12

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HP Printer Components
Message #1 Posted by Speck on 17 Apr 2003, 9:07 p.m.

Hi, everyone. I've got an off-topic question: Does anyone know of a source (or alternative substitute) for those little sponges in HP DeskJet printers? I salvaged a DeskJet 682C printer from a one-way trip to the landfill sometime back. I picked it up, fully intending to see "what makes it tick." The person who owned it thought the print head was going bad, because it printed blank lines through the characters. A new ink cartridge pretty much solved that one, but the cartridge seemed to be picking up debris from somewhere. A closer look showed that the cup that the nozzles rest in (in the "home" or "parked" position, whichever you prefer) has a tiny foam sponge in it, and the sponge is loaded with ink and/or is disintegrating. Looking at your past "gummy wheel" threads, I'd have to guess that it's both problems. I was wondering if anyone here has faced this problem before, and what the *best* solutions are? It seems to be a great little printer, and couldn't have come at a better price! Sure, I can use it as a "draft" or backup printer, but it seems like it could be a much better printer than that with a little TLC. Any suggestions? Thanks.


Re: HP Printer Components
Message #2 Posted by Michael Meyer on 17 Apr 2003, 10:08 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Speck


Each new print cartridge comes with a little rectangular piece of absorbent material. It's usually packed under the little clear plastic circle under the print head/cartridge. You remove the old one with a tweezer or needle nose pliers, and slide the new one in its place.

I would think, in a pinch, that a little piece cut off an index card would suffice.

Enjoy your Thinkjet. Pretty awesome advance in technology at the time!

When I worked at the VA hospital in Kansas City, about twenty years ago, they'd bought new ventilators that used Thinkjets for outputting vent parameters. They were always throwing away "used up" cartridges that simply needed a little moistening with water on a Kleenex. Made for an endless source of ink!


Re: HP Printer Components
Message #3 Posted by Ellis Easley on 18 Apr 2003, 12:58 a.m.,
in response to message #2 by Michael Meyer

The ThinkJet cartridges come with the item Michael described, which doesn't actually contact the cartridge. I think the printer purges the jets before printing, while the carriage is "home" and the little paper item is there to absorb the ink. I have a DeskJet 340 and I have had trouble with cartridges drying up in it, I think it's because I don't print often enough. I have better luck with my infrequent printing with a small laser printer.

My 340 has a little red gasket under the home position of the cartridge, I assume that is to enclose and seal the print jets to slow down their drying out. I don't know if there is a sponge in there. The rubber piece reminds me of the cups on HP plotter pen carousels that seal the tips of the pens from drying out when not in use. Those accumulate ink and they are easy to take out and clean or replace.

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