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HP Designjet Printers - Finding and Cleaning the Mark Encoder

Issue:
Several HP Designjet series printers use the Mark Encoder component to help calibrate the accuracy of the x-axis movement of the paper drive roller. If the Mark Encoder is missing or becomes dirty, the HP Designjet series printer will not be able to calibrate correctly and image quality will be affected.
Solution
If the Mark Encoder is covered with ink, simply cleaning the encoder may resolve possible image quality issues. HP recommends locating the Mark Encoder on the printer and gently cleaning the Mark Encoder with warm water and a foam swab or lint-free cloth.
  caution:
Do not use alcohol or other abrasive solvents when cleaning the Mark Encoder. The encoder component is a small piece of white plastic glued to the end of the driver roller, which is rubber and metal. Strong solvents may breakdown the adhesive, causing the Mark Encoder to become detached from the drive roller.
HP Designjet printers which include a Mark Encoder
The following table highlights the specific HP Designjet models that include the Mark Encoder component. If the mark encoder is missing or becomes detached from the drive roller, the entire driver roller assembly must replaced. Only an authorized HP Field Service Technician can replace the drive roller assembly.
HP Designjet Series Printers
Specific Model
Product Number
Replacement component
HP Designjet 300 series
330
350C
C4699A/C4700A
C4701A/C4702A
Entire drive roller assembly
HP Designjet 400 series
430
450C
455CA
488CA
C4714A/C4714A
C4715A/C4716A
C6080A/C6081A
C6082A/C6083A
Entire drive roller assembly
HP Designjet 700 series
700 A/B
750C
750C+ A/B
755CM A/B
C4705/6 A/B
C3195A/C3196A
C4708/9 A/B
C3198 A/B
Entire drive roller assembly
HP Designjet CP series
2000/2500CP
2800CP
3000/3500CP
3800CP
C4703A/C4704A
C6085A
C4723A/C4724A
C6084A
Entire drive roller assembly
HP Designjet 1000 series
1050C
1055CM
C6074A
C6075A
Entire drive roller assembly
HP Designjet 5000 series
5000
5000ps
C6090A/C6095A
C6091A/C6096A
Entire drive roller assembly
  note:
The HP Designjet 1000 and 5000 series use a different style of Mark Encoder, but the purpose of the encoder is the same.
The function of a Mark Encoder
The Mark Encoder is aligned at the factory when the printer is assembled. The function of the white plastic encoder is to mark the top of the driver roller. As the roller turns one revolution, the distance the media advances is measured. The drive roller rotates backwards, and stops again at the encoder and the distance is calculated. The measurement data is transferred to the x-axis motor disks, and the stepper motors are calibrated accordingly. If the Mark Encoder is dirty or missing, the printer's x-axis motion will not calibrate correctly.
Steps to locate the Mark Encoder
  1. Paper must be loaded and the HP Designjet printer should indicate a READY status.
  2. Turn the HP Designjet Printer Off.
  3. Using a penlight or small flashlight, make a visual inspection of the left-hand side of the drive roller and locate the small, white plastic Mark Encoder (Refer to Figure 1-1).
    Figure 1 shows the Mark Encoder in "top" position on the drive roller. The HP Designjet model pictured happens to be an HP Designjet 350C, other models will feature the same Mark Encoder attached to the drive roller in the same manner.
      note:
    The HP Designjet 1000 and 5000 series use a different style of Mark Encoder, but the purpose of the encoder is the same.
    Figure : Mark Encoder in "top" position
  4. If the Mark Encoder is not visible, the drive roller may be advanced by doing the following:
    1. Close the window.
    2. Simultaneously press both the UP and DOWN arrow keys on the Front Panel.
    3. Send any print to the printer and observe the left-hand end of the black paper roll (platen) in the printer (with the printer's top cover closed).
    4. As the print advances approximately three inches, open the top cover, the printer will stop plotting.
    5. Again, examine the left-hand side of the drive roller for the Mark Encoder.
  5. Once the Mark Encoder has been located, use a foam swab or lint-free cloth, lightly dampened with warm water, to clean the Mark Encoder.
  6. Close the top cover to allow the current print to complete.
  7. If the HP Designjet series printer offers a calibration to test the Mark Encoder, perform that calibration and ensure the encoder is correctly measuring the x-axis movement.
  8. If the Mark Encoder is missing, an authorized HP Field Service Technician will need to replace the drive roller assembly.

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