Tuesday, June 8, 2010

HP Laserjet 2605DN Issues and Thoughts

A few years ago we picked up an HP Laserjet 2605DN printer at Costco for a great price. Our previous color laser was having color image quality problems, so we decided to pass that on to a friend who 0nly needed black and white printing, and we started using our brand new HP. At first, all was well, and the print quality was great.

2 years later, 3,769 pages later, we have replaced the black toner cartridge once, and we just finally ran out of toner on the original color toner that came with the printer (per the official toner readings ... although there appears to be plenty of toner left once we turned on the over-ride - more below on that).

Several observations over the years.

1) The default RAM included with the printer proved to not be enough when we were printing images from Photoshop - so I upgraded the RAM to 320MB by adding a 256MB memory card. That seemed to solve the out of memory issues we had. Cost: $50.

2) The printer sometimes fails to respond when printing, even with the latest ROM upgrade. You have to power cycle the printer to get it working again.

3) Interestingly enough, even though the printer is reporting that it is all out of color toner, I found a work-around that lets you continue to use the "empty" cartridges and continue to print. If you want to force the Laserjet 2605 to continue to use empty toner, just follow these instructions:

The "cartridge out override" feature is documented on page 134 of the printed User Guide, and is accessed from the control panel and buttons on the printer.

(a) From the main menu, press the "right arrow" button to get to "System Setup". Then push the green check "select" button.

(b) Press the "right arrow" button to get to "Print Quality". Then push the green check "select" button.

(c) Press the "right arrow" button to get to "Replace Supplies". Then push the green check "select" button.

(d) Press the "right arrow" button to get to "override out". Then push the green check "select" button.

(e) Press the green check "select" button.

If "stop at out" is selected, the printer will stop printing when a cartridge reaches the recommended replacement point.

If "override out" is selected, the printer will continue printing when a cartridge reaches the recommended replacement point.

The factory default setting is "stop at out". Once you set this, you can get many more pages out of your toner ... although I expect that the colors will begin to fade as supplies eventually run dry.

4) I replaced the Black HP OEM Toner with a "re-manufactured" toner cartridge. I had attempted to purchase brand new toner from a supplier online, and they shipped me recycled stuff instead (I was not happy about that, but that is another story ... and the vendor did give me a partial refund when I called and complained, so I have to give them credit for that at least). Since putting in that recycled toner, I have three little black dots that show up on every print job. No big deal, but kind of annoying when printing something official.

5) After several months on the recycled cartridge, I now have a strange light gray background on every print ... which many people have experienced with this printer (see this series of posts) and I sometimes get big black streaks down the side of a page, but only once in a while. I did some cleaning, shaking the toner around in the black cartridge, following tips I found on that forum, and things got somewhat better, but I'm still seeing this issue.

I have a new set of toner cartridges that I can put in -- once the current set runs out I will put them in and see if it improves the print quality.

7) I did a quick cost per page analysis of this printer versus a Canon Pixma MX870 -- and it was interesting to see that I calculated approx $0.06 per page on both printers. An inkjet is typically more expensive, and a Laserjet is typically cheaper ... but HP is charging a lot for toner (making profit on the toner instead of the printer) -- and Canon is doing a great job of getting the ink costs down.

8) I have a little meter than measures power usage that I like to put on various gadgets in my house to see how much power the little hungry power vampires are sucking out of the power grid. We are trying to go as green as possible, to reduce our impact on the planet, so I'm doing what I can reduce our consumption. A happy side benefit is a lower power bill of course! So I discovered that the HP Laserjet 2605 uses 13 Watts when it's just sitting there in a low power standby state. That's $32 a year at our current power cost. So I have now put the printer on a $10 timer that turns it off at night and back on in the morning, cutting one third of that annual cost out just by turning it off when no one will be using it (and paying for the timer in the first year).

9) Our HP Scanner uses 7 Watts - which is $16 per year. Even with the timer power switch we have, it makes me see some merit on one of those all-in-one printer / scanner combo units. The MX870 literature states that it uses 4 Watts on standby -- which makes it look somewhat appealing. $50 a year for our current printer and scanner, versus $9 per year for a combo.

1 comment:

sarabose said...

Spot on! Love your blog! Keep writing and helping every one!
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