Lexmark (Optra M 410/412) Toner Cartridges
Lexmark introduced the Optra M410 in September 1999 and the 412 series in May 2000. The cartridges for the Optra M410/412 printer series look very similar to the Optra S except that they are smaller. They do not use any type of chips or even yield wheels, and unlike other recent Lexmark printers, there are no Prebate cartridges!
The main difference between the two series is the print speed. The 410 runs at 12 pages per minute, while the 412 runs at 17 ppm. The maximum resolution for both series is the same: 1200x600 dots per inch. These printers are unique in their print class in that they have the ability to fax, and that as network printers, they have the ability to print a confidential job. When this feature is used, the user must go to the printer and enter their personal identification number before the pages will print.
There are actually four cartridges currently available for these machines. The original cartridges released with the 410 series are the 4K00198 (5,000 pages at 5 percent coverage) and the 4K00199 (10,000 pages). The introduction of the 412 series brought two new cartridges: 17G0152 (5,000 pages) and the 17G0154 (15,000 pages). Lexmark is discontinuing the 4K00198 and 199 cartridges. As stocks run out, they will be replaced with the newer 17G cartridges.
As with the Optra S cartridges, the Optra M PCR is not in the cartridge; it's in the printer. An external felt brush on the wiper blade inside the cartridge keeps the PCR clean. Some of the older 410 cartridges do not have the PCR cleaner on the wiper blade but the 17G cartridges do. I have not found the page count rating for the PCR. The manual only states to change the PCR when the printed pages have a gray background or "fogging," as they put it. These machines also still use felt wands to keep the fuser clean.
Also note that because of the play between the toner hopper and the OPC drum, a shipping lock should be installed in every cartridge. This holds true even if you are going to hand-deliver the cartridge. The shipping lock for the Optra M cartridges looks like the Optra S but is different.
Running test pages and changing the density is not a straight-forward process and will be covered at the end of this article.
- Vacuum the exterior of the toner cartridge.
- Place the cartridge on the bench with the drum side up (label face down) and the toner supply toward you.
- With the needle-nose pliers or a spring hook, remove the two springs from each end of the cartridge.
- Remove the tight-fitting drive gear on the static roller by pulling it straight off the shaft. This allows you to remove the toner hopper from the rest of the cartridge.
- Lift the two tabs on top of the cartridge to release the hopper.
- Remove the e-ring from the small helical gear end of the drum axle. There is no need to remove the other e-ring. Slide the drum axle out of the cartridge.
- Gently lift the drum and drum spring up and out of the cartridge; place in a light-protected area. Be careful not to lose the spring from the large drum. It prevents the drum from rotating backward.
- Remove the recovery blade entirely. Shake the toner out of the debris cavity into the garbage can and vacuum clean. Removing the recovery blade allows greater access to the waste toner.
- If you are replacing the OPC drum, you should also change the wiper blade. Remember, the PCR cleaner also is attached to the wiper blade. To remove the wiper blade, remove the two screws from the wiper blade.
- Hold the cartridge upright (standing up with the waste bin on the table). With one hand, hold the laser shutter open; with your other hand, remove the wiper blade.
- Be careful not to damage the foam seals on both sides of the blade.
NOTE: The PCR cleaning assembly is attached to the OEM wiper blade. It cannot be removed from the blade without damaging it. New replacement wiper blades should come attached to the aftermarket assembly.
- Apply Kynar padding powder or Sure-Lube to the wiper blade. Replace the blade and two screws in the cartridge.
- Make sure the foam seal on the bottom of the wiper blade is not torn or the cartridge will leak.
- Remove the doctor blade spring by pressing down on the center of the spring.
- Locate the small metal bushing on the left side of the static roller. Use a small screwdriver to pry the bushing off the shaft.
- Remove the static roller.
NOTE: Always remove the doctor blade spring before removing the static roller. Failure to do this will allow the doctor blade to slide down from its original position.
- Remove the fill plug from the hopper. Pry the plug out from the base next to the hopper. This fill plug is also a breather cap. It is best to remove both sections at once and clean them from the outside. These plugs tend to leak if they have been separated.
- Vacuum the toner hopper.
- With a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, clean the static roller seals located on both ends of the static roller section. These seals are made of a white plastic.
- Carefully vacuum or clean the static roller with compressed air. This roller is easily damaged. Use caution when handling and be careful not to touch the roller with your hands.
- Install NEW white washers on the static roller.
- Place the keyed end of the static roller into the cartridge, and install the roller. Install the metal bushing.
- Install the doctor blade spring.
- Fill the hopper with the appropriate amount of toner. Install the fill plug.
- Place the chassis on the bench, label side down, with the Debris Cavity toward you and the drum cover open.
- Install a new recovery blade using a recovery blade insertion tool.
- Lightly coat the drum with drum padding powder (Kynar or Sure Lube). Do NOT use zinc sterate.
- Place the OPC drum in the cartridge with the gear side of the drum toward the gear side of the cartridge. Make sure that the spring is positioned face down and in between the two slots).
- Install the drum axle pin into the large gear side of the drum. This is the opposite side from where the axle was removed. The axle must be installed this way to prevent it from bending and damaging the drum ground contact located inside the drum.
- Install the e-ring on the end of the axle.
- Spin the drum for a few revolutions toward the waste chamber to ensure the drum and wiper blade are properly lubricated.
- Install the toner hopper straight into position. Make sure the top pins lock in place.
- With either a small flat-head screwdriver or needle-nose pliers, replace both springs on the toner supply chamber.
- Reinstall the static roller drive gear.
- A shipping lock must now be installed. This lock should be used even if you are going to hand-deliver the cartridge. It will prevent the toner hopper from coming in contact with the OPC drum, and causing damage to either the drum or the static roller. Press the two red tabs into the sides of the cartridge as indicated. When packaging the cartridge, make sure you include a new felt wand.
This article originally appeared in the November 2001 issue of Recharger.