Remanufacturing the HP 2600 Black and Color Toner Cartridges
First released in May 2005, the HP 2600-series color laser printers are based
on an 8-ppm, 600-dpi engine (2,400 dPI with RET). The 2600 cartridges consist
of the toner supply, drum and waste chamber. Like the HP 4600, these machines
use an in-line, or single pass system. All four cartridges are stacked on top
of one another, each color develops its own image which is transferred to the
paper by the transfer belt. This type of system is faster, and allows for a higher
The HP 2600 cartridge
Josiah is teaching the HP CLJ 3600
Remanufacturing Lab at the 2006 World Expo. Click
here to view the educational sessions at this year's event.
This is one of the first cartridges where HP/Canon really seems to have gone
out of its way to make a toner cartridge very difficult to remanufacture. The
waste chamber, which consists of the waste chamber, OPC drum, PCR, wiper and
recovery blades, is plastic welded/glued together. The drum axle/bushings are
permanently attached to the waste chamber. The only way to get them off is to
physically break or cut the cartridge apart. New replacement waste chambers
are now available that include the waste chamber, new removable drum axles/bushings,
foam seals, electrical contacts and PCR holders. The kit will also contain the
screws, springs and plastic pins that will be needed to reassemble the cartridge.
If you want to reuse any of the above parts, you will have to cut the OEM chamber
apart. The waste chamber for these cartridges is also very small. The aftermarket
toner will have to be very efficient to prevent leakage due to the waste overflowing.
The chips in these cartridges are the same as most other HP color cartridges
- the chip does not need to be changed in order for the cartridge to work. The
toner-low circuitry will be disabled, but after the user presses the SELECT
button, the cartridge will work. The display will then alternate from “READY”
to “UNAUTHORIZED SUPPLY IN USE.”
Printers based on the 2600 engine
- HP Color LaserJet 1600
- HP Color LaserJet 2600n
- HP Color LaserJet 2605dn
- HP Color LaserJet 2605dtn
Cartridges used in these machines (cartridge/yield/price)
- Q6000A (Black) 2,500 pages at 5 percent $106 list
- Q6001A (Cyan) 2,000 pages at 5 percent $115 list
- Q6003A (Magenta) 2,000 pages at 5 percent $115 list
- Q6002A (Yellow) 2,000 pages at 5 percent $115 list
As you can see from the prices in Table 1 (current as of May 2006), these are
very profitable cartridges to remanufacture. With the exception of the CLJ 1600,
which ships with 1,000-page starter cartridges, it is sometimes cheaper to buy
a new machine than to buy a full set of cartridges.
The transfer belt, or ETB as HP is calling it, is not a user-replaceable part.
It is designed so that a technician will need to replace it. I looked in the
service manual and on the HP Web site but could not find a statement on the
expected life of these belts.
The basic workings of these cartridges are similar to the 4600/3500 series,
but some advances have been made. Because of that, the cartridge theory is included
here. If you are familiar with the 4600 or 3500 theory, you will notice that
there are fewer parts, and the printing process is simpler.
HP 2600 Color Printing Theory
The color toner cartridge printing process happens in a series of stages or
steps (for the purpose of this article, we will call them stages). Figure 1
shows the basic layout of the cartridges and how they relate to one another
and the printer.
In the first stage, the primary charge roller (PCR) places a uniform negative
DC voltage on the OPC drum surface. The amount of the negative DC voltage placed
on the drum is controlled by the printer’s intensity setting. See Figure
In the second stage, the laser beam is fired onto a rotating mirror (called
the scanner). As the mirror rotates, the beam is reflected into a set of focusing
lenses. The beam then strikes the drums surface, reducing the negative charge
and leaving a latent electrostatic image on the drum. The areas where the laser
did not strike the drum will retain the higher negative charge. Each color cartridge
has its own laser and scanner units. See Figures 2 and 3.
The third, or developing, stage is where the toner is developed on the drum
by the developing section (or supply chamber), which contains the toner particles.
The developing stage is actually made up of two steps: toner charging and the
actual development. In the toner charging stage, the toner stirring blade turns
inside the hopper. As it turns, friction causes a negative potential to develop
on the toner. In addition, a foam feed roller brings the toner to the developer
roller and also places a negative charge on the toner. These two charges ensure
a uniform charge on the toner. Once the toner is properly charged, the toner
will coat the developer roller. The toner is also held onto the developer roller
by another negative DC bias voltage. This voltage is controlled by the printer’s
intensity setting, and causes either more or less toner to be attracted by the
developer roller. This in turn will either increase or decrease the print density.
The developer roller also has an AC bias signal placed on it which makes the
jump from the developer roller to the drum easier. The amount of toner on the
developer roller is controlled by the doctor blade, which uses pressure to keep
the amount of toner on the roller constant. Attached to the doctor blade is
what is called a developing sheet. This sheet improves the print quality, and
helps prevent toner scatter.
As the laser-exposed areas of the OPC drum approach the developer roller, the
toner particles are attracted to the drum’s surface due to the opposite
voltage potentials of the toner, and laser-exposed areas of the OPC drum. See
The fourth stage is the transfer stage. This is where there are some large differences
from monochrome printers. The first step in the transfer stage is where the
transfer roller (which is located directly opposite each OPC drum) places a
positive DC bias charge on the back of the ETB. Each toner cartridge has a separate
transfer charge roller. At the same time, the paper is moving between the OPC
drum and the ETB. As the ETB passes the transfer charging roller, the positive
charge is picked up and draws the negatively charged toner off the drum onto
the paper. This process is repeated for each color cartridge. As the toner piles
onto the paper, the positive charge on the paper weakens as the paper runs through
each cartridge. For this reason, the charge is increased on the transfer charging
roller for each successive color. See Figure 5.
The paper separates from the ETB belt as the belt reaches the top of its path
and turns back down to start the process again. The static charge on the back
of the paper is decreased with static charge eliminator. This helps stabilize
the paper feed, and also prevents toner flares (spots) under low-temperature
and low-humidity conditions. See Figure 6.
In the fifth stage, the image is then fused onto the paper by the fuser assembly.
The fuser assembly is comprised of the upper heating assembly and lower pressure
roller. The lower pressure roller presses the page up into the upper heating
assembly which then melts the toner into the paper. The upper heating assembly
consists of a flexible sleeve with a ceramic heating coil inside. This type
of fuser affords “instant on” fusing with little to no wait time,
and low power consumption. See Figure 7.
OPC Drum Cleaning
The drum is cleaned after the image is transferred to the paper by the wiper
blade. This part is fairly standard; the wiper blade scrapes the toner off the
drum and the recovery blade guides it into the waste chamber. These cartridges
do not use a transfer plate to move the waste toner into the back of the cartridge.
At the start of all this is the calibration cycle. The printer will calibrate
itself whenever the printer is turned on, when a new toner cartridge is installed,
after 48 hours of run time, and at 150-page intervals. Calibration consists
of a solid block and halftone of each color being printed to the ETB. As the
printed areas get to the top of the belt, a sensor will detect them, measure
the density, and adjust the printer accordingly. All of the calibration time
settings are user-controllable.
There are also physical calibrations of the gear train, and various rollers.
The last thing that needs to be discussed before getting to the actual remanufacturing
is the toner-level detection. The 2600 printer determines cartridge life in
a number of different ways. It counts the number of OPC drum rotations, and
actual amount of toner left. The amount of toner is also determined by an optical
sensor that reads through a set of clear plastic lenses mounted on the supply
chamber. Each of these measurements is written to the chip.
Taking test prints, cartridge troubleshooting as well as minor printer troubleshooting
will be covered at the end of this article.
- Toner-approved vacuum
- Small common screwdriver
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Needle-nose pliers
- Spring hook
- 2600 dedicated color toner
- New replacement chip
- New long-life 2600 drum
- New wiper blade
- New toner feed roller (optional)
- New PCR (optional)
- New doctor blade (optional)
- Shipping lock
- Lint-free cloths
- Conductive grease
1) Remove the two small springs from the right and left sides of the cartridge.
Note that the contact-side spring is marked. Make sure this spring is put back
on the correct side. See Figures 8 and 9.
2) Cut the plastic away from the metal pin on the contact side (remember, the
entire waste section will be thrown away) and pry the pin out with a pair of
flush-cutting wire cutters. See Figures 10 and 11.
3) On the opposite side of the cartridge there is a white plastic pin. Take
a small self-tapping screw and insert it into the center of the pin. Take the
cutters and pry this pin out from the cartridge. For the purposes of illustration,
I am using a drywall screw, but a smaller screw is actually better suited for
this. New plastic pins will also come with the waste chamber kit. See Figure
4) Lift the supply chamber up, and disconnect the loose half of the drum cover.
See Figures 13 and 14.
5) Separate the two halves.
6) On the gear side of the supply hopper, remove the two screws and the end
cap. Be careful, two gears may come off with the end cap. See Figures 15 and
7) Remove the four gears as indicated (the two gears have been put back for
this picture). See Figures 17 and 18.
8) On the developer roller alignment plate, remove the screw and plate. See
9) Remove the developer roller sleeve by sliding it out from the end. This prevents
the doctor blade assembly from being damaged. This sleeve looks like a monochrome
magnetic roller sleeve, but note that there is not a stationary magnet inside.
Be careful not to lose the small white plastic developer roller bushings on
both sides of the roller. Even though it is metal, it is a developer roller
sleeve. See Figures 20, 21 and 22.
10) Remove the doctor blade and two screws. See Figure 23.
11) Remove the contact/alignment plate and two screws. See Figure 24.
12) On either side of the toner-feed roller is a foam bushing/seal. Remove them
both and place aside. See Figures 25 and 26.
13) To remove the feed roller, press the roller towards the keyed side of the
shaft. The foam will condense, and the roller will come free. Over time, the
foam will tear off the roller and the roller will have to be replaced. See Figures
27 and 28.
14) With a small jewelers screwdriver, remove the seal port. See Figure 29.
15) Dump out and vacuum any remaining toner from the hopper.
16) Note that there is not a fill plug in these cartridges. The hopper must
be filled from the developer roller opening. Fill the hopper with the appropriate
color 2600 toner. A lot of parts need to be replaced on this hopper, so it is
best if the hopper is held in a jig to keep it steady. See Figure 30.
17) If a seal is available, install it now.
18) Reinstall the seal port. See Figure 31.
19) Vacuum or blow off the feed roller. Reinstall in the hopper. See Figure
20) Clean and replace the two foam seal/bushings. See Figure 33.
21) Clean the contact alignment plate with a cotton swab and alcohol. Replace
the conductive grease with fresh grease. Remember, more is not better with this
grease. See Figure 34.
22) Replace the contact plate and two screws. Make sure the contact bar fits
properly when done. See Figures 35 and 36.
23) Install the doctor blade and two screws. See Figure 37.
24) Clean the copper contact and install the developer roller sleeve. Slide
it in the same way it came out. Don’t forget the bushings. See Figures
38 and 39.
25) Install the plastic developer roller alignment plate and screw. Make sure
the developer roller is seated or the plate will not fit properly. See Figure
26) Install the four gears. Make sure the small tabs on the developer roller
gear fit into the slots on the sleeve. See Figures 41 and 42.
27) Install the gear end cap and two screws. See Figure 43.
28) On the waste toner hopper, remove the remainder of the drum cover and spring.
See Figures 44 and 45.
29) Take the hacksaw and carefully cut through the blue plastic handle and black
plastic hopper as indicated. Be careful not to damage the drum. You can break
off the hub after this cut if the cut is made where indicated. See Figures 46
NOTE: We have tried various ways to cut the cartridge apart, from small handsaws
to powered hobby saws. We found a simple hacksaw to be the safest for the people
doing the cutting as well as the safest for the drum.
30) Remove the cut section of the hopper (you may have to break it off if the
cuts did not go all the way through). See Figure 48.
31) Remove the drum and place aside. See Figure 49.
32) Remove the PCR by lifting it out of the holders. See Figure 50.
33) Remove the two screws and wiper blade. If replacing the wiper blade, you
can leave the blade in place. See Figure 51.
Figure 52 shows the complete waste chamber kit.
34) Take the new waste hopper, and install the wiper blade. If your replacement
wiper blade does not come with a foam seal, install the seal provided. If not,
install the wiper blade. Don’t forget to coat the edge with your preferred
blade lubricant. See Figure 53.
35) Clean the PCR and install. See Figure 54.
36) Install the OPC drum. Make sure the gear side of the drum goes to the gear
side of the cartridge. See Figure 55.
37) Install the blue handle and two screws. Make sure the drum spins properly.
See Figure 56.
38) If they fell apart, install the two sections of the drum cover together.
Install the cover and spring onto the waste section (a new spring comes with
the kit). See Figures 57, 58 and 59.
39) Place the two halves of the cartridge together. Hook the lower part of the
drum cover into the supply section. See Figures 60 and 61.
40) Install the metal pin into the contact side of the cartridge (a new pin
comes with the kit). See Figure 62.
41) Install the white plastic pin into the gear side
of the cartridge (a new pin comes with the kit). See Figure 63.
42) Install the two springs on both sides of the hopper. Make sure that the
marked spring goes on the contact or non-gear side of the cartridge. See Figures
64 and 65.
43) Clean the two clear plastic toner-low lenses on the supply chamber. See
Figures 66 and 67.
44) Replace the chip on the cartridge. Be sure to use the correct color chip
for your cartridge. See Figure 68.
Taking Test Prints
- Press the left and right arrows simultaneously. The demo page will print
- Press the left or right arrow until “REPORTS” appears on the
display. Press SELECT.
- Press the left or right arrow until “CONFIG REPORT” appears on
the display. Press SELECT.
Supplies Status Page
- Press the left or right arrow until “REPORTS” appears on the
display. Press SELECT.
- Press the left or right arrow until “SUPPLIES STATUS” appears
on the display. Press SELECT.
Running the Cleaning Page
- Press the left or right arrow until “SERVICE” appears on the
display. Press SELECT.
- Press the left or right arrow until “CLEANING MODE” appears on
the display. Press SELECT.
- A page will run slowly through the printer.
Repetitive Defect Chart
- Developer Roller Sleeve 24.7 millimeters
- Primary Charge Roller 26.7 millimeters
- RS Roller 32.9 millimeters
- Transfer Rollers 37.7 millimeters
- ETB Rollers 54.5 millimeters
- Fuser Sleeve 56.6 millimeters
- Fuser Pressure Roller 62.8 millimeters
- OPC Drum 75.4 millimeters
A Dirty Primary Charge Roller (PCR) will show on the test print as
vertical gray streaks down the page, or as a gray background throughout the
page. If there is any physical damage, it will repeat at intervals of 26.7 millimeters.
A Dirty PCR Connection will result in dark black horizontal bars across
the page, or as shading throughout the page.
A Scratched Drum will show up as a very thin, perfectly straight line
that runs from the top to the bottom of the test page.
A Chipped Drum will result in a dot or series of dots that repeat at
A Damaged Developer Roller Sleeve will either leave a mark or a blank
spot (depending on the type of damage) at intervals of 24.7 millimeters.
A Light-Damaged Drum will show up as a shaded area on the test print
that should be white. Again this will repeat at intervals of 75.4 millimeters.
A Bad Wiper Blade will result in vertical gray lines down the page,
or as shading across the entire page. In either case there will be a film of
toner on the drum surface.
Some of the More Common Printer Error Messages
- 10.000x Supply Error: Chip cannot be read or cartridge is not properly
- 10.0000 Black cartridge
- 10.0001 Cyan cartridge
- 10.0002 Magenta cartridge
- 10.0003 Yellow cartridge
- 10.100x Supply Error: Cartridge is missing
- 10.1000 Black cartridge
- 10.1001 Cyan cartridge
- 10.1002 Magenta cartridge
- 10.1003 Yellow cartridge
50.X Fuser Error
- For X = 1 Low fuser temperature
- For X = 2 Slow fuser temperature
- For X = 3 High fuser temperature
51.2X Printer Error
- For X = 0 Black scanner error
- For X = 1 Cyan scanner error
- For X = 2 Magenta scanner error
- For X = 3 Yellow scanner error
If you are experiencing problems with color in the printouts, the “Calibrate
Now” feature can be run. This forces a calibration cycle to run. This procedure
does not always fix the issue, but it can.
- Press the left or right arrow until “SYSTEM SETUP” appears on
the display. Press SELECT.
- Press the left or right arrow until “PRINT QUALITY” appears on
the display. “CALIBRATE COLOR” will appear on the display. Press
- Press the left or right arrow until “CALIBRATE NOW” appears on
the display. Press SELECT.
- Press SELECT to start the calibration.
Contact Mike Josiah and the technical staff of Summit Technologies at (631)
218-8376 or visit www.summitechnologies.com.
This article originally appeared in the July 2006 issue of Recharger.