Remanufacturing the Brother HL-1650 Toner Cartridge
The HL-1650 printer is a 16 ppm, 1200 dpi machine that also comes standard with a built-in duplexer. It also has a back-lit display in three different colors! (The display is a gimmick, but one that will probably help sell machines.)With a list price of $599 including the duplexer, these machines are going to be very popular. The April 3rd issue of PC Magazine gave the HL-1650 four out of five stars!
Toner cartridge part number is TN-560 and rated at 6,500 pages. This is the only cartridge released as of 3/19/01. The drum cartridge is DR-500 and rated at 20,000 pages.
First introduced in March 2001, these laser printers/fax machines represent the second generation of Brother's higher quality engines. The 1650 engine replaces the 1240 engine in the Brother line. As with all Brother engines, it has its quirks, but is better than its predecessor.
As with the HL-1240 engine, this cartridge system is unique in a number of ways:
- The waste toner is recycled from the drum cartridge into the supply chamber to be reused.
- The drum cartridge uses a cleaning felt instead of a wiper blade.
- The drum cartridge uses a primary corona wire and a transfer roller. Both the primary corona wire and the transfer roller are inside the drum cartridge, just as in the DR-400 cartridge.
This engine also is like the 1240 in that the developer roller in the toner cartridge actually touches the drum. There is no air gap as is commonly found in other cartridges. In other words, this engine does not use what is known as "jumping technology" to transfer the image from the developer roller to the drum. This unusual fact doesn't change how the cartridge is recycled, but can lead to some interesting problems if BOTH the toner and OPC cartridges are not cleaned properly. This laser engine, as with its predecessor, works differently than other laser engines.
To successfully remanufacture these cartridges, discard any preconceived notions you may have based on other (Canon/Lexmark) type cartridges, and read the following carefully.
As with the TN-430/460 toner cartridge, the remaining toner (70 to 75 grams) MUST be completely removed from the supply chamber before adding new toner. Failure to do this will cause backgrounding. The remaining toner will not properly hold a charge.
As the toner cartridge reaches the end of its useful life, the printer senses the low charge level in the toner supply and will try to maintain the charge through constant charging. This constant charge prevents an almost "empty" cartridge from backgrounding. Once the printer cannot get the remaining toner up to the minimum charge, the "change toner" light comes on. The cartridge at this point will still be printing properly. If you were to take that same cartridge (OEM or remanufactured) out of the machine for a few days, and then put it back in the printer without doing anything to it, the cartridge will background. This happens because the charge level that the printer was trying so hard to maintain has dissipated, and the materials left can no longer accept a proper charge.
In addition to contaminating the toner cartridge, not removing all the toner remaining in a spent cartridge will also contaminate the cleaning section of the drum cartridge, which in turn will contaminate the toner cartridge again.
The cleaning section of the drum cartridge consists of a "cleaning brush" and a recovery blade. Two opposite charges are placed on the cleaning brush during the print cycle. The first attracts toner remaining on the drum to the cleaning brush. The second repels the toner off the brush back onto the drum where it then transfers back into the toner cartridge. This is accomplished in a timing sequence that does not interfere with the printing process. If the cleaning brush becomes contaminated with bad toner that will not charge, the brush will not be able to clean itself and backgrounding will occur. It seems to be the nature of contaminated toner that it will accept most of the charge to be cleaned off the drum, but it will not accept the charge that would allow the brush to clean itself. A properly working cleaning brush will, at any given time, have only a small amount of toner on it. Once contaminated, toner will accumulate, further exacerbating the problems.
Because the developer roller actually contacts the drum, some toner is transferred back into the supply of the toner cartridge. Once you print with a bad toner cartridge, the drum unit will become contaminated. Even when you change out the toner cartridge with a properly remanufactured or new OEM cartridge, the drum unit will transfer some of the bad toner back into the good toner cartridge, which will again cause backgrounding. Both cartridges will be contaminated again.
What does this all mean?
- Make sure that your cartridge technicians thoroughly clean the supply chamber of the toner cartridge.
- In the event that they forget and you have a shading cartridge, you must remove all of the toner including the toner you added. NEW fresh toner MUST be installed.
- The drum unit has to be taken apart and cleaned with emphasis on the cleaning brush area. This is a very simple but necessary process once the unit is contaminated.
This procedure details the complete disassembly of the cartridge. To properly remanufacture these cartridges, this procedure must be followed. Review the above introduction for more information.
At first glance, the TN-560 toner cartridges look very similar to the TN-460. They are however, very different. As seen in the cartridge comparison photos, the TN-560 cartridges were designed to prohibit placement in the DR-400 drum cartridge.
The remanufacturing procedure is very similar to the TN-460.
- Remove the fill plug from the toner cartridge. Dump the remaining toner and vacuum clean.
- On the non-gear side of the static roller, pry off the black, spring-loaded plastic axle.
- Locate the three tabs on the static roller end plate and pry off.
- On the gear side, remove the three screws and cover plate.
- Pry off the white plastic axle.
- Remove the e-ring and small gear.
- On the doctor blade side of the static roller, another small plate is located on the end of the roller and inside the plastic wall of the cartridge. From the outside of the wall locate a small round hole. Press the round tab located inside the hole. While pressing in, turn the plate up so that the plate and roller are free.
- Remove the static roller.
- With a vacuum, clean the doctor blade and foam feed roller. We do not recommend that the doctor blade be removed as it disturbs the static roller felt seals. Clean the doctor blade by blowing off the excess toner and wiping with a lint-free cloth. Be very careful not to leave any lint behind! If necessary, clean the doctor blade with alcohol.
- Clean the gears, making sure that the fine-toothed gears have no toner on them. This is a good time to check the gear shafts to make sure enough grease remains for proper functioning. If the shafts appear dry or the grease is contaminated with toner, clean the shaft and the inside of the gear. Reapply white lithium grease.
- Clean the static roller with a lint-free cloth. Do not use chemicals to clean the roller. A dry, clean cloth will work fine.
- Reinstall the static roller, inside end plate first. Turn the inside plate so that it locks in place.
- Install the outside end plate and both the spring-loaded white axle and the non-spring axle.
- Install the static roller gear and e-ring. Make sure all the other gears are meshing properly.
- Install the gear cover plate and three screws.
- Fill the cartridge with Brother 1650 toner.
- Replace the fill plug.
- Wipe the cartridge clean to remove any remaining toner dust.
There are no reset fuses or procedures for this cartridge.
The technical staff of Summit Laser Products can be reached at 800-225-3516 or visit www.summitlaser.com.
This article originally appeared in the May 2001 issue of Recharger.