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Can Letter sized paper be used in the Legal cassette for original LaserWriter?

olePigeon

Well-known member
Does anyone know if I can use the Legal tray for the original LaserWriter with regular 8.5x11 letter?  Was Googling around for pictures, and I can't quite tell.  It looks like it might have a divider or something so you can use letter or A4, but I not sure.

I'm gonna go take a look at an original LaserWriter, but it's missing the cassette tray.  Only one I can find on eBay is the Legal tray.

 

NJRoadfan

Well-known member
It looks like you can going by the pictures...assuming a divider can be made up. Hopefully it has the output tray, because its annoying to print stuff without it.

The other problem is going to be toner. The cartridges (HP 92285A) for Canon CX engines went out of production a long time ago and there really isn't any demand for remanufactured these days. Common service parts (pickup and guide rollers) are long out of production as well. The good thing is that parts from the HP LaserJet and LaserJet Plus all interchange with the LaserWriter since they use the same engine.

 

olePigeon

Well-known member
I picked up the printer.  No output tray, but the guy said he got it from someone else who might actually still have the trays.  He's going to ask for me.

 

NJRoadfan

Well-known member
I used to have an original un-upgraded HP LaserJet. It was pretty useless due to its 128k of memory (not enough to store a whole page of graphics!) and RS-232 serial interface. The thing weighed a ton and dimmed the lights when the fuser kicked on. Basically a fancy text-only printer....but hey it came with a nice selection of font cartridges. The LaserJet Plus solved all those problems by coming with more RAM (512k!) and a parallel interface. The LaserWriter by comparison was light years ahead with full PostScript, enough memory for printing graphics and a "fast" 230kbps LocalTalk interface. The downside is that even with a whopping 10Mhz 68k, it took forever to render pages (PostScript is interpreted, thus slow) and LocalTalk gets slow fast if you have to download fonts and other graphics. Just remember that the popular benchmark for printers in this era was "time to first page" and it was usually measured in minutes.

My personal favorite was the Canon SX engine printers that replaced them. I had a LaserWriter II with Accel-a-Writer II upgrade board for years printing stuff (along with a spare IINTX). Those SX engines are impossible to kill...... HP should know, they tried to kill them by ceasing toner production! I loved fixing them as they were very straight forward to take apart and diagnose.

 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
My personal favorite was the Canon SX engine printers that replaced them.
I have a real soft spot for the "baby" of the Canon line, the LX engine, myself. (As used in the HP IIp/IIIp, Apple's Personal Laserwriters, etc.) My first laser printer was an oddball little Postscript Clone printer that was sold under various OEM names that used that engine, and despite the engine being quoted as 4ppm instead of 8ppm like the SX printers that little printer would run rings around an HP LaserJet or Apple Laserwriter on the "first page out" benchmark because it had an AMD 29000 RISC CPU in it instead of a 68000...

So, I dunno, maybe I actually liked that *printer* in spite of the engine instead of because of it, but it made for a nice little package, and enough people used the engine for refilled cartridges to be very cheap and available.

 

NJRoadfan

Well-known member
The Xante Xccel-a-Writer II upgrade board had the AMD 29000 on it. Very fast, even did the pseudo 600dpi thing that later SX engine printers featured. Right now the only "classic" laser printer I have is a LaserJet 4MP (Canon PX engine) on my desk...powered by an Intel i960.

I fixed a few LX engine printers back in the day. They were plagued by power supply issues with the weird symptom of smelling like dead fish when flashing Error 50 on the screen (HP IIP/IIIP). Once the flawed power supply was replaced with a superior aftermarket replacement, they kept running and running.

 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@NJRoadfan  I have one of those! :D   I plan to install it once I get this printer going.  I got it from another user on here, but I can't recall who.  I've had it for about 3 or 4 years now, and this is the first time an affordable LaserWriter showed up.  I have to give huge props to @adb9001, he pointed me to the Craigslist ad about 20 minutes after it had been posted.  So I was the first one.

This particular printer is actually more snow-white than beige.  It looks like it'd match a //c better than a Macintosh, if it weren't for its curvy Macintosh profile.  Looks like a pealed potato. :lol:   I've never seen one in person other than back in Junior High, and I don't remember the color.  It's physically in fantastic condition.  Just a tiny bit of yellowing on one side, and you can't notice it in the bright light (only under dim fluorescent.)  Very clean inside, too.

So I turned it on and powers up with no errors, save for missing paper tray.  I fed a single sheet through the manual feed, and it sucked it right in and spit it out the other side without jamming.  So that's good.  Unfortunately the unmistakable smell of melting plastic emanated from the machine.  Even though it completed the "print," it indicated a jam.  So I opened it up (nicely designed, easy access), and I saw the foam on the cartridge (or fuser?  Not sure ... I should read the service source) had completely disintegrated, and some of the foam went loopty loop around the fuser, then melted onto the paper.  I gave it a once over, but I didn't notice the disintegrated foam.  [:(!]    I hope I didn't ruin the fuser.

It's definitely going to need a toner cartridge.  I hope I can source a more recent Canon cartridge.

I'm gonna give it an additional clean, apply some rubber rejuvenation spray on all the rollers and pads, etc.

 

olePigeon

Well-known member
Looks like the foam dissolves in alcohol.  I think I can salvage the fuser.  I need to get the Service Source so I can take out the fuser.

 
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olePigeon

Well-known member
@NJRoadfan Cool, thanks.  I think I can get this up and running.  There're quite a few new-old-stock cartridges floating around.  I just wonder if they'd even work or not.  Theoretically if it's still hermetically sealed, it should be OK,  Might be worth getting anyway, and if it doesn't work, see if one of my local Ink places would still be able to service it.

The fact that it's mechanically sound, has no permanent errors, and will take a sheet of paper through completely ... I feel like I'm 95% of the way there.  At most, maybe a new fuser & new ink cartridge.  Some rubber rejuvenation I think will help with the pickup.  Won't know until I get a new paper casette.

 
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olePigeon

Well-known member
Excellent, thanks.

I picked up a new-old-stock Legal tray, but it's missing the stopper for smaller sizes.  Anyone have one and can take a picture?  I'm going to just cut some plastic.  If not, I might be able to figure it out.  Looks like it would have normally just slotted in between the side fins and the slot in the center.

 

olePigeon

Well-known member
Made this in Sketchup.  Gonna print it out and give it a try.

paperstop.png

It's modeled after this (only picture I could find.):

paper tray stopper.jpg

 

olePigeon

Well-known member
@NJRoadfan  It ran one page when I initially got it.  Went through the whole song and dance of cleaning the fuser and using rubberizer on the rollers ... only to discover that several of the rollers have completely liquified, including the one that engages the pickup rollers for the cassette.  :(

I think it might be impossible to get this going again unless I can somehow find new rollers for it.  What a bummer.

lw01.JPG

lw02.JPG

 
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NJRoadfan

Well-known member
Sadly The Printer Works is out of business. They specialized in older HP LaserJets and likely had a stash of parts for these still.

 
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