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ImageWriter II Carriage Grinding/Jumping


New member
I have an IW II that I've been messing with trying to get working with my Apple IIc and gs. Every time I clear one issue, another seems to pop up. The current issue is that randomly while printing, the printer makes a grinding noise, and the printer seems to lose track of where the carriage is. So then it starts printing lines horizontally offset compared to where they should be.

I can't figure out what is happening. As far as I can tell, the carriage is directly belt driven off the motor, and the only other part in play is the idler wheel on the other end of the belt. When powered off I can freely move the carriage back and forth with no issues. So I can't see where any gears would even come into play. I can see some gears on the carriage. But I'm assuming they are there to advance the ribbon through the cartridge. And I can see the cartridge advancing the ribbon fine when I manually move the cartridge back and forth. And I can't believe a ribbon advance gear could cause the entire carriage to jam up. 

I don't believe it is the home switch. As the way I understand it, when it powers on, it moves left till the switch makes contact on the motor bracket. I'm assuming the printer then treats that position as "zero" and moves it relative to that. If the switch were bad, I suspect it would just slam to the left and keep trying to move left when powered on.

It's random when it happens. Sometimes it happens maybe 1/4 of the way into one page. Sometimes it will print 2-3 pages fine before it happens. I've been trying to print a banner in print shop, and it's not consistent when it happens.

Any ideas what might be wrong?




Well-known member
How tight is the belt? Guessing at this point in time, it would not be unusual for the belts to start stretching out and slipping. The carriage, at least as I remember it, has some resistance when you move it manually. I don't think there should be any belt slack.