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


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@olePigeon  I know it's probably pointless to volunteer this until you can sort out the mechanical issues, but if you actually get it running do you want to upgrade it to an Applewriter Plus? Last time I went to a library book dump I found, mysteriously mixed in with the computer books, a NIB "Laserwriter Plus Kit". If memory serves inside it should have a new set of ROMs, some font disks, and a replacement label sticker. I say "should have" because it's still in the unbroken shrink wrap, so I don't *actually* know if it has the whole shebang in it.

All it gives you is more built in fonts, of course. Maybe you'd rather keep it original for the "collector's value", I suspect they're rarer but I actually have no idea.

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You can query the printer with the LaserWriter driver as well. The hard way is to connect via serial terminal (set dial to 9600 and use DB-25 port) and send it the following Postscript:

 

statusdict begin revision == version == product == end flush

It will return Postscript Level, revision, and product name.

 

The Accel-A-Writer board is a massive upgrade. WAY faster then a stock LaserWriter, has enough memory to do useful stuff too. It also has the 35 standard fonts. The only downside for some is that it uses PhoenixPage instead of genuine Adobe Postscript.

Edited by NJRoadfan
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I was thinking that it might be enough to just know the dimensions of the wheels & rollers that need replacing.  Then we might be able to order pinch rollers, wheels, etc. that have similar dimensions, and then just transfer the rubber itself to the existing part.  Mine have completely melted off in those two parts.  Don't know yet the condition of the other parts.  I'm going to have to spend the weekend taking it apart.

 

Fortunately, what little taking-apart I did had mostly the same screws.  So it was relatively easy to put everything back together again.

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  • 1 month later...

I've got two Pluses (one branded a Plus, and the other upgraded to a Plus), and on both the pickup rollers went to sticky goo. I actually "fixed" one by cleaning the gunk off and then attaching a rubber band where the rollers were. Amazingly, this does the trick and it's been picking up paper fine for over 6 years now! Sadly there's something wrong with the paper feed just before the fuser so it always gets either crinkled or stuck there (this could be due to the separation belt, but I didn't have any luck getting a replacement for that). And my only toner cartridge is streaky, leaky and faint.

 

How well does a NOS toner cartridge for these hold up? I would spend the $60 or so it would take to get one shipped to me if I knew there was a reasonable chance it would work to some degree.

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@danda  I was literally thinking about doing that.  I had discussed it with a couple people off forum.  I wondered if just using rubber bands would work as a workarround, and since you clam it works, I'll nee to give it a try!  I'll have to go look at some rubber bands.  They come in all different sizes and shapes, I bet I can find some small radius thick bands.  Then just layer them to the right size.

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@olePigeon It certainly worked for me - but note it's quite fiendish to get right because of the limited access you have through the read door of the printer! You probably could take it apart and do it properly, but when I did this back in 2013 I didn't have access to the service/take apart guide so didn't want to attempt it. What I did was:

  1. Clean all the old rubber that's now turned to goo off of the rollers
  2. Cut a rubber band so it forms a strip rather than a band
  3. Get some foam double sided mounting tape and stick the rubber band strip onto one side of it
  4. Stick the other side of the mounting tape onto the rollers (trickiest part to do!)

Thinking about this now, I'm actually now slightly doubting my memory, and because I'm at uni and my LaserWriter(s) are at home I can't check exactly what I did. I remember I did try using a rubber band on the mounting tape at first, but I'm now wondering if I ended up just using the mounting tape, with one side made non-sticky (ie. so just foam) by repeatedly sticking it and unsticking it from things.

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@danda I was looking at these, but I don't know if the diameter is too big:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Ranger-Bands-40-Small-Made-in-the-USA-from-EPDM-Rubber-Heavy-Duty-Survival-Gear/331893187723

 

There're also several rubber band companies that sell custom sizes (they're simply extruded as tubes, then cut into bands.)  So if I can get the right measurements, then I could theoretically get the perfect sized bands.

 

I was also looking at orthodontic rubber bands.  They're really small and designed to be sturdy.  Pack a bunch of those in side-by-side.  ||||||

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18 hours ago, olePigeon said:

So if I can get the right measurements, then I could theoretically get the perfect sized bands.

Do note that the pickup rollers aren't round - they're like a D or semi-circle shape, so that when they turn they pickup the paper. I'm not sure if that affects what you're thinking of doing or not, but I though it was worth mentioning. Those thick bands look like they could be good though, you could get too large ones and then cut to exact size needed.

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I vaguely remember reading in a PostScript manual from the 80s that the original LW and LW us didn't actually have quite enough ram to hold an entire page of some size. I know it can hold an entire A4 page, so it could be that it can't hold an entire letter page. I'll have to do some googling to see if I can track down the source for this.

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