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LaserWriter IIsc Blinking Lights and Driver?


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I finally lugged my 50-pound LaserWriter IIsc in from sitting in the trunk of my car for a couple weeks. This is the first laser printer I've owned, and would like to get it up and working with my vintage Macs so I can do more experimentation with desktop publishing.

 

After plugging the LaserWriter in, it sprung to life. However, after connecting it to my Mac and loading the paper feeder tray, all lights went out except the two right lights that blink continuously. Anyone know what these mean? The printer looks to be in pristine condition inside and out, and the previous owner said it worked 20 years ago and has been untouched since.

IMG_5216.thumb.jpg.2c4bb3fba8299762f750f8233354195f.jpg

 

My other problem is locating driver software for this printer. I couldn't find any driver software for the IIsc specifically, but located driver software for the Personal LaserWriter SC in the System 7 setup disks on my FloppyEmu. Will these drivers work, and are there drivers I can use in System 6?

LaserWriter-chooser.png.69b30f34e3a48646a45b1e5ed0599f6c.png

 

Also, does the IIsc and any LaserWriters have RIFA caps or anything that can go 'bang'? My particular IIsc was made in October 1989.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, sstaylor said:

"LaserWriter" driver should work, if I recall correctly. Might have been a LaserWriter IIsc driver but I don't think so.

"Personal LaserWriter" not likely to work.

The LaserWriter IIsc and Personal LaserWriter SC are special ducks in that they use SCSI exclusively and connect directly to the computer instead of AppleTalk. Thus, I don’t believe if the standard LaserWriter driver works.

 

 Is there any more info on the IIsc, such as a manual? I did a quick search and couldn’t find much on this specific model outside the basics.

 

Edit: I found a manual that suggests the flashes mean a I/O board issue. What would potentially cause that?

Edited by Garrett
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21 hours ago, Garrett said:

Edit: I found a manual that suggests the flashes mean a I/O board issue. What would potentially cause that?

 

Caps.  You know it, sad to say.  LaserWriters also needed a decent clean regularly of rollers etc. for reliable use.

Edited by Byrd
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On 4/23/2021 at 5:50 AM, Byrd said:

 

Caps.  You know it, sad to say.  LaserWriters also needed a decent clean regularly of rollers etc. for reliable use.

I was hoping my IIsc would dodge the capacitor plague, but it seems likely that bad caps have something to do with this issue. Especially when the repair manual even mentions a capacitor needing to be discharged.

 

 How hard is it to remove and recap the IIsc board? Did they make the switch to surface-mount caps by the IIsc, or will it still use through-hole caps?

 

 How do you clean these? I’m new to LaserWriters as well as to laser printers in general.

 

 Thanks

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22 hours ago, Garrett said:

How hard is it to remove and recap the IIsc board? Did they make the switch to surface-mount caps by the IIsc, or will it still use through-hole caps?

 

How do you clean these? I’m new to LaserWriters as well as to laser printers in general.

 

The LaserWriter I/O board should slide right out for visual inspection of the caps.

 

But yes I'd do a clean of everything before pulling out the soldering iron; there are lots of common parts to a laser printed, slide out what you can and clean with isopropyl alcohol wipes (using something like a soft hair brush to dislodge any crud) - things like rollers, trays, cartridges.

 

laserwriter_ii.pdf

Edited by Byrd
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Byrd said:

The LaserWriter I/O board should slide right out for visual inspection of the caps.

I pulled the board out tonight and gave it a look over, especially near the three electrolytic capacitors on the board. At least to me, it doesn’t look horrible. But then again, looks can be deceiving.

 

487CBA9C-07A1-4FDD-B9AA-4A5E7DFBFEE9.thumb.jpeg.7ab5e1f455da79a67d3919562d61ea89.jpeg

 

After reinstalling the board, I set the SCSI input number to 7 for it to automatically print a test page. While it’s supposed to print a test page, it didn’t. The second light from the right (page icon) remained illuminated for about 2-3 minutes (no other lights on) before the printer acted like it was restarting and the two right lights started blinking continuously again.

 

I noticed I don’t have a SCSI terminator. Would that cause these issues, including it not wanting to print test pages?

Edited by Garrett
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  • 3 weeks later...
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I'm back at home, so I finally took another look at this machine. It's still acting up just like before... no activity after powering on except for the right two lights blinking red continuously, and the occasional activation noise. I've set the SCSI input number to 7, still no test page.

 

Another thing I noticed: upon opening, I noticed the toner cartridge is from 1992. Would an empty or bad toner cartridge cause it to not print? I'd like to figure out whether the printer works or not before I order a somewhat expensive toner cartridge.

 

Any ideas?

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On 5/12/2021 at 3:16 PM, MindThreat said:

I'm unsure what relation it has to functionality (though I would guess the printer would need to pass a power on self test checking memory as well) but have you tried re-seating the memory?

Sorry for the delayed response. Tonight I finally dug out my tools (just finished moving) and removed the I/O board. I made sure all of the memory SIMMs were completely in their slot... and they were. Made sure the SCSI ID was set to 7 on the printer, and also pulled out and replaced the toner cartridge just in case there was an issue there. Powered on the printer and... nothing's changed. Both right red lights still blink, and no attempt to print out a test page.

 

When powering on the printer, I don't have a SCSI cable (or terminator) connected. I'm assuming that the printer, when set to SCSI ID 7 to print a test page, shouldn't need anything connected to work.

 

My knowledge of laser printers and how they work is fairly low - so I don't exactly know how to proceed. The manual @Byrd attached points to an I/O board issue, but visually nothing is wrong with the I/O board. The board looks to be (for the most part) clean. I could try replacing the three electrolytic caps on the board, but I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make.

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Both red lights blinking would indicate a fuser temp issue. Either the fuser itself or something in the PSU (bad cap, triac)

 

There is another similar thread over here:

 

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13 hours ago, demik said:

Both red lights blinking would indicate a fuser temp issue. Either the fuser itself or something in the PSU (bad cap, triac)

 

There is another similar thread over here:

 

Thank you for linking the thread. However, none of the other lights are on or flashing - just the two right red lights flashing. Both the manual in this thread and the service guide in the linked thread point to an I/O controller board error.

 

In the service guide in the linked thread, it had the following table for diagnosing I/O controller board issues on the IISC.

1828247106_ScreenShot2021-05-17at3_23_12PM.thumb.png.1e35af54392831b8275e32e705d72eab.png

 

To print a simple test page, I've been assuming I don't need any terminators or cables connected as the printer simply requires you to reset the SCSI device number to 7. I don't have any SCSI terminators, so unfortunately I can't test if a terminator installed would make any difference.

 

I also still haven't been able to find the LaserWriter SC driver - just the Personal LaserWriter SC drivers (included with System 7.1 installer) which I'm now assuming is incompatible with the IISC.

 

I don't have another IISC I/O board to test with, so I'm stuck there, as well. I'm not really sure how to progress with these issues, as there doesn't seem to be too much information on the IISC out there.

 

On an unrelated side note, what purpose does this green rotary switch serve? It's located near the front panel right inside where the clamshell latches. It's numbered 1-9.

dial.thumb.jpg.8b9d9d8337a0844b8c861d0ea246d47b.jpg

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