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Error B200, then dead logic board. Attention electronicians!

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by ludens, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Aug 2, 2018
    ludens

    ludens Getting Fingers Dirty

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    My iX6510 commited suicide.

    After a few years of very light use, flavored by very frequent self-cleaning and copious ink-wasting, the printer suddenly declared Canon's favorite error: The famed B200. This happened when I tried to print the usual nozzle test sheet, which I do whenever I want to print anything and haven't printed for more than a full day. In fact this time it had been one week since the last use.

    I read up what the web has to offer in regard to error B200, and although it didn't seem to make a lot of sense, I removed and rinsed the print head, despite the fact that it was clean, with no signs of any stains or leaks or anything abnormal. Like always when I clean it, I was careful not to let water get under the electronic board, and finished by rinsing it with cleaning solution. After letting the head dry overnight, I reinstalled it, and surprise, the B200 was gone, and the printer printed a perfect nozzle test and then the single sheet of paper I had wanted to print the day before...

    A few days later I wanted to print again. Like always, I intended to print a nozzle test first, but it didn't come to that: After switching the printer on, it started doing its usual head calisthenics, then stopped abruptly. Both LEDs off, no reaction to any button, and the head out of the parking position. The printer was as dead as the proverbial doornail.

    I opened the printer, and first, noticing that moving the head by hand did not cap it, I removed the tanks and head again, capped the tanks, and rinsed the head and let it dry, to avoid any ink clogs in it from staying uncapped for long. Then I went to work at the printer.

    The power supply unit proved to be fine. It was delivering normal standby voltages. Pressing the printer's power button did not result in a power-up signal to the power supply.

    So I removed the logic board, for what little one can do on such a multilayer board, full of non-documented components, centered around a processor with a secret, probably encripted program inside. I checked the electrolytic capacitors, typical cause of failures, but they are all fine. Then I measured across the various supply lines, and found the 3.3V supply shorted, with about 1 ohm to ground.

    It's hard to detect where exactly the short is, without removing components. And removing the BGA chips, just to test, is not something I would like to do. Even the 3.3V regulator, which has a SOT89-5 package and is marked "33N", would be somewhat hard to remove without risking damage to the board. Being a multilayer board, I would like to remove this IC only if there is a reasonably good chance that this is the shorted part.

    Now my questions:

    Has anybody ever tried to troubleshoot a Canon logic board?

    Does anyone know what exact device this "33N" is? Several hours of detective work suggest that it might be an NJM2884, in the 3.3V version of course, but I cannot find any solid confirmation of this. Several other regulators by the same company (New Japan Radio, NRC, ex Japan Radio Company, JRC) have the same outline and pinout, but different ratings. Regulators from other companies seem to all have different pinouts, not compatible with the way the IC is connected on this board.

    Specially the input voltage rating seems fishy: The NJM2884 has a rating of 10V max, and the filter capacitor used on its input side is rated at 35V. The power supply delivers 8.5V and about 12V when idling, and of course will go to higher values when operating normally. So the NJM2884 doesn't seem to really fill the bill. Maybe it's an NJM2830 instead, rated at 20V, but I found only very slim evidence in that regard. So, if anybody knows what a "33N" in a SOT89-5 package is, please let me know!

    Of course there is a high chance that the short circuit is somewhere else, such as in the processor. In that case, it's goodbye, printer.

    Second question: What the heck really happened here? Does anybody in the world REALLY know what this "error B200" business is, that kills Canon printers like flies?

    From all I read up, it seems most likely that the printer reports B200 when it detects something abnormal about the supply voltage (the so-called "high" voltage) of the print head. If so, it would explain why some Canon service literature and technicians say things like "it could be the print head OR the logic board OR the power supply OR any connections in between".

    But what happens really? Does the print head develop short circuits between the logic control inputs and the power circuitry controlling the jet resistors, thus frying the microcontroller? That would be lousy engineering indeed! Or does the 3.3V voltage regulator fail, because it's working with too high input voltage or too high dissipation, and when it starts dropping out the printer detects this as a voltage problem? Of course that would be lousy engineering too. Or is it an intentional "programmed" failure simulation, that actually goes as far as triggering a short circuit on the board, through some sinister mechanism? I wouldn't like to think that, but one never knows...

    Whatever it is, I'm NOT amused nor delighted. This printer turned out to be a big headache since day one, spending seemingly endless time on self-decided cleaning cycles, guzzling ink like crazy and spitting it into the "waste ink container", trying to force users to buy super-expensive original ink tanks (which I refused to do, after my printer only printed some 30 pages on the first set of tanks, wasting the rest of the ink in excessive cleaning) , and more often than not interrupting a black text print job because the magenta, cyan or yellow ink has run out, while printing black text... oh well...

    By the way, the total page count of this printer stands at 1322 pages total. That includes about 50 photos, exactly 3 of them in large size (A3+), about 400 nozzle checks, a few schematic diagrams in A3 size, and the rest being mostly black text on A4 paper. This doesn't seem like a reasonable life span to me.

    The situation now is this: I'm a tinkerer, so if I can fix this, I will try to keep using this printer some more time. If I cannot, I will be HAPPY to put this piece of trash where it belongs, that is, in the trash can - I'm only sorry for the environment. We shouldn't have to throw away machines that have barely been used.

    And now question 3: Can anybody suggest another printer, of course NOT a Canon, that meets these criteria:

    - Large size, like A3+
    - Photo-capable, although my photo print quality requirements are modest
    - Can use bulk ink without fiddly refilling of tiny cartridges
    - Will WORK in a reliable way for several decades, in light home use.
    - Has a reasonable price

    I can locally buy two models of Epson A3+ printers that have external refillable ink tanks, but one costs US$800 and the other one even more. I would spent that much if I could be SURE that they will last for the rest of my life, but not if there is no such guarantee.

    If I can't find a printer that meets those criteria, I would make do for the time being with my old HP Deskjet 520, which still works perfectly after more than 20 years, but is limited to black printing on A4 paper.

    Unfortunately it's not an option for me to simply pay some print shop when I need photos printed or large-size schematics, because I live in a rural place, roughly two hours driving time away from the nearest town that has such print shops.

    Thanks for reading. Writing this post was highly therapeutic. I feel better now. And if anybody can provide any useful info, that would be even better!

    Manfred
     
  2. Aug 3, 2018
    Harvey

    Harvey Printer Guru

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    Hi Ludens. I guess you will have to accept the fact that current generation printers are perhaps designed to last only a few years and then you will have to forget about them and get a new one.

    The alternative to Canon would be Epson now that you are in Latin America it would be and Epson L series either the L1300 or the L1800. Cheap ink, nice colors,, no profiling, and the ink is better than any refillable source I have tested. Perhaps Cone inks are better but I have not tested those. Cachai, poh?
     
  3. Aug 3, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    The B200 error is a printhead failure in the first place, with the risk of killing connected circuitry, the electronics board and the power supply in a few cases. There are some magic fixes on the Internet to cure a B200 error, just forget it, even if you get such a printer working again it'll fail in a week or three again.
    The L1300 or L1800 are Epson's inktank A3 printers - the L1300 with 4 colors CMYK, black as pigment, more office like oriented, this printer does not support borderless printing. The L1800 is a 6 ink photo printer, with 6 dye inks, and with borderless printing. The L1800 inks are more UV stable than the L1300 inks.
    I'm printing a lot with such L...type printers - 50 000+ pages - mixed text and images are no problem on models like the L382 (A4). A newer model ET-7750 is more universal and uses a dye black for photo print and a pigment black for text print.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  4. Aug 3, 2018
    Harvey

    Harvey Printer Guru

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    @Ink stained Fingers My mistake with L1300 you are right. I just did not checked the specs carefully with it.
     
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  5. Aug 3, 2018
    ludens

    ludens Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Harvey,
    everything seems to indicate that you are right in that modern printers are designed to fail soon. But I don't understand the logic behind this. It has often been said that the business model behind printers like mine is selling the printers at or below cost, and then earn money on overpriced ink. If that's right, then it should be in the best interest of the manufacturer to design the printers to last, so that customers will buy overpriced ink for as long as possible before needing a new printer that does not make money for the manufacturer!

    From a philosophical-idealistic point of view, I just can't accept the buy-fail-throw-away-buy-new sequence. I believe in making things so that they last essentially forever, which in practice means that they can be used until something far better has become available, so that they are replaced for true obsolescence rather than for failure.

    You are right too in that the L1300 and L1800 are the Epson alternatives available here. I just checked prices online. The L1300 costs the equivalent of US$750, and the L1800 costs US$940. And that's far too much, unless I could get some sort of guarantee that the printer will last for at least 20 years, in my very light home use. Since the guarantee given by Epson on these printers is only one year, it's simply too risky to spend that much money on a printer.

    So, I'm back to printing in black only, in A4 size, using my old HP Deskjet 520, eternally refilling the single cartridge I have for it. If that one wears out, I guess I will be buying, using and throwing away the absolutely cheapest A4 printers I can get, but not those expensive Epsons. At this time that would be the HP Deskjet IA 1115, which comes almost for free, at US$15!

    Looking again at A3+ printers, the Canon iX6810 sells at the same place for US$156, but that would very likely be more of the same crap of which I'm absolutely fed up. I would have to start from zero looking for refillable cartridges, and fiddle with them, and very likely throw that printer away again after printing just a few hundred pages. No thanks. No more Canon for me, and no nearly-thousand-dollar printers for me either.

    The HP Officejet 7110 is available for US$178 here. Maybe that's an option? I have no idea about the refillability of present-day HP cartridges, and would have to do my homework first.

    In any case, my iX6510 seems definitely toast. I spent some more time trying to troubleshoot the logic board, but with it being a multilayer board, and several of the ICs not being documented on the web, using BGA packages, and so on, it's pretty clear that I can't repair that board despite being an electronics engineer. And even if I could repair it, the bad print head or whatever other thing (programming?) caused the failure, would still be there, and would make it fail again.

    Maybe we need to start a worldwide collaborative project: An open-source inkjet printer. Or perhaps just open-source firmware for an existing, inexpensive printer that has good hardware!

    And yes - cacho! :)

    Manfred
     
  6. Aug 3, 2018
    ludens

    ludens Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Ink stained fingers,
    thanks for that input. So, if I wanted to go the Epson L series route, it would have to be the one costing 940 dollars. Scary!

    At your intensive use, it makes sense, assuming that the printer is that expensive because it's made for intensive use. But at my use, which is maybe 200 pages of A4 text, 50 A3 line drawings, and 50 photos, PER YEAR, it would be crazy to spend that much money.

    That was also my original thinking behind buying the Canon, being the least expensive A3+ printer with acceptable photo quality I could find. I assumed that in my light use it would last for a long time. How wrong I was...

    I guess I will use the carcass of my Canon to do some reverse engineering and learn on the process. Something good has to come out of it...

    Manfred
     
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  7. Aug 3, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    How long would it take for you to print 50 000 pages ? I just recently took an Epson R800 printer out of operation, after about 8000 full page photos, that's a printer from 2003 or something, so they last even out of warranty.
    If you rather like to go for refill you still might find an Epson B1100 in your country, probably cheaper, that's the cartridge version of the L1300 on which it is based upon - with the attached ink tanks, and the B1100 can do borderless. The successor would be a WF-7015, and the next successor would be a WF7110DTW. That's all printers with Durabrite dye inks, but you can use dye inks as well via refill. And I really would advise you to switch to dye inks since your print volume is not that great, dye inks are less prone to cause head clogging than pigment inks during idle times. And switching to dye inks would give you much better photo prints on glossy paper than with the Durabrite pigment inks. You might look as well for Brother printers, they have some models doing A3, and the print quality is pretty good. They should last as well pretty long, they use a piezo printhead like Epson does. I made about 55 000 pages with a Brother DCP590 before I dumped it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  8. Aug 4, 2018
    ludens

    ludens Getting Fingers Dirty

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    I didn't know that Brother used piezo heads. That's a good hint. I checked which Brother printers I can buy here, and found that there are eight different models available! But all of them are A4-size, multifunctional (with scanner), with 4 refillable tanks, all use the same ink, have the same resolution, and so on... These eight models seem to be only very minor variations of one and the same machine. The variations I discovered are whether or not the printer has WiFi, a document feeder for the scanner, fax functionality, and whether it comes with one or with two bottles of black ink. I mean bottles of bulk ink here, as all eight printers have just a single black ink tank built in. I really wonder why they sell these as eight different models, at prices spanning a 1:3 ratio!

    Those prices cover the same range as the Epson A4 printers with refillable tanks. That is, the cheapest Brother costs the same as the Epson L120, and the most expensive Brother costs the same as the L805.

    There is one more thing, though, and that makes Brother printers unsuitable for me: They specify a minimum requirement of Windows 7, but I use Windows XP. I cannot reasonably upgrade the OS, because I have over a dozen programs, several of them tied to expensive external hardware, that will not run on any Windows version higher than XP. And using a virtual machine with Windows 7 on it just for printing seems pretty inconvenient. Setting up a dedicated PC just for printing is even more inconvenient.

    I don't know what I will do now, printer-wise. Maybe someone can give some good advice. The situation is:

    - The Canon iX6510 committed harakiri, or rather a plain and lame version of suicide, is definitely dead, and I'm completely fed-up with Canon, and don't want to ever again buy anything from that company.

    - My very old HP Deskjet 520 still works fine, but only prints black, only up to A4, and its resolution is not entirely satisfactory for the finest work I occasionally need to do. And it might quit anytime, of course.

    My printing needs are:
    - An average of a few A4 sheets of black text per week.
    - Occasional line drawings at the largest size possible, A1 would be optimal. The larger the printer is, the fewer pieces I have to tape together to make. Just black printing is OK for these, color is a welcome enhancement.
    - Occasional photo printing, sizes up to A2 would be desirable, otherwise I settle for A3+. The ink should be sufficiently fade-resistant to last about 20 years before the fading becomes terrible, when hanging from a wall inside a normal room that is rather modestly lit. No direct sunshine ever, of course.
    - Occasional high resolution black printing on transparency, for making printed circuit boards. Resolution requirement is about 600x600 dpi, A4 is plenty large enough.
    - The printer might sometimes remain unused for up to a month, and this shouldn't cause undue problems.
    - The printer MUST have easily refillable tanks, of reasonable size. I'm done with refilling tiny cartridges every few sheets, and battling against nasty anti-refilling measures. And buying OEM cartridges at absurd prices is of course no option either.
    - The printer must be available at a price that's reasonable even for my very low printing voilume. Let's say, not over US$200. Needless to say, I don't expect a professional printer for that money. I just expect one that will last for many years in my very light and careful use.

    Sending print jobs out to a shop isn't a good option, because I live a long drive away from any city, and the print shops available there only handle line drawings like architectural plans, and either don't do photos, or only at small sizes and low quality.

    Does anybody see a solution for my case? I don't see any.

    If nobody can suggest a good solution, I will keep using my old HP for those jobs it can do, tape together my large drawings from several A4 sheets, and simply give up printing any photos and making any printed circuit boards.

    Manfred
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  9. Aug 4, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    Brother offers a wide range of A3, not A3+ , printers in Germany, I hope you get the listing with this link
    https://www.druckerchannel.de/marktuebersicht.php?t[fn][]=M&t[fs][]=F&f[]=A3&h[]=4&so=_name
    The J5330 is apparently the entry level model in this range, I would assume that at least some of these models are available as well in your area.
    The XP driver compatibility may be a problem with newer models by any supplier, can't you feed your data for print to another computer, notebook whatever running on W7 or W10?
    It's always better to let a printer to print something once in a while, nobody would promise an idle time of 4 weeks when smartphone users are easily able to connect their phone to a charger every day. It's up to you. You are not loosing much with some prints now and then instead of running extensive cleaning cycles after 4 weeks. You need to check for the type of ink with these Brother models - some use pigment inks, the majority dye inks for CMY and a pigment ink for black.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  10. Aug 4, 2018
    ludens

    ludens Getting Fingers Dirty

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    I checked on the Chilean Brother website. They claim to offer the J5330 and the J6730. But when I try to use their "where to buy" feature, I get a cryptic error page. I looked at the websites of all stores I know in my area that might carry these machines, and none has them. Only the A4 models are widely available.

    Anyway these A3 machines are multifunctionals, with scanner, fax, Wifi, all of those being features I don't need and which just make the machine more expensive and more failure-prone. What's worse, these printers do NOT have a CISS! They use cartridges.

    So they are definitely not attractive to me.

    About the inks, yes, as far as I can read up, the Brother printers use a pigment black ink. Which means that I couldn't use that ink, given my low usage, and would have to look for some compatible dye ink. With my deceased Canon I had to do the same. The pigment black jets clogged badly even with the original ink, and more so when I switched to Hobbicolors pigment ink. So I resorted to fill both black cartridges of the Canon with dye ink, to keep it from clogging. That worked - but it did not prevent the Canon from commiting suicide.

    I don't like being the slave of my printer, and having to remember to waste some paper by print something useless every few days, just to keep the printer happy. And I can't see why this should be necessary! My standard of comparison is my 20 year old HP. I never print anything on it that I don't need. It often sits around a month without being used, and then I switch it on and print right away, and it works fine, without needing any cleaning nor priming. Why can't modern printers do the same? The inks contain glycol to keep them from drying out in the nozzles, and anyway the print head is capped while not in use. It simply shouldn't dry out! I do see the possibility of pigment inks clogging the head by sedimentation, but not dye inks.

    So, what I really wish for is an A3+ color printer that has basically the same trouble-free technology of my 20 year old HP. And unfortunately that seems to be too much to ask! It's crazy. And it's hard to believe that the manufacturer cannot do better nowadays, that they can't make a printer today that works as well as the ones they made 20 years ago. And that's why so many people, myself included, tend to think that they create these problems on purpose.

    Okay, modern printers eject smaller ink droplets than the old HP. That requires smaller passages. These are more prone to clog with solid particles, but should NOT be more prone to clogging from ink drying in them! As long as the ink is clean, the higher resolution should not cause more clogging and thus no more need for cleaning. And anyway, I don't really need those small ink droplets! Certainly not for documents, and not for photos printed in large sizes, hung from the wall and watched from at least 1 meter distance. The only need I see for tiny droplets is to achieve smoothness of the light colors in small photos that will be watched at close distance - a pretty specific situation that shouldn't dictate that all printers must work with 1pl droplets! If the tiny droplets are the the reason for clogging, frequent self-cleaning, ink-wasting, etc, then PLEASE, printer manufacturers, offer some models of printers with larger droplets, that don't have these problems!

    I'm trying to get over it, but I'm having a hard time!

    Manfred
     

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