asked Jul 15, 2005 at 8:33am
Hp HP OfficeJet 6110

hp 6110 alignment problem

I have an officejet 6110xi. Last week it began to have alignment problems. The problem seems to be getting worse. The print alignment will jump to one side or the other @1/16" once or maybe several times in the course of printing a page. For a page of text this is not much of a problem, but it is for a technical drawing. I don't hear any associated noise with the alignment change. I have inspected the cog on the left side that drives the toothed belt, as well as the belt itself. There are no missing teeth that I can see. Does this have anything to do with the spring on the right side of the machine? If so, how do I adjust it. TIA
Actually, the problem was that the encoder strip had come loose from the printer body. There is a grey plastic bar about the size of a tongue depressor that holds the encoder strip to the printer. The bar is secured with one very small nut. The nut, and the bar, came loose. This allowed the encoder strip to move freely behind the print head. I dont know why this resulted in misalignment, but once I reattached the plastic bar the problem ceased. Hope this helps
by unknown on Oct 3, 2005 at 9:13pm Add comment
My Officejet 6110xi all-in-one has been having cartridge jams and alinment problems. I followed all of HP trouble shooting suggestions with no prevail. I read some of your fix it sugggestions and cleaned the encoder strip. Is the shaft the bar that runs LT to RT just below the encoder strip? If so would WD40 work? If not please make suggestions. Thanks a bunch!

by Lauren on Mar 28, 2006 at 11:30am Add comment
Leave the spring alone!

Clean the encoder strip, be careful not to pull it off or damage it, this is the long plastic strip that runs left to right across the inside, use a damp paper towel to clean.

Lubricate the carriage rail, use a silicon or synthetic oil. (NO WD-40)
by Stephen on Jul 15, 2005 at 6:06pm Add comment
Jughead -

Did cleaning the encoder strip clear up this problem for you??

I have a similar situation with my 6110 as well...

by Curt Smock on Oct 3, 2005 at 11:18am Add comment
Thanks, Jughead...I'll check out that possibility!
by Curt Smock on Oct 4, 2005 at 3:45am Add comment
The printer determines the carriage position by counting the black lines on the encoder strip as it passes them.

If the strip is not connected the printer will occasionally still work, but the strip will move back and forth with the carriage, and the printer will not really know where the printheads are.

This does not happen in the older models as when the right end pops off, the left end comes loose the next time the carriage moves to the right.

In the newer models the right end of the strip is attached to a different style flange, the shape of this flange makes it harder for the right end to be detached.
by Stephen on Oct 4, 2005 at 5:17am Add comment
I am pretty sure the encoder strip is still attached, but I'm concerned that the ink that I could not get off the encoder strip directly above the service station may be what's causing the problem. I don't know if the carriage sensor reads the strip in that area or not, so no way of knowing if the ink is influencing the problem or not. Is there a type of cleaner that won't damage the strip but that will talke off dried ink? (Extremely hot water did not do the trick)

HpWizard also suggested in another post that the oil used in lubricating the carriage rail should be a thin silicone or teflon Tri-Flow type of oil and not a grease (silicone). In otherwords a thinner type of lubricant...any comments?
by Curt Smock on Oct 4, 2005 at 8:30am Add comment
The encoder strip above the service station could not be causing your problem as during the printing of a page the carriage does not go that far to the left.

Water is all you need to clean the encoder strip.

Some of the newer HP's use grease on the shaft.

Can you print a test page that has the total pages printed on your machine listed? It would be from the printer operater panel.

Unless you are in a very dusty environment lubrication is not necessary for at least the first few thousand pages.

I worked on a DeskJet 5550 recently with 17,000 pages on it, and it had not been lubricated during that time.
by Stephen on Oct 4, 2005 at 10:01am Add comment
Stephen -

OK, I will print a test page and post the results...darn it, I felt as though I got everything put back together properly and it worked fine for a dozen pages of varied media, so I figured I was home free! I was the one that posted the HP 6110 alignment problem post...


Tore the whole machine down, cleaned it, replaced the belt and got back together without any spare parts laeft over! Now this!

Oh well, hopefully the great help that comes from this forum will triumph once again over HP!

by Curt Smock on Oct 4, 2005 at 12:45pm Add comment
Stephen -

Well, the total page count is only 5,208 over 2 years! Not a heck of a lot of pages, obviously, but something caused the belt to break and the subsequent problems that I am having. The paper flow seems to be fine with no blockages or obstructions.

Before it broke, the carriage would be in the service station after a print and then after a few seconds (or maybe a minute) the service station would do something more (or at least some more noise from it would start) and that's when I noticed that the carriage belt would shriek and grind at the carriage motor location. I noticed that it happened only after the carriage was parked in the service station for about 30 seconds or so. It was almost like the carriage motor got a signal to send the carriage further into the service station for some reason...??? I don't know...not knowing a lot about these printers makes this even more baffling to me.

I sure hope that you can help on this one!

by Curt Smock on Oct 4, 2005 at 1:20pm Add comment
The noise was probably the service station capping the heads.
by Stephen on Oct 4, 2005 at 1:35pm Add comment
I agree, that was definitely it. I wonder why the carriage motor would want to shove the carriage further to the right further into the service station?
by Curt Smock on Oct 4, 2005 at 2:07pm Add comment
Thanks to all who suggested cleaning the encoder strip. Water and cotton swabs did the trick for me; my 6110 will now correctly align the print cartridges and print a self test report. Way better than HP's suggestion to "upgrade" the printer!
by unknown on Dec 19, 2005 at 7:34pm Add comment