asked Mar 8, 2006 at 2:15pm
Unknown Printer

DesignJet 450C -Error Lights-trailing cable prob?

Hi, I've been having a problem w/ my DJ450C. A quarter way through a print everything shuts down and all 3 error lights come on steady - I press cancel and the align media and media lights stay on, which I guess indicates a carriage movement issue. I inspected the inside and noticed there was a peice of what appears to be scotch tape twisted around the right end of the trailing cable. I removed the tape, cleaned the cable with alcohol, and tried to uncrimp it where it was twisted. Now, it seems there is a lot of slack on the right side and I am wondering if the trailing cable has become disconnected. I can still print, I just can't seem to get a full plot out before it all shuts down again. So.....I dunno....

(I should also mention that after I removed the tape and cleaned the cable, I managed to get about 2/3rds the way through the print before it shut down.)

Is there a diagram or something that will tell me how to access this trailing cable? I'm about at my wits end with this thing.
You should have posted before you removed the tape. The tape is supposed to be there to provide the "twist" for the cable at the right side to plug into the electronics module. Most times when you have path issues it is not the trailing cable but the carriage belt or the lack of lubrication on the sliding rod on which the carriage moves back and forth. You need to put the cable back the way it was if you can. If you can not you may have to replace it and it is not cheap. Next with the power off slide the carriage assembly back and forth and watch the belt. If it moves from front to back to much or if you hit areas where it is hard to move, then I would consider replacing the belt. If you do a search on this site I did post a while back instructions for removing and replacing the belt which other have found helpful. If you want to just try lubing the rail, then go down to the local cycle shop and get a bottle of tri-flow and use it lightly.
by dmzcompute on Mar 8, 2006 at 2:37pm Add comment
I am just astonished that the tape is er..."was" supposed to be there. It did not look normal to me that it was in there all twisted up. Oh, well - I can still see the indentations where it was folded so I should be able to put it back the way it was.

WRT the belt - I had the belt go bad in August and it was replaced then. I was able to print fine after the belt change until now. Alright - I'm going to follow all the suggestions here and hopefully I'll get this thing running again.


- Anonymous
I would also check the spindle for the carriage motor, it tends to get alot of belt debris stuck onto it causing the carriage to judder.
by huckle on Mar 8, 2006 at 3:58pm Add comment
If the spindle has an accumulation of debris which causes it to "judder", then it is indeed time to change the belt and it is an indication the belt is starting to disintigrade. Usually if you look along the lenght of the carriage rod, behind it if you see a lot of megenta colored particles, those are parts of the belt and it is best to change it now. Also do not overlook the pulley on the left side and much of the same debris adheres to it also.
by dmzcompute on Mar 8, 2006 at 5:08pm Add comment
For those who need instructions:

The belt is not that hard to replace. You have to remove the center cover first. Using a flat blade screwdriver pry the right most clip away from the top and slide the cover to the left and it will come off. If you have a roll feed attached you will have to remove the 2 torx 20 screws one on each side and slide the roll feed about 1 inch away in front. Next remove the blue power button on the right side. It just pulls out. Now for the right cover you just pry the bottom away on the three sides and at the same time lift in an upward motion. If you cannot pry it away use the flat tip screwdriver to pry the little clips away in the center on each side. Carefully lift the cover up and look inside and you will see two latches which hold the control panel in place. Squeeze the latches towards each other and the control panel will separate from the case. Let the control panel hang down by the ribbon cable. Next remove the left cover doing the same as with the right and it will lift straight up. Once you have removed the covers you will have to remove the spittoon on the right side. It is held by one screw (torx 15) towards the front. Just watch as you remove it to see how to put it back. Just be careful of the wire that is usually looped thru it on the left. Next you have to move the trailing cable out of the way from the holding clips by the motor and on top and push towards the rear of the printer. Next you will have to remove the encoder strip. It is held in place by two nuts on the right side. Remove the nuts and push the metal bracket towards the other side of the printer and you should be able to release the cable. Next remove the bracket on the left side that holds the encoder strip. When you remove the bracket, slide the encoder strip away from the carriage assembly and put it someplace safe. It can be easily damaged or bent. Next you have to remove the bracket that held the encoder strip-fastening bracket on the right side. Again it is held by one screw (torx 15). Now you can remove the cutter to the right and off the frame. Make sure the carriage assembly is all the way to the left and remove the ink cartridge(s) from the carriage and flip up the top bracket from both sides that covers the trailing cable. Just look at it and you will see how releasing the ends outward with release it. Just remove the trailing cable connector from the carriage. Next put your hand around the motor on the right and push gently in and to the left to release tension on the belt and remove from the motor shaft. Remove the belt from the left side pulley and slide the carriage off the frame on the right side. Turn the carriage over and you will see how the old belt was held and just remove the old and put on the new. You will want to remove any crud that has accumulated on the pulley and motor shaft. This is very important, as not doing so will result bumping action. I would also put a light coat of oil (Tri-flow or similar) on the rail that the carriage moves. Reassemble in reverse. You will have to attach the belt to the pulley side first and then pull to the motor and slide the other end onto the shaft. The encoder strip will be a little tricky. You will have to flatten the end where the nuts were and slide the strip thru the back of the carriage and out the other side. You will know you have it right if the carriage moves freely. If the carriage does not move freely the encoder strip is in wrong and just try again. It is a lot easier then it looks. You can test your installation before putting on the covers by using the blue power button sliding it on the side of the control panel to defeat the open cover switch. Press the power switch in with a screwdriver and test. You will also want to use plain water on a lint free cloth and clean the encoder strip. You also may want to use the same to clean the bottom of the carriage assembly by the sensor and the contacts of the print cartridges. Also look at the condition of the spittoon on the right. Black ink builds up and if it is very high, get yourself some rubber gloves, disassemble and clean most of the ink out of it. You can also use a cloth dampened in water to clean the service station on the left side. Good Luck.

by dmzcompute on Mar 8, 2006 at 6:06pm Add comment
You saved me $350.00 of repair fees.
Thanks again for taking the time to post this.

- Anonymous
Thank you dmzcompute for the belt changing instructions, worked a treat.
You don't have the manual as pdf do you? - wka
Did the person who replaced the belt lub the rail. If not that could be your issue. As I said you have to turn the power off and with you hand move the carriage assembly back and forth to see if there is a spot where it seems tighter. Also you do not mention where the carriage stops. Is it in the same place, like over on the right side. Sometimes the metal piece on the cutter gets out of shape and the carriage assembly hits the cutter and attempts to pull it when it is not supposed to and causes a path problem. Keep in mind it still could be the trailing cable if there is something wrong with it, but your message indicates some form of obstruction. Use the instructions below to remove the covers and defeat the cover switch so you can get a better look at what is happening. Taking the covers off is real easy and it makes is a lot easier to diagnose what is happening.
by dmzcompute on Mar 9, 2006 at 1:33pm Add comment
We lubed the carriage rod and it worked like a charm. I'm good to go now - thanks a bunch!

by Lorie on Mar 13, 2006 at 6:30am Add comment
Hi to every body,
Does anayone can translate it to french. I live in sengal and the translator does not give true words.
by unknown on Apr 27, 2007 at 4:01am Add comment
I replaced the belt with the assistance of your great instructions, however the right side cover doesn't want to go back into place properly and the cartridge gets hung up on left side. This obviously causes all three lights to go orange until cancel which shows a media problem. Do you suggest something be removed and reinstalled on the right side?
by unknown on Aug 1, 2007 at 8:32pm Add comment
Just remove all the covers again and put back on. Have the carriage assembly in the middle so it does not get in the way. The right side cover just slides straight down and the left side of it goes over the metal piece. Just look at the inside of the cover and you will see what has to slip into what. Never had an issue. Sometimes you have to bang down on the top of the cover to get it to lock into position. You will know when you have it right as the blue power button should slip in and pressing it in and again pressing it should release it outward when the power goes off.
by dmzcompute on Aug 1, 2007 at 8:45pm Add comment
when i turn on the plotter the orange cartridge and data lights turn on. ofter i press cancel they turn off and the geern ready light just blinks. when i go to plot my computer says im not connected... all of my cables seem fine and were never moved around from when it was working. i was wondering if anyone had the error codes or manule...
by unknown on Oct 7, 2008 at 12:48pm Add comment
I changed the belt for my designjet 500 and since then it is printing double images, also it would not accept the letter size paper that is specified to aline the printheads... any suggestions?

by mlwjames on Apr 16, 2010 at 11:32pm Add comment
The designjet 500 can use the standard roll to align the printheads. The thing you need to check is to make sure the belt is positioned correctly. There are ribs on the inside that are either ||||||| or ========= and ||||||||| ribs must be over the motor pulley at all times when you move the carriage from the right to the left and back. If not then the position of the belt on the carriage assembly is wrong.
by dmzcompute on Apr 17, 2010 at 5:36am Add comment
Hi dmzcompute I had the belt correct. I tried several times and got the alignment once. However, in following a tip to correct the double image, I am now getting a paper jamb error. It doesn't allow me to do nothing but load the paper. What do I do next?
by mlwjames on Apr 25, 2010 at 6:07pm Add comment
What was the tip since it appears it now caused an issue.
by dmzcompute on Apr 25, 2010 at 8:33pm Add comment
The tip was to turn the "C" shape bushing so that the carraige fits snuge to the bar. Prior to doing so the carraige was fitting loosely and would cock as it goes form right to left and back. - Anonymous
Did you move the bushings back to the correct position? Keep in mind that when you used the "tip" it caused a lot of friction between those bushings and the rail since there is no lubrication on the bottom of the rail.
by dmzcompute on Apr 26, 2010 at 5:00am Add comment
Thanks dmzcompute, I removed the bushings, lubricated the rail then replace them. The paper jamb errior was solved, however, it indicated that 3 of the printheads are worn, which prevented me from aligning the heads. I am able to print, but there is a slight blur. I've ordered a new set of printheads so I will waite to see the result. - Anonymous
Hi dmzcompute, I got the new printheads and install them and the jamb paper error returned. I am at a lost.
by mlwjames on May 5, 2010 at 7:23pm Add comment