Printer Troubleshooting

Refilling A No Fill Hole, Lockout Chip Controlled Toner Cartridge

Of all the laser printer toner cartridges available in the market, the HP Q2612A is probably one of the most cumbersome to refill. For one, the cartridge does not come with a built in fill-hole; which was obviously intended to discourage refills. Moreover, the cartridge operates with a lockout chip that limits printouts to the yield rated for the cartridge. Third party manufacturers however have developed a refill tool which makes access to the toner hopper and waste chamber possible. From the aftermarket, a reset chip was engineered purposely to override the lockout chip and allow printing with the refilled cartridge. Many call the invention of third party consumables such as the ingenious; but it makes much sense in the intent of helping laser printer users cope up with rapidly bloating business printing expenditures.

Access to the concealed toner hopper becomes feasible with the refill tool – an improved version of the soldering iron where the conical tip is replaced with a copper tube measuring 18mm to 20mm in diameter. When plugged to an electrical outlet, the copper cylinder tip gets sufficiently heated (in a span of 5 to 10 minutes) to be able melt a hole into the plastic carcass of the toner cartridge. Note that a regular drilling tool should not be used to perform this procedure. Plastic shavings that would likely collect inside the hopper cannot be retrieved entirely and can damage sensitive imaging components. This would then reduce the effective life cycle of the cartridge.

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In the process of refilling the Q2612A toner cartridge, the user will be required to create two holes – one each for the toner hopper (where toner supply is contained) and toner waste chamber. It is necessary to empty toner residues lingering inside the toner hopper and waste chamber as failure to do just that will ultimately result in print defects. If possible, use the device called the toner vacuum to completely rid the chambers of toner residues. Likewise note that mixing fresh toner with waste toner will have an unfavorable impact on print quality and yield. Learn more about the refill tool from our previous post.

Don’t dump that empty toner cartridge just yet! You can use it for another 2 or 3 printing cycles. Get it refilled with toner refill kits.

Of course, the refill process will not be complete without the replacement of the lockout chip with the reset chip. The reset chip will refresh the cartridge’s counter and override the Toner Out prompt so that printing can commence with the cartridge refilled with a compatible toner refill kit. Learn more about the reset chip from another previous post.

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