Black photoconductor in the colour slot?
March 22, 2012 8:18 AM   Subscribe

In the office I work, we've got a Lexmark C935 colour laser printer. It gets loads of use, so we're constantly ordering toner and photoconducters for it.

I've just discovered that the black photoconductor fits in the colour slot, and the printer doesn't seem to mind. Being that the black unit is less than half the price, can anyone see any issue with doing this?

Google didn't provide any answers to this, just adverts for printers and photoconductors!
posted by colin folds five to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Not sure what the path of toner is once it leaves to cartridge, but there will likely be some residual black in the color channels with this. I imagine you will not be happy with the results if you ever try printing in color again.

On the other hand, perhaps this is an intended design feature of this model, usually printer manufacturers make it hard to swap ink around like that.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:21 AM on March 22, 2012

On all our color lasers, we have them set by default to print grayscale. To print color, someone actually has to deliberately select color. This works very well for controlling consumables cost. It might be an alternative for you.
posted by jgreco at 9:37 AM on March 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm thinking a photoconductor is the same thing as an imaging drum.

If it fits I don't see what the issue would be. Some printers don't even have separate imaging drums for each set of toner. The HP 4600 behind me just has one huge imaging drum that all 4 toner cartridges deposit on.
posted by sbutler at 7:06 PM on March 22, 2012

Best answer: Based on the supplies guide, the photoconductors are interchangeable, and can be purchased in sets of three or individually. Theoretically, this is because the color photoconductors will all run out around the same time, and the black one will run out at different times. But the price should be roughly comparable, where the triple pack should cost approx 3x the single pack.

I can guarantee this is how it works for the c534 series.

If the 935 is anything like the 534, then you won't have any trouble with residual colors (after a page or two) because of the way the photoconductors work. You can probably even get away with just resetting the counter and not changing the photoconductor, but you'll have to watch out for the photoconductive material starting to wear off and leaving streaks and dots on the edges of the paper. If you are REALLY cheap, you can swap the offending color with the yellow one, since yellow is barely visible on the page.

(In the Color Laserjet 4600, the imaging drum (or photoconductor) is integral with the toner cartridge. Lexmarks seem to like splitting those pieces into two parts. Anyway, the big black belt isn't a photoconductor, it is called the transfer belt and it just holds the paper in place (via static) so that the toner can be transferred directly onto the paper.)
posted by gjc at 7:53 PM on March 22, 2012

... and that, folks, is why I usually stick to the programming at work and don't do printer repair!
posted by sbutler at 8:01 PM on March 22, 2012

Response by poster: sbutler - I think you've hit the nail on the head.

Office Depot says that the colour photoconductor I can order is "per unit", whereas that supply guide says (with the same part number) it contains 3 units: one for each colour.

Thanks guys! I can safely stop worrying about the printer and get back to coding/slacking.
posted by colin folds five at 12:47 AM on March 23, 2012

Response by poster: ...and by sbutler, I mean gjc.
posted by colin folds five at 12:49 AM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older Oh hai, where's my money?   |   Help me buy a house in the US. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.