ago, a good friend of mine asked me if I was interested in an
I was in need of an older style unit that would print in DOS, and he
thought he had just the unit.
favorite CAD programs were DOS based and would drive the older HP
I said I’d be interested in any
old HP printers that he may come
Eventually one had turned up.
A HP 870cxi professional series
Excellent, I thought,, and it had colour capabilities as well !
was dispatched to me in the post along with other junk /
friend couldn’t send the paper tray for it in the same package however,
wouldn’t fit into the box.
He was going to send that separately in due course.
In the mean time I looked forward to receiving the package…
It’s always like
Christmas when I receive one of my friend’s packages…
I never know what
treasures lie within!
was removed from the box and placed on the lounge room carpet
drained the last of the packing paper and foam into a plastic bag.
printer had leaked THICK,
BLACK INK into the bottom of the box and it was
also on the bottom of the printer.
THERE WAS NOW A BIG BLOTCH OF
BLACK INK ON THE CARPET AS WELL !
I quickly removed the printer and then went about trying to
clean the mess off the carpet.
I eventually got most of it off.
The printer had
ink all through it.
I was going to have to strip it all down and clean the
ink out of it.
it apart the next day and confirmed my worst fears…
Ink had gone
everywhere inside it !
That was as far as I could go with it as urgent family
As it happened, I had to go to Adelaide for 3 weeks and I caught up
with my friend at the same time.
He then gave me the missing part of the
printer along with more junk he planned to send.
my return to home, I tackled the printer again.
I stripped and cleaned every
part of it.
I then reassembled it and was greeted by a flashing LED,,, and
was it !
I knew this meant an error of some sort but I couldn’t determine what
the error was.
then fiddled around with it for some time and got nowhere.
In the meantime, I
got part of the paper handling mechanism in the wrong position (I
this at the time) and it then made horrible clunking noises.
I put it aside for
found yet another HP printer at a local tip shop.
It was a HP 710C
DeskJet and at the scandalous price of
I thought it might work.
It also used the same printer cartridges as the
HP 870cxi, so it was purchased.
Upon trying it out, it did the same thing as the
ie: Nothing,, apart from a blinking LED.
then did what I should have done in the first place.
I looked up the printer on
HP’s web site and looked up the error list for the 710C.
The printer cartridges
were nominated as the cause !
I’ll buy a new (black) cartridge
for it and see what happens.
Nothing changed until I tried a different colour
cartridge then, lo and behold, the LED stopped flashing.
I then tried printing
something from Windows,, and it worked.
I then tried printing from
I was sure this printer would
work with DOS.
A check on the web
site confirmed that it would.
I tried again, but even in Windows98 DOS mode it still
well ! Back to my friend’s printer.
sorted out the problem with the paper
handling mechanism and, after a lot of fiddling about, got the printer
The cartridges were the
problem after all, as HP cartridges are a
little different to most other inkjet printers.
The cartridge itself contains
the print head and it relies on lots of tiny contacts on the back of
cartridge to line up and (hopefully) make contact with mating pins on
They are Gold plated, but it only takes the slightest bit of
contamination to stuff it up, and the printer senses this and shuts
works well with DOS or Windows, and I found a driver that works
old favorite CAD software.
I still don’t know what’s wrong with the HP 710C…
can’t even figure out how to get it apart to investigate any further !
tackle it again sometime but now at least, I have a good working
cartridges are large so they should last a long time.
wash the ink off my hands and say bye !