We started out with the desktop computer that had a Printer attached to it via a cable. Then came the laptops and with that portable printers, not really practical but that was about all we had at the time. So the best you could do when you were on the road back then was save your document, send it through your email account and have someone at your office print it for you. Or you could just wait till you got back and print it yourself. There has always been that disconnect, nothing ever seemed to really work all that great for printing when you were on the road. Continue reading
If you own a business then you are well aware of how much printing can cost. At a claimed $4,731 per gallon, printer ink is more expensive than vintage Champagne, rare whiskey or Russian caviar so saving money on printing costs has become an issue that has to be dealt with. This has been a fact for over ten years and instead of this commodity going down over time like everything else does in consumer electronics, ink prices are going up, some reports say as much as 30 percent since 2009. You can easily pay $20 to $35 per ink cartridge that may yield any where from 200 to 1000 pages, if your lucky. It’s easy to see how printing can become very expensive very quickly for business. Continue reading
The popularity of wireless printers has greatly increased over the last few years, mostly due to the fact that printers are easy to share and can reside just about anywhere you wish. With the number of mobile devices out there like tablets and smartphones, you now have the power to printer from nearly anywhere, as long as you are in the bounds of your Wi-Fi, of course. Most printers these days are very easy to install and setup, even as a wireless unit, but we have a few tips and tricks to help things run as smooth and as quick as possible.
Assuming that you have your wireless network running , the two pieces of information that you will need to start installing a printer are called the SSID or wireless network name, and the password if the network is secured (as they should be). If you need help with finding these items, see “Finding Your SSID and Password” at the bottom of this article.
Location, location, location
The big limiting factor in installing a wireless printer is whether it will be able to receive a wireless signal where you want to put it. What we suggest is take some form of Wi-Fi capable device (many smartphones are great for this task), disconnect from the Wi-Fi network and bring the device to the exact spot you want to keep your printer. If your device can see the wireless network and has a good signal, you are good to go. If the signal is dodgy or non-existent, you may want to either reconsider where you are placing your printer, or you may want to see if you can put the router in a more central location.
Any large metal objects, including building elements such as girders and even screen doors or windows, will interfere with the wireless signal. Some older buildings like farmhouses may even use materials like chicken wire in the plaster which blocks wireless signals near completely. Even too many closed doors or walls will degrade the signal. If your wireless signal is weak or intermittent, move the printer closer to your wireless router and avoid obstructions. If you need to expand your network, there are wireless signal boosters which plug into the wall and act as repeaters, expanding the signal from one end of the office or house to another. If you need help, you can get a hold of our sister company Northampton Computer Repair to help you with a site survey to figure out the best placement for your wireless devices
Few printers need to ever connect to the computer directly (typically only older units with no LCD display on the printer), so most printers can be set up in their final location. If your printers directions indicate the printer needs to be hooked up to the computer first to install the software, you may have to place the printer temporarily near a PC that’s already connected to your home network, so you can continue with the installation. If you have a laptop, you can bring the computer to your printers location and set it up that way.
In the long term, your placement options are very flexible.
Connecting your printer
Once you have you printer location figured out, it is time to unbox it and set it up. placed Printers with LCD control panels usually let you configure the wireless connection directly from their internal menus. The printer will detect networks within range; you then select your network and enter the password, and you’re good to go. Many printers allow you to attach the printer to the router via wired connection or “ethernet“, you can configure the wireless using a Web browser. Other older printers may need to be directly connected to a computer via USB cable for the wireless setup as we mentioned before.
Automated Installation (More or Less)
Once you have the printer connected to the network, you can run the disk that came along with the printer on your computer to install the drivers and extra software. If you don’t want the extras and just want the printer to print without installing more software, see the next step on installing the printer manually.
Some users want to limit the number of pieces of software they install on their machine. For those users you can avoid all the extra programs that the automated install includes by manually installing the printer. A note to make things easier: Windows 8, 7 and Vista all ship with many printer drivers. If you encounter problems printing, please download the latest drivers from the vendor and install them before reporting issues. In cases where “certified” Windows 8 and Windows 7 drivers are not available, try using the equivalent Vista drivers.
If you’re trying to add a network printer at the office, you’ll usually need the name of the printer. If you can’t find it, contact your network administrator.
Open the classic Control Panel (open the Metro Control Panel and scroll to bottom, then click on More settings) and go to Hardware and Sound
Click Add a device or printer.
On the right will be a list of devices you computer has detected on the network. If it is able to see your printer, it should be listed on this panel.
Select the printer you want to use, and then click Next. (If your computer is connected to a network, only printers listed in Active Directory for your domain are displayed in the list.)
If prompted, install the printer driver on your computer by clicking Install driver. If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Finish.
- Start → Control Panel → Devices and Printers → Add Printer This brings up the Add Printer Wizard
- Select Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer
- Windows will search the network for available printers and list them as they are discovered. If you have the IP address of the printer you want to install, simply double-click on the printer name. If Windows does not have a driver available for the printer, you will be prompted for a driver.
- If you just can’t wait, or the printer you are interested in was not listed, you can select “The printer that I want isn’t listed”. This will allow you to specify the IP address of the printer you are trying to install. You should be able to complete the install from this point.
- You will be prompted to rename the printer, enable sharing and set the printer as the default system printer. It is recommended that you do not share the printer.
- Open Printers by clicking the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking Hardware and Sound, and then clicking Printers.
- Click Add a printer.
- In the Add Printer Wizard, select Add a network, wireless or Bluetooth printer.
- In the list of available printers, select the one you want to use, and then click Next. If your computer is connected to a network, only printers listed in Active Directory for your domain are displayed in the list.
- If prompted, install the printer driver on your computer. If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
- Complete the additional steps in the wizard, and then click Finish.
- Go to Start → Control Panel → Printers and Faxes → Add Printer
- Make sure the printer is On and Ready, and connected to the network. Click Next to start the wizard and then select A Network Printer, or Printer Attached to Another Computer. Click Next.
- Select Browse for Printer and click Next again. Select the wireless printer you want to install in the list of found printers and click Next. If your printer is not visible in this menu, it may not be connected to the network properly.
- A Connect to Printer dialog box will open. If it asks you for a driver, you may need to insert the CD or the printer and find the driver on the disc. If this is the case, many users may want to opt to exit out of the wizard and just install the drivers and software from the software provided by the printer manufacturer. Click Yes and finish the wizard.
Finding Your SSID and Password
The easiest way to find your network name and password is through a currently connected laptop or mobile device. In Windows 7, left-click the wireless-connection icon in the system tray. Assuming you’re not inadvertently stealing your neighbor’s bandwidth, the name of the current connection should be your network name. Right-click over the current connection, select Properties, choose the Security tab, check Show characters, and you’ll see your password.
You can also look up the network name and password in the wireless router’s Web configuration pages. Open a browser and type in the IP address of your wireless router into the browser’s address field. You can find the default IP address in the manual, but some of the more common ones are 192.168.1.254 (ATT 2Wire) and 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1 (Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, and the like).
Note that the router has a user name and password, as well. If you never changed your router’s user name and password, check the documentation for the default settings or check for your routers default information at RouterPasswords.com.
In some cases the wireless password isn’t shown unfortunately. If you really can’t remember it and no one else knows it, you’ll need to change it and have everyone on the network reconnect with the new password.
Know Your Network, and the Installation Will Follow
Most of the snags that arise when you set up a wireless printer have to do with the wireless network rather than the printer itself. Collect your network’s information ahead of time to avoid getting stuck. Then enjoy sending a print job from your bedroom to the living room — it’s pretty awesome.
Let’s face it printers are some of the most frustrating pieces of equipment we have in our offices. I think at one time or another we have all wanted to take one of these machines built in hell and throw it out a third floor window. Hell, I’ve even seen our tech’s pull their hair out sometimes trying to figure out why a printer is still having the same problem after the appropriate work has been performed. Continue reading
If you like the idea of using aftermarket or re-manufactured ink or toner cartridges in your printer and have been doing so for years, there’s nothing more frustrating than buying a new printer and finding out there are no aftermarket supplies for it yet. Why is that? The answer is pretty simple, greed on the part of the major printer manufactures.
Here’s what happens, each year the printer manufactures need to come up with new models to please the masses, this in and of itself is good and it’s how business is done. Consumers want bigger and better, it’s just the way we are. All of the big players in this field like HP, Canon, Epson and Brother make huge profits on selling the ink and toner for their machines, that’s no secret. They want to keep that market all to themselves they will sell some printers at a loss or break even knowing that once you have their printer you are now locked into buying their ink, period. The one place that they can lose market share is through the re-manufacturing industry so they have to try and find way’s to disrupt the flow of aftermarket ink and toner cartridges.
The best way for them to do this is by inventing new cartridges, chips, software and ink that their new printers will use. OK, so you ask how would this disrupt the re-manufacturing industry, simply, we now have to reverse engineer these cartridges before we can re-manufacture them and they know that. This presents a slew of decisions and problems that we the re-manufacturing industry have to solve before you the consumer ever see a re-manufactured cartridge on the shelve.
The first is will the printer be a hit or a bust? Imagine if we spent hundreds of hours on reverse engineering cartridges for a new printer, creating the inks, collected enough empties to start production and then find out the public just did not like the product and decided not to buy. All of that time and money is wasted. So one of the holdups for us is keeping an eye on who the winners will be and who will be the losers, this takes time.
Next, the ink or toner that many of these new models use has just been formulated so they to have to be reverse engineered in such a way that they meet all of the specifications of the original without infringing on any patents held by the parent company. Again before spending thousands and thousands of dollars we need to be certain that there will be enough demand for those particular cartridges. Once we know that, the ink manufactures will figure out the formulation and start mass producing the ink and get it over to the manufacturers.
But even with all of these hurdles, believe it or not the most critical part of this puzzle is getting our hands on enough empties to meet the demand. The OEM (Original Equipment Manufactures) know this and know that this is the weak link in the process. If they can stop or curtail the supply the re-manufacturing industry would grind to a standstill. So what have the OEM’s done? They have implemented all sorts of programs and legal barriers to prevent or make it very difficult for us to get the empties we need! They are basically trying to strangle us by preventing us from getting the raw materials we need, and I thought we lived in a free enterprise system.
HP has made a global effort to remove as many empties from the marketplace under the guise of recycling. Since they started this campaign they have been very successful in keeping millions of cartridges from being re-manufactured. Now the difference between recycling and re-manufacturing is huge. What HP has done is built a huge facility that uses tremendous amounts of energy breaking these cartridges down into their different components with some being used in the production of cartridges but most just being melted down to make something else. It has been proven that re-manufacturing uses much less energy than what HP is doing. Also by re-manufacturing the product is being reused for it’s intended purpose which saves time, money and resources. HP should be ashamed of how they are deceiving the public. If they really wanted to help our environment, they would collect there own cartridges and re-manufacture them and sell them back to the public at a reduced price. We all know that will never happen.
Lexmark has brought to court and won on a little known law about how and when someone can use a printer cartridge for re-manufacture. In a nutshell any manufacturer can use a toner that has been used once in the United States as raw material for production. But if the same toner was used once offshore he can’t use it and could face huge fines by Lexmark, you can read about it here. Our industry collects empties from around the world that feeds our industry and then in turn pass on the savings to the end user, you the consumer. The only reason Lexmark dragged this law out of the closet is they are desperate and need to find and use any and all means available to them to try and stop us. The sad part about this whole story is that the courts are backing them up. To add insult to injury, Lexmark is asking that the offending parties buying the empty cartridge pay what the cost of the toner would have sold for here in the United States in a retail store! Here’s what that means, let’s say a toner sold for $150 in Staples. The re-manufacturer has been paying $3 for that empty cartridge, then he has to put it though the process of re-manufacturing and then sell it for a profit. The middle man gets it and then sells it to the retail operation to sell to the consumer at a reduced price compared to the original, let’s say for this example it would sell for $99.99.By Lexmark asking that the re-manufacturer pay the OEM price of $150, he just put that person out of business. This is free enterprise? Laws like this should be removed from the books or modified for modern times, this is insane. Our government talks about creating jobs and then we see this type of behavior.
Epson has sued and won using basically the same strategies, US business’s can only use empties that are acquired in the United States. Again the only reason businesses would do something like this is they are very concerned about the inroads we as an industry are making. We are taking market share and they don’t like it, but as the old saying goes, if you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen. Using these tactics will in the end backfire and not work.
The consumer has spoken and they are saying they are sick and tired of paying so much for printer cartridges. We are listening as should the OEM’s. They know our products work and if they had any sense they would jump on the band wagon and re-manufacturer their own cartridges and make some money off of them in stead of just shredding them or spending millions of dollars on legal cost trying to prevent our industry from providing the consumer with an alternative.
We at Ink & Toner Solutions keep a list of ink jets and toners that are in R&D. As our customers ask for these items we explain to them the process and then put them on a list so we can inform them as soon as their cartridge model comes on line. Our customers like the savings but more importantly they understand that they are also doing their part in helping save our planet by using recycled products. Hell if you can spend less money, get the same quality as the original product and help to recycle at the same time, why would’t you do it?
We would love to hear your comments on this situation. Have you run into this before? Did you find a solution?
Click The Link Below To See If We Carry The Cartridges You Need. If You Don’t See What Your Looking For Contact Us.
So what is toner? We get asked that all the time. First off let’s make sure we are all talking about the right kind of toner, what we are not talking about is the cosmetic toner, you know that lotion or wash designed to cleanse the skin and shrink the appearance of pores.
No, the toner we are talking about is what’s inside the toner cartridge you buy for your printer, it’s the actual medium that lets your printer lay down the images and text that you see come out on your paper.
The toner itself is an electrically-charged powder with two main ingredients: Pigment and Plastic. The role of the pigment is to provide the coloring, black, cyan, magenta or yellow that produces the text and images on the paper. This pigment is blended into plastic particles so that it will melt when it passes through the fuser which gets heated to a high enough temperature to melt these plastic particles.This quality gives toner powder a number of advantages over liquid ink. Using heat to melt the toner onto the medium causes it to firmly bind to almost any type of paper which means the text won’t smudge or bleed easily which is sometimes the case with liquid inks used in ink jet printers.
This is toner at it’s most basic level which should suffice for this article. Needless to say there is much more in depth explanations that go into the chemical composition and scientific research of toner but that is not the scope of this post, we just want to give a brief overview of what toner powder is and how it works in the printer you use every day.
Each manufacturer spends millions of dollars on R&D and testing in an attempt to make their toner the best on the market. Toner product and the materials that make up the toner is an ever evolving industry. Consumers always want more, for example when toner was first introduced into the market there was only black. Now due to demand we have color laser printers, each toner color had to be invented and researched to produce the desired results. Customers wanted faster print times, that meant the toner had to be changed so it could melt on the paper at faster and faster speeds.
So, how does this toner powder get onto the paper? Well the toner is usally held in what we call the toner hopper which is inside the toner cartridge that you buy. The printer gathers the toner from the hopper with what is called the developer unit.
The developer is actually a collection of small, negatively charged magnetic beads. These beads are attached to a rotating metal roller, which moves them throughout the toner in the toner hopper.
Because they are negatively charged, the developer beads collect the positive toner particles as they pass through. The roller then brushes the beads past the drum assembly. The electrostatic image has a stronger negative charge than the developer beads, so the drum pulls the toner particles away.
The drum then moves over the paper, which has an even stronger charge and so grabs the toner.
After collecting the toner, the paper is immediately discharged by the detac corona wire. At this point, the only thing keeping the toner on the page is gravity, if you were to blow on the page at this point, you would completely lose the image as the toner would simply blow away. The page must pass through the fuser to affix the toner. The fuser rollers are heated by internal quartz tube lamps, so the plastic in the toner melts as it passes through.
Here’s a simplified schematic of the major parts of a laser printer showing the toner hopper, corona wire, fuser, drum assembly and developer roller. When the paper is grabed from the paper tray it passes through the various parts of the printer at a high rate of speed. This is evident from watching how long it takes from the time you hit print to the time your page comes out complete with text and images. If you pick the page up as soon as it comes out of the printer you can still feel the heat form the fuser that melted the toner onto the paper.
So what is the main advantage of a laser printer Vs a ink jet printer? Speed, precision and economy. A laser can move very quickly, it can print with much greater speed than an ink jet. Laser printers do tend to cost more than ink jet printers but that is offset by the fact that it doesn’t cost as much to keep them running. Toner powder last a long time and still be usable, unlike ink jets that can dry up if you don’t use them. If your looking to print high quality photo’s better to get a high end ink jet, if your looking to print a lot of text documents or even color presentations for office use, get a laser printer.
Let us know what you think of the post, we love to hear from our readers so we can improve and write blogs that our readers want us to write.
Have you been noticing that your laser printing cost are going up even though you have been trying to cut down on printing to save money? It seems the more you try to save by cutting down the higher your toner cartridges are costing. A report by Melissa Riofrio in PC World explains why this is happening and again it’s just corporate greed. Continue reading
We all own printers and we all have run across the annoying paper jam that always seems to happen at the worst possible time. So how do you fix the jam and what in the heck causes paper to jam? In this post we are going to look at those questions and try to give you the information you need to prevent or fix a paper jam without having to call in a printer repair tech that is going to charge you anywhere from $80 an hour up to $180. Continue reading
It seems we’ve all been there, we want to move up from our old color ink jet printer to a nice shiny new color laser jet printer. Problem is up to now the price of a quality color laser was just out of our reach. Well the ink jet printer manufactures have heard our cries of dismay. Latley they have come out with affordable color ink jets that rival the laser printer on many fronts and at prices a small business or house hold can live with. Continue reading