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  1. #21
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    If remaining toner (toner gauge) will show value > 4000 and toner motor can`t forward enough toner, system will show toner empty also...
    e.g.
    (not real values, for better understanding only)
    during 1 turn from motor 0,1mg toner would forwarded to DV unit
    1mg = 0,1V
    after 20 turns, in normal condition 2mg toner will reach the toner sensor from DV unit.(0,2V)
    If now the value from toner sensor will increase about 0,1V only by >20 turns, system will skip the RFID informations.
    Motor is turning > 50 turns in real if expected value not reached..and finally you will get the message "toner empty"..

  2. #22
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    BillyCarpenter's Avatar
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    Quote Originally Posted by KYO_OEM View Post
    If remaining toner (toner gauge) will show value > 4000 and toner motor can`t forward enough toner, system will show toner empty also...
    e.g.
    (not real values, for better understanding only)
    during 1 turn from motor 0,1mg toner would forwarded to DV unit
    1mg = 0,1V
    after 20 turns, in normal condition 2mg toner will reach the toner sensor from DV unit.(0,2V)
    If now the value from toner sensor will increase about 0,1V only by >20 turns, system will skip the RFID informations.
    Motor is turning > 50 turns in real if expected value not reached..and finally you will get the message "toner empty"..

    Got it. Keep posting this kind of information. I love it.

  3. #23
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    BillyCarpenter's Avatar
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    I've been seeing a lot of posts lately about a machine showing toner empty when the cartridge is not empty. I really haven't run into this problem but because of the information that KYO posted, I decided that I wanted to know as much as I could about the toner add system from both a mechanical and electronic standpoint.

    I understand it from a technical sense after reading the information that KYO posted, but, for me, seeing is believing.

    So, I took one of the toner motors out of a Kyocera 3551ci and it's a real bitch to get out. Anyone ever replaced one of these? Anyway, I wouldn't suggest replacing the toner motor on a hunch. You better be sure that's the problem before replacing. It is a real pain in the ass to replace.

    There's a couple of different ways I can think of for telling if the toner motor is working or not. Probably the easiest is to put a mark (with a permanent marker) on the coupler gear of the toner cartridge and then forcibly add toner via a simulation and see if the black mark moved.

    Lastly, I wanted to see the encoder wheel and the photo sensor in the toner motor housing that's used by the machine to determine how many grams of toner is being added. Here it is. See below:

    PS - You can also use your volt meter for checking the toner system - (Supply voltage, ground and signal wire.) These can be found on the front PWB of the machine. See manual for specifics.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by BillyCarpenter; 01-22-2021 at 06:41 AM.

  4. #24
    Service Manager 2,500+ Posts
    Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    BillyCarpenter's Avatar
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    One last thing. I made it sound like it's the end of the world to replace one of the toner motors. That's not the case but it's more involved than I would like. Let's put it that way. Cheers.

  5. #25
    Trusted Tech 50+ Posts masterchill's Avatar
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    Now i just posted this in another thread and sounds like you may have a similar issue. When you did the dv unit was the machine unplugged? I know they had issues with these machines that people were installing these parts with them still plugged in and the new parts would not register correctly and there would be issues. I am not saying just turned off you have to fully unplug these machines.

  6. #26
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    Quote Originally Posted by masterchill View Post
    Now i just posted this in another thread and sounds like you may have a similar issue. When you did the dv unit was the machine unplugged? I know they had issues with these machines that people were installing these parts with them still plugged in and the new parts would not register correctly and there would be issues. I am not saying just turned off you have to fully unplug these machines.

    I believe we have found the solution but still waiting on the new toner assembly to show up that was backordered from Kyocera. The feed shaft auger within the toner supply unit was snapped off after an oversupply of toner to the unit bound it up. (Tech induced)

    We will hopefully know more after next week. Try to avoid this at all costs as the machine itself is practically framed to remove the toner supply assembly. NOT FUN! And have plenty of room available to spread out parts, supplies, covers, boards etc.

  7. #27
    Senior Tech 100+ Posts
    Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    copydocinc's Avatar
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    Re: Taskalpha 356ci- Black toner empty

    Sounds like we had the same problem with similar, but different machines. Have a read.
    This is from a 406ci toner problem.

    Ok, so I found the problem, but still concerned.
    I completely disassembled the whole machine to get to the toner distribution assy.
    It is the tubes, augers, springs, gears, belts, shutters etc. that move the toner to the developer units, after the toner motors have dropped toner form the toner cartridges down into this unit.
    As you install the toner crtg(any color) it opens a little shutter that allows toner to drop into the top of the distribution unit.
    When you install the developer units they open a similar shutter that allows toner to drop into the top of the developer unit, from the bottom of the distribution unit.
    In between the toner crtg and the developer unit there is an spiral auger in a tube that moves the toner over, about 2 inches, and then down another tube using a spring, that is moved up and down
    to help drop the toner down, the spring is moved up and down by the auger that has an offset shaft on the auger, that moved the toner over to it.
    This is all one unit that simultaneously moves all 4 toner colors at the same time, with sponges between each color, so they don't mix with each other. Each color uses up about 4 inches of the auger area.
    So now there is a gear on the end of the auger, of course outside of the unit, but part of the assembly. That gear has a flat area that matches up with the flat area on the end of the shaft of the auger.
    There are a couple of other gears that drive this gear as well as one gear that drives a long belt to the other side of the unit that end up driving the toner waste area of the transfer belt unit.

    Anyway what happened is in the black toner area of the auger, the toner hardened up(possibly because it's the closest to the fuser unit?) and stopped the auger from turning, causing the gear teeth to grind
    down quite a bit and eventually the flat area on the end of the auger wore down as well as the flat area on the inside of the gear. So the gear was turning, with a little grinding from teeth wear, but the auger
    shaft was not turning, which made it so no toners of any color could drop into the developer units. This caused the series of toner empty or toner low messages, since this machine measures toner levels by how
    much toner gets dropped into the developer units.

    If you've lasted this long reading my novel, then you night as well hear the rest.
    Finding all this out and reassembling the machine(a miracle) took nearly 20 hours. I could do it in maybe 10 hours now. So many parts have to come off and some metal frames also have to be removed just
    to get this toner distribution unit out. I took the time to do this, because of curiosity, not practicality. It certainly was not worth the time for moneys sake.
    The reason I'm still concerned is that I don't really know what caused the black toner to harden up so bad inside the auger area. I think close proximity to the fuser, but a little part of me wonders about the new
    black developer unit possibly having some sort of problem, causing it all to back up into the auger area and compress together, but it sure seemed like the toner had hardened form melting. I dunno.
    The ultimate fix I suppose would be to replace the toner distribution unit, but I'm not going to take it apart again. Not worth the money and also could happen again if the developer unit caused it.
    Take that for what it's worth and hang it in your tool case.
    By the way. This was the toughest unrepair job I've ever done, bit a little fun too. Sooooo many parts I didn't know if I would get it back together.
    Thanks for reading

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