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  1. #1
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    Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    I have a Ricoh Aficio SP C821dn (aka product code G189 / SAVIN CLP350D).

    It's been running low on Cyan toner for a few months (we do a low volume of printing). The machine finally complained it was empty and forced me to change it. I took out the old one, broke open a brand new, genuine bottle, shook it vertically for a bit, then installed it. The printer spun and spun but still complained there was no Cyan toner.

    To confirm I was doing things right, I then replaced the Magenta toner (which was also low). That one detected the new toner just fine.

    After a few rounds of letting the machine spin gears trying to get Cyan toner to feed, the ITB Contact Motor stopped working. I received a replacement part today and installed it. Seems to work. But the machine is still complaining there's no Cyan toner.

    Things I tried:


    • Removing and reinstalling the toner bottle
    • Vacuuming around the intake port (in case there was anything clumped)
    • Shake then reinstall the original bottle (it complains "independent-supplier toner has been set" but still senses no cyan)
    • Run SP3-015-005 Forced Toner Supply, and confirmed the Cyan bottle turns.
    • Run SP7-933-012 and confirmed the bottle reads as 100% toner remaining
    • Remove the Toner End Sensor for the Cyan line, clean it and blow it with compressed air, and reinstall
    • Remove the bottle, manually push in the cap and confirm it's not clogged (a cloud and small fountain of toner spewed out easily when I tilted it slightly downward - oops)


    What would be sensible things to check next?

    Note it was working just fine until I replaced the cylinder.

  2. #2
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Quote Originally Posted by rkagerer View Post
    I have a Ricoh Aficio SP C821dn (aka product code G189 / SAVIN CLP350D).

    It's been running low on Cyan toner for a few months (we do a low volume of printing). The machine finally complained it was empty and forced me to change it. I took out the old one, broke open a brand new, genuine bottle, shook it vertically for a bit, then installed it. The printer spun and spun but still complained there was no Cyan toner.

    To confirm I was doing things right, I then replaced the Magenta toner (which was also low). That one detected the new toner just fine.

    After a few rounds of letting the machine spin gears trying to get Cyan toner to feed, the ITB Contact Motor stopped working. I received a replacement part today and installed it. Seems to work. But the machine is still complaining there's no Cyan toner.

    Things I tried:


    • Removing and reinstalling the toner bottle
    • Vacuuming around the intake port (in case there was anything clumped)
    • Shake then reinstall the original bottle (it complains "independent-supplier toner has been set" but still senses no cyan)
    • Run SP3-015-005 Forced Toner Supply, and confirmed the Cyan bottle turns.
    • Run SP7-933-012 and confirmed the bottle reads as 100% toner remaining
    • Remove the Toner End Sensor for the Cyan line, clean it and blow it with compressed air, and reinstall
    • Remove the bottle, manually push in the cap and confirm it's not clogged (a cloud and small fountain of toner spewed out easily when I tilted it slightly downward - oops)


    What would be sensible things to check next?

    Note it was working just fine until I replaced the cylinder.
    Try a different cyan pcu. You confirmed it sees a full toner bottle in the sp mode.

  3. #3
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Sounds like a problem with the toner ID chip system. If it uses a contact type connection on the back of the cartridge then it could be a bent contact. If it uses the RFID system it could a corrupted chip or a bad RFID board. Regardless of which it is go into Engine Service Mode and change SP 3045-001 Toner End Detection: Set to 1, disabled. This should allow the printer to operate until the actual problem is identified and corrected. If it still reports no toner then the toner end sensor for cyan is either bad or has come loose from the toner nozzle, you might then need to replace the sensor, the cyan nozzle or both. With toner end detection disabled, you no longer get a warning at 17% remaining to have a ew cartridge ready, when the tner end sensor does not see toner coming out of the nozzle it will give a 50 page warning before going to toner out.

  4. #4
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Setting SP 3045-001 Toner End Detection worked - it now detects all colors as full and prints successfully.

    Does that rule out a set of potential root causes or verify functioning of any of the components? e.g. Has setting that bit to 1 effectively disabled the Toner End Sensor component (which the tube from the feed nipple leads to)? Or did it actually verify that the sensor is working? If not, can I swap sensors between colors temporarily to diagnose the blue one?

    While I was awaiting answers, I also disassembled, cleaned out, and reassembled the entire toner path from the bottle nipple to the outlet of the pump to make sure nothing was clogged. i.e. The springed nozzle that pushes back on the cap, the end sensor fixture (including the little transparent windows that I'm assuming an LED emitter shines through to a photosensitive detector on the other side?), the feed tube to the pump, and the pump itself.

    Is there any way to test a pump? e.g. When it's running, should it generate enough suction that you can unplug the tube and stick your thumb over the input port and feel if it pulls?

    What should I do to test the chip and RFID board?

    Grateful for your help.

  5. #5
    Retired 10,000+ Posts slimslob's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Quote Originally Posted by rkagerer View Post
    Setting SP 3045-001 Toner End Detection worked - it now detects all colors as full and prints successfully.

    Does that rule out a set of potential root causes or verify functioning of any of the components? e.g. Has setting that bit to 1 effectively disabled the Toner End Sensor component (which the tube from the feed nipple leads to)? Or did it actually verify that the sensor is working? If not, can I swap sensors between colors temporarily to diagnose the blue one?

    While I was awaiting answers, I also disassembled, cleaned out, and reassembled the entire toner path from the bottle nipple to the outlet of the pump to make sure nothing was clogged. i.e. The springed nozzle that pushes back on the cap, the end sensor fixture (including the little transparent windows that I'm assuming an LED emitter shines through to a photosensitive detector on the other side?), the feed tube to the pump, and the pump itself.

    Is there any way to test a pump? e.g. When it's running, should it generate enough suction that you can unplug the tube and stick your thumb over the input port and feel if it pulls?

    What should I do to test the chip and RFID board?

    Grateful for your help.
    It ruled out a loose or defective toner end sensor. In fact the end sensors are now the only way to detect the end of the toner in a cartridge. Toner pumps depend more on gravity flow than on suction. If a color starts to fade over a number of pages then the pump system is not working. Ricoh recommends replacing the pump and connecting tube as a set. A lot of pumps have been replaced over the tears only to be back out later because the tube is clogged. In cleaning out the connecting tube you may have actually created a future problem. The inside of the tube is coated with Teflon to prevent clogging. Cleaning can damage the coating which leads to clogs.

  6. #6
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Thanks. All I used to clean the tube was air suction. There was no clogging or clumps or anything, and I didn't push anything through it. Hopefully that didn't pull off any teflon or introduce contaminants, but I appreciate the warning and will keep it in mind if it becomes problematic later.

    I'm inclined to follow your original instincts that it may be an RFID or chip issue. But I'm a little confused that the printer can read the info off the new bottle in spite of that (SP7-933-***).

    I'll order a new blue bottle and see if that solves it. If it doesn't, any suggestions to troubleshoot the RFID board?

  7. #7
    Ricoh Fanboy 1,000+ Posts Oze's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Quote Originally Posted by slimslob View Post
    It ruled out a loose or defective toner end sensor. In fact the end sensors are now the only way to detect the end of the toner in a cartridge. Toner pumps depend more on gravity flow than on suction. If a color starts to fade over a number of pages then the pump system is not working. Ricoh recommends replacing the pump and connecting tube as a set. A lot of pumps have been replaced over the tears only to be back out later because the tube is clogged. In cleaning out the connecting tube you may have actually created a future problem. The inside of the tube is coated with Teflon to prevent clogging. Cleaning can damage the coating which leads to clogs.
    ^THIS^
    I'd be replacing the pump and hose....a cheap enough exercise
    As Slim stated...turn off end detect and use the machine as normal...if that particular colour begins to fade away then it's a toner supply issue.
    Very common issue for this particular model.
    Also...just curious...are you a copier tech or an I.T support guy?

  8. #8
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts Gift's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    +1 for the pump, was a common cause back then with the entire SPC/MPC series

  9. #9
    Service Manager 1,000+ Posts fshead's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    they dont get that till machine has quenched its need for toner in the dev unit it will not update the toner cartridge as new..
    So i too say it might be a pump failing

  10. #10
    Senior Tech 250+ Posts luca72's Avatar
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    Re: Ricoh SP C821dn cyan toner reads empty even with new cylinder

    Quote Originally Posted by rkagerer View Post
    I have a Ricoh Aficio SP C821dn (aka product code G189 / SAVIN CLP350D).

    It's been running low on Cyan toner for a few months (we do a low volume of printing). The machine finally complained it was empty and forced me to change it. I took out the old one, broke open a brand new, genuine bottle, shook it vertically for a bit, then installed it. The printer spun and spun but still complained there was no Cyan toner.

    To confirm I was doing things right, I then replaced the Magenta toner (which was also low). That one detected the new toner just fine.

    After a few rounds of letting the machine spin gears trying to get Cyan toner to feed, the ITB Contact Motor stopped working. I received a replacement part today and installed it. Seems to work. But the machine is still complaining there's no Cyan toner.

    Things I tried:


    • Removing and reinstalling the toner bottle
    • Vacuuming around the intake port (in case there was anything clumped)
    • Shake then reinstall the original bottle (it complains "independent-supplier toner has been set" but still senses no cyan)
    • Run SP3-015-005 Forced Toner Supply, and confirmed the Cyan bottle turns.
    • Run SP7-933-012 and confirmed the bottle reads as 100% toner remaining
    • Remove the Toner End Sensor for the Cyan line, clean it and blow it with compressed air, and reinstall
    • Remove the bottle, manually push in the cap and confirm it's not clogged (a cloud and small fountain of toner spewed out easily when I tilted it slightly downward - oops)


    What would be sensible things to check next?

    Note it was working just fine until I replaced the cylinder.
    toner pump, that machine is similar to mpc2500, 2800, etc ... I remember that they always broke, I changed dozens of them, go easy

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