It all started with the USB...

Yep. It all started with the USB port.

My Dad asked why he could not print from the printer and so, I was asked to help troubleshoot. Everything checked out OK. On the printer's status, there was some document waiting to print and as usual, I restarted the PC since this was a very common problem with Windows 7.

And yes!

It still did not work.

After some time, I probed around and discovered this...

A broken USB connection. The middle plastic parthas been snapped off and one of the connectors has been pushed back until it crumpled. Who did this, I am not sure. So, I need to take this part out to search for a perfect fit.

Opening the printer stumped me because for this one, it uses hex screws. After some fiddling, I managed to get it opened and yes, the worse is to come as the USB port is located on the PCB which is under all the mechanism. Which is not a good thing since I hate dealing with gears. Not because its ditry or oily but there is always that fear of not able to put it back together again. Anyone can put it back but its those little hooks or sensors or even alingment that they craftily set traps for which you would not know. After spending quite some time looking and taking photos, I finally bit the bullet.

Despite its age, the seven year old printer still looks very clean inside (apart form the areas around the ink wells). But what is troublesome was the fiddly short cables which was hard to put back after this and I think, this printer was completed by a kid because you need very small hands to put the ribbon cables.

Desoldering the stupid USB port was also another problem. As my Soldering Iron was only 18watts. it was very difficult to generate enough heat to remove the metal alignment tabs and also one of the pins since I believe, the metal on both the port and the PCB was actually absorbing the heat away from the iron. I don't think this was a ROHS printer though or else I would be in even more trouble.

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