Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Went to REPC in Seattle

Today, Larry - KB7KMO, and I went to REPC (a pc recycle center in Seattle). I have mentioned this place before on a previous blog. This place is a great place to pick-up computer parts for their internal parts. Many things are quite cheap if you do not mind looking in the bins on the floor, and junk boxes on the tables.

What I find valuable are the DC wall-warts for my QRP projects and components salvaged form junk PC boards.  Old modems seem to provide the most varied components for a very low price, audio transformers, high value caps, heat sinks, and many others.

Today, I had a specific purchase in mind - I wanted an old (working or not) Laser Printer.  My goal is to re-purpose it for "Direct PCB Etch Resist Printing", see previous post regarding Mark's adventure while exploring this new frontier. Mark's write-up describes the modifications needed to a Lexmark E260 printer.  As luck would have it, REPC did not have a salvaged Lexmark printer for me to try, But .  .  .

There was several Old HP LaserJet 1300, with one which was marked down to $30 - and its test page appeared in order. So it came home with me.

The HP LaserJet 1300 appears to have an USB, with 1200 DPI, and PostScript installed.  Also, the paper path through the printer appears to be some what straight, of course some modification will be needed to pass a stiff PCB material through the printer.

Maybe the HP LaserJet 1300 can be modified, or NOT, but it will provide a challenge to see what I can do with it to produce "Direct Laser Printer to PCB" results.

At home, Larry and I wanted to "get started" dismantling the printer to check out the paper path and deciding what modification would be necessary.   We started off on the wrong foot, as we forgot to get a USB cable and a power cord for the printers initial test (I had neither on my boat where we were doing the work), but we did learn how the take the printer apart,  figured out how it works, and how to put it back together successfully.

We also found the reason this printer was cheaper than the others on the same table at REPC - this printer has a broken plastic post inside on the lock lever that holds the toner cartage in place - and therefore would probably not print reliably.  For my purpose, this should not be a problem, it can be fixed.

Later, if all goes well with this modification, I will share the results via photos and a short write up, - or, . . . .  If NOT, what the heck, I will also share the failure.

While at REPC, I also found a "Compact Memory" card reader for my laptop for $1.00, with it, I will now be able to read my photos (from my old camera) for this blog directly into the laptop, maybe? Unlike this post, personally I enjoy blogs with descriptive photos.

BTW, Larry - KB7KMO is my friend that lives on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, while, as he says, "eating his way around the world".  He is here in Seattle for a few weeks while is daughter is providing him with another Grand Child!    Congrats - Larry, .  .  .  .  Oh yes, the same for, Mom, Dad and Grandma!


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