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'[OT]: Treasure from trash??'
2000\12\28@065718 by Roman Black

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Jinx wrote:
> Components such as ADC, logic, memory, solenoid, signal processing
> ICs, FETs, caps, diodes, connector, etc that are worth more than a PIC.
> It's not always known what caused the PCB to fail of course, pot luck
> plays a part. The absolutely huge amount of PCBs dumped makes for
> quite a good treasure hunt though and worth the effort

Speaking of dumped boards, I occasionally visit a
local scrapyard that buys obsolete electronics by
the ton. Last time there I got 24v 5A servomotors
in good condition (but faulty encoders) for $3 US
each (worth about $100 US each). But back to the
topic, he used to run all the scrap PC circuit
boards into the furnace, and recover the gold and
other precious metals. Apparently there is $10+
of gold in the average PC motherboard, and he gets
old PCs for a few dollars a ton.

Shame the EPA shut down his furnace, now he just
buys/sells the stuff by the ton and makes a lot
less from it, but the good side for me is that
there are lots of electronics stuff lying around
waiting for the educated eye to scavenge. Recently
I got a Hewlett Packard 15" printer for $25 that
had big dc servomotor/encoder, precision leadscrew
with CERAMIC bearings (ever priced them?), all the
circuit boards were fully gold plated, the large
PSU caps 47,000uF 80v alone are worth about $20,
and there were 3 of them, etc etc.

I know that many of the guys here are professional
engineers with too little time to really go bargain
hunting, but it is a real buzz to buy something for
a few bucks that has hundreds of dollars of top
quality parts in it. I too buy large motors and
stuff new, so I know what this stuff costs.

Back to the scrap circuit boards topic, I have
often wondered about building a granulator, where
instead of using a furnace you MASH the boards to
powder and use vibration/gravity sifting of the
powder to remove the precious metals. Very little
environmental pollution and very high profit,
many govt agencies and the like have to PAY to
have obsolete electronics removed and dumped.
I was told you can get PC monitors for $5 US a
ton, and PCs for about double that.

Any thoughts??
-Roman

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2000\12\28@132115 by Arthur Brown

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How about the way they reclaim copper from the waste Etchent
Electroplate  the anode? with copper.
You could dothe the same for the gold if you know the chemistry for the
solution and the metal's for anode and cathode.

Regards Art.

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Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2000 3:54 AM
Subject: Re: [OT]: Treasure from trash?? Big ----Snip---

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2000\12\28@221805 by James Burkart

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Where do you get prices like $5 a ton? Who spends the time collecting tons
of dead monitors just to sell them for that little? I would think it costs
about 1000 times more just to store and transport a ton of monitors? Please
tell me where to find bargains like that, on account I am in surplus
electronics sales.

James Burkart

{Original Message removed}

2000\12\29@010438 by Jason Harper

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James Burkart wrote:
> Where do you get prices like $5 a ton? Who spends the time collecting
tons
> of dead monitors just to sell them for that little? I would think it
costs
> about 1000 times more just to store and transport a ton of monitors?
Please
> tell me where to find bargains like that, on account I am in surplus
> electronics sales.

Military surplus - they'd much rather sell the stuff for nothing than have
to pay to have it hauled off.  Assuming you're in the USA, visit
http://www.drms.dla.mil to see if there's a DRMO (Defense Reutilization and
Marketing Office) at a base near you.  I don't know how typical this is,
but at DRMO Colorado Springs there's usually one or two lots each month
consisting of 2000-6000 pounds of scrap computer equipment (that's been
sitting outside for several months, because they don't have enough room to
store it all inside).  I don't know how much they typically sell for (I
have neither the storage space nor the transportation capabilities to
consider bidding on them myself), but I doubt it's very much.
       Jason Harper

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2000\12\29@012854 by Roman Black

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James Burkart wrote:
>
> Where do you get prices like $5 a ton? Who spends the time collecting tons
> of dead monitors just to sell them for that little? I would think it costs
> about 1000 times more just to store and transport a ton of monitors? Please
> tell me where to find bargains like that, on account I am in surplus
> electronics sales.

The owner of the scrap metal yard goes to the scrap
metal auctions, and takes a huge truck. Most of the
items come in dumpsters and are sold as non-working
scrap, but much of it is just obsoleted. He gets much
ex-military stuff there too. I bought two 1940's
teletype machines that were full of gold contacts,
and small linear bearings with high quality rods.
He has about 50 more left, but they took hours to
strip.

I know they also have standard buy/sell prices for
a lot of classes of electrical scrap, like transformers,
VCRs, monitors, etc etc. Talk to a scrap metal yard,
many university types and hobbyists go to the same
places, he buys it for a few dollars a ton and sells
to the uni guys for a few dollars a motor or unit etc.
:o)
-Roman

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2000\12\29@021928 by Bill Westfield

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Most of the items come in dumpsters and are sold as non-working
   scrap, but much of it is just obsolete.

Reminds me of the local surplus place "Weird Stuff Warehouse."  They
get a bunch of stuff, test and sell some of it as "working", and the
rest as scrap.  Last time I was there, a guy was buying a bunch of the
"bad" disk drives (less than 1G, untested, sold for the motors and magnets
and stuff at about $5 each.)  Of course, what "bad" really meant in this
case was "we couldn't sell it for enough to bother testing it, even if
it was good."  The guy buying them was putting them in systems, and said
that out of 30 or so drives, he had only run into one that didn't work.

BillW

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2000\12\29@052949 by Jinx

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> Where do you get prices like $5 a ton? Who spends the time
> collecting tons of dead monitors just to sell them for that little?

I have a friend in Auckland who works for a scrapper/reconditioner
who routinely puts a hammer through the screens of dozen upon
dozen of irrepairable or obsolete monitors and throws them into a
dumpster. This swine ;-) also hoofs hard drives against a wall to
bugger the heads up for security reasons before they go in the bin.
The whole lot is then taken away as general rubbish for the dump,
and I'm more than welcome to take a car-load of whatever I want
as long as it's been beaten up. They lose nothing, in fact I'm sure
they pay for it to be taken away

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2000\12\29@053001 by Jinx

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A recent "Treasure from trash" acquisiton is giving me gyp. It's a
Panasonic KX-P4430 Laser printer I picked for $5. It works but the
very nice print has streaks and blotches through it and there is some
echoed printing. I've had it apart once to clean all the rollers and
anything else that the paper touches but the problem persists. I've
found today that the drum is not releasing all of the toner. Is this a
cry for a new drum or is there some home bodge I can do ? The
internal service log shows 28,000 sheets have gone through.

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2000\12\29@060358 by Roman Black

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Jinx wrote:
>
> A recent "Treasure from trash" acquisiton is giving me gyp. It's a
> Panasonic KX-P4430 Laser printer I picked for $5. It works but the
> very nice print has streaks and blotches through it and there is some
> echoed printing. I've had it apart once to clean all the rollers and
> anything else that the paper touches but the problem persists. I've
> found today that the drum is not releasing all of the toner. Is this a
> cry for a new drum or is there some home bodge I can do ? The
> internal service log shows 28,000 sheets have gone through.


If the drum has been touched the photographic coating
is damaged and will give dark bands and echoing.
Never touch the drum. Mine does the same. I find after
running 100 or so pages through it it gets hot and
the drum gets a lot better, maybe this is a crude
cleaning?? Mine got damaged from a paper jamm that
scrubbed the paper hard against the drum. If you find
how to fix it I would like to know too!! :o)
-Roman

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2000\12\29@064001 by Jinx

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> If the drum has been touched the photographic coating
> is damaged and will give dark bands and echoing.
> Never touch the drum. Mine does the same. I find after
> running 100 or so pages through it it gets hot and
> the drum gets a lot better, maybe this is a crude
> cleaning?? Mine got damaged from a paper jamm that
> scrubbed the paper hard against the drum. If you find
> how to fix it I would like to know too!! :o)
> -Roman

It was messing up before I got in there to poke about so perhaps
that's why it was $5. I don't recall touching the drum as there was
a "Don't Touch The Drum" sticker next to it. I haven't comparative
shopped - one price I found was US$125 for a new drum unit. I
know the fuser is NZ$300+ so that doesn't shock me. What I don't
quite understand is why the lines and blotching seem mostly random.
If there were bad spots on the drum then wouldn't the same areas
on the paper be spoiled on each page ?

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2000\12\29@071158 by Robert Rolf

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> If there were bad spots on the drum then wouldn't the same areas
> on the paper be spoiled on each page ?

No, since the drum makes several revolutions per page.

Have you also checked the plastic squeegy blade inside the drum
assembly?
It's probably worn out, which is why you're seeing ghosting (at least
that's what it was on the Cannon I repaired. Took the drum apart and
just fliped the blade end for end and saved myself $350US).

Also try using a soft cloth and pure alcohol to clean any oil off the
drum. (test on edge first to make sure it won't disolve the coating).
Robert

Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2000\12\29@080632 by Jinx

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> Have you also checked the plastic squeegy blade inside the drum
> assembly?

No. I saw it but didn't want to aggravate any possibly fixable problem
by taking it off

> It's probably worn out, which is why you're seeing ghosting (at least
> that's what it was on the Cannon I repaired. Took the drum apart and
> just fliped the blade end for end and saved myself $350US).

That's money I wouldn't mind saving too !!

> Also try using a soft cloth and pure alcohol to clean any oil off the
> drum. (test on edge first to make sure it won't disolve the coating).
> Robert

AFAICT the coating isn't blemished at all. It could be just a misaligned
or worn squeegy. Worth a go, I'm sure there's still life in the old thing

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2000\12\29@083403 by Arthur Brown

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Jinx
the drum will do this if it's exposed to light.
it etches on to the drum the shodow of old toner ect....

Regards Art.

{Original Message removed}

2000\12\29@093148 by Dale Botkin

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On Sat, 30 Dec 2000, Jinx wrote:

> > If the drum has been touched the photographic coating
> > is damaged and will give dark bands and echoing.
> > Never touch the drum. Mine does the same. I find after
> > running 100 or so pages through it it gets hot and
> > the drum gets a lot better, maybe this is a crude
> > cleaning?? Mine got damaged from a paper jamm that
> > scrubbed the paper hard against the drum. If you find
> > how to fix it I would like to know too!! :o)
> > -Roman
>
> It was messing up before I got in there to poke about so perhaps
> that's why it was $5. I don't recall touching the drum as there was
> a "Don't Touch The Drum" sticker next to it. I haven't comparative
> shopped - one price I found was US$125 for a new drum unit. I
> know the fuser is NZ$300+ so that doesn't shock me. What I don't
> quite understand is why the lines and blotching seem mostly random.
> If there were bad spots on the drum then wouldn't the same areas
> on the paper be spoiled on each page ?

No, but it would be at regular intervals probably not equal to a page
length.  The drum diameter is usually smaller than one page so drum wear
is evenly spread out.

It sounds like you have either a bad HV power supply or a bad/dirty/arcing
corona wire or a bad/dirty erase lamp.  Laser printers and copiers use
high voltage static charges and lamps to attract and release toner.
Typically it will be a cycle like this:

1.) Charge corona puts a few hundred Volts + charge on the drun surface.
2.) Laser is used to trace a negative image on the drum, discharging all
but the areas that need to be black.
3.) Toner/developer mix is brushed against the drum, which picks up toner
on the charged parts.  Now you have a + charged toner image on the drum.
The toner is typically a black polyethylene or similar plastic powder,
extremely fine.
4.) Paper surface has a - charge put on it by corona wire, then rolls
against the drum and on to the fuser which melts the toner onto the paper.
5.) Drum is erased by the erase lamp, which blasts the drum with high
intensity light to discharge the surface.
6.) Cleaning blade (usually silicone) scrapes any remaining toner from the
drum, preparing it for the charge corona.

Different lasers use different charge polarities, drum types, laser types,
etc., but this is pretty much the basic procedure.  Any defect in the
erase lamp, HVPS, corona wires, or any buildup of toner inthe printer will
cause voids, smudges, spots, etc.  Step 1 would be a good, thorough
cleaning of everything in the printer.  Do it outdoors, and if you use a
vacuum make sure it's gota toner-safe filter in it, TRUST ME.  90% or
better isopropyl alcohol on a Q-Tip is your friend.  If this fails, I'd
look at replacing parts.  I think the drum unit and the developer unit are
sold separately for the Panasonic printer.  Personally, I'd look at the
developer unit beforethe drum, but I'm guessing.

Dale
(who has spent WAY more time servicing lasers than I want to think about)
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2000\12\29@110727 by Roman Black

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Jinx wrote:
>
> > If the drum has been touched the photographic coating
> > is damaged

> It was messing up before I got in there to poke about so perhaps
> that's why it was $5. I don't recall touching the drum as there was
> a "Don't Touch The Drum" sticker next to it. I haven't comparative
> shopped - one price I found was US$125 for a new drum unit. I
> know the fuser is NZ$300+ so that doesn't shock me. What I don't
> quite understand is why the lines and blotching seem mostly random.
> If there were bad spots on the drum then wouldn't the same areas
> on the paper be spoiled on each page ?

My bad spot is the same place on the drum, but the
drum circumference is not the same as a A4 page
length so it moves position on each page.
Maybe you have moisture?? Try running a LOT of
pages through it, so what it will cost $10
for paper and toner! :o)
-Roman

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2000\12\29@111808 by Roman Black

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Dale Botkin wrote:

> It sounds like you have either a bad HV power supply or a bad/dirty/arcing
> corona wire or a bad/dirty erase lamp.  Laser printers and copiers use
> high voltage static charges and lamps to attract and release toner.
> Typically it will be a cycle like this:
>
> 1.) Charge corona puts a few hundred Volts + charge on the drun surface.
<snip>

Thanks for the in-depth laser printer info. It's
much appreciated! I'll give mine a good going over
in a week or so. :o)
-Roman

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2000\12\29@154734 by Jinx

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> Thanks for the in-depth laser printer info
> -Roman

Ditto for me to Arthur and Dale. Had a quick look around the
web for comparison between copier and printer but not much
that I could see. Did find out that the KX-P4430 is an LED
printer which falls into the category of a laser

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2000\12\29@161654 by Jinx

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> toner is typically a black polyethylene or similar plastic powder,

Interesting app I found whilst looking around - a printer is being
developed that uses polystyrene-based toner that can build an
object by printing it out in layers. I've seen industrial machines
that build out of resin using laser scanning/curing but this new
thing is aimed at the home market. They say you could download
a toy, but if so it would have to be a pretty basic one

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2000\12\29@181617 by Dwayne Reid

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At 10:11 AM 12/30/00 +1300, Jinx wrote:
>Interesting app I found whilst looking around - a printer is being
>developed that uses polystyrene-based toner that can build an
>object by printing it out in layers. I've seen industrial machines
>that build out of resin using laser scanning/curing but this new
>thing is aimed at the home market. They say you could download
>a toy, but if so it would have to be a pretty basic one

Where was this?  I think that something like that would be just *dandy* for
making circuit boards!  Clean the board, print the pattern (polystyrene
certainly is impervious to most etchants) and etch!  No more photo tools!

dwayne



Dwayne Reid   <dwaynerspamKILLspamplanet.eon.net>
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2000\12\29@185618 by Peter L. Peres

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>electroplating gold

You need to dissolve it first, and the very few options of gold solvent
are so bad for the environment that if you try to use them, the EPA will
likely ask you to repoen the furnace instead.

Copper is easy to dissolve and plate and the respective solutions are not
so bad.

Peter

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2000\12\29@200126 by Christian Dorner

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Hi!

> Where was this?  I think that something like that would be just *dandy*
for
> making circuit boards!  Clean the board, print the pattern (polystyrene
> certainly is impervious to most etchants) and etch!  No more photo tools!

I heard from this idea some years ago (about 5 yrs). I found a short
guidance in the net describing this, but i can't remeber the url. The guy
wrote something to print the layout on a foil and iron it direct to the
coppercoated board.

I tried this at home and dosn't get really good results. I tried a overhead
foil for laser printers. The print was ok, but as i tried to iron it to the
board the foil melted.
I also tried some other foils and paper types but the result was still the
same.

Then i tried it with the overhead foil again but i stoped my laser by
opening the door and picked up the foil befor it goes to the fuser unit of
the laser printer.
The result was better but not really the one i want.

This are my expirience ...

You can try it, but take care about your laser and your iron.

cu, Christian

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2000\12\29@200534 by Christian Dorner

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> Where was this?  I think that something like that would be just *dandy*
for
> making circuit boards!  Clean the board, print the pattern (polystyrene
> certainly is impervious to most etchants) and etch!  No more photo tools!

It me again!

I found a url where this techique is described:

http://www.leonardo.caltech.edu/~azirger/ee91/pcboard.html

called "Press-and-Peel".

cu, Christian

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2000\12\29@200548 by Jinx

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> >a printer is being developed that uses polystyrene-based toner
> >that can build an bject by printing it out in layers

> Where was this ?

http://www.howstuffworks.com/news-item115.htm

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'[OT]: Treasure from trash??'
2001\01\01@185651 by Jinx
face picon face
Got into that KX-P4430 again and seemed to have made some
improvements. As the original intention was to use it for PCB mftr
what I've got now should be usable. Time spent with a scalpel
blade might be more economic than nth degree cleaning. If all else
fails I can just run this drum out on pages that don't gotta be too
pretty, like app notes or something

Roman -

There are two strips of plastic with a thin gap between them that
the powder gets attracted thorugh onto the drum. A fair bit of loose
powder around there to clean out. Also, one of the strips was not
attached all the way along, like the powder had perhaps got under
the glue line. Re-glued that. Half-way through a clean-up of the drum
itself and already that side of the page is better. Still on the scruffy
side though - either it's knackered or there's a remaining problem
with the powder-to-paper transfer

The echoed printing and ghostly line are a lot lighter and there are
still a few small dots, which now that most of the random smudging
has gone can be seen to be repeated on every page, so that can
be tracked back to somewhere on the drum's surface

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2001\01\02@030043 by Roman Black

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Thanks Jinx! I'll pull mine apart one of these days.
I've been using the bubblejet for the last lot of
datasheets and stuff I printed, but just realised that
it's not waterproof! ie, one small spot of spray on
the page and wipe it and huge black streaks. :o(
-Roman



Jinx wrote:
{Quote hidden}

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2001\01\03@062405 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Back to the scrap circuit boards topic, I have
>often wondered about building a granulator, where
>instead of using a furnace you MASH the boards to
>powder and use vibration/gravity sifting of the
>powder to remove the precious metals. Very little
>environmental pollution and very high profit,
>many govt agencies and the like have to PAY to
>have obsolete electronics removed and dumped.
>I was told you can get PC monitors for $5 US a
>ton, and PCs for about double that.

When I last worked in NZ the company sent old PCB to a guy who shipped them to
SE Asia where they apparently munched them up and then passed the resulting mash
through chemical baths to reclaim the gold silver etc. I had the impression that
each bath was designed to reclaim a certain metal to minimise the refining costs
afterwards. Also the labour was cheap and environmental concerns not great .....
Someone elses back yard....

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2001\01\03@072023 by Alan B. Pearce

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> There are two strips of plastic with a thin gap between them that
> the powder gets attracted thorugh onto the drum. A fair bit of loose
> powder around there to clean out. Also, one of the strips was not
> attached all the way along, like the powder had perhaps got under
> the glue line. Re-glued that. Half-way through a clean-up of the drum
> itself and already that side of the page is better. Still on the scruffy
> side though - either it's knackered or there's a remaining problem
> with the powder-to-paper transfer
>
> The echoed printing and ghostly line are a lot lighter and there are
> still a few small dots, which now that most of the random smudging
> has gone can be seen to be repeated on every page, so that can
> be tracked back to somewhere on the drum's surface

A couple of things to be wary about when dealing with laser printers.

1. If the paper has any moisture in it this can cause blotchy printing,
typically areas of print totally missing. This is easily proved by running the
paper through the printer again to print on the other side. If the second
attempt prints successfully then the paper is damp. The paper needs to go
through the heated rollers twice, the first time dries it out.

2. ALWAYS replenish the toner when the printer warns you to. Never do things to
insist the printer does more printing after it insists it needs more toner as
the toner cartridge will become useless. This is not such a concern if the whole
toner dispenser system is replaceable, but is a big concern if the dispenser
system is refillable. The reason is the toner is held on the dispensing roller
by a magnetic carrier powder which does not get replenished when the toner is
refilled. It is recycled within the toner dispenser. If the dispenser is run
with insufficient toner in it then this magnetic material makes it way out onto
the paper and is lost without getting replenished when more toner is put in. The
printer that has caused this discussion on the list may be suffering from this
problem, but I cannot be sure as I never saw a printer known to have had this
done to it. The only way around the problem is to replace the dispensing unit.

3. It is possible to have the toner get all caked up in the dispensing unit. For
this reason replaceable units have instructions to tip the unit end to end to
unpack the powder if it has settled while packed, and distribute it inside the
cartridge. If a printer has been out of operation for a while then the toner may
have settled and packed down. DO NOT shake the printer in the manner described
for the cartridge. The resulting mess is horrible to clean up and should only be
vacuumed using a cleaner with a special filter, otherwise the carbon in the
toner gets all through the motor of the vacuum cleaner. If the printer has been
idle for a while it is also possible for damp to get into the toner and make it
cake up a bit. The best solution for this appeared to be to dismantle the
dispenser unit out of the printer and operate the paddle inside the dispenser
that moves the toner around to free it up.

hope this provides some help to those retrieving usable items from the trash.

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2001\01\03@112955 by Bill Westfield

face picon face
>Back to the scrap circuit boards topic, I have
>often wondered about building a granulator, where
>instead of using a furnace you MASH the boards to
>powder and use vibration/gravity sifting of the
>powder to remove the precious metals.

Most of the gold in electronics scrap is in the form of gold plating on
connector contacts and such.  Mechanical methods are not going to separate
it out very effectively.

BillW

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2001\01\03@114025 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 08:31 AM 1/3/01 PST, you wrote:

>Most of the gold in electronics scrap is in the form of gold plating on
>connector contacts and such.  Mechanical methods are not going to separate
>it out very effectively.

There is also the (not so) little matter of what to do with the much, much
greater quantities of toxic materials, lead in particular. I've seen some
real nightmares in this field costing $millions, be careful and follow
all the applicable environmental regulations (and, as the Chemical companies
found out at Love Canal, even that won't always save you).

Best regards,  (& sorry for the double copy, Bill)




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2001\01\05@215311 by Graeme Smith

flavicon
face
You know, my ISP is acting up, I keep getting dropped every time my
message gets too long so I'll keep this short.

       =>18 month turn over in computer equipment = large piles of
         obsolete computers. Only way to deal with them, is re-smelt em
        or "MINE" them in volume (BY the TON).

       =>6-8 month turn over in computer equipment= 2-3 times as many
         tons to resmelt or "MINE"

       This means unacceptable levels of burnt plastic, resin, PCB wires
       etc.

       Each chip is irreplaceable engineering cost + grain of sand

       Result-> Overseas smelters with relaxed polution get bulk of
               material still polutes, but not here where laws protect
               the atmosphere etc. (except when the wind blows).

               Consumer Countries end up paying with trade imballance
               for lack of local silicon smelters.

       I think it is past time for this industry to consider that it
       has a responsibility for its own excesses, and to make it more
       practical for re-use and re-engineering to use up old computers.

       I think it is also criminal to configure software so it can't be
       run on legacy systems when there are TONS of them going to waste.

                               GREY

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