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HELP! Blurry mid-page printing

I have an HP PSC 1310 series All-in-One printer. Only recently, I installed a blank ink cartridge, and now the printing down the middle of the page is blurry. It almost looks like the printer is adding a shadow to the text in the center. I've tried re-aligning the cartridges, but the problem remained. Can this be fixed without getting a new ink cartridge? Is that my only solution?

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HELP! Blurry mid-page printing

The most likely cause is ink buildup on the encoder strip.  The web page HP had on this subject has been removed, but said something like the following:

 

HP Deskjet, HP Business Inkjet, and HP Color Inkjet Printers - Cleaning the Encoder Strip for Vertical Flaws in Print, Margin Offsets, or "Stair Stepped" Margins

 

ISSUE:

 

The encoder strip is the semi-clear strip located just behind the carriage rod. Its purpose is to help the print cartridge accurately keep track of its position as it moves along the carriage rod. Sometimes dust, ink, or oil can accumulate on this strip and cause the following problems:

 

  • Prints "stair step" down the left margin of the self-test page.
  • The left or right margins of the self-test are not properly placed.
  • The ink cartridge carriage slams to the left side of the printer.
  • The self-test shows double-printed or shadowed letters.
  • Flaws run down the length of a printed page (portrait orientation), or across the page (landscape orientation).
  • Printing stops, and the control panel lights on the printer indicate an error.
  • Gaps appear in printed text or images.
  • Slow printing

CAUTION:

Do not clean the encoder strip for the following symptoms: media pick issues, paper jams, paper skewing, ink-cartridge rejection, missing dots or white streaks through print, and smeared or streaked black ink.

 

SOLUTION:

 

Clean the encoder strip inside the printer by following the steps below:

 

NOTE:

Extreme care must be taken during the cleaning process. If too much pressure is placed on the encoder strip, it could become scratched (destroying the etching on the strip), bent, broken, or even become dislodged from the inside of the printer. If damage of this type occurs, the printer must be returned to HP for repair.

 

  1. With the printer turned on, open the top cover to allow the print cartridge cradle to move to the center of the printer.
  2. Unplug the power cord from the printer.
  3. Slide the cradle to the far-right position.
  4. Identify the semi-clear encoder strip, located just above the round, metal, cradle rod.  

 732iA3FE10DDC1FBE74A

 

Figure 1:  The semi-clear encoder strip.

 

CAUTION:

When pulling the cloth along the encoder strip in Step 5, grasp the strip gently, to ensure that the strip does not break. Pull the cloth only in a right-to-left direction, otherwise there is risk the encoder strip may become dislodged from its mounting tabs.

 

  1. Moisten a clean cloth or tissue with water, then gently grasp the strip between the thumb and forefinger, and carefully pull the moistened cloth along the entire length of the strip in a right-to-left direction. Repeat this step with a different portion of the cloth to ensure that all foreign matter is removed.
  2. Move the cradle to the far-left position and repeat Step 5 on the right side of the encoder strip, beginning as far right as possible. Again, gently pull the cloth in a right-to-left direction.
  3. Allow the encoder strip to dry, or gently dry the encoder strip with a clean, dry cloth or tissue.
  4. Position the cradle near the center, and then plug the power cord into the printer.
  5. Close the top cover to allow the print cartridge cradle to move back to the right of the printer.
  6. Print a self-test to ensure that the printer is functioning properly.

 

 

 


Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

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If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"----------V

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HELP! Blurry mid-page printing

I followed the steps provided in cleaning the encoder strip and I still have the problem.  lst few pages printed fine then started blurring above and below the printed line......very black but doesn't rub off!  I've taken the cartridges out and cleaned them. I recently put in a new black cartridge, could I have a bad cartridge or has my printer gone caput?  I NEED this printer TODAY.  I'm running statements for my husbands business.

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Dude....  I just wanted to personally thank you for your post!  I've just spent the last 3 hours trying everything in the book to fix my phantom ghostly paper jam.....  I was just about to throw the dam printer out the window and then you saved him from going flying.....  Or maybe from a hammer slamming into him!!!  🙂  Anyway, I just spent a few moments to register here just so I could personally thank you, so "THANK YOU"

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I was getting multiple carriage jams on my HP 7210.  I had upgraded my driver to Windows 7, done the semi restart, but your advice to clean the encoder strip.....worked like a champ!  Thank you so much!!!!!!!

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So I have two issues.  1) what ever prints out is blurry and wavy.  2) I tried to scan the document into the computer from the printer but a pop up window on the computer states "HP Photosmart7510 series not found."  I am sooooo frustrated with this printer .  There are always problems with it.  

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HELP! Blurry mid-page printing


@belalicia wrote:

So I have two issues.  1) what ever prints out is blurry and wavy.  2) I tried to scan the document into the computer from the printer but a pop up window on the computer states "HP Photosmart7510 series not found."  I am sooooo frustrated with this printer .  There are always problems with it.  


Did you try the solution in the thread here?


Bob Headrick,  HP Expert

I am not an employee of HP, I am a volunteer posting here on my own time.

If your problem is solved please click the "Accept as Solution" button ------V

If my answer was helpful please click the "Thumbs Up" to say "Thank You"----------V

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HELP! Blurry mid-page printing

Just tried your suggestion. Mission completed! Thanks a lot. Followed instructions, and to be honest I didn't have too much faith in the solution but it worked! Thanks again.

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Bob,
Cleaning the encoder strip was the perfect solution to my problem. Printed copies look great now. Thank you for your excellent and easy to follow instructions. While I was inside the printer, I took the time to wipe off years of collected ink grime...it looks clean and should operate much better now. Thanks again, Bob!
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Thanks Mr Headrick, Your fix for my phantom cartridge jam worked wonders on my HP Photosmart 2575.  My husband was ready to throw it out but now we can keep it around for a while longer.  Much appreciated!

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