Print Question for Yogi

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Kellemora
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Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 05 Jul 2018, 12:18

I have an HP Color Laser Jet Pro MFP M477fdn printer.

Despite all the problems with the first one I had, it was replaced with one that has worked great.
A few quirks here and there, but I'm happy with it.

I've been using it to cancel business size 3x8 checks fed into the printer in the envelope tray, small end first now, ever since I got this printer. Never had a problem. I prints the deposit information at the top of the check perfectly every time.
This printer can handle 3x5 cards if they are fed with the 3 inch end first. I have printed a few in Portrait with no problems. Although one would normally want to print on the width of the card.

Back to my business size checks.
As far as printing the deposit information on the end of the check, it doesn't matter if I set the paper size to Custom 3x8, or just leave it at 8-1/2x11 and center the printed data on the page. It still feeds through in Portrait mode as expected.

However, if I want to print an actual check, still feeding it through the printer 3" end first, this means I have to set the page to Landscape Mode. Although it prints properly on the checks, as it should, it does not feed the check out of the printer and claims there is a paper jamb. Thus the rest of the check does not go through the heat roller fuser.

I also tried using the envelope setting, and the 3x5 card setting. If I set it to print a 3x5 card in landscape mode, it does the same thing, does not feed the card out of the printer all the way.

As far as printing checks, I've even tried using 8-1/2 by 11, 3x8, 3x11, 3x14, etc. in Landscape Mode.
Every single setting, the check comes partway out, then stops and says paper jamb.
But the check will feed through at almost any setting, even 3x14 in Portrait Mode.

At first I thought there must be a sensor thinking I'm using 11 inch long paper, and when the sensor does not see paper, it assumes a paper jamb. But this is not what is causing it, else the same thing would happen in Portrait Mode.

The only way I've found I can print a check, is to write the check, save it as an image file. Rotate the image 90 degrees, the paste it to a document then print the document in Portrait Mode. Doesn't matter if I set the paper to 3x8 or 8-1/2x11 centered. Then the check will feed out as it should.

Any Ideas?

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yogi
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by yogi » 06 Jul 2018, 09:22

Sorry to say that I don't have an answer for you regarding your print problem, but I will tell you about my experience with it. A long, long, long time ago I had an Epsom dot matrix printer. It was wonderful in the days of Word Star and did everything I wanted it to do at the time. To shorten a long story, I;ll just say I moved on to Windows 98 SE and got myself an HP Laser printer. This opened up entirely new worlds of printing possibilities. I was now able to do envelope printing and even tried a check or two. Most of the fancy printing I tried was via Office 97 - that's the last version of Office I purchased from Microsoft.

The details are not clear in my mind at the moment, but I distinctly recall experiencing the same "paper jam" error coming from the laser printer. There was no paper jam, of course, and there was nothing I could do to make the printer think otherwise. It was at that point that I discovered new drivers could be installed, which is what I did. No more phantom paper jam errors after the update. But, no doubt you did that first. I stopped using the laser printer when the cartridge cost exceeded $100. New printers could be bought for that price.

Given the way that you are selecting the size of the document you need to print, I am nearly certain that it's all done in software with templates. Size and orientation are not a mechanical thing, although a true paper jam will shut down the process. I'll admit that in your case the printer seems to know what you you are trying to do. You can't fool it with third party software, such as printing from a word processing program. Thus, whatever the problem is, it's in the printer's firmware/drivers.

I think I told you about an HP inkjet printer that started giving me error messages one day. It simply would print one page and quit. I discovered a code I could punch into the machine to clear the error, but that only worked once. After that the machine would only print one page and an error message.

So ... that made two HP printers that died after a certain amount of time/use without explanation. My instinct tells me that obsolescence is programmed into the printer's firmware. HP will deny it, of course, but it happened on two of their printers of different vintage. Now I hear you have the same problem. Apparently not a lot of people keep old equipment around as long as you and I keep it. If more people did, HP would be out of the printer business. :bleh:

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Kellemora
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 06 Jul 2018, 16:49

I tried printing from a Windows XP machine, same document, and had the same problem.
It will print a 3x8 in Portrait mode, and feed properly, but not in Landscape mode.
The print driver does know I'm feeding the paper in 3" end first.

I do have the latest HPLIP drivers for the Linux machine, no new drivers available for XP though.
Even so, the XP machine printed the four other documents I sent, including a photo, perfectly.

I've been talking with a lady who prints 3x5 recipe cards, feeding them 3" end first on this same model printer.
She says the only program she has that will print on this printer using Landscape mode is her recipe program, not her file card program, which worked just fine on her previous HP printer.

I did check to make sure when I turned the page to Landscape mode, the printer did not think the 8" edge was being fed. The display shows to place the document in tray one, narrow end in first. It does print properly, but jams before the document feeds all the way out. This is why I tried using longer paper settings to no avail.

I guess I'll have to go back to putting the check inside an envelope and cut out the areas where the check gets printed on, hi hi. I've had to do this with other printers in order to print single checks.

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yogi
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by yogi » 08 Jul 2018, 10:54

I seem to recall that Windows 98/Office 97 would accept the paper on the short edge (3" in your case) but rotate the printing 90° so that the final product looked as if it were printed landscape style. That worked fine with envelopes and checks, but I don't think I ever tried text, such as a recipe card. For something like that I'd just put in an oversized sheet and cut it down to size. In fact, that's how I print file folder labels these days via Libre Office. I like your idea about cutting a printing window onto an envelope, but lining up the output to the lines on the check blank could be a problem. I might substitute some file folder stock for the envelope and cut slits in it to hold the check in place. Once it's set up, no room for error after that.

I also happen to have some free software from Avery, the label people. I use it to print DVD labels, but you can select a template from anything they sell if you have the product number. If you can get your hands on this software, perhaps it would solve your printing problem.

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Kellemora
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 08 Jul 2018, 12:05

The checks fed 3" end in first print perfectly where they are supposed to, but the printer feed system doesn't feed it all the way through the fuser and stops with a PAPER JAM notice.
If I pull the check out from the front, I can see it printed perfectly, but only half of it fused the toner to the paper.

If I set the document to 3x8 Portrait, I can write 3 or 4 lines or a whole page of text to cover the entire check and it prints just fine.
But if I set the paper to 3x8 Landscape, so the text is lengthwise on the check, although it does print properly, it stops feeding the check out.

It does not make sense to me why the paper stops feeding, because.
I can put a 3x8 check in the envelope feeder, but set the paper size to 8-1/2 x 11, center the text on the page with margins to hold the text at 2-1/2 inches in width, and the check will print. No paper jam.
I can leave the settings at 8-1/2 x 11 and change to Landscape mode which makes it 11 x 8-1/2, fed narrow end in first, and it will print OK, but if I stick 3x8 paper in there, it prints but doesn't feed the paper out and says paper jam.
I've tried A5, A6, and A7 paper size setting, all the envelope settings, they all work in Portrait mode, but in Landscape mode I get Paper Jam. There really is no paper jam, it just stopped feeding the paper.
I've check all the settings you can change inside the printer, and all the setting you can send to the printer from the document settings in the word processor.

By the way, you cannot feed a 3x5 card through the printer using the 5" width. It must go in 3" inch end first.
Same thing happens if you switch to Landscape mode to get the text in the right direction the index card.
It stops feeding the card and says Paper Jam.

Once I got the HP help website responder to understand what I was talking about, all he said was it should work. That I should try other word processors to see if the problem is there.
Heck, I've even tried NONE, Use Printer Settings, on the document settings page, which gives control to the printer.

I do have an ink jet printer that works just fine, except I write so few checks now, whenever I need to use the printer, the ink cartridges have dried out. What I need is a good old fashioned Dot Matrix 9 pin printer, hi hi.

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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by yogi » 08 Jul 2018, 13:59

The way you describe the problem sounds like a software issue, not a hardware malfunction. The paper jam is a standard error message, but I don't know the exact mechanism by which it is issued. If I were sure that a sensor in the printer is failing, then an oversized sheet of stock would fix the problem. But that doesn't fix it. The printer gets confused by your request to print from the long dimension instead of the short one.

To me it appears to be a problem with the firmware in the printer. Under certain circumstances it halts the toner fusion process (to avoid a fire) because it thinks the paper is not advancing. Well, there is no mechanical reason for the paper not to be advancing, and you can visually verify that no obstructions are present. So ... what is left? Software! It's got to be a software interrupt and not a mechanical sensor input. I don't think it's the software on your computer either, although there may be a conflict with what is in the printer firmware. It's what is inside the printer that is giving you a false message. Why that particular message is being generated under specific circumstances is what I can't tell you.

I'm thinking pen and ink may be the only way around this problem. :think:

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Kellemora
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 09 Jul 2018, 10:26

The smallest paper size this printer can handle is 3" x 5", with the 3" end being fed first.
But even 3x5 index cards cannot be printed using Landscape mode for some reason.
I've tried several programs to print from, but all of them give the same paper jam.

I could have ordered business checks, one on a large page, but they cost a fortune compared to 3 on a page checks like I've used for over 50 years.

Don't laugh, I used to have a receipt printer for printing cash register receipts from a PC.
It was not a thermal printer like the ones today, it still used a Ribbon Cartridge, which you could reink with stamp pad ink if you wanted to. It only used 3 wires from a serial port to run. It also printed in Landscape mode in order to print in store coupons. I used the coupon printing program to write checks. It worked from DOS or Windows 3.11 but had no drivers for Windows XP, even though the program itself would run on Windows XP just fine.

I do have a written request into HP service clearly explaining my problem, and all of the programs I've tried.
Plus a couple of photo's of the paper jam on how far the check feeds before the paper jam message comes up.
Hoping to hear back from them before year end, hi hi.

I can barely write anything by hand any more, I shake bad enough you can't read my writing, and as the day goes on, it only gets worse. I've been paying a lot of bills on-line because of this, but some I cannot. Even our Utilities Office want's paper checks in the mail. They do have an option to pay on-line, or over the phone, for an additional seven dollar charge. It must be a Debit Card as they do not take Credit Cards either. Strange place!

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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by yogi » 09 Jul 2018, 11:27

I like the fact that you contacted the printer people directly. The problem you describe has been around for decades and I'm guessing they are well aware of it. As you reaffirm yet again, the software you use to print is not the problem - it all does the same thing. It's the printer itself that is generating the error message. I suppose this particular problem does not show up too often, but I doubt that a lot of people let the manufacturer know. The lack of feedback encourages them to ignore it instead of fix it. So, I don't hold out a lot of hope for you to receive a fix. However, you are entitled to a good explanation.

I can't laugh at your re-inked ribbons because I've tried the same trick myself. My first Epsom dot matrix printer had such a ribbon available. It only took one time for me to figure out buying new ribbons was a lot less trouble than saving old ones. Same goes for inkjet cartridges. I tried that as well and came to the same conclusion. I can replace a cartridge in 30 seconds and have clean fingers with no need to clean up spilled ink from the tabletop. Then too, I'm not trying to make a living from what I print.

I sympathize with your hand writing problems. Most of the big companies will take credit cards and I think every utility in town will accept payments from my bank account. I just never set it up to go paperless because I don't want anyone but myself to have access to my checkbook. Besides, there may come a day when I don't want to pay a bill and I can't hold it back with auto-payments.

If memory serves me correctly, there are programs that will print checks from scratch. The only catch there is that the Federal Reserve routing numbers have to be magnetic ink. That might not be easy to come by or worth the cost. I have the same opinion as you do regarding paying extra simply to process a payment. In certain rare cases (like paying taxes) I've done it. The fee generally is under $3.00 and acceptable. It seems that most places want to do away with paper checks, but they need access to my bank account to pull it off. No way Josè.

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Kellemora
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 10 Jul 2018, 12:59

Some places have forced us to set up automatic payments or pay extra, or not get a discount, etc.

We have a couple of controlled balance debit cards. They have a different account number than our normal debit card, and are not linked back to our actual bank account. Although deposits to the controlled balance debit card come from our bank account, it is strictly a one way transaction of a specified amount each month.
Most banks do offer these now, and/or specified amount of payment from debit cards to named institutions.

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yogi
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by yogi » 10 Jul 2018, 16:56

Every utility company I deal with keeps reminding me that I could do away with paper if I switched over to automatic withdrawals from my bank account. Just about everyone else I buy from will take credit cards. I don't know how I'd respond to being forced into automatic payments. I certainly would switch to some other provider if that were possible. Unfortunately, gas and electric are monopolies and I'm kind of stuck with whatever they foist upon me. The irony here is that the credit card people require a paper check. LOL They will be happy to bill me electronically, but for some reason they won't take my credit card as payment.

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Kellemora
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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 11 Jul 2018, 10:46

I sometimes pay my credit card with a debit card, but not usually. I don't really like a credit card company having my debit card number. Had a situation a number of years ago where a CC company charged my Debit Card because I was late with a payment. Wasn't even my fault, I made out the check and mailed it. It just never got there.

Had another incident where when my bank bought up some other banks, a collection company quickly ran a personal account withdrawal through my LLC business account before the computer system was done merging files.
What they did was Illegal and they knew it. My bank caught it before I did and put the money back into my account from their own coffers immediately, and then notified be of the illegal withdrawal so I could handle it.
I had no problem getting the money back, but had to send it straight to the bank to cover their deposit.

We had insurance on our credit cards that if either of us died the insurance would pay the balance.
The loophole is, we can no longer use those credit cards or the survivor would accept the entire debt and negate the insurance.
I cut up the credit cards! Turns out, the insurance company does not pay the debt in full right away, they merely make interest free monthly payments until the principal is paid off. UNLESS a charge appears on the account.

What happened was, my late wife died in November after having ordered Christmas Presents.
It is common practice not to be billed for something until it is shipped.
So there were several charges made in the month of December by my late wife.
Naturally I did not pay the credit card bill since it was insured.
They took me to court and won the judgement. They won because charges were placed on the account after her death. It didn't matter how those charges got on there. I was told I should have cancelled everything she ordered, even though I had no knowledge of any of them until after the fact.
Not much you can do when their loophole clauses negate bought and paid for insurance.

I lost several thousand dollars through another bank/insurance scam. The bank and insurance company worked together to steal one of my houses and an insurance check for the loss of the house. I spent a few thousand more to fight them in court, but the laws are worded such that they can get by legally stealing from homeowners.
They got the house, and the insurance check, then sold the house, and kept ALL for themselves.

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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by yogi » 11 Jul 2018, 11:47

Insurance, in some instances, is a wise thing to own. Health insurance, for example. Now and days the only other insurance I would buy is that on a blackjack table covering my losses in the instance of a natural win by the dealer. All other insurance is the same kind of Vegas bet with about the same odds against me winning. Life insurance is particularly irritating. I'm betting that I will die before I pay up the policy. WTF? Am I crazy?

Business loss or debt insurance might make sense for companies. If they lose enough of their assets, they are out of business. If I lose all my assets, I'm in knee deep trouble but not out of business. I see that credit card insurance in the same light as extended warranties. I'm always paying and very likely will not need to make a claim. For some people it's not easy to do, but I like to keep a reserved cash fund to cover unexpected expenses. I see that as being self-insured without having to pay premiums. The catch, of course, is the need to come up with the cash to set aside and never touch.

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Re: Print Question for Yogi

Post by Kellemora » 12 Jul 2018, 12:54

These companies actually shot themselves in the foot as far as I'm concerned.
I never buy an extended warranty; I use no interest, no annual fee, cash back credit cards and pay them in full each month, despite the no interest; and of the insurance policies I do have, like homeowners and automobile, I have only what I need and no more.
I'm sitting on four small paid up polices my parents took out when I was born. The face amount was based on what it would cost to bury me if I died. When that cost nearly doubled, they took out another policy to cover the higher cost, then another, until they had four of them. They were passed to me when my parents died, after they changed the beneficiaries to the surviving children. Now we are supposed to change the beneficiary to those we select, individually for each of us.
Trying to get this done through the insurance company and all their forms is next to impossible. They keep asking for things which we have already provided, such as our parents death certificates, of which they now have four copies of each one and still want more copies of the same thing.
The forms to fill out are lengthy, for no logical reason, other than to perhaps help them keep the money when I die.
I learned through both a lawyer and a local judge, that rather than put up with their nonsense, I can include in my Will who should be the beneficiaries of these paid up policies and it will be binding on the insurance company.

I got a canned response from HP about my printing problem. They are aware of the issue and are working to resolve landscape printing problems on small paper and cards in the Laser Jet Pro series of printers. I should check each month for firmware downloads and download the latest firmware. I'm already on the current firmware.

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