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What Do You Mean It's Not In The Service Manual?

15 May, 2002 By: Steve Geishirt imageSource

What Do You Mean It's Not In The Service Manual?

it or not my fellow technicians, sometimes our trusty and reliable Service
omit important information. Of course, you never discover this fact
until you are at the customer’s location, and only after you have read the
Manual from cover to cover. Sometimes, all you need to do is reset the
machine’s maintenance count, but what do you do when the instructions in the Service
do not work? It is because of situations like this, that I have
chosen to devote an article to inform you what your Lexmark Service Manuals
are missing.


S Series

First, the procedure to lock
and unlock the control panel on the Optra S series is not in the Service
. Usually, technicians do not discover this fact until they are in the
process of replacing a preventative maintenance kit, and are unable to access
the menus to clear out the maintenance count. Figure 1 is the display panel for
all Optra S series. To unlock, or disable the machine’s menus, hold “Go”
and “Stop” while powering on the machine. Release those keys after
“Performing Self Test” is displayed. After the machine is “Ready” to
print, simply press the “Menu” key, then you will see “Menus Disabled,”
the control panel is now unlocked.


If this procedure is so easy,
then why isn’t it in the Service Manual? Good question. However,
the instructions are listed on page 121 of the User’s Guide (which is
collecting dust along with the computer and fax machines’ User Guides).
There is yet another “hidden menu” on the Optra S series. If the “Stop”
and the “Select” keys are pressed while the machine is powered on, it
activates a “Demo” mode. The display reads, “Print this Demo: Demo
Page,” and pressing the “Select” or “Go” key initializes this command
and prints one Demo Page (a really nice picture too).


Remember- unless you hold the
“Stop” and “Select” keys while powering on the printer to deactivate
this feature, the machine will keep repeating this Demo page command.


The T Series

The menus for the Optra T
series, which includes the T610, T612, T614, T616, are similar to the Optra S in
many ways, except it contains a diagnostic menu not found on the Optra S
machines. This menu is the “Configuration Menu;” it contains important
diagnostic tools and other key printer functions. The first two options located
in this menu are the “Maintenance Count Value” and “Reset Maintenance
Count”. Like the Optra S series, the maintenance interval is 250,000 pages and
prompts the user to install a preventative maintenance kit by displaying “80
Scheduled Maintenance.” If you recall- the maintenance page-count on the Optra
S 2420/2450/2455 or 3455 machines is reset through the diagnostic mode. The
Optra T’s also have a diagnostic mode where technicians can perform various
diagnostic tests for troubleshooting purposes. However, unlike the Optra S, the
maintenance page-count must be reset through the “Configuration
Menu.” This is achieved by holding down “Select” and “Return” while
powering on until the machine displays “Performing Self Test.” See figure 2
for display buttons. The display will then show “Config. Menu”, and to reset
the message press the right arrow key once, then the “Select” key twice.
This procedure will turn off the message and reset the maintenance count back to
zero- you’re done.


You will also discover another
menu within the “Config. Menu” called “Panel Menus.” If the menus have
been enabled (locked out), you can only disable (unlock) the menus by accessing
“Panel Menus” through the “Config. Menu” then selecting either
“enable” or “disable.” Like the Optra S series, the Optra T series,
omits these procedures. As my colleagues have said to me more than once, “What
do you mean it’s not in the Service Manual?”


Good To Know

There are a couple of other
options in the Configuration Menu worth mentioning aside from the Maintenance
Menu and the Panel Menu.


The first option is,
“PPDS Emulation,” which is not cited in either the S or T Manual. PPDS
stands for “Proprietary Printer Data Stream” and is a language much like
postscript. It contains a series of internal fonts, but unlike postscript, the
option must be activated through the “Configuration Menu.” Although this
data stream is slowly vanishing, there are still some applications written in
PPDS. Even if PPDS is slowly fading, “shouldn’t it be in the Service


The second is,
“Print Quality Test Pages.” Both Manuals provide a brief explanation of
these pages, but do not accentuate their value to the service technician. The
first page in the set of three is a diagnostic page (See figure 3). The last
item in the right hand column is the “Error log.” Both the Optra S & T
allow the technician to view and reset the error log through the diagnostic
mode, but in some situations the technician needs to print the information,
which can be down here. The next two pages are print quality test pages; they
can be an enormous help when faced with image quality issues (See figures 4
& 5).


Often, image problems are not
as apparent with plain text as they are with gray scale or graphics. This is an
excellent troubleshooting tool (as long as the Service Manual tells you
where to find the information). Again, this is located in the “Configuration
Menu” on the T series, but is executed differently on the S series, by holding
down “Select” and “Return” while powering on the machine until
“Performing Self Test” is displayed. The printer proceeds with its normal
POR cycle, and then it prints the test pages. Although the Service Manual does
not include this information, Lexmark does provide information about these
options in the “Administrator’s Guide,” located at www.lexmark.com.



In May 2001, Lexmark introduced
the T520, T522, T620, and T622. These models resemble the Optra S and T series
in many aspects except for a couple of notable items. The T620 and T622 are
almost identical to the Optra T series except that the Engine and Logic control
are housed on one board called the System Board Assembly. The new models also
include the “Configuration Menu,” their Service Manuals do discuss it
in great detail. However, many technicians I’ve spoken with are just getting
used to the Optra T, and the Service Manual. So hopefully, you will not
find yourself in a situation that leaves you wondering…“I wish that was in
the Service Manual!”


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