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Long 20 inch plastic was taken out of a HP 1220 C Printer.

Long 20 inch plastic was taken out of a HP 1220 C Printer.

What does this plastic strip connect to inside the computer?

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This plastic strip is probably the so called "encoder strip", it has many fine black lines that the carriage sensor counts to find out where the carriage is located on the paper.

This encoder strip is attached directly to the printer's frame on the right, and to a leaf spring on the left side. It also runs through a slot on the back side of the carriage.

It can be treaded back and reattached if you're nimble-fingered, but in many cases it's broken and needs to be replaced. As far as I remember HP doesn't sell these parts separately (correct me if I'm wrong!) so if it's broken the printer most probably has to be turned in for service.

But if the encoder strip is intact, there's no right or left side - or up/down - of it, so it can be attached any way you want - as long as you get it back properly. Usually it's best to first hook it up on the leaf spring, then attach it on to the small hook on the right side. Being able to slide the carriage back and forth eases the operation. You can get it back without disassembling the printer; it's fiddly but it's possible.

Good luck! :)


Posted on Mar 10, 2009

  • kurtz54 Sep 03, 2010

    The encoder strips can be bought separately @



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