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541: M toner sensor error - this is the message I'm getting. I've replace the toner that does not work. How do I fix the toner sensor?

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As the toner cartridge sits in the drum unit, the toner sensor outputs signal to drum unit which in turn conveys it to the printer via electrical contacts.
Try cleaning the contacts that are located on both sides of the corresponding drum unit, and also the contacts protruding from the sides of the drum socket inside the printer. Also reseat the toner in the drum.
If this doesn't solve the problem, try swapping two drum units - if the error now moves to the other color, than there's something wrong with the toner cartridge or the drum, and you have to find out if it's a contact problem between the toner and the drum, or perhaps the toner cartridge is defective - happened to me once.
If the error doesn't move to the other color, it means that something's wrong with the printer contacts - either they are dirty or dead, because of static electricity or something, and the printer needs servicing.

Posted on Oct 27, 2009

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"Try cleaning the contacts that are located on both sides of the corresponding drum unit"


By all means, these contacts should be periodically cleaned (toner dust can coat them because they are charged), but these are for the drum unit. The toner sensor is actually magnetic... there's a small rare-earth magnet on a rocker switch under the hood that comes in contact with a similar (polar aligned) magnet on a rod in the toner cartridge. The rocker blocks an opto-electrical switch on the "Sensor Panel" PCB.


Between the LED rasterizers (four of them, one for each of CMY & K), there are rockers with a small but powerful magnet. When the lid is closed, the magnet will touch the top of the toner cartridge, which in turn, has a magnet on a rod that goes up and down with the rollers when the toner is churned in the cartridge. If the toner magnet is not in the position it is supposed to be (you can check it's position with a hand held magnet), the sensor will falsely interpret that no cartridge is present. You may need to replace the toner cartridge, or if you have more time than money, empty the toner cartridge into a clean vessel, disassemble the cartridge, fix the magnet-on-a-wire assembly, reassemble the cartridge, and replace the toner from the holding vessel. Or, just buy a new cartridge.


On the other hand, I've noticed the rocker switches get sticky in lower temperatures (I keep my 2135 in the garage). Maybe a shot of WD40 on the rocker would help, but to do that, you'll need to remove the lid. It's not too hard, there's only about 9 screws, after removing the back panel (another 4 or 5 screws), After a few more screws around the toner sensor panel (a PCB), you disconnect some quick-disconnect switches, and then you can see the rockers (the actual switches are opto-electrical components on the PCB, you might clean them with alcohol, but they are discrete packages that can't be repaired).


This is a major flaw in the Xerox 2135 (probably persists in the 7300 series as well) and the OKI 9200/9300 series upon which the 2135 is based. There's way too much that can go wrong, but the killer is that nothing except the sensor is failing. Very frustrating!

Posted on Nov 18, 2011

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