Question about Dymo LabelWriter 400 Thermal Printer

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I have missing strips when printing. Can this be fixed?

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If you mean that there is a consistant blank area running though the image down the length of the label, then it could be a couple of things.

If it's just in one place there may be something stuck on the printhead (eg. if you had a label jam and it broke up on removal there may still be a bit lodged inside).

Or it could just be that the print head is dirty and needs cleaning.

Assuming you didn't have a messy label jam just before the problem started the most obvious next step is to clean the print heads.

The more recent printers come with a cleaning card in the box, but if you lost it or never had one you can buy them here:

Dymo Labels (UK)

(right at the bottom of the page)

If that doesn't work you could call dymo tech support on 020 7341 55 29 (uk) to see if they can suggest anything. If it's still under warranty Dymo will replace it if the tech support confirm it's a fault.

Posted on Oct 09, 2009

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Eventually all inkjet printers have this problem. When the printer is doing its thing (printing) there is a small amount of vaporised ink floating around the inside of the unit. This vapor collects on everything inside of the printing chamber, including the sensor strip the printer uses for tracking the print heads location. Luckily it's an easy fix, just clean the sensor strip.
To do this, get yourself some rubber gloves (unless you don't mind having Technicolor hands that is) and some lint free paper towels. Put the gloves on, then wet half a sheet of paper towel so its wet, but NOT dripping wet. open the printer and allow the ink heads to travel to middle. When they reach the middle, unplug the machine so the head stays unlocked and out of home position (where the print head goes when not printing). With the printer unplugged and the print head unlocked, locate the thin semi transparent strip running from one side of the printer to the other, it sorta floats there in mid air as its supported on either side by small metal tabs. Starting at the print head home position , gently, clean this strip with the wet paper towel, making sure not to apply too much pressure as you can pull the strip off the hanger tabs or erase the small lines printed onto on the strip. Once the home position section of the strip is cleaned, dry it off and slide the print head into it's home position and clean and dry the rest of the strip. When done, plug in and power up the unit, then do a test print to ensure the problem is fixed.
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P02 (Carriage error)
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  2. Clean and check the print head encoder strip cable (timing **** film or encoder strip is a white line on the back of the box set of ink lines may be missing or mess up the ink.
visit this link for more info

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Upon power up, does the machine move the carriage assembly from one side to the other?

Generally, any message like that means the belt has a few teeth missing or is worn. The belt drives the carriage assembly to and fro. If the machine detects a slow down or stop, it will have you check the printhead path for obstructions. If there aren't any, then 9 times out of 10 it is a worn belt. Check for little pieces of black rubber under the belt and encoder strip.

I have also seen 2 other fixes: a dirty encoder strip (the plastic strip with little hash marks on it) and a faulty cutter. But most of the time it is the belt.

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If you lay the print on the exit tray face up and open the cover. Look on the encoder strip, the clear plastic strip behind the carriage, you should see an ink or grease spot right above where the bad spot on the page is. Wipe the encoder strip with Q-tip or wiper with alcohol. Prints should look better.

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Sounds like your encoder strip is out of alignment. The encoder strip is a thin clear plastic strip that runs along the back side of the print head. It feeds information to the print head during the print process. If it it out of alignment or is missing, the printer will make a violent clunking noise during startup and will fail its self test. If it is out of alignment and still mounted, push back on it with your thumbs, then push down gently. Finally, pull it toward you with your index fingers and up into the groove behind the print heads. If the encoder strip is unmounted or totally removed from the printer, check it for damage. If there is so much as a bend or kink in it, it will have to be replaced. New strips can be purchased from HP for around $60. You will have to determine whether it is cost effective to replace the strip or replace the printer. Now if it is undamaged, you can remount it. There is a hook on each side of the print track where the strip hooks into. Be careful because the strip will not hook in easily because once you get one side hooked in, it is difficult to keep it hooked in while you connect the other side. Once you get both sides hooked in, align it as stated above. Hope this helps. Good luck.

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