Question about Kodak Professional 8500 Thermal Printer

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Printer will not use cyan

Printer will make two passes using yellow and magenta and will not complete the print with cyan (or blue). After two passes, I get error (red) indicator and media light goes off. Tried printing images and test pages and they're both doing the same thing. Need help, I've wasted 8-9 papers. Thx. Prints all colors but yellow! The pass completes and ejects the print but misses the yellow!

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  • Anonymous Dec 19, 2007

    I am having the same problem and when I open the printer the it has advanced past the cyan and unto the next magenta sheet. I have reloaded the driver and cleaned the sensor and LED and still have the same problem.

  • greenpoint Dec 22, 2007

    I just got this printer and I have the same problem. I did read that cleaning the flat grey rolls which load the paper fix the problem. I don't know why that going to fix it because the problem is after the paper is loaded. Anyway I cleaned all the rolls... still the same.

  • Anonymous Dec 06, 2008

    • same problems- kodak 8500 printer makes twice yellow and magenta passes but skip cyan. changed paper, ribbons... many times but still same issue

  • Anonymous Jan 05, 2009

    does not complete the printing process
    does the first two to three colors and them stop
    Can you please help

  • Anita Nelson
    Anita Nelson Mar 14, 2013

    Same problem. Replaced cartridges, removed and cleaned printheads, recalibrated, still skipping cyan. Guess i have to buy a new printer tomorrow. You bet it won't be a Kodak.



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Bought my 8500 on ebay for £26.. Only to find it was potentially scrap. Printed two colours and missed the blue.. This fix worked for me with 1/4 turn..prints fine now and has the extra hole for any further adjustments. Thanks to everyone for the help and to fixYa.

Posted on Mar 05, 2009

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Uf! Thank you Guest. Works fine. I think was the first step ( printing the test ) but I am not sure because meanwhile I try to get the manual to make the test I did the step 2 and 3 ( clean the censor and LED ). I am really disappointed with Kodak and his cheap web site for technical support. I spend hours just trying to get the manual to make the test. I can not believe if you click in a file for mac you get an unreadable file for mac that you are lucky if can open it with an old mac on OS 9. Another problem with the info in this page that make you lost time is if you are working with OSx 10.4 and up you will not be able to find the right drivers. Just by chance I clicked the last option  ( the bottom one )  Download Mac Software from TriPrism  Whit this program you will have the right firmware avoiding try to open files that just work with old systems. The way to make the test on your printer is the following:
-1) Press the POWER button while holding the ONLINE button.
2) Press the PRINT button.
The firmware version number will be shown as the Printer Software Version.

Posted on Dec 24, 2007


I posted as Guest on the 19 Dec 2007 and I got my problem fixed after talking with Kodak and a bit of troubleshooting on my own. Here are the steps I went through:

1. Disconnect the printer from the computer and print a test page following the steps in the Kodak manual which you can download from Kodak. If the printer prints a good test page then reload the printer drivers on the computer. If the printer doesn’t print a good test page then download the Kodak firmware updater and check to see if you have the latest firmware and that the checksum from the printer is correct. If it the checksum on the printer doesn’t match then reload the firmware and try the test page again, if the checksum does match then move onto step two. NOTE: Kodak rep (unofficially) confirmed that the 8500 has two major problems, the grey rollers becoming dirty and fail to transport the paper, and the ribbon three color sensor system stops working which causes only one or two of the colors to print which is the problem we are having.

2. Open the top door (which holds the print head) and locate the sensor to the right of the sticker which says “Phone and provide this K number” this would also be (with the door open) top and aft of the print head. The sensor is about 1/8 inch round and has four very small black dots in it arranged in a square pattern. This is the ribbon sensor; clean it with a cotton swab moistened in alcohol.

3. Remove the ribbon tray and set it aside and look at the forward receiver that the front part of the ribbon tray would rest in. Trace a descending line with your eye from the ribbon sensor to the forward receiver and located along the rear edge of the receiver you will find a clear LED which is the light transmitter; clean it with a cotton swab moistened in alcohol. Reassemble the printer and print a test page, if it prints okay then great if not then onto step four. NOTE: From this point on it gets involved so if you’re not comfortable taking things apart you might want to find a friend who can help you. Oh yah, legal note, I’m also not responsible if you mess up the printer following these instructions.

4. Open the top door again and locate the three screws on the metal plate at the very top (with the door open) and remove them. This will allow the plastic cover piece to be seperated from the print head assemble and allow the head to be closed while the plastic is open. (NOTE: I found the use of a magnetic probe and tweezers helpful in making sure I didn’t drop any screws.) We are going to try to determine if the sensor or the LED is bad by boosting the light to the sensor. With the print head assemble closed and the plastic cover up shine a flashlight along the front edge of the print head assemble where the sensor is located, try to shine the light at a angle as if you trying to see the sensor. Now while doing this print a test page. If the test page is good then we have determined that the LED is not putting out enough light and you can go to step five, if bad then I suspect the sensor is bad. Since my problem was the former I can only suggest you try to get another printer off of EBay and swap out the sensor, don’t bother with Kodak they do not have any replacement parts as I already tried ordering the LED and the sensor.

5. The good news is that with a simple adjustment you can probable fix your printer the bad news is getting to the adjustment point is going to require removing all the plastic covers from the printer. Remember you don’t want to drop any screws, I did and spent a good two hours disassembling far more that I wanted too to recover the lost screw. If you do drop something into the printer you will soon begin to appreciate why you paid $600 to $1000 for this printer as it is a mass of layer upon layer of mechanical pieces. This is also a good time to clean as many of those grey rollers with alcohol as you want to get to, since I dropped a screw into the bowels of this thing I was able to get to all five bars by the time I was done (yah, there some in there you can’t even see).

6. Remove the plastic print assemble cover by lifting it out of its plastic pin holders. Then start with the top light grey cover (6 screws), then the back panel (4 screws), then front panel (2 screws), and finally the sides (2 screws each) being careful to note that the side panels have tabs underneath the bottom of the printer. Then with the front of the printer facing you locate the lower vertical metal plate (below where the paper tray is inserted) which should be held on by a remaining four screws. Remove this plate and behind it you should find a circuit board in a metal box.

7. In this box is several cutouts that the metal plate was covering, locate the left most light-blue potentiometer in one of these cutouts (the potentiometer is a little round plastic thing that looks like it will take the tip of a Philips (+) screw driver to turn it). Turn the potentiometer a quarter turn counterclockwise. You can now skip to step eight, or for those of you who are technically inclined you can compare your findings to mine. There is a small three pin Molex connector to the left of the potentiometer (about one inch) with nothing connected to it (I think it is used during manufacture’s calibration as it is connected to the sensor’s system LED) the pins are from left to right; pin 3 Ground, pin 2 LED grey wire, pin 1 LED blue wire. I hooked a voltmeter across pins 2 (+) and pins 1 (-) and with power on and NOT printing I took an initial reading of +5.16 V dc and after adjustment it read +5.12 V dc. Since my meter is probable not calibrated the thing to note is that it was a difference of 0.04 volts, this seemed to be enough to get mine working again.

8. Now place the light grey plastic top cover on the printer, close the print head assemble and set its plastic cover on top of it. Do not attach anything with screws yet. Power up the printer (and be careful as I am sure there are exposed 120 volt areas that you don’t want to touch) and print a test page, if the page comes out good then the printer is fixed, if not then turn off the printer, unplug it and go back and adjust the potentiometer an additional quarter turn and try again. In my case the first adjustment worked and I can’t promise that further adjustments will not damage the printer, so continue to adjust at your own risk.

9. If you have fixed it then reassemble the printer and pat yourself on the back for not having to throw the thing away. P.S. If at anytime you let the magic smoke out of the printer you will probable need to buy a new one, so make sure you turn off and unplug the printer before adjusting the potentiometer.

Why this fix might work is that as these printers get old (mine was made in 2002) the LED light output degrades and hasn’t got enough power to activate the sensor through the cyan film which is the darkest color, by adjusting the potentiometer you are changing either the output of the LED or the sensitivity of the sensor.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Dec 24, 2007

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Well I just bought a brand new Kodak 8500 and purchased a few boxes of the 25 1400 print kits after getting it I thought it would be as easy as the Kodak Easyshare 4x6 printers BUT thought different after trying my first box of 25. I got 10 good prints out of 25 due to paper jams after 2 passes. I did the alcohol thing on the LED and sensor and that worked good for 1 full box of 25.
I then loaded a box of 50 8500 ribbon and paper same problem more paper jams after 2 passes wasting more $$$.
I did the whole routine as stated above and after taking the whole darn thing apart I did 1 more mod. I turned the potentiomter 1/2 of a turn but then drilled a small 1/2 hole in the forward plate where that pot is and reamed it out to over 3/4 on and inch thus if you need to make further adjustments you do not have to take the whole thing apart again, just the lower front cover. Because when the front cover is removed with the 5 screws and not 4 the whole darn circuit board falls out and its hard to get the plastic protective strips covering the top and bottom to align back up to slide it back in place. SO with the hole drilled there you do not have to bother with that ever again. After doing the les than 1/4 of a turn I still had a problem and yes I did put it all back together,
BUT at this point I removed the lower front cover and had access
to the pot again and moved it another 1/4 of an inch clockwise installed the 2 screws tried again and I ran a whole box of 50 without a problem.
I don't know if I'll have anymore problems but If I do I'll post it.

Posted on Jun 09, 2008

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