Question about Brother MFC-290C Printer

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Printer is showing cannot detect black ink reinstall slowly

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Unplug cartriage and then try again

Posted on Oct 05, 2009

  • Albert Grupe
    Albert Grupe Jan 21, 2014

    no. unplugged several times and slowly reinstalled but still same problem


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Need to have someone take a look at it. can you do home service in Quezon City?

Posted on Jan 21, 2014


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SOURCE: My Brother MFC-290C printer is displaying

With the full ink installed you might try plugging in power while you hold the stop key, sometimes the error is just locked and not cleared until you power up this way.

Posted on Oct 13, 2009

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Cannot detect black ink reinstall slowly

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Would like to inquire if you do home service in Quezon City

Pull out all cartridges and take a flash light, look inside the printer, in the upper-back part you'll see black pins, check if are they clean and embedded, if black pin in even a bit loose, you'r need to solder a new pin on the PCB

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Cartridge in but printer saids cannot detect reinstall slowly

I've just resolved this problem on one of these printers. There could be more than one cause - but this is worth checking. The cartridges for this machine are just ink reservoirs - there are no electrical connections to the cartridge. This is written based on my experience with the black cartridge, the sensors are repeated for each of the other cartridges so my notes should apply to all. This particular printer had been using non-Brother ink for a while - this may or may not be the cause of the problem.

If you remove the black cartridge and look into the area where it came from you can see 2 black plastic arms extending horizontally out of the middle of the slot at the back. One of these contains a infra red transmitter, the other an infra red receiver. The printer knows if there is something blocking the beam between these 2 arms or not.

The cartridge has a plastic bar on it which will break the beam as it is inserted. When the cartridge is fully inserted the beam looks through a transparent window in the cartridge, so the beam is broken if there is ink. If the cartridge is empty then the beam is not broken.

The plastic bar which initially breaks the beam is quite small. If you insert the cartridge too fast then the beam will be broken for a very short period of time - the printer may not have time to detect this.

There is also another pair of arms with infra red transmitter/receiver above the back of the cartridge which detects when it is inserted. As the printer knew the cartridge was fitted (it would otherwise display a "no cartridge fitted" alert) I knew this sensor was ok.

In my situation the black ink had gummed up one side of the black arms which I originally described. This meant that the beam was always broken. The printer cannot understand this situation as it expects the beam to be intact before the cartridge is installed, then broken as the black plastic bar passes through it, then intact once the bar has passed, then broken by the full ink cartridge. If this sequence is not seen then the printer displays an error.

To fix this - try cleaning the inside face of the arms. The transmitter/receiver are in a slightly indented area about 2mm square. I suggest IPA (Isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol) on the end of a cotton bud.

In my case the ink was too heavily gummed, so I dismantled the printer, removed the circuit board behind the cartridges containing the sensors for the 4 cartridges and continued cleaning using a pin to carefully scratch the dried ink off. Take care not to scratch through the plastic window over the transmitter/receiver. Note, the control panel and the entire upper section of the printer needs to be removed in order to reach the back of the cartridge bay.

Please take proper precautions if you need to dismantle the printer. It contains delicate mechanical and electronic parts, and obviously has mains power entering. I take no responsibility for your safety or the continued operation of the printer. If in doubt, take to someone who can repair it and provide this information to help with their troubleshooting.

Once the printer was reassembled, I powered it up and slowly inserted the black cartridge, at which point it went through the usual process of asking if it had been changed, before showing the 4 inks as being full.

Good luck!

Darren - ex-electronics repair engineer

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My Brother MFC-290C printer is displaying "cannot detect black ink" on the screen. I tried to re-install slowly and it is still not detecting the ink.

With the full ink installed you might try plugging in power while you hold the stop key, sometimes the error is just locked and not cleared until you power up this way.

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