Monday, September 26, 2011

clx-3175 reset chip / toner

The reset chip I got is the "6 pin connector" version that can easily be found on eBay from a UK seller. I believe (but am not sure) that it is different from a "2nd version" reset chip that is also available on eBay.

Here are the observations that I thought were noteworthy:

1) Opening the printer is pretty tricky; there's a bit of a trick to removing the side panel, I think. I'm not sure exactly what the trick is, but it seemed to work best by starting and the bottom and then pushing it inwards and tilting it in some certain direction. I never did figure-out exactly what specific motion removes the panel, but it does eventually come off.

2) The de-soldering required is quite tricky. I removed the factory-installed EEPROM by simply cutting the legs of the chip; if you can actually desolder it, then you are doing pretty good.

3) After soldering-in the 6pin connector, I used an ohmmeter to check for any unintented shorts. In theory this could damage the printer board, but I don't think it did anything bad. The soldering-in is a bit tight, but you don't need to be an expert (I'm not) or have fancy tools beyond solder and a properly tinned soldering iron.

4) The instructions tell you that a metal strip must be placed onto the print cartridges. The instructions indicate that the trip can be placed onto any one of the cartridges. I found this to be untrue. It worked when I placed it on the black cartridge, but not on the cyan cartridge.

5) You are removing an EEPROM (memory chip) from the printer, so some side effects -- namely forgotten printer settings -- are to be expected. Below, I list what I consider to be the most signifcant side effects; some of them were unanticipated:

a) The printer display panel will initially be gibberish. I wasn't able to set the language to English using the Samsung instructions. However, using the printer's web interface (which mercifully was still English), I was able to re-set the printer's display to English. This took a while to figure-out. Note that the computer's Samsung "Smart Panel" remained in English. (Note that I have the "n" - network version of the printer).

b) The printer's MAC address changed (yes, the MAC address, not just the IP address). This might be a problem for you if you have two clx-3175 printers connected to the same network...

c) The printer menus generally do not work anymore. For example, pressing the "Menu" button should allow me to select between the Scan Menu and the Copy Menu, but I can usually only select the Copy Menu. The "Scan To" menu usually does not work, and the few times I can get it to scan to something, I have no idea where the scan goes since the menu doesn't show the destination anymore. For me, this is mostly harmless since I typically print or scan from a computer. The "photocopy colour" and "photocopy black/white" buttons still work, which is all I need.

[Update - I just figured-out where the scans where going when my wife walked in and asked why strange pictures were being opened on her computer's screen! Haha.]

d) Of course, the major side effect is that the supplies status all get reset to 100%. After being reset, the toner supply is slowly decreasing as I print pages (despite plugging/unplugging the power supply); I'm not sure if it will hit 0% or what will happen if it does. I'm hoping that the mod chip automatically resets its toner counters; it's possible that the mod chip needs to be manually connected/disconnected in order to reset it. I guess I'll find out when I get there...

Good luck if you decide to install this chip onto your clx-3175. For myself, the ability to use generic toner easily justifies the cost of the lost features listed above.