Ricoh Colour PCUs – The Compatibility Conundrum



For quite some time now the cost-per-copy charges demanded by customers have been reducing whilst costs such as cars, fuel, toners and parts have been rising. With this in mind people have been getting inventive, however Ricoh have been running to catch up with the monkeys on the ground. I am that monkey (or one of them, at least.)


Ever since the launch of the MPc type machines, the MPc4500 and the like, it has been well documented that the black PCU (B2232042) can be used for the three colours by shaving off the corner of the connector on the rear of the new unit. This is 10 second job yielding a cost-saving of roughly £150.00 per drum.


“Nuts to this!” exclaimed Ricoh in very loud and Japanese voices. “We’ll put a little metal pin into the corner of the connector in exactly the place where they need to shave it off.” So the enterprising monkeys cut the pin out and shaved it anyway or filed it down, including the pin itself.


Ricoh then launched the second generation of machines, for example the MPc4000. This came with a different PCU (D0292256,) so different in fact that merely shaving the connector did not work. Swapping 2 wires around did though, so that pissed them off even more. The monkeys rejoiced (or at least the company that they work for did.)


Next came the MPc4501 type machines and Ricoh had a dastardly plan in mind. This time they added a bracket and pin to the very frame of the machine so no amount of shaving of connectors or swapping of wires would allow the black PCU (D0892200) to be used in place of the colours. Off to B&Q strutted the miracle-working monkey and invested £16.99 inc VAT of the company’s money on a set of very strong snips. The company were not pleased at this huge financial outlay at first, however the monkey then proved that the bracket and pin could be cut from the machine along the line of the guide rail and the black PCU from the previous model (D0292256) could be used. Oh how the company briefly mentioned how good these monkeys were at their job, once, before forgetting who had come up with this money-saving bonanza and taking the rest of the year off on the proceeds.


A dark cloud loomed on the horizon though. Ricoh were to launch another brand new model range, the range to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Or something. The gin’s kicking in now. Not only was this to be an entirely new model with different almost everything, they had also updated the original drum unit (B2232042) to a new and improved unit (B2242042,) although the latter did look suspiciously identical to the second generation unit (D0292256.) Breath was held, nerves jangled, somebody soiled themselves in anticipation. But they had done it! Ricoh had scuppered everyone with their innovation and deviousnesslyism by designing an entirely different PCU (D1442200.) The monkeys were not done yet though (except for Davy Jones) and they set about salvaging something from the shattered remains of their cost-saving exercise. And this is where we find ourselves now. It’s almost Star Wars all over again, the Galactic Empire intent on controlling the Rebel Alliance whilst those devoted to freedom somehow find a way and become male, reproducing and finally overrunning the park whilst the limitations set in the program fail to count a sufficient number of animals and the fractals continue with their recursion. Oh dear.


Right, so where are we at? Yes, ok. I’ve codged together and added a compatibility chart for your delectation, delight and general thriftiness. Hopefully this should remove any doubt from the proceedings, however feel free to ask if you’re not sure!


I’d better go and get some more gin. I love Tanqueray me.


Note: Due to some sort of odd error I am unable to upload the picture directly. I am therefore adding this link to the original spreadsheet as designed by a drunk, colour-blind 6 year-old.




Bloody IT support, never there when you need them.




Ricoh MPc Range – Cheating Out Of Toner



Right, you have a machine which insists that it is out of toner when it isn’t. I’ve had this twice of late and here’s how I got around it.

  1. Enter SP Mode
  2. Go to SP 3045 – Toner End Detection Set
  3. Turn this off (or 1)
  4. Turn the machine off and back on again. Check the toner levels in System Status – they should now all show as being full.
  5. Go back into SP3045 and turn Toner End Detection back on again.
  6. Turn the machine off and back on again. Check the toner levels in System Status again – they should all have reverted to their previous levels with the exception of the colour which was initially showing as being empty.
This worked for me twice, despite Ricoh’s product specialist seeming very bemused.
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