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.

 

DOWNLOAD THE COMPATIBILITY CHART HERE!

 

Bloody IT support, never there when you need them.

 

 

 

Ricoh SC Codes Cannot Be Cleared.

 

 

There have been a whole host of questions flying about regarding fuser errors on the newest Ricoh machines. Here are the answers.

 

When the latest machines suffer a fuser overheat error and display one of the following error codes, it is not possible to reset the error in SP5810 as it was with previous models:

SC543

SC544

SC554

SC564

SC574

 

In SP5810 there are now two sub-codes (5810-001 and 5810-002, unsurprisingly.) It is mandatory to execute the second of these codes to reset an overheating error as per the list above, however this process fails when you try it.

 

The reason for this is that Ricoh have added fuse to the replacement fusing unit (part number D1444022, wrongly listed in the parts catalogue as D1424022.) This fuse blows when the unit is installed and this in turn unlocks SP5810-002 and the code can be reset. They’d probably tell you that it’s some sort of safety feature, whereas I am a cynical old bugger who thinks that it’s a money-making vehicle.

 

Now, this is all well and good as long as you’re happy to shell out something like £600.00 + VAT every time this happens. It’s possible, of course, that it’s a false reading from a dodgy or damaged thermistor, a part costing roughly £10.00, so would you really be happy spending 60 times this amount? And, if the code comes straight back again, you’re into buying another fuser at £600.00.

 

The answer to this, fortunately, is quite simple. Go around all of the new type machines (any model numbers ending with a 2 or a 5, e.g. MPc5502 or MPc305) and back up the NVRAM data. We are now doing this in the workshop before machines are delivered too.

 

To do this, insert an SD card into the service slot (slot 2) on the machine and run SP5824-001. This writes a file conveniently named with the serial number of the machine to the SD card and should be kept. In the event of there being a fuser error in the future, simply repair the fuser using the spare parts as you would have done on previous models, then upload the good NVRAM data from the SD card using SP5825-001. This overwrites the data on the NVRAM and the machine effectively forgets that it ever had the code.

 

This is, of course, a proactive solution as it will only work if good data has been backed up for that specific machine before a fault occurs. That said, it’s a very quick and painless process, even more so on these new machines as an SD card can be plugged into the slot without having to turn the whole device off first. The latter point applies to firmware updates too, assuming that you can actually find the firmware on Ricoh’s all-new and astonishingly dreadful My-Ricoh portal.

 

If I can be chuffed, I’ll do another post on how to save yourselves a fortune by using one PCU throughout the Ricoh MPc model ranges. Don’t hold your collective breath though, I’m totally lazy.

 

 

Ricoh photocopier manuals, firmware, help and advice.

 

 

 

If anybody needs any Ricoh photocopier manuals, firmware, assistance or the like, please feel free to send me a comment.

 

I’ll look upon your request more favourably if you could also include the nature of the fault or what you are trying to achieve in the unlikely event that I can merely point you in the right direction. I’m nice like that.

 

I feel duty-bound to add that I cannot supply any hardware, including parts or supplies, nor do I ask for any financial gain from this. Once again, I’m nice like that (and my employers would not take kindly to that sort of behaviour.)

 

I added the last part to pretend that I give a flying fuck.

 

 

 

 

 

Ricoh Enhanced Locked Print NX & Card Authentication Package

 

 

Ricoh, in another of their moments of monumental short-sightedness, have launched their new product range that features the all new GW+ architecture. Wow, I hear you say. Gasp, I hear you, errr, gasp. But what does this mean?

 

Well, it’s the new controller, denoted by a simple 2 in the model number (3502, 5502 etc), and it gives such astonishingly useless functionality as the ability to browse the internet at the photocopier. Why, I hear you exclaim, would you need to do that? Well, I reply after much consideration, it’s almost entirely pointless. You can also share the fax option on one machine to several others in the building, a very mission-critical feature 15 years ago when people used fax machines.

 

I’m being rather underwhelmed by all of this because, as far as I can tell, the machines appear to be something of a Windows Vista. You know, a hasty lunge in the right direction but stumbling tragically off the side of a precipice by mistake. For example, why launch a browser which has the oh-so-recognisable Google home page but with the inexplicable addition of Japanese characters all over the shop? The new colour scheme of the panels is quite nice though.

 

Anyway, the point of all of this is that the current versions of ELP-NX and CAP, the embedded software that enable devices to be clustered and print jobs to be stored and then released using a login, pin number or swipe card, do not work on these machines. There is, however, a new version of the software due out, inventively dubbed “v2” (cue fanfare,) and this should be available in the next week or so. I’ll believe it when I see it. Presumably the current installation process will be the same; I only presume this because it’s needlessly complicated, therefore Ricoh wouldn’t even begin to think about changing it.

 

All of this leads me to wonder whether v2 (pause for fanfare) will be compatible with the previous model ranges (I assume not) and whether it will be possible to cluster machines running different versions. If not, I’m right up shit creek.

 

 

 

 

Useful Ricoh Links

Ricoh Family Cross-Reference Table

Ricoh MP8000 Background Shading Around Bold Text

 

 

A couple of weeks ago (yes, I have been very lazy when it comes to updating this here blog type thing) I had a problem with dark text on originals coming out with considerable shading around any areas of bold fonts on the page, for example a company logo at the top.

 

Having changed the developer and serviced the PCU, both of which were due anyway, I was advised that toner on the laser shield glass could be causing this. As dubious as I was, having only seen this problem present with voids on the prints, I took the glass out and cleaned it. This solved the problem and, credit where credit’s due, Ricoh got this one right.

 

 

Ricoh SPc242sf Ops Panel Freeze Or Not Booting

 

 

Today I had a brand new machine freezing when it was turned on. Either the machine came ready and then all of the buttons became unresponsive or the machine continually displayed “Please Wait” on the display.

 

This turned out to be a duplicate IP address, given to me by the customer’s IT department, which was inactive when I installed the printer yesterday but became active at some point today.

 

Ricoh, in their infinite wisdom, do not deem it necessary to have a message on the display of these machines as they do on the larger models, possibly because it’s a rebadged Brother or something equally wafty.

 

 

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.

Full Of Festive Cheer

 

 

What a day! Here, using bullet points and other equally dull things and beginning at the point when the shit hit the proverbial fan, is how today went.

 

  • 11.21 – call helpdesk to inform them that I am nose-deep in a lake of shit and they will have to reallocate my work to the other engineers.
  • 11.22 – call line manager to appraise of the situation. He’ll ring me back.
  • 11.30 – get call back from line manager and discuss the fault.
  • 12.19 – place initial call with Ricoh for assistance, explaining the nature of the fault in nauseating detail. This is passed to Level 2 Support as a tricky one.
  • 13.27 – call helpdesk to update.
  • 13.58 – get call back from Ricoh and explain the nature of fault in nauseating detail for a second time. I am advised to ring back when the machine’s working. If it were working, why would I ring back? Fucking retard.
  • 14.41 – get another call back from Ricoh advising that “it’s probably a sensor” or something equally useless. Ignore this as bollocks as all sensors have been checked already.
  • 14.51 – line manager calls to check on progress and is informed that I am “doing very badly.” I am cheerily advised to carry on.
  • 15.33 – call helpdesk to update.
  • 16.33 – line manager calls to check on progress, by which time reinforcements have arrived in the form of Big Geoff. I am told to carry on.
  • 16.56 – call Ricoh back and inform them that the fault is now on both machines having swapped parts between them. They advise that a faulty motor has probably blown a board and both machines will need these parts.
  • 17.25 – call line manager. No reply.
  • 17.26 – receive call back from line manager and inform him of our findings and Ricoh’s advice. We have arguments concerning various topics, including why I had been there all day, why we had blown up 2 photocopiers, why he hadn’t shown his face earlier in the day, why he hadn’t mentioned bailing out sooner and so forth. Give it up as a waste of time.
  • 17.40 – forget to turn off the A19 at Killingworth and get butt-fucked by the traffic jam for Moor Farm roundabout.
  • 17.55 – go to McDonalds for coffee and the Co-Op for cigarettes. Contemplate dowsing myself in (company expensed) petrol and setting myself alight whilst leaving a note saying simply, “Dear twunt, get fucked.”

 

So, another fucked up day in the glamorous world of photocopiers. What pisses me off more than anything else is the veiled insinuation that I have done something wrong or, and I suppose this is moderately better and slightly more accurate too, I haven’t done something which would have been right. Although I say it myself, I am exceptionally good at my job. Ok, my customer service skills could maybe do with a little honing and I do get exasperated by the helpdesk staff, not to mention my boss, but there are things which I can do which nobody else in the company can and this seems to pass everybody by as a given.

 

Which reminds me, I haven’t had an email which I requested to be sent to remind me to do something which nobody else can do, without which I’d most likely forget due to the shit tip of a day I’ve had. What’s worse, it’s something which I should have been asked for prior to today but wasn’t, necessitating a further visit to a customer’s site, and now they STILL haven’t asked me. Hang on, I’ll just send a scathing email to my boss…

 

Right, I almost feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest, this is so cathartic. Not as satisfying as running amok with an HK MP5K through the corridors of our building, but somewhere legally close.

 

Speaking of my customer service skills, or a lack of, I pissed Tanya off last night on Facebook to such an extent that she stopped speaking to me. Being the grown-up chap that I am, I publicly apologised and when this got no reaction I asked whether I was forgiven. When she failed to answer that I really manned-up – I deleted the entire post and unfriended her sorry ass. She’ll be sorry next time she calls me out to her office, I’m going to pull her hair and call her stinky-pants. It’s a shame though, I like Tanya, I’d quite like to do bad things to her.

 

Well, I’m off to catch up on House and a bit of old South Park. I might have a poo too.

 

 

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