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Canon Print Head Alignment Problem

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I've got a Canon MP450 that I use occasionally with a laptop running a customized

version of 98SE. If I don't use this MFP for ten days or longer, I print a few test

sheets that have fonts in many different colors. It's the only way to keep the

cartridges from drying out and becoming useless.

The sheets come out completely clean. The problem is the fonts are frequently

fractured or misaligned. It's not consistent. If you print a few paragraphs, not all

the fonts come out misaligned. A few lines look good, followed by several lines

where the fonts are slightly slanted or fractured.

I've tried the "Auto Head Align" from the maintenance screen on the MP450, and

the "Print Head Alignment" from the Canon software. The results are the same.

If you're familiar with the procedure, there are rows of rectangular patterns. You

select the pattern where the spaces between the stripes are almost invisible. The

middle row is "0" going down to -5 and up to +5. I suppose the print head would

be considered "perfect" if the patterns selected were all in the middle or "0."

Here are the results from the alignment procedure I just performed:

A = 0

B = 0

C = -2

D = +1

E = -2

F = 0

G = +1

H = +2

I = -1

J = 0

K = +1

L = 0

The cartridges are factory, not aftermarket. I've repaired and constructed many different

kinds of mechanical and electronic devices, but I don't know much about these MFPs. It

seems like the print head is defective. Maybe there is something I could try that is not in

the Canon pdf manual. Tinkering with the numbers might be worth a try. I thought about

setting all the numbers to zero, just to establish a new baseline. Then I could gradually

go positve or negative until the fonts appear normal. Probably a waste of time.

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Hard to tell what is wrong, but I would think it's not the head itself but the belt that drives it. You could try to replace the belt but no idea if you can get it on the market.

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