Monthly Archives: February 2013

HP Z3200 Photo Printer Scan Axis Drive Belt Replacement

HP Z3200 Photo Printer Scan Axis Drive Belt Replacement:

I recently had to replace the Scan Axis Drive Belt (otherwise known as the carriage belt) in my HP Z3200 Photo Printer. I use the printer several times per week, but the print volumes I do are relatively light, so the belt did not “wear” out. Instead, the elastomer (rubber) component of the belt which binds the Kevlar strands together began to deteriorate and eventually disintegrated completely. Not only did this affect the Scan Axis alignment (see first image below) but it also left innumerable rubber crumbs throughout the paper path. I successfully replaced the belt and cleaned up the paper path and internals with a minimum of trouble, as well as replacing the noisy (howling) power supply fan. I should point out that I do have considerable background in mechanical/electronic repair (former Xerox Tech).

Failed Z3200 Belt

There is a video available on YouTube which details the entire mechanical process of replacing the belt, so if you need to do this, please watch the entire video before proceeding: Z3100 Belt Replacement Video. In particular, pay close attention to which size Torx drivers you will need (all detailed in the video) and the advice given about purchasing the belt replacement kit (don’t buy the kit, just buy the belt). The Z3100 Maintenance Manual is readily available via a Google search.

Do not, under any circumstances purchase the generic, toothed on one side, smooth on the other side replacement belt that is available on the web or on Ebay. Take a look at the following images, and you will see why:

Belts Compared (3)

Belts Compared (2)

You can clearly see that the LPS Replacement (Kevlar+Polyurethane) belt matches the OEM belt perfectly. The generic belt on the other hand does not match the OEM belt, and in fact requires you to replace the OEM Tensioner Pulley (which is grooved to mate with the belt grooves so that the belt tracks precisely) with a smooth surface pulley:

Belts Compared

You can purchase the high quality OEM style from LPS here: Z3100/3200 Replacement Belt (I have no affiliation with LPS, I am just a satisfied customer).

–Shaun Merrigan

Gigapan Firmware Update Problems and Solution

Gigapan Firmware Update Problems and Solution

Gigapan has a firmware update available for the GigaPan Epic Pro, here: GigaPan Epic Pro Firmware Update

To find out if you need it, check the firmware on your Epic Pro thus:

Select “Options” – “Expert Options” – “Firmware Version”
The current firmware version is P010100171-8.

I have a couple of very important tips for Windows users (Windows 7, specifically) which will help prevent any disasters from occurring (i.e., a botched firmware upgrade which will result in a dead Epic Pro):

1) Install the Firmware Upload Tool “As an Administrator”
2) Connect the USB cable from the Epic Pro directly to the motherboard, not to a hub or to the front panel USB ports on your PC. Not doing this caused my Epic Pro to lockup and not be recognized by Windows.
3) Run the Firmware Upload Tool “As an Administrator”