[rescue] Question of how to "smooth" power from Laser printer

Curious George jorge234q at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 27 19:06:16 CDT 2008

--- Earl Baugh <earl at baugh.org> wrote:

> Hey, got a question that popped up after I got stuff
> moved into my new
> rack... I don't know if I mentioned that I was going
> to (and how have) built
> a desk using the 4 posts that had made up the old
> rack -- found the Atlanta
> Fixture store -- a restaurant supply place, where
> you can pick up table tops
> that won't flex, reasonably priced... better if

I use solid core wooden doors (*un* drilled).
They usually have a neutral finish (luan), take
stain well, etc.  (I much prefer looking at a nice
slab of *wood* than formica or metal!)

They are available in various "widths" (I like the
32" -- gives me enough depth for 21" monitors and/or
tape robots whereas the 36" starts to be a *reach*
when you want something at the rear of the tabletop!)

I think I paid $40 ea for mine (new).  Of course, 
the stain and polyurethane were extra  :<  But,
at least there is very little *prep* work required
of the wood surface!

> you're willing to take the
> floor sample, which I was..   So, got a desk top
> that's basically got 4 - 7
> foot tall legs... which results in more 1/2 deep 
> rack space... shelves fit
> on either side, and don't cause any head danger or
> problems as long as
> they're high enough.   So I shelved the printers and
> scanner "above" me
> now... within reach as well... and cleared off a 7
> foot table which is going
> to result in a lot more usable floor space.   (and
> yes, I'll get pictures
> posted of the new rack and this desk... )  I went
> with a 30inch x 48inch
> table top...since I was also trying to cut down on
> the length of the table
> to allow more space to get around the rack. (they
> didn't have any table tops
> between that size and 5-6 ft, or I would have gone a
> little bit bigger...
> but these are just basically booth table tops so
> there are some standard
> sizes... and I didn't want to pay the difference it
> would be to order a
> custom one...)
> ANYWAY -- The question.  In the process of moving
> printers I ended up moving
> my small laser onto a different power circuit and
> now when it first kicks on
> the draw down in power has caused some other
> machines to power cycle (at
> best... at worst they just trip off...as if the
> power browned/blacked out).

HP laserjets (III, 4, etc.) are notorious for having
a big surge on power up.  Some of the low temperature
toner varieties (e.g., 6P) are quite tame.  I've
found that I can even power up my Phaser 560
(color laser) without the lights even flickering;
whereas the 4M+ will bring things almost to black
(even on a lightly loaded circuit -- keep in mind
these tend to be 15A circuits in many residences)

> I'm going to move around some things (i.e. put the
> rack on the circuit that
> I pulled all the printers off... ) to resolve the
> problem, but even so, it's
> always "dimmed" the lights when it kicks on, so to
> speak..   I've got it
> hooked up to a UPS, but that doesn't seem to handle
> the surge if it's coming
> from the plugged in devices (handles it if the power
> goes low from the

You don't want a laser printer on our UPS.  It is
a nasty load.  The same is true of many *scanners*!
If you insist on having a backed up printer, find
one that isn't a power hog.  Or, put it on its own

Recall that many printers will "sleep" after a while
without use.  The consequence of this is they will
eventually *wake up* -- depending on the printer,
this can be a big load (though not usually as bad
as power on since the caps across the AC mains
are already charged at that time; not true on
initial power up)

> wall).   Is there any sort of device that could
> "augment" the power from the
> wall when this type of surge occurs?

You can find a "line conditioner" (essentially a
large chunk of iron) to help "smooth" the initial
draw.  I had a "Lion Tamer" that I picked up for
scrap prices (e.g., pennies per pound) that worked
reasonably well for me -- until I got tired of
having another big box taking up space in the room!).

Easiest solution is to move it to another branch
circuit and power it up *before* your critical
loads (i.e., CPUs).

Even easier solution is to find a printer that
isn't as much of a pig!  :>

Never miss a thing.  Make Yahoo your home page. 

More information about the rescue mailing list