PROBLEM
DEFINITION

SOME HINTS TO DEFINE A CAUSE OF THE MOST
COMMON PRINT QUALITY ISSUES

If you find an image with a certain defect, first of all, you need to determine exactly which part of your minilab was the cause of this print quality problem.
In some cases, this is not easy.

Only an experienced and good source of information can save you time and money.

The main components responsible for visible image defects are:

1. Light source (laser modules: red, green, blue)
2. A.O.M. Driver
3. A.O.M. (crystal)
4. Optical surfaces [mirrors, prisms, etc.
5. Image processing board and various boards designed to control the exposure process.

We can help you determine the cause of the problem if you were unable to do it yourself.
Load the gray test file and take a test image.

Then scan the test at high resolution (600 dpi) and send it back to us for revision. The email address that you can find on the contact page of our website.
After revising the test, we will advise what to do and what is the cause of the problem.

Gray Test File [BMP 55 Mb] 

1. LIGHT SOURCE

This website provides solutions to problems with laboratories equipped with only solid-state lasers.
We do not deal with problems with gas lasers, iBeam motors, MLVA or LED motors, or any other exposure systems.

The light source of the photo laboratory is a laser optical unit with three laser modules inside. Almost all minilabs at Noritsu and Fujifilm have laser modules based on DPSS (Diode Pumped Solid State).

Some mini-laboratories AGFA, Durst and Imetto are also equipped with DPSS lasers. The latest models of modern photographic equipment equipped with direct modulation lasers.
For many years, our company has been upgrading DPSS lasers to superior quality diode lasers based on Semiconductor Laser Diode [SLD] designs.

We also manufacture SLD lasers of our own unique design.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of a faulty laser module:

1. Light source status error 6105 or 6106 (Noritsu minilabs)
2. Laser control error (in some cases).
3. Error of synchronous sensor 6073 (in some cases).
4. Stripes (vertical or horizontal, also oblique), ripples, noise.
5. Change (permutation) A.O.M. drivers do not affect the result (see examples below in the text).
6. Image shift (if replacement of the A.O.M. driver does not help).

Also, by the color of the stripes, you can understand which laser module is faulty.

For instance:
If you have yellow/blue ripples/stripes, the blue laser module may be defective.
If you have green/magenta ripples/streaks, the green laser module may be defective.
If you have red/blue ripples/stripes (very rare), the red laser module might be defective.

In this case, you need to repair the laser module or replace it with a new one.
If you have just encountered such a situation and are looking for a good and reliable laser module, we recommend buying an original laser module from our company.

It will be thoroughly updated from legacy DPSS to the final SLD level, tested, and tuned for your laser driver.

You can also purchase our new SLD laser module from our production.
New and upgraded modules are based on a semiconductor laser diode and have the same design inside.

Please see some examples of photos with visual defects:

 

Did you find the similar defect in your picture?

Scan it with a high resolution (600dpi) and send it to us for a free revision.

2. AOM DRIVER

2.1. Driver AOM or AOM = acousto-optic modulator.
The intensity of the blue and green laser beam is influenced by acousto-optic modulators (AOMs) for each pixel depending on the color information.
In an AOM, the crystal vibrates at a certain frequency along the laser light path. Depending on the vibration amplitude, the crystal becomes more or less semitransparent, which changes the intensity of the laser beam. All AOM drivers have the same structure.

2.2. A.O.M. drivers are the most unreliable components of the laser section. Some of our customers have to change it several times during the life of the laboratory. A.O.M. First of all, you need to check the driver to rule out its influence on the unexpected problem, especially if there is no error. No end user-serviceable parts inside!
Do not try to repair it yourself.

If you are tired of changing them every six months, we recommend purchasing a new A.O.M. the driver is our “standby” design and will save a lot of money in the future.

Read more here.

The symptoms of a faulty AOM driver:

1. Paint the stripes in the image from top to bottom.
2. Weak density of a certain color.
3. Synchronous error 6073 (from Noritsu) or S.O.S. error detection (in Fujifilm) in some cases.
4. Color instability.
After setting, in a short time, a certain color changes, and you have to set up the lab over and over again.
5. The correction time and the number of adjustments exceed the normal level (usually more than 1–3 repetitions are required).

Usually, the AOM driver dies suddenly.
The laser module usually dies slowly.

The best way to determine the A.O.M. the driver should replace it with the next one.

Read below how to swap drivers.

Attention!

If you are too often have to replace AOM drivers on a particular channel in recent times – perhaps the laser module on this channel is almost dead. Therefore it is highly recommended repairing of this module as soon as possible. Also, buying our new AOM driver with a standby mode will help you to forget about the problems with that channel for a long time …

READ MORE HERE.

Did you find the similar defects in your picture?

Scan it with a high resolution (600dpi) and send it to us for a free revision.

A.O.M. Driver Swapping

Swapping is a method of isolating the problem and locating the defective part using a “rule-out” procedure.

All Noritsu A.O.M. drivers are compatible with each other and can be replaced in places to determine the faulty one.

How to determine which A.O.M. driver defective:

If Blue A.O.M. the driver is faulty you will have:
blue-yellow stripes,
bluish maximum density,
the image changes from yellowish to bluish and vice versa, so you will have to make adjustments over and over again.
Synchronous encoder error 6073 (on some Noritsu models the suffix of the last digits will be 003).

S.O.S. detection error.

If Green A.O.M. the driver is faulty you will have:
green-purple stripes,
greenish maximum density,
the image will change from greenish to magnetic and vice versa and you will have to adjust
Synchronous sensor error 6073 (in some Noritsu models the suffix of the last digits will be 002)

If Red A.O.M. the driver is faulty you will have:
red and blue stripes,
reddish maximum density,
the image changes from reddish to cyanide and vice versa, and you need to make changes
Synchronous sensor error 6073 (in some Noritsu models the suffix of the last digits will be 001)

Note:

Some minilab models do not generate a suffix after error code 6073 (Synchronous sensor error).

Required Tools

How to swap AOM drivers

Defining a defective AOM driver on almost all Noritsu minilabs is easy and you can do it yourself.

Do it like this:
1. Switch off the laboratory using the main switch.
2. Open the cover and access the laser section with the A.O.M. drivers.
3. Tag each A.O.M. driver for future use so as not to confuse them.
4. Disconnect the 4 connectors (turn the two BNC connectors counterclockwise and then pull).
5. Remove one screw that secures the AOM driver.
You can then uninstall the faulty AOM driver (BNCs on AOM driver B will be blue, AOM G driver green, and so on).
6. Then install the new (or repaired) AOM driver in its place (note that the BNC input and output connectors are the same – do not connect incorrectly).
7. After that, close the minilab, turn it on, and make a test print.

Note:
There is the simple access to A.O.M. drivers of the QSS30, QSS 31, QSS 33 series, but a little more complicated in QSS 32 labs.
Please find step by step instructions in the service manual.
Contact us if you do not have a manual for your model.

Important Notes before swapping:

Attention!

1. Pay attention to the connection of the INPUT and OUTPUT wires!
They have the same connectors and can be easily misconnected. Do not connect the OUTPUT to the INPUT, otherwise, you will have a defective laser control PCB. To prevent this from happening, simply stick the OUTPUT and INPUT labels on the corresponding cables.

2. Be sure to tag your AOM drivers before replacing them to find out their original position.

Actions after the test:

Look at the test:
– if you have no changes or you have a slight color change (easy removal with customization), then your suspicious A.O.M. the driver is working fine and you should start looking for the cause of the problem.
– if stripes, maximum density, and synchronous sensor error code have changed – the problem is with your suspicious A.O.M. Driver.
Buy a new one from us.
– if you have the same problem unchanged and you have swapped all A.O.M. drivers to no avail – means the problem is inside the laser engine.

Call or email us and we will help you keep your laser machine in top condition.

3. AOM CRYSTAL

A.O.M. (Acousto-optic modulator) is one of the most important components of a laser engine. This device regulates the strength and weakness of the laser light and forms an image.
A.O.M. The crystal is inside the laser unit and must only be repaired by authorized and trained personnel.
In some cases, an AOM crystal block can cause image defects.
No end user-serviceable parts inside! Do not try to repair it yourself.

The symptoms of a faulty AOM crystal:

1. Fog / fuzzy streaks in the direction
2. Weak maximum density (reddish, greenish or bluish tints)
The lab requires many repetitions of settings and sometimes cannot be adjusted.
3. A.O.M. the driver fails very often
4. Synchronous sensor error.

How to determine if the AOM crystal is causing the problem:

If you know for sure that A.O.M drivers are in working order, but you have all the symptoms of A.O.M. Driver –
it is possible that your AOM crystal is out of order, and our specialists should check it entirely.
Contact us directly to have your defective AOM crystal repaired.

Attention!

The Fujifilm and Noritsu laboratories use Panasonic’s 200 MHz AOM crystals.
The Noritsu AOM crystal is housed separately from the laser module.
Fujifilm’s AOM crystal sits on the same base as the laser module and is fine-tuned at the factory.

Attention!
Do not open the laser unit or disassemble the A.O.M. crystal! It is an extremely accurate device and there are no serviceable parts inside for the end-user.
They have a fixed position and cannot be moved.

Here, we just want to help you understand how to differentiate the A.O.M problem from the other parts.

4. OPTICAL SURFACES

 

Optical surfaces are all surfaces of the laser mirror, prism, lens and polygonal mirror located in the laser unit.

And, like all flat optical surfaces, they can be damaged by high ambient humidity, covered with dust or tar if the operator smokes during the printing process, and they can also be scratched during servicing by an unqualified person. staff.

The symptoms of faulty optical surfaces:

1. Signs of faulty optical surfaces are as follows:
– Fog on prints
– Sharp and fuzzy lines along the paper feed direction
– Synchronous sensor error
– Polygon error
The lab requires a lot of repetition of settings and sometimes cannot be adjusted.
3. A.O.M. the driver fails very often
4. Synchronous sensor error.

The all-optical components inside the laser unit have a very high level of precision and are sapphire coated.

Any unqualified intervention can damage the surface.

It is very easy to make a scratch.
Some laser device problems are the result of breakage or movement of internal optical components.
If you believe that the problem with your laser unit is in the optics, we recommend that you do not open the laser unit or tamper inside.

Ask a certified Noritsu or Fujifilm technician to check the condition of the optical parts of the optical section to perform the required high-quality cleaning and maintenance operations.

Or ask us.
Our experts will help you to repair the laser unit:

Attention!

Never use alcohol or alcohol-based liquids for cleaning.
We also do not recommend using “special cleaning fluids for optics”.
This solution will damage the optics of your laser device.
Use clean distilled water.
Any work with the laser system must be carried out in a clean room to avoid dust contamination.
And once again we want to remind you:
Never look into the laser beam without protective glasses!

5. IMAGE PROCESSING PCB

A defective imaging PCB (printed circuit board) and / or any other control boards responsible for the laser modules can affect the image quality.
Laser driver, laser control, or image processing circuit packs contain many components that perform different functions, and it is not easy to determine the cause of a problem. Many problems on PCBs are due to dry / cracked solder joints, especially where different wires are connected to the PCB.

The symptoms of faulty Image PCB:

1. No image in print
2. Sharp or fuzzy lines along or across the paper feed direction.
3. Laser control error
4. PCB image processing error.

If you have an image processing board with memory sticks, check them first.
Memory strips on motherboards are a weak spot and require attention.

The best and cheapest way to determine the health of a PCB is to replace it with the same working PCB.

In case you find a fault with your PCB, don’t despair.
Send us a request and we will contact you shortly with a quote for the PCB.

We have been supplying spare parts from Japan to our customers for 26 years, so you can buy any used or new PCB directly from a reliable supplier at a very attractive price.

Send your request:

Attention!

Avoid touching the circuit board with bare hands to avoid damaging it with electrostatic discharge.
Any work on the printed circuit board must be performed in a clean room with good certified grounding to avoid damage to the printed circuit board.

IN CASE YOU NEED HELP

PRESALES QUESTION?

Please call us or chat online.
We always respond to all email messages. Also, you can contact us through Viber or WhatsApp.
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to all our customers during and after guarantee period.
All technical issues will be solved immediately.

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