LaseWriter 16/600 - should I buy?

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by Robofunc, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Robofunc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #1
    I found a LaserWriter 16/600PS for $25. I've been looking for an inexpensive to own/operate/maintain laser printer for my graphic design studio. Supposedly this one works perfectly, and I have fond memories of using these printers from my college days (I'll never forget that smell).

    The question is, is an old LaserWriter the printer for me?

    I need something that uses PostScript and can be reliable. Page speed isn't an issue, really. Ability to print on transparencies would be a plus (for making positives for use in silk-screen printing).

    Let me know what you think, collectors.

    Thanks!
     
  2. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2008
    Location:
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    #2
    Well, it's just a measly 25 bucks right? But how do you find new toners/drums once you run low? Is the DPI enough for you? Is it color, do you need color? What if it needs repairs, new parts? All of those questions come flooding in once you buy antique technology and use it in modern days. If you bought one of those and sit them on shelves for collective purposes, if it functions properly may not matter, but if you plan to use this in your workflow, then think about it.
     
  3. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    San Francisco
    #3
    How will you run the thing? Cause I can't even remember how those things interface to a computer (Serial? Ethernet?). Or are you going to use an old Mac to run it on? Honestly.... I think the old Mac stuff is just a waste of money and space. I know it's only $25 but c'mon what do you really expect to achieve with it?
    (more hassle then it's worth is my point)
     
  4. Hrududu macrumors 68020

    Hrududu

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Central US
    #4
    My main B&W printer is a LaserWriter Select 360. I love it, and its been working great for me. Toner is about $45 for a 5000 sheets, and the print quality is great for text. Pictures look okay, but not the greatest. Both the Select 360 and the printer you're looking at are both 600dpi and roughly the same age. The main difference is my 360 doesn't have ethernet like the 16/600 and its only 10ppm, whereas the 16/600 is 17ppm. For $25 I'd say its worth it especially if its got a good toner cartridge.
     
  5. Robofunc thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #5
    Yes, I only need black. 600 dpi is fine, since it's just going to be text/keylines/stencil-type stuff.

    It needs toner, but I'm willing to pay $45 for a new cartridge, especially since the printer itself is only $25.

    Right now my Lexmark inkjet costs around $25 for just black, and it prints like **** and gets nowhere near 5000 sheets to a cartridge.

    My only real concern is that it will eventually need service. I've done minor maint. stuff on laser printers +copiers, and I'm somewhat mechanically inclined, so as long as I can get parts and a manual I'd be confident doing routine stuff myself. Anything tricky, though, and it might become an issue.
     
  6. MacTech68, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #6
    Most of Apple's laser printers are Canon engines. Engine parts will usually have an RG part number on them. The things you can't get will be case parts and Apple's own logic board.

    With respect to Toner carts, if you know which canon printer this model is, things may be easier to find. This list may help.

    By far the most common failure in this model is the rubber rollers in the delivery assembly (where the paper comes out) get dirty or shiny. This makes the paper concertina just before the rollers and never exit the printer. Cleaning these is relatively easy (once you've done it 10 times), but does require removing the assembly and disassembling it to do the job properly.

    The other more critical problem with a printer of this age it leaking capacitors on the I/O board (an Apple only part) and in the power supply. This is very tedious work and often tracks on the I/O board get etched and need to be traced and bridged. If this isn't already the case on this printer, it soon will be. The easiest way to tell is to test the printer when it is cold. This will show up faults as when these capacitors begin to fail, they change their value considerably when cold. Once warm, they work. After a few months of these symptoms, they will fail altogether.

    I guess the question should be;

    "What do I expect from a $25 printer of this age?"

    If the answer is "not much" then go ahead. If the answer is "A printer that works reliably for the next 12 months" then I'd advise against it.

    :)
     
  7. Robofunc thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #7
    Hmm, thanks for the in-depth info on these printers.

    I'm fine with cleaning the wheels, but tracing and bridging capacitors is lingo I'm not familiar with. Sounds pretty serious, though.

    I'm going to look at the printer today. I'll probably get it, but ask him to throw in a toner cartridge so I'm not laying out $70 on something that might not be working in a month.

    Right now I can't print at all, so this will at least get me moving. If it fails, I'll try my hand at fixing it. If I can't get it going again, it was just $25. Plus I learned something, so there's that...

    There are places that advertise refurbished LaserWriters. Do these printers offer more reliability?
     
  8. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #8
    The 16/600 is a great laser printer, and for $25 I don't think you can go wrong if the thing works.

    I owned one for years, and it was fantastic. Attach it to your ethernet router or switch, give it an IP address, and let everyone on the network print to it. It's easy. It's also great because it has a Localtalk port, so you can use it to print from every older Mac all the way back to the Plus.
     
  9. Mac SK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #9
    I have an Apple Pro 630 and its built like a tank and uses HP toners,prints great and I love it. Got an extra one at the thrift store for parts. I did buy at the thrift store a Brother hl-5070n and it works great also,much faster than the 630. Have them all on an ethernet network.
     
  10. MacTech68, Feb 10, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
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    Australia, Perth
    #10
    Don't get me wrong. In it's time, these were probably one of the most reliable Laser printer engines that Canon ever built, and were relatively easy to service.

    I used to have an old LaserWriter IIg on my network with all the common faults fixed. Now I have a HP Color Laser 2550 for color prints and an old Epson 740 inkjet for black only. Both run via USB off a Airport Express base station (not simultaneously).

    Refurbished printers probably don't offer much more than a cleaning of the paper path and rollers and replacement of parts that cause consistent faults. I seriously doubt that they would replace capacitors in power supplies and I/O boards unless they stopped the printer from working. I'd be looking to get a warranty on a "refurb" of at least 3 months if you were paying more than simply a "used" model.
     
  11. Robofunc thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    #11
    Update, question

    Okay, so I got this printer and it looks to be in good shape. It powers up normally and prints the test page fine, so I know it's got toner.

    The problem is the ethernet port--it looks kind of like a serial port, not regular ethernet. I remember the cable on the LaserWriter at school having a metal plug at the printer end. Does anyone know what that kind of plug/cable is called and where I can find one?
     
  12. MacTech68, Feb 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    MacTech68 macrumors 68000

    MacTech68

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Location:
    Australia, Perth
    #13
    Hello Mod.... :)

    Yes, most of the early PPC macs had these rather than an RJ-45 port. The reasoning was that many offices at the time had co-axial network cabling. Apple designed the AAUI port so that you could buy either a 10-Base-2 (coaxial) or a 10-Base-T (RJ-45) dongle depending on your network. These modules were damned pricey and before Apple pulled them off the spare parts price-list here in Aust., they were something like $AU600 !!! :eek:

    Do a search on eBay for AAUI in "computers" and you should see some relatively cheap third party ones for sale.
    ________
    Unit construction
     
  13. lpp71 macrumors member

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Where you live
    #14
    I agree its totally worth buying for sure!! Those are very duarable printers to say the least.
     

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