This article applies to the following HP DesignJet Plotter Models:
DesignJet 430
DesignJet 450C
DesignJet 455CA
DesignJet 488CA

The process for adjusting the carriage to media distance is explained in Chapter 5 of the service manual.
If you do not have Chapter 5 you can download a pdf copy here.
Chapter 5 Calibrations.

Adjusting the Carriage to Media distance requires that you have the gauge that was supplied with a new carriage assembly. If you do not have this gauge you may not be able to get one, they were never sold as a separate item.

Adjusting the distance is important if the carriage is too high you will get unwanted spray around the ink dots, or over spray and your vertical lines will not be straight. If the carriage is too low you will get you will get ink smears or even have the carriage scrape the paper.

This adjustment may be required:
After the carriage has been replaced.
After reinstalling the carriage due to belt or encoder strip replacement.
Or any other reason the carriage may have been removed from the plotter.

Follow up:



We do offer a suggestion to adjust the carriage height distance if you no longer have the required gauge. Follow the instructions in chapter 5, but substitute the leading edge of an open matchbook cover for the gauge. This won’t be exact and you may have some trial and error involved but it will get you very close to start with.

Make the adjustment and test the plotter.
Remember if you are seeing over spray and the vertical lines are not straight, adjust the carriage down, rotate the Torx adjusting screw counter clockwise.
If you are seeing ink smears then adjust the carriage up, rotate the Torx adjusting screw clockwise.

Only turn the screw in small amounts, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 turns to get the adjustment correct.

We are attempting to find the actual HP supplied gauge so that we can check it and then this adjustment can be done with a common feeler gauge.
If anyone has this gauge and could use a micrometer to measure the thickness we would be very appreciative. Thickness of both the Go and No Go sides would be required.

Stuff our Lawyer told us to say:
Use this information at your own risk, always refer repairs of DesignJet plotters to qualified service personel.

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Do it yourself repair information for your HP DesignJet Plotter.

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