Xerox 3109

Created: March 8, 2015 6:02 pm by Admin
Modified: July 19, 2017 8:53 am by Admin

The Xerox 3109 copier was introduced in October 1977.

This model had a SEMI-automatic document handler.


Xerox 3109 ad

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  1. … make that SEMI-automatic, Eric – human intervention was required to push documents into the maw of that thing. The first time I had to work on that LDC feeder with the little spinning foam donut, I honestly thought that Rube Goldberg might have had something to do with it.

    The machine was clocked too fast for the original 3100 frame design it was built upon. The radiant fuser and that poor little star wheel sensor on the vacuum transport just couldn’t handle the jacked-up speed without sacrificing reliability, copy quality and financially practical serviceability. I remember running one during troubleshooting with the front covers off and watching the lead edge of the copies float off the transport just before entering the fuser nip – and this with fresh, properly loaded paper, a new vacuum fan, belts and shaft roller bearings. The design and the transport were inadequate to the task.

    And anyway: who in their right mind came up with the idea of hanging white covers on a copier that leaked toner like an old British motorcycle leaked oil?

  2. I’ll have to say, my experience was very different from yours, and just about everyone else that worked on the infamous 3109. Except the astonishing joke of a document feeder. I flat-out told users – some of them were very unhappy, and called the branch about it – I told them the doc feeder was a marketing gimmick and a piece of crap. I nevertheless tried to make them work.

    What was different, is that I did make-ready on hundreds of these at the branch, and learned them well, and all of mine ran like a Porsche. I loved them. I used to beat every target metric in the book. One of the secrets was to regularly replace the fan filter on 3109 machines. A lot of techs overlooked this step.

    Also, *perfectly* setting the currents and *precisely* verifying the settings of those two little plastic tabs on the developer module which no one ever did. (Neither did I, on any other machines.). And, finally, a good exposure lamp. They had to be in perfect condition.

    One used to run like clockwork between calls right up to 19,000 copies, and then they would start to get a grey border at the top. So I stayed ahead of the game and tried to make customer service calls at the right time to prevent a service issue. My 3109’s, even in the most industrial of environments, used to be spic-and-span inside, clean enough to eat off of at 18,000 copies. These were actually very high performance machines, other than the doc feeder. I got in lots of trouble for telling the customers they were crap. I also told to the customers to ONLY USE XEROX toner in the 3109’s. Screw the consent decree. I was reported for that one time but the branch manager told me “Don’t worry about it. That’s why we have lawyers.”

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