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Thread: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

  1. #1
    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Hi all,

    Usual last minute disorganisation from me. My Mum is volunteering at a school in Tanzania and I'm off to visit her a week on Sunday. She's asked me to take a printer with me as they'd like one for the school. I've plenty of space in my 46kg luggage allowance and I was just going to buy one, bubblewrap it, and stick it in my case.

    The trouble is knowing what to take. Although she's in the capital city of Tanzania (Dodoma) it is apparently a complete backwater. The nearest big city (where presumably replacement cartridges might be available with a modicum of searching) is Dar-Es-Salaam, hundreds of miles away. So really I want to take them a setup that's going to last more than a week. I'm thinking that a mono laser is probably going to be the best bet, especially if I buy a genuine replacement cartridge to take out with it (assuming it'll come with a crap starter cartridge). But could also consider an inkjet if half decent off-brand cartridges are available on the cheap. And if it's not going to gum-up the heads if left for a few days in tropical weather!

    So does anyone have any suggestions? If I'm going to mail order something I really need to get it done soon what with the long bank holiday weekend. I was hoping to get away with 100 quid for the printer and cartridge but will pay a bit more if it's going to be worth it.

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    DILLIGAF GoNz0's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005G9C4D...hvptwo=&hvqmt=

    and maybe some of this to top up on the cheap, can take a couple of top ups and a printer + chip for the £100


    http://www.tonertopup.co.uk/productC...Aculaser+M1400

    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack
    off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.

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  4. #3
    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    The printer is cheap enough, sure. Not at all sure about the replacement chip each time and melting a hole in the cartridge however! TBH I wouldn't trust either my mum or an African teacher to start mucking about refilling cartridges. If I got a printer with a cap on the cartridge (and no chip) I could buy two (or more) and have my mum return them to me for refilling every time she comes home. But even then I find the cart tends to crap out after a while (though in my case it could be due to having three rather moult-prone cats in the house ).

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    F.A.S.T. Butuz's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Hmm... Take something that you know they can actually get ink for? If you can find that out. Deffo one that's easy for them to refill themselves.

    I've got no suggestions really as I am a HP only man and you don't wanna take a HP over to them as the ink will cost more than the printer!

    Butuz

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    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Second the advice for a mono laser printer.

    However for maximum bomb proof reliablity, and long lasting cartrages, I would go for a second hand office laser printer.

    For example, The HP laser Jet 4, was last sold about 10 years ago, but you still find them going strong in small busnesses up and down the country. I recently missed out on buying one second hand and I was disapointed because I know that they last forever, and are cheap to run. (A 6000 page toner cartrage costs about £30, and they are still widely avalable).

    Also because it is old, the system requirements for the drivers are low, so if the school in Tanzania is using ten year old PCs, then there will be no problem running the printer. (The basic drivers come pre-installed with windows anyway).

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    A laserjet 4 would be ideal except it won't fit in a suitcase!

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    Senior Member SUMMONER's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    I have a friend who occasionally sends stuff to Tanzania (family is based on Zanzibar).

    I am not sure when he is next sending stuff, but do know he is currently buying up used laptops to send over there. Provided you pay your share towards the shipping costs I am sure he would let you add a HP Laserjet 2200dn or 4100n to the pallet (they are dirt cheap to buy and run, ie: ~ £50 for printer and £15 for a 5,000/10,000page toner).

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Thanks Summoner. Funnily enough I also know a bloke who ships stuff out to Tanzania- could even be the same chap except I think his brother is based in Dar. Could be a long term plan, but I need to take them out something to get started with.

    I spoke to my mum and she says that it's not such a backwater that there aren't plenty of printers around in shops and offices. So it sounds as if it would be possible to get replacement cartridges, or get a man to top them up for you. So- which are the easiest to replace/refill? I still have my old Samsung which I refilled a number of times with ever worsening results. It never had a chip, it just blew a fuse (literally- it was on the cartridge!) every time you replaced it- and without a new fuse it would display a warning light, but still print away apparently happily enough. The latest generation of Samsung printers do seem to have chips though, which is a shame obviously. Any thoughts greatly appreciated.

  10. #9
    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    It's an older model, but my Brother MFC-435 (I think that's the model) uses basic cartridges and you can pick up third party ones for about £1.50 each (separate one for each ink). It has ethernet, it's reliable and is a full multi function unit. I wouldn't hesitate to get a more modern one when this finally dies (although not expecting that any time soon).

  11. #10
    Senior Member SUMMONER's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Well, if you want to bridge the gap for the moment you can't go wrong with a Dell 1250c colour laser printer for < £55 delivered.

    - colour output
    - cheap to buy
    - very compact
    - cheapish refurb cartridges
    - this is a low volume personal USB printer only!

    It is your typical throw away printer, but with the rare opportunity of being able to buy cheap refurbished cartridges off ebay. A full set is £40 delivered to anywhere in the world (ships from Hong Kong).

    As for a long term black and white laser, nothing is more economical to run than a Laserjet 4000/4050/4100 N. Well worth going through the hassle of shipping it across, especially if the school wants it hooked up to the network to print 100s of pages every day.

    I would not bother refilling cartridges myself, it's messy, saves little money and you can never be certain of the print quality afterwards as the components inside a cartridge wear out over time/use.
    Last edited by SUMMONER; 02-06-2012 at 01:20 AM.

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    Old and VERY grumpy. g8ina's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Ive actually got a Brother (or is it Samsung ? cant remember) mono laser you can have if you collect, kill 2 birds and grab that scope too ?

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    HEXUS.social member Agent's Avatar
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    Re: Need a printer to take to a school in Africa

    Hey Rave

    Keep in mind one thing about cheap laser printers - The drum and fuser .

    Many of them have drums / fusers which will only last a few thousand pages (hence their cost), and the drum will cost more than the printer to replace in most cases! I saw one that hit about 5k and died not too long back.

    Dells are normally pretty good in my experience here. Many of their printers have "lifetime" drums. You could argue that when / if the drum does go, that's the end of it's lifetime (), but I've seen even cheap Dells knock out over 10k of pages without an issue.

    http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/dell...direct-1227266

    That is colour, but you could use it as black and white only. 2k refills are about £20 on the bay, and as the printer uses LEDs on the photoconductor drum so it's not a worry (it's not really a laser printer).
    http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/print...colour-printer
    It's a basic printer, but it might be the area you're looking at for the cost.

    That's just an example - don't take it as gospel for your use, but it should give you an idea

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