Determining the operating energy of a thermal ink jet printhead using an onboard thermal sense resistor Patent #: 5418558
ApplicationNo. 406237 filed on 03/17/1995
US Classes:347/14, Responsive to condition347/19, Measuring and testing (e.g., diagnostics)347/57, Drive signal application347/60Preheat
ExaminersPrimary: Fuller, Benjamin R.
Assistant: Hallacher, Craig A.
International ClassB41J 002/05
AbstractA method for operating a thermal ink jet printer including a printhead having ink firing heater resistors responsive to pulses provided to the printhead. Warming voltage pulses are applied to the printhead to warm the printhead to a temperature that is at least as high as a temperature that would be produced pursuant to ink firing pulses of a predetermined voltage, a predetermined pulse width, and a predetermined pulse frequency. A continuous series of ink firing pulses are then applied to the printhead, starting with a pulse energy substantially equal to the predetermined reference pulse energy and a pulse frequency equal to the predetermined pulse frequency, and then incrementally decreasing the pulse energy of the ink firing pulses. The temperature of the printhead is repeatedly sampled while the ink firing pulses are applied to the ink firing resistors to produce a set of temperature samples respectively associated with the decreasing pulse energies. A thermal turn on energy is determined from the temperature samples, and the printhead is operated at a pulse energy that is greater than the thermal turn on energy and in a range that provides a desired print quality while avoiding premature failure of the heater resistors.