Looking for a Portable Laser Printer

I have a Brother HLL5200DWT for the office but want to get a printer that I can take with me on the road. I was looking at the Brother HL2300D

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NQ1CLTI/ref=psdc_172648_t1_B00LEA5EJM?th=1

but would like to get feedback from the group on what you would consider to be a good portable laser printer that can print letter and legal size paper. It would also be great to know what kind of power options or accessories are recommended for the mobile notary.

Look at the peak and average power you will need. I have a HP M426dwf, 600 watts while printing, 10 while ‘ready’. So assuming you have an inverter with 100% efficiency that works out to a current draw of 50 amps @ 12v. Your car jack (used to be called a cigarette lighter jack) typically can only provide 10 amps max. So you may get by with a external car battery, 1000w inverter and a charger. A 50 amp-hour battery would probably handle 250 page printout. Calculate the length of time it will take to print, in this case 50amps X time should be less than 50 amp hours. You can use your car battery jack to charge the battery but you need to limit it to a 5-8 amp charger which if you can leave connected will extend your print capacity but the charger needs to limit it’s charging current or else it will blow the battery jack’s (aka cigarette lighter) fuse, you may have to disconnect the charger before printing. That being said, look for the lowest power laser printer you can find. One last thing to point out, the output voltage does drop as the battery discharges so you will always get less printing time than you calculate.

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dan_nsa can you provide a link to this printer as I can’t find one? Also it appears that this printer may have scanning capabilities, which I don’t need as I have a separate Fujitsu Scanner which can be used in the field.

I am reading your post for the 3rd time as I wasn’t aware I needed to be an electrician apprentice as part of my job as a Notary Public. :relieved:

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If you can hook up a stereo then you should be able to do that. Buy a 1,000 watt inverter (120 vac output) & 50 amp cable & battery connector, car battery, 5 amp charger (if your car doesn’t have an ac outlet buy a cigarette lighter to 120 volt inverter) use it to charge the battery from your car if wanted or just charge before you leave. a) charge your battery, remove charger hook up printer to 1000 watt inverter output, inverter needs to be connected to battery (beware of polarity and if you don’t know what that is forget my post), test your printer with a 300 page printout and scan back.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=m426dfw&gclid=CjwKCAiA5o3vBRBUEiwA9PVzaqqBgsYDr0X7hchBPaUBdGvLoMun0HxKu6xQiNFE0_L5HgWvgYzY7BoCLcAQAvD_BwE&hvadid=338615747927&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=1014069&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=e&hvrand=18285421647625930418&hvtargid=kwd-701271838211&hydadcr=23072_9928467&tag=googhydr-20&ref=pd_sl_7vwzchv3ra_e

or search for M426dfw on the web (note not all M426 printers have a scanner).

Wil, thinking about your needs of a printer with scanner and double tray? to print letter and legal size, will be really heavy to carry on.
I have a RICOH, with double tray, letter and legal size, laser toner, with scanner, print and fax , also can color copy capacity, no print color but copy yes. I can’t take with me to a closing, it is heavy.
Unless, you prefer to change paper size in same tray, you can find a brother MFC.

I went with the Brother HLL2350DW and I have an egg crate with rollers to transport the printer. I’m using this:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074T8QSXC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It has the capability to print Letter and Legal size within the same tray. I have a separate Fujitsu s1300i Scanner that can be used in the field as it can run off USB power from my Laptop.

The Brother printer will be powered by the electricity in the customer’s home. I have spoken to other long time Notaries Public and they mention that the customer has no issue if you explain to them that you just received the documents and will be printing them at their house.

I wouldn’t count on that - IMO that makes you (and the company you’re signing for) look very disorganized and unprofessional - you should be arriving at their home fully prepared to sit down and sign…and walking in with a printer to print their docs isn’t that. Last minute one or two documents (maybe revisions were needed) is one thing…but for that you leave the printer in the car and either print there or, only on very rare occasions, ask the signers if they mind if you drag your printer into their home and print using their electricity. .

If you’re going to go for portable capacity, do it right and set your vehicle up properly to print in the car.

JMO

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MacGyver! …

Linda I appreciate your feedback and I wanted to point out that the Signing Agency Owner that I am working with mentioned that he has never received any pushback from a customer regarding printing documents at their home. It all comes down to how it is presented to the customer in advance BEFORE you arrive at the front door. I do recognize that Best Practice is what you described above.

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I have this Brother printer that I bring with me in my car. I will print at a signers house if it’s a last minute signing or if a document needs to be updated at the closing and the signers have always been impressed that I have a printer I carry with me. If I got docs late but there is time I will stop at a coffee shop to print prior to arrival.

Depending, a 1000-1500 watt inverter would allow you to print to a lightweight (compact) laser printer in the vehicle.

I have a setup just for that purpose, although I’ve only had to use it once (and not as a notary/NSA).

It’s not a good idea for regular practice, but it may be handy in a pinch.

Depending upon how you have it set up (on a rolling case/cart), you can even bring it into a cafe/restaurant and print using building AC (throw a good tip).

But, if the lender/seller/etc. does not get the docs to the NSA timely, they deserve to pay a premium for mobile printing and/or have to deal with the delay of printing at one’s fixed base.

HWB.

I’ll probably purchase a 1500 inverter and figure out the logistics of printing in the car. Since you’ll have to use your car’s battery, do you plug a 12 foot extension cord into the inverter and plug your printer into the extension cord?

I have started to use office stores to print out in a pinch. It is more expensive. However, the time spent trying to get the printer out of the car with paper and setting up in a coffee shop or someone’s home is painful. I tried that a few times and I found that it was not worth the struggle and just started go to office stores, ups and fedex to print out when needed. In moments when the docs came to me late where It caused me to be late for the appointment , I have called for an increase in fee due to the extra cost of printing and have received it.

Also, I had been trying to figure out how to do a set up in my car, in doing so, an electrician friend of mine told me that an inverter and battery will only print out about 50 pages before I will need to switch batteries unless I have an electrical plug installed in my car for powering a laser printer. That option is very expensive. Or I will need a bank of car batteries kept in my trunk for using the printer. In the end I thought it was not worth the cost of keeping a printer in my car because I just don’t have a need often enough to warrant the cost. Even with the huge increase in signings lately.

I do think it is worth keeping a portable scanner in the car though. I use that often, especially if I can’t get back to my office to scan docs that require scanbacks between signings.

I agree with Dan. I use an all in one HP with dual trays in my Ford Explorer, but my sister, who drives a car and doesnt have spare room in the back seat, has the HP 404n. We also have an Epson scanner which is pure magic. I will carry that into people’s homes when I need to scan documents.

Brother printers take too much energy to run. Because the HPs are energy efficient, they only use 600 watts. What that means is that it runs at 1200 watts peak (while printing). That means if you purchase a sine wave inverter at 1500 (cannot be a regular inverter, which is cheaper), you will comfortably be able to run your printer in your car. The best inverters come with a remote although I just set my inverter under the passenger seat and turn it on manually as needed.

This setup earns me more money as I can take closings I previously couldnt because I can print on the go. I went to a radio installation shop and they installed it directly to the battery. You can then place your printer on your back seat or if there is room, on the floorboard of the backseat, like my sister does.

I dont recommend you print in peoples’ homes just because it is cumbersome and takes time. My goal is in and out in 30 minutes although, of course, it depends on each customer. Printing as you are driving down the street…makes money because it saves time.

Good luck to you!

Get a car radio installation place to insert the proper cable hooked up directly to the battery.

notaryme, thank you for your detailed response. I have scoped out a 1500 Watt Pure Sine Wave inverter and will test it out on my Brother Printer. Once I confirm that there are no issues, I will schedule an appointment with local Best Buy and have it installed. I bought extended cables with the inverter, so I’m hoping there won’t be any issues with the installation.

You can try that but you may have a problem. Brother printers pull much more than HP printers. So you need to check the specs for your printer on how much wattage it uses. So for instance, my HP Laserjet Pro MFPM426FDW uses 600 watts. However, peak power is 1200 watts. That is why I have no problem using the 1500 watt sine wave inverter. But the Brothers usually use 1000 or more to run them and their peak power is closer to 3000 watts!

Our favorite printer is Brother. But, we cannot use them in the car because of the wattage they pull. They just won’t work. Maybe that is why MMHOUGH was told by an electrician to use various batteries. However, if you use the correct inverter, the correct size and the correct battery, you don’t need all of that.

Also, don’t you have (google it) specific radio / burglar alarm systems installation shops in your town? They only install those types of items in vehicles and I find them knowledgeable regarding cables and they have them already available for the install. I wouldn’t take mine to Best Buy.

Lastly, when you go to install it in your car, pay special attention to where it will actually be installed. You want to have access to it, regardless of the weather. I originally installed mine in the very back of my SUV. Then, when it was raining, I’d have to jump out to turn it on (although some do come with remotes that you can install in your dash which means you can them place the inverter anywhere in the vehicle). My sister installed hers in her trunk because it was a bulkier model than mine. But she has an opening into her backseat so she could get back to it through that opening, if it was raining or whatever. You never just leave the inverter on. Only turn it on, then back off, whenever you will be using it. So, I paid an additional $80 to have them move the inverter from the back of my SUV to under the passenger seat. So, when I need to turn it on (i feel it is safer to leave the car running while using the inverter) I reach over and flip the switch on the inverter. Since I leave the printer in the on position, once the inverter comes on, so does the printer. With my laptop sitting in the front seat, and of course, my phone is turned on as a “Hotspot”, I am able to set the document to print and I can head to the next appointment while it is printing. When I get to a light, I grab the printed pkg off the printer and hit the “print” on the computer to print the borrower’s package. So, by the time I reach my appointment, the packages are ready.

That is why I am able to accept more appointments than I usually would have so I make more money! But, I never charge for this service. This is a built in service that allows me to accept additional closings, but the title company or signing service doesn’t care where or how you print, so it is not on them to pay you more.

Also, FYI, I have an all in one in my vehicle. However, I also have an Epson es-300w scanner which is so much faster than the scanner on the all in one. And, since it is small and compact, I can take it into nursing homes when I do power of attorney forms, and closings too…specially when I am closing with a small package since it is so fast. But I will also use this in my car instead of the big one. I just connect it to the same inverter and use the scanner in the passenger seat.

Pure bliss!

Good luck to you!

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I have Epson ES-300WR. Take it anywhere! It’s fast!

notaryme I have a Brother HLL2350DW for my mobile office needs. Here are the specs:

Power Source 110 to 120 V AC 50/60 Hz

Power Consumption:

Peak Approximately 1104 W

Printing *1 (HL-L2350DW) Approximately 460 W at 77 °F (25 °C)

Printing Quiet Mode *1 Approximately 255 W at 77 °F (25 °C)

Ready *1 Approximately 48 W at 77 °F (25 °C)

After further research, I am going to purchase a 2000 Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter. I’m looking at this model on Amazon. It appears that this printer will use about 460 watts during printing, but will peak to 1104 watts upon startup. I believe that this inverter will provide enough overhead to handle the power requirements for this printer.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07H9SXV61/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

I will be using 1/0 AWG Gauge cables as this will reduce heat and voltage issues.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K4T4LR6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A2TN19FHI2Z5KL&psc=1

I also will ask the installer to install this 160amp In Line Circuit Breaker switch.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01AKDHL6W/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A2V03XUFHFCLT2&psc=1

I have also made some calls to local car radio installers and can probably get this done for about 90 dollars. Thanks for all of the advice as I am sure there are others who can get something out of this thread. I’ll update this post after everything has been installed and road tested.