82240B IR Printer Runs Sluggishly, then Doesn't

Hi all, I haven't been around for awhile as I got enticed for a bit by shinier handheld things.

Anyhow, I recently fired up my previously flawlessly working IR printer after I don't know how long. At first, even with adequate power (from AC Adapter or fresh batteries) the printing operation was "sticky". The printer seemed to work haltingly at light print intensities, and usually would abort printing and become stuck if I set the intensity slider above the half way point.

Well, after running I don't know how many metres of paper through the thing by repeated runnings of the self-test or long jobs such as long program listings, it looks like things are back to normal. The only bit of maintenance I dared was to brush the tiniest bit of oil onto the twisty little bar that scoots the head back and forth, and to use a photographer's bulb to blow some air inside in the belief that dust and debris was bunging up some little drive belt or gear. However, these interventions didn't seem to help at first--only running the thing for some time seemed to "unstuck" the operation.

I admit to storing the thing in a room cursed with dust and cats, so that is the only culprit I can think of. But I have read here of people using these printers in very unclean environments, like carpentry shops, without difficulty.

Any thoughts? Is this basically debris and dust that had to dislodge in time, or am I facing something worse?

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