Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: HP fixed my starwheel problem on my Z3100 today  (Read 7011 times)
Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« on: September 14, 2007, 08:51:43 PM »
ReplyReply

Before you get too excited, I doubt that the problem with some fragile surfaces is fixed, but I had a issue with my 44" model that was serious enough to cause problems on HP Professional Satin Photo Paper.  In general, I love the finish of this media (I haven't got my Harman Gloss to try yet), and have had few issues with it, but I had an extremely light linear rippling across the width of my prints and a more serious soft indentation at 18 1/2" from the right side of the paper.  The stripes were not serious enough to notice except in the reflections, but they were bad enough that I could not sell them as fine art prints.  

I had read about others issues with the star wheels, and experienced my own issues across the surface of the whole print on a couple of glossy stocks, but I thought it was worth a shot to see if replacing the star wheel assembly might help my particular problem on this heavy stock, since it was not a problem across the full width of the paper.  I called HP yesterday afternoon, and in less than 24 hours a technician was here with a new part to install.  In my case, the new assembly completely solved my problem.  

I have 17 44" x 60" gallery prints to crank out by Tuesday or I would test it with other stocks, but will try it with other papers when I have a chance.  The technician did not know if this was the same design as the one that was replaced, so I don't know if this is cause for optimism on all fronts yet, but I felt like HP took care of the problem as fast and efficiently as I could imagine, and I'm a happy camper if I can get this show printed with no other issues.  I think the moral of the story is to certainly pursue a solution with them whenever you have a problem and to not be complacent with manufacturing or design defects until you have at least attempted to have them fixed by HP.  

-Ron
Logged

mvandenbos
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 56


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2007, 09:57:32 PM »
ReplyReply

Just wanted a clarification of the starwheel problem per se.

On my prints with gloss media such has hp id satin at an angle the printer leaves semi-paired trails of lines which are visible only at angle. Consistent reproducible and likely mechanical in origin. Prints look fine without viewing from an angle.

Your advice is appreciated.

Thanks

Mehdi
Logged

Mehdi van den Bos
www.mehdivandenbos.com
EvoM
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2007, 10:24:00 PM »
ReplyReply

If you don't mind me asking, what part did they actually change? Are you sure it was the star rollers and not just the lead out assembly i.e. the grey plastic bit accross the font with the blue lines on it? That is the part I had changed yesterday but not the actual star rollers.

Evo
Logged
Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2007, 11:58:54 PM »
ReplyReply

Mehdi:  My problem was not noticeable from most angles, but was easily spotted when viewed under extreme side light or when seen with a highlight across the problem spots.  The broader problem area was really barely noticeable and would have been borderline acceptable as a fine art print and probably no issue as a display print.  The more troublesome mark was two slightly embossed lines roughly 3/8" apart.  The lines were fairly soft and ever so slightly less glossy (the prints have full coverage gloss enhancer) and not sellable as fine art.  

Evo:  The technician showed up with a box that was identical to the ones that the 44" paper comes in.  I thought he was bringing his own paper to make test prints.    Inside was a complete starwheel assembly, which is the metal bar with the strange tabs that stick out the back that moves up and down.  He changed it out in about ten minutes with a couple of screws.  

I was surprised by what I saw when I flipped the old part over, though.  Underneath this part is an amazing number of tiny starwheels, each roughly 1/2" in diameter.  They look like star shaped lock washers.  I couldn't think of a less intuitive design for holding down freshly inked paper on a platen, but it (mostly) works.  HP went for the the absolute minimal contact area in a spike heel vs. snowshoe approach.  At any given time there are probably fifty blunt little needles in contact with the paper.

I read here in someone's post that they had bent up some spring or springs, but I pushed on the starwheels and was able to push them to their maximum deflection without any effort at all.  They seemed too soft to affect by smashing them in.  Perhaps the spring in question was in the part that moves the bar, not the individual starwheels.

I'm at home now, but took a photo of the assembly before he took it away, which he said he was required to do.  When I get back at work and have a chance tomorrow I will post the photo I took, for what it is worth.  

-Ron
Logged

Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2007, 02:38:29 PM »
ReplyReply

Here, belatedly, is a quick snapshot I took of part of the starwheel assembly, from below.  This view of it surprised the hell out of me, since it sure doesn't look like what I would assume you would want to use to push down freshly inked paper.
-Ron
[attachment=3291:attachment]
Logged

neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2007, 02:45:55 PM »
ReplyReply

So this is the old one or the new one?
Mine looks like the photo. There are end clips that you can undo and slide off all the rollers.

Also you said the new grey plastic part has a deeper recess after leaving the carriage. Do you have a photo?
I would like to know if I should have the part changed or not for Fine Art Pearl types of paper. Better that I be sure before asking for the parts to be changed.
Thanks for the info and photo BTW.
Logged
Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2007, 03:18:06 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
So this is the old one or the new one?
Mine looks like the photo. There are end clips that you can undo and slide off all the rollers.

Also you said the new grey plastic part has a deeper recess after leaving the carriage. Do you have a photo?
I would like to know if I should have the part changed or not for Fine Art Pearl types of paper. Better that I be sure before asking for the parts to be changed.
Thanks for the info and photo BTW.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140005\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Neil-
This is the old part, before the technician took it away.  I'm not sure what you are asking about regarding the gray plastic part and the recess.  I had linear grooves in the print surface, but made no mention in my post of gray plastic parts.  Are you thinking of the outfeed plate that Evo was asking about?  I understand that these were being replaced as well, but the issue has not come up with me.

I haven't tried Hahnemuhle's Fine Art Pearl paper, but had absolutely no issues with marks on Crane's Silver Rag (another Pearl, right?).  Have others had issues with marks on HP Professional Satin or with Pearl finish papers?

-Ron
PS:  My problem has returned and I'm on the phone with HP Tech Support right now.
Logged

adiallo
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 87


« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2007, 03:20:14 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Also you said the new grey plastic part has a deeper recess after leaving the carriage. Do you have a photo?
I would like to know if I should have the part changed or not for Fine Art Pearl types of paper.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140005\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Neil,
The revamped gray tray now has thin protrusions that keep paper from dipping into the slight gap where the tray meets the silver edge of the transport assembly. That's the only difference in the new gray plastic part and would only help you if the leading edges of your papers are dropping into this gap, causing the trailing paper to bow up and press tighter against the star wheels.
On my Z, swapping in the new tray and starwheel assembly did not eliminate the marks with the FibaPrint paper. But I just got test rolls of the Ilford (not Harman) baryta paper and have not found any starwheel marks.
Logged

Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2007, 09:33:20 PM »
ReplyReply

A HP technician came out again today to assess my starwheel problem and wound up deciding, with advice on the phone from the HP mothership, to return tomorrow to replace the paper outfeed plate (the one with the famous blue line).  According to him, the new design addresses two issues:  The paper falling in the gap problem and (more of an issue for me) it also has additional changes on the other end of the plastic plate that changes the angle the paper follows as it passes through the starwheel assembly.  

I've noticed that longer 44" wide prints on HP Professional Satin seem to bow up more from their weight as they leave the starwheels, before rolling over the front edge of the printer, although my prints have some degree of marking from start to finish.  Some prints are worse at the end of the print, some are the same from end to end, but none are worse at the start of the print.  The paper is stiff enough that additional downward pressure from more weight acts like a lever to push the paper up between the front edge of the printer and the starwheels.

I took my starwheel assembly off (two torx screws) and to see if I could tell why some areas are worse than others.  I have to confess that I tried sliding the starwheels around a bit.  They move around in groups by sliding their plastic carrier in a groove within the aluminum extrusion.  You can adjust the spacing just by sliding them.  From what I could tell the front starwheels were randomly spaced.  95% of them were not aligned with one another from front to back, and a couple of the ones that were aligned were in the vicinity of my problems, so I slid them slightly to no longer align.  Alas, this only moved the marks around a bit, so I think I may have ruled out alignment of starwheels as a cause.  The theory was that two paired starwheels on the front and two paired starwheels in the back, if aligned, could emboss into the paper more than evenly distrubuted starwheels.  That is as far as I care to venture with my self-directed science projects.

I will continue to update everybody, as this doesn't seem to be specific to just my machine.

-Ron H.

PS:  Here are a couple more photos, FWIW.

[attachment=3323:attachment][attachment=3324:attachment]
Logged

Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2007, 09:15:22 PM »
ReplyReply

Update:  The tech came out again and replaced my paper outfeed plate today with the new design.  It is different, but curiously the alleged new feature that others others on this forum  have mentioned and that HP told me about yesterday, a design to prevent paper from lodging in the gap between the plastic plate and the aluminum front panel is unchanged.  

What is different is that there are now seven oddly spaced ribs to lift the paper higher or support it better as it leaves the starwheels.  The left right spacing varies from 1 1/2' apart to 12 1/2" apart.  You are seeing the three center ribs in my photo below.  If anything, this design appears to be a step in the wrong direction, as it would seem to only put more pressure on the paper against the starwheels.  Regardless of what it should or shouldn't do, it does nothing to change the embossed grooves in my prints.

I attached a photo of the problem on a print.  This is probably about an 11" x 17" area of the image.  I deliberately took the shot from directly overhead with on camera flash to show off the textural problem in the reflected highlight.  In even, soft lighting the lines completely go away, since the ink is undisturbed, but in any sort reflection they are easily discernable.  I'm quickly loosing confidence that this is going to be fixed anytime soon by anything short of a redesigned starwheel system.  

Can anybody else who has printed with HP Professional Satin media tell me if you are experiencing similar problems?  I know that many others have problems like this with other stocks, but have yet to hear anybody say that they have had bad results with the paper I'm using.
Thanks,
Ron

A shot of the problem on one of my prints:
[attachment=3338:attachment]
A photo of the new plastic outfeed plate:
[attachment=3339:attachment]
Logged

dandeliondigital
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 224



WWW
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2007, 09:32:39 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: mvandenbos,Sep 14 2007, 10:57 PM
Just wanted a clarification of the starwheel problem per se.

On my prints with gloss media such has hp id satin at an angle the printer leaves semi-paired trails of lines which are visible only at angle. Consistent reproducible and likely mechanical in origin. Prints look fine without viewing from an angle.

Hi Mehdi,
I have this exact same problem on the ID Gloss. Also, if I attempt use any photo gloss "fiber type" papers (usually rag type with an emulsion like coating that is glossy but not GLOSSY), they get crushed by extreme tension by the printer's rollers whcih leaves marks that make them look unacceptable (and 100x worse than the ID Gloss marks, BTW) . FYI, I am using the Z3100ps GP 44" and I spoke with HP in AUG about this and other issues at great length, and they wouldn't go into details and hinted at the coming firmware upgrade being the fix. The delivery date was projected by them from SEP>DEC, and it has been hinted at on this forum. The most exciting mid-SEP rumor has come and gone.

The ID Gloss looks so bad "at an angle" as you state that I am not going to be using that paper unless this gets fixed. It's really unacceptable to me.

So long for now, TOM
Logged

www.dandeliondigital.com posters and prints
Jim Cole
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 362



WWW
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2007, 11:24:57 PM »
ReplyReply

Are you sure that the marks are caused by the rollers and that you do not have defective paper? The initial batch of Pro Satin had marks just like you're seeing. I had the same issue and finally realized the marks were on the unprinted paper.

A new batch received by HP was defect free.

Jim
Logged

Jim Cole
Whitestown, IN
www.jimcolephoto.com
Colorwave
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 993


WWW
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2007, 11:50:41 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Are you sure that the marks are caused by the rollers and that you do not have defective paper? The initial batch of Pro Satin had marks just like you're seeing. I had the same issue and finally realized the marks were on the unprinted paper.

A new batch received by HP was defect free.

Jim
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140608\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Jim:  I soooo wish that was the case, but the paper is flawless.  I had a moment, a couple of days ago as I finished a roll and noticed marks on the roll end that hadn't printed, when I thought that it might be the paper.  Unfortunately, though, I realized after a closer look that the roll was marked as it was ejected through the starwheels even though it didn't print (ruling out ink load or feed speed issues).  I've examined the paper before it enters the machine and have not found any marks.  Have you had good luck with this stock yourself?  I'd be a happy camper if I was printing POP photos for my local mall, but alas my prints are destined (if I can get it fixed) for art collectors and my client wants to buck the trend in not going with the Photo Rag look.
Thanks,
Ron

ONE MORE QUESTION:  Do other's Z3100's starwheels make a chattering noise as the machine prints?  I honestly can't recall if mine always sounded this way, but it makes slight grinding/clicking/chattering noises as the starwheels spin.  Not quite as high tech sounding as the whoosh of the printhead traveling on it's track.  Do yours make noise at the front end?
Logged

neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2007, 11:56:40 PM »
ReplyReply

On mine there are no marks on Glossy, nor Pro Satin. Some of the Fine Art PEarls though do, and it's rather the rollers that are the problem, the star wheels are generally quite invisible. If you look with a hard direct light source you will find star wheel marks on many printers but you have to want to look that close to find them.
I hope you're right about a firmware fix for the roller tension. That is opposite to what I was told , in that firmware would not be a possible fix.
Logged
neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2007, 12:05:49 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
ONE MORE QUESTION:  Do other's Z3100's starwheels make a chattering noise as the machine prints?  I honestly can't recall if mine always sounded this way, but it makes slight grinding/clicking/chattering noises as the starwheels spin.  Not quite as high tech sounding as the whoosh of the printhead traveling on it's track.  Do yours make noise at the front end?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=140613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

No here the star wheels are absolutely quiet. Strange they should make a noise. Perhaps as someone posted here, the wheel holders are out of alignment?
Logged
dkeyes
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 259


WWW
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2007, 02:28:25 AM »
ReplyReply

I've had similar problems on Satin a few times. I noticed it when the humidity got over 65%. Not sure if the issue is related to that or not. Another time when this issue came up I had been telling the printer not to cut the roll. When I started having the printer cut the roll (automatically when finished), the issue went away. Again, can't tell if it's related or not. It is definitely caused by the rollers, as the banding matches the roller positions exactly.

- Doug
« Last Edit: September 20, 2007, 02:29:25 AM by dkeyes » Logged

georgek
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 110


WWW
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2007, 04:55:22 AM »
ReplyReply

I've got similar problems with the rollers with HP Prof Satin and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright white. On the Photo satin under srong light at an extreme angle you can see a faint pair of lines 4-5cm apart along the length of the paper, but only in the middle of a 44" roll. On the Hahnemuhle the lines cover the whole width of the paper. I've got a 44" Z3100ps GP.

From what I've read in the LL forum it's pointless to call HP. What I'll try to do is to replace HP Prof Satin and Hahnemuhle with similar papers from other brands. I also print on the Epson Prem Luster with no problems at all.
Logged

Ernst Dinkla
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2824


« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2007, 06:01:53 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I've got similar problems with the rollers with HP Prof Satin and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Bright white. On the Photo satin under srong light at an extreme angle you can see a faint pair of lines 4-5cm apart along the length of the paper, but only in the middle of a 44" roll. On the Hahnemuhle the lines cover the whole width of the paper. I've got a 44" Z3100ps GP.

From what I've read in the LL forum it's pointless to call HP. What I'll try to do is to replace HP Prof Satin and Hahnemuhle with similar papers from other brands. I also print on the Epson Prem Luster with no problems at all.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've printed with the Z3100 on PhotoRag, PhotoRag Bright White, German Etching (softer than the first two), all 310 gsm, Albrecht Dürer and I have not seen any artifacts of the transport rollers. Not on HP Premium ID Satin or Gloss either. Nor starwheel problems. It was with Innova F type Gloss that I did see the roller effect but not the starwheel's. Some Sihl FB baryta quality sheets are on their way to check whether that works.

I also wonder meanwhile whether the people with starwheel problems have less problems with roller pressure marks and the opposite. I can not recall messages that mention both problems at the same time.


Ernst Dinkla

try: [a href=\"http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/]http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Wide_Inkjet_Printers/[/url]
Logged
adiallo
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 87


« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2007, 07:46:45 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Can anybody else who has printed with HP Professional Satin media tell me if you are experiencing similar problems?
FWIW I'm not getting roller marks like in your pics with either the HP or third party papers. Just starwheel marks on the baryta/fiber base papers. In another post I said the new Ilford Galerie Gold Silk (not Harman) baryta paper was starwheel mark-free. My mistake. It is indeed on that stock as well. Also, your output plate looks just like mine. Perhaps I didn't describe it well.
Logged

neil snape
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1432


WWW
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2007, 07:50:15 AM »
ReplyReply

I get roller marks on Innova Fibra Ultra, and star wheels on H FA Pearl. On Innova the marks are obvious, whereas on other media the star wheel marks are usually not visible unless you really look for them.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad