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Author Topic: z3100 frequent head checks  (Read 1615 times)
SeanPuckett
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« on: May 02, 2008, 02:53:40 PM »
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So I seem to remember someone mentioning this before but can't find the thread.  I ran a job earlier today, came out fine.  Running another copy, and the beast is doing head checks every eight passes.  It's taking forever to print.  Is it just annoyed with me for letting the PK cart get low (printing on matte today, so who cares), or is there some deeper issue?
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2008, 06:11:20 PM »
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So I seem to remember someone mentioning this before but can't find the thread.  I ran a job earlier today, came out fine.  Running another copy, and the beast is doing head checks every eight passes.  It's taking forever to print.  Is it just annoyed with me for letting the PK cart get low (printing on matte today, so who cares), or is there some deeper issue?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=193178\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


This appears to be a systemic quirk of the Z3100. After printing with it for a year, I have noted this repetitive back & forth head waggle under a number of circumstances.

It definitely happens when one of the carts is low; I suspect the problem is that the cart's ink level indicator isn't very accurate, so some may be almost empty and the printer struggles to deal with nozzle starvation. It's worth replacing a low cart the first time this happens, just to maintain your sanity.

It starts happening more frequently when the heads are getting gunked up. The Z3100 tends to overspray, with ink gradually collecting on the bottom of the head carriage assembly, especially near the matte black head. A thick bead of ink will also start collecting on the left-hand "diaper pads". In my experience the answer is to pull all the heads, clean them off with a Q-tip and distilled water, scrub the bottom of the head carriage with a damped coffee filter, and scrape the excess ink off the top of the diaper. Then reinstall the heads and realign them, and all is well. This doesn't happen very often; it took 7 months of printing before I had to clean up.

Finally, it occasionally seems to occur out of the blue, even if the carts are okay and everything looks clean. One or two cycles of head cleaning seems to solve the problem.

Hope this helps.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2008, 09:23:57 PM »
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So I seem to remember someone mentioning this before but can't find the thread.  I ran a job earlier today, came out fine.  Running another copy, and the beast is doing head checks every eight passes.  It's taking forever to print.  Is it just annoyed with me for letting the PK cart get low (printing on matte today, so who cares), or is there some deeper issue?
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Go to this thread and see what I did on Post #10:

[a href=\"http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=20863&hl=]http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....topic=20863&hl=[/url]
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SeanPuckett
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2008, 06:41:20 AM »
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Geoff -- thanks.  That's a bunch of good information to have.  The problem went away on its own after I changed media, which is odd.  I did the carriage cleaning in January so I hope it hasn't built up again so fast, but I should take a moment to look at the diaper soon.

Roscolo, that's interesting.  The problem occurred right after I switched to 1200 dpi for a vector job.  Even when I switched back to 600 dpi it persisted (and took 45 minutes to print a 10x30 document).  But when I changed out the media and ran a photo job at the usual 600 dpi, it was right back to normal speed.  I'll try changing that driver setting when I get back to the studio.  I would think that gigabit ethernet would be fast enough, but the printer may not be able to accept data so quickly as it needs it.
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