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Author Topic: First problems with 9900  (Read 5989 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: July 31, 2009, 08:41:13 PM »
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Dear all,

My new 9900 arrived 2 weeks ago, and after doing a few routine test prints on sheets of paper, I have just tried my first large pano print on 24 inch paper.

Starting with the positive, the colors are great and, although I am on OX10.5.7, I have experienced none of the profile issues others have been plagued with. The gammut is amazing, and the detail is great too.

Now on the negative...

- The Epson people I have been dealing with are totally clueless about this printer... the guy who came to install it knew less about it than me who had just browsed quickly through the English manual. He was totally unable to answer any question on color Mgt... I am working on this with Epson Japan. I will try to get support on the issue described below though the maintenance contract I have bought with the printer... but my clear feeling is that they will be unable to help me quickly...
- The printer does seem to do self cleaning checks before most prints - this in itself might not be a huge issue,
- I see pretty awful large frequency banding on the pano prints. The paper used is the best Epson photo paper, the 250 gr glossy paper at 250 US$ a 12 m roll. I have been using the following print settings that are pretty much the default ones + alpha:
  - high speed
  - best possible resolution (2880 X 1440)
  - best possible detail
  - the paper type was correctly set on the printer

The issue doesn't show up in the first 40cm of the print, and then appears progressively to reach these unacceptable levels near the end of the 130cm print.

I don't see any micro banding so I don't think that it is a problem with clogging.

Here are some images of the issues... (banding is parallel to print head movement)



I am now testing other papers like Photorag Baryta and it seems that the problem is basically invisible on that paper.

Any idea on what is causing this problem and how it could be fixed would be most welcome.

Thank you in advance.

Regards,
Bernard
« Last Edit: July 31, 2009, 09:00:19 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Farmer
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« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2009, 09:03:44 PM »
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Hi Bernard,

A few things:

Can you confirm Firmware version and Driver version?

Which software are you printing from?

Can you provide full and exact driver settings and the exact paper type (there are various Epson glossy papers, so it's worth being precise).

Are you using a 9900 or the local Japanese variant (asking really because it may affect Firmware and driver versions that you have).

When you say best possible detail, do you mean you have ticked "Finest Detail" in the driver?  If so, what is the resolution that you're sending to the printer (this shouldn't have anything to do with the banding you're seeing, but I'm curious all the same).

The fact that it gets worse as the print gets longer suggest two main possibly issues:

1. the 1m adjustment is out and needs to be redone
2. the paper/driver/application settings are not correctly matched and so it's not feeding the paper exactly right (it also affects automatic tension adjustments in the new roll feeder, for example)

I suppose it could also be an ink starvation issue, but that would seem very odd on a new printer.  If you create a long image with strips of C M Y and K do you notice the banding only in one or some of the strips, or all of them?  Under a loupe, can you identify specific colour channels that may be an issue or is it across all channels (this will help to determine if it is a feed or an ink delivery issue).

I'll be away the next couple of days, but will try to log in if I have a chance to check on your issue - hope it all gets sorted quickly!
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Mulis Pictus
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2009, 02:16:47 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
- I see pretty awful large frequency banding on the pano prints. The paper used is the best Epson photo paper, the 250 gr glossy paper at 250 US$ a 12 m roll. I have been using the following print settings that are pretty much the default ones + alpha:
  - high speed
  - best possible resolution (2880 X 1440)
  - best possible detail
  - the paper type was correctly set on the printer

The issue doesn't show up in the first 40cm of the print, and then appears progressively to reach these unacceptable levels near the end of the 130cm print.

I don't see any micro banding so I don't think that it is a problem with clogging.

Here are some images of the issues... (banding is parallel to print head movement)

I am now testing other papers like Photorag Baryta and it seems that the problem is basically invisible on that paper.

Any idea on what is causing this problem and how it could be fixed would be most welcome.

Hi Bernard,

I had similar issue with double weight matte paper and certain colors - large areas of them. It also happened here only on this one of all paper types I use. I have tried many things and in the end I was able to get rid of it by setting wide platen gap. So that would be 1st thing I will try.

I think these were slight head strikes and I believe it was caused by paper curling after it was soaked too much with ink. It was also OK at the beginning of print, started after few cm of print though.

Hope it will help
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edwinb
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2009, 05:31:29 AM »
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Quote from: Mulis Pictus
Hi Bernard,

I had similar issue with double weight matte paper and certain colors - large areas of them. It also happened here only on this one of all paper types I use. I have tried many things and in the end I was able to get rid of it by setting wide platen gap. So that would be 1st thing I will try.

I think these were slight head strikes and I believe it was caused by paper curling after it was soaked too much with ink. It was also OK at the beginning of print, started after few cm of print though.

Hope it will help

I agree it looks like head gap issue, can be avoided by gently pulling the paper forward as it prints out so the angle of the first 40 cm is maintained throughout the whole print (tedious i know but would clarify the issue)
edwin
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Edwin Blenkinsopp
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Paul2660
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2009, 06:57:03 AM »
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The pattern looks like it's from the pinch rollers since it runs the
direction of the running length of the paper.   With long prints the
weight of the printed paper may be pulling the print down on the
platten.  I get a similar issue with large canvas prints on the 9880
but not on paper.  IMO a head strike would be running along the width
of the paper.

Paul Caldwell



Quote from: edwinb
I agree it looks like head gap issue, can be avoided by gently pulling the paper forward as it prints out so the angle of the first 40 cm is maintained throughout the whole print (tedious i know but would clarify the issue)
edwin
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 06:59:38 AM by Paul2660 » Logged

Paul Caldwell
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2009, 08:17:33 AM »
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Quote from: Paul2660
The pattern looks like it's from the pinch rollers since it runs the
direction of the running length of the paper.  

Paul Caldwell

The original message said: Banding is parallel to the head movement.

My bet is on ink starvation. A small leak in the air chamber membrane of a cart so the pressure isn't optimal and/or a bad air pressure sensor in the printer. Fast setting usually means bidirectional ink squirting, the movement will add to the ink loading in one direction but could be slightly less on the other direction. There are several solutions to compensate on that in inkjets, buffers in the head assembly plus dual channels, one for the right side and one for the left side but it might not be enough to compensate a lower ink feed pressure. If you use a slower printing speed that uses unidirectional (if available) and it does the job correctly then you can be more certain that it is ink starvation.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Dinkla Gallery Canvas Wrap Actions for Photoshop
http://www.pigment-print.com/dinklacanvaswraps/index.html



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Paul2660
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009, 09:19:03 AM »
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Sorry missed that.  

Paul Caldwell





Quote from: Ernst Dinkla
The original message said: Banding is parallel to the head movement.

My bet is on ink starvation. A small leak in the air chamber membrane of a cart so the pressure isn't optimal and/or a bad air pressure sensor in the printer. Fast setting usually means bidirectional ink squirting, the movement will add to the ink loading in one direction but could be slightly less on the other direction. There are several solutions to compensate on that in inkjets, buffers in the head assembly plus dual channels, one for the right side and one for the left side but it might not be enough to compensate a lower ink feed pressure. If you use a slower printing speed that uses unidirectional (if available) and it does the job correctly then you can be more certain that it is ink starvation.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst Dinkla

Dinkla Gallery Canvas Wrap Actions for Photoshop
http://www.pigment-print.com/dinklacanvaswraps/index.html
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Paul Caldwell
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BobDavid
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2009, 04:33:55 PM »
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Does this effect happen if you don't print on "high speed"
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 04:35:18 PM by BobDavid » Logged
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2009, 06:43:08 PM »
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Dear all,

Thanks a lot for your quick and detailed feedbacks, much appreciated!

I was partially out yesterday and could not yet complete all the tests I intended to do, but it would seem indeed that high speed mode is related to this issue. I managed to get one perfect - gorgeous I have to say - print on H Photorag Baryta that made my day. (those claiming that nothing can beat 8x10 have never seen prints from high res stitches ).

I will try to increase the plate gap and see if it solves the problem too.

As far as ink starvation goes, I am still running on the initial ink cartidges on all but the Grey channel, could these cartridges be more likely to induce ink starvation than the regular ones?

Thank you again.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2009, 02:09:28 AM »
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You did all of the head alignments when you set up the printer using the roll of paper furnished?

I agree with Ernest, this looks like ink isn't getting out of the head.  I've never seen a case of "ink starvation" on any Epson printer so I'll yield to his expertise on that subject.  Of course one obvious cause of ink starvation is clogged nozzles, which leads to various degrees of banding.  You have actually printed a manual nozzle test to verify visually all nozzles are firing?

I don't believe the 110ml cartridges would be more prone to problems. However one theory might be a defective cartridge not sealing correctly ... maybe this could cause the ink starvation issue mentioned.

Your LK cartridge is already exhausted?  How much have you printed?  While it runs out much faster than the others, you should have been able to print a substantial amount of paper unless the printer is cleaning constantly (which it shouldn't be doing).  

When you say best possible detail, note that "highest detail" is not intended for photographic images but for vector graphics.  This won't cause a visual artifact like your examples  (or any obvious artifact for that matter ... prints will look great).  Just thought I'd mention it ( I can't remember if this setting slowed the printer down or not when I ran my speed tests.)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 02:12:31 AM by Wayne Fox » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2009, 09:31:39 AM »
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Dear all,

It seems that getting rid of fast speed together with a 2 step increase of plate gap solves the issues on all the papers I have tried.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2009, 03:34:33 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
Dear all,

It seems that getting rid of fast speed together with a 2 step increase of plate gap solves the issues on all the papers I have tried.

Thanks again for your help.

Cheers,
Bernard
Glad to hear this helped.

However ...

You shouldn't have to get rid of fast speed (if you mean Bi-D).  It should print just fine ... in fact if you have done all of the head alignment routines you should have to look  very closely to see any difference between bi-d and uni-d.

I also don't think you should have to mess with the platen gap using Epson's  paper.  
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Farmer
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2009, 04:48:14 PM »
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I agree with Wayne.  I think this points back to an issue with either a media mismatch in the driver or one of the adjustments (such as the 1m adjustment).

I'm presuming you haven't made any custom variations to paper settings and the like?

And, again, I'd recommend updating to the latest firmware if you haven't already.

If the issues on Epson paper with correct driver settings are apparent in bi-di (high speed) and with the platen at the normal position, then there's a problem that needs to be addressed by a service technician.
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Schewe
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2009, 05:10:08 PM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
The issue doesn't show up in the first 40cm of the print, and then appears progressively to reach these unacceptable levels near the end of the 130cm print.


You should measure the EXACT print length of the image and the print. If the print length is off it indicates a paper feed problem. If the print is longer than the image then the stepper motor is moving the paper too far (which is what I suspect from the indications). It doesn't show up on short prints but gets progressively worse the longer the print is. Paper feed should be adjustable (although I don't know if it's a easy user fix). Check the manual...
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jjlphoto
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2009, 06:06:04 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
You should measure the EXACT print length of the image and the print. If the print length is off it indicates a paper feed problem. If the print is longer than the image then the stepper motor is moving the paper too far (which is what I suspect from the indications). It doesn't show up on short prints but gets progressively worse the longer the print is. Paper feed should be adjustable (although I don't know if it's a easy user fix). Check the manual...


There's the old ruler test: Make a blank file in Photoshop 100 cm long x whatever, and on the opposite long edges, create a thin black line top to bottom. If the output is not 100cm, feed is off.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2009, 06:55:09 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
You should measure the EXACT print length of the image and the print. If the print length is off it indicates a paper feed problem. If the print is longer than the image then the stepper motor is moving the paper too far (which is what I suspect from the indications). It doesn't show up on short prints but gets progressively worse the longer the print is. Paper feed should be adjustable (although I don't know if it's a easy user fix). Check the manual...

Thanks Jeff, interesting input.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Farmer
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2009, 10:37:51 PM »
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The 1m adjustment is the one that needs to be done in relation to what Jeff is talking about.  As the machine is brand new and under warranty, I'd expect Epson to arrange to have that done for you if it proves to be the issue (and I agree with Jeff and it's one of the probable causes I mentioned initially), but it only applies if you are using the correct paper/driver combination (even choosing 260 instead of 250 can cause an issue, for example).
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2009, 12:07:59 AM »
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Quote from: Farmer
I agree with Wayne.  I think this points back to an issue with either a media mismatch in the driver or one of the adjustments (such as the 1m adjustment).

I'm presuming you haven't made any custom variations to paper settings and the like?

And, again, I'd recommend updating to the latest firmware if you haven't already.

If the issues on Epson paper with correct driver settings are apparent in bi-di (high speed) and with the platen at the normal position, then there's a problem that needs to be addressed by a service technician.

Thanks for the advice. My firmware appears to be the latest available for the PX-H10000 marketed in Japan, same thing for the driver but both appear to be slightly older than the Japanese equivalent.

I have tripled checked the match between driver and paper and printers setting (Glossy is only available in 250gr in Japan, 260gr is semi gloss only) and things seem to be OK. I am also not aware of any adjustements I would have done in terms of customer paper (tried reseting all settings on printer once)...

As of now, the problem is reproducible 100% of the time with the default platen and both single and bi-directional... although it is more apparent with bi-directional.

With the platen 2 steps up and one directional print, there is zero problem, I am now trying platen 2 steps up and bi-directional.

From what you are saying, I should probably make a first usage of my on-site maintenance contract...

Thanks anyway for the kind help!

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2009, 12:09:36 AM »
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Quote from: Farmer
The 1m adjustment is the one that needs to be done in relation to what Jeff is talking about.  As the machine is brand new and under warranty, I'd expect Epson to arrange to have that done for you if it proves to be the issue (and I agree with Jeff and it's one of the probable causes I mentioned initially), but it only applies if you are using the correct paper/driver combination (even choosing 260 instead of 250 can cause an issue, for example).

What I don't get here is why changing the platen gap would solve the issue if it were due to a paper feed speed problem?

Regards,
Bernard
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Farmer
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2009, 03:10:49 AM »
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Quote from: BernardLanguillier
What I don't get here is why changing the platen gap would solve the issue if it were due to a paper feed speed problem?

Regards,
Bernard

I think you definitely need them to come out and have a look at the printer.  If you can reproduce it using Epson media through the driver, then there's an issue.  I doubt it's a hardware fault, just a settings adjustment.

As to why the platen gap change is apparently fixing it, I would say that the larger gap is causing a more spread out laydown of the ink, almost like an increased dot gain (but not really - just less accurate) and that could be hiding the problem (if you ran a really long print it may start up again).

Sounds like you have used quite a lot of media and ink to discover the issue, so you should mention that to them, too.
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