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Author Topic: Clogged Light Black Ink on Epson 7900 (same line on each nozzle check pattern)  (Read 9942 times)
Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #40 on: April 23, 2011, 07:31:41 AM »
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as for signs101.  if someone does have a pritner out of warranty.  post a question there.  you will be immediately helped by guys that have long since fired their printer techs.

What has been the expectation/experience of members of the signs101 forum with Epson entering that market with an ecosolvent printer, the GS6000 ? The printer technology must be somewhat equal to the recent Epson waterbased models. Is that printer fitting in that climate of DIY printer maintenance and is Epson coöperating with that approach?


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst


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Garnick
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« Reply #41 on: April 23, 2011, 09:55:45 AM »
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This is interesting because I'm getting minor Cyan clogs in my 4900 if I don't use the printer for several days. They go away with a one-pair simple cleaning, but it's a nuisance.

WOOOW!!! I think I may have developed a hitherto unknown malady. Perhaps we could call it "Printer Envy". If that were the only issue I had to deal with on the 9900 I'd be a very happy camper. Now please don't take that the wrong way Mark. I am in no way minimizing the negative effects or nuisance factor associated with occasional cyan dropouts due to lack of usage, but here's where the printer envy takes over. Within the first six months of use the 9900 nozzles were dropping to the extent that I could not do more than one large print in succession without a nozzle check and subsequent cleaning(s). That finally prompted the first service call and a new pump/cap station assembly. However, since I'd rather not risk lulling everyone into a deep sleep, I will not repeat my current issues since the last service call a couple of weeks ago.

I also enjoyed your post about the disappointment you felt after reading some recent posts and having to reconsider your plan to have the family over and declare what amounts to a local holiday in the event that you have a service call on the 4900. Hey, don't give up hope yet, it ain't that bad! Get the party hats ready, lots of cake and goodies and keep the teach happy as well.

I apologize if my comment concerning the Japanese situation and possible repercussions in our business may have seemed somewhat unsympathetic. It was most certainly not meant to convey that feeling and I hope no one took it that way. On hind site I felt that it may have been misinterpreted. The enormity of that situation is truly mind boggling and one can only try to imagine surviving it and rebuilding a life. My comment was based solely on what the tech mentioned in relation to the fact that the flow of parts had been considerably slower recently, and taking that into consideration I contacted my distributor and asked about inks. I was told that they hadn't really noticed any supply problems yet, and also the fact that not all Epson inks are made in Japan of course.

Have a great Easter weekend and happy printing.

Gary   
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2011, 10:24:10 AM »
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WOOOW!!! I think I may have developed a hitherto unknown malady. Perhaps we could call it "Printer Envy". If that were the only issue I had to deal with on the 9900 I'd be a very happy camper. Now please don't take that the wrong way Mark. I am in no way minimizing the negative effects or nuisance factor associated with occasional cyan dropouts due to lack of usage, but here's where the printer envy takes over. Within the first six months of use the 9900 nozzles were dropping to the extent that I could not do more than one large print in succession without a nozzle check and subsequent cleaning(s). That finally prompted the first service call and a new pump/cap station assembly. However, since I'd rather not risk lulling everyone into a deep sleep, I will not repeat my current issues since the last service call a couple of weeks ago.

I also enjoyed your post about the disappointment you felt after reading some recent posts and having to reconsider your plan to have the family over and declare what amounts to a local holiday in the event that you have a service call on the 4900. Hey, don't give up hope yet, it ain't that bad! Get the party hats ready, lots of cake and goodies and keep the teach happy as well.

I apologize if my comment concerning the Japanese situation and possible repercussions in our business may have seemed somewhat unsympathetic. It was most certainly not meant to convey that feeling and I hope no one took it that way. On hind site I felt that it may have been misinterpreted. The enormity of that situation is truly mind boggling and one can only try to imagine surviving it and rebuilding a life. My comment was based solely on what the tech mentioned in relation to the fact that the flow of parts had been considerably slower recently, and taking that into consideration I contacted my distributor and asked about inks. I was told that they hadn't really noticed any supply problems yet, and also the fact that not all Epson inks are made in Japan of course.

Have a great Easter weekend and happy printing.

Gary   

Gary, I didn't think for a moment your comment on the supply situation from Japan was unsympathetic - I took it simply as a statement of unfortunate fact. You too, have a good holiday weekend.

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #43 on: April 23, 2011, 11:53:00 AM »
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please do upload a pic of your test pattern.  on signs101 usually the first reply is "pic please" (meaning "let me see the pattern").  

here are some basics (i'm heading out so can't make this too detailed).  the pattern or inidvidual patterns are of course what's going on at the head.  ink missing from one side, or top to bottom, or intermittent misses all describe a different issue.

intermittent moving missing nozzles (bad vacuum)  usually a cap top not making good contact or the check valve inside the cap leaking.  so you are getting vacuum but it's hit and miss.  you can set a syringe on the bottom of the waste line and listen for a very very quiet sucking sound or you will see tiny bubbles mixing with your ink coming down the line.  old or new, a printer can have a bad assembly.  

missing on one side (top, left, right, bottom).  caps not meeting plumb with the head platen.  the effect is like taking a suction cup and pulling air in from one side.  thus the ink fades.

deflected nozzle pattern (clogged jets)

halo missing in the middle (clogged manifold screen.  a filter is located inside the head manifold that is much finer than the one in the damper)

warping or over printing in the test pattern (bad data, can be the head, ink that has run down into the data port, loose ribbon)

colors mixing in the pattern (wicking between the cap top and head platen, swollen dap sponge or  head set too low)


also ther extensive discussion about the gs6000 on signs101.  but it does look like the hp latex has it beat.



« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 11:54:45 AM by artbot » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #44 on: April 23, 2011, 12:25:04 PM »
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Here you go. All the rest are fine.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #45 on: April 23, 2011, 12:43:42 PM »
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that's clogged and deflected nozzles.  if you've exhausted the cleaning cycle option, which it seems you have.  the next thing to do is a head soak.  i'm assuming epson provides some kind of cleaning solution for their inks.  pour some solution into the cap so that it fills with solution.  some caps drain some hold fluid it all depends on the manufacturer (the pump has one position that is "closed" by rotating to a certain point).  if epsons rotate to the closed position than it will fill.  now keep in mind that the solution is sitting on top of air trapped in the pump tubes so it will go down and need to be refilled until the air has escaped the lines beneath the cap.  now it the x900 has an open line, you will see the fluid continuously disappear into the cap and hear it falling into the waste tank or cleaning station, etc.  in this case, you will either need to clamp off the pump tube coming out of the bottom of the capping station.  on some of my printers that has been right in plain sight.  other it's been the removal of a panel, etc.  one easy access point it the very bottom of the waste line.  you can put a small nail or whatever into the bottom of the drain tube and the cap will start holding fluid.  of course come back here and there checking to see that you are getting fluid contact at the base of the head.  one thing, this can cause a bit of color contamination by whicking.  you might in your patterns start seeing magenta bleeding into the cyan.  don't worry about this.  just concern yourself with the pattern's progress.  and when you are doing these patterns, number them in chronological order so that you can accurately track which jets are coming clean, are they moving around, being stubborn etc.

i can't believe any of this can be considered "warranty" ending.  it's not like you did anything to the printer other than let epson approved fluid touch the machine.  
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 12:45:34 PM by artbot » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #46 on: April 23, 2011, 12:56:04 PM »
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Thanks, but when I see this happen, I go to the printer's LCD menu (this is a 4900 - have you worked on one of those?), press the a>A button, scroll to Nozzle Clean>Manual>Cyan/VM pair and press > Clean. It takes about a minute or less and then I reprint the nozzle check pattern and it is all-clear. Easy enough, but my question is why this happens curiously to this one channel systematically when the printer has been idle for a few days. I've lodged this issue with Epson America and the discussion isn't over yet. The printer is under warranty, so they need to tell me whether this is a fixable issue with my printer or endemic to the printer model.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #47 on: April 23, 2011, 01:22:23 PM »
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I really don't think that's clogging, I think it's ink starvation. Not sure why it occurs in C a lot. You'll notice more missing nozzles at the bottom than top, means the head is not full of ink in that color according to my tech. With these far more complex pressurized systems in these models, and the valves, etc, lack of ink tends to be the problem, not clogs.
I was also told by my tech that this model should be turned off when not in use rather than left on per previous wisdom. The startup process should bring up pressure and ink into the heads.
That's the theory.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #48 on: April 23, 2011, 01:40:14 PM »
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I really don't think that's clogging, I think it's ink starvation. Not sure why it occurs in C a lot. You'll notice more missing nozzles at the bottom than top, means the head is not full of ink in that color according to my tech. With these far more complex pressurized systems in these models, and the valves, etc, lack of ink tends to be the problem, not clogs.
I was also told by my tech that this model should be turned off when not in use rather than left on per previous wisdom. The startup process should bring up pressure and ink into the heads.
That's the theory.


I think you and your tech are correct. This printer is too new and has done too few sqft (about 120, all using Ilford Gold Fibre Silk which does not shed anything) for clogging to be taking place, unless there is a defect with the ink batch in that cartridge. This is the cartridge the printer came with and I am still using. Now, what I posted is only the latest sample. I've kept all the nozzle checks, and they vary. Several are like that. Several just have two or three empty single-segment gaps in various places; several have numerous gaps all over, and one was almost empty. I think this varied behaviour would also be consistent with an ink starvation diagnosis - if it need not be starved in the same way all the time.

So then the question becomes one of why the starvation is taking place, and whether it would eventually ruin the head. Something is not happening according to the theory. As far as Epson has advised me from back in the days of the 4000, one always turns the printer OFF when not in use, so the head parks in its station and lessens the risk of drying-out. That is routine practice for me. I also keep the top paper feed lid shut, and I drape the printer with a large piece of fabric which does not shed particulates and keeps dust away. I think my maintenance is vanilla, and I think the printer has a defect which Epson still needs to answer for.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #49 on: April 23, 2011, 02:13:27 PM »
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that's clogged and deflected nozzles.  if you've exhausted the cleaning cycle option, which it seems you have.  the next thing to do is a head soak.  i'm assuming epson provides some kind of cleaning solution for their inks.  pour some solution into the cap so that it fills with solution.  some caps drain some hold fluid it all depends on the manufacturer (the pump has one position that is "closed" by rotating to a certain point).  if epsons rotate to the closed position than it will fill.  now keep in mind that the solution is sitting on top of air trapped in the pump tubes so it will go down and need to be refilled until the air has escaped the lines beneath the cap.  now it the x900 has an open line, you will see the fluid continuously disappear into the cap and hear it falling into the waste tank or cleaning station, etc.  in this case, you will either need to clamp off the pump tube coming out of the bottom of the capping station.  on some of my printers that has been right in plain sight.  other it's been the removal of a panel, etc.  one easy access point it the very bottom of the waste line.  you can put a small nail or whatever into the bottom of the drain tube and the cap will start holding fluid.  of course come back here and there checking to see that you are getting fluid contact at the base of the head.  one thing, this can cause a bit of color contamination by whicking.  you might in your patterns start seeing magenta bleeding into the cyan.  don't worry about this.  just concern yourself with the pattern's progress.  and when you are doing these patterns, number them in chronological order so that you can accurately track which jets are coming clean, are they moving around, being stubborn etc.

i can't believe any of this can be considered "warranty" ending.  it's not like you did anything to the printer other than let epson approved fluid touch the machine.  

OH MY!!!  In my HUMBLE opinion, this sort of activity would almost definitely jeopardize the warranty on the 9900. It's also rather obvious to me that our resident tech has probably never worked on a 7900/9900 printer. Removing the end covers on these machines is a task to begin with. Remember my post where I quoted one tech(again, not verbatim) as follows "my goodness, there are certainly a lot of screws to be removed". He was referring to the removal of the two end covers only at that point. And he's quite correct. To get to that point the top cover has to be removed, all ink carts have to be removed(not sure why) and a couple of other procedures as well, just to get the end covers off. All of this in order to pour some sort of Epson sanctioned cleaning fluid into the cap station(s), and hope. Again, if that's your cuppa tea, knock yourself out. And again, in my opinion, Bye Bye Warranty!

Don't know, can't say for sure, just a thought.

My joke du jour is as follows:  Q: What's the difference between ignorance and apathy?   A: I don't know and I don't care!

Gary
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #50 on: April 23, 2011, 02:18:43 PM »
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OH MY!!!  In my HUMBLE opinion, this sort of activity would almost definitely jeopardize the warranty on the 9900.

Gary

You're probably correct, but in my case it's an academic issue. This is an Epson problem. A new printer should not be doing this, period. Their responsibility to find the solution. I'm a firm believer in the theory of comparative advantage, and not muddying the waters.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #51 on: April 23, 2011, 03:17:28 PM »
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well you can visually see the deflected nozzles printed in the pattern.  and the newness of the head should mean that it shouldn't be having issues.  but there are bad heads out there, right out of the box.

the term "ink starvation" means that over the course of printing, the printer's supply system can't keep up with the demand.  if you get a bad pattern before printing than the term doesn't apply.

as for bad ink, that would be seen across the head.

...you mentioned that patterns vary... go back and study your patterns...  see if there are single jets that never ever print compared to ones that are here and there.  this will tell you a lot about what is going on at the head platen.   constant moving around of the pattern is a sign of air leaking during the ink being drawn into the head by the capping station. 

but with your printer this is less likely, because you mentioned that C and vM clean together as a pair.  bad cap seal will not be able to isolate this issue to one channel.  it would be happening to both C and vM.

as for the head soak, i haven't seen a x900 in person.  but it doesn't appear to me that the capping station isn't within reach of a squirt bottle.  slide the head carriage to the left and there you go, capping station.   and no, you don't have to be an epson tech to fix an epson.  these machines are all the same and have been for 12 years.  that's like needing to be a camaro tech.

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« Reply #52 on: April 23, 2011, 04:21:09 PM »
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You might want to actually see an Epson 900 series printer before giving too much technical advice, or before saying that they're all the same for the last 12 years.  The differences between, say, an Epson Stylus Pro 7000 and an Epson Stylus Pro 4900 are substantial, to say the least.

Your comments about nozzle patterns is fair enough and I think most people here are across those concepts. 

Mark - there's an entire forum for Epson printers at Signs 101 (and for each manufacturer, basically), but it's not the kind of place they like random public registering - they have a general warning on the front page that effectively says it's for professional sign and display printers - but anyone can read.  It's a very different market with solvent where DIY maintenance and repair is common place on what are essentially much simpler machines being used to much lower specifications.  That's changing to a degree, and I think the change is accelerating.  Higher quality printing with low solvent is now quite a useful niche, but very low cost, basic quality printing is still the mainstay of solvent.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #53 on: April 23, 2011, 04:46:48 PM »
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well you can visually see the deflected nozzles printed in the pattern.  and the newness of the head should mean that it shouldn't be having issues.  but there are bad heads out there, right out of the box.

the term "ink starvation" means that over the course of printing, the printer's supply system can't keep up with the demand.  if you get a bad pattern before printing than the term doesn't apply.

as for bad ink, that would be seen across the head.

...you mentioned that patterns vary... go back and study your patterns...  see if there are single jets that never ever print compared to ones that are here and there.  this will tell you a lot about what is going on at the head platen.   constant moving around of the pattern is a sign of air leaking during the ink being drawn into the head by the capping station. 

but with your printer this is less likely, because you mentioned that C and vM clean together as a pair.  bad cap seal will not be able to isolate this issue to one channel.  it would be happening to both C and vM.

as for the head soak, i haven't seen a x900 in person.  but it doesn't appear to me that the capping station isn't within reach of a squirt bottle.  slide the head carriage to the left and there you go, capping station.   and no, you don't have to be an epson tech to fix an epson.  these machines are all the same and have been for 12 years.  that's like needing to be a camaro tech.



Bad ink can be one colour.

There are no jets that never ever print.

The pattern isn't constantly moving around - it just differs from one machine start-up to the next. It's fine during printing. The trouble is on start-up only.

You can't just slide the head to the left on this printer, and even if it were all that simple, one would need to know what the problem is to know whether the squirt bottle is the solution. I think there is an ink droppage or dryout in that head which happens when the machine isn't working for more than a day or two, but why remains unresolved. It's not even clear to me that just because C and VM get cleaned as one pair, they are sealed as a pair. Just haven't seen service diagrams for the 4900 print head so I don't know, and I think anyone who hasn't seen the service diagrams wouldn't necessarily know either.

Anyhow, thanks for trying. It's been a useful discussion.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #54 on: April 23, 2011, 04:54:31 PM »
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Mark - there's an entire forum for Epson printers at Signs 101 (and for each manufacturer, basically), but it's not the kind of place they like random public registering - they have a general warning on the front page that effectively says it's for professional sign and display printers - but anyone can read.  It's a very different market with solvent where DIY maintenance and repair is common place on what are essentially much simpler machines being used to much lower specifications.  That's changing to a degree, and I think the change is accelerating.  Higher quality printing with low solvent is now quite a useful niche, but very low cost, basic quality printing is still the mainstay of solvent.

Phil - yes I'm aware. And no I won't be tinkering in my printer or adding solvent or doing anything of the sort. I have two issues with this machine, neither of them are a train smash, Epson America knows what they are, and they remain unresolved. I've been treading lightly because there may be issues in the company due to the situation in Japan, but sooner or later Epson will have to do the needful and I expect they will.

Turning back to the main topic of this thread - the 7900 - and Gary's experience with his 9900 - I have colleagues here in Toronto using both of these printers extensively and they sing the praises of them. This means they are capable of first-rate performance. Needless to say, any piece of complex machinery can have issues, and one hopes the manufacturer retains an interest in going the extra mile to keep their reputation intact. This is a very competitive market segment.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #55 on: April 23, 2011, 11:45:25 PM »
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Turning back to the main topic of this thread - the 7900 - and Gary's experience with his 9900 - I have colleagues here in Toronto using both of these printers extensively and they sing the praises of them. This means they are capable of first-rate performance. Needless to say, any piece of complex machinery can have issues, and one hopes the manufacturer retains an interest in going the extra mile to keep their reputation intact. This is a very competitive market segment.

I agree with your colleagues Mark, these printers are very capable of the first-rate performance of which you speak.  When they are performing up to their potential they are a joy to work with. However, after reading posts on this forum concerning possible issues with these machines I began a log the first day I started printing with the 9900. That list of issues, mostly repeatable issues, has grown to more than 60 entries and has served me well when talking to the folks at Epson and the onsite service techs as well. I too keep a collection of nozzle checks, dated and timed to coincide with my log entries. With these I can show the techs exactly what is happening and they can then diagnose the situation with a higher degree of accuracy. All of this to say that I will continue to be in touch with Epson as often as I deem necessary to keep the printer doing the job it was meant to do.

I believe you also mentioned that these X900 series printers should not have the nozzle dropouts and other issues you are experiencing. And again I agree, they shouldn't. But keep this in mind Mark. The last tech I talked with at Epson about two weeks ago was a fellow who, in my opinion, was one of the most straight shooting techs I had experienced. I again explained my situation and of course he had my file of past calls to read as well. One of the first things he said was this, " I assume you are aware that nozzle droputs not unusual on these machines". He's the first person at Epson who has actually uttered these words to me. I agreed of course, but I also told him that I had been using two 7600 printers for many years without the frequency of problems I had been experiencing with the 9900. He had no answer to that statement, except to arrange another service call. I'm hoping that will happen very soon, but I guess the local service techs are still waiting for parts. Rather suspect I think. I will place another call to Epson on Monday to have them track the situation, again.

You're quite correct, this has been a very interesting thread. Some helpful information and perhaps some not so helpful, but interesting all the while. And just so you know Mark, I'm not far from The Big Smoke myself. Perhaps we shall meet sometime. I will continue to follow your posts regardless. And I will continue to keep you posted on my progress with the mighty 9900.

Gary
« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 12:04:21 AM by Garnick » Logged
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« Reply #56 on: April 24, 2011, 12:18:34 AM »
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well if it's not so good on start up but fine as the printer starts "warming" up after printing and such.  there is a term "vapor lock" meaning the print head simply is resisting the positive pressure of the ink in the tiny lines and needs a little encouragement.   then all is well.  i developed a white ink that i printed from an old encad 505 more than 10 years ago.  using the ink always required a bit of manual cleaning and raising that that cart' a little to get the ink going which i knew was a slightly higher viscosity than the other colors.  this is why damper swapping can be of good use.  the ability to see if you can move the issue to another channel is essential to diagnosing if the issue is on the supply or vacuum side.  there was a guy that did glass printing with a custom ink from dupont that pulled his hair out with issues before we discovered by thorough diagnosis that he received a batch of ink that the viscosity was off.  

as for further contributing to this thread, i'm out.  i not really digging the mood here.  i know so much about making printers work, it will boggle the mind and i'm not really enjoying being "patted on the head", so to speak.
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« Reply #57 on: April 24, 2011, 01:05:46 AM »
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Perhaps if you were a little more humble and realised that there are people here with decades of experience or industry involvement instead of assuming that we all know nothing, you might be better received.
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« Reply #58 on: April 24, 2011, 06:52:29 AM »
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I agree with your colleagues Mark, these printers are very capable of the first-rate performance of which you speak.  When they are performing up to their potential they are a joy to work with. However, after reading posts on this forum concerning possible issues with these machines I began a log the first day I started printing with the 9900. That list of issues, mostly repeatable issues, has grown to more than 60 entries and has served me well when talking to the folks at Epson and the onsite service techs as well. I too keep a collection of nozzle checks, dated and timed to coincide with my log entries. With these I can show the techs exactly what is happening and they can then diagnose the situation with a higher degree of accuracy. All of this to say that I will continue to be in touch with Epson as often as I deem necessary to keep the printer doing the job it was meant to do.

I believe you also mentioned that these X900 series printers should not have the nozzle dropouts and other issues you are experiencing. And again I agree, they shouldn't. But keep this in mind Mark. The last tech I talked with at Epson about two weeks ago was a fellow who, in my opinion, was one of the most straight shooting techs I had experienced. I again explained my situation and of course he had my file of past calls to read as well. One of the first things he said was this, " I assume you are aware that nozzle droputs not unusual on these machines". He's the first person at Epson who has actually uttered these words to me. I agreed of course, but I also told him that I had been using two 7600 printers for many years without the frequency of problems I had been experiencing with the 9900. He had no answer to that statement, except to arrange another service call. I'm hoping that will happen very soon, but I guess the local service techs are still waiting for parts. Rather suspect I think. I will place another call to Epson on Monday to have them track the situation, again.

You're quite correct, this has been a very interesting thread. Some helpful information and perhaps some not so helpful, but interesting all the while. And just so you know Mark, I'm not far from The Big Smoke myself. Perhaps we shall meet sometime. I will continue to follow your posts regardless. And I will continue to keep you posted on my progress with the mighty 9900.

Gary

Thanks Gary - would be a pleasure to meet sometime. I hope when they're able Epson does the needful so you can get to the bottom of your issues with the 9900. It's not good to invest so much in these machines and then suffer the aggravation and productivity loss. I also think if that tech were correct in his assessment of the drop-out situation, Epson would get a lot more mileage from its customers by acknowledging it, developing workarounds, and publishing material on "best-practices" for handling it. In such a situation they would earn respect.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Shane Webster
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« Reply #59 on: April 25, 2011, 08:18:54 AM »
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because I'm seeing rather unique Cyan nozzle check gaps on my 4900 if not used for more than a couple of days.

Mark-- I've constantly had clogs with my 4900's Cyan printhead and now have a nozzle that will not unclog (I've performed about 10 cleanings, including 4 or 5 power cleanings).  I've called Epson to report the problem and they're exchanging my printer.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2011, 08:31:30 AM by Shane Webster » Logged
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