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Author Topic: Z3200, leading dark edge  (Read 2285 times)
carlweese
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« on: May 31, 2011, 09:52:47 AM »
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For the second time, my HP Z3200 is having an intermittent problem with a dark leading edge on prints. The white border is not affected, but the first 1/8th inch or so of image out of the printer is dark, and there is some banding for another half inch or so. The rest of the print is OK. This same thing happened last summer. The machine was still under warranty then, and the service tech said it sounded like a firmware problem, then determined that the printer was one step behind the current, recently-released firmware.

After updating firmware, the problem disappeared for almost a year, then came back this weekend. I've checked and the firmware and driver are the latest versions, so that "fix" isn't available this time. We did nothing at all to the hardware last time. The printer reports that the heads and inks are all OK. I'll attach a picture of output showing the problem.

This is scanned from a print with a pair of 7.5x9.5" images printed two-up on 24" roll paper. Printing with PSCS5 from a 21.5" iMac. Has anyone else had this problem with an HP large format printer? Any ideas of probable cause? This appeared suddenly a couple days ago after nearly a year of excellent results. The effect does not show up every time, but it's frequent enough to make the machine basically unusable until I get the issue resolved.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 10:29:19 AM »
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Try a cold reboot of the printer. (Turn it off, and then turn of the power switch and pull the plug.)  It might work, as over 3 years of using the Z3100 that has cured some strange problems.  Also, check to see if you have inadvertently changed from Application Manages Color to Printer Manages Color in the Color tab in the printer driver as well as in Photoshop.

These may not change anything for you but they sometimes help.
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carlweese
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2011, 01:06:41 PM »
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Thanks, Walter, already tried the full reboot as soon as the trouble appeared. I learned from HP tech support early on to do that at the first sign of any glitchy behavior. Just checked in the printing dialogs and PSCS5 is, as it's supposed to, shutting off color options in the print driver.
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artobest
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« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2011, 08:29:16 AM »
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Have you tried calibrating the paper advance for that paper? That fixes a lot of mysterious banding issues.
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carlweese
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« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2011, 08:50:06 AM »
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Have you tried calibrating the paper advance for that paper? That fixes a lot of mysterious banding issues.

I haven't done a paper advance calibration yet, but have gotten a different lead. I've determined that on some prints, the printer is laying down gray ink along with gloss enhancer where nothing but GE should be. But I don't yet know the cause: bad GE/gray printhead, dirty/contaminated GE/gray printhead, or is the printhead getting bad instructions from software/firmware/driver? Trying to figure out how to pin it down.---Carl
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artobest
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2011, 09:04:46 AM »
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Ah yes ... this problem is compassed here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=43342.0;wap2

I believe it was simply resolved with a replacement printhead. Good luck!
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Bas Stekelenburg
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« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2011, 04:30:14 PM »
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Exactly the same here.
Not related to drivers / firmware / applications.
What helped me, at least temporarily, is a head cleaning for only GE-LG.
I suspect contamination of  LG ink on the combined head.

If the head cleaning start up is hidden in the support icon too much, I'll guide you through.

Success,
Bas
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carlweese
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2011, 06:16:08 PM »
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Bas, thank you for the input. I haven't had to do a head cleaning before, but I've read the relevant entries in the manual and think I know what to do. First I'm going to check and manually clean the pads/platform area at the far right with the print head carriage moved out of the way. A full uninstall and reinstall of the drivers this afternoon did not fix the problem. I want to try the external cleaning before either doing the front panel head clean operation or replacing the head. But I ordered a replacement head this afternoon as well.---Carl
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Thelo
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2011, 08:25:37 AM »
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I have replaced a couple of matteblack-red printheads (in two printers, one for each) to our z3200ps printers because of the black leak in the red areas and it fixed the problem in both cases. We also had very similar dark edge problem that is visible in your images about 2 months ago and if I remember it was fixed by a printhead replacement which was in that case the gloss enhancer-gray head.

Do You get the dark edge if You print
- full saturated colors of spectrum on the first edge of the print
- on matte paper

In our case I noticed that there were no dark edge on the full saturated spectrum area of the test target but it still was on the gray ramp that was next to it.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2011, 08:57:31 AM by Thelo » Logged
carlweese
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2011, 10:15:01 AM »
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Thelo, thanks for the information, it's encouraging. I have not had it happen on matte papers (my printing ground to a halt last Saturday when I had to shift into "how do I fix this?" mode before printing again. A print with "full page" GE and a .25" border clearly showed the problem where the GE laydown began, so it's definitely an issue involving the GE/gray head. I haven't tried the full saturated colors on first edge, but I did have the machine do a profile of the paper just to see what would happen, and nothing did. Since the profile works just fine, I don't think the red could be contaminated with MK. Intermittent problems are frustrating to test for...

I'm going to manually clean the pad/platform area, have the printer do a head cleaning on the GE/gray head, and then do some test printing. Luckily I've got a slew of "reference prints" that need to be made and will still be useful even with the defect, so I can do a lot of test prints without just wasting tons of paper and ink. Meanwhile, I've ordered a new print head.
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carlweese
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2011, 03:42:28 PM »
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Thelo, it's looking like the GE/gray head has to be the villain. Software uninstall/reinstall
didn't work. Cleaning the printer manually didn't work (although it was a good
idea, quite a lot of ink to remove that probably would have caused trouble
before long). Had the printer do a head cleaning on the suspect set, then made a
print right away that was clean. Let the printer sit for six hours, then did a
print with GE whole sheet, .25" border, and the dark edge was back, where only
GE should be, fainter but broader, fading out over an inch or so. It sure looks
like slow seepage of gray ink into the GE supply in the head.

Just now, nearly 24 hours after that print with the machine idle, I loaded up
some heavy matte art paper and made a fairly substantial print (three-up 6.5x16
images) and it is perfect. I'm certain if it had been gloss medium the dark edge
would have been there. My new print head seems to be moving from Brooklyn to
Connecticut by way of Cleveland so I won't be able to install it and get a
certain answer until Monday at the earliest. But I'm finally optimistic we've
got an answer.---Carl
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carlweese
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 03:52:08 PM »
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I'm optimistic this will be my final note in this thread. Because of slow
shipping of the new print head and other commitments for my time, I was only
able to install the new GE/gray head this morning. After the machine did its
head alignment and I ran new calibration/profiling for Everyday Satin, it's made
a number of prints now with no sign of the dark edge problem. I also let it sit
for several hours before making another clean test print (waiting time seemed to
make the intermittent problem more likely to show up, which would seem to
indicate a slow leak from gray to GE in the print head). I'm pretty confident
that all will be well tomorrow morning after a long, 12+ hour rest period.

My thanks to everyone who tried to help, especially Thelo with his confirmation of a very similar problem.---Carl
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Thelo
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« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 02:41:07 PM »
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I'm optimistic this will be my final note in this thread. Because of slow
shipping of the new print head and other commitments for my time, I was only
able to install the new GE/gray head this morning. After the machine did its
head alignment and I ran new calibration/profiling for Everyday Satin, it's made
a number of prints now with no sign of the dark edge problem. I also let it sit
for several hours before making another clean test print (waiting time seemed to
make the intermittent problem more likely to show up, which would seem to
indicate a slow leak from gray to GE in the print head). I'm pretty confident
that all will be well tomorrow morning after a long, 12+ hour rest period.

My thanks to everyone who tried to help, especially Thelo with his confirmation of a very similar problem.---Carl

You´re welcome Carl.

Funny, I just noticed that there is a very narrow gray edge in the leading edge of the print from one of our HPs. (about 2mm, just visible but it is there.) It is the very same head that was replaced for the very same reason not too long ago. I think I need to change heads between the two printers to see if it is the head or something else.
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carlweese
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« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 03:02:31 PM »
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Thelo, let's hope it isn't a recurring problem. I made a couple gloss-media prints this afternoon and there's no sign of the problem. So, nothing else helped, but a new print head immediately ended the dark edge. Just hope it stays fixed.

Please post your results if you get a chance to do the head swap.
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