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Author Topic: Epson 7900 - LLK channel clogging, banding - what a disappointment!  (Read 33580 times)
Schewe
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2011, 04:57:58 PM »
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I suspect that Epson 7900 is purposely designed so a regular user can NOT access the print head easily.

No...the mechanical design has everything to do with the delivery of a fine droplet at a precise location on the paper. That is hard enough...I seriously doubt Epson would intentionally design the system to frustrate users who want to work on their machines. Do your think Epson is out to get you?

I understand your frustration...the Epson pro line of printers are just that, printers designed for professionals. As such it take professional repair serves to fix things in the event something goes down. If the head is irrevocably impaired, the only solution is to have the head replaced. Yes, the head SHOULD last a lot longer than it did. I've not heard many stories about head failures on the x900 series. The fact that the head failed just after your warrantee is unfortunate as is the fact you didn't get an extended warrantee. It puts you in the position of either fixing the thing and spending more money or not. But I really don't think it will help your cause to expound on a variety of conspiracy theories. If anything it'll just get you all worked up but resolve nothing for you.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 05:18:49 PM »
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It's the $175.00 an hour that gets me. Typical service calls are normally triple the technicians salary. (At least in my part of the woods.)
So if the guy makes $40.00 an hour, an hourly service rate of $120 would be more in line. And that's plenty high! But $175?
I just paid $65.00 an hour to have my motor replaced on my SCMI sliding table saw. I just cringed when I wrote that check. Maybe I should just thank my lucky stars.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 05:21:18 PM by Dan Berg » Logged

JohnHeerema
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« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2011, 07:48:23 PM »
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Out of curiosity, is the entire LLK channel gone, or are there nozzles which still work (on a nozzle check, is everything gone in LLK, or are some of the lines printing)?
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davidh202
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« Reply #23 on: August 31, 2011, 07:57:47 PM »
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Yes it hurts to have to shell out $ but as a pro in business you need to be factoring into what you charge for your services maintainance, repair, and replacement costs on any equipment,on top of your regular overhead.

What is upsetting me is the total lack of professionalism these "repair" people are exhibiting by saying they don't know what the cause could be and simply start the process of replacing one part after another until they hit the right one .

Cumon people, these machines have been out for three years now and the primary complaint is clogging and channel dropout and there are only a few parts related to that. If that many machines have proven defective then it should be well understood where the faults are by now and  If properly diagnosed there should be no question as to which are at fault.There is no excuse for a properly trained and experienced repair person to be guessing, especially with the supposed bad track record the 7900 and 9900 have.
These people are either taking advantage of the consumers ignorance or downright ripping Epson off if they are being reimbursed  for warrantee work under contracts.
The other side of the coin is all the people who never read instructions or try and circumvent the recommended proper operation of their equipment then blame the manufacturer because it too common these days for people to never own up to doing something wrong and blame someone else! There is  too much total lack of accountability in our society today!

I've said my peace
David
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 07:59:33 PM by davidh202 » Logged
davidh202
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« Reply #24 on: August 31, 2011, 08:04:30 PM »
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John,
Alexandra said it is now mostly gone.
My educated guess is ink starvation to the LLK head itself or completely blocked up nozzels in the LLK channel.
I don't think the dampers would have clogged this soon.
There comes a point where doing too many cleaning becomes counterproductive according to the manual.
she may just need to print a bunch of gray gradients until ink is flowing again.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 08:12:05 PM by davidh202 » Logged
deanwork
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2011, 10:09:27 AM »
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My friend bought a brand new 9900 and it immediately starting having the ink starvation issues. It went on for about a month. The Epson tech was very hard working but he too spent days and days replacing this part and that head and this ink cart and so on until they finally fixed it. He went through hell, but he loves the output now. Other people never have these issues at all it seems.
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JohnHeerema
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2011, 12:14:51 PM »
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A really good technician is a treasure. I've met technicians who are brilliant at diagnosis and repair, and I always do my best to keep in touch with them. If you can find such a person, their expertise is invaluable.

Unfortunately, a lot of technicians have limited skills, and don't understand just how little they really know. When one of them starts to fool around with a moderately complex device, the chances are high that it will end up in worse shape then when it left the factory. That's why I always do everything I can as an end-user before calling in a technician, even for something that's still under warranty.  I'll put up with minor deficiencies in a product, rather than taking a chance with warranty "repair".

As David says, running cleaning cycles isn't always a great idea, because firing all of the nozzles in a channel can spit out more ink than the ink delivery system can supply to the head (but maybe not in this case, if most of the nozzles are clogged).

I think that patience can sometimes accomplish what a service visit can't. A service technician can't afford to sit around for hours, wondering whether a gentle soaking would clear up a clog. Depending on your production schedule, you might not be able to either - but if you can, I'd be inclined to take things slowly. If you have the luxury of time, you could consider overnight exposure to distilled water or a cleaning solution, followed by a pair clean, followed by printing a dozen sheets of paper that are mostly the missing color, followed by a rest. Repeat daily until you run out of patience, or the problem clears up.

As a user, you can spend more time thinking about a problem than a service technician is likely to. You can peer at the capping station with a flashlight, and see if there's anything different about just one color. You can look back at your saved stack of dated nozzle checks, and see if there's a pattern to your clogs. You can try to correlate problems with things you've done to change the machine environment, like changing an ink cart.

Importantly, you can make the service technician sit down and talk to you before you allow him or her to touch the machine - and if you don't like what you hear, don't be shy about sending that person back with instructions to return with someone who is more knowledgeable about your machine. If the field office has several technicians, it's most likely that they will start by sending you someone who isn't in huge demand - and the best technicians will always be in demand.
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John R Smith
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2011, 01:26:26 PM »
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Really, you know, this is all quite ridiculous if what I am reading reflects the real-life experience of high-end Epson users. If you have just paid several thousand dollars (or pounds, or whatever) for a professional grade printer, then it should just work. And if it doesn't work properly, then the supplier or manufacturer should sort it out promptly - for free if it's under warranty, or for a reasonable charge if not. In the office where I worked we had a series of high-end lasers from HP and others, and they got hammered every day of the week by 40 users. If they did go wrong (which was not often) they got sorted pronto at a very reasonable cost.

Hell's teeth, my little Epson 2400 has run for five years now and I just put paper and ink in it. I've had the rare clog, which soon cleans up. Once I had a bad magenta cart, which just died. Otherwise, it works. And it cost four hundred quid.

John
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Alexandra M
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« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2011, 06:53:10 PM »
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Whoa, lots of replies! Thank you again for all your suggestions. I agree, this is ridiculous - the $175 / hr + travel + parts fee to "maybe" repair the problem. The common, well documented (on here) record of these types problems with Epson X900 series is also very worrisome.

Schewe - no, I don't think Epson is "out to get me". But I do think Epson is mostly out to sell me ink and paper  Smiley. I also know that on certain other types of professional printing equipment the print heads are designed to be easily replaced by the user without a prohibitive cost. And without a professional repair service. That is where I was coming from when I made the statement.

I have canceled my service call with the printer repair man, and will explore some of the options suggested here.

Funny, the gray banding was gone when I was printing yesterday. Perhaps that is somehow related to the "super strong cleaning cycle" in service mode that I also performed yesterday. Banding problem overall seems to come and go. When it is gone, the prints look *almost* normal (although I know that the LLK color is still pretty much gone). When the banding is present - well, the prints go in the trash Smiley

Davidh202 - yes, I do shut off the printer when I am not using it. I tend to use it for about 3-6 hours a week (give or take) and at all other times it is turned off.

JohnHeerema, over the past 6 weeks or so I have been printing out nozzle patterns and the amount of lines in the LLK section has gradually declined (with all other inks being fine). At the beginning, when I first discovered the problem, some of the top and some of the bottom lines were missing from the LLK pattern, with the middle section (amounting to about 60%) still being there. It has been very consistent and gradually, the number of lines have been disappearing from top and bottom, with less and less showing in the middle section. Now I think I have about 2-3 lines showing (which amount to, what, 5-10% maybe?) so most of the LLK section is now consistently gone.

Not sure if I performed too many cleaning cycles (I figured out pretty early that cleaning and power cleaning would not resolve the problem

SO.... I will be trying some of the "user solutions" and will certainly post an update on the results!

« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 06:55:08 PM by Alexandra M » Logged
deanwork
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« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2011, 08:38:26 PM »
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The fact that you leave your printer turned off most of the time is probably not a good idea and sends a warning sign to me.

As has been stated here by someone earlier, these machines need to have something going through the lines and heads as much as possible. Most of these modern printers are designed to do occasional head checks and nozzle cleans automatically. There is a reason for that and also a reason why people who do a lot of work daily have less problems.

Considering that you are only having an issue with one channel, and it's not jumping around to other channels when you do power cleans is a very good sign and suggests it may not be one of those pressure failure situations, maybe.

It could very well be just unmixed pigments in the light gray channel. I would say again, turn off the printer, take out the light gray cart and gently shake it for a couple of minutes, then put back in and print a large gray scale that comprises the light gray values. This will push out bad ink and replace it with the new remixed ink from the ink cart. I've seen this situation happen with various printers over many years. Sometimes just letting the printer sit like that is the culprit. This is a lot easier to accomplish than calling a repair person to evaluate it all.

j
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Alexandra M
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« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2011, 09:21:43 PM »
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Hmmm... Ok, Deanwork. Will do the light gray scale too (which I actually did a month in the beginning of the clogging problem and the grays printed out fine. But the clog was still showing!).

I wonder though, what's the overall consensus on for how long the machine should be left turned on during the non-printing hours? ...Because I remember reading the opposite on these forums when I purchased this thing. The suggestion - back then - was that Epson 7900 should be OFF when not printing. If that's not the case, should the power on the printer be ON at ALL times?
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Schewe
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« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2011, 11:30:45 PM »
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Schewe - no, I don't think Epson is "out to get me". But I do think Epson is mostly out to sell me ink and paper  Smiley. I also know that on certain other types of professional printing equipment the print heads are designed to be easily replaced by the user without a prohibitive cost. And without a professional repair service. That is where I was coming from when I made the statement.

Well, it was you that bought into the Epson system which uses a head design that is not a user installable replacement part. HP & Canon use a head design that swaps out clogged nozzles for new nozzles up to the point where the head needs to be replaced. It's a fundamental difference in the underlying system design. The Epson head design with the micro-piezo heads of the Epson design are rather exotic and not something that is easy to swap out. Yes, they can clog and if the clog is unrecoverable during cleaning, it's a major repair. Nature of the beast...
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davidh202
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« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2011, 11:00:02 AM »
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Dean,
My question to Alexandra was more in line with trying to find out if she turns the machine off so that the head parks on the capping station,rather than leaving it on between daily or weekly use.
From my readings on a few forums too many people are either misguided, or think that by leaving the printer turned on, they are saving some  ink that is used when the machines go into the startup routine.
These machines need to be turned off between use so that the head parks on the capping station to help keep the ink in the head (nozzles) moist.
Yes, I would agree that constant daily use is actually better than periods of days of idle time.
 David
« Last Edit: September 02, 2011, 11:02:00 AM by davidh202 » Logged
Alexandra M
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« Reply #33 on: September 02, 2011, 02:36:56 PM »
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So today I did the test of printing out blocks of light gray gradients - did several runs of those on about 58" of paper total, with nozzle check test patterns in between. Switched between 2 LLK cartridges just to be completely sure that it is not a cartridge issue.

Unfortunately the experiment did not help. They all printed out with same consistent banding. Interestingly though, the light gray color never fully dropped out on these test prints - the banding consists of thin while lines with frequency of about 1/8", with most of the gray color being visible. Nozzle check patterns, though, still show the same exact clog as before in the LLK section - only 2 lines in the center are showing with the rest of the LLK area missing.

...Will be trying the head soak / cleaning solution next.
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Randy Carone
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« Reply #34 on: September 02, 2011, 03:03:31 PM »
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Alexandra, if you do get a tech in at some point, ask him/her to check the damper on the problem channel. A pinhole in the damper (or a poor seal) could be the source of your problem (if you're lucky).
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Randy Carone
davidh202
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« Reply #35 on: September 02, 2011, 04:17:21 PM »
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For the "thin banding lines" sometimes you need to switch off bidirectional (high speed printing), in the drivers -print quality- quality options dialogue box and I also suggest doing a directional and bi directional head alignment proceedure just to be sure it isn't that playing a role since you have done so much messing around with nozzle cleanings.
 If you intend to order the cleaning solution from AIS do it on the phone and pick their brains as much as possible ;-)

 Again,good luck!
David
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Alexandra M
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« Reply #36 on: September 02, 2011, 05:56:17 PM »
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Thanks! I actually did both of those tasks (high speed printing turn off / on and head alignment) a couple of weeks ago since that was recommended in the manual.
So the "picking brains" of the AIS comes next!  Smiley
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Doombrain
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« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2011, 09:02:53 AM »
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You could try a few SSCLs, however i doubt this will work because i don't think this is a fault of the head.

it seems more like a damper failing to supply ink. it could be one of the filters is blocked/split. if so it's a very easy fix if you can get the damper, you wouldn't even have to remove the head.

other than not being the head there might be a air leak in the LLK line somewhere. have you tried another cart?
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jeverton
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« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2012, 01:14:41 PM »
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After reading this thread it clear this is the exact issue I'm facing with a 2 year old Epson 7900...  Shocked How did this issue get resolved?  Did you leverage the AIS cleaning fluids and expertise?  Did the grey scale prints help to eliminate the clogged LLK channel?  Or... Did you contact Decision One and pay the out of warranty repair costs for an on-site technician?

Jeff
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davidh202
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« Reply #39 on: January 07, 2012, 05:34:20 PM »
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Jeff,
It is quite unfortunate that many of these cries for help are never followed through to find out whether or not the issue was resolved and how , if it indeed was!
This happens way too often on forums, and really gets my goat since it could be a valuable learning experience for all.
 That's not saying that all similar issues are a result of the same root cause,but it would sure be a benefit in helping the process of elimination!!
David
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 05:37:25 PM by davidh202 » Logged
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