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Author Topic: Epson 7900 - LLK channel clogging, banding - what a disappointment!  (Read 26572 times)
davidh202
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« Reply #80 on: January 17, 2012, 07:20:11 PM »
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Since the technology is the same ,minus 2 channels it can suffer from the same issues....BUT
don't let that discourage you! Epson is not out to deliberately screw everyone. ;-)

These are very fine printers to say the least, and as Farmer has said, the reports of issues on the www are most likely a very small percentage of actual machines in use in the real world.These are made to be used, not to sit idle for long periods.
For more peace of mind buy with a credit card that adds an extra year to the warantee, and forget the extra cost of an extended warantee
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jeverton
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« Reply #81 on: January 17, 2012, 08:50:10 PM »
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As a fine art photographer, I've invested more than $6K into a wide format printer solution - based on industry research, the company’s reputation and the recommendation of my supplier.

As things stand at this point with the x900 Stylus Pro Series, unless Epson comes clean, I would not buy an Epson, and would be more at peace at night, with a Canon or HP in the house, and only wish I had come to this conclusion during my initial acquisition.  The entire "out of warranty" song is not making things any better on the two year old Epson SP7900 with less than 108 total prints!

Frankly, the recent service and support outside of the warranty is unacceptable - Decision One “potentially” wants me to invest another $2800 into repairing the unit due to a failed LLK channel by replacing the print head and several other key items (dampers, wiper, etc.).  Is this truly the underlying issue with the MicroPiezo TFP print head technology solution due to a clogged channel and limited utilization?  What about conveying all the facts (e.g. usage, maintenance and support) to business owners in advance prior to making an initial purchase?

Personally, this is more than the actual cost of a new printer with a set of starter inks and one year warranty. 

Furthermore, my experience with this printer has been fine for two years until I ran into this problem.  I would have assumed a more professional support network to address this issue on a pro-active basis with reasonable costs.  As a small business owner it is not always the luxury to keep investing in extended services.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #82 on: January 18, 2012, 07:15:39 AM »
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The entire "out of warranty" song is not making things any better on the two year old Epson SP7900 with less than 108 total prints!
Please don't take this the wrong way but this seems like a very small number of prints.  Would you have been better served by outsourcing the printing?
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jeverton
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« Reply #83 on: January 18, 2012, 09:10:14 AM »
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Yes, I did in fact weight this option and elected to make a longer term investment.  The goal was to ramp production up after my international travels.  But then I ran across this situation.
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deanwork
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« Reply #84 on: January 18, 2012, 09:48:40 AM »
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That's a joke, and they probably would charge you that much. My experience in the past with Decision One was dreadful. Stay in warranty or you loose.

I paid $3,000.00  for both my Canon 44" 8300 and the Epson 9890 units new with inks and warranty. You can often get a Z3200 for close to that as well when they are on sale.


john


----------
Frankly, the recent service and support outside of the warranty is unacceptable - Decision One “potentially” wants me to invest another $2800 into repairing the unit due to a failed LLK channel by replacing the print head and several other key items (dampers, wiper, etc.). 

Personally, this is more than the actual cost of a new printer with a set of starter inks and one year warranty. 
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149113
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« Reply #85 on: January 18, 2012, 10:49:13 AM »
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That's solid advice and appreciate the info. I am also going to look at the Canon series as well.

As a side note, I've dealt with D1 via my full time job as an IT professional. I can say w/o hesitation that the technical expertise of their field service folks is lacking at best. You often get someone that is seeing a piece of hardware for the first time and learning on your dime. Numerous time we've had young kids just out of tech school on site and reading a manual or searching the internet for solutions all the while the meter is running. They are a low cost IT service provider and that is reflected in their support model.
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Jstar
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« Reply #86 on: January 18, 2012, 12:25:03 PM »
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I have owned a 7900 since 9/7/2011 and I am adding this post because it may help other Epson owners.   My machine did not work right from the first day I owned the machine.  It took four service calls and now the printer functions like it should.  The problems I was experiencing  was complete nozzle check patterns missing on the PK,MK/LLK nozzle pair(if the printer sat unused longer than 2 or 3 days),  ink starvation or nozzle drop outs if I printed one or two 30 x 20 prints, and the printer would take multiple cleaning cycles to clean clogged nozzles.  I let the Decision One do all the repairs but I wanted to figure out was going on, so I acquired the Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900 Service Manual and the Pro 7900 and 9900 Field Repair Guide.  

The first Service call the wiper was cleaned and I was told the clogging issues was due to "morning sickness" (nothing wrong with the printer).  The wiper is a small piece of rubber that is used to clean the print head.

The Second Service call the capping station and the wiper was replaced.   This fixed the PK,MK/LLK nozzle pattern missing problem.

The third service call the ink selector was replaced.  The ink selector does the PK,MK switch but also contains all the dampers for the 7900.  This part solved the ink starvation, drop out problem.

The fourth service call the Print Head was replaced.  Right before I placed this service call I had a small clog on the LLK nozzle.  I attempted to do a CL1 and CL2 pair clean in service mode.  The clog would not go away.  I let the printer sit for an hour and did another CL2 pair clean and a normal clean.  The clog finally cleared and moved to a new location on the LLK nozzle.  I turned off the machine and called Epson Support.  After the print head was replaced all cleanings are resolved on the first cleaning attempt (either pair or normal clean).

For people who want to service the machine on the own,  it is possible if you are mechanically inclined.   I do not believe that the print head can be replaced by most people.  This is because once the print head is replaced, the following three things must be done.   The NVRAM (non volatile ram) must be updated before the print head will even be recognized by the printer.  Then the Horizontal and Vertical adjustment must be adjusted for the print head.   This is done by running two separate routines in service mode and adjusting the adjustment screws on the print head.

For people who want to service their own printer you need the following four items.

Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900 Service Manual
Pro 7900 and 9900 Field Repair Guide
Parts Manual Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900 (this is just the mechanical drawings)
servprog.exe for epson 7900.  This program will write and read information from the nvram in the 7900. required for replacing some parts.

Parts can be bought from:
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/AboutEpsonConnection.jsp#section5

or google "Epson parts distributor"

When ordering parts you need to supply the product name Epson Sylus pro 7900, and the mechanical part number.  You need to tell the distributer the number came from the mechanical drawing and they will cross reference this number to the real part number.

Part numbers for Epson 7900 for the following parts:

Part Name                           Desciprtion              Mech #     Epson part #
PUMP,CAP,ASSY,B,ESL,ASP  capping station         567          1523796
WIPER,ASSY,ASP                wiper                        568         1504179
SELECTOR,UNIT,ESL,ASP     ink selector/damper   526         1504216
PrintHead                            Printhead                 523          F191010


The labor rate for Decision one in my area was $100 to show up and $175 a hour.  They took about 4 hours for each service call.

I was told by Decision one that the Printhead could not be purchased from parts suppliers and could only be obtained from them.  They said the cost of the print head was $1800.

If replacing the Dampers or the Printhead you need to take into account the amount of ink that must be purged through the lines when these parts are replaced.   It takes several power cleans.   When the dampers were replaced 45 % of the Maintenance Tank was used and the Print Head used 40 % of the Maintenance Tank.

The Service Man warned about the edge connectors that Epson uses on their ribbon cables.  If these cables are not plugged back in correctly,  it is possible to short power and ground which will fry the circuit boards in the machine.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2012, 05:48:19 PM by Jstar » Logged
prepper
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« Reply #87 on: January 18, 2012, 02:28:27 PM »
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Well, I just bought a 7900 two weeks ago, used an HPZ2100 for 4.5 years and an HP130 for 6.5 years, went with HP at the time because of the embedded spectro, 2 blacks switching automatically with purging lines, cheaper ink, replaceable printheads.  Epson added SpectroProofer, switching blacks, and inks about the same cost per ml now.

I have no experience with large format Epson but I can tell you it prints faster at 1440dpi than the z2100 at does at 600dpi.  The HP is only $2895 list WITH spectro included, the 7900 was $2841 (with a $1000 rebate) PLUS $1400 for the spectro.  I would simply replace the printer for $2841 rather than pay $2000 for repairs that may last another 1-3 years???  And avoid the headaches as much as possible and time wasted trying to fix, IF financially possible, course if you have the money to fix it, sounds like you almost have the money to replace it?  Especially if you're getting close to needing inks also, how much have you spent in inks already trying to clean it? 

I will go back to HP in an instant if this becomes our experience also.

Both HPs are still working, never made a service call on either one yet, never had a failure due to printhead, only replaced them once or twice when they went out of warranty.  Inks lasted very well for us also.  HP did however quit selling their proofing paper which the profiles shipped with our printer were made for.  They also haven't come out with a new version for proofing in several years (that I'm aware of?) and that made me question their commitment to professional level imaging and proofing....but I never did have a service issue either.

I hope I don't experience the problems you and others have with the 7900 but if I do I will have no problem replacing it with an HP and moving on.  You have a problem but you have a choice on your next purchase.

Vote with your wallet.  Just passing on my experience for what it's worth, nothing to some I'm sure, but info just the same. Smiley

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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #88 on: January 18, 2012, 02:53:24 PM »
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Are the HP proofing papers that special?  Proofing papers are available from different sources with some respectable names among them. EFI-Tecco, GMG. You could check spectral plots of proofing papers in my SpectrumViz and their weight, it would not surprise me if a suitable alternative is among them.

The Z5200 was introduced in 2010. The Z6200 is quite recent too and a fast machine though expensive. Both with more relation to the Z2100 ink set than to the Z3100-3200 versions.

I share your experience on the reliability of HP printer models. The quirks in the software are the real negative issues of the HP models.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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prepper
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« Reply #89 on: January 18, 2012, 02:56:14 PM »
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"The quirks in the software are the real negative issues of the HP models."

Hi Ernst, can you expound on those issues?
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Foto_Geek
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« Reply #90 on: January 18, 2012, 04:25:17 PM »
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This thread is scaring me.

I purchased an HP z3100 3 1/2 years ago.  It worked fine for 3 years and then went into a downward spiral, requiring more service calls than I figured the printer was worth.  I just ordered a new Epson 7900 to be delivered next week.

And then I happened upon this thread.  Shame on me for not doing more research before my purchase.

So is this what we are to expect from companies going forward?  A few years of service out of a device that costs thousands of dollars?  Paying big bucks for service calls or contracts to keep poorly designed products running?

The HP z3100 has a drive belt that starts to fall apart after 3 years of light use leaving chunks of rubber in the print path which results in white spots on your finished print when the chunks fall away.  I got that fixed and recalibrated the printer and it started printing better than when it was new!  But that was short lived.  I then started to get error message after error message and finally gave up because it was costing me too much.  HP Tech support charges for calls if you are out of warranty.

So I ordered the Epson 7900 figuring it will last a long time without problems.  I still own an Epson 7600 which still prints fine if I take the time to clean the heads (soak the parking pads with solution and let it stand overnight, followed by a few power cleaning cycles).  I also still use my Epson 2200 for smaller, less critical printing.  I was hoping for the same kind of reliability out of a new Epson, but I guess times have changed.  Sad

So this begs the question, how are Canon large format printers holding up after a few years of service?

If this trend continues, I see myself buying smaller, cheaper printers for the bulk of my printing needs and using a commercial printer for the less-frequent large format print.  Let them worry about keeping their printers working.
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DeanChriss
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« Reply #91 on: January 18, 2012, 06:34:49 PM »
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This thread is scaring me.

As was pointed out by someone else earlier in this thread, virtually no one goes online to write that their printer (or anything else) is working normally. You only hear about the problems. The Epson X900 printers are popular and I'm sure there are many more of them working fine than there are with major problems. Mine was delivered in 12/2008 and I've never had a service call. The only thing that scares me about all this is the outrageous hourly rate for service should I ever need it. I'd never spend over $2K to fix a 3 year old printer that I can buy new for $3K. Perhaps that's the reaction they count on. I don't know if Canon or HP service rates are as high.

You can find nightmare stories starring any printer brand. If I was the costar in one of those nightmare stories I'd be here writing about it too. Its just important to remember that serious problems are not the norm for any brand. The time to be scared is when and if something breaks. Chances are it'll be fine.
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« Reply #92 on: January 18, 2012, 11:03:28 PM »
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I've had my 9900 for just over three years now and it does not qualify for any more warranty. I did have the wiper unit replaced about six months in and other than the occasional clog here and there, it has been making money every since. I don't know how many units are out there but I have a feeling the ones we're hearing about here are more the exception than the rule. It's actually pretty amazing that they work as well as they do for as little as they cost.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2012, 01:46:57 AM »
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"The quirks in the software are the real negative issues of the HP models."

Hi Ernst, can you expound on those issues?

Not the thread to expand on that issue but the creation of custom print page sizes is a xxx*. The sizes are not saved on their size description but on their name which makes the interaction (job recall) with Qimage far worse than with Epsons or Canons. The driver settings fall back to the default. That improved in time though. The Color Center tools are too often not connecting with the printer (Vista 64 bad, XP 32 much better).


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
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jeverton
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« Reply #94 on: January 19, 2012, 09:07:41 AM »
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Yes there are most likely many more x900 and x980 printers without problems than with.  Although, just as it is mostly the people with problems that post here, most users under warranty (extended or not) call Epson and don't post here.
 
At any rate, it is pretty clear from "conventional wisdom statistics" that the x900 and x980 printers are more prone to severe problems than the previous Epson generations.  It is also certain, that there is a problem, seemingly random, affecting typically the LLK channel, and occasionally the green one.  There is just no case of serious issues out there of a problem with any other color.  That cannot be a coincidence and point out to an engineering or manufacturing defect that Epson would do well to address instead of blaming users in the form of insisting that they pay the full price for a fix, and an inflated one at that.
 
If Epson does not correct its act, I am starting a class action and my next printer will be a Canon, it just can’t be worse than this.
 
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deanwork
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« Reply #95 on: January 19, 2012, 09:43:46 AM »
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If you check the yahoo epson large format list you will see a lot of people having continuous banding and waving in the MK channel with the 9900/7900 series, all over the world, not just a person here or there. I'm hoping whatever is causing that was fixed in the 7890/9890 series.
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Farmer
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« Reply #96 on: January 21, 2012, 12:34:46 AM »
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At any rate, it is pretty clear from "conventional wisdom statistics" that the x900 and x980 printers are more prone to severe problems than the previous Epson generations.

Really, what are the sales numbers and what are the percentages of users (in the various technology periods) with access to the internet and of them, how many posted on forums and so forth?  That's just two problems you have with your claim.  "Conventional wisdom statistics" indeed.  The need to put that term in quotes says about all that needs to be said about it.
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Idololab
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« Reply #97 on: January 21, 2012, 04:28:57 AM »
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Meanwhile we dont know if Alexandra's printer is fixed!
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George Marinos
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #98 on: January 21, 2012, 07:09:38 AM »
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Really, what are the sales numbers and what are the percentages of users (in the various technology periods) with access to the internet and of them, how many posted on forums and so forth?  That's just two problems you have with your claim.  "Conventional wisdom statistics" indeed.  The need to put that term in quotes says about all that needs to be said about it.
+1; it's important to remember that anecdote does not equal data!   
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designpartners
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« Reply #99 on: January 21, 2012, 07:51:08 AM »
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just to put in mu $0.02c...

we have a 9900 for just about 12 months now and it works flawlessly... produces beautiful prints. I availed of a 3 year extended warranty through a promotion on myepsonprinter.eu a few months back and this gives me great peace of mind that I've made the right decision.

it's a great machine! is does get the odd nozzle clog, but it easy fix, I always run a clean first if it hasn't been used in a week or so and I also have Auto nozzle check turned on.

I'm knocking on wood as we speak, but I think it's important to see the good and the bad.

James
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