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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 351980 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #40 on: January 29, 2012, 06:13:36 AM »
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............I do not believe this manual has a copyright. Besides what many of us have payed for these printers ...plus the money for all the ink waisted cleaning.....the many hours waisted with very poor tech support I think we at least deserve access to the service manual. ............

Just because you don't believe it doesn't mean that it isn't correct. You would probably agree that Epson has umpteen patents on the technologies going into these printers. From there it's not a stretch to expect they would also copyright the intellectual property that exposes considerable portions of that technology. Remember, the people given authority to use these materials are extremely likely to be bound by confidentiality clauses built-in to their employment contract with Epson, whether as employees or third-party service providers. In fact, if you look at the user manual that comes with the printer (in my case a 4900), the flip side of the title page in the lower left corner says Copyright 2010 Epson America Inc., but we're entitled to - indeed need - that document so they provide it to us. We are not supposed to need service manuals because we aren't and are not supposed to be printer technicians, so they do not provide the service manuals. If you are having problems with your printer, the correct channel of resolution is that Epson should fix your printer on terms and conditions at least commensurate with your warranty. If they are failing to do so, that needs other kinds of remedies, but not ideally and not necessarily access to their service manuals. Even if they gave the vast majority of their clients access to service manuals tomorrow, that would not be the preferred route of resolution for 99% of them; Eric is an exceptional guy.
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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
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #41 on: January 29, 2012, 06:33:05 AM »
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Eric, bravo - really excited to learn whether you end-up making good prints once the whole thing is reassembled. Not that I envision myself doing what you are doing, but anyhow could be useful to know what kind of cleaning solution you are using and in what proportions you mixed it with distilled water. This could be helpful info to other do-it-yourselfers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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john milich
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« Reply #42 on: January 29, 2012, 07:48:17 AM »
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how bad is it ($) if you have to pop in a new head, rather than clean it?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #43 on: January 29, 2012, 08:20:12 AM »
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Good question. I have in the past been informed that with these Epson Pro printers the head is the printer and the printer is the head. That doesn't tell you exactly how bad it is - because I don't know - but indicates it may be pretty bad!
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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na goodman
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« Reply #44 on: January 29, 2012, 08:23:15 AM »
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Indeed this has been a fascinating thread  to follow. I haven't had the sides off of a wide format since the 9880. "Popping" in a new head would bring about a whole set of other problems like having the software to calibrate the head. Eric thanks for all the time, photos, and follow thru as we feel like we are taking a journey with you. I to am awaiting for the beast to be put back together and a beautiful print to appear. And Dan although you probably feel bad because it was your 7900 that has entertained us for the last few days I do agree with your handling of the situation and a "mensch" is a perfect description. Mark, Ernst, Farmer,
Jeff, etc. your knowledge, thoughts and insights are always welcomed additions to this forum. And Eric, really your tenacity and attitude towards this project (problem) is remarkable.  
Again, thanks for sharing and I anxiously await that first print once you're back together.
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #45 on: January 29, 2012, 08:40:54 AM »
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how bad is it ($) if you have to pop in a new head, rather than clean it?

1000 Euro incl VAT in Germany but I think you need special software to calibrate the total. In the past it was a serial number on the head that had to be entered in service mode.

http://www.prosando.eu/index.php?cat=WG708&lang=opfzmshzkv&product=F191010&sidProSando=1d6c034ae5e586c0c3ad3831fb1b983c


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
Shareware too:
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm



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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #46 on: January 29, 2012, 08:57:39 AM »
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1000 Euro incl VAT in Germany but I think you need special software to calibrate the total. In the past it was a serial number on the head that had to be entered in service mode.

http://www.prosando.eu/index.php?cat=WG708&lang=opfzmshzkv&product=F191010&sidProSando=1d6c034ae5e586c0c3ad3831fb1b983c


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst
Shareware too:
330+ paper white spectral plots:
http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm





Uhuh - interesting - that's about 1300 dollars. The street price for the printer here is about 3000 dollars, then subtract probably about 500 dollars worth of starter-ink, leaving about 2500; so the head is about half the value of the printer before any installation cost; it's not quite as bad as I thought - the ratio of head/total cost is probably higher for the smaller format machines.

Note: final point above confirmed; the same site quotes the same cost -  1000 Euros - for the 4900 head, while the 4900 is a much less expensive printer than the 7900. The 4900 street price net of the initial ink value is about 1500 dollars, so the replacement head is most of the value of the printer - give or take some VAT.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 09:06:47 AM by Mark D Segal » Logged

Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
kdphotography
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« Reply #47 on: January 29, 2012, 09:05:39 AM »
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~US$1800.00 for a new print head here:  http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/sc.18/category.52335/.f

Replacing the head under warranty, no problem.  I'd be scared to do so otherwise---you're already about half-way there to a new printer. (maybe that's part of the strategy to keep you in that lucrative buy my ink business model too).  And that's what I'd be doing at that point, absent a warranty, do I just get a new printer considering the wear and tear on the other parts.

I think Mark Segal is right----except it's maybe only 98% that won't do what Eric did here.   Grin  Count me on that 98%.  Perhaps a good middle ground would be an Epson recommended service interval----just like Toyota recommends oil changes every 5000 miles...  I wouldn't mind paying a little for a minor service/maintenance for my printer.  I do a bit of maintenance on every other piece of equipment in my business, why not the printer?  (cuz I'm scared sh*tless in the 98%)....
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #48 on: January 29, 2012, 09:11:02 AM »
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 Perhaps a good middle ground would be an Epson recommended service interval----just like Toyota recommends oil changes every 5000 miles...  I wouldn't mind paying a little for a minor service/maintenance for my printer.  I do a bit of maintenance on every other piece of equipment in my business, why not the printer?  (cuz I'm scared sh*tless in the 98%)....
I'm not sure this is a workable model.  Sure it works for cars but that's because there are millions out there and the dealers have dedicated service departments (and you bring your car to them).  Far fewer large format printers and you would be looking at a service call to your home/business for this maintenance.  It would probably require a rather large field force to do this type of servicing if all installed users buy into this program.  Economically it is problematic.

Regarding the copyright issue, I've yet to see any user manual that isn't copyrighted.  Whether the company wants to enforce it is another matter but Phil is correct, this is intellectual property owned by Epson.
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kdphotography
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« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2012, 09:22:24 AM »
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I'm not sure this is a workable model.  Sure it works for cars but that's because there are millions out there and the dealers have dedicated service departments (and you bring your car to them).  Far fewer large format printers and you would be looking at a service call to your home/business for this maintenance.  It would probably require a rather large field force to do this type of servicing if all installed users buy into this program.  Economically it is problematic.

....

And sadly, you're right because it would basically require altering a business model.  I'm just gonna send out for Eric to come visit my studio... Grin
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Jstar
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« Reply #50 on: January 29, 2012, 11:45:14 AM »
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If the print head is changed there is Non volatile ram(Nvram) in the printer that must be updated.  This is done with Servprog.exe for the Epson 7900.   One of the service manuals describes how to do this procedure.   The problem with changing the print head is that it is very expensive and requires an ink purge.   For the 7900/9900 the Epson part number for the print head is  F191010.

I could not find where it said that the dampers need to be replaced every year in the manual.   Can you give me a page number and the manual name(Service manual or field repair guide)?
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AFairley
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« Reply #51 on: January 29, 2012, 12:09:16 PM »
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Eric, thank you for taking the large amount of time to document and share your experience with us.  I was considering heading down this road with my 3800 after partial dissasembly and cleaning the head, capping station and wiper blade did not fit chronic but intermittent clogging and ink splooge issues.  In the end iI decided it would be  more cost effective to buy a new 3880 with the then available Epson discount, factoring in the value of the ink with the new machine and that most of the carts in the 3800 were getting low, than to risk buying parts for the old machine which might or might not resolve the problem.

 I won't go into the IP issues with the service manuals, but my approach to my gear has been, since the days I had the engine for my VW bus spread out in pieces on the floor of my parents' garage, is that if I can, I'm going to fix it myself, and believe that a manufacturer should make the necessary information available on request for a reasonable price.
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #52 on: January 29, 2012, 01:08:39 PM »
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Eric, congrats on a truly impressive photograph. Thanks for sharing it.

There is, perhaps a somewhat personal - so don't feel compelled to answer - question I would like to put here - not out of idle curiosity but because it may be useful for Epson to know this and better understand at least one other dimension of the "service environment" they are providing or not providing as the case may be. Did you decide to go the self-directed route because the cost of a servicing from Epson was just going to be too expensive, or regardless of cost - too hard to access logistically, or are you doing it out of curiosity to learn how much of the innards of this machine you can master and fix as sort of a hobby for personal satisfaction?


Sorry for the delayed response Mark.  Good question.  A few different points led us to the "roll up your sleeves and dive in" approach:

1 - the impression I get from many posts here on Luminous Landscape, and other forums actually, is that a large part of the Epson tech repair process seems to be somewhat randomly bolting new parts onto your machine until it works again, or in some cases until it still does not work again.  Then they leave.  Then they come back.  Or maybe they replace the entire machine - yet sometimes even then the problem is not solved. 

2 - I have read many threads about problems with these Epson 79/9900 printers, specifically about the incessant clogging, endless ink wasting, maintenance tank replacements, huge money being flushed down the drain and then most importantly wasting the one thing more precious to us than anything, time.  All these things made a hell of an impression on me - yet considering reason # 1, I saw no viable solution.  And trust me - I searched, I wrote, I read, and I asked.  I found no answer.

3 - I am a carpenter, work for myself.  When I produce, I get paid.  When I do not produce, no matter how much I sweat or how long I work at something, I do not get paid.  The reality of that aspect of my life completely skews my value system.  As a result I am uncomfortable paying someone by the minute while they rack-up what could possibly be an entirely unnecessary parts and labor bill.

4 - One simple lesson my father etched inside my brain forever is this, "If you don't understand it, you can't fix it." 

So maybe it's a personal defect, I don't know, but following protocol didn't seem like my answer.  That's why I dove in.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #53 on: January 29, 2012, 01:56:47 PM »
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4 - One simple lesson my father etched inside my brain forever is this, "If you don't understand it, you can't fix it." 


Were we separated at birth???  My dad said the same thing to me!!!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #54 on: January 29, 2012, 02:17:28 PM »
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Very understandable.

The difference between you and me is that I would have given them a chance to prove themselves, and if they failed, not let go of them until they did the needful properly and at reasonable cost. But being a carpenter you are a much more hands-on kind of guy than I am in terms of working with tools and equipment, so we each approach issues based on how we've wired ourselves to do so - most interesting. I'm really keen to hear the outcome of all this. My vibes tell me you will succeed.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #55 on: January 29, 2012, 03:38:05 PM »
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I had come across this interesting tidbit of info about cleaning the wiper blade of the 7800 model yesterday...
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/supDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&infoType=FAQ&oid=60321&prodoid=55197365&foid=76766

I still have my 7800 along with my 3800. Recently sold my venerable 4000 to a photog that drove two hours to get it with his buddy. I haven't had to even look at the 3800 (like ZERO clogs), but I regularly cleaned the wiper bladed on the 4000, and also the 7800.

To think that the x900 and x89x printers have made this part so inaccessible is quite disturbing. This should have been designed as a user replaceable part since it is subject to such wear and it's failure can cause so many problems.

Nothing like spending a $1,000 dollars to replace a 3 dollar part!
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« Reply #56 on: January 29, 2012, 04:33:22 PM »
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David - that's how it works here in Australia, too.

Authorised repairers or parts distributors will sell parts as requested and will provide exploded diagrams so that people can identify the parts they want / need.  I'm sure there are variations in different parts of the world (different delivery models), but that seems very similar to how it is here.
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #57 on: January 29, 2012, 07:21:00 PM »
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Progress report:  

This Epson 7900 is back together, almost.  As it turns out the "Pump and Cap Assembly" comes completely assembled from Epson.  No small feat indeed.  This "one" part includes everything from the metal framework which supports all these parts, to the two drive motors, their sensors, a wiring harness with a total of nine plugs, gears used to move the capping station back and forth, the flushbox up and down along with the wiper blade mechanism, the pump motor, it's hoses, a huge plastic shroud containing all these moving parts, and on and on.  This "Pump and Cap Assembly", no kidding, it's 1.5 cubic feet all together, weighs 3lbs and looks like it's taken from a scene in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory".  All that for $250?  Doesn't make sense.  You know what else doesn't make sense though?  

....The wiper blade is not included.  

My first reaction to learning that was, "WTF?"  But then I thought about it.  What does that tell you?  I don't know what it tells you.  But I know what it tells me - you and I are not the only ones who now know the wiper blade is meant to be replaced more often than the pump and cap assembly.  FYI, the wiper blade mechanism snaps into place, and out of place, with nothing more than a simple squeeze of your finger tips.  You don't even have to remove the right side cover of the machine.  The only hitch in so simply replacing the wiper blade mechanism will be coordinating the placement of it with the release of your printers head.  At this point, because we won't fire this printer up until mid-week, I can't tell you if the wiper blade assembly will be retracted up into it's "garage" when the head is released or not.  It travels up and down in a range of about three inches.  When it is up you can't access it.  When it is down it's right there out in the open.


We lost so much ink in the first and second failed DIY clog attempts that we have to wait for new carts to show up mid-week before we can charge this machine.  At least now it's together though.  Almost.


Once done soaking it's chin and upper lip in cleaning solution, our head looks fantastic.  We checked it with a loop.  Pretty wild looking device.  But still I had a lingering concern that if something foreign was lodged inside this head, up against an opening the Epson pump pressure was never able to force it through, well most likely it would still be there.  After all our soaking method looked amazing, and sounded really cool, but the one thing it did not do was reverse the direction of ink-flow - something both Steve and I felt was a necessary step.  We took a syringe with a section of clear hose fastened to it's tip, fit it over the nipple on the rear of the head of each color - one at a time - and sucked cleaning solution up through the head's face from the small bowl just below it.  Each color filled this clear tube with traces of it's native color channel.  All but the PK channel was crystal clear of any foreign pollution.  But the PK channel definitely drew up some crap.  It's a good thing we took this extra step.


So we wait now for the Lone Ranger to show up with carts filled with ink.  It's good to see this 7900 together again, almost.  Assembly went without a hitch.  But I do have to admit, at this point there is a terrible lingering fear I can't seem to shake that the first landscape we run through this machine will come out look more like an infrared wartime surveillance image than a fall mountain range in mid-October.  Time will tell..

Again and again and again I need to hear myself advise anyone looking to clear un-clearable clogs all on their own, on an Epson 79/9900, do NOT waste your time or money buying re-fillable carts with the intent to fill them with cleaning solution to flush your system and head.  HUGE waste of money, won't solve the real problem your printer is suffering from, and it will re-define for you what exactly a "Huge waste of ink" actually is.  
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 07:31:30 PM by Go394 » Logged

Mark D Segal
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« Reply #58 on: January 29, 2012, 07:30:59 PM »
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.......... won't solve the real problem your printer is suffering from, and it will re-define for you what exactly a "Huge waste of ink" actually is. 

Eric, now that you've done all this work - what do you think is "the real problem" the printer was suffering from? I can see several from what you've reported. And BTW - the name of the cleaning solution you used?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jstar
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« Reply #59 on: January 29, 2012, 08:32:53 PM »
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There are three manuals for the Epson 7900.   You should be able to Google for them and get them for free on the internet  (It does take a bit of searching to find the free versions).

Epson Field repair guide - download at American InkJet Systems
Full name: Pro 7900 and 9900 Field Repair Guide

Google - <"Epson Stylus Pro 7900" "service manual">  
Full name: Service Manual  Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900

Google - <"Parts Manual" "epson Stylus Pro 7900">  
Full Name:  Parts Manual Epson Stylus Pro 7900/9900

The Parts manual contains the mechanical drawings for the Epson 7900.  Any one of the 5 parts distributors should be able to cross the mechanical part number for the actual Epson part number.  This is how I ordered a capping station for my Epson 3800.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2012, 10:45:26 PM by Jstar » Logged
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