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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 305156 times)
Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #720 on: June 13, 2012, 09:27:26 AM »
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You need to contact our good friend "HAL".    His screen name is LFPTECH.  Look him up on this thread and PM him, he will take good care of you.  I have never taken this pump apart (or even seen it for that matter).  http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=67241.0
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #721 on: June 13, 2012, 11:33:53 AM »
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It's ironic I came home last night to a post on this thread.  Kind of stole my wind, ironically I actually had plans to post here last night and update the state of all things "X900" in my life.  I'll do that now.

My AAA insurance claim is still dragging along at the pace of a senile Tree Sloth.  I have not been reimbursed a dime yet, so I still have no real gear to shoot with.  If I did I would already have taken our head apart and taken some cool macro shots.  I will do this in time, I promise. 

Our 7900 is up and running like the good ole boy it was designed to be.  Of course I challenge it regularly due to the fact that not only am I simply an enthusiast, but now I am actually an enthusiast with no camera.  So what have we all realized an X900 hates more than anything?  That's right, sitting still.  WTF, I am a challenge.

So I've been quietly thinking about this moisture situation.  I do not have a humidifier, but I bet I should.  And considering some of the stories I read in this thread about dust, this has me thinking even more.  When I get back from my drive to Colorado and back I am going to design a special cover for this machine.  Not just a dust cover though, my idea is to make it be somewhat of a moisture barrier as well.  I intend to weight the edges of the cover so it stretches tight to the floor, and make the cover out of something water resistant - this way it holds moisture in/keeps dry air out.  Then perhaps, and of course I intend to test this properly, I will place a pale of water inside the cover under the machine.  Might be this cover/pale combination could help maintain an X900 friendly micro-climate.  We will see, right now it's just a fantasy.

So why am I driving to Colorado and back?  Oh this is the best part of this post.  I am driving 1,200 miles west to Colorado, and my friend Edward the juggler, from this very forum, is driving east to Colorado.  We plan to meet Friday night, where I will ask him to teach me how to juggle and I will buy his not-functioning 9900.  When I get back, the second chapter of this thread will come to life - "How to juggle a dead 9900"

See you in a week!

Eric
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Peter Le
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« Reply #722 on: June 13, 2012, 10:25:21 PM »
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    Eric.......I am working on what humidity these printers really like ( to much might be as bad as to little) and what has brought me to this possible idea I will explain.......I have a 7890 for all practical purpose it is really a 7900 without green and orange(even has the lines and ink cartridge slots but they are just empty). This printer ran perfectly for about 9 months......many times a week went by with out printing......always did least a nozzle check once a week. But it even went a month with only a nozzle check once a week....but no other prints went through it. Never a clog that a quick pairs clean didn't clear. This whole time it was between 44% and 57% humidity. This March the weather here was cool and kind of humid....ranging anywhere from 55% to 80%. Outside temp was high 50's to low 60's at night and 60's to low 70's during the day. Wonderfull weather so windows opened up day and night enjoying the weather. Not realizing it at 1st but this is when my printer problems began.....dropped the complete cyan channel.......tring to clear it lost the complete magentas channel. Call to Epson brought out the completely inept Decision One tech who couldn't even figure out how to open it up.....then proceeded to acid sweat all over my circuit boards(we will stop there....this is not about them). Any way a power clean, some new parts and wiper blade and it was kind of working. But it was clogging almost continuously. Then it was getting to warm out for open windows and the AC was turned on.......now watching the humidity level it was back to 47% to 57% and to my amazement the clogging stopped instantly. I am not positive and I am afraid to let the humidity level get high again to be sure....but this seems to point to a high humidity level being as bad as to low. I would be careful of putting a pale of water under your cover unless you are in a very very dry climate. Get a humidity and temperature meter from Radio Shack...they are around 16 bucks and work well. See if you can keep it between 45% and 60% and see if it sits well. It would sure be nice if Epson would supply us with info like this so we could save ourselves the stress of figuring this stuff out. Peter
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kdphotography
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« Reply #723 on: June 13, 2012, 11:06:35 PM »
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Bed, Bath & (way) Beyond also carries hygrometers.  It's a good investment to monitor humidity levels near your printer, as well as where you store media.  A range between 40% to 60% is a good level to maintain humidity.

Eric---I've got a new humidifier for you.   Hate to see you get a clog now after all your hard work...   Grin 

ken
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viktor_au
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« Reply #724 on: June 14, 2012, 07:14:45 AM »
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Epson Stylus Pro 7900/7910/9900/9910-->1.2.4 General Specifications->
Temperature Operating: 10 to 35 °C
Humidity Operating: 20 to 80% (no condensation)
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DeanChriss
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« Reply #725 on: June 14, 2012, 08:53:02 PM »
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Humidity: In the room where my 7900 lives it's around 30% RH in winter and humidity is regulated with a dehumidifier to 58% in summer. I've had the printer since December 2008, and each winter without fail I have essentially no clogging issues at all. When summer comes the humidity rises and occasional clogging issues return. I don't claim to have any answers but this is what happens. I can't quite believe the printer likes being in 30% humidity, but maybe it does like being cooler. In winter the room is sometimes as cool as 63 or 64 Fahrenheit. Right now it's 70 and the mild occasional clogging has returned. The temperature usually gets to 75 in the heat of August and I guarantee the clogging will be worse then. It always is. The humidity is already as high as it will ever get (58%) but the clogging will get worse when the temps are hotter. Of course this does not prove any cause and effect relationship, but it's gone through the exact same cycle 3.5 times now. FYI, there's a digital temperature and humidity meter near the printer and it's been checked for accuracy.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2012, 08:56:35 PM by DeanChriss » Logged

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Peter Le
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« Reply #726 on: June 14, 2012, 11:10:25 PM »
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Epson Stylus Pro 7900/7910/9900/9910-->1.2.4 General Specifications->
Temperature Operating: 10 to 35 °C
Humidity Operating: 20 to 80% (no condensation)
    Everyone that has been around these printers is quite familiar with what Epson claims.  But most everyone also knows you will probably be in a lot of trouble if you keep your print room at 20%. What I am finding out it seems is you can get in as much trouble  or more at high humidity levels. I was never above 80% this spring......really mostly high 60's and low 70's % humidity.  This should be fine according to Epson and your thinking. But it was not.....it was a mess clogging all the time. When the AC came on and the humidity dropped to low 50,s......high of 57%......the clogs were instantly  gone. This doesn't  make a lot of sense if you think of ink drying on the head. But it seems to create the same problem as to low humidity.
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viktor_au
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« Reply #727 on: June 15, 2012, 06:53:53 AM »
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    This doesn't  make a lot of sense if you think of ink drying on the head.
A few days ago I visited some other websites and one guy claimed that after he has put a jar with water not far away from the printer the clogged situations were gone. He say that some moisture in the air helps to keep the head from drying out. I am not sure who do I have to believe.
I have to wait for some really hot/humid weather in Australia to know for sure what is going on. (I bought 7900 in November 2011 and didn't pay a lot of attention to the level of humidity).
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datro
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« Reply #728 on: June 15, 2012, 03:32:41 PM »
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Humidity: In the room where my 7900 lives it's around 30% RH in winter and humidity is regulated with a dehumidifier to 58% in summer. I've had the printer since December 2008, and each winter without fail I have essentially no clogging issues at all. When summer comes the humidity rises and occasional clogging issues return. I don't claim to have any answers but this is what happens. I can't quite believe the printer likes being in 30% humidity, but maybe it does like being cooler. In winter the room is sometimes as cool as 63 or 64 Fahrenheit. Right now it's 70 and the mild occasional clogging has returned. The temperature usually gets to 75 in the heat of August and I guarantee the clogging will be worse then. It always is. The humidity is already as high as it will ever get (58%) but the clogging will get worse when the temps are hotter. Of course this does not prove any cause and effect relationship, but it's gone through the exact same cycle 3.5 times now. FYI, there's a digital temperature and humidity meter near the printer and it's been checked for accuracy.

Like Dean, I have had my 7900 since December 2008 and have also noticed in the past 3.5 years that in the higher humidity months it seems the chance of clogging is a bit higher.  I've kept detailed records on this from the day I installed the printer.  Overall, I've had very few clogging problems with my printer.  In the months of Oct-June, I can go several months without a single clogged nozzle. (For some operational context, I do at least several large prints a week regardless of whether I need to or not, and I also agitate my ink cartridges every 30 days).  During the summer months, where my humidity ranges between 55-65%, I might have the occasional clog, usually on Light Cyan but not always.

Based on my experience so far, I have two observations on the overall theme of "humidity" and how it relates to clogging in these printers:

1) Inexpensive hygrometers are notoriously inaccurate for Relative Humidity (RH) readings, even if based on their specs it would seem they are doing the job.  I discovered this after I purchased an Abbeon Hygrometer (for example: http://www.omnicontrols.com/detail.aspx?ID=830).  It's similar to what museums use and is a bit expensive, but it revealed that all my other so-called hygrometers in the house were typically off by over 10 points of RH.  So you have to be careful about how you interpret the RH numbers you see in forums like this.  I suspect that the values people are reporting are not very accurate and you need to be careful about any clogging conclusions that relate to specific RH numbers being reported.

2) I've been wondering why the summer months seem to be more clog-prone, even though in my case it has not been at all severe.  I am coming to the conclusion that it is not specifically a RH value, but rather the variability of RH in the summer months that is the "culprit".  If you have a dehumidifier in your studio (like I do) the possibility of your RH changing back and forth over a 8-10 point range is likely.  Dehumidifiers pull down the RH, they turn off, the RH rises past a certain limit, then the dehumidifer turns back on and the cycle begins again.  This up-down-up-down pattern of RH change can actually put more stress on things in my opinion.  We know this to be the case for the prints themselves (especially when mounted), but I suspect this may also be a factor for the ink-handling parts in our printers, including the head, seals when parked, wipers, flushing box, etc.

This summer I'll be working on how to reduce the variability in RH in my studio in hopes that this might actually reduce the number of times I encounter the occasional clogged nozzle.
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viktor_au
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« Reply #729 on: June 15, 2012, 05:54:57 PM »
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A short summary of situation of ink in 7900 air-pressurising system.

    I noticed some ink leak on a floor behind 7900 printer a few months ago.
    I cleaned up the ink and checked the cartridges (I had an original at that time).
    On right side of the printer I found no problems.
    On left side of the printer all of a cartridges had some ink in the air-chamber (the bottom nozzle side of the cartridge).
    It was a time to change most of them as I used them from November 2011.
    I changed and old original for a new 700 ml (I have ordered 1 liter x 11 ink bottles for Epson Pro9900/7900 from Guangdong China (Mainland) via Ali-express). The only one original cartridge left in the printer was the photo-black cartridge, as I didn’t use it.
    Printer was working OK. It took a while for me to notice some ink on the floor again.
    A few days ago I finally took out the printer back cover and found out that the air-pump was covered in ink.
    I contacted Eric. He directed me to Leptech. Leptech answered in a few days.
    I contacted admin from Russian site http://resetters.ru. He didn’t answer.
    Meanwhile I cleaned up the pump and area next to it. The printer's power board is next to the air-pump. The circuit board floor of 7900 is on a angle, so ink couldn’t damage the circuit boards and leaked down away from it.
    I cleaned up the plastic tubes going to and from the air-pump.
    I inspected all cartridges again. No problems found on the right side. The ink in the air-chambers was found on the left side.
    I used syringe (from printer head cleaning solution kit) to pump out the ink from cartridges air-chambers.
    When I was sucking the ink from the original photo-black cartridge I noticed some whistling noise. The noise was coming out somewhere from the top of the cartridge plastic body. The cartridge was damaged.
    I changed the photo-black to a new 700 ml Chinese one. Filled up, resetted the chip.
    I installed the pump and reconnected to cables.
    Switched the printer on. The error 1536 kept coming on.
    Rechecked the pump and wires. Reconnected the motor cable. Error disappeared.
    Printed the nozzle check page. OK.
    Printed the random image. OK.
    Leptech contacted me. He shortly explained the situation. He wrote: ‘It happens a lot on third party ink’.
    I thought it was my only bad luck with such a situation. I do understand that Epson company doesn’t like third party ink suppliers, but in my case it was the original cartridge, that caused the problem. Not the third party one.
    Thanks for the answers, some help and directions.Eric does a good job. I took a lot of notes from his blog Epson 7900 from the inside - out.
    Page with photos is here (for a while):
http://vetrazi.com/Ink_in_air_system/7900_ink_problem15Jun12.php
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randal21
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« Reply #730 on: June 18, 2012, 11:20:46 AM »
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In the middle of a job my yellow ink on my 7900 wasn't printing fully. I was using an Inkpress Warmtone 300 paper for some wedding invitations. I did 4 paired cleanings on the yellow and kept printing nozzle checks. 1/2 of the yellow seems clogged. Could the paper have caused this? I called Epson and he said to check my humidity ...it's at 80% which is fine. Said to check out another yellow ink cartridge which I don't have. Said if the pair cleanings don't work he can call Decision One for me. Now what?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #731 on: June 18, 2012, 11:34:24 AM »
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I think it may be premature to call Decision One. After not using my 4900 for two weeks, I found the yellow channel was at first very weak and then dropped out completely. The procedure I used was to do a series of pair cleanings inter-spaced with making a print consisting of one big patch of yellow on a piece of cheap US-Letter sized paper. Do a regular pair cleaning, test the nozzles; if still clogged run the print, then do a stronger pair cleaning (on the 4900 there are two levels of pair cleaning - don't know whether the 7900 also has this feature); then check the nozzles; if not OK, run the print again, then do another strong pair cleaning, etc...I repeated this cycle 7 times and the Yellow channel came back fine and has stayed fine ever since. Running that print is a most important part of the process. If after all this you don't have a properly-functioning yellow channel, then I would agree it makes sense to call in a technician.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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randal21
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« Reply #732 on: June 18, 2012, 12:06:17 PM »
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Thanks Mark.... thats pretty much what I am doing. I turned on my dehumidifer for a reading and it was more like 66%. I have a new yellow cartridge coming tomorrow to see if the ink cartridge was the culprit. I will continue as you say and see if it let's go so I can finish the job and not call Decision One. Epson was too easy to suggest that.
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randal21
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« Reply #733 on: June 18, 2012, 12:31:23 PM »
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There shows sign of recovery Mark. paired yellow cleaning with a large yellow square and a nozzle check. Cross thy fingers!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #734 on: June 18, 2012, 12:52:00 PM »
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Good - keep redoing it and let's hope!
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #735 on: June 18, 2012, 01:11:20 PM »
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Any logic to why it may have happened? The new variable was the Inkpress Warmtone 300 Rag paper. paper fibers clogging my main color=yellow? Should I widen my platen? The yellow is slowly coming to life but have done alot of pair cleanings on the yellow. Stay away Decision One! 
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #736 on: June 18, 2012, 01:17:54 PM »
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It's unlikely to be the paper. There is little "logic" to this. Something - either air - or debris is preventing yellow ink from firing properly. You just need to exercise it out by repeated prints and cleans (use the stronger option for the pair), but I'd think if after 7 to 10 of these cycles it's not back to normal you need a tech.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #737 on: June 18, 2012, 01:49:15 PM »
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All is well!!!! Back to the job. Took at least 20 power cleanings and nozzle checks and printing the large yellow square. Thanks for sharing your experience with clogging. I got alittle anxious due to the other 900 series problems. The Epson tech people need to get better versed before they call Decision One. What is the higher lever paired cleaning you referred to? Not the total power cleaning right? Don't see the choice on my printer. Hidden?  thanks so much. Made my day!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #738 on: June 18, 2012, 04:12:48 PM »
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It could well be that the Epson 4900, being a more recent model than the 7900, has some different features. In the pairs cleaning utility of the 4900, there are two levels of cleaning - normal and more powerful. It is not a general power cleaning of all channels - just restricted to the pairs. Perhaps the 7900 does not have this feature in its pairs cleaning utility. The most I have had to exercise repeated cycles of pairs cleaning and patch printing is 7 replications, and that was after the printer had not been used for about 4 weeks. Normally, if it is not left idle for more than 5 days the nozzle checks come up fine.

It was an Epson tech quite some years ago, when I was having problems with my 4000, who instructed me about running the prints between cleanings. It would appear that in Epson, like many other companies, the knowledge and experience of the tech support staff is not uniform, and this should be expected. The way around that is for the company to maintain an on-line roster of best practices culled from the experience of their technical support people over the years. Then when a customer calls-in with a problem, the person answering the call would have been trained to consult the best-practices roster before responding. If they aren't doing this, they should be.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #739 on: June 18, 2012, 04:14:20 PM »
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And by the way, great that you got it back up and running properly. A story with a happy ending! I'm pleased it worked out for you.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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