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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 382925 times)
bhuddleston
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« Reply #780 on: September 10, 2012, 12:19:08 PM »
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Thanks Eric for the list of tips. This helps out alot. I do think it would be wonder to start a list as you suggested. I know it would be very beneficial to people other than just me Smiley

I need to get a gauge that tells me the temp and humidity level for the room my printer is in. Most of the time it stays at about 68 degrees or so.

Also do you suggest turning off the auto clean option?
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #781 on: September 10, 2012, 12:31:58 PM »
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Yes I have mine off, and I know many others do as well.  It puts more responsibility on you, which is a decision only you should make, but it opens up the opportunity to save you a lot of ink
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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #782 on: September 10, 2012, 10:56:19 PM »
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Hi All,
Thanks for the informative blog generated by loads of pain. It is quite overwhelming.
I am recently the victim of a 7900 printer nozzle clog after returning home from a 2 wk vacation. I kept the cost of the vacation to a minimum, driving to New Orleans from South Florida with a buddy sharing expenses. After I arrived home I realized I should have purchased travel insurance for my 7900 printer. My printer is coming up on 2 yrs old and has had very little use, most of it being cleaning cycles and nozzle prints. There has been perhaps 15-20 prints made due to my introduction to digital photography learning curve. I always check the print nozzles and do cleanings as needed. I've contacted Epson supported and although they are very kind they offer no solutions, liquid or otherwise, only the services of overpriced Delusion 1. When I found out the likely cost from Delusion 1, I nearly went into cardiac arrest. Epson has added insult to injury by not allowing me to purchase parts and not giving me access to the Servprog software. I'm willing to fix it myself and am also capable.
I'm very angry with and disappointed in Epson. When I read the brochure about the print quality, I don't recall any warnings about having to be a commercial user or the printer will fail you warning. This is a problem with the printer design and they should fix these without cost as this shouldn't be happening, period.
Does anyone know where I can get parts or the servprog.exe software?
Thanks
Bob D.
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #783 on: September 11, 2012, 12:16:58 AM »
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Bob.  Sorry about your troubles.  Listen I have no idea where you can get the software and I can't offer you any advice about your 7900.  But I did just stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, so maybe you should email me - gogo at gotagteam.com
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chaddro
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« Reply #784 on: September 15, 2012, 01:22:17 PM »
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Bob,

If you have a stubborn "clog" (it could also be a LACK of ink), doing standard cleanings probably won't help you. the x900 series printers DON'T fire the nozzles during the cleaning processes. The cap station covers the head and SUCKS ink out ... several ml's each time. You may need to do a piezo-clean which is only accessible through the service mode.

No idea about the amount of ink used, but this "super-strong" cleaning does fire the nozzles. I've not had to do this myself.

Disclaimer: The following is given for informational purposes only. Entering the Service/Maintenance Modes is not looked upon with grace by Epson. Perform at your own risk. YOU CAN FUBAR your printer in here:

Quote
Enter Maintenance Mode 1: Press and hold the Pause button and turn on the Printer.

Arrow down to "SS Cleaning" and press the right arrow.

Press "OK" to Execute.

Definition of SS Cleaning:

Quote
SS Cleaning has a strong ultra sonic component. The Piezo Elements internal to the Print Head are used to attempt
to break up pigment particles that may be clogging the interior of the Print Head.
Use SS Cleaning when a Nozzle can not be cleared through normal cleaning.

Note that there is no paired cleaning available with this mode. I think it's much like doing a power clean on the older 9880/9800/4000 series printers.

Also, it's a good idea to do a normal image print between cleaning cycles.
Good luck. I hope this helps!
-chadd
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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #785 on: September 15, 2012, 10:03:24 PM »
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Thanks Chadd.
 I tried the SS cleaning with no success. I'm going to try printing a large area of Cyan (the clogged nozzle). Once again I had a conversation with Epson support regarding my problem to give them another chance to help. There are very pleasant but no help. They say I have a faulty print head. I explained I don't agree. Why did it work before my vacation and fail immediately after. I told them it is a design problem that is Epson's fault and they should develop a work around or replace the head for free. They also said I should buy an extended warranty which I can't now because it isn't working. The extended warranty is very expensive anyway but if I'd have known how problematic this printer was I certainly would have. They will sale me a print head for about $1130 but not allow me to use servprog.exe to align the heads. No point in that. Also, I mentioned I wasn't alone and told of the many problems listed on the luminous-landscape blog. I'm sure they know of it already. I suggested because of the expense of the repair likely reaching 3/4 the purchase price, selling the printer for parts and buying a new one made sense than a repair. They agree. The problem with that I is I wouldn't get much for my barely used printer and the probability of getting the same problem again is high. No matter how you slice it you lose. I haven't given up appealing to Epson's better judgement by writing them.
Bob
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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #786 on: September 15, 2012, 10:09:04 PM »
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Eric, thanks for the sympathies and commercial humor. I can use all the laughter I can find.
Bob
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randal21
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« Reply #787 on: September 16, 2012, 11:58:23 AM »
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Sad these days when something that has some design flaws and costs people more money is tolerated. I have been with Epson for years but myself and a devoted Epson friend are thinking of waving Epson goodby. My 7800 was like the old trusty pickup with no problems...my 7900 is alittle more touchy. If I have any head problems it will probably be my last Epson printer I will own. Many people will jump ship I think if Epson leaves them holding the bag. See why class action lawsuits happen. Maybe a collective, signed letter to the upper corporate ranks expressing our concerns and disappointment with the head clogging 900 series printers is in order....BUT doubt it would help since they seem to be deaf to any reimbursement for the "dead heads" Sad.  Sad.  "Hello HP.... Canon... I would like to order....." 
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #788 on: September 17, 2012, 10:36:58 AM »
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Eric, thanks for the sympathies and commercial humor. I can use all the laughter I can find.
Bob


I was serious about emailing me Bob.  Buy the head, we'll get it going.
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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #789 on: September 17, 2012, 12:05:30 PM »
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Hi Eric,
Oh Sorry.  Thought you were joking because of the hotel comment. Thanks so much. I'll email you.  Don't I need some software to calibrate/align the heads?
Incidentally, when I complained about the ridiculous cost of repair, Epson gave me the name of a nearby repair facility that might be less expensive named Byte computer. Just spoke with them and think they are slightly less expensive ($125 to come out and analyze and/or a flat rate of $350 for repair plus the cost of the heads some $1220).
Anyway, I will email you.
Bob
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #790 on: September 17, 2012, 12:47:01 PM »
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If you are comfortable working on your own machine, which it sounds like you are, you need not pay anybody to get your new head installed and printing like it's designed to.  Email me and I will help get you and your machine up and running again.
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rlowe217
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« Reply #791 on: September 19, 2012, 03:40:26 PM »
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So add another one.  I have a barely used, but 2 year old epson 9900 that has had the middle 2/3rds of the cyan nozzle stop working in the last month.  I've tried all the "light duty" stuff, nozzle cleanings, spraying hundreds of $$ of ink into the maintenance cartridge, etc.  I finally broke down and pulled the head out today to see if there is anything I can do with it.  Looking at it under a microscope was not revealing.  The good news is that getting the head out isn't all that challenging if you can turn a screwdriver.  I'm gonna try a few things to save this head, i figure it's probably a total loss anyways.  After that it's either try and source a new head, and the software to "rank" it, or buy a canon.  Grrrh.  Honestly, if they would have told me that there was maintenance I needed to be doing, I would have been doing it.
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #792 on: September 19, 2012, 05:37:24 PM »
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Contact LFPTECH on this forum, quick.  You may have the best shot yet at fixing your head.  Ask him for his cleaning solution, he's got two - one clean and one red.  Try the clear first if you have the patience.  If not go straight for the red.  I have yet to try it.  From what he says it's best if your clog is not so old.  So maybe you have a chance still.  I'd give it a shot if I were you, since you have nothing to lose at this point. 

Yes, the heads come out easy.  Just be sure not to take the wrong screws out and loosen the carrier for the head as well as the head.  Tough to do if you're paying attention, easy to do if you just start unscrewing everything you see.  If you do unscrew the carrier it would mean complete manual head alignment.  I don't even want to think about that..

I'm sure you didn't do this, I'm just bringing it up for anyone else considering the operation.
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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #793 on: September 19, 2012, 09:08:19 PM »
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Eric,

Thanks again. Will do tomorrow first chance I get.

Bob
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jack777
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« Reply #794 on: September 25, 2012, 03:09:18 AM »
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I don't want to hijack Eric's thread (like it was even possible by now) but there's is a lot of good and smart people here so maybe someone will be able to help.

Original thread is here http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=70144.0

Basically my problem is banding caused by this:


Tried all kinds of cleaning, head adjusting, paper feed adjusting and nothing seems to help. Anyone got any ideas other than damaged head?
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rlowe217
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« Reply #795 on: September 27, 2012, 06:51:32 PM »
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So I managed to make mine worse. I'm getting an actual error code now.  Honestly, I'm not surprised based on what I could see happening.  I wasn't really all that aggressive with the head either when I took it out.  So my dilemma is this.  I see that I can get a canon ipf8300 for about 2600 bucks right now, vs  1200-1600 for a print head, assorted other parts I may need, and my time to replace it. And there is no guarantee that I will get it right, and I can't send any parts back if they don't work or I have problems.  So it's 1500ish bucks and I will probably have a working printer vs 2600 bucks and I get a brand new printer.

One thing that I occasionally do with my epson is print labels for bottles of acetone and methanol.  Much to my surprise, the epson ink appears to be completely impervious to either of those chemicals once dry. I wonder if canon's ink is the same way?   It's kind of why I think cleaning with things like, soap, water, ammonia, name your solvent here ____  are pretty useless.  I'm certainly no chemist, but the ink almost seems to catalyze, kind of like a 2 part paint..

Either way, there is some debate in our office as to whether we fix this, or just bail out now and get a different printer, that is a little more resilient to sitting around.  Our shop is a small business that does stuff completely unrelated to high end color printing.  We are all photo nuts, and our excuse to buy it was to print large technical drawings.  The ability to do awesome color photo printing was a bonus, and I wasn't concerned about the 9900 being slower versus their other models that basically double up the colors with the same heads.

If I had any idea the result of intermittent use was a ruined print head, or if epson had spelled out regular maintenance to be done, I certainly would have done it.  I would have least had a print job that exercised all the nozzles set to print once a day.  Anyhow, I'm pretty disappointed in epson..

Anyone that owns a large format canon care to dump some methanol on a print?  Lol....
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Blue moon
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« Reply #796 on: October 04, 2012, 06:35:38 PM »
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Eric
THANKS FOR ALL THE WORK FOR ALL OF US !
Wanted to contact you a bit earlier but decided to read complete thread with videos first.i am glad that i did
I came across your project by accident...i have a couple of 7800's which needed repair to their cartridge chip sensors and that went ok...cost 19€ instead of 230$ plus labour by doing myself....ended up pulling out the cleaner blade with a bamboo skewer rather effortlessly despite Epson telling me not to touch it...next minute,i am looking at your 9900 blade which you described eloquently as tiny and i cannot believe that it is servicing a newer printer than mine...it is not a blade but a recipe for disaster as you outlined later in your thread...Epson wanted to be able to blade clean individual channels rather that 8 or 10 channels in one move ..what do they do next...they invent multiple rubber head gaskets on the park station rather that the bigger single gasket that is on my 7800...so we now have 8 seals that can go wrong rather than one and now serviced by a tiny blade more suited to keeping one seal serviced and not 8 or 10 seals..oh..oh..trouble ahead..then i look at your gunk deposits all over the place and i think straight ahead where is that gung going ?   I guess you found it for us and was that a thriller to follow....and then i asked myself where did the gung start....and back i head to the cartridge itself for an explanation and its very simple....your problem would never have been a problem had you been able to do your 24" prints from the cart itself....put your Piezo head on top of your cart head and print away...carts can be stored in fridges and last for years they tell us and they are right...the problem starts when we move out of the cart towards paper...
Yes we sure need pigment(k3) to be able to see our lovely photographs and we sure need resin to stick our photos on the wall...and Epson tell us that we need glycerol (surfactant ) to make the pigment and resin be sociable to one another whilst they live together in the cart...ok ? But..but..the one thing we dont need until the last minute is enemy no 1 AIR...but i hear you say we dont get air in the cartridge or the printer ...patience! Wait six months please and lets increase the number of rubber seals from 1 to say 10...now lets invent a blade that is hard to get at to clean ...with a bit of luck some of the resin muck will stick and harden to make a tool like say a chisel...now add some pigment mess and paper dust and wait....we should be lucky with one or two efforts to break a rubber seal somewhere and attack the real prize...the piezo head itself  ....sound familiar..now whose really making money? Its not intentional i will readily agree...just bad and overambitious design...
Epson need to offer us a printing device where users are able to clean away with ease and DAILY their resin deposits from a quality blade....dont buy from them until you can see that they have invented a printer where the user knows and sees that there is no resin threats in the system..new or second hand....it has to go wrong otherwise
I live with and without Epson..i go for their inks and cleaning solution...when i dont print (which is often ) i shake my printers on their castor wheel base..very gently and lovingly..they like it.. ....several times a day...that puts manners on the pigment side of the family in the cartridge and printer system..i dont get drop outs !in fairness to Epson they have given me msds on all their inks and cleaner solution and have sold me their cleaner solution as well....they will HAVE TO produce a printer that is RESIN PROOF....btw when i hear guys talking about dehumidifiers i think to myself PATIENCE...theres air somewhere..we just need a bit of time..go get the resin...and a dolop of pigment for good measure..THANKS ERIC AND EVERYBODY ELSE AND ITS GREAT TO SEE The SITE GOT RID OF THE CYBER BULLIES WITH THEIR CYBER EGOS...
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #797 on: October 13, 2012, 08:00:52 PM »
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Sorry to have missed your post until now Blue moon.  You make good points and I love your humor.  I am glad all of this work has helped you - great community here.


It's true I have been quiet, but I have also been thinking.  I have identified what I think is our greatest enemy considering X900 printhead clogs.  

...TIME

Not the time you have owned yours, or hope to own yours, without experiencing the unclear-able clogs from hell.  That time has no bearing.  And it's not the amount of time that's passed since your last clog.  That doesn't matter either.  What time does then?  It's the amount of time that passes from the moment your clog forms, to the moment you get to clearing it.  THAT is the ever critical "time" that we are all up against owning X900 printers.  Get to your clog soon enough and you're fine.  Wait too long and you are thoroughly,entirely, screwed.

I don't go out on a limb waving flags of caution often, but I'll do it now.  If you print multiple times per week you're likely in the best shape of all considering clog management.  But if you don't print multiple times per week, you've GOT to get yourself into the habit of routine maintenance.  Run some nonsense print through your machine on plain paper at least twice a week.  Better would be three times a week.  And once a week, please, run a nozzle check pattern.  If you find a clog, clear it right then.  

Think of your printer like it's a dog.  Maybe a really lazy dog.  One you have to walk, and to feed, just not every single day.  Maybe every third day.  I believe doing this will keep you and your X900 happy.



I believe the best thing anyone could do for all of our X900 users is to create an image that runs each channel individually, specifically, just like a nozzle check pattern does.  Only have it print an area large enough to flush the most vulnerable ink sitting right out there in the printhead face.  If we ran a print like that twice a week I'll bet clogs could be a thing of the past for all of us.

HAL suggested this a while back.  I created a print for everyone to download here but it does not access each channel accurate enough.  It does not purge all of the nozzles on all of the channels.  I had been running this print that I made through my machine twice a week for a couple of months of no "real" printing and never saw banding or any other problems.  Then one day I organized my short stack of routine plain paper cleaning prints and noticed a color shift in some of the prints when I compared the first to the most recent.  I did a nozzle check and sure enough I had clogs all over the place.  Scared the crap out of me.  All of the clogs cleared with ease, thank the lord, but the point was made - I need a new system.  



So at this point I am putting out a request.  For sure this forum is populated with far greater/wiser/more experienced/more connected X900 users than me.  So maybe one of you can step up and flex your network, maybe put some requests out for the development of a routine maintenance doc we can regularly run.  In an awesomely optimistic world it would be great if Epson themselves could work something like this into a firmwear upgrade.  Perhaps a setting for while you're away - maybe call it "Holiday Mode".  Put some cheap roll paper in the machine, set it to Holiday Mode, then fly to Aruba with your girl (or guy) and not a worry to be had.  Twice a week the X900 fires an inch or two of ink across the sheet then advances to the next inch in a few days.  You come home three weeks later to twenty inches of home made Christmas wrapping paper hanging out the face of your printer, and you have no clogs.  

I have been contacted several times behind the scenes of this site by now - no I am not joining any class action lawsuits against Epson.  Not my style.  But I WILL say this...

...It would sure be nice if Epson gave us a "Holiday Mode".



.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2012, 08:07:25 PM by Eric Gulbransen » Logged

Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #798 on: October 14, 2012, 05:01:20 AM »
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So at this point I am putting out a request.  For sure this forum is populated with far greater/wiser/more experienced/more connected X900 users than me.  So maybe one of you can step up and flex your network, maybe put some requests out for the development of a routine maintenance doc we can regularly run.  In an awesomely optimistic world it would be great if Epson themselves could work something like this into a firmwear upgrade.  Perhaps a setting for while you're away - maybe call it "Holiday Mode".  Put some cheap roll paper in the machine, set it to Holiday Mode, then fly to Aruba with your girl (or guy) and not a worry to be had.  Twice a week the X900 fires an inch or two of ink across the sheet then advances to the next inch in a few days.  You come home three weeks later to twenty inches of home made Christmas wrapping paper hanging out the face of your printer, and you have no clogs. 

.

On the 6 channel wide format Epson models that I used in the past I actually had a small strip with CcMmYK lines running over the entire length of the rolls next to the actual prints. Sometimes you had images where at the end of the image a certain color was needed that was not used at the start and the nozzles were clogged before it reached that point. It was a surprise to see that on the HP Z3100 calibration target similar lines are used and on the profiling targets wider bands at the beginning. The lines and patch colors addressing the 12 channels directly of course. With QTR you can address the Epson printer channels directly too so if something has to be automated it could be QTR for that purpose.

--
Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

Dinkla Grafische Techniek
Quad,piëzografie,giclée
www.pigment-print.com


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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #799 on: October 14, 2012, 11:25:23 AM »
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Thank you Ernst.  You're a wealth unrivaled perspective.  Please remember I'm a carpenter, what the hell is QTR?
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