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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 383577 times)
kdphotography
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« Reply #820 on: October 17, 2012, 09:25:29 AM »
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I'd love to see something like Harvey Head Cleaner or Eric's "Holiday Mode" incorporated as a firmware update.... I don't even mind leaving a cheap 10" roll of paper loaded...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #821 on: October 17, 2012, 09:31:50 AM »
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It's a matter of different technology.
Piezoelectric printhead has long channel that provides ink to a nozzle, so there's a lot of place where air bubbles can gather, which leads to clogging - in thermal printhead the same channel is much, much shorter, so condensation of air bubbles is not such an issue.
Another problem is that piezoelectric membrane produces significally lower preasure while ejecting ink than heater in thermal nozzle.

While these differences of technology may well be correctly stated, I don't see why they would frustrate the development of a piece of firmware that turns the printer on at scheduled intervals, triggers a nozzle check or test page, then shuts itself down again. When you think of it, manufacturers of domestic ovens have enabled absentee householders to roast food on this basis for many decades now. Admittedly, the mechanics of an Epson 7900 are more complex than a kitchen stove, but so are the abilities of our firmware designers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #822 on: October 17, 2012, 10:06:58 AM »
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While these differences of technology may well be correctly stated, I don't see why they would frustrate the development of a piece of firmware that turns the printer on at scheduled intervals, triggers a nozzle check or test page, then shuts itself down again. When you think of it, manufacturers of domestic ovens have enabled absentee householders to roast food on this basis for many decades now. Admittedly, the mechanics of an Epson 7900 are more complex than a kitchen stove, but so are the abilities of our firmware designers.

Like Ernst said, HP (and Canon) wastes a minimum ink amount for maintenance - I suppose that (due to the above mentioned differences) piezoelectric print head would just require much more ink for such procedure, and/or it wouldn't be as effective as in case of thermal print heads.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 10:12:18 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Mark D Segal
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« Reply #823 on: October 17, 2012, 10:18:07 AM »
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I suppose that (due to the above mentioned differences) piezoelectric print head would just require much more ink for such procedure, and/or it wouldn't be as effective as in case of thermal print heads.

I wouldn't make such a speculation - it's completely unsupported by facts. The amount of ink used in a nozzle check is VERY trivial, and by my calculations even a letter-sized print of a real photograph in an Epson 4900 uses about 0.57 ml for 6*9 inches of sheet coverage. The cost of that here in Toronto for example is about 30 Canadian cents including taxes. If I had to let the printer self-run 6 of those over a three week absence at a total cost of less than 2 dollars, it makes a hell of a lot of sense compared with the value of my time spent dealing with declogging the printer upon return.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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cybis
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« Reply #824 on: October 17, 2012, 10:26:07 AM »
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Ok, found a way to purge all nozzles for all ten inks with QTR. I posted the needed files and instructions here.

The files in the above link couldn't be downloaded, hopefully it's fixed now. Sorry about that. Let me know if it's still not working.
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #825 on: October 17, 2012, 10:46:08 AM »
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If I had to let the printer self-run 6 of those over a three week absence at a total cost of less than 2 dollars, it makes a hell of a lot of sense compared with the value of my time spent dealing with declogging the printer upon return.

...and you're under warranty Mark.  Imagine this from the perspective of those who cannot buy into a warranty anymore?  Using your calculations this preventive maintenance program would cost just under ten cents per day to run.  That's $36.50 per year, compared to over $2,000 to replace the printhead.  This is quite an affordable alternative to crossing your toes in the white sandy beaches of Aruba hoping your printer isn't dying over your margarita.

Think back - how many X900 users have chimed in on this thread reporting their troubles with clogs happening just after a stretch of inactivity...?
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 10:47:54 AM by Eric Gulbransen » Logged

Czornyj
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« Reply #826 on: October 17, 2012, 11:07:25 AM »
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I wouldn't make such a speculation - it's completely unsupported by facts. The amount of ink used in a nozzle check is VERY trivial, and by my calculations even a letter-sized print of a real photograph in an Epson 4900 uses about 0.57 ml for 6*9 inches of sheet coverage. The cost of that here in Toronto for example is about 30 Canadian cents including taxes. If I had to let the printer self-run 6 of those over a three week absence at a total cost of less than 2 dollars, it makes a hell of a lot of sense compared with the value of my time spent dealing with declogging the printer upon return.

Can't speak of x900 - but as a former SP7880 user I used to print nozzle checks every day, and the printer meanly kept clogging anyway (prefereably in the middle of 24x36" baryta printing). So at least in my case it wasn't usupported by facts.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 11:11:31 AM by Czornyj » Logged

Mark D Segal
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« Reply #827 on: October 17, 2012, 11:11:34 AM »
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Can't speak of x900 - but as a former SP7880 user I used to print nozzle checks everyday, and the printer meanly kept clogging anyway (prefereably in the middle of 24x36" baryta printing) - so at least in my case it wasn't usupported by facts.

The statement unsupported by facts is this one:

"I suppose that (due to the above mentioned differences) piezoelectric print head would just require much more ink for such procedure, and/or it wouldn't be as effective as in case of thermal print heads."

The fact that you had a 7880 which clogged regardless of nozzle checks isn't relevant to the statement I'm questioning.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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iladi
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« Reply #828 on: October 17, 2012, 12:07:35 PM »
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Rolands, Mimakis and other solvent printers ALL with epson piezo heads have small cleaning cycles every few hours. So it is possible. And it is not ink consuming as you may think.
For example, my Roland wakes up every 12 hours from stanby, pump is cycling a few times sucking up a very small amount of ink, then returns to stanby. Guess what? No clogs for 2 weeks while hollydays, and i'm talking about ecosolvent ink, not waterbased ink like 9900.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 12:10:18 PM by iladi » Logged
Blue moon
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« Reply #829 on: October 17, 2012, 08:29:24 PM »
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Hi Blue Moon,
You sound like an engineer or chemist. There is a lot of good information in your post. Some of your ideas for maintenance should have been provided by Epson support. Epson doesn't support this product not nearly as it should. They've left us high and dried out. I want to make photographic prints, not spend my time navigating the mine field of their poor printer design. Anyway I greatly appreciate your's and Eric's input. We need a manual describing how to survive life with the Epson 900 series printers.
Thanks,
Bob DeBellis
Bob
Thanks for your kind comments to Eric and myself!  Appreciated..
My little experiment in now in its eight week...no block at all again for the last 6 days..(just 2 singular nozzles (1 c 1 m) weeks ago,blocked in the 7 week test.....just turned on the 7800 daily in the last 6 days ...i know you are all on 7900's but bear me out...there may be common factors between the two machines..also shook the printer (gently on its wheels) twice daily over the 6 days as well ..no blocks...with the machine on....NO PRINTING...Next stage is to extend my experiment to 7 days before next auto nozzle check...just turn ons and gentle shakes when on..i have not started with the simple cleaning of park pads rubber seals wiper blade and piezo underhead yet..it will happen guys....i have all the gear organised for lint free simple cleaning..with Epson's own solution...kitchen sponge cut up into cubes...sorry darling ....... later...i want to incorporate a cleaning routine so that i can reduce turn-ons and nozzle checks if the cleaning goes to plan..but i will definitely be rocking the printers daily for sure.for sure...
I am not a chemist or an engineer !  What is rather funny is that when  Epson sets about cleaning a machine, it uses either Glycol and Glycerol or both ...depending on whether they are trying to clean pigment or dye machines...and we are asked to CLEAN BY nozzle checking daily with a product that contains RESIN...which as you know is INK ! ..some of you are focussing on  (QTR ) unblocking individual channels by again using Epsons resin (ink) to target and"clean " specifically channel by channel ....in other words take more arsenic and you are going to get better ! Seriously it is funny ...does Epson take us for mugs or what ? Supposing that your brilliant qtr software adaptions were combined with a " FLOATING " designated ,pure ,Epson cleaning solution cartridge which is temporarily put into the place of the bad color cart....see the end....i am going to try it on my 7800's ....dont know about the 7900..i have all the epson parts now to try it...first things first ..
MY AMBITION IS TO USE JUST EPSON CLEANING SOLUTION TO do what Scott in AIS is doing for you guys and girls in the States with his daily drops of his clean solution on the park pad....but for me....NO NOZZLECHECKS...JUST CLEAN DAILY IF YOU PRINT DAILY..CLEAN IRREGULARLY IF YOU PRINT IRR......and of course go rock an roll (your printer stupid ) every day too.. I will probably end up eating my words but im on the way and im not going back now..and you might notice that i am turning on everyday..i have a clock timer to do that little exercise.but turn ons may disappear or reduce later depending on tests...
I also want to strip out out all the rubbish in the maintenance tank and replace it with an ice cube container sitting on a paper hankie...that way i can see exactly what ink is spat out as we do our nozzle dozzle daily purge routines called "nozzle checks".... funny thing is that an ordinary ice cube container fits perfectly into a maintenance..tank .and we can separate  the spit pipe from the pad sump pipe to see what an Epson power clean looks like in real lost ink....anyone interested let me know and we can share it....you will want a resetter to reset the tank....
I live in the West of Ireland...have not seen an Epson service engineer in about 10 years..last may, my color printer collapsed with a broken cartridge chip sensor...my stupid fault..really....this was the first time that i opened a printer...i had to borrow a chip sensor from my other ( b/w dormant) printer which meant that i stripped both machines down to rock bottom..will send you photos if you are interested.....anyway.....it struck me why did Epson not put an extra ink line in ,which could be serviced by a portable cleaning solution cartridge and this extra ink line could be converted to become a solution line....right.....so if you have a blocked channel in the head ...you disconnect that channel's damper and plug in your new solution damper which hopefully you have connected first to your "spare " solution pipe line..which you have installed on the ink lines "motorway " with all the other ink lines. Not for the fainthearted,i will admit !
.you will not use any ink in this purging exercise....because you have taken out your bad ink cart and put in its place your Epson tailor-made solution cartridge....of course you need to be able to tie off your real ink line as you drip feed the head with your solution line...and reverse lines when you have finished...i will have to come up with improvisations as i need to convert some of the pipe joins into dead ends.to waterproof  the pipeways....will anybody help me please to come up with ways to make pipe joins into dead ends...promise ill photograph if anyone interested !! ....it will be an experiment when the un-blocking experiment is over ...if ever...
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Blue moon
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« Reply #830 on: October 22, 2012, 07:47:06 PM »
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Eric
Gone over your thread a second time..im thinking that i need to make a book of it and put it on my ipad..! THANKS...
Can i please ask you to  go back to your blade replacement for a minute....when you wisely replaced it did you also replace the felt (concrete by then ) blade cleaner block ?....it seems to be held down with 3 screws ?the earlier 7800 let the resin ink residues drop straight from the wiper blade (by gravity )straight to the felt on the floor of the printer so that particular resin never got to "shake hands " again with the wiper blade...a longer lasting blade and head is the result..i surmise....blade still not perfectly cleaned...just drained...
Now with your 9900 model,that does not happen....(am i right ?).the blade keeps going back and forward over this one piece of felt which i reckon takes 9 to 10 months (judging by some of your contributors )on a new machine to become dangerously metamorphed back to reisin brick...head damage is now closeby.....am i anyway near the mark ? I think that Epson have gone forward with the head specs and backwards with the cleaning procedures for their advanced heads....the felt pad i suspect to be the root cause of the resin problems anyway...it is,ithink, the means by which residual resins and pigments work their way back into the head...is there a procedure for cleaning  and softening the felt pad ? Who would be offended if that felt pad were to be removed altogether ?
Epsons next printers will need to break the direct link and subsequent friction of rubber blade and resined felt and replace with some sort of solution bath or bay that the blade can clean itself in (or user does )before the blade goes back to cleaning the head again...the heads are becoming so sophisticated that i feel Epson will have to introduce their users to regular cleaning of blades and seals etc together with supplying the appropriate cleaning solutions too ...one master safety seal on the cap station might also be worthwhile to keep head fresh ..in case some of the smaller seals are breached...
Reminds me of restaurants....they use to throw their fat down the sink and let the city folk worry about the blocked drains later...now they have to collect and dispose of the fat residues at source....printer manufactures could do the same..
Swop your hound for a labrador and a scottish west highlander ...if you throw in the bike and the suit....you can keep the helmet...i have one for the bike (bicycle )  thats ok...
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #831 on: October 23, 2012, 12:45:02 AM »
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Blue moon, the felt pad on the X900s is not a felt pad at all.  It's more like concrete.  Seriously, I'll take some macro shots tomorrow night (AAA came through on my robbery claim, time to be a photographer again.  Yey!).  I also have a 9800 here, thanks to Ken Doo, which I will be neck deep in shortly.  I'll know more in time about the differences between the two machines. 

For now, best I can say is the wiper blade is not the source of our main problem.   As X900 printers the greatest challenge we face is ink drying just behind the face of the printhead.  Simple as that.  These nozzles are super tiny (that's about as technical as I get), so anything thicker than fluid ink in it's happiest state of flow, is a potential problem.  Sure the wiper blade smudging splooge around the face of our printheads is not helping matters at all.  And a worn out wiper blade is doing even worse for us than it is helping.  But like I said, the wiper blade takes a back seat to the real challenge we face, which is drying ink.

I am leaving for NY Thursday.  I'll be gone 12 days.  Holy hell do I wish we had a Holiday Mode already...

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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #832 on: October 23, 2012, 05:14:45 PM »
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Hi Eric,
Ha-Ha! I like your comment about the high maintenance chick. Yup, the 7900 sure is. She warnged me that if you I didn't take her on the trip with me to New Orleans, it's gonna cost a bundle for a gift for her when I get back. Ouch! It sure did cost mucho dinaro. Next time I'm dragging her with me in a U-Haul Smiley

You and Blue Moon should form a comedy writing team as there are some really funny exchanges between you guys on this blog. In fact you should reconsider renaming the blog "My funny life with the Epson 7900".

I've received the new printhead. Now reviewing your writings of your experiences and suggestions which I will interface with the other service manual instructions. Like the cowardly lion (Burt Lahr) in the Wizard Of Oz, what I'm missing is courage.

I appreciate your following up on the error code. If you hear anything please let me know.

Regarding your Thanksgiving trip, can you really afford to leave the turkey at home while you are gone?
All serious aside, this a problem.
Bob
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Blue moon
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« Reply #833 on: October 23, 2012, 07:43:33 PM »
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Bob

Maybe we could babysit Erics 7900 and the bike while he's in NY....(if he lets us play with the 7800 as well... Of course..) you know. ....while he's out o town like. I think he looks worried in his last post ! What do you think Bob ?he's lookin for help if you really want to know....actin tough like he's in control ...dont believe a word of it...seen these guys before Bob,.there all the same...coloured photos is all they throw at you ! The more worried they get the more color they throw at you...(cos the printers banjaxed and they have a lot of spare carts with no work for them  to do right now ).see. Bob..dont let him fox you now Bob...they havent a clue whats wrong with their heads (printers heads i mean ) have they ? Do you agree with me now Bob?
Have you ever opened up a 7900 before.Bob ?...its a cinch im told.....no way Eric would know we were just ..just...no way...messin in the name of science...he's got all the numbers to put the head back on frontways.anyway..he can fix it back in no time..and look at all the experience for the two of us too......and bring your camera an a notebook an a pencil with you so we can snap as we go along to be sure..we could start our own facebook account as well...maybe ...if your happy about it  that is..
He's gone for 10 days...gives us time to get it right somehow....we can always swop the parts from the 7800.if we run in to a spot of bother.....Eric will never know....and his block worries will be over .for good..the 7800 never blocks....just use coolored water for ink...flies perfect once you get used to the difference...spot of rust...thats all....nothin to write home about....they tell me
Bob...i guarantee you ....you and me are goin to be talent spotted by Mr Epson soon.....we think outside the 7900 box...which is what they need fairly badly right now..can you see it comin soon Bob....The New Epsonian 7111111111..(1BO). ....stands for one block only...stupids...
Guaranteed to block only once ....but we cant exactly say when that once is  goin to be...OK ?were human after all dammit !
Serously....all that the others dont get is that Epson is owned by Gillette.....the next big hit has to be the disposable printer....keep the cartridges though......
Eric are you there?
While we are waiting for Eric to wake up...
Bob...old son...go ahead... you win ...
Alright....you can have the 900
Ill make do with the 800!( and the bit of a bike )

If you ask me ,your all a bunch of snobs

I'm rightly Disgruntled this minute ...but ill get my own back...dont you worry
Eric Eric...helloooo...are you there....Eric ?  Wake up now....listen and learn from the old accomplished bikers who just cant afford the  flash gear....thats all...are you there Eric ?
what was i just sayin ?
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jack777
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« Reply #834 on: October 24, 2012, 10:52:13 AM »
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I have one concern about holiday mode...

It will reduce the chance of a clog occuring - that's for sure. But what if one nasty clog happens just as we shut the door? Won't printing with clogged head make it even worse?

I'm not saying I'm against "holiday mode". If someone will make one I would definitely use it. Also I have seen printing big squares of single color help unclogging (although they may have been air bubbles). My question is what's the bigger risk - reducing the chance of clogging for the price of trying to push too much ink through clogged nozzle...
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #835 on: October 25, 2012, 12:19:33 AM »
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Blue moon.  You fell off the wagon again..


jack777, I experienced something in my early preventive maintenance practices which may shed some light on your thoughts above.  Used to be I figured I was free and clear of clogs, as long as I ran my routine print with 1" squares of colors through the printer ever third day or so.  Sometimes for weeks on end all I would print were these colored squares.  They looked fine as they came out the bottom, one after another, every third day or so.  I had short stacks of color swatches on my desk next to the 7900.  No banding, no dropouts, consistent color throughout - life was good.  ...or so I thought.

Then one day I organized my short stack of color swatches.  Much to my shock I noticed a huge difference in colors between my first preventive maintenance prints and my last.  Original greens were bright, by my latest greens were mud.  Original LLK was fine how it printed, but the new light cyan was now also LLK.  My original red swatch was bright as blood, but my latest red was dull and muddy.  ...you're catching on by now right?  I had tons of clogs and didn't even know it - I had been printing with clogs for weeks.  My fillings almost fell out I was so scared my new head was dead.  And crap, it's not like I'd been neglecting this 7900 - I thought I'd been taking good care of it!

Boy was I wrong.

Anyway after just one cleaning per channel in maintenance mode on the lightest setting all my clogs were gone.  I am no scientist jack777, but from this experience I bet we run a far greater risk with no maintenance mode then with one.

Oh God I leave tomorrow morning.

the horror... 
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xsydx
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« Reply #836 on: October 25, 2012, 09:39:45 AM »
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I have been reading this thread for a few weeks now because I am also getting the LLK bad nozzle check pattern on my printer w/ banding in my prints. I decided to do the print head hovering above cleaning solution method and wanted to share my results for your feedback.

It seems like ink is not being pulled from the head as much as it was demonstrated early in this post. Seems like some ink did release for a few of the colors then it basically hung around at the head (wasn't pulled into the cleaning solution) and then "caked" onto the head into little ink chips. I left it over night to see if there would be any more to it.

Here are the pictures this morning after cleaning the ink that was extracted and stayed on the head and whats left in the water...









Also when you look at the other side of the head some of the openings appear to be blocked... is there a way to clear that blockage? You can see orange prominently but magenta and one of the blacks also appears to be have it.





So main thing is, should I do more? I didn't see any of the black inks release from the head. mostly magenta, orange, yellow, green and some cyan.

All help/feedback is greatly appreciated!

Sid
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Doccolor
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« Reply #837 on: October 25, 2012, 10:46:11 PM »
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Hi, this is Scott from American Inkjet Systems (AIS) with some comments regarding 7900/9900/9890 printers. It is gratifying to read about the effort everyone has put forth in solving the problems with these new printers. We constantly receive calls and Emails from companies with issues and there is little time for us to follow all the groups.  We own many Epson printers and among them a 9900. I also have many clients with of 9890’s and 9900’s. We upgraded our Website to www.americaninkjetsystems2.com which should be a lot easier to navigate. As you might know, we help and support our clients with all their Epson printers, whether they are using Epson ink or third party ink; so we’re able to acquire great deal of information about these printers and the way they perform under different conditions.

This new series of printer’s offer some attributes that have grabbed the interest of production studios, individuals, and enthusiasts, especially because of its speed as well as offering more color channels. While these printers offer great potential in the print business, there are several problems we see that are related to Epson’s pigment Ink and many pigment inks in general, especially where they are not in constant use. I thought I would give you our lab’s take on the problem and how to solve most of the clogging issues.

Most pigment inks, and of course Epson’s, are a combination of pigment and resin (liquid plastic) in a suspension.  When the ink gets a chance to dry, it turns into a solid-like state. Ink is not a cleaner and not intended to dissolve a solid built up over time. When you perform a cleaning, you are trying to push the dried ink out clearing the nozzle. However, if ink starts drying inside the head forming more of a cluster over the nozzles, then it becomes more futile to expect choosing the nozzle cleaning command to be effective; that is where your efforts of soaking the head with a cleaner or running cleaning fluid into the head through the whole system will be more effective. The idea of the head being capped on the capping station pad is to prevent the head from drying out quickly. However, if the pad is not replenished with moisture, the pad will dry and therefore cause the head to dry and in turn form clogged nozzles. I call the dried ink on the capping station pads “Gunk.”  One of the reasons that these nozzles clog more readily is because they are so fine. Not using the printer on a daily basis or having the printer in a dry atmosphere will speed up the drying process.

The remedy to this issue is quite simple. Simply place a lubricant cleaner on the pads as often as once a night depending on the dryness of your place. Ideal humidity as prescribed by printer manufacturers for the printer is 40% which is not ideal for media.  Any cleaner that evaporates quickly, like Windex, is not effective for this operation. The cleaner needs to be able to break down resin, while at the same time reducing evaporation. The process for moving the head aside using the controls on the printer and placing the liquid on the capping station pads is about 2 minutes or less. This seems to me to be a no brainer. Our clients have used our cleaners from the time Roland and Mimaki printers first introduced pigment ink, about 12 years ago. Using the cleaner also prolongs the life of the capping station. It was suggested to me by an Epson technician, that the capping station should be replaced every 3 years.

Just to reiterate, you may feel upset that clogging did not appear as fast with previous Epson printers, like the 9800 series; however, sometimes with so called progress comes more challenges.

Our company is dedicated to solving problems and looking at all aspects of inkjet printing from an unrestricted position. In this case, we produce several cleaners for different purposes that you can read about on our new website: www.americaninkjetsystems2.com

If you are going to use a cleaning fluid made by any company for use of maintenance on the capping station, make sure it accomplishes what I described. The benefits are so great and the cost so little.   

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« Reply #838 on: October 26, 2012, 09:16:52 AM »
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Hi Scott,

While this thread is about Epson 7900 - and I shall remain relevant, I own a 4900, having previously owned a 3800 (and before that a 4800 and before that a 4000 and before that a 2000P) so I've been at this from the time Epson (the industry leader) started making archival inkjet printing available in a desktop solution. When you think of it, really amazing what kind of quality these machines deliver with such precision using a technology that in terms of print quality essentially matured within the first few years of its introduction in mid-2000. From the time the Ultrachrome inkset appeared later in 2002 it's been gradual improvement and refinement since then. Of all these printers I owned and operated, the 3800 was essentially trouble-free, as was the 2000P by the way. All the others have exhibited various degrees of clogging issues, the 4000 having been dreadful, the 4800 improved and the 4900 better yet, but not immune, which is what I am coming to here. The basic 4900 printhead technology is similar to the 7900/9900.

You make a point, which I have observed too, that the more frequently one prints the less the trouble with clogging. Up to this week I believed that. This week strange things started happening. Example One: My Yellow channel simply "dropped out" between two prints, having made half a dozsen just immediately before that. Example Two: Yesterday the PK channel dropped out and the Cyan channel showed very broken nozzle check patterns, again between prints after having made about half a dozen. In both cases this happened after the printer had done one of its auto nozzle checks and self-cleaning. I have now disabled auto nozzle checks and I hope that will also disable automatic cleanings (there is no user-control specifically aimed at enabling this), because the coincidence of these events suggests to me that I may have less trouble doing manual nozzle checks before each printing session (which I did anyhow) and clean as needed only. That, however, is speculative, and doesn't answer why the clogs are happening, where they occur (in front of the head or behind the nozzles), or indeed whether they are clogs at all, or ink simply not reaching the nozzles for other reasons (air. [pressure issues, etc]. The real cause of the problem of ink not reaching the paper needs to be properly understood before one can have *a priori* confidence in proposed solutions, unless of course one is out of warranty and prepared to go the trial-and-error approach. Nothing inherently wrong with that, and this is where your products and experience with them could be useful. But it would be nice to see Epson testing and recommending your cleaners.

I think it's important to recall that most equipment one buys has specifications that are the result of design compromises. For example, we get incredible detail from these printers, but the cost of that may be (and I'm speculating) those extremely small nozzles which could perhaps be part of the issue. Not being print-head designers or ink chemists we in fact don't really know what these design compromises may have been and what options the manufacturers could yet explore for resolving them. (I speak generally here, because the others aren't exempt from clogging issues either - they are handled differently.) I think the one remaining avenue of technological improvement for these printers is reliability in these respects, and for that we essentially depend on the manufacturers.
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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
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« Reply #839 on: October 26, 2012, 03:56:40 PM »
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Hi Mark,

No company wants to admit to design flaws and Epson is no exception to that rule. I have found over the years that misleading, not facing problems, ignoring customers, and even lying is the guarantee to doom. I see so many companies in the inkjet field aiming on maintaining ignorance in their customer base. People can handle the truth mainly if they feel you are going to do something about it and take them into consideration.  We have Epson printers running with heads that are over 8 years old. If we were running a Canon, we would have had to have at least 16 heads replaced by this time. I do not understand why companies selling printers will not discuss maintenance. Does anyone believe the car they bought never needs an oil change or a tune up? Do we not wash our dishes, clean our floors, and wash our cloths? Is that not maintenance? If ink did not dry then it would not adhere to a substrate. So the issue is to prevent it from drying on the capping station.
Regarding Epson Printers:
The Original UltraChrome was Epson’s introduction to a rich pigment ink set, especially, the Magenta and Yellow, the two most difficult inks to produce in high pigment loading. We found people printing with that ink set in general to have few problems as long as the humidity was around 30%.

The next printer to come along from Epson, the 9800 using a new red-magenta also had great success. Companies like Mimaki and Roland realizing how good that head was built printers with that head running all kinds of ink with great success. The 9800 printer is my all-time favorite and I own 4 of them.   

The 9980 although the head appears to look better, the forgiving nature of the 9800 diminished somewhat.

Then they introduced the new high speed high tech head to compete with HP, the 4900, 9900, 9890 and 9700 series and problems developed.  These printers are highly sensitive to air pressure. You should run a pressure test to make sure your cartridges are receiving the proper pressure. We have a client with a 9900 which seems to constantly having the air pump running. We can’t find an air leak and have tried all new cartridges. Here is the funny part. It is the only 9900 that we have seen that has virtually no problems, not that every 9900 has problems. This one is as though it is powered by the Ever Ready Battery on steroids. It runs well all the time.

My 9900 had the ink bay replaced 3 weeks after I bought it, but it has been running well for over a year.
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