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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 263148 times)
DougMorgan
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« Reply #940 on: November 25, 2012, 02:16:45 PM »
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I had a couple things to add to the wiper cleaning/replacement info above.  Please forgive me if it was already mentioned somewhere in the ongoing saga.

For the serviceman routine for accessing the wiper blade note that with the 9900 there are two places where the wiper assembly will fit, one of which is probably used for the dual-cmyk setups rather than the 10 colour setup.   If you put the wiper back in the same spot it came out of you'll be fine (it's the right one facing the printer)    There is also a little tab that actuates the wiper and you need to have the wiper positioned correctly when you re-install it or you'll get an error (1487 IIRC).   Though the error message says to turn the printer on and off to see if it clears from my experience you need to check and make sure the wiper assembly is mounted correctly in the right bay.

Note that if you close the lid on the printer it will move the print head back to the capping station!  I think it also starts running through the cleaning as well --- DON'T close the cover until you have the new or cleaned wiper assembly in place and certainly don't leave anything in the path of the print head.

Also note that using the serviceman routine seems to send it in to yet another auto cleaning you can't bypass.   I think with two passes  it drained slightly more than 1% from all 700ml cartridges so while the wiper assembly is relatively cheap, Caesar always get's his due....  If you unplug the printer and take it apart there does not seem to be the Epson tax but it's quite a bit more work.  

Good information above though.   Does seem like epson went out of the way to make this machine less reliable than the prior generations -- took 2 seconds (and no ink wasted) to maintain the cleaning assembly on the 9880, but I think that was a much less gimmicky machine all around.
Doug
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 03:49:06 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #941 on: November 25, 2012, 02:33:35 PM »
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Does seem like epson went out of the way to make this machine less reliable than the prior generations --
Doug


Do you REALLY believe any serious manufacturer in today's world would do such a thing?

I rather think design and design changes involve compromises. Change is *intended* to advance and improve, but at the margins some things may get knocked. They make judgments about when a product is ready for prime time. We may or may not agree, depending on our experience, which is obviously highly variable.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #942 on: November 25, 2012, 03:09:55 PM »
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Hi Mark:

I think what you are saying may have been true back in the olden days when the engineering department made the design choices but now it's the bean counters and the marketing slicks.    I have been printing heavily with epson equipment for a number of years and find there are several "improvements" with the 7900/9900 that would have been better left to the consumer printers.   This thread's popularity seems to support that view, at least to me.

I think this whole thread points to the fact that going from 180 to 360 nozzles may have been a mistake and seriously compromised the longevity/reliability.

I think the marketing-types decided the new line had to have the automatic loading, just like the other brands.  This move added tons of bulk and complexity to the printer for no gain in my opinion.  It certainly doesn't save me any time.   The downside is that it made feeding small sheets either impossible (less than 8.5 x 11) or finicky and unreliable (<11x14).   With all the machinations the machine goes through sometimes the overall throughput is slower than the previous generation, even given the faster print speed.   Personally I've never seen roll media that could be printed to the bitter end so I don't see the point of wasting good media to mark the rolls.

Despite Epson's claims to the contrary I do not see any less clogging with this model compared to prior ones and in fact it seems to suffer more from single nozzle clogs and deflections.  Compared to the prior generations it seems to use about half again as much ink and even a single nozzle clog can cause a print wrecking drips.  I'm hoping the information in this thread will cut down on the last problem.

Here's where the bean counters come in -- from a cost of ownership perspective any savings in ink cost per ml seem to be overshadowed by more cleanings and more ink per square foot.    The only thing I ever needed to replace in four years of daily use with the 9880 was the paper cutter and now we're looking at very roughly $500/year if you diy the maintenance.   Since epson's guy is 10 hours round trip from me diy is the only option here.   Never needed him for the four other epson wide format I've had.

I'm still trying to figure out what the green ink is for.   The Orange makes a small visible difference in fall-type pictures but the green seems totally useless.  From the Y and C usage I have to believe that most of the green tones are still made by mixing cyan and yellow.   Why not Blue where the printers are weakest?   I would love to take out the green and try white if I can't have a real blue.

At any rate the printer does the job but I wish they had taken the 8 inches of extra length and 100+ extra pounds, chucked the auto feed, and made it a 50 inch wide printer for the same price.

I am glad I found this thread though since my 9900 had started wrecking numerous prints with ink drops at exactly 3 weeks past the end of the warranty.  Wiper seems to be the culprit but the Cap and pump assembly to be replaced as soon as I can get the parts.

My two cents worth of whining...
Doug  

« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 03:32:01 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #943 on: November 25, 2012, 03:46:26 PM »
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... took 2 seconds (and no ink wasted) to maintain the cleaning assembly on the 9880...
Doug


Very interesting posts Doug, thanks for stepping up.  A lot of what you wrote makes me think but I have one particular question I want to ask - what cleaning assembly maintenance are you referring to on your 9880?  And what do you do, if anything, along the same lines with your 9900?
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« Reply #944 on: November 25, 2012, 03:58:54 PM »
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Doug

Well done man !

You are right on the button....so sweet to see it so lucidly and pragmatically explained...congratulations for turning on the lights ....wow
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DougMorgan
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« Reply #945 on: November 25, 2012, 04:12:20 PM »
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Hi Eric and thanks very much for documenting this journey for us...

With the old printers selecting cutter replacement from the regular-person menu would send the printhead out to the centre of the carriage.    Since the wiper and cleaning station was much simpler and didn't play hide and seek like it does on the 7900/9900 it could be easily cleaned with a lint free cloth soaked in distilled water or even (dare I say it) windex.   The wiper was beside the flushing box and went the width of the printhead (iirc).   A few wipes and a good soaking of the flushing pad once in a while would remove all the gunk that had built up.   I used the blue "paper" shop towels since they seemed to have much less lint than a regular paper towel.  

If a cleaning didn't work after 2 or 3 tries I'd clean the printhead itself by simply folding up a blue shop towel so it was three layers thick, soaking it in distilled water and sliding the print head over it for an hour or so -- couple passes back and forth to remove anything sticking to it, another cleaning for luck and that was usually it.  Good for a week or two.

With the 9900 the clogging has been different and I have only tried the regular user-mode machine clean cycles.    There are fewer big clogs and a lot of single nozzle ones compared to the 9880.   I'm sure I've averaged a single-nozzle clog almost daily over the last 15 months.    Usually they clear after a pair cleaning but many times I've tried once or twice with the pairs and had to resort to a full clean.    I have only tried the heavy-duty pair cleaning a couple times and it didn't seem to make a difference.   The 9900 seems much more prone to dripping ink on the prints with even one nozzle deflected so I try to keep the pattern completely clear.    I do print large prints though so compared to smaller prints the ink has more chance to build up to a drip.

I should note that until I found this thread a week a go the only method I had heard to get at the print head and capping station was to turn the printer off while the printhead was off it's station.   This did not sound like a good plan to me so I did not try it!

I have been much more careful with the humidity with the new machine than I ever was with the old and actually bought a 2nd humidifier to try and keep the humidity up to 40 or better.   I would print below 20% with the 9880 though it seemed to get cagey when that low.   Where we live it has to be pouring rain to get much above 60%.

As an example today I printed 8 prints ranging in size from 20x30 up to about 24 x 60 and had to clear single nozzle clogs twice.   But this is after doing a check of the wiper blade earlier that seemed to force a major cleaning.   See my other post for why I had to check it;(

That's my experience at any rate...
Doug
 
« Last Edit: November 25, 2012, 04:23:49 PM by DougMorgan » Logged
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« Reply #946 on: November 26, 2012, 10:29:45 AM »
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Monday a.m. called Epson at 562-276-1305.  (the Website leads you to local service center referral for out of warranty issues.  However, this gave me the names of several places that got truly horrible yelp reviews and more importantly didn't look to have any experience with the Epson Pro printers).  They are having Decision One call me this afternoon.   I had pretty mixed experiences with them under warranty but it seems like they are a better option than the other three local shops referred to on the epson website. 

Epson help said Decision One should call me this afternoon with an estimate.  I asked how they could provide an estimate without knowing what the problem is-- he said their estimate will be for parts and labor for the print head, wiper blade, and pump cap assembly.  So it sounds like they will call back with a max estimate.  ( I have a partially blocked light magenta channel that won't respond to any type of cleaning (normal, pairs, SSCL, service mode etc).  I will get a full breakdown of costs/parts/labor.  Epson said the parts will be sent directly to my house and the appointment will happen after the parts arrive.

I already ordered two wiper blades at $13.00 each from Encompass in Oregon.  $26.00 for the two parts and $28.00 for two day shipping from OR to CA!

Should I order the pump cap assembly and is it difficult to change myself for someone generally not going the do-it-yourself route?  Is there a reasonable probability that this will help at all? 

Btw, I had parts of two lines dropped out of the LM channel test print but when I compare those prints to current ones, there was no banding and I can't see any noticeable effect on the prints.  Even though the test prints showed portions of dropped lines out of the test print, did I really have a clog?  Now there are many more missing parts of lines from the LM portion of the test print and the banding is very visible up close. I had such constant clogs (daily in LM and slightly less often in LLK) as reported by the test print, I think it was only a matter of time before I had unresolvable issues; still, it makes me wonder if I made the problem with the constant cleaning.  It's perhaps somewhat analogous to a photographer using a loupe and light and seeing a tiny speck on their dslr sensor that doesn't appear in their photos and then obsessing over cleaning it and making the problem worse. Except of course there's no manual contact in running print cycles and it is the prescribed method of resolution.

Will report back with costs etc in the event that helps anyone make a decision here between the DIY route vs D1.


 
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sfblue
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« Reply #947 on: November 26, 2012, 10:53:26 AM »
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Also, I stumbled upon this:
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/support/supDetail.jsp?BV_UseBVCookie=yes&infoType=FAQ&oid=60322&prodoid=55197367&foid=76588

This gives instructions for cleaning of the wiper blade, pump cap, and assembly for the Epson x800 series.  Obviously this is a different printer, but I didn't realize these things were officially user cleanable in the eyes of Epson for any of their pro printers.

Separately, I'm trying not to guess on what the D1 estimate will be but I can't help it.  Adding up the cost for the parts plus a guess at labor puts it not too far off from the price of a new 7900.  If D1's estimate is indeed that high, that would be an interesting dilemma.  Also I think I'd have to be open to looking at the new Canon printers with their rebates and trade-ins. 
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sfblue
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« Reply #948 on: November 26, 2012, 12:50:25 PM »
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Got a call back from D1.  If anyone is interested or in the same boat, the costs are as follows:
$100 travel charge to come to my house in San Francisco
$175/ hour with a 1 hour minimum

Parts:
Print head:  $1132
Pump Cap Assembly:  $231
Wiper:  $13
Selector Unit: $173.60
AID sub board $162

I don't know what the last two items are.  I gave them my cc and am having a local tech call me to set up an appointment.  But I'm debating what to do.  The total cost if I require all of the above is just about $2000 (and that is with only one hour of service time).  New 7900s are generically advertised now with the rebate at $2500 and I might be able to do a little better. The new Canons are advertising good deals right now as well. What if I fix it and the next thing is the LLK which has had a lot of problems (is the print head for all of the different color channels?).  Wouldn't I be better off getting a new printer with a warranty for the same price. 

Not sure what to do but in the meantime, I'll probably look at trying to do more myself. 
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #949 on: November 26, 2012, 01:13:34 PM »
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That's exactly your (all out of warranty X900 users) dilemma, sfblue.  That's why this thread.  That's why I just spent my new-puppy savings account on microscope(s).  Basically, as things stand today, when you follow Epson's out of warranty repair protocol, once your print-head drops out your printer is worthless.  You are not far off at all on your potential repair estimate.  I get emails all the time about this from X900 users.  We're like one big family.  It's pretty typical to hear about repair numbers in the $2,500 range.  Actually this very morning another previous contributor to this thread is opening his door to a D1 house call over in Oklahoma, for the very same procedure you are considering.  Only difference is his machine is an 11880 (also X900-based head).  His estimate was closer to $3,000.  He texted me jokingly yesterday while I was riding in the mountains "maybe I should set up a video camera and film my D1 experience!".  

Sounds like we are laughing about all this, which I do choose to do - rather than to cry.  At B&H's current price, and offer for free delivery, and the brand new warranty you would get with the purchase - you are exactly right.  Following standard Epson/D1 repair protocol once you're out of warranty, makes no sense at all.  Add to that the fact that I recently saw a special at B&H for the 7900 at just under $2,000 and it's about enough to make a guy nauseous.  

It could very well be that these "un-clearable X900 clogs" are indeed a death sentence for your Epson Stylus Pro Printer.  So, maybe I am a fool for continuing my search for answers to questions we all have, and solutions we all need.  Won't be the first time I have failed.  Won't be the last time I try not to.  

I'm sorry, sfblue.  Things seem grim I know.  So I offer you this personal story of inspiration - maybe you'll see hope too:


(my apologies, some might find this inappropriate)

September 2, 2012.  Sonoma California.  I am 46, racing an underpowered bike on barely a budget against guys not even born when my racing career began.  It's a good year, we're leading the championship, I'm riding all season like I wish I could have two decades ago - today would be different if I had.  Then mid-way through third practice, in an unsuspecting turn, for no reason anyone has made sense of yet, all hell breaks loose at over 100mph.  I fight to wrestle the bike back to shape but I lose the match.  I am thrown to the pavement - head and shoulders first like you might treat something you sincerely despise.  I hit my head, I smash my hand, I tare my Rotator Cuff - can't lift my left arm past my ribs.  

And our bike is destroyed..






...is any of this feeling familiar to anyone with a clogged X900 yet?  

Sometimes you get your lights knocked out.  We all do.  But that doesn't define you.  What you do next does.



The boys stared straight back at hopelessness and told it to piss-off.  They worked all night rebuilding our trusty steed and by mid-morning it had two wheels again.  An hour later with a numb shoulder, a bike held together with bailing wire and duct tape, and basically one hand we led the race to the half-way mark.  Just then, like we hadn't overcome enough already, our bike began to shake the earth around it like a scene from "The Who" playing Woodstock.  The exhaust on our 1190cc twin had broke.  It hung from the right side of the bike at just the right angle to cantilever both me and bike into the air on the next right hander, once we got to full lean.  Sometimes you've just got to say, "What, the, hell..."


This is the point where this story is supposed to inspire anyone facing un-clearable X900 clogs, to cling to hope.  I wrestled us back into shape, we went on to take the loudest second place ever recorded by man, and we won the Championship.

If it is possible to clear a clogged X900 head, we (meaning everyone here) will find the way.  


.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 04:09:41 PM by Eric Gulbransen » Logged

markbrand
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« Reply #950 on: November 26, 2012, 01:50:35 PM »
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Thanks for the inspiring metaphor Eric.

On my 7900 I have spent 5 weeks and roughly $1800 - 4 maintenance tanks, a complete line of 375ml inks and only one commercial print to show for it. Nozzle check will not clear two guns PK and LG. I cleared the LG but the PK was stubborn. Did a power pair clean than the CYAN dropped out entirely. I am giving up. (I've tried the windex on a 5x7 ply, all kinds of prints and tests, but nothing is working.)

Called EPSON and went straight to customer relations.
"I'm out of warrantee, spent $1800 in inks, cannot clear the clog and want to know if you have a program to give me credit for another machine."
"We have never heard about nozzle clogging on the 7900."
I pointed out there is a good number of owners on the luminous-landscape blog with this issue, and am put on hold for ten minutes and sent back to technical maintenance. No one wants to solve this, and Epson seems not to have a clue. Maybe a class action litigation will wake them up.

« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 01:52:44 PM by markbrand » Logged
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« Reply #951 on: November 26, 2012, 03:28:41 PM »
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Love the moto photos and story!   I have a feeling, Eric, that there is probably one degree of separation or so between us somehow. 

Back to printers, so if I take that last photo to heart, all I have to do is take a crowbar to my 7900 and I'll be all set? 

Two questions and I apologize if they were answered earlier in the forum but I've read so many different things, I can't remember what references came from each site. 
-If I order the pump cap and assembly and replace it myself, any updated view on a place that ships out pretty quickly?  I ordered the wiper blades from Encompass but found even normal shipping a bit expensive.
-Does anyone have any experience with these guys:  http://www.americaninkjetsystems.com/Unclogging_print_head_nozzles.html
I may give them a call-- not sure if I am just desperately looking for solutions that don't cost $2000 . . .

Also, Eric, BH had the 7900 listed recently below 2k?  That's enticing even though after this experience I don't know if I can go Epson again . . .
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #952 on: November 26, 2012, 04:00:25 PM »
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Yes sfblue, right now they have a decent price listed.  Sometimes they have ridiculous prices listed.  It seems unpredictable at best.

Yes I have experience with americaninkjetsystems (the way my browsers break that page up on scrolling really brings back bad memories..).  Also others that advertise head cleaning services.  Also plenty of other options (paths, even journeys) to partake in considering printhead clog clearing (including re-fillable cleaning carts, solutions, wet paper towel techniques, all configurations of menu settings cleanings, service mode cleanings, shaking the machine, even throwing it off a cliff - which I tried once but the clogs never budged)..  You will find, as did the rest of us, that none of these work.  You will also find that all lines of communication go blank once you mention to these printhead cleaning websites that it's a "4900/7900/9900".  I even shipped our X900 printhead to Canada where one specialist machined brackets to fit our heads to his ultrasonic cleaning machines so he could break up the clogs.  Three months later our head came back as a very shiny paperweight.  So far, best I know, we are on our own.  But there is hope.  Research is forging us ahead into a new realm of understanding.  Soon enough we will have a far better grip on exactly what we are up against.

To answer your previous question, all channels are handled by the same printhead - there is just one.  You fix one channel, you fix them all.  Unfortunately, you break one channel, you break them all.  

If you get cornered I'll change your head.  Hell I came about a minute from flying to Oklahoma last week for one of our other family members.  Problem was we couldn't find him a head for under two grand, so flights ended up making it not worth while.  11880s are more expensive.  You challenge is your head most likely, not your pump and cap assy.  Changing the pump and cap to clear a clog is like Left Eye singing about chasing waterfalls.  Depending on how many prints you've run, which in your case sounds minimal, it's better to clean the pump and cap, but replace the head.  My two cents anyway.  The parts changing procedures are completely separate.  Left side of the machine comes apart to swap the head, right side of the machine comes apart to change the pump and cap assy.

And no, your D1 serviceman will not be able to change both parts in one hour.  More like three, and that's if he's on the ball.  

Glad you like the story.  Hesitated to tell it here.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2012, 04:06:13 PM by Eric Gulbransen » Logged

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« Reply #953 on: November 26, 2012, 08:53:11 PM »
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Admittedly,  I had to google "Left Eye."  Smiley

Still no call from a local D1 tech, but if three hours is optimistic for the service time, then at a minimum it is $2336.00 unless it's something more minor and the print head doesn't need to be changed.  I just did a cursory check and a local store has the 7900 for $2400 and said Epson deals vary month to month and next month it could be higher or lower.  I guess that is what accounts for the recent BH price of below $2000.

Has anyone had experience with a Canon using the Lucia EX inks?  I know it is too new for reviews on the x400 series, but the x300 reviews I've seen say that color printing is neck and neck with Epson, but I can't seem to find anything about the black and white printing which is something I care about quite a bit.  The price for the new Canon 24 inch 6400 seems to be a little under $2000.  It's frustrating though as I already know all of the little quirks and workflow with the Epsons. 

Random questions:  the windex/paper towel thing.  If I release the carriage through the service manual and then try this-- it is not actually in contact with the print head, correct?  It seems like it would be in contact with the back of the ?flushing box?.  My printer anatomy isn't very good, but I noticed that the carriage release seems to take the flushing box with the carriage as opposed to doing the wiper assembly change procedure.  I guess it is good that it isn't touching the print head, but in this case is it even doing anything at all to soften up the clog in theory?  That American Inkjet thing said to put their solution on the capping station.  Is it worth trying something else there on the LM channel?  I only ask because the permanent clog is relatively recent so maybe there is some hope? (and has gotten worse with cleaning cycles (this is after months of daily clogs)) and . . . well, I'm clinging to hope . . . .

I started out on the very cautious side-- not wanting to try anything invasive.  But I'm more willing to DIY now that the likely alternatives are either a new printer or a service call of roughly the same dollar amount. 

-Dan
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« Reply #954 on: November 26, 2012, 10:04:26 PM »
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Just got a flurry of texts from Oklahoma.  Cost our brother $3,000 for the same D1 service you are considering, sfblue.  Took his tech three hours.  Machine is up and running fine.  I should add that since he used D1 to do his head install, he now has a 90 day printhead installation related warranty, which is definitely something you don't get when you do it yourself. 

Depending on how many times you fold the cloth over on itself, the wet towel will touch the head.  It takes a bit of finagling but it IS possible to run your machine with the door open.  Once you accomplish this completely unnecessary task, you get a better idea of what moves where during different operations.  Don't do it though, just watch this video instead:


When you release the head the capping station actually draws itself back into it's cave and the flush box moves down into place along with the wiper blade.  Chances are more likely you'll put the wet towel under the head somewhere on the carriage run, rather than over the flush box.  That's what I did anyway.  Fingers crossed it works! 

and by the way, D1 takes your old head back with them - you don't own it apparently, even though you bought it.  So don't sweat nicking it up.  You should see the face of the head that came with the 7900 I bought used.  Up close the thing looks like someone scraped it's face with 80 grit sandpaper.  I doubt wet paper towels will hurt as bad the fine art paper used on my machine before I got it. 
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« Reply #955 on: November 27, 2012, 04:16:49 PM »
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Hi, sfblue,

When you say "It's frustrating though as I already know all of the little quirks and workflow with the Epsons." perhaps many of the machine-related quirks are eliminated when using Canon, and overall fidling is greatly reduced.

It seems that the only downside that folks often mention is the very infreqent replacement of a Canon print head.  It is simple to do and is designed to be done by the consumer.  Just look at the print head price per print and its $400 cost will seem insignificant.
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« Reply #956 on: November 27, 2012, 10:01:16 PM »
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Hi Eric,

I'm getting ready to replace my print head (7900). I have a little used printer that is 2 years old with a fatal print head error after many cleaning attempts. Is there anything you recommend I should do after I remove the old print head and before I install the new one?

Thanks,
Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #957 on: November 27, 2012, 10:44:02 PM »
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Hi Bob I just replied to this question in your email.  Didn't see this till after.  It's interesting how you now have fatal printhead error messages after so many cleanings.  Were they power cleanings I assume?  If so this gets way back into an exchange we had with ernst about eight months ago, about the possibilities of overheating piexoelectric nozzles by firing them repeatedly when they are all blocked up.  I assume, and so do others I expect, that the ink passing through the nozzles helps cool them.  So perhaps your head went dead this way - repeated firing/no ink flow/no cooling/fried head.

As far as what else to do along with your head change, there are many variables to consider.  How old is the machine, how many prints on it, how long it's been since ink's been running through it, what was working/wasn't working that set you into multiple cleanings attack mode (which we've all been through so don't feel bad). 

I get a lot of emails about D1 calls and experiences on X900 machines.  Oddly, not everyone I know who has followed the Epson/D1 clogged printhead repair path has gotten the same, or even similar advice or estimates.  This past Friday a clogged X900 estimate was shared with me and it included printhead replacement, pump and cap replacement, wiper blade replacement.  Yesterday a clogged X900 estimate was shared with me and it included the print head, pump cap assembly, wiper blade, selector unit, and AID sub board.  What's that like $1,800 in parts plus six hours of work at a hundred and how many dollars per hour?  ...that's not very friendly

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« Reply #958 on: November 28, 2012, 10:46:50 AM »
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Hi Bob,  please let us know how it turns out, level of difficulty, and total time.  I'm in the same boat. 

For those who don't know, you can order the print head directly from Epson  at 562-276-1305 (there might be a better number as they will help you and transfer you to the warehouse).  The print head is the only part which Epson sells directly and they charge $1299 for it (if you have D1 do the work, the parts cost is stated as $1132. 

My options are:
a) have D1 do the work which according to their estimate and time involved this will likely run $2500+
b) buy a new 7900 at $2400, get a fresh start and a new warranty (and an option on the extended)
c) after four Epsons, move to Canon and get their new 6400 for slightly under $2000.
d) buy the $1300 print head, cross my fingers, and break out the swiss army knife and duct tape . . .

Clearly, D1 makes the least sense unless they can somehow solve the clog without replacing the print head.  I'm leaning towards DIY option "d" or checking out the new Canons.  enduser, you may be right about the Canons and if you have one, I'd like to hear your thoughts. I've had several Epsons before this and I've always had this notion that the ink wasting routines were part of the package deal for Epson's superior print quality; but by now it seems like that gap may have narrowed or disappeared and it's worth taking a look at the Canons. I've read good reviews but I can't find anything comparing black and white between the Canons and Epsons and that is what I'm looking for.  I went down to the local Calumet yesterday as they used to have example prints from both printers, but they no longer do. 

I spoke with an Epson dealer yesterday who said that Epson had "improved the process" and I was less likely to have the clog problem now than with one of the very early x900s.  I'm not sure how that makes sense at all if they are the same printer with the same manufacturing process.  And in searching for more info on the Canon printers, I keep stumbling upon more anecdotes of people with the same problem from the Epson x900s.  I try to be balanced and take all of these anecdotes with a grain of salt.  I realize that it is sort of like Yelp reviews of a restaurant-- the one star and the five star reviewers have incentive to post a review whereas the people who have a decent experience are not likely to take the time.    Still, trying to take this into account, there sure are a lot of accounts of print heads failing, even between one and two years old, thus rendering the printer useless.   
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Bob DeBellis
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« Reply #959 on: November 28, 2012, 11:03:57 AM »
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Hi Eric,
The printer has a total count of 93 prints. Of course I've done many nozzle checks as well. The clog was solid in the CY channel. When I called Epson Service I was told to keep doing cleanings. So every day I would do several nozzle checks and a single regular cleaning as well as a print of a color wheel and sometimes of my own prints as a test. It was printing fine but would indicate a cleaning was ecessary.The power cleanings were kept to a minimum and once I saw they didn't change anything and simply used up my ink, I only did normal cleanings.  So I was nursing it every day while communicating with you and exploring my options. And then one day 3 months back during a normal cleaning it came up with the fatal error 1A39.
The reason I'm concerned is because it's been sitting so long (3 mths) and I'm suspicious the new head will get gummed up. I'm am good at following procedure and mechanically inclined, have tools, etc. I also have the repair guides and software. I purchased some spray on wipe type cleaning solutions from one of the ink suppliers.
I probably should wait for your video, yes?
Have you considered started a new career servicing or providing advice for the epson printer maintenance? Obviously you are providing a needed service.
Thanks,
Bob DeBellis
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