Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 ... 48 49 [50] 51 52 ... 74 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 262978 times)
Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #980 on: December 03, 2012, 01:11:59 AM »
ReplyReply

Oh my God.  It's 11pm December 2nd, 2012.  I just dove straight through one of the holes that I used to think was the outer-face of a nozzle, but I now understand was simply a hole in the very thin gold foil face of an X900 printhead.  Forget the plumbing metaphors, our heads work nothing like the pipes under your sink.  What I expected might be pipes, or possibly tiny portholes surrounded with some type of piezoelectrical particles ready to flex once charged, is actually something wholly different.  Instead what I explored my way through is more like an incredibly tiny city filled with honey comb-like structures with beautifully intricate mazes of hysterically tiny gold colored wires, circuit boards, channels, membranes, silicone suspended wire hubs, and ink filled tunnels going places hard to even figure.  

You know those messages on side view mirrors - "objects are closer than they appear"?  Well so are the answers to our X900 mysteries...  

If all goes well we'll have images to share tomorrow night.  This is fascinating
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 01:14:13 AM by Eric Gulbransen » Logged

Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #981 on: December 04, 2012, 01:54:25 AM »
ReplyReply

This is your X900 printhead:






This is your X900 printhead on drugs:





This is your X900 printhead after someone on drugs took it apart:





These are NOT your piezoelectric nozzles:





These are:





You've already seen this but take another look - the blueish segment in the center is a "channel":





Before you think a channel looks cool check it out upside down:













This is the steel cage that protects your head from strikes:






There's a lot more to all this which I will share tomorrow.  You can't fix something until you understand it.  I am not even close to understanding this tiny world of martian electronics.  Hell I can't even trace the path of our ink yet, but I will.

Quick question - who else is in shock right now about what our nozzles look like? 


WTF?


.
Logged

Blue moon
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 92


« Reply #982 on: December 04, 2012, 06:01:57 AM »
ReplyReply

Eric
Simply amazing....be careful in there ! Well done for all of us...THANKS a thousand times over.........

It looks from the "printhead on drugs " shot that the steel casing on the outside of the head has been gouged or scratched into producing steel "finings" and if so can you find those finings lodged anywhere inside the head....i talked about importing dried resins back up into the mouth of the head before in this thread but never visualised that you could also have pieces of steel mixed into the soup as well..hard to imagine that this has not happened when i look at the clarity of your photographic work ! Do you agree ?
You did yourself describe your wiper blade apparatus as being involved in some "concrete" tangles with its blade cleaner earlier on in this thread and now we seem to be looking at some steel shifting about as well....
To repeat,I am very grateful to you for all your work which is bearing fruit now...
Logged
Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #983 on: December 04, 2012, 09:50:15 AM »
ReplyReply

Yes blue moon, amazing I agree.  The printhead on drugs photo is of the head that was on our 7900 when we first got it.  This head had clogs from the first nozzle check - on.  I do not know the history of this head, I only know what I was told - it had just under 1000 prints, some (?) of which were on canvas, and it rarely if ever clogged.  Interesting theory about the metal fragments.  I am assuming these scratches are from printing on canvas.

The microscope that I am using gets much closer than these photos show.  I am very limited by this $79 DLSR camera mount, which has at least two glass elements in it.  Very poor quality.  Zooming in gives horrid images.  These shots are about a mile from the surface of the moon.  I will try to do better.  Wish Zeiss made a dslr-to-microscope mount..
Logged

Blue moon
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 92


« Reply #984 on: December 04, 2012, 10:02:38 AM »
ReplyReply

[I will try to do better..
[/quote]

You have gone where no one else has ever been..........
Logged
Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #985 on: December 04, 2012, 08:09:52 PM »
ReplyReply

Are the deadhead 7900 printers worth anything as parts? I will not fix mine, but kind of feel funny about tossing it out as trash...

Interesting question whitedogphotos.  I can only give you my answer (late, as usual).  9900s and 7900s are basically the same machines, only the 9900s cost more.  Heads cost the same.  So buying a dead 9900 makes sense because someone could re-sell it once running.  At least I think someone could.  But buying a dead 7900 to repair/re-sell doesn't make sense.  Problem is even if someone can do the head replacement entirely themselves, the head is still $1,300 (two months ago it was $1,100 - but whatever..).  The problem THEN is, if the head is dead it may also be a good time to replace the pump and cap assy, plus the damper unit.  I haven't priced either in a while but now that person is looking at @ $1,700 with shipping?  So they spend the money and they do the work, but now they've got to charge the system with ink.  Maybe the guy who sold them the machine put five old 720 carts he bought off ebay in it from back when Carter was president, you just don't know.  Maybe he just doesn't print that much (which is why the head is dead in the first place) so all the ink in his machine is muck?  Either way the new owner/seller has to ask himself, does he really want to run bad ink through his "new machine"?  I don't think - so now he's buying new ink, a lot of which is destine for the sewer once he charges the lines.  So what are we up to now, maybe just over $2,000?  And while in the end you and I both know this guy now has a new machine, Epson doesn't, so no warranty comes with it.  And then the machine has to be shipped..  The list goes on and on.  Compared to special sales I've seen as low as $2,000, or regular everyday sales at $2,500 with free shipping and either a free one year warranty, or the option to buy into a 3 year warranty for just $300 more - holy buzz kill.  Buying broken 7900s to repair/re-sell is a pretty grim looking business to consider.  In fact even owning a 7900 out of warranty is a pretty grim looking proposition for some..

....which is exactly why I still contribute to this thread.  I know I am not the only one facing this inappropriate reality. 
Logged

Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #986 on: December 04, 2012, 08:29:17 PM »
ReplyReply

.

HELP?

My hope here, my inspiration actually, is to change the currently broken situation for every clog-riddled X900 user out there.  Chances are stacked against us.  I realize this.  But I have to admit a few key points keep my interest peaked - including one I will share here - why do they take the heads we clearly own, and paid for, after a head-swapping service (performed under warranty or not)?  If the answer to that question is they don't want their pieaoelectric printhead secrets shared, well I'm about to wake up next to a dead horse-head because my explorations here have only just begun.  and I'm crap at keeping secrets

Before anyone tosses their deadhead X900 in the bin, please consider donating it, or it's printhead, to science-fiction.  I have one X900 printhead which has been ultrasonically destroyed.  For experimentation purposes this head is useless.  For any purposes this head is useless.  I have one confirmed "unclear-ably clogged" X900 printhead here which I plan to very carefully experiment with, all the while keeping it in tact.  This head I intend to try my best to revive, it is my crash test dummy, so I cannot take it apart.  At this point what I do NOT have is a confirmed "unclear-ably clogged" X900 printhead, which I CAN take apart, so that I can identify the difference between a clear X900 piezoelectric nozzle, and a clogged one.  So far I have only explored functioning piezoelectric nozzles.  I need to see a clogged one.

So this is a shout-out for help.  Also an offer, if anyone wants to explore for yourself feel free to join me at the lab.








Logged

sfblue
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 63


WWW
« Reply #987 on: December 04, 2012, 09:30:02 PM »
ReplyReply

"well I'm about to wake up next to a dead horse-head . . . ."  ha!

First off, really interesting stuff and interesting images.
Second, even if I try to replace the printhead myself, I will give you the old printhead when it comes out of the machine.  You raise an interesting point:  why does Epson make people give the old printhead back after what amounts to a $3000 service including D1 labor.  One would think that in buying a new printhead from them, you would get to keep the old one.  I doubt it is to guard secrets about their printhead technology as Canon or HP could just yank one from a new printer.  The only thing that I can think of is maybe someone looks at them to learn about how printheads clog on average or (unlikely given how damaged yours looks to be under the microscope) maybe there is a way for Epson to refurbish some of them if not too damaged.

I think most of us are after an understanding of the printhead that might give us a shot of manually unclogging the printhead once it is removed from the machine.  But in viewing your photos, it seems like they are such fine and complex devices that this is a long shot.    But then again, I have so little understanding of how they work. 

Btw, I'm 98% decided to get a Canon.   I've had such a bias for years that epson was the only way.  Part of it is just habit, I guess.  But I've read enough about Canon print quality to be comfortable with trying out one of the new printers.  And the prices are pretty compelling right now and ultimately you vote with your dollars.  I still haven't decided about the DIY printhead repair on the 7900, but I think the Canon will get me back up and printing in the meantime.  Will let you know either way though on my 7900.

Unrelated, I have a question about the cut sheet paper feed path on the Canon 8400 vs the 6400 (or 8300 vs 6300), but I will ask in a new forum topic. 
Logged
davidh202
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 540


« Reply #988 on: December 04, 2012, 10:22:38 PM »
ReplyReply

 I doubt it is to guard secrets about their printhead technology as Canon or HP could just yank one from a new printer.  The only thing that I can think of is maybe someone looks at them to learn about how printheads clog on average or (unlikely given how damaged yours looks to be under the microscope) maybe there is a way for Epson to refurbish some of them if not too damaged.

Your correct anyone could buy a x900 and pull the head to reverse engineer it ... At Area 51

It is more likely that D1 needs to prove that they in fact replaced the head ,because they may get monitary compensation (a rebate), offsetting their parts purchase costs, by returning the bad one. A head for a head, so to speak.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 10:24:51 PM by davidh202 » Logged
Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #989 on: December 05, 2012, 01:41:51 AM »
ReplyReply

thanks sfblue.  We all share a common hope then.  My train of thought is as follows:

1 - understand the head
2 - understand the ink
3 - understand what an unclearable clog actually is
4 - understand if it might be clearable
5 - clear it
6 - go someplace far away with my camera, and shoot


Never surrender, right?  That's our motto?  Tonight I said to hell with the $89 DSLR microscope mount.  I threw it in the sink, set my camera up on my tripod, facing straight down, mounted my 200mm micro and aimed it straight down the periscope, then went exploring.  These images are better.  You don't HAVE to love Nikon if you don't want to.  I'm just saying..


The view from space





These may look like nozzles but they are NOT lined up just under the nozzle openings in the face of your head





I tore away half of a channel face.  THIS is what's lined up just under the nozzle openings

FYI - that's the end of a small (1") paper clip in there for size reference



same image at 100%




Sorry my focus stacking skills are not yet honed.  At this crazy stupid magnification, fifteen shots up the face of the paper clip wasn't enough..
Count em, that's 12 nozzles Epson put inside the span of one tiny paper clip. 





that's tiny..

Logged

Lessbones
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


« Reply #990 on: December 06, 2012, 04:23:34 PM »
ReplyReply

I've got to say Eric, this work you are doing is amazing.  I'm glad there are other people out there as stubborn as I am about not paying out the ass for "dumb parts replacement" and more to the point, with just a general obsessive thirst for knowledge!

I too have had some pretty absurd experiences with epson print heads, and I am now also experiencing a clogging problem with a 9900.

My first experience with head removal was with a 4880 which was completely missing a Lk channel.  (very) long story short, after all sorts of soaking and pulling solutions through the nozzles, the problem ended up being with the motherboard of the printer, and it ended up needing to be replaced.  In this instance however, the tech that ended up working on it caused so much more damage to the printer before finally fixing the thing, that we didnt end up getting charged at all for the repair!  A very uncommon occurrence indeed, but maybe the only case of things actually working out positively in the end that I've heard of thus far.

My next experience was a clogged yellow channel in an 11880.  This one was serious.  I went through every imaginable procedure for attempting to clean it, including basically disassembling the entire printer.  Every day I was covered in ink, cleaning flushing boxes, puddling the head on the capping station, and eventually removing the head entirely to soak it.  This is where the real trouble started.  Somehow somewhere in removing the head, soaking it and replacing it, something got corrupted in the firmware.  When I finally replaced the head It would give me an error about the head temperature being too high to run, but it wouldn't let me power-clean, or do anything else that would otherwise charge the head with ink to cool it off.  A couple times I was able to get around this error by injecting a bit of ink manually into the top of the head, but something else remained the problem.

After weeks of fruitless messing around, eventually a tech needed to be called in (I work for a company that needed to get back up and running, so time was an issue) and of course the tech immediately wants to just replace the head.  He does this, and..... nothing.  Same problem-- can't charge it.  After talking on the phone for hours, and coming back day in and day out he says nobody knows what this error code means (SOMEBODY knows....)  and he needs to replace the main board.  He replaces the board, and viola!  things are back up and running.  Then, for some idiotic reason, he decides to flash the new board with the settings from our old one, which brings back the corrupted data, and stops it from working again.  This whole time I'm seething over the fact that they can't simply re-flash fresh information instead of replacing the whole f'ing board, since obviously its a firmware issue at this point.  So FINALLY, a third main board installed, a new print head, and the tech now sitting there for about 6 hours printing auto head alignment patterns on an unnecessarily wide roll of paper, and we are back up and running.

Never did I get to find out if my soaking of the head cleared out the problem, and we ended up having to pay for a new main board as well as the head, AND the time of this tech who knew less than I did.  Out of the goodness of their hearts, the repair company capped our cost at $5000.  So theres that.  I think a new 11880 at the time would have cost $7000.  So theres my horror story-- basically, just be ridiculously careful that you have everything off and the capacitors discharged (switching the printer back on once unplugged) before you go pulling the head in and out---

My current issue is our 9900 began experiencing a nozzle deflection problem in the orange channel.  A nozzle check showed all the nozzles firing, but some oranges were bent over to the right-- this was causing banding in our dark grey areas (go figure).  Our company has a RIP, so my initial idea (after trying to clear this clog) was to simply set up a new printing linearization that doesn't use the orange (or green) ink.  BUT of course, in my attempts to clear the orange issue first (the idea of not having a 100% working print head scared me too much to simply ignore it, lest more problems arise because of it) now i'm missing nozzles all over the place.  I puddled the cap with windex, with isopropyl alcohol, with lighter fluid, and what I'm really kicking myself about now, I used a tiny bit of goo gone.  I'm really thinking that last one may have contributed to my new problems, and now i'm letting it sit with windex in the caps for 5 days turned off in hopes that something miraculous may happen, but if not, it looks like I may be popping off my print head too.

Anyway, I do have a question, and forgive me if you mentioned this in detail already, but when soaking your head, what solution did you use?  Have you used any of the ones from americaninkjetsystems?  I was considering buying some of theirs to try out on this problem before i get too dirty from it.  My real concern now is whether or not the solutions I submitted my head to somehow could have permanently damaged it (melting some plastics?) or if it was simply all the power cleanings, initial fills, and normal cleanings that caused these extra clogs.

anyway, I'm here willing to help, i'm a bit reckless (as you can no doubt tell) but I have a stubborn persistance that when paired with someone a little more levelheaded could really get us all somewhere.... 
Logged
cybis
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 131



WWW
« Reply #991 on: December 06, 2012, 09:56:29 PM »
ReplyReply

Good work. Now find a way to let an OS task scheduler do the rest, firing up QTR etc.  A roll of cheap paper on the printer. PC wake up on schedule is possible too.

I just posted a batch file here that can be scheduled to run every day or so with Windows Task Scheduler or similar. (It prints a 2" strip that runs all channels at 100%. QTR needs to be installed but does not need to be running.)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 09:58:22 PM by cybis » Logged

Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #992 on: December 07, 2012, 02:11:09 AM »
ReplyReply

AWESOME cybis.  Thanks for being generous with your work and knowledge.


of course now I need a dam pc  Smiley


Lessbones, what stories - I thought I was bad.  I can hardly believe what you've endured.  I would have thrown my printer out the window at the tech's car as he drove away.  That's disastrous.  I hope we can find some resolution here soon.  It'd be great if we can get you avoiding that type of service again..



On the subject of people stepping up to help this endeavor, I think we just found our ace in the hole.  Whitedogphotos emailed me direct today.  He is donating his broken 7900 to the cause.  We will use his head as the sacrificial "clog autopsy" lamb.  I was in shock when he offered what he did.  Told him I don't know what to say.  I sure hope all this effort produces something useful for all of us.  A solution or an exacting understanding of what in the hell goes on with these heads.  Either would be fine, both would be great.

Thank you whitedogphotos!
Logged

KevinM
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 4


« Reply #993 on: December 07, 2012, 10:04:33 AM »
ReplyReply

Not sure how effective a class-action lawsuit would be without better awareness of how many failures there were compared to non-failures. 

Since Epson is publicly oblivious, raising public awareness might be more effective,  such as:
  • Better Business Bureau complaints, including links back to this forum
  • A Facebook group that links back to this forum
  • YouTube videos, with links back to this forum
  • A Twitter feed that links back to this forum
  • Picketing an Epson exhibit at a trade show

Compared to class-action suits, many small claims suits might be more effective at getting Epson's attention.

From working in the tech industry for two decades, my guess is that these problems may have their origins in an engineering or manufacturing defect, perhaps with the " ink-repelling coating" wearing off or being inconsistently applied.  Moreover, there are probably multiple layers of Epson management -- from Engineering to Product Management -- whose bonuses are at risk if they acknowledge a problem. It's not impossible to get their attention, but it takes some work to overcome their preference to ignore unhappy customers.
Logged
Lessbones
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


« Reply #994 on: December 08, 2012, 04:07:18 PM »
ReplyReply


On the subject of people stepping up to help this endeavor, I think we just found our ace in the hole.  Whitedogphotos emailed me direct today.  He is donating his broken 7900 to the cause.  We will use his head as the sacrificial "clog autopsy" lamb.  I was in shock when he offered what he did.  Told him I don't know what to say.  I sure hope all this effort produces something useful for all of us.  A solution or an exacting understanding of what in the hell goes on with these heads.  Either would be fine, both would be great.

Thank you whitedogphotos!

Wow this is amazing news-- Can't wait to see some super close ups of the inside of this thing
Logged
ivanxu
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


WWW
« Reply #995 on: December 11, 2012, 10:08:55 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
[@Blue Moon - I'm still skeptical of the 'warning' not to use Vivid Magenta on x800 printers.  I don't think it's a matter of the chemistry of the new ink versus the old ink and somehow this burns out print heads but rather a more simple explanation in that Epson would have to come up with all new drivers for the x800 printers using Vivid Magenta instead of the older version since one would presume that there would be color shifts if the older driver would be used.  This would cause problems for Epson in that they now have to support two different drivers for the same printer and might cause headaches in terms of user support.  In addition, when the user makes the shift to Vivid Magenta, the ink line must be completely purged of the older ink in order to get the correct results another headache for Epson support.]



Logged
ivanxu
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 6


WWW
« Reply #996 on: December 11, 2012, 10:10:15 AM »
ReplyReply

There is a way to use Vivid Magenta in x800 machines. You can download the x880 driver and use the new driver for the x800. There is a few configurations that you need to make in the printer property in order to make it work. No color shift in this method.
Logged
sfblue
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 63


WWW
« Reply #997 on: December 12, 2012, 12:52:21 PM »
ReplyReply

Eric, two questions regarding the x900.

1) Is there a trick to getting the top cover off?  I've removed the left and right covers and am through page 79 (removing the six screws).  On p 81, I can't lift up on the top of the front cover to remove it.  The whole thing is loose, but feels like it is still caught somewhere and I am afraid to use any force at all.  Does the top cover come up with the dark plastic flip-up cover on the front all as one piece?  Do you pull more on the dark plastic piece or on the metal?

2) Did you drain your inks before all of this?  If so, did you order 11 of the Epson draining cartridges part 1500853?  I can't find them listed at Compass Micro or anywhere else.  Also, for draining, I'm guessing that I could buy cheaper third part draining cartridges and it wouldn't matter.  Any suggestions?  Looking for the cheapest/easiest way to do this though I know the cheapest way is usually not the easiest. . . .


Btw, I am just tinkering as curiosity has gotten the best of me.  I am still planning to buy a new Canon printer.  I am just curious to see the innards of the machine and also to see if I could change the printhead myself if I tried (trust me, I don't have your skills!).  I have not yet bought a $1300 printhead from Epson as I'm unsure I can replace it myself and worried that it is throwing good money after bad, so to speak as I could end up with the same problem. 
(Even if the printhead transplant is successful, do you then go ahead and change the pump cap assembly and damper as a preventative measure (at which point you're getting closer to the cost of a new printer with a warranty). I'm still trying to better understand when/how the fatal clog happens.  I know that people without the clogs say that your humidity is too high or too low, or you didn't print enough, or you printed too much matte paper with dust or cut too much canvas etc, but I think there is also some random outcome to the process as I had some problems early on with my printer as well . ..)

Finally, to anyone else who is trying this themselves-- remove the maintenance tank and have a sealable bag ready before sliding off the right cover.  This might be kind of obvious, but just in case . . .


Logged
Lessbones
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7


« Reply #998 on: December 12, 2012, 04:29:46 PM »
ReplyReply

I sincerely HOPE he didn't drain all the ink out, as its completely unnecessary unless you suspect that the problem might be being caused somewhere besides the head itself.  The Ink shouldn't dry out in the lines for a decent while-- Its really the head you need to worry about keeping moist/lubricated once its out of the printer.  It might not be a bad idea to put some tape over the ends of the dampers or ink lines (depending on where you separate the head from the lines) to make doubly sure they don't dry out-- But once removed, the head becomes especially susceptible to drying out and clogging.  However if you're talking about actually replacing the head, then this doesn't matter at all-- just follow the procedure in the service manual (i think it was remove 1 ink to depressurize the system, but thats about it).  Otherwise you're wasting a TON of ink.
Logged
Eric Gulbransen
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 298


never surrender


WWW
« Reply #999 on: December 12, 2012, 05:16:25 PM »
ReplyReply

holy $%*(!  DO NOT DRAIN YOUR INK sfbule.  We've all done enough of that by now, no need for more wasting.  No issues with the maintenance tanks either, they just slide out like normal during the removal.  I really need to get this head swapping video up.  Sorry.  Listen sfblue if you're having trouble taking the black plastic covers off the top of the machine, it's only going to get more challenging later.  Maybe pause a bit.  I wouldn't take the head off, or the damper unit, or the lines, until you have the new head right there to put in.  You would need to cap off the damper unit if you intended to let it sit for long.  I think you're better off completing the job the same day you start it (unless you're like me and you're exploring parts like an astronaut in space).  The pump and cap is up to you.  Old machine I say yes, newer with less miles I say no need.  Definitely the wiper.  Changing your head should waste surprisingly little ink.  After all both the dampers and the head are in the carriage, at the end of the lines.

My guess is you missed the third screw on the top plastic pieces.  Two are obvious, one is hidden, all are necessary to take off.

I'm not against driving up to help brother.
Logged

Pages: « 1 ... 48 49 [50] 51 52 ... 74 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad