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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 305699 times)
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #1120 on: January 10, 2013, 07:20:16 AM »
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Hey Eric & Alan... this foodservice cleaner brought to mind BEAM oven and grill cleaner. Comes as a bright orange liquid.

From the MSDS the main ingredients are sodium hydroxide & sodium metasilicate, but I have no idea if those would be save for the print head or for removing ink. It IS a good grill cleaner!
We sells these where I work at and I can get a couple ounce packet of it if you think it's usable.

https://www.messnerinc.com/catalog/p/BAE-1/Beam_Oven_Grill_Cleaner_-_Gal/

MSDS available at that link.

Sodium Hydroxide is lye and very corrosive.  I would not use this at all.  It probably would get rid of the clogs in the same way that drain cleaners open up clogged drains but it would also do much damage.
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snsandrze
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« Reply #1121 on: January 10, 2013, 04:56:14 PM »
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While doing a search for maintenance on a 4900, which, by the way, I don't even own one, I came across this product and it seems as though it might benefit others who are looking for a maintenance print mode (holiday mode). http://www.karmaplus.com/howWorks2.html. seems like a good idea for all Epson users to avoid long periods of not printing. I believe it's Windows only.

Steve
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kdphotography
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« Reply #1122 on: January 10, 2013, 05:32:01 PM »
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While doing a search for maintenance on a 4900, which, by the way, I don't even own one, I came across this product and it seems as though it might benefit others who are looking for a maintenance print mode (holiday mode). http://www.karmaplus.com/howWorks2.html. seems like a good idea for all Epson users to avoid long periods of not printing. I believe it's Windows only.

Steve

HHC does work well when you're out of town for a bit.  It is indeed Windows only.  I use a dedicated laptop to schedule daily nozzle checks; inexpensive 10" roll of lustre in the printer.

ken
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JeffW
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« Reply #1123 on: January 12, 2013, 09:48:54 AM »
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Have had some success and some loss with the suggestions in the post. About a month ago I was ready to take my 4900 in and have a new head put in or scrapped. I thought Cyan and VM would never come back. Finally I bought the bullet and ordered new ink, these channels were running low, and windexed the hell out of the head. Amazingly Cyan and VM came back. Smiley Unfortunately i had a lot of drop out on all of the other channels. Through cleaning and power cleaning i have gotten them all back except, PK and LK. If you look at the attached images, 1st is when I first started about a month ago. I have tried cleaning and power cleanings and got to 2nd. Ready to trash the machine again. After a couple of weeks, I ran another test strip and it has gotten better. Now I am up to 4th. There are actually other test strips in between. What is amazing is that on each test strip, they "slowly" are getting better. I am hoping by next June I will have a working printer, that is until Cyan and VM drop out.

It is interesting in that I had this phenomenon, once before after a windex session. Maybe 6 months ago. I thought I had ruined the head. With frustration I let the printer sit for 2-3 weeks, then tried one more test strip and all of the PK and LK had come back. Very interesting, very frustrating.

I just want to print again.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1124 on: January 12, 2013, 10:56:46 AM »
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Have had some success and some loss with the suggestions in the post. About a month ago I was ready to take my 4900 in and have a new head put in or scrapped. I thought Cyan and VM would never come back. Finally I bought the bullet and ordered new ink, these channels were running low, and windexed the hell out of the head. Amazingly Cyan and VM came back. Smiley Unfortunately i had a lot of drop out on all of the other channels. Through cleaning and power cleaning i have gotten them all back except, PK and LK. If you look at the attached images, 1st is when I first started about a month ago. I have tried cleaning and power cleanings and got to 2nd. Ready to trash the machine again. After a couple of weeks, I ran another test strip and it has gotten better. Now I am up to 4th. There are actually other test strips in between. What is amazing is that on each test strip, they "slowly" are getting better. I am hoping by next June I will have a working printer, that is until Cyan and VM drop out.

It is interesting in that I had this phenomenon, once before after a windex session. Maybe 6 months ago. I thought I had ruined the head. With frustration I let the printer sit for 2-3 weeks, then tried one more test strip and all of the PK and LK had come back. Very interesting, very frustrating.

I just want to print again.

There are a number of issues to unpack here:

(1) How often do you use the printer. A 4900 is a "production machine". It was designed for people who would be using it on a regular basis. Regular here means daily or at worst several times a week. If it sits unused longer than that channels fail to produce ink on paper. Whether that it all drying, clogging, clogging where, or pressure drops, I have no idea, but the end result is totally predictable - at least from my experience owning this printer from the first day it hit the Toronto market. Recall, I reviewed it for this website. When I travel for long periods of time, I can totally count on about 45 minutes of cleaning work to get it back to normal. That I didn't know when I wrote the review - no way I could have at that point, but now that this experience is accumulated, it's good to confirm that Epson was right when somewhere at some time they said it's a production machine. Sure is.

(2) Who ever told you that you should use Windex on the printhead? Certainly nobody from Epson did - at least officially. When I last discussed with an Epson representative what one could do to improve the whole cleaning story in case of major "f...ups", he referred me to the manual. Yes, of course, I'm one of those who does RTFM, so my question was about what happens "beyond the box" and that was the answer I got back. In other words, they aren't sanctioning user-intervention on cleaning beyond what they themselves think it legally and commercially "safe" to let users do. This is standard manaufacturer behaviour dictated by their legal departments and they follow it to a "T". Once you start doing things beyond the manual, from a user perspective you are into "experimental territory" and you can expect ANY outcome, all the wisdom from various contributors on this thread notwithstanding.

(3) There is a technique to repeated cleanings once you are into what I would call a "stubborn clog" situation. A stubborn clog is one that doesn't get remedied after using the stronger of the two cleaning options for a channel pair activated from the printer controls (not your computer). Once a stubborn clog happens, Epson has advised, as reported in numerous places on this website, to always run a test print that uses all the channels between each cleaning cycle. This helps to keep ink flowing and to minimize the risk of problems from air that can be triggered by repeated and powerful cleaning. I have found it makes a huge improvement to the efficiency of clearing the printer.

All the above said and done, the next basic question is whether you have called Epson for servicing. It could be that a service call, as expensive as they can be, may still be cheaper than replacing the printer. And if replacing the print head is necessary, you would be best advised to have this done professionally anyhow.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #1125 on: January 12, 2013, 07:38:39 PM »
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I actually looked at the marketing hype below which is taken directly from the epson website:

Our advanced Epson MicroPiezo TFP print head is capable of producing higher quality prints, at speeds up to twice as fast as our previous generation. And, with our latest ink-repelling coating and auto nozzle verification technologies, clogged nozzles are virtually eliminated.

No where on their website does it say this should not be used by the casual or occasional user and clogs are virtually eliminated.

Unfortunately this machine is beyond warranty and at the time of doing a windex I was to the point of trashing the machine. All the posts i have read here and alsewhere is that the normal response from Epson is to replace the head. I was desperate and not wanting to put more money down a rat hole. Having said that I was able to get cyan and VM to clear and work just great with the use of windex. They were unable to clear by power cleaning, printing and the standard cleaning. Nothing would open them up.

I think the the black colors will come back like they did in the past. We are in a low humidity time right now, hovering around 40%.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1126 on: January 12, 2013, 08:29:01 PM »
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Yes, they did say clogged nozzles are virtually eliminated. And correct, their published material doesn't emphasize regularity of use as being important, but I've seen this reported elsewhere.

Perhaps your use of Windex fixed one issue, but from what you describe in your previous post, I'm wondering whether it caused another. You should not have to use a printer for months to get it back to normal. Makes no sense to me.

40% humidity is low and that may be part of the problem (would your room be even less humid?). The specs say 20 to 80%, but the "print quality guarantee" range is 40% to 60%, so you are at the low end of the "quality guarantee" range, whatever that means. Try running a humidifier in the room and see if that helps.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #1127 on: January 13, 2013, 09:17:48 AM »
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I actually looked at the marketing hype below which is taken directly from the epson website:

Our advanced Epson MicroPiezo TFP print head is capable of producing higher quality prints, at speeds up to twice as fast as our previous generation. And, with our latest ink-repelling coating and auto nozzle verification technologies, clogged nozzles are virtually eliminated.

No where on their website does it say this should not be used by the casual or occasional user and clogs are virtually eliminated.


I must agree with you...i had a very detailed conversation with epson sales in the Uk before i purchased a couple of 7800's. i was particularly concerned at that point about clogging issues as i had come from the 3000 range with plenty of hassle ...the reply from epson professionals was that the 7800 could comfortably be left unused for a month at a time without any problem of clogging whatsoever....relax...in other words..
then in time, i was so keen to get into the 900 range because of the capability of dual colour and b/w (which i achieve now with an imageprint rip on the 7800...) and the marketing HYPE from epson was that a 900 would comfortably reduce the incidence of clog  much more than in the earlier series ,but it seems to me , as i have said all along that the 900 series was never capable of producing a better clog result than earlier machines...quite the contrary in fact.  it simply isn't designed intelligently enough even though it has nano bits.. .never did epson caution me in writing or verbally that the 800 or 900 series had to be used every other day....that seems to have popped up as an "after event "when epson realised what they had unleashed on their customers.. I know that i was never told about frequency issues which seem now to be an issue for epson...does that actually mean that material sales information was wilfully withheld at point of sale ? Interesting. Alan has told us that ammonia does not have surfactant (clog busting ) characteristics and i would agree with Mark that you are on your own risk when you step away from using epson ink as your cure....epson need to step in with their own reputable reliable surfactant fairly soon i would guess..the day of using ink and maintenance tanks to clear solid clogs is yesterday....

Mark...you have readily admitted in an earlier thread that relying on Epson service is not always practical or feasible when one lives away from larger centres ....you might continue reminding people of that when you fall back on the "ring epson " recommendation..for those of us living in beautiful rural places.a huge flaw in epsons marketing strategy is selling machines to people who are in no position to avail of epson service facilities...i would advise that Epson products are impractical to own unless one can actually price in a service warranty and product repurchase when the warranty has expired...that is the real cost of trouble free printing with minimal ink wastage.. (I had a financial  and risk assessing background in an earlier life..)

ALAN
A little surprised that you recommended to Eric to use DAWN a second time as his surfactant for his"recipe" . Are you hoping that adding the humactants  ie glycols glycerols will do the trick on Erics first recipe attack of DAWN and ISOPROPYL (plus water of course ). ....or is Eric  going to increase the DAWN  concentration this time ?  I have ordered PhotoFlow   from Kodak and will give it a try as a surfactant on another power flush program....you never know ! ..   might leave out the Isopropyly for the moment as i am inclined to agree with you that its not for clogs but more for bacteria issues..
ERIC...you mentioned a german product that you thought might be worth a try...have you a link to it ? Don't mind giving it a go with power flush and syringe after I've tried Photoflow  ...thats only if you are not going to try it...
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Larry Heath
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« Reply #1128 on: January 13, 2013, 10:42:58 AM »
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Here is a link to a PDF document you might fine entertaining.

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.168.3094

I am sorry but I don't seem to be able to figure out how to setup a direct link to the PDF file. So you will have to use the link above and then click on the small PDF symbol on the left of the page up at the top.
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Larry Heath
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« Reply #1129 on: January 13, 2013, 11:04:14 AM »
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Here are two patents that is also instructive on print heads.

Ink Jet Print Head

Print Head Two
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1130 on: January 13, 2013, 11:59:53 AM »
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Mark...you have readily admitted in an earlier thread that relying on Epson service is not always practical or feasible when one lives away from larger centres ....you might continue reminding people of that when you fall back on the "ring epson " recommendation..for those of us living in beautiful rural places.a huge flaw in epsons marketing strategy is selling machines to people who are in no position to avail of epson service facilities...i would advise that Epson products are impractical to own unless one can actually price in a service warranty and product repurchase when the warranty has expired...that is the real cost of trouble free printing with minimal ink wastage.. (I had a financial  and risk assessing background in an earlier life..)


Frankly, whoever you are in reality, I have nothing to "admit" or not "admit". I would always recommend contacting Epson if I read a post from someone having trouble with their printer that doesn't indicate whether they have done so. Epson actually makes it very easy to do this - especially Epson America's Pro-graphics tech support. I don't know how well this works outside North America, but any time I've had issues with Epson products, and trust me there have been - I've been using their printers since the 2000P hit the market thirteen years ago, I have been able to communicate quite readily either by phone or through their on-line support system and they have been very helpful, particularly with in-warranty products. When it comes to out of warranty products, well, they're out of warranty and then it's another discussion.

Even for in-warranty service beyond the first 30 days, their usual policy for anything that can't be handled over the phone is to exchange the printer with a refurb rather than sending a service-person, because the time and cost of that often exceeds the residual value of the printer; and I must say for Epson, based on very recent experience with one of their office "all-in-ones", they will support this policy for however many printers it takes until you have one that works properly. Heck, if I call a serviceman to look at my washing machine or dishwasher the fee for walking through the door is 85 dollars and then the repair costs start mounting - if they don't tell you outright to save the money and buy a new one. Getting personal service at your doorstep these days is just darn expensive, like it or not.

Now going out of warranty, they aren't obligated to us, and they obviously don't think it's practical and economic for them to maintain their own service network for doing actual machine repairs at peoples' premises. So they outsource it. Many manufacturers do likewise for the same reasons. The outsource arrangements are often sub-optimal from a user perspective, because depending on where one lives, accessing such service whether by the machine being sent to them or them coming to us can be very expensive. I'm well aware of all that, but I would still advise contacting Epson for all the help they are prepared to provide, because for Prographic support (all the x800/x900 printers) even out of warranty they will still provide email and phone support. Beyond that service can be costly no matter how arranged. So yes, I agree with you, one needs to think of all that in making a purchase decision, but I don't believe any of this varies much over a wide range of bulky high tech items one buys. Fr example, I know if my large, expensive high-def TV goes belly-up, given who made it and where they service it from, I'll be buying a new one.

Now let's turn to the subject you raise about the extended warranty. I still do have another life - consulting on financial evaluation, risk analysis, legal underpinning and structuring of major projects. As we both know, this is effectively an insurance policy, so insurance principles apply. There is a premium set by the company based on the cost of trouble, its probability of occurrence and the number of policies they expect to sell. So if they are rational economic actors, which we must assume they are, it's always structured in a way that they don't lose. And if they happen to lose in one year because they bet wrong, they'll make it up the year after. From our perspective as purchasers of such insurance, we need to make judgments about whether it's worthwhile. It's a bit of a crap-shoot; on average pretty-much a zero-sum game apart from their profit margin on the premiums, but for an individual it all depends on what happens - it's either a complete waste of money or a wise decision, which one gets to know after the fact. None of this makes an Epson printer impractical to use. It just complicates decision-making with options and each of us need to optimize based on our expectations. FWIW, I pondered this decision long and hard, and haven't bought such insurance, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Time will tell.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #1131 on: January 13, 2013, 12:34:33 PM »
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ERIC...you mentioned a german product that you thought might be worth a try...have you a link to it ? Don't mind giving it a go with power flush and syringe after I've tried Photoflow  ...thats only if you are not going to try it...

Hell of a thing, retracing your web-search footprints a week after they've been cleared from browsing history.  Not sure how I finally ended up there again but here is a link to the conversation that I had found, Blue moon - Lothom's accidental discovery   You may be the only one of us who could buy such a cleaning product.  Please share your results!


Later this afternoon I am have the sorrowfully unfortunate, but also curiously fortunate opportunity to take apart a 7900 with a "fatal error" printhead in it.  But this printhead, unlike our "Oh Canada" printhead, has never been removed from it's mother ship - The Epson Stylus Pro 7900.  THIS printhead was destroyed by power cleanings. 

I can't wait to see what evil lurks inside this machine.  But first I have to ride my bicycle to the top of a mountain and back.  Stay tuned.
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Blue moon
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« Reply #1132 on: January 13, 2013, 04:08:37 PM »
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Mark
No problem letting you know who i am . My name is Matthew Deegan and I live in Connemara Ireland right on the Atlantic ocean.My email address is mattdeegan@eircom.net...nice to meet you formally.....i have followed a lot of your contribution with great interest..and appreciated too..
I am in agreement with you that warranty solves the problem for the customer and transfers the risk right back to Epson.....the lower the risk premium is the less of a problem Epson will think their machines are going to cause them and of course vice versa..if a customer cannot afford the risk premium then repairs are definitely going to hurt...where i live people replace troublesome machines with new ones rather than going the repair route...we are just too isolated to do otherwise....unless you can fix it  yourself....a lot of my neighbours are just gifted innovators and try to fix out of necessity what they can...
I would not (really regret to say ) purchase a 900 as it stands and would not purchase its successor without a warranty...that simple...i would also factor in a 3 year lifespan on the machine and include that in my costs were i to use it commercially including warranty costs....market forces will eventually decide whether the consumer will accept the warranty fees or not...
On the other hand from reading and rereading this thread from start to now it seems to me ( and i have my own personal limited experience as well ) that the 900 has not mastered the art of troublefree printing...you are personally happy that you were cautioned that you must use your 900 every other day or your printing could be troublesome ....is that so ? I was never cautioned to that effect and i have purchased several machines over the years.....the marketing HYPE that Epson delivered to me was simply untrue.......and unwise....why did their pre launch testing let them down so badly....
Put it to you this way....
I was assured by Epson UK pros that 900 could be left unused for 30 days at a time without turn on......it was in their view a better machine than 800 as we had new anti coagulant material lining the Piezo chamber walls and pairs would look after a problem of a singular nozzle...no more macro cleaning...the rest is history ...I had a sales career once and if a customer produced evidence that i had supplied sales literature (or verbally either ) as part of the sales process which  had no basis in fact ,it was a money back situation straight away....and not a refurb replacement machine either...money back and no questions asked...sales claims need substantiation..
Where i have difficulty with your approach Mark and with great respect to you personally as I very reluctantly express my opinion,is that your approach SEEMS  to me to be more often than not to take the Epson side without listening hard enough to the large middle ground of frustrated printers who just cant all be wrong either.... unless i am totally misreading this thread a large number of contributors have not had their expectations met by Epson and Epson i am sure would not wish to be exonerated  from real life production problems either as they will need to be able to encourage their old reliable customers to take the risk and purchase more Epson printers in time...this thread must be invaluable to Epson scientists as it is letting them know what they need to do better...none of us are perfect and Epson are certainly no exception.And it will ultimately be Epsons problem to solve..
There have been incredible contributions from Eric and his team of very knowledgeable team mates and we all feel that our problem is being shared between us....I just feel at times that your approach could be more encouraging to our brave frontiersmen who are doing all this heroic work for us. Last week you made  a throw away comment that the lads should be leaving it to the pros in Epson because none of our guys were up to the specialised problems that the 900 has to offer.....even though you were not including me ,i found this remark just a little condescending and i could not agree with your sentiment...This is just my own personal opinion and has taken me months to formulate...Sorry...

This is a Guinness book of records thread for a very good reason ...i believe and i know deep down that you will be the first to congratulate the guys when they get the breakhrough that we all want to see happen...Finally , Epson will be dam glad to see an end to this particalar episode too...
Nice to meet you formally Mark
Matt
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #1133 on: January 13, 2013, 05:02:13 PM »
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Hell of a thing, retracing your web-search footprints a week after they've been cleared from browsing history.  Not sure how I finally ended up there again but here is a link to the conversation that I had found, Blue moon - Lothom's accidental discovery   You may be the only one of us who could buy such a cleaning product.  Please share your results!
I would not use this on an Epson print head.  I just looked up the composition datasheet which is in German and this is much stronger stuff than the 3M degreaser that was mentioned earlier.  It contains potassium hydroxide at concentrations similar to what is in some oven cleaners and drain openers!  It does have a coconut derivative which is found in a lot of shampoos.

Alan
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Blue moon
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« Reply #1134 on: January 13, 2013, 05:37:11 PM »
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I would not use this on an Epson print head.  I just looked up the composition datasheet which is in German and this is much stronger stuff than the 3M degreaser that was mentioned earlier.  It contains potassium hydroxide at concentrations similar to what is in some oven cleaners and drain openers!  It does have a coconut derivative which is found in a lot of shampoos.

Alan
Alan
Thanks....great to see that your grasp of German allowed you to realise that the printer would have been
"shampooed "with this solution.
Relief..
Matt
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« Reply #1135 on: January 13, 2013, 07:35:41 PM »
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<<Mark No problem letting you know who i am . My name is Matthew Deegan>>

Hi Matt, very good to meet you formally too. It is nice to communicate with "real identities".

I can't take "Epson's side" on any of this, because I don't know what it is. I wish they did otherwise, but they have chosen not to participate in this thread so they haven't said anything to side with or against. As well, I respect what people here are trying to do, and I too am watching with interest to see whether at the end of the day the work Eric and others are doing actually resolves how to deal with apparently fatal clogs. I do have a sense that trying to unpack Epson's technology and improve upon it could be extremely challenging, if not heroic, but I think the folks on this thread know that too and nothing I said was intended to be condescending to anyone. 

The problems a number of people are facing are obviously real, expensive and very frustrating. But at the same time, I do have a great deal of respect for the Epson corporation, which shouldn't be mistaken for "taking their side" on every issue. They pioneered the development of technologies that in a few short years are allowing us to deliver images with an ease, quality and cost that was simply unthinkable to most of us as recently as a decade ago. They have to have poured huge amounts of money and technological prowess in numerous fields of applied science to do this, and this is a commercial enterprise whose results you can read in their annual reports online. Yes, problems there are, and they need to be addressed, but let us not lose sight of who we are dealing with. That's one matter of perspective.

Another matter of perspective is the scale of the trouble relative to the overall success. You say there is a very large middle ground of disgruntled printers. Do we have any idea how many x900 printers world-wide Epson has sold to how many customers since they were introduced about four years ago? To make any kind of manufacturing these days worthwhile, it must be on a significant scale - and recall we are talking world-wide. So what percentage is the number of people experiencing fatal clogging problems compared with all the satisfied users? You are questioning the maturity of the technology, but I think the real issue is whether the trouble ratio is beyond the expected, (and how the *expected* is calculated, because every manufacturer expects a certain amount of trouble - there is no perfection). Several years after the 7900/9900 they issued the 4900 which builds on the same technology, so are they dumb enough to be flogging a dead-horse, or is it a bit much to claim that the technology was not ready for *prime time*? Recall, they need enough confidence in the market to sell printers so they can sell ink for years after. These considerations are also relevant to the matter of advertising hype. One would need much more information than we have on-hand to assess whether in the context of the broad international experience of this technology over the past four years their advertising is misleading or not. Please don't mistake this as a defense of Epson - I'm just saying what one needs to know before landing on a conclusion about truth in advertising or lack thereof.

You challenged me on these issues, so I am responding that I think it's relevant not to lose sight of the larger picture in coming to judgments about what this thread is dealing with. As for the solution to the particular issues folks here are facing, I hope for two things looking forward: (i) that Epson itself finds and shares a consumer-friendly way of de-clogging apparently hopeless printers, and/or (ii) a brand new discovery along the lines Alan and others are trying to facilitate comes out of this thread and solves it. Either or both could indeed be very useful to any of us some time in the future.

Nice to chat with you Matt and I hope to have cleared-up misunderstandings.
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« Reply #1136 on: January 13, 2013, 07:59:44 PM »
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Hi Eric I just stumbled apon your long adventure from last year to now and see the saga has continued. My name is Matt (might be too many Matts in here) I live by the Bay area, Ca not to far from you and was just in Arizona working a full day on my buddies (Aaron) Epson 9900. I am kind of like your buddy thats the tech guy, I have some technical background and mechanically can rebuild anything you throw at me. He bought a used and fully working 9900 off Ebay from a east coast print shop that had no problems and even included a test print to him. He paid good money to have it shipped to AZ. Within a week he had started to get a small clog. So he did some cleanings, then power and so on, it got worse and then he called Epson. He gave them the rundown on what was going on and how his 9800 never did this and they listened and gave the old reply "wow thats weird this printer has not had any reports of people having this kind of problem, we can refer you to a company that can help you."
 
You can see where this is going, they refer him to DecisionOne. He make's an appointment a week later the tech comes out has a capping station, wipper assembly and Head. Here's the best part, I just happen to be there in AZ at the time and at his house, we left it all together so the tech doesn't say something like "sorry I can't touch it becasue you have it in parts." So he gets there and gets to work on it, replaces the head and capping station/wipper and fires it up but he gets some error, he shuts it down and does some more stuff fires it up and still no good, he's checking his computer and looking at the field service guide but no luck. 10-20-30 minutes go by finally he says the main board is bad and he doesn't have one and that he will have to order it and come back out. My buddy and I are thinking we were having no such error earlier but the tech had no clue of that since he wasn't there when I was working on it. So he proceeds to pull out all the new parts and put the old parts back in. He gets it all together and say's sorry I can't do more but I cant do much without a working main board. Now my Aaron is pretty ticked you could imagine after waiting all that time to get someone to come out a fix this thing that he has barely gotten to use. I'm thinking this can't be hold on let me think. Then I though what the heck I will pull the main board and go over it my multimeter and see if there is a surface mount fuse or something that could have burned out. I get it out before the tech leaves and I ask the tech if I can get the main board working give us you cell number we will call you back. He leaves as I continue working on it checking all things over carefully and couldn't find one bad component. So frustrated that I couldn't find anything wrong im looking at it and think well last ditch effort would be to remove the cmos battery to try and get it to reset anything in the memory. So I pulled it and let it sit for a minute and put it back in and the thought lets reinstall the battery and try turning it on. It powered right up no error codes and no problems. We call the tech and he was right down the street getting some lunch and said he would come back after he eats. Thirty minutes later he's back installing all the parts again. He fires it up no issues does some more tuning, platen gap and so on and Aaron has a working printer. No problems he's back in business with a working printer just less ink and $2200 less in his pocket.

Fast forward from November 2011 to August 2012 and 150 prints later.
One day in August he gets ready to do some printing and does a nozzle check, see (picture 1) it has a few small spots on one channel that could use a cleaning. So he  puts the printing off for a couple days till he has more time to mess with the problem. So a few days later he thought what the heck I have a 24x36 print I have to do it will most likley clear up as I print, maybe its just some air in the head. So after the print he did a nozzel check (picture 2) and it got worse. So you can see his head is missing just part of one channel, its missing a few lines in the second picture. Then after he tried multiple cleanings, power, and sscl it went completley out minus one line at the top of the channel and 1-2 on the bottom see (picture 3). So there it sat less than a year old on the second head and not working again, weird could lightning strike twice, same as last time more cleanings more clogging.

So I happen to be out in AZ this past week and I ended staying at his house for two days working on nothing but his printer mainly. While I was working on his I did all sorts of cleaning with reverse flushes with solution CLF007+ and distilled water only to have the original channel go blank completely. Then after more flushing, soaking and multiple head removal/installs nothing improved. I took apart and cleaned and inspected the damper assembly and couldn't find anything wrong, I even swapped two dampers to see if the missing channel would switch to another channel but no luck . At one point I had the head installed and it came up with the error 1A39. I removed the ribbon cables from the head and re-powered it up and the error went away. Now he has a nice printer weight that has less than 350 prints thru it and empty ink tanks from all the cleanings, power cleanings, SS and you know the drill. Now we are at the cross roads of what to do next. I was very close to renting a van and bringing it back up to Norther California with me but I wanted to have him let the head soak for a few days to a week and see if that would help loosen things up. I did check his capping station and pump and everything inbetween but everything is good.

I even tested the seal on his capping station by parking the head on the station and then testing the seal by creating vacume with a syringe hooked directly to the black tube that goes to the pump assempbly. You know the one that has all white cam lobes that decide what channel routes to the pump that creates a vacume to pull ink out of the head while its in the cleaning process.  The thing that stinks about the two colors per section of the head is that when it does a pair cleaning the suction pulls from both channels and not one so the unclogged head will be the only one releasing ink into the capping station while the clogged channel will resist the suction. My thought was to maybe crimp the ink line right at the entry into the damper assembly of  channel thats not clogged that is paired with the clogged head. That way it creates resistance to the suction being applied to the unclogged head and forces the more suction to the clogged channel and helps clear it. Just a thought.

 I even watched with the side cover off when it would do a test nozzel print and could see the background light shade down a bit as the head would spray the ink, and one thing I noticed was that it didn't spray at one point but looked as though it was generating a smoke effect almost like it was a mist that would float away from the paper instead of a fine spray that it normaly is. Anyhow I am also determined to finding why it clogs and if there is a way to recover a clogged head or if it fails internally without any recovery. Im almost leaning to the fact that when it starts to clog the clog makes that nozzle self destruct to the point it wont ever spray or pump again.
 
 
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 08:19:50 PM by Higgy » Logged
Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #1137 on: January 13, 2013, 11:39:08 PM »
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Hey Alan depending on the shampoo they used that German oven cleaner could be ok.  Fran Tarkenton swore by Johnson's Baby Shampoo.



..alright I'm kidding.  Nice work.  I still don't have my hands on all the ingredients of your latest concoction.  Sorry.  But I did order the 3M cleaner.  They only deliver it slowly though, you can't rush ship it (some sensitive chemical law or something).


Listen Blue moon, that's one of the most thoughtful, respectful displays of disagreement/agreement that I think I've read, ever.  Well said, well done.  That would have taken me months.

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« Reply #1138 on: January 13, 2013, 11:59:00 PM »
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Higgy, we need to meet.  I like your ideas of specifically sucking fluid through one part of one channel, rather than both (or actually just the clear color).  The one thing I feel better about though is sucking fluid up through the face of the printhead, from behind.  As you know from the back of a printhead you can access one side of any channel you choose.  Plus the passages only get larger as ink flows backwards through the head.  All experiments aside though, we are wasting our time until we find a solution (like, a liquid solution) that will break up dried ink without compromising the many different materials in the head.  That will be key. 
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« Reply #1139 on: January 14, 2013, 02:01:11 AM »
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Yes I agree on the reverse flow and sucking fluid from the face of the head as well. My only worry is when doing so you have to make certain small particles like lint or debris from the air that can land in the container of liquid cleaner your using aren't pulled into the front nozzle's along with the fluid cause then your going to get some more clogging. I also thought you could always take an old capping station apart and make a small desktop cleaning station for the head that could seal up against it while your cleaning as well as you could pull liquid thru the capping station head via the black tube that runs to the pump for that shared channel as you use a syringe on the nipple side of the head and put a rubber plug over the other shared nipple to stop it from pulling air. Not sure if that makes sense but I see it in my mind. Maybe I can draw something up later but im trying to think of ways to minimize creating clogs and treating it as if its in a clean as possible environments so as to not create more issues and have a controlled test.
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