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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 262961 times)
iladi
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« Reply #1180 on: January 15, 2013, 01:25:52 PM »
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Sorry, my bad, I was not very clear: if some cleanings cannot totaly unclog a head, in time, after some prints, it is possible that the clogged nozzels heal themselves. So, if it is possible, avoid to many cleanings, try to better use the ink and print something not waste the ink downn the waste tank.
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chaddro
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« Reply #1181 on: January 15, 2013, 03:31:39 PM »
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Chad, from my experience, it depends. Sometimes yes sometimes no. I'd say more often than not one does need a "pair cleaning" to get all those little lines reproducing in the nozzle check. But before cleaning, unless many lines are missing, I do try running a print and then a nozzle check to see how much printing repairs on its own.

Hi Mark!

Yes, your 4900 is certainly a different creature than the 79/9900's in that your head sits horizontal in the capping station. Perhaps this helps keep the nozzles more "moist" than my 9890 with it's slanted capping station.

When I first bought my 9890 and had a bad clog, I tried to add some distilled water to the capping station for a soak. It just wasn't practical with the way it's slanted, and the individually capped channels. I had better luck with my 7800 doing this.

Kind of miss my 7800! It could go 3 months without any serious clogs. But the BIG thing I miss is once you had a good nozzle check, it STAYED that way as long as you were printing.

My 9890 has (more often that I care to think about) dropped nozzles after doing large prints. Enough so that if I do a 30x40 (or larger) I will do a nozzle check after wards. Sometimes it's okay, but too frequently it's not. I've not been able to determine any pattern to this either.

It has been better since my capping station and AID board were replaced. I turn off AID because it was just TOO sensitive and would run a cleaning for a partially deflected nozzle (even if the nozzle check looked good). Really hate wasting ink!







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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1182 on: January 15, 2013, 03:43:39 PM »
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Hi Mark!

Yes, your 4900 is certainly a different creature than the 79/9900's in that your head sits horizontal in the capping station. Perhaps this helps keep the nozzles more "moist" than my 9890 with it's slanted capping station.

When I first bought my 9890 and had a bad clog, I tried to add some distilled water to the capping station for a soak. It just wasn't practical with the way it's slanted, and the individually capped channels. I had better luck with my 7800 doing this.

Kind of miss my 7800! It could go 3 months without any serious clogs. But the BIG thing I miss is once you had a good nozzle check, it STAYED that way as long as you were printing.

My 9890 has (more often that I care to think about) dropped nozzles after doing large prints. Enough so that if I do a 30x40 (or larger) I will do a nozzle check after wards. Sometimes it's okay, but too frequently it's not. I've not been able to determine any pattern to this either.

It has been better since my capping station and AID board were replaced. I turn off AID because it was just TOO sensitive and would run a cleaning for a partially deflected nozzle (even if the nozzle check looked good). Really hate wasting ink!


In the early days when I still had my Epson 4000, tech support recommended moistening the felt pads at the bottom of the capping station. It didn't help - at all.

On my 4900 I have also turned off all automatic cleaning. It was doing too much cleaning. My philosophy is that if a cleaning is really needed it will show up in a nozzle check, and I do those before each printing session, or during a session if I see the print coming out with obviously missed colours (this latter happened only once since I bought the printer in December 2010).
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Blue moon
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« Reply #1183 on: January 15, 2013, 06:38:33 PM »
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Matt, honestly, on a scale of 1 to 10, the most important piece of advice I would offer any one having clogging problems is to make prints at least twice a week, allowing no more than three days interval between. OR, do experiments, as I have done, to see for how long you can leave the printer alone without needing to clean it on next start up. In my case for the 4900 in my humidity and temperature conditions (well within Epson specs), it's up to 5 days.
Mark
Yes  I agree...
the more frequently one prints obviously the less one would hope to have to do housekeeping...and i agree it makes sense to print...thats why we buy our machines after all..as i said i will reduce my agitation program proportionately as i recommence printing...
However,  your own results are beginning to indicate to me at least that i may be on the right track after all.....
During the last 75 days i have done 5 auto cleans...and printed 2 small rgb prints..4 autos went through clean on the first run...the one reject took 3 blocked lines before cleaning itself..minor really...but a reject nevertheless...
So am i right in saying that in the last 75 days i had 1 block situation....and 2 small prints to my name....
On the other hand,am i wrong in deducting that ,in order for your 900 to remain trouble free  over 75 days ,you have either produced 25 prints in that time OR if you were not in the position to produce 25 prints that in your established cleaning method you would need to have done ( in your own words)....
15 startups and 15 cleans on startups over a 75 day period of zero printing....
Then again i may be jumping to conclusions that the inference in your post above was that your method was superior to the method i use....apologies  if i have
Matt

...
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1184 on: January 15, 2013, 08:13:03 PM »
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Mark
Yes  I agree...
the more frequently one prints obviously the less one would hope to have to do housekeeping...and i agree it makes sense to print...thats why we buy our machines after all..as i said i will reduce my agitation program proportionately as i recommence printing...
However,  your own results are beginning to indicate to me at least that i may be on the right track after all.....
During the last 75 days i have done 5 auto cleans...and printed 2 small rgb prints..4 autos went through clean on the first run...the one reject took 3 blocked lines before cleaning itself..minor really...but a reject nevertheless...
So am i right in saying that in the last 75 days i had 1 block situation....and 2 small prints to my name....
On the other hand,am i wrong in deducting that ,in order for your 900 to remain trouble free  over 75 days ,you have either produced 25 prints in that time OR if you were not in the position to produce 25 prints that in your established cleaning method you would need to have done ( in your own words)....
15 startups and 15 cleans on startups over a 75 day period of zero printing....
Then again i may be jumping to conclusions that the inference in your post above was that your method was superior to the method i use....apologies  if i have
Matt

...

Matt,

Here's what happens in my studio/office. Maybe I'm typical, maybe not, I don't know, but FWIW, here goes. I like making photographs and printing them. I also have a huge backlog of scanning, because I'm not a youngster and I have film going back many decades, some of which is worth digitizing and preserving (why I developed some specialization in making and processing scanned images and even wrote a book about it). So the only thing that keeps me from making prints is time and absence from home when I need to travel. So that's my "context". As I said, it is optimal to print every three days or so. Even if I only have time to turn the printer on, run a nozzle check and make a print or two, that's adequate, but normally I would be making more. If I leave the printer off for 5 days I can count on a pair cleaning, and then make several prints or more. And that's it. So yes - 25 prints minimum in 75 days, but on this rhythm, it's basically trouble free, and no waste to speak of. At five day intervals (minimum 15 prints), a pair cleaning really uses very little ink, so again, little waste relative to the volume of prints made, but if I can maintain a 3 day interval cycle so much the better. If I am away for several weeks at a time, then I can count on being into a bigger cleaning issue - BUT so far, no complete power cleans; rather I'll find it needs "Clean>Powerful" on individual pairs, with up to an hour doing the clean-print-clean routine to get the printer back to 100%. It always come back to 100%, but it wastes time, a few sheets of paper and in that case, yes, wastes ink. But there hasn't been a train-smash so far, and the print quality is excellent.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #1185 on: January 15, 2013, 10:00:22 PM »
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I regretfully report our latest cleaning solution has about as much impact on our dried ink as I had on science homework back in 9th grade.  Head low, in my hands, thoughts of tears but nothing yet. 

WTF is this stuff made of...
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davidh202
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« Reply #1186 on: January 15, 2013, 10:37:00 PM »
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I regretfully report our latest cleaning solution has about as much impact on our dried ink as I had on science homework back in 9th grade.  Head low, in my hands, thoughts of tears but nothing yet.  

WTF is this stuff made of...

Sorry Eric we are all really rooting for ya!
I like your dream post much better  Wink

I have another thought.
My wife the artist, uses a product called Pink Soap to clean her brushes.
The label says will clean Oils Acrylics and Watercolors contains a conditioner but no chlorides, phosphates,alkalies alcohol or solvents ?
Realatively cheap and probably available at any art supply, Michaels Hobby, Lobby, etc
Here's their site and some other interesting products to use on dried paints...
http://www.speedballart.com/our-products.php?cat=71

David
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 10:38:33 PM by davidh202 » Logged
Blue moon
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« Reply #1187 on: January 16, 2013, 05:51:28 AM »
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I regretfully report our latest cleaning solution has about as much impact on our dried ink as I had on science homework back in 9th grade.  Head low, in my hands, thoughts of tears but nothing yet. 

WTF is this stuff made of...
For God Sake Man
Do you not realise that you are the first human being to have discovered that a solution does not work WITHOUT HAVING TO DO A SELF DESTRUCTIVE POWER CLEANING  PROCEDURE SO TO DO .....
I am extremely envious for one !
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Blue moon
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« Reply #1188 on: January 16, 2013, 09:05:47 PM »
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Matt,

Here's what happens in my studio/office. Maybe I'm typical, maybe not, I don't know, but FWIW, here goes. I like making photographs and printing them. I also have a huge backlog of scanning, because I'm not a youngster and I have film going back many decades, some of which is worth digitizing and preserving (why I developed some specialization in making and processing scanned images and even wrote a book about it). So the only thing that keeps me from making prints is time and absence from home when I need to travel. So that's my "context". As I said, it is optimal to print every three days or so. Even if I only have time to turn the printer on, run a nozzle check and make a print or two, that's adequate, but normally I would be making more. If I leave the printer off for 5 days I can count on a pair cleaning, and then make several prints or more. And that's it. So yes - 25 prints minimum in 75 days, but on this rhythm, it's basically trouble free, and no waste to speak of. At five day intervals (minimum 15 prints), a pair cleaning really uses very little ink, so again, little waste relative to the volume of prints made, but if I can maintain a 3 day interval cycle so much the better. If I am away for several weeks at a time, then I can count on being into a bigger cleaning issue - BUT so far, no complete power cleans; rather I'll find it needs "Clean>Powerful" on individual pairs, with up to an hour doing the clean-print-clean routine to get the printer back to 100%. It always come back to 100%, but it wastes time, a few sheets of paper and in that case, yes, wastes ink. But there hasn't been a train-smash so far, and the print quality is excellent.
Mark
You know your 900  at least as well as I think i know my 800 !
i have the less sophisticated 800 that i am testing to its limits through (at the moment anyway ) INACTION...you have the more advanced 900 that you have calibrated to "purr" by intelligently matching your print production to the fluidity needs of the printer ....you have clearly demonstrated that it is possible to stay printing once you know the limits of your machine and respect them.
Now put these two methods of management together.. and what are the possibilities...?
1 your method tells us what you need to be producing in terms of regular print output with the 900. .in a going concern scenario...how many days between prints...how long is a safe vacation period ..really practical stuff...make sure your machine matches your workload....not an easy task when one takes note of the many "cries for help " all around us on this thread .....and you have been successful and thats what matters.

2  The method that i have pursued is  testing the machine itself in terms of its endurance... Basic things like ....(dormant means no printing )
How long between autos for a dormant 900 = 5 days (thanks to your research Mark )
How long between autos for a dormant 800 = 15 days ( my research )
Over 75 days I know that the 800 had a 80% success rate on its  5 dormant printer auto checks...just one clean to be done.  10 minutes cleaning in 75 days (printer not entirely dormant...2 tiny prints done in 75 days )previous 210 days had similar results....no printing ...
Hypothetically,If you were to do  5 autos on a dormant 900 over 75 days could you guess how many hours it would take to clear your clogs during the 75 day period ?
3 I am of the opinion that the obvious difference in the management of the clog characteristics of the two machines is partially as a result of the different features of the two machines but principally as a result of the way that i manage the 800 on a day to day basis as compared to conventional management methods.
4 i expect to improve on my 80 % success rate  provided that i print a photograph once every 15 days at least and continue with my existing auto check routine.
5 i expect that the rate of improvement above 80% clog free ( 10 minutes cleaning time every 75 days) will be directly correlated to
A. The amount of printing done and its frequency over the 75 day period
B  the continuation of my existing clog management program in addition to a consistent regular print program like you achieve Mark.
Matt

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1189 on: January 16, 2013, 09:11:29 PM »
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isn't it a hoot how we have to optimize the baby-sitting of our printers? I *almost* regret getting rid of my 3800. Never had to think of stuff like this.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #1190 on: January 16, 2013, 09:31:38 PM »
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Mark
On the negative front,
When i start printing again with the 800,i do expect any performance gains that i make ,in my opinion anyway,to be challenged by Epsons terribly sad method of moving obsolete inks (resins) away from the printhead ably assisted (epson hopes )by gravitational forces ,in the expectation that these resins are gone away for ever.....
The resin disposal method for the 900 is not sad ....its funny
Matt
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #1191 on: January 17, 2013, 02:48:33 PM »
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I am so excited I can hardly believe this.  If you've been reading along you might remember me describing watching one of the many cleaning solutions actively dissolving dried ink lodged inside the chamber walls of the piezoboard.  I had a few tests going on at the time and to be honest I lost myself in all of it.  Somehow I mixed up my test channels which devalued any of the tests I had just done that day.  But I "knew" one of the cleaning fluids actually did work.  So, I set out to do all the tests again.  Whatever, I do a lot of things twice.  But when I did this test again, and watched this fluid in anticipation of the same remarkable dried ink dissolving phenomenon, it never happened.  I tried it again on another channel.  It never happened.  WTF...?  So at this point I decided the ink that I watched dissolving must not have been that dry.  That's the only explanation I could come up with.  To date "all cleaning solutions fail to dissolve our dried ink".

A few days ago I ordered the 3M cleaner.  Another $80.  Whatever.  It takes a while to get here because they don't rush ship this stuff.  So we wait.  But all this time I am still haunted by the moving image that I know I saw, of one solution actually working.

...I woke this morning and it hit me square in the forehead.  In the beginning of my tests I went crazy aggressive, I tried Acetone, but only on a few channels.  It worked like mad, cleaned the chambers like that was it's sole purpose in life.  But it compromised the glue that sticks the channels to the head.  Done deal, Acetone is out.  One of the channels that I used for this test I let soak in Acetone for hours.  The other two only ten minutes or so, then I rinsed them off with distilled water and Dawn.  There they have sat ever since in my test cabinet.  These channels are still packed with dried ink, as the Acetone wasn't on them long.  And it is THESE channels that I used to "confirm" whether or not the fluid which I thought had worked, had actually worked.  Which now it did not.  So what "hit me in the forehead" this morning was an idea that the Acetone may have melted the outer surface of the dried ink that it started to dissolve, but then when I removed it this might have sealed the dried ink in some scientific way that I am only imagining.  So this morning I repeated the same test, for the third time, on a virgin channel.


Are you curious yet?  Do you already know what happened?  You do don't you..


...it works.  The dried ink-packed piezoboard is 100% clear of ink, and the chamber walls look lazer perfect.  This fluid did not harm the super sensitive board AT ALL.


KOWAFREAKINGBUNGA!!!!!!


I apologize for the confusion.  My mistake(s).  

Next test is to perform what I have come to feel is the safest and most effective cleaning procedure to a printhead channel, with this fluid, while it is still secured to a printhead.  Then I will perform a full autopsy.  Yes, with pics  Smiley


I love you too


ps - it was the RED fluid
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 02:50:21 PM by Eric Gulbransen » Logged

chaddro
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« Reply #1192 on: January 17, 2013, 03:15:42 PM »
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Hey Eric, is this the same RED fluid you were successful with?

http://zczy.en.alibaba.com/product/635234629-214342460/Original_Clean_fluid_for_epson_Pro_9600_printer.html

Did you find this from a US source, or did Hal give you some?

Great news on the tests!

.... look what I just stumbled on ... this must be really old, but still on the web. I wonder what's in this stuff:

http://www.squaredot.com/flushkit%20web/headflush2.html


And for finding products with similar chemical indrediants, this may be helpful:

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/household/brands?tbl=chem&id=148
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 03:30:24 PM by chaddro » Logged
Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #1193 on: January 17, 2013, 04:24:15 PM »
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Unfortunately I cannot confirm what this fluid is.  HAL sent it to me in unmarked containers.  Knew little about it.  Gave little advice.  I could grow another head tomorrow using this stuff.  Being very careful though.
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hugowolf
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« Reply #1194 on: January 17, 2013, 07:44:28 PM »
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Unfortunately I cannot confirm what this fluid is.  HAL sent it to me in unmarked containers.  Knew little about it.  Gave little advice.  I could grow another head tomorrow using this stuff.  Being very careful though.
I know they say that two heads are better then one, but I’d presume they weren’t figuring on them being on the same body. Be careful.

Brian A
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davidh202
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« Reply #1195 on: January 17, 2013, 08:53:39 PM »
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When I ordered extra wipers from Compass Micro last year I asked about the cleaning solutions Epson used to sell and was told they were only available in 55Gallon drums to the tech people.
This is probably what Hal sent.
I do imagine that due to environmental and safety reasons Epson withdrew it from the general public...
Especially California, which has a warning label on just about everything produced today.
I'm surprised they even allow the sale of Banannas in Cal. since if not properly disposed of, the skin can be a serious   hazard. Roll Eyes
David
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davidh202
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« Reply #1196 on: January 17, 2013, 09:11:10 PM »
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Chaddro,
All these places that sell these cleaning "solutions" always have a disclaimer that the product will not be effective if you have burned out the head. Even Ericks guy "Oh Canada" had this disclaimer on his site.
I may be wrong but I believe that most people that have serious "clogs" and have done multiple power cleans have already done too much damage to their head, and cleaning is no longer an option. It all boils down to just how much repetative, consecutive cleaning, will do damage to the head.
 
I hope I'm wrong...
David
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« Reply #1197 on: January 17, 2013, 09:26:14 PM »
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Chaddro,
All these places that sell these cleaning "solutions" always have a disclaimer that the product will not be effective if you have burned out the head. Even Ericks guy "Oh Canada" had this disclaimer on his site.
I may be wrong but I believe that most people that have serious "clogs" and have done multiple power cleans have already done too much damage to their head, and cleaning is no longer an option. It all boils down to just how much repetative, consecutive cleaning, will do damage to the head.
 
I hope I'm wrong...
David


I don't think you are wrong, I have seen advice NOT to do consecutive power cleaning, and I suspect doing even more than one without running prints through the system between cleanings could be deleterious.
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Eric Gulbransen
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« Reply #1198 on: January 17, 2013, 10:12:38 PM »
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I for one don't know what deleterious means but I have spent a lot of time peering around the insides of these heads.  So far I have never come across something looking thinner on one chamber in areas, bent, having different sized holes, or looking worn out.  It is my opinion, which has been developed by listening to the many fateful stories that I have heard about heads with un-clearable clogs, that these problems aren't lite switch type problems.  What I mean by that is they don't reach 100% terminally clogged in a week.  From what I understand many of these deadly clogs were first troublesome, but to a degree manageable.  Until they were not anymore.

What I have actually seen while exploring the microscopic world inside these heads is that many chambers have hardened ink lodged inside of them, but at the bottom of the chamber, so at the top ink is still passable.  While other chambers are completely clogged, floor to ceiling.  If you keep this paragraph in mind, and now recall the one that preceded it, you might now consider that power cleanings (which are the cleanings that fire the piezos - which flex the sometimes unflexable ink-locked walls) are most dangerous when we need them the most.  My bet is that a semi-clogged chamber will benefit greatly from a power cleaning, because the movement and heat will dislodge the semi-hardened ink and discharge it from the head.  My other bet is that a fully clogged chamber, with it's chamber walls locked from moving while the piezos are firing, is the chamber that is doomed to permanently fail.  I don't think there is a semi-fail, a close to fail, or an about to fail head.  I think your head is failed, or not. 

Definitely print between cleanings, like Mark says.  And definitely do no more than, quick, somebody pick a number, (1?) power cleanings before you resort to plan...  "D" - which is we don't know yet.

In my opinion you do pairs cleanings first.  If that doesn't work you try them in serviceman mode, there are four different levels.  If by then you still have your clogs, try power cleaning.  But after one power cleaning if your clog is still there, maybe you've got a problem the machine itself cannot solve.  Once those piezo's can't flex, your machine's hands are tied.  But I really think it's too early to consider it dead.  Maybe bury it, but tie a string to it's big toe with a bell on the end of it, just in case.  In the mean time, I'll be on the graveyard shift. 

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chaddro
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« Reply #1199 on: January 17, 2013, 10:55:49 PM »
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Well, the standard "paired" cleaning should not damage the head at all. There is no piezo firing associated with this. The capping station just SUCK the ink out.

The problem with SUCKING the ink out (and not firing any nozzles) is that a fluid will always flow in the path of least resistance. So there is no way for the cleaning station to target just the problematic nozzles. Say one color channel drops... you keep cleaning to NO avail because ink gets sucked out the other color in the pair: the path of least resistance.

So I was thinking. What about adapting a syringe with a rubber seal on the tip that you can use to target say 5 or 6 nozzles at once? Like a regular cleaning, but targeted. Not the small tipped syringes, but the large ones that vets use when feeding animals, etc. If we knew how much sucking force the standard cleaning creates, you'd have an idea of what is safe and you could apply cleaning in a more directed approach. I have thought that a small aquarium pump might work. You could use regular vinyl tubing with some kind of o-ring on the end. Sorry if this sounds crazy. Just thinking out loud here.

As side story about cleaning... a couple years ago I bought a Fuji Q4 Pro HVLP off ebay. Was owned by a custom cabinet making shop. Got a GREAT price on it. At least I thought I had. When it arrived, it turned out that the last time it was used, it wasn't cleaned. Everything was glued together with a white epoxy base enamel paint. It took me HOURS and plenty of acetone to get the spray head pristine again - slowly, layer by layer! Seriously, HOURS!

If the RED fluid works Eric, and can dissolve dried ink, I suppose the real question is how long can the head be exposed to the RED before it starts to dissolve things other than ink!

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