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Author Topic: 4900: New Paper Handling Problem  (Read 2154 times)
John Caldwell
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« on: January 14, 2013, 04:24:39 AM »
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In what seems to be an abrupt change for the worse, our 4900 is allowing cut sheets to move laterally during the print. The problem has surfaced with letter size cut sheets feed from the rear manual path. The paper appears to be moving with a side to side "yaw" motion during only the last 1/2" of ink deposition. The other areas of the print are good and unskewed. I've not yet done objective testing to see what impact the paper margins have. What I can say is that A3+ sheets don't exhibit the problem when 1.5" margins are left around the printed area.

Nothing has changed wrt types of papers being printed, paths used, platen gaps, driver settings, and the defect surfaced abruptly.

I sent the scans below to Epson and they were stumped, other than to say that it suggested a hardware problem. So I show these here in case anyone has seen this before of if they have insights. The first scan shows an overview of the lettersize print; the second scan zooms on the areas of concern.

Many thanks,

John Caldwell
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2013, 08:01:43 AM »
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Hi John,

I've never seen this, but I don't use the rear paper path. I use the top feeder and it has been reliable as long as one presses the sheet down into it until hearing kind of a click. Is there a reason why you can't use the top paper feed? Regardless of that, the back feeder should work and from the way you describe the event happening it definitely sounds like a mechanical problem with one or another paper control mechanism in the printer. Did they offer you a service solution?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Caldwell
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 08:13:58 AM »
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Mark, I am using the term rear path to mean the same path that you more properly call the top feeder. So we are speaking about the same path, and I've made hundreds of top feeder prints from this 4900 prior to the surfacing of this problem.

Thanks for your interest and I'll report what I find as we move forward.

John-
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 08:40:18 AM »
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Mark, On a related subject: When you load from the top feeder, do you release the platen in advance in introducing the sheet? Or do you introduce the sheet until it bottoms out, and then use the Down-arrow button the draw the sheet in?

Thanks again,

John-
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jrsforums
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 08:49:07 AM »
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John, are you using "maximize area" to print on the full cut sheet...mainly the trailing edge?

I usually do this.  I have found that with thicker media, I will get head hits and skewing if I do not adjust the platen to wider and increase the paper thickness from the default '3'(300 microns)

John
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 08:53:24 AM by jrsforums » Logged

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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 08:55:13 AM »
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Hi John,

By the way, nice photo in your example of the problem.

OK, on the main subject, as I print on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, I have the platen gap set to wider and the paper thickness if I remember correctly to 4. Your BFK Rives probably would use similar settings. All I do is insert the sheet into the feeder, making sure the sliding plastic guide on the side is set snugly but not tightly to the paper. Then I push the sheet down until there is kind of a click. Then I press the down arrow control on the control panel, at which point the machine continues to position the paper. When I click "Print One" (Lightroom), the printer does a further bit of paper positioning and starts printing. That's my whole procedure. Occasionally I get a "paper skew" error message, in which case I eject the sheet and start over. Now, I mention this last point, because if you aren't getting skew error messages from the get-go, it means the printer's computer thinks the paper is correctly aligned when you start. So something is happening as the paper is fed through and that makes me think it has to be mechanical - maybe the vacuum isn't holding the sheet down firmly enough or some component of the paper guide mechanism has given-out.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Caldwell
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 08:58:05 AM »
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John, Maximum is selected in Paper Setup (OSX) to allow for minimum margins of 0.25". But the actual margins are much larger, maybe 1", so I'd have thought that the machine had sufficient paper to "grab on to" at the trailing edge of the print.

John, wrt to increasing the platen: Do you think widening the platen will help. I'm not aware of head hits, but I hadn't considered the idea that head hits may be causing the paper to shift during printing.

An Epson tech support person says the problem results from operator my) error, in that I'm loading sheets with the Down Arrow rather than releasing the platen to load a sheet. When I explained that there is no skew at time of load, but skew that develops during printing, they were unphased. The tech was unwilling to look at the scans posted here, unfortunately.

Thank you,

John-
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 09:03:12 AM »
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Mark, Your rear path loading sequence is the same as mine. I brought it up only because Epson tech support insisted that I was loading incorrectly; that platen release was needed. But in either case, there is no initial skew - the skew develops during the printing.

I'm annoyed by the response that I have received from tech support, but I plan to humor them and show that the defect occurs with either means of loading paper into the rear path.

Again, I'll share what I learn.

John-
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 09:05:52 AM »
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John, Maximum is selected in Paper Setup (OSX) to allow for minimum margins of 0.25". But the actual margins are much larger, maybe 1", so I'd have thought that the machine had sufficient paper to "grab on to" at the trailing edge of the print.

John, wrt to increasing the platen: Do you think widening the platen will help. I'm not aware of head hits, but I hadn't considered the idea that head hits may be causing the paper to shift during printing.

An Epson tech support person says the problem results from operator my) error, in that I'm loading sheets with the Down Arrow rather than releasing the platen to load a sheet. When I explained that there is no skew at time of load, but skew that develops during printing, they were unphased. The tech was unwilling to look at the scans posted here, unfortunately.

Thank you,

John-

I think he's talking nonsense and you are NOT being well-served. You are supposed to be able to load the sheet with the down arrow. The printer prompts us to do this and the instruction manual says so too. Please refer to page 49 instructions 4 and 5. This has nothing to do with the margins you set for printing and nothing to do with the operating system - i.e. Windows or OSX. Furthermore, if you were getting head strikes, you would see evidence of this on the print surface, not from paper skews, so the causes of paper skews and the causes of head strikes are not the same thing. I still think you have a mechanical problem regardless of what the tech says. Is your printer in warranty?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 09:15:05 AM »
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Yes, in warranty. Have you any experience with escalating a matter with Epson when the 1st line support person in insufficiency?

John-
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 09:17:23 AM »
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Mark, Your rear path loading sequence is the same as mine. I brought it up only because Epson tech support insisted that I was loading incorrectly; that platen release was needed. But in either case, there is no initial skew - the skew develops during the printing.

I'm annoyed by the response that I have received from tech support, but I plan to humor them and show that the defect occurs with either means of loading paper into the rear path.

Again, I'll share what I learn.

John-


John, Given that what you are doing is the same as what I am doing is the same as the machine itself says we should do is the same as what the manual says and all of the sudden it stops working properly when it did before, there is something wrong with the printer, period. Don't humour them. Ask to be escalated to a higher level of support who knows what they are talking about.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 09:18:38 AM »
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Yes, in warranty. Have you any experience with escalating a matter with Epson when the 1st line support person in insufficiency?

John-

There's the problem. It's in warranty and that guy is trying to deflect. Yes, escalation in a case like this should help. And keep escalating until you get satisfaction.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 09:19:54 AM »
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Sounds right. I'll see what I can drum up.

Thanks, Mark.

John-
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Alto
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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 11:03:52 AM »
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Hi
could it be that the feed rollers have lost their grip (stickeyness)? and are allowing the sheet to slip ?

Jon
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2013, 04:23:16 PM »
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Although I was irritated by the Epson Support tech's response that I was loading media incorrectly (the manner specified in the Epson manual), I decided to follow the media loading method the tech insisted was correct. So I released the platen and manually pushed the Exhibition Fiber letter size sheet into the path, inspected it for skew, and re-engaged the platen. Printing the same image on Exhibition Fiber, with identical parameters from LR4, produced a good print without the trailing edge paper-shift problems that prompted my OP.

I can't grasp why this would be, and why this loading method would fix a sheet-slip at the trailing edge of of a print - but it did and it has been repeatable with the Exhibition Fiber paper. It's particulary odd in the "starting position" for the sheet seems, to my eye, the same when I used the platen-release method, rather than the "push the down arrow" method. Again I'm talking about the 4900's manual feed rear paper path.

I'll verify that I man reproduce these (favorable) results with other media, especially heavy fine art media.

John-
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2013, 04:56:09 PM »
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John, good, glad that works. But two points - how do you release the platen? I see nothing in the manual about that. Second, if the loading method given in the manual doesn't work, if it were me I would ask them to fix it; anyhow - if it means exchanging the printer, then you don't know what trouble you may be importing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Caldwell
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« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2013, 06:58:25 PM »
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Mark, What I am calling platen release is done with the front panel upper right corner button (shown with an arrow in the crappy photo below) that you'd press to entrain roll media. The Epson manual alternately uses the term Paper Release for this button.

When I first got our 4900 in April 2012, I called Epson with the complaint that I was having trouble feeding heavy weight fine art media from the Rear Path. My finding was that after placing the sheet in the rear slot until it bottomed-out, pressing the Down Arrow did not entrain the sheet unless I manually applied a gentle downward force on the sheet at the moment that the downward arrow was being depressed. Epson conceded that this was a known problem with the 4900's rear path, and I was instructed to load the heavy paper with this other method of releasing the platen. I think is was Hahnemühle William Turner and Canson BFK Rives that was giving trouble, but so also was Epson Exhibition Fiber - so Epson couldn't blame the 3rd party paper makers. Epson told me in that call that they were unaware of any plans to *fix* the 4900's rear path problem. Since that time, I've just been using the down arrow and nurturing the loading of each sheet, with only occasional problems.

Fortunately, the cassette paper path works for most of the PK papers I print on - even heavy ones like the the 335 Innova Warm Cotton Gloss - so I don't need the rear path for high volume printing. Do you, Mark, ever need the coax a sheet into the rear path with manual downward force on the sheet? Or does the down arrow entrain basically anything you've placed in the rear slot? I wonder if there is any adjustment that could allow the transport to grab sheets better on my machine...

As for the original problem of unstable sheets during the printing, I'm stumped, and have no idea why this alternate means of sheet loading seems to obviate the skew during printing.

Thanks for your interest, Mark.

John-


« Last Edit: January 16, 2013, 07:00:55 PM by John Caldwell » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2013, 07:06:43 PM »
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Hi John,

I've had no problem with the paper path. I just make sure to feed the paper down into the slot evenly and apply enough pressure until I meet resistance and hear a click or clap or whatever one wants to call it. Then I know it is engaged. Then I use the down arrow button and it pulls the paper through. Very rarely I get a paper skew warning and need to run the sheet through and reposition it. I think there is a mechanical issue with your printer, but I too wouldn't have a clue how it happens.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
John Caldwell
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« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2013, 07:31:40 PM »
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Hi John,

...I just make sure to feed the paper down into the slot evenly and apply enough pressure until I meet resistance and hear a click or clap or whatever one wants to call it. Then I know it is engaged...

Interesting, Mark. I've never heard such a click or clap sound. My machine is silent while I bottom the sheet out in the rear path slot. I wonder if I'm not doing it right, or not pressing down with the sheet sufficiently before pressing the down arrow.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2013, 07:41:21 PM »
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You do need to give it a bit of a stout downward shove and if things are working right you should hear it kind of click-in.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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