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Author Topic: Epson 4900: If I don't use Matte Black?  (Read 1337 times)
walter.sk
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« on: February 26, 2013, 03:34:27 PM »
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I've been using the 4900 for a year and a half, with nothing but minor head cleanings.  I've been using the black ink for luster-type papers exclusively for a year now.  I am going to try a roll of matte paper soon, and it suddenly hit me that I have not even done a nozzle check on the matte black ink.  Is separate maintenance needed for it, and could I be in for a sickening surprise?
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 03:45:01 PM »
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One sheet of plain paper and a nozzle check is all it takes to know for sure.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 04:01:48 PM »
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Your printhead cleanings/nozzle check should take care of any color, regardless if you don't use certain ones.  All that really happens is that the certain nozzle that the color goes through doesn't get used, but there is still ink inside that the printer uses to apply to the media when the specific setting requires it to.

Otherwise, if you do a test print on a sheet with the specific color, it will let you know how it is before actually printing...like the other person mentioned.

If it's not showing a decent test print, just do a cleaning or create a small 1x1" on your software with the specific color and do a print on the sheet.  This should put the color thru the printhead and nozzle to opening it up...if needed.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 04:25:46 PM »
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Well...usually....but sometimes....

Last week, I switched from pk to mk ink.  Printed a number of matte prints.  Then, switched back to pk.....total blockage....print nozzle check shows no pattern.

I have worked all weekend calling Epson, trying everything they suggested, plus everything I could find on forums.  Best I got was a couple dashes...occasionally....showing up, but basically no black print pattern.

So....ya never know.

Yes, both black ink carts are within expiration dates.  I had also used both inks, not one exclusively.

John
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John
Wayne Fox
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« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2013, 05:06:44 PM »
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There are not separate nozzles for MK ink.  The nozzles have been maintained fine because PK ink has been printed through them.

Switching ink from PK to MK and back often causes issues with air being pulled back in the nozzles, and often the printer will perform a nozzle clean.  Many have their auto nozzle checks and auto cleans disabled in these printers, but the printer will still do a check and clean in the process of switching black inks, unless you do it in service mode.  Normally this is adequate to have all nozzles working, but you may have to do another clean on just that channel. I recommend you print something on some waste paper with plenty of black in the image after the change completes before you run an actual nozzle check which can help purge things a little better.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2013, 06:15:00 PM »
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There are not separate nozzles for MK ink.  The nozzles have been maintained fine because PK ink has been printed through them.

Switching ink from PK to MK and back often causes issues with air being pulled back in the nozzles, and often the printer will perform a nozzle clean.  Many have their auto nozzle checks and auto cleans disabled in these printers, but the printer will still do a check and clean in the process of switching black inks, unless you do it in service mode.  Normally this is adequate to have all nozzles working, but you may have to do another clean on just that channel. I recommend you print something on some waste paper with plenty of black in the image after the change completes before you run an actual nozzle check which can help purge things a little better.


Ok...but what do I do now?

I have done multiple cleaning cycles.  I have created a 8"x10" black page....only LK prints.

Oh...I have auto nozzle check off.
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John
Sal Baker
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« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2013, 06:59:26 PM »
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The only clog I've ever had in my 3880 was when I did the black switch to mk then back.  My black channel was completely gone.  It took 3 or 4 cleanings before I started seeing some life in the black nozzle check.  I finally had all nozzles firing and never did the switch again.  No clogs in 3 years.  I'm very happy with luster papers now.

Sal
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jrsforums
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« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 07:08:03 PM »
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The only clog I've ever had in my 3880 was when I did the black switch to mk then back.  My black channel was completely gone.  It took 3 or 4 cleanings before I started seeing some life in the black nozzle check.  I finally had all nozzles firing and never did the switch again.  No clogs in 3 years.  I'm very happy with luster papers now.

Sal

Over 5 days, I must have done 15-20 cleans....primarily of the mk(pk)/LK nozzles....

If I could get black ack, I would be glad to never change.....just can't get there... :-(
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John
Jim Kasson
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« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2013, 07:10:18 PM »
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Ok...but what do I do now?

John,

If you can't clear it yourself, call Epson. If you have a choice between a service call and their shipping you a reconditioned printer, opt for the service call. I say that based on this tale of woe: http://www.kasson.com/bleeding_edge/?p=13

Jim



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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2013, 07:29:17 PM »
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Over 5 days, I must have done 15-20 cleans..

John, are you doing any "powerful" cleaning cycles?
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jrsforums
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2013, 07:36:51 PM »
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John, are you doing any "powerful" cleaning cycles?

Yes, but not more than 2-3 at a time.  Have do power.  Also, have the service program and have done CL1, CL2, and CL3.
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John
digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2013, 07:38:34 PM »
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Run the cleaning as much as you can stand, certainly if you see improvements in the test pattern. My 4900 is always requiring this till I'm pulling out my hair yet my 3880 never clogs. Go figure.
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Andrew Rodney
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walter.sk
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2013, 09:27:46 AM »
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So, at this point I did a nozzle check using the PK ink, not wanting to switch to MK and waste ink for no reason.  Since the nozzle check came out fine, am I right in assuming that the head is OK, while admitting the possibility that the MK cartridge itself might have some junk accumulated that might cause blockage when I switch inks?

Also, what do you think of the idea that when I do switch to MK ink and matte paper, I remove the MK cart first and shake it for a while to re-disolve any lumps that might have accumulated?
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2013, 09:33:00 AM »
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So, at this point I did a nozzle check using the PK ink, not wanting to switch to MK and waste ink for no reason.  Since the nozzle check came out fine, am I right in assuming that the head is OK, while admitting the possibility that the MK cartridge itself might have some junk accumulated that might cause blockage when I switch inks?

Also, what do you think of the idea that when I do switch to MK ink and matte paper, I remove the MK cart first and shake it for a while to re-disolve any lumps that might have accumulated?

Yes to both. Shake cart horizontally gently.
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Andrew Rodney
Author “Color Management for Photographers”
http://digitaldog.net/
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