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Author Topic: Epson 4900: Head Misalignment?  (Read 570 times)
John Caldwell
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« on: April 27, 2013, 11:14:26 PM »
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Faint banding with a "clear" nozzle check prompted me to run a head alignment for the first time in about 1000 prints. Unidirectional and Bi-Directional auto alignments were run, per owners manual description. Subsequent nozzle checks show a single "area" of misalignment, confined to both cyan and vivid magenta channels, as shown in the attached image.

Faint banding persists sometimes, depending on content, in faintly colored regions. I am printing bidirectionally, meaning with High Speed on.

What do you make of the area of misalignment shown on the attached nozzle check? Might this cause banding? Does it signal a head problem, and can it be fixed with alignment procedures, perhaps Manual rather than Auto alignment?

Thank you,

John Caldwell
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jrsforums
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 02:41:07 AM »
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How is it with High Speed off?
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John
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 09:49:40 AM »
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John, I strongly suspect that what you are seeing there is the residual of a bit of clogging, not necessarily misalignment, especially from those two channels that I find more prone to head clogs than the others. I have experienced this myself. When you make prints with it in that condition you will most likely notice zero impact, but I would run a "powerful clean" on that one channel pair and see whether it gets cleared up. If it doesn't, I would recommend contacting Epson's ProGraphic support for an opinion.
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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 #3 on: April 29, 2013, 09:45:35 PM »
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Mark, Your explanation for the apparent head misalignment may well be right, but I don't know how to be sure. With no further alignment procedures, but with quite a bit of printing, the nozzle check now read C & VM channels to be aligned. By that I mean the step-pattern of the nozzle check no longer shows shifted steps, like it did in my OP. I can identify no banding in bidirectional printing either, absent clear "clogged" finding on nozzle checks (missing steps).

Thanks for your interest.

John-
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 03:42:52 PM »
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This appears to be deflected nozzles, caused by some ink build up on the head.  As you found, often just printing will clear these up.  Head cleaning usually doesn't help too much for these. A soft microfiber cloth dampened with distilled water can sometimes help if they don't clear up over time, and as a last resort some windex instead of water.  Basic problem is ink stuck to the surface of the head itself.

If using the water or windex, it's important to do a full head clean immediately after to push out any ink that might actually get forced into the nozzles.
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2013, 08:01:31 AM »
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Wayne, thank you for this explanation.

A local collaborator gave me Symphonic Cleaning Fluid (American Inkjet Systems http://www.americaninkjetsystems2.com/support/how_to_use_symphonic_cleaning_fluids.html) that is apparently a prophylactic treatment for clogs. The fluid, which is purported to be a potent solvent of dried pigment ink, is apparently applied to the capping station rather than directly to the head itself "3 times each week" to prevent clogs.

Your mention of Windex reminds me to ask how you'd apply it on a 4900. Are you apply the Windexed paper towel to the head directly, and if so, how do you access the head if I may. I'm sure others know this already, so I hesitate to ask.

Thanks, Wayne.

John Caldwell
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