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Author Topic: Epson 4900: Exposing the Capping Station  (Read 8855 times)
digitaldog
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« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2013, 03:17:40 PM »
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I've had nothing but problems with clogging on my 4900 from day one. It's feeding that overflow tank like there's no tomorrow. I can run cleaning after cleaning which is often required then it's fine for just a day. If I turn it on and check the heads a week later, clogs. In the SAME room is a 3880 that never clogs. So I don't know about humidly (which is single digit here). The 3880 is always perfect.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #21 on: May 18, 2013, 03:24:17 PM »
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Andrew - that may be the problem - the fact that you let it sit for a week without printing in that low humidity environment could be a good part of the problem. That said, I wish we had the 4900 capabilities in something like a 3800/3880 package that doesn't need nearly so much babysitting - in fact near none at all.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2013, 03:25:22 PM »
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Andrew - that may be the problem - the fact that you let it sit for a week without printing in that low humidity environment could be a good part of the problem.

The 3880 suffer's none the same.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2013, 03:26:53 PM »
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Yes I know - that's what I said. So what's going on?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #24 on: May 18, 2013, 03:33:43 PM »
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Mine may be kind of a dud. I can't recall, did the original ink cart's hold a full load? I've only printed 220 sheets according to the panel. I've replaced nearly all inks and the Maint tank is about 70% filled. That doesn't sound right. It isn't anything like the 3880 even without the differences in head clogs. I really want to sell it. The 3880 is the bomb <g>
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2013, 03:42:24 PM »
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No, the starter cartridges held 80 mls, the replacements are 200. What size sheets did you print? Anyhow, it's not impossible. If 17*19 inch, you've put through about 490 sq ft of paper, which at most probably accounts for about 450 sq.ft. of ink coverage. My data indicates a 4900 averages about 1.5 ml/sq.ft., so you've probably used about 675 ml on prints. Figuring on using 10 channels at a time, that's a total of 800 ml starting, minus about 25% for initial charging, which is continuously in the lines waiting to be fed, so your flow-through on the initial set would start at about 600, which is less than you may have consumed. So it seems about right unless you were using smaller sheets with a lot less coverage,
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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JeffW
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« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2013, 10:22:24 PM »
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John,

I he'd a very similar situation where I had put windex under the head for an extended period of time. I had total drop out in PK and LK. I believe what I had done was to suck all of the ink out of the head. From there,I continued to run cleanings and power cleaning and would let it set overnight between them. Every day I would pick up a few more jets. It took almost two months to get back to all gets working.

I am sure there may be a short cut to getting it back, but, for me, it did come back.

Jeff
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2013, 10:23:08 PM »
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We've run about 2000 square feet through our 4900 in it's 13 months of service. The average gap between print days has been 2.5 days, I'll guess but I can't say as though I've made a true measurement. Head cleanings are needed all the damn time, even when the printer in running every day without interruption, and many times on a given day even after after a clean nozzle check has been achieved before starting a series of prints.

We're on our 3rd maintenance tank because of the volume of ink that's wasted there during cleaning cycles, instead of flowing onto paper.

It's clear that not everyone is having this experience. My bias is that there is something wrong in the design here, but I can't prove it and, as Mark says, I certainly can't quote the rate of events as a proportion of units in the field. So anything I'd say would be just an anecdote, or driven by the bias I've already confessed to.

As for the Symphonic fluid application that got this thread started, I'm certainly not applying it again. My LK/PK are out cold, several power cleanings later - dead to the world. Mind you I began the sequence of applying Symphonic with completely clear nozzle checks with the goal of keeping them clear - not trying to clear a clogged head - just maintain what I had. But now I have a blank LK/PK series that never before did we have.

John Caldwell

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John Caldwell
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« Reply #28 on: May 18, 2013, 10:28:02 PM »
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...Every day I would pick up a few more jets. It took almost two months to get back to all gets working...

Maybe so, Jeff. No more Symphonic fluid here. The thought of checking in with a printer daily for a month to see if it's ready to work again doesn't describe my lifestyle though.
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JeffW
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« Reply #29 on: May 18, 2013, 11:33:57 PM »
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Yes I feel like little shop of horrors. I need to keep feeding the damn thing. I have never had this much problem with a printer. Unfortunately I bought Epsons marketing hype that they have been able to reduce clogging. I do love the images, but I hate to be tied down as well.
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jrsforums
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« Reply #30 on: May 19, 2013, 09:08:56 AM »
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John, I also had similar results with water and windex.  Also had a complete drop out of Mk/Pk.

The only way I could get it back was do an initial charge with the service program.  In the Cone articles, one of the things I believe he has correct is the cleaning cycles do not move enough ink to clear air out.

Service program:
http://www.2manuals.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=10&products_id=1365

Service manual also available there.
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« Reply #31 on: May 19, 2013, 10:12:55 AM »
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John, I also had similar results with water and windex.  Also had a complete drop out of Mk/Pk.

The only way I could get it back was do an initial charge with the service program.  In the Cone articles, one of the things I believe he has correct is the cleaning cycles do not move enough ink to clear air out.

Service program:
http://www.2manuals.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=10&products_id=1365

Service manual also available there.

I'm not sure Mr. Cone got that right, if you are reporting correctly what he said. If I understood correctly what Epson America ProGraphics Support once told me, I think it's more likely the reverse: cleaning cycles run the risk of generating air bubbles and om this regard, running successive Powerful Clean cycles without printing in-between is particularly not recommended. Epson recommended to me running a print between each cleaning cycle, to prevent damage and improve clearing efficiency.
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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 #32 on: May 19, 2013, 10:27:24 AM »
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We've run about 2000 square feet through our 4900 in it's 13 months of service. The average gap between print days has been 2.5 days, I'll guess but I can't say as though I've made a true measurement. Head cleanings are needed all the damn time, even when the printer in running every day without interruption, and many times on a given day even after after a clean nozzle check has been achieved before starting a series of prints.

We're on our 3rd maintenance tank because of the volume of ink that's wasted there during cleaning cycles, instead of flowing onto paper.

It's clear that not everyone is having this experience. My bias is that there is something wrong in the design here, but I can't prove it and, as Mark says, I certainly can't quote the rate of events as a proportion of units in the field. So anything I'd say would be just an anecdote, or driven by the bias I've already confessed to.

As for the Symphonic fluid application that got this thread started, I'm certainly not applying it again. My LK/PK are out cold, several power cleanings later - dead to the world. Mind you I began the sequence of applying Symphonic with completely clear nozzle checks with the goal of keeping them clear - not trying to clear a clogged head - just maintain what I had. But now I have a blank LK/PK series that never before did we have.

John Caldwell



John, this distressing experience runs contrary to the advice we hear that using these printers with the kind of frequency you report should keep them fully functional. There is something else going on in your case. I don't know how convenient or cost effective it would be for you at this stage to involve Epson's service people in the issue, but depending on the circumstances, it would be interesting to know if they can get to the bottom of the cause and tell you - and then you, us, what it is. This would be of interest to the community; regardless of the repair statistics, the performance risks are worthwhile understanding.
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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
jrsforums
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« Reply #33 on: May 19, 2013, 10:35:59 AM »
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Mark,

When I had my complete drop out, you had posted that and I had tried that approach of successive clean/print cycles.  It did nothing to change the dropout.  Only the initial charge brought it back.  So, I suspect, Cone may have at least a point on the relative amounts of ink moved to clear large air spaces.  At least, this was my experience...YMMV

I have since used your approach with minor dropouts.  Seems to clear them up with just one clean/print....but, knock wood, have only had a few since the major.
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« Reply #34 on: May 19, 2013, 10:40:42 AM »
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Fortunately, to date my *mileage* has varied because the kind of clogs I've experienced have been fully mitigated with at most several clean/print cycles. There is probably more than one cause of these problems, which would tend to suggest more than one solution. How much ink to clear how much air? I don't know and I wonder if anyone apart from Epson's design engineers really know.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2013, 01:18:14 PM »
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Mark...ever noticed a case where the auto nozzle check said an ink needed cleaning, but the printed nozzle pattern was perfect?

I rarely (any more) do the auto check, but while printing a test, decided to just see what the auto check said.  SInce I normally print nozzle tests on cheap copier paper, I then printed on gloss, just to be sure.  Under a glass, I could not see any problem...yet auto still said on ink needed cleaning.

Hmmm...??
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John
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« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2013, 02:56:12 PM »
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I turned all that stuff off very soon after buying the printer. When I print, I start with a manual nozzle check and clean or not clean as indicated - not Auto-Clean either; manual - no automatic anything.
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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 #37 on: May 19, 2013, 03:04:43 PM »
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I turned all that stuff off very soon after buying the printer. When I print, I start with a manual nozzle check and clean or not clean as indicated - not Auto-Clean either; manual - no automatic anything.

I understand.  I have those turned off also.

I manually started the auto nozzle check.

The point I was on was the discrepancy between the auto and the manual check.

If people are only using the auto check vs. the printed pattern, they may be cleaning more often than necessary.
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John
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« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2013, 04:24:40 PM »
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Exactly why I turned it all off! :-)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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John Caldwell
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« Reply #39 on: May 19, 2013, 09:01:16 PM »
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It will cost me little to involve Epson as I purchased the 2-year warranty extension ($500) for the 4900. I had jitters early enough with this machine that there was no way I was headed into the future without extended warranty coverage.

So I will be on the phone with Epson tomorrow, and plan to let them hire Decision One to deal with the matter. I will also let them buy the ink carts needed to flush ad nauseum to clear, or not clear, the head. I will be inconvenient.

I can't conceal my irritation, I'm afraid. I perhaps a little too suspicious that this product line is troubled, and that the culture that has become apparent in these discussions of "so long the owner stands on his or her head in just the right way the machine perform almost well" is not helping the process, in my view. I'll ask rhetorically if there is any other piece of hardware we use in our trade that provides this kind of track record?

But I also must confess that I may clearly have worsened any 4900 problems to have gone down the road of using this Symphonic fluid from American Inkjet, particularly when I had clear nozzle checks at the time I began the treatments. Mind you I did so because I was fatigued by the amount of time, ink and paper I'd been spending getting rid of head clogs - so I was looking for a sustainable maintenance plan. On the other hand, I had uneasy feelings about American Inkjet - that they in their small NJ office had solved problems that Epson engineers couldn't solve - it didn't ring true. I did speak by phone with the company proprietor before initiating treatment with Symphonic Fluid, and I should have followed my instincts. In summary, I should have not begun the treatment without hearing from others, like people here, first hand that it was wise.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2013, 09:03:58 PM by John Caldwell » Logged
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