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Author Topic: Possible Deflected Nozzle-SP7600  (Read 1007 times)
Garnick
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« on: June 29, 2013, 03:53:57 PM »
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Although the vast majority of my work is done on the 9900, I do still have a 7600MK in operation as well.  I use it for smaller jobs where I'd rather not waste $13 worth of ink to do the MK switch and then back to PK on the 9900.  The 7600 has certainly been a workhorse for many years.  However, I have recently noticed a bit of banding in the blacks.  All nozzles are firing, but I believe the black is suffering from several "deflected" nozzles. It's been a while since I've seen an example of this on any of the forums, so perhaps none of you folks will recognize it either,  Thought I'd give it a try regardless, so if anyone has any knowledge of this scenario perhaps you can chime in. As I recall the only recourse for a "deflected" nozzle is a new print head, which of course is not an option for a machine of this vintage.  Thanks in advance for any replies.

Gary
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Paul2660
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« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2013, 05:47:44 PM »
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From the picture the blacks look fine.  Normal step pattern.  Deflection most often shows as one of the bars raised up out of the normal step. 

Banding could also be from alignment and you might try the re-alignment steps. 

The last firmware for the 7600 included what Epson called SSCC. Super strong cleaning cycle
.   I had to do this once on my 7600 which is long gone.  I would do a google on it for the 7600 and try running it if the alignment does not help.  SSCC does use a lot of ink.

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
Little Rock, Arkansas U.S.
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Blog> http://paulcaldwellphotography.com
Garnick
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« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2013, 09:27:17 PM »
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Thanks for the reply Paul.  I wasn't sure I'd receive any feedback, this being such an vintage machine.  I agree, the blacks do look OK, but there have been situations where it appeared that all nozzles were firing and yet there was some banding.  A couple of cleanings and another nozzle check and everything looked as it had previously, but it would then print without issue.  Therefore I learned that I couldn't always depend on the nozzle check pattern to be the final indicator of a problem or the lack thereof. 

I've done 2 head alignment cycles and they look fine, so I think it's unlikely that's where the problem lies.  I will check to see if I have a firmware version that appears to be newer that what's installed, since I haven't seen the SSCC, unless it might be hiding somewhere in maintenance mode. 

If I can't find a fix I suppose I'll have to put this one out to pasture and do all of my MK printing on the 9900.  I think I'll have to start scheduling the MK printing jobs so that I never get stuck with a black switch just for one print.  The cost of the switch could negate any profit, although it could keep a customer or satisfy a new one, so perhaps a good trade off.

Again, I appreciate your reply and suggestions Paul.

Gary     
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Jim Metzger
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« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2013, 08:35:50 AM »
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I still run a 7600 as well. After checking all nozzles are fiing, I find banding issues resolve themselves by printing high speed off and 1440 dpi. Even 720 has caused problems at times.

Heads may be available fom American inkjet systems if you want to keep this tank of a printer running. Every time I think about upgrading I read about 7900 issues on this forum!

I do wish I could figure out how to do neutral b&w however.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2013, 08:37:30 AM by Jim Metzger » Logged
Garnick
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« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2013, 01:09:51 PM »
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I still run a 7600 as well. After checking all nozzles are fiing, I find banding issues resolve themselves by printing high speed off and 1440 dpi. Even 720 has caused problems at times.

Heads may be available fom American inkjet systems if you want to keep this tank of a printer running. Every time I think about upgrading I read about 7900 issues on this forum!

I do wish I could figure out how to do neutral b&w however.

Thanks Jim,

One of the first things I tried was 1440 with no HS.  Didn't solve the problem, so I removed the capping assembly and cleaned it and the wiper blade thoroughly.  Originally I would move the head to the right and work away with a Q-Tip and distilled water to clean the wiper, but eventually I removed the right end cover and the cap station, much easier to access all necessary parts, including the print head itself.  That machine hasn't had the right end cover installed for many years, the control panel sits on the upper front panel just to the left of the where the end cover would be.  That way I can check the wiper very easily, also remove the whole cap assembly, clean and reinstall within 30 minutes.  Very convenient.  However, this time it seems like a rather stubborn issue that I've run into.

I definitely agree with your statement concerning the x900 series printers.  Within the first year of use mine had a new print head, capping assembly and wiper, as well as other service calls.  I'm sure Epson was never glad to hear my voice calling in and entering the serial number for service.  Of course they had their log of issues, as did I.  Needless to say, I extended the warranty for the next 2 years and it finally expired about 2 months ago.  Within that period I figure I could have bought 1 1/2 new 9900s for what the service/parts calls would have cost without the warranty.  The warranty extensions were certainly NOT inexpensive, but definitely an insurance policy I wouldn't want to be without for those machines.  I'm on my own now, but of course I've also learned a lot about the printer and maintenance routines, including head replacements.  All of which I'm sure you have read on Eric's post here, most excellent.  All of this to say that I feel more comfortable knowing that I can probably take care of most situations that might come along now.

As far as the neutral B&W issue is concerned, in the past Ive had very good results with QTR(QuadTone Rip).  I imagine you are familiar with this program, very cost effective and does a great job on Fine Art papers.  Unfortunately there are no curves(profiles) for Photo Papers with the PK ink, but for me that was never an issue, since the 7600 was MK only.  I had done printing for a local photog on the Epson Cold Press Natural a while back and he was blown away by how neutral it was.  If you're not familiar with the program you can download a trial version here, http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRoverview.html.  I wish there were some profiles for Photo Papers, and there might be, since I haven't had an opportunity to check it out recently.  Other wise I guess you could try the ABW(Advanced Black & White).  Woops, I forgot, the 7600 driver doesn't have that feature included.  If you are using an MK setup I would seriously recommend QTR.  You can also set up your own curves for split toning, very useful.  I think the app is till selling for around the $50 point, so a great deal.

Thanks again Jim,
Gary         









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Paul2660
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« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2013, 07:42:00 PM »
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Gary:

I found this from an older post I had made.  I had forgotten, you run the SSCL from the printer control utility (on the computer), not from the printer itself.
It does take a bunch of ink. 


    Super Strong Cleaning Cycle.  This is not runnable from the printer.  I believe Epson's name is SSCL.  You run it from the printer control
    panel.  It's only available with the latest firmware for the 7600.  With as many power cleans as you have done, it may not help.  However it's
    much stronger than a standard Power Clean.  It was developed by Epson for the 7600/9600 class printers when Epson figured out that standard
    power cleans will not work.  Thus it was added as a feature in the printer control software.  I used to have the steps to run it, but have gotten
    rid of all my 7600 stuff.  Epson should be able to give you the steps.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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Jim Metzger
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« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2013, 11:31:47 PM »
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Gary, thanks for the quadtonerip reference. I have only run PK over the last 8 or so years. I haven't had the need to print matte. To expensive to clear out all the inks for the switch over.

The folks at Inkjet Art systems recently sold me a new capping station / pump / wiper for the 7600 (not many left!) and this was the first one I needed in all the years I had the printer. It was surprisingly inexpensive, just over $125 I believe. I may try their "wetting" solution for preventative maintenance.

I was at their office in NJ and had a chance to spend some time with them, I was told if you can write code ( I can't, but I did do some Fortran back in college) you can do neutral B&W with the Epson inks.
While I would like to take advantage of ABW, as you know, not available on the 7600.

Hope you get your problem cleared. I hate to throw out these machines. My machine can sit for weeks and only needs a couple of regular cleanings to get going, it seems newer machines really should require less maintenance / voodoo to keep running.

Jim
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Garnick
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 09:37:03 AM »
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Thanks again Jim,

I totally agree, the 7600 was and in many cases still is a genuine workhorse when it comes to reliability, and it can still produce an excellent print as well.  About a year after I bought my first 7600(summer 2004 I believe) I purchased an SP4000 to do a couple of jobs where the sheet feeder would be a huge advantage.  That was also a good printer, but higher maintenance than the 7600.  At that time I wasn't very familiar with this forum and was on and still occasionally peruse the EpsonWideFormat forum(http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/EpsonWideFormat/?yguid=160058792).  I posted my need for a used 7600, preferably in the Toronto area.  About 3 months after the initial post and several updated ones I had a call from a fellow in Toronto who had a 7600 with MK installed, just what I was looking for.  He was looking to downsize due to space and we finally hammered out a deal, hinging on me running a few prints on his 7600 and he doing the same on my 4000.  Needless to say, it all worked out very well for both of us, I left the 4000 with him and brought my "new" 7600" back to my business location.  The 4000 still had about 4 months warranty on it so he felt good about that as well.  All of this to explain that for quite a few years I was running 2-7600s, one PK and one MK.  Obviously the MK is the one on which I used the QTR with some excellent results.  I eventually sold the PK printer once I had the 9900 in operation.  I definitely understand your concern about switching the black inks, cost is about the same as one cartridge.  There is however another method that is more cost effective and I'll try to find the information and send it along.  I know I have it, so I'll have to find it.  Ah...I did find that info and will attach it before I send this along. It's slightly involved, but if you are thinking of printing on Fine Art papers at all it would certainly be a more cost effective way of doing the MK switch.  If you're interested there is also a QTR forum here...http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/QuadtoneRIP/?yguid=160058792.  Of course for both of these other forums you'll have to join to have full access, but that's about a 2 minute process.  

As I mentioned previously my 7600 has no right end cover, hasn't had for many years, much easier for maintenance and seeing what's going on in there.  If you haven't had that cover off before you will probably understand my thinking.  If you are considering leaving the right end cover off I'll send you a pic of my setup for the control panel if that would be of any help.  Also, I assume you probably have the service manual.  Not the users manual, but the actual service manual.  If not, let me know and I'll send it along.  You can also contact me by email from this forum if that's more convenient.  WOOPS...gotta go for now.  Hope some of this might be of some use to you Jim. When I have time I'll be running more head cleanings etc, trying to get the 7600MK back into good working order and I'll be in touch.  

Gary

Find the attachment below....        




      
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 04:27:44 PM by Garnick » Logged
Jim Metzger
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 05:40:15 PM »
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Gary,

Got it, thanks. I do remember seeing this years ago, I was hoping a less expensive rip might become available to negate switching PK / MK and the drivers from Lightroom were good enough for color work. I may not want to tempt the printing gods at this time.

I changed the capping station etc. without much trouble. Cover comes off easily enough and one of the reasons I went the http://www.americaninkjetsystems.com/epson_7600_9600_repair.html route was because they had full documentation on the replacement and of course they HAD a replacement part. Epson stopped making this part years ago and most shops won't touch this "legacy" printer for fear of breaking something else.

I love digital (been shooting since 1966) but I miss the reliability of analog. Still have my Nikon F, could shoot with it today.

Jim


 
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