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Author Topic: Another 4900 horror story  (Read 15606 times)
JeffW
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« Reply #200 on: March 16, 2014, 07:52:05 PM »
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Thanks for the updates. I am about to tear into my 4900, this will be useful. My main concern is, that this will be my normal process for getting the 4900 going again every 6 months or so.
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JeffW
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« Reply #201 on: March 20, 2014, 11:12:58 AM »
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Roger,

 I am going to dive into my 4900 soon. Magenta is totally missing. I have read clear thru the work that you did and wonder where to start and how to proceed. What do you think was the ultimate culprit? Damper? printhead?
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #202 on: March 20, 2014, 12:11:58 PM »
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I think the culprit was air.

You will need the little Epson Adjustment program because, the moment you decide to take the head apart, inevitably, in my experience, it's going to deplete the head from ink, and since the whole thing has to be tightly vaccum sealed, you're going to need to execite that CL2 command, which the documentation claims "Loads the head with ink".

So, where to start? I would start by taking the head apart, just to rule out any possibility of air in the tubes. With a syringe, I would suck ink out of the the Magenta like through the dampers. That's where I would start. Then, assuming the head isn't clogged on the Magenta, I would plug seat the Ink Assembly Unit back (you don't have to screw all three screws, just the two at the rear), and issue some CL2 commands from the Epson Adjustment program.

If you happen to have some true Cleaning Solution, I would not hesitate to gently inject some through the Magenta inport, to convince yourself that you have positive flow through. By now, I know not using Windex or Nail Polish Remover to do that, although I know from experience that it has not dammage my head.
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JeffW
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« Reply #203 on: March 22, 2014, 01:27:13 PM »
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Roger,

Before I started today, I did a head check and found that both Cyan and Magenta were at a complete no show.

I have disassembled clear down to the head. I ran distilled water thru the head and selector assembly. I ran thru all ports. I figured I am in this deep, might as well go all the way. I then have put Piezo flush into all channels and will let it sit for several hours.

Before I started I did the ink eject command twice from the service program. When I took the ink tubes loose from the selector assembly, the tubes were all still full. What did you find at this point? Were your tubes empty?

More updates to come.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #204 on: March 22, 2014, 01:52:05 PM »
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Good question. For me, the Ink Eject command never completed? Every time I tried launching it.
Was it because of some deeper hardware problem? I never knew.
I invariably got a message error that something happened, an "unknown error" and then nothing further would happen, leaving me in limbo.
As sophisticated these printers are, Epson doesn't deserve first prize for system diagnostics Sad
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #205 on: March 22, 2014, 03:29:19 PM »
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As sophisticated these printers are, Epson doesn't deserve first prize for system diagnostics Sad

I applaud the progress you made as a result of research, sheer logic and tenacity, but at the same time I kinda think their system diagnostics were designed for technicians professionally trained to service these machines, so I would defer to their judgment about whether or not the company deserves a prize in this area.
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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
Roger_Breton
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« Reply #206 on: March 22, 2014, 03:55:19 PM »
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Well, their "technicians" better be taught things that are not in the Service Guide, Mark, because this "Guide" I paid $19.95 for was rather muted on the whole subject of machine operation. I am kind of skeptical. One authorized Epson service technician I spoke to didn't have a clue about 4900s, having never touched one in his "career". He said they mostly fix 9900s and the like.
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Farmer
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« Reply #207 on: March 22, 2014, 04:19:00 PM »
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You paid for something that isn't owned by the person selling it to you and you're not happy with the quality?

Hmmm.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #208 on: March 22, 2014, 04:40:05 PM »
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Well, their "technicians" better be taught things that are not in the Service Guide, Mark, because this "Guide" I paid $19.95 for was rather muted on the whole subject of machine operation. I am kind of skeptical. One authorized Epson service technician I spoke to didn't have a clue about 4900s, having never touched one in his "career". He said they mostly fix 9900s and the like.

Maybe what you paid for is less than or different from what Epson provides to its trained technicians. But you're raising a separate issue about the competence of a technician you've spoke with. Different matter.
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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
JeffW
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« Reply #209 on: March 22, 2014, 05:14:37 PM »
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so I took out the heads, ran distilled water and Piezo flush thru the head and damper. Before I put them back into the machine, I blew air thru the damper and head to clean any residual out. I then reinstalled both. I ran an ink charge, nozzle check, nothing. I then ran two CL2's with a nozzle check in between each. Nothing anywhere. Ran a powerful clean on all channels, still nothing.

At this point I am going to pull the head and damper out again and see if I can pull ink out through the damper with a syringe. Wonder if while I have it out I should charge the head with something?
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JeffW
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« Reply #210 on: March 22, 2014, 05:37:41 PM »
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i managed to pull about 1ml of air out of each damper. i am curious of when it comes from the factory if the lines and heads are pre-charged. As for what i could see that the charge function, two CL2's and a powerful clean did not push/pull ink through the system.

tried a check and nothing. thinking now i need to charge the head. any ideas on what to charge with? I have piezo flush available.


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JeffW
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« Reply #211 on: March 22, 2014, 06:04:01 PM »
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So i pulled the damper back out, checked for air in the damper and got a little air out. i pushed Piezo flush throughout the head on all channels. Soaked some paper towels on the other side. Put it all back together, nozzle check, nothing.

Isn't it 5 o'clock somewhere. Taking a break for now.

Any help would be appreciated.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #212 on: March 22, 2014, 06:09:29 PM »
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The secret ingredient seems to be time? I have no idea why but, between my many frustrating attempts, I had to let days passed.
One thing, though. At one point, one Epson technician did come to my house and manually activated the pump, the one located on the right hand side of the printer. He rotated the wheel attached to the pump in an effort to diagnose whether the pump was still functional.
After he was satisfied that, as far as he could see, the pump was not broken, he tried a few, like 3, powerful cleaning.
That's when some nozzles started to appear, but very, very faintly, and only one one or two channel.
Still, I deemed that was sufficient improvement. I must have let the printer rot for a few days at that point.

Do you see all the tubes filled with ink, solid?
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #213 on: March 22, 2014, 06:14:50 PM »
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Mark,

You wrote "Maybe what you paid for is less than or different from what Epson provides to its trained technicians. But you're raising a separate issue about the competence of a technician you've spoke with. Different matter."

One "Epson" technician I was in contact with, after speaking with me a few times over the telephone, suggested the head needed changing.
Had I had the visit of this guy, I would have had to pay him $200 an hour. Not cheap. And he did come back with a quote for a new head, at $1800.
I agree we get what we pay for and remember that, everyone I spoke to, kept suggesting the printer head needed replacing. I mean everyone.
Even guys at places where they sell dedicated cleaning fluid.

Yes, there are very good guys out there.
I wish I lived in New Jersey because I would have automatically called Joe, at Laguna Services. I trust Joe to be top-notch.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2014, 07:16:39 AM by Roger_Breton » Logged
JeffW
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« Reply #214 on: March 22, 2014, 06:44:12 PM »
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Roger,

I think you are right, let some time and frustration go by. The lines were completely filled with ink.

I do question if I have a bad pump. Ant idea on how to tell if it is working?

Big problem I am running up against is running low on ink on several channels. Like you, I hate to shell out several hundred more dollars if it is going down a hole. Do know that if I do get this thing going, I am going to switch to third party inks. See how Epson likes that  Wink
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #215 on: March 23, 2014, 07:30:09 AM »
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Jeff,

Maybe you can get hold an an ink cartridge resetter? And use cleaning fluid to refill your original cartridges?
That allowed me to extend the life of the cartridges enough to thoroughly test the machine, before declaring useless.
If your nozzle check remains "Virgin", like mine did, one of the thing I did try at one point was an Ink Eject.
Again, the command never completed successfully, but this is one of the thing I did experiment with.
Make sure, btw, that you have one or two extra spare Maintenance Tank.

At the stage you are, I also suggest taking the head apart to experiment with directly injecting cleaning fluid or mineralized water into each ink inport, to verify that fluid does go through the head. Mine produced a nice "curtain of fluid" for each channel. I kept infering that the head was still functional from this despite what everyone I contacted or spoke to kept telling me.

About the pump.

I kept suspecting the pump, if only because I had read here, from Joe at Laguna Services, that, according to his experience, the pumps on these 4900 printers were notorious to fail?
But the friendly technician who came in once demonstrated that the pump still worked. Maybe you will need to take apart the right hand side of the printer (worth it) to observe the functionning of the pump? If only to witness that fluid does drain through the little plastic tubes on the way to the Maintenance Tank? I remember watching as I issued Cleaning cycles that ink was flowing through the tubes. One manipulation I did not observe the technician do was how he manually "primed" the pump? As he explained, he manually rotated what looks like a beige plastic ring around the pump, that looks like it has been made to be turn by a human hand. AS he manually rotated that ring, he said he could see ink being displaced through.

So, don't give it up. One thing I did try, was to suck ink out of the Ink Assembly Unit. I am sure that works for you. But. So all your line appear full?
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JeffW
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« Reply #216 on: March 24, 2014, 08:04:43 PM »
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So I waited one day since my last post and have some faint lines showing up. Progress? Think I will wait one more day to see if I get any further improvement. If not I will try a CL2 and go from there.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #217 on: March 24, 2014, 09:56:12 PM »
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Faint lines is a progress, Jeff.
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JeffW
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« Reply #218 on: March 27, 2014, 10:12:52 PM »
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Roger,

Not much progress. In the photo attached, I am assuming this is the knob you talked about that the technician turned to see if the decompression pump is working. I used the service program to check before and after the value from the pump and showed NO change. I am assuming that this means that my decompression pump is bad.

If this is the case, now where to get one?

Happy printing.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #219 on: March 28, 2014, 03:45:42 PM »
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Yes, this is the knob I was talking about.
If missed the "before and after" value for the pump in the service program?
But I will trust your word that the pumps needs changing.
If I were you, I'd look up a certain Joe from Laguna Services.
I've seen him on Luminous Landscape coming out specifically with 4900's "failed" pumps.
If you can't get hold of him, I don't know where to send you to buy a replacement unit?
I'm not sure you can buy just a new pump? I know the pump cap assembly sells for $325 some odd.
The pump alone sells for around $100 I was told?

See, the correct functionning of the pump was for me the most difficult part of the system to diagnose?
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