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Author Topic: Another 4900 horror story  (Read 15629 times)
jrsforums
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« Reply #180 on: February 22, 2014, 08:57:51 AM »
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Could it be a less labour-intensive option to make sure you have enough ink in the cartridges to do a complete renewed "first-intallation" routine - like the day you bought the printer, whereby the printer's firmware looks after all the steps needed for a proper initial charging? I believe this process actually wastes much less ink than it seems, because while it does use the maintenance tank, all the ink it primes into the lines has to be counted as usable ink for prints. The key challenge here would be to get the firmware into a state whereby it thinks it's doing a fresh install. Perhaps your service manual explains that.

Mark, I don't remember if it is in the service manual, but it is pretty easy to find in the service program.
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BrianWJH
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« Reply #181 on: February 22, 2014, 04:51:37 PM »
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Could it be a less labour-intensive option to make sure you have enough ink in the cartridges to do a complete renewed "first-intallation" routine - like the day you bought the printer?

Hi Mark, I believe the OP has already performed an Initial Fill back on this page so knows how to, at that point it failed.

If it was me I'd try to fill the ink lines and dampers manually seeing how the machine is already apart, at least then we know there's no air or blockage issue, when this is done perform a SL1 clean to flush the printhead itsself followed by some nozzles checks.

Brian.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #182 on: February 22, 2014, 05:04:08 PM »
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Yes, I am aware of the history Brian. Things are at a different phase now. Running through my mind is the possibility that an initial ink charge does certain things that one wouldn't necessarily think of or be able to achieve manually. I'm thinking it perhaps best to revert to its primary design intent as a means for curing it from the state it will be in once re-assembled. Admittedly a stab in the dark, but at least leveraging the printer's own technology.
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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
BrianWJH
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« Reply #183 on: February 22, 2014, 05:46:31 PM »
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I'm thinking it perhaps best to revert to its primary design intent as a means for curing it from the state it will be in once re-assembled.

Hi Mark, definitely worth a try once re-assembled and after the ink lines and dampers are filled, could be done instead of the SL1 clean. Only after we know ink is flowing through the ink lines, dampers (and after re-assembly the printhead) into the waste tank can we then assess if the printhead has any internal damage from previous cleaning attempts by finally doing some nozzles checks and test prints.

Priming the ink lines and dampers should take 10-15ml of ink each line.

Because cleaning fluid has been used it may take several cleanings to clear all traces of it from the dampers.

All of this assumes there are no other ink delivery issues e.g. cartridges and ink levels and re-assembly.

Brian.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #184 on: February 22, 2014, 06:34:21 PM »
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Priming the ink line through the "Ink Charge" command is high on my list of priority for tommorrow.
I'm debating the chances of this command to succeed, though?
If you remember, both the "Ink Eject" and "Ink Charge" has so far resulted in undetermined errors.
I suspect the error has to do with the incapacity for the printer to carry out the command, presumably because of air in the system.
Could be. Hopefully, it is not the result of some other (worse) hardware problem, with the mainboard or some other component.
I'll know more in the morning.

Thank's for ALL your help and patience.

Roger
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BrianWJH
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« Reply #185 on: February 22, 2014, 06:53:27 PM »
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If you remember, both the "Ink Eject" and "Ink Charge" has so far resulted in undetermined errors.
Roger

Which is why a manual priming while you have the machine disassembled is what I'd try first, at least then you know for certain that the ink is present in all ink lines and dampers.

If the "ink eject/charge" doesn't work then you have to disassemble the machine again, so do a manual priming it's only way you can be certain the ink supply is ok.

Brian.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #186 on: February 24, 2014, 08:18:37 AM »
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Update 10

This morning, I managed to find the courage to take apart the lines / Ink Assembly Unit "interface".
I had 4 screws to remove in order to expose the tubes. I tried to take all possible précautions as I knew the ink would leak and mess up my printer.
Three of the four screws were easy to get at. But the fourth was bit of a challenge.

Needless to say, as soon as I removed the four screws and pulled, gently, apart the line connector from the Ink Assembly Unit, ink was everywhere.
Could barely contained it. Eventually, ink stopped leaking. I sponged it off all I could. Had to be really careful.

Then I reached for my syringe filled with 5cc of green ink and proceeded to inject it into the empty green line.
It was a messy operation. At first, I could see ink slowly appearing inside the tube *but* there was a point beyond which, presumably because of the air in the line, it was not possible to inject more. So, as much as I wanted to inject ink, because of the presence of air in the line, I could not inject any more : the only ink that was coming out of my syringe at that point was being spilled all over.

So, I had no choice but to reassemble the whole thing back until I can come up with a better technique.

I enclose of picture of the Ink Assembly Unit / Tube interface. You can see the top three screws I was talking about above, plus the moutains of rags I installed to protect the printer from staning with ink.

If ink can't be manually injected into the tubes that way, I'll try my luck with "Ink Load" commands from the Epson Adjustment program.
If, for some reason, this fails to charge the lines, I wander what my next step could be, to empty all lines?

Thank's for your moral encouragement.
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tsjanik
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« Reply #187 on: February 24, 2014, 09:26:30 AM »
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Roger:

May I ask how you get the 4900 in service mode for a cleaning?  I've tried ok+rt.+down and get a menu that does not include any cleaning options.

Tom
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 10:14:34 AM by tsjanik » Logged
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #188 on: February 24, 2014, 09:37:37 AM »
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Update 10

If ink can't be manually injected into the tubes that way, I'll try my luck with "Ink Load" commands from the Epson Adjustment program.
If, for some reason, this fails to charge the lines, I wander what my next step could be, to empty all lines?

Thank's for your moral encouragement.

I would think when dealing with a narrow tube, the only way to get the air out would be for the liquid to be injected at one end and the air comes out the other. Then at the right moment you create a suction to keep the ink that was injected from spilling out the other end where the air was expelled. Then re-assemble the open end of the tube while maintaining the suction. I have no idea whether this is physically possible with an Epson 4900 because I wouldn't dare try any of this, but I'm just reflecting on "science experiments" from grade school days. Many, many moons ago.  :-) What you are experiencing is partly why I was suggesting to stick with processes that the printer firmware can generate internally.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #189 on: February 24, 2014, 11:54:22 AM »
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Well, Mark, I am about to see how far the "internal processes" will actually take me on solving this issue.

@tsjanik :  there isn't a menu that include a cleaning options in Service mode. From memory, these options existed on my 4000 but not it this firmware.
I have to purchased a "utility" program separately for $29.95 in order to communicate cleaning commands and other to the printer.


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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #190 on: February 24, 2014, 01:14:11 PM »
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Update 11

Made small progress. After reassembling everything back, I tried my luck with the Epson Adjustment program and the Ink Charge command.
This command is divived in two, one for the Right set of cartridges and one for the Left set of cartridges.

Well, this time, I started with the Right set of cartridges and got the C and VM back!

Encouraged, I tried my luck on the Left set of cartridges. What happened is I ran out of Maintenance tank.
I replaced it but the command was cancelled, somehow. Or at least, that's how it felt.

I tried another nozzle check but the Orange and Green are still missing.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #191 on: February 24, 2014, 04:27:35 PM »
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Something isn't right with the Green line. I'll worry about the Orange later.
But the Ink Charge command is having no effect on filling the Green line.
I tried changing to the old 80ml cartridge, the one I refilled with Cleaning Fluid, to no avail.
Obviously, the printer is having no sucess at drawing ink out the Green cartridge.

The Green ink line remains empty.
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BrianWJH
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« Reply #192 on: February 24, 2014, 05:07:19 PM »
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Then I reached for my syringe filled with 5cc of green ink and proceeded to inject it into the empty green line.
It was a messy operation. At first, I could see ink slowly appearing inside the tube *but* there was a point beyond which, presumably because of the air in the line, it was not possible to inject more. So, as much as I wanted to inject ink, because of the presence of air in the line, I could not inject any more : the only ink that was coming out of my syringe at that point was being spilled all over.

Hi Roger, your method of 'injecting' is not correct, you insert the syringe into the damper opening, the same location where the printhead ink nipples seat into the damper opening.
First you need to close the ink valves on the ink bay assembly you are working on (in this case the VM,Cyan side), now making sure you have ink cartridges correctly inserted with sufficient ink/fluid in each you then open the ink valves (with the syringe inserted in the damper opening) and withdraw the syringe plunger creating a vacuum which draws ink from the cartridge through the ink lines towards the ink damper, repeat this process until ink arrives at the syringe without any air in the lines.

You need to close the ink valves insert syringe then open ink valves 'suck', close ink valves, expel ink from the syringe and repeat until you have a full ink line and damper clear of any air bubbles (or clumped ink).

You have to manually close/open the ink valves at the rear of the ink cartridge assembly which holds the ink carts for this process to work, post a shot of the rear ink bay assembly if you are not sure what I'm talking about.

Brian.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 05:10:10 PM by BrianWJH » Logged
Roger_Breton
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« Reply #193 on: February 24, 2014, 09:18:08 PM »
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Hi Brian,

My method of 'injecting' is not correct? Point well taken.

I just took the Ink Assembly Unit apart now and can confirm that, to the best of my judgement, *all* lines appear filled with ink.
See attached photo.

You advise to "insert the syringe into the damper opening". Understood.
This is very easy, just insert the syringe into the damper opening.

This being said, using the syringe inserted into the damper opening, I can "withdraw the syringe plunger", "creating a vacuum which draws ink from the cartridge through the ink lines towards the ink damper". Yes, this works well. And it does not take long before the syringe fills up with ink.
I just tried it on the Green damper opening and I can suck all the ink I want.

If this is the case, do I still need to find those "ink valves" at the rear of the ink cartridge assembly?
I went over the Service Manual, page by page, but couldn't find any mention of those "ink valves".
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #194 on: February 24, 2014, 09:41:17 PM »
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I just finished reassembling the Ink Assembly Unit (dampers) and tried my luck with a Nozzle Check.
The first one had almost all the heads missing, naturally. I am getting "used" to this effect.
But upon close inspection with a 10X magnifying glass, I swear I can see some faint lines in the Orange and Green?
As best I can see, there is ink in the tubes and I know I have enough ink (cleaning fluid) in the ink cartridges.
I'm trying my luck right now with a mild cleaning of all channels.
(Tomorrow, I'll get a new Maintenance Tank)

So what is the verdict? At 10h30pm, Mon Feb 24?

( I can't believe the time and resources I'm spending on salvaging this printer -- my wife thinks I'm crazy?)

BTW, while I was working on sucking ink from the dampers, I placed a double-layer paper towel underneath the print head and directly injected Cleaning Fluid into the Green and Orange ink nipples, in case the Green/Orange part of the head was clogged. When I removed the soaked paper towel, after 15 minutes, I could see pretty much all ink colors, including orange and green. I thought that was encouraging.

So what's the verdict? Immaculate nozzle check! Nothing printed at all, after this "normal" cleaning. A perfectly white piece of paper.
Wow! I really like my Epson 4900 printer. Back to square one...

Time to take a deep breadth ;-)

I'll get a new Maintenance Tank in the morning and do som more testing.

I was considering buying a whole set of fresh ink cartridges, in view of the progress I am making.
But now, I'm hesitant again...
« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 10:38:26 PM by Roger_Breton » Logged
BrianWJH
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« Reply #195 on: February 25, 2014, 06:48:31 AM »
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So what is the verdict? At 10h30pm, Mon Feb 24?
Since you have the ink lines full again and also flushed the printhead, I'd leave it for a day or so before firing it up again and see if the cleaning fluid has cleared up the printhead.
Quote
I'll get a new Maintenance Tank in the morning and do som more testing.
If you have a chip resetter for the 3rd. party ink carts try using that on the maintenance tank chip, it may reset it as well, some resetters do both.

Brian.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #196 on: March 06, 2014, 06:25:41 PM »
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Update 12

Been really busy lately. Heard about the new Canon 24 and wider printer announcement...

So, I started by putting in a fresh, new Maintenance Tank in the beast before powering it up tonight.

Then I issued a "CL2" cleaning from the Epson Adjustment program.
Epson states that "CL2 on all lines is recommended after setting a new print head". They don't say why but I gather
that this could not hurt. Remember my last unsuccessful attempt, where I had all the heads unclogged but the orange and the green?
And then I, once more, took the head apart and gently injected some cleaning fluid into the ink ports of the Orange and Green?
The result was, an immaculate nozzle check pattern. Once more, I thought, I managed to go back to square one.
Disheartening, to say the least.

So, started with a CL2 tonight. The verdict? Four heads made an appearance. O, G, LLK and Y! Wow!
Then, I risked a Manual Cleaning > Powerful from the printer console.

I then ran a new nozzle check : this time *all* ink colors are showing up for the Oscars!!!
LC is perfect.
G is perfect.
Y is perfect.
LLK is perfect.
The rest of the colors are showing missing nozzles but nothing, seemingly, out of the reach of some further "gentle" cleaning cycles.

I plan to send a few pages through from my usual RIP software. We'll see.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #197 on: March 07, 2014, 05:34:53 PM »
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Update 13

Just fired my 4900 and ran a nozzle check, all nozzles are perfect except some Orange.
Who would have thought so a few feeks ago?

Was planning to order new Epson ink cartridges today but got delayed.

Can't wait ;-)
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #198 on: March 16, 2014, 12:24:28 PM »
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Update 14

Quick follow-up.

During the two months that lasted my attempts to resurect my 4900, I had it moved onto a clear area, where I could freely take it apart. Now that I received 6 new 200ml Epson ink cartridges, I reassembled all the covers and proceeded to move it back to its place in my office. All the days leading up to my "pledge of allegiance" to Epson, deciding to plough $600 for 6 new ink cartridges, I kept printing spotless nozzle checks.

But right after moving it back to its original place, after loading in the 6 new cartridges, Photo Black started to act out.
I tried different cleanings, not strong ones to begin with. So I did 4 or 5 normal ones with marginal improvements. I then tried one power cleaning, just on the BK/pair. No improvements. Hmmh, I thought. I was beginning to entertain the thoughts of, what, opening the printer again but instead, I let it sit there overnight, and shut it down. That was on a Friday night, late.

The next day, Saturday morning, I flipped the power switch on the printer and tried my luck with another Nozzle Check : perfection!
And it has stayed that way ever since. I now make sure I print everyday, without fail, to the printer, if only a nozzle check or a small image, just so that I keep the lines active and the head alive.

Will follow up at a later date...
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 10:24:44 PM by Roger_Breton » Logged
BrianWJH
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« Reply #199 on: March 16, 2014, 05:39:44 PM »
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Hi Roger, good to see you are making progress, thanks for the updates.

Brian.
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