I need to decide whether my Epson 2100 is dead at last, or whether I just have some faulty carts.
Here is the background:
. my trusty old 2100 just passed its tenth birthday a few months ago. Despite all the difficulties I've had with it, I've kept it going and it's served me well.
. For the past few years I've used K3 Conecolour inks and some refillables I got from Honk Kong.
. the carts and inks were getting old, the inks were low, I've been getting more frequent clogs, and so I replaced both.
. I got the latest version of ConecolourPro K3 and some new carts.
. the carts were from a local supplier and have manual reset chips, but otherwise look identical to the earlier HK carts. I don't think that there's been any new types of carts for the 2100 for some time. I also did the standard desktop maintenance routine - clean under the head, capping station, etc.
Things worked well for a short while, but it didn't take long for problems to develop. The short version is that the PK cart seems to be leaking. Black ink was dropping on the page and the other colours were coming out all or partly black, both in nozzle checks and purge patterns. If I did enough purge patterns and head cleans then the problem may clear, and if I then printed continuously it would continue to work, but if I stopped for a short time, perhaps only half and hour, then it would return. I can tell it was PK rather than LK from the fact the PK ink level was falling faster, and from purge patterns.
Now I recall Jon saying on a forum somewhere that ink dropping on the page is a sign of a cartridge problem. Perhaps a vent / flow issue. I thought perhaps I had a faulty PK cartridge. So I inserted the PK from my backup set of unused cartridges. It worked well, and so initially it seemed that I had found the problem. However after only about 18 hours the problem returned. Same deal.
So here is my question. Have I had really bad luck and have a second faulty cartridge, or has my 2100 finally died? Is this a symptom of a cartridge failure or printer failure? I don't have any spare PK carts, but I could stick in another one from my backup set with a PK chip and see, assuming it's not a completely bad batch. It shouldn't be as there aren't any other positions displaying this problem.
Does any of this sound familiar?