2880 - cleaning the right-side wiping station

1400
1430
r1900
r2880
smallformat

#1

In a couple of recent threads (here and here) I discussed issues I was having with my existing printers and debated purchasing a new R3000 or a second hand R2880. I bought an R2880.

SUMMARY: However I am having a lot of trouble getting and keeping good nozzle checks. I have done the Dana C cleaning routine a couple of times, and still there are issues. I’ll provide a little more detail below. My question is: are there other areas that perhaps I should clean? For example, there is a wiping station on the right side of the printer - is it possible that this needs cleaning as well?

DETAIL: Now the history. I bought this R2880 printer from some distance. I don’t know a lot about its history, but it had the appearance of being in good condition and the WicReset too reports that it hasn’t been used a lot. Ink waste counters are under 20%. I was provided with a good nozzle check pattern in advance, and I did a check when I got it and it was fine. It may have not had much use in the last several months, but despite this the nozzle pattern was good. A few days after I got the printer my new ConeColor K3 Vivid inks and new refillable carts arrived.

Given the clean nozzle check I didn’t initially do a full Dana C clean, I only cleaned the capping station and wiper blade. With the fresh ConeColor refillables installed I initially struggled to get a perfect nozzle check [long story omitted here] but finally had good results. However within a day or so I was again getting a lot of gaps in nozzle checks and bleeding between colours. Eventually I found that one cart (magenta) had drained!

So I did a full Dana C cleaning routine - capping station, wiper blade, ink nipples, special printer head cleaning cartridge & syringe, and under the head. I also filled some refillables with flush and installed them for a few hours. Then I topped up the ConeColor carts and installed them. After I printed out the pink flush from the weaker colours again I was able to print for a day or so, with the odd missing nozzle now and again, but then I started getting gaps in the nozzle check pattern and colour bleeding. See the nozzle check pattern attached. At least no cartridge drained this time.

At this stage I started to lose confidence. My only idea was that perhaps I didn’t do the full clean sufficiently well. So I have done it again, this time using a lot of flush in the process. There’s definitely no sign of any pigment ink anywhere in the areas cleaned. It has sat for a day or so with cleaning carts and tomorrow I will put the ConeColor carts back in. But I am fearful of the process repeating itself and then what do I do? Go back to OEM?

So my question is: is it possible that the cleaned print head could be picking up gunk from the right-side wiping station, i.e. the opposite side to the capping station? I assume you know what I mean. This is the area where the print head seems to stop to wipe itself during a head clean, and other times as well I think. I know it’s possible in theory, but have you seen this in practice? Any tips on cleaning it?

I also have an R1900 with piezography inks - pretty much the same printer as I understand it - and it’s working well with your refillable carts. So I know that the system can work. I compared the two printers, and I would have said that the R1900 was also a little messy on the right hand side wiping station, and that doesn’t seem to be affecting things in that printer. Comparing parts in the two printers doesn’t suggest anything faulty in the R2880 that the naked eye can see. The R2880 has more ink on the “Front paper guide pad” (service manual terminology) in the areas away from the right side cleaning station, but I can’t see what effect that would have.

Sorry for the long post. I’m running short of ideas. Help …



#2

I haven’t had a reply, but I have a hunch that I know what the problem is. [B]I think one cart is faulty - the Magenta.[/B] Here is why.

I did the full clean routine. I did it far more thoroughly that I even have before. I think that at the end of it the printer was cleaner than when it left the factory. For most of two days the printer had flush carts in it, and the carts with ink sat in a box inside a plastic bag. When the time came to put the carts back in, I noticed that the Magenta one had leaked a little and there was a small pool of ink under the exit hole. Not a lot, but a little.

Now I have seen this before with carts that I considered to be faulty. But it was only a small pool in this case so I couldn’t be sure. I went ahead anyway.

The printer initially performed perfectly, but it didn’t take many prints for the same problem to emerge. When it did, I was printing posters on plain paper with a lot of black text at 720dpi, and I could see traces of magenta in the first pass of the black text being laid down.

So I think the Magenta cart is faulty. It’s draining just enough that it runs along the head to adjacent colours and causes the issues you see. This time it was PK, C, M, Y that had issues in the nozzle check.

So I replaced these four carts with fresh ones. Ironically I now had issues getting the M cart to flow, whereas the others were fine. This is despite pushing a little flush through the Magenta ink nipple in the head, and drawing ink from the exit hole in the Magenta cart using a blunt tip. I think there’s air in the fresh Magenta cart and it’s going to sit overnight.

Question: [B]Surely a small pool of ink under the exit hole of a cart left sitting out of the printer for a few days is a sign of a faulty cart?[/B] There’s not sign of the internal membrane being ruptured, but I can see a manufacturing defect near the fill hole and I suspect a small air leakage there (but can’t prove it).


#3

Hi Brian~

Thanks for the detailed information, it’s very helpful for me to troubleshot and resolve your issue.

We have used hundreds of these carts in the R2880 printers in our R&D department, so I have a lot of experience with them over the years. In my experience, it’s normal to sometimes have a drop of ink at the exit port of the cartridge, but a good size puddle under the cart would indicate the exit valve did’t close/seal for whatever reason. This isn’t necessarily a defective cart, but could possibly cause flow issues. On occasion, when I have found a lot of ink under a cart that is stored out of the printer, I generally throw it away and use a new cartridge (but this doesn’t happen often), but with a small drop under a cart, I wipe up the drip and install/use the carts. Drips of ink on paper during printing, or ink drips/splatter inside the printer could indicate a faulty cart (or a dirty printer, but you have ruled this out by carefully cleaning your printer several times).

The nozzle check you attached shows what looks like black ink in the neighboring channels, which can be caused if black ink was leaking from the cart/print head, and getting in/on other color channels. Seeing this would make me think the black is possibly not providing correct ink flow.

Do you tap the carts exit valve down on a folded paper towel a few times after filling, to force ink down and air up, before installing into your printer?
Do you let the carts sit for a few minutes after installing into your printer, before beginning to print?

Please let me know how everything looks/works now that you have replaced the four carts.
Thanks and best regards~ Dana


#4

I think the news is good, Dana. I’ve waited 48 hours before I declared victory, but there are no signs of further problems.

Since I last wrote, I woke up to see if the Magenta cart had decided to start flowing. Sadly, things were far worse. The nozzle check was like the one I posted above, but worse! Both PK and M colours were bleeding elsewhere. Worse still, the PK & C carts had drained and the M cart had half-drained. At this point I was on the verge of giving up and buying some OEM carts. But then I read your message:

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5118]Hi Brian~
Do you tap the carts exit valve down on a folded paper towel a few times after filling, to force ink down and air up, before installing into your printer?
Do you let the carts sit for a few minutes after installing into your printer, before beginning to print?
[/quote]

Now I’ve used your carts in various incarnations over the years and have read these instructions many times. But perhaps not carefully enough. I would have said that I followed the spirit of them, if not the letter. To be honest, I was a little confused about this 15 minute wait, and whether it was in or out the printer. Reading again carefully I see that it’s in the printer.

Now I’ve never found the need to do this in the 1410 and R1900 carts that I’ve used. Moreover, I have been a little reluctant to let the freshly installed carts sit in the printer with the head in the ink exchange position for very long. I had a set of refillables from HK drain into the printer and create such a mess in my R2400 that I’ve been gun-shy about doing this. I’ve been in a rush to get the head back over the capping station asap. I have had similar issues on a lesser scale with my ancient 2100, where newly installed carts tended to drip a bit every time they were reinstalled.

But it seems to have done the trick. I have to confess that it’s a little embarrassing that a long time user of your products had to be reminded to read and follow the instructions carefully. Thank you for doing so so patiently and politely.

In my view what this illustrates is that there’s a lot of variability - between printers of essentially the same model (R1900 & R2880) and no doubt between batches of cartridges - if you can just put the carts into some printers and have them work straight away, but need to be more careful and follow the instructions to the letter with others.

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5118]
In my experience, it’s normal to sometimes have a drop of ink at the exit port of the cartridge, but a good size puddle under the cart would indicate the exit valve didn’t close/seal for whatever reason. This isn’t necessarily a defective cart, but could possibly cause flow issues. On occasion, when I have found a lot of ink under a cart that is stored out of the printer, I generally throw it away and use a new cartridge (but this doesn’t happen often), but with a small drop under a cart, I wipe up the drip and install/use the carts.[/QUOTE]

That magenta cart that was stored out of the printer has continued to leak, and I would say rather more than before. I did clean up around the exit valve and put it in a fresh plastic bag, and there was a bigger pool of ink. This cart may not have been the cause of the problem, but it can’t have helped.

This was a brand new cart that came in my last order. Can it be replaced? I can post it back to you (after washing it out with distilled water) if that would help at all.


#5

Thanks for the update Brian~

You’re very welcome, we’re here to help! I also appreciate your patience and detailed feedback to work thru this with me.

Products change over time, and our experience/knowledge about products, printers, and how things work change/evolve over time. When carts are first filled with ink, there is often air around the exit channel, which can interrupt ink flow, which is why we say to tap carts exit valve down a few times, and wait a few minutes after installing carts to allow air to rise and ink to settle for the best ink flow results. It’s ok to install carts, close the cartridge chamber lid and push the ink change button to move the head/cartridge carriage out of the ink change position, and back to the home position, then wait a few minutes before beginning to print.

Desktop refillable cartridges are bought, packaged and sold as sets, so we don’t have individual carts available. Dividing the $29.99 cartridge set by 9 carts in the set, equals $3.33 per cartridge- shipping an individual cart to you would cost a lot more than that. If you’d like, I can add a note to apply a $3.33 discount to your next order in lieu of the individual cart.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:


#6

This comment really surprises me. On these 13" printers with the carts on top of the head, if I press the ink change button after installing refilled carts then that will nearly always trigger an immediate head cleaning cycle. The understanding that I had come to from a close reading of the instructions lead me to believe that I should avoid this, i.e. you don’t want any ink being pulled out the cart by any means until the ink has settled. After all, if the carts can tolerate a head clean without causing issues, why couldn’t they print? I concluded that it was the too-soon head clean that had been causing the problem.

I guess I could press the off button rather than the ink button - I think that will move the head back to the parked position without a clean. But after the problems I’ve had it seems to me that this particular example of the R2880 printer with this generation of carts make for a delicate ecosystem, and I’m keen to avoid a repeat of those problems.

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5137]
Desktop refillable cartridges are bought, packaged and sold as sets, so we don’t have individual carts available. Dividing the $29.99 cartridge set by 9 carts in the set, equals $3.33 per cartridge- shipping an individual cart to you would cost a lot more than that. If you’d like, I can add a note to apply a $3.33 discount to your next order in lieu of the individual cart. [/QUOTE]

If that’s the best that can be done then yes please. Although it isn’t a lot of use to me as I now have a set of new carts that isn’t complete any more. I thought I’d seen you offer to ship a fresh set to US-based customers in such circumstances. I know postage is an issue - anything that could be added to the next order, whenever than may be, would be fine. Even one unused, spare cart of any colour that you had lying around which I could swap the M chip to, or even a cart without a chip.

Thanks again.