Black spots in shade 6 on my 1430


#1

I posted this by mistake in the beta-tester forum 2 days ago. It has disappeared. I don’t know why. Let’s try again.

After not using my 1430 for a few weeks, I did some routine cleaning and refilled the cartridges. The I ran the 6-channel purge image in calibration mode to be sure all was well before getting down to making negatives. (I use this printer only for PiezoDN negatives.) Here is what came out:

Shade 6 is full of random black (or maybe I should say dark) spots for the entire length of the image. I’ve never seen (or heard of) anything like it in the 20-something years I’ve been using inkjet printers. Walker has previously suggested checking the ink stems:

Shade 6 is at the far left and is relatively clean. Black is next to it and rather messy. I cleaned them all and have run several more purge pages, but the problem persists.

Has anyone seen anything like this? Is there a solution?

Also of note, in the nozzle check there is 1 segment missing in shade 4. It’s been like this for about 3 months, but I haven’t seen any ill effects on my negatives so I’ve been ignoring it.

~ Keith


#2

Sorry for the missing post. I tried moving it to another category upon your request but I may have inadvertently deleted it.

This is the first time I’ve seen this (have not seen this issue on any printer at IJM) so I’m interested if anyone else has this issue as well. I did a test of existing carbon LOT in a 1430 today to verify that the shade 6 is good and no dots (new cartridge) so this still points to some infiltration of a different ink into the cartridge or ink inlet stem.

best
Walker


#3

New one for me too, and I thought I had seen all possible desktop gremlins. If it were mine, I’d do a full Dana clean routine, but you say that you’ve just done one. Perhaps do another extra-thorough one, esp under the print head. I can’t see that it’s ink contamination, and there’s no sign of cross-channel bleeding in the nozzle check.


#4

Thanks, guys. I’ve got an extra full set of carts so I’ll replace the Y and K to start with and see what happens. I will report back later.

I do the full cleaning routine, using a lint-free scanner wipe rather than Bounty paper towel which make a huge difference, and cleaning the cap and wiper, every couple of weeks when it’s being used regularly. There does seem to be more ink around the cap (as opposed to in it) than I’d like to see, and the wiper is always gunked up, but the regular cleanings have kept it humming along. I’ll be very happy if this little machine gets me thru the summer, or until we solve the mystery of why my 3880 can’t make a decent negative.


#5

Absolutely no change after replacing the Y and K cartridges. This has to be caused by something inside the head doesn’t it? Nozzle checks are still perfect except for the one missing segment in Shade 4.

It has been typical with this printer that the first nozzle check after being idle for more than a few days has a few dark segments in the Shade 6 (Y) channel, but it always clears on the first cleaning so I never considered it to be of any significance.

I’m inclined to think this thing is toast.


#6

It doesn’t look good Keith, but because it’s such an unusual and unprecedented problem it’s hard to know.

Have you tried using the cleaning kit to push flush through the print head? Do the spots show in an actual print?

I wonder whether the seal inside the head between shade 6 and the adjacent shade is gone, except that you’d expect more generalised contamination plus issues in the nozzle check if that were the case, and not this outbreak of printer measles. I also think that I can see some spots in shade 4, which is towards the other end of the print head.


#7

You may want to check the ink pad that sits to the far left when facing the front of the printer for ink build up.

JP


#8

I’ve had a similar problem on my 1430 for a while. After a few days of non-use, according to my nozzle checks, I could see that #6 is darker than it should be (either a few or all of the lines are dark). After a flush of the #6 nozzle in calibration mode, or sometimes a cleaning cycle, the problem disappears. Nowadays, before and after any serious negative printing, I always do nozzle checks to insure that #1 hasn’t migrated over into #6 during the printing.

I hope this helps.

Alan


#9

Assuming you printed those strips in calibration mode, would it be possible that the file you use (that doesn’t look like the usual inksep.psd) got corrupted and asks the printer to fire a bit of other channel(s) in your shade 6 strip?
Maybe you could check in PS this strip has no wrong pixel?
Sorry if this is silly, I have barely used the calibration mode myself…


#10

Well, it just gets curiouser and curiouser.

Following up on Brian’s observation, I looked closer at the rest of the purge print using a loupe, but determined that what appears might be similar spots in other channels is actually paper texture.

This morning I followed Mazer’s suggestion to check the left side waste pad which was indeed quite saturated. I sopped up the ink and flushed it with PF and sopped that up until no more ink could be removed. Then I ran a cleaning cycle, nozzle check, and 6-channel purge, but there was no change.

I had already mentioned what Alan (docsock) noted about some black (or darker ink of whatever shade) in the Shade 6 section of the nozzle check, and that it always clears up on the first cleaning cycle. I think this is just picked up from the cap when the printer is idle for any length of time.

I looked at the file in PS as suggested by s.christiansen (is it Stefan?) but don’t see anything weird there, though I’m not sure what it would look like if it was corrupted.

This afternoon, following up on Brian’s question of whether this shows on an actual print (or negative in my case), I printed a target file to compare to one from a few months ago. There is no sign of trouble here, even in the lightest steps. Maybe there is hope, and this has been a red herring.

So I am going to next print an actual (non-target) image file.

Thanks for all the input.

Keith


#11

There are a range of possible causes of printer problems that often get mentioned in discussions like this, such as the left-side waste pad, but I don’t see that any of them can explain your printer’s apparent dose of measles. The symptoms you typically see are missing nozzles, cross-channel contamination in nozzle checks and purge patterns, and banding in purge patterns. I.e. more general symptoms, such as what you see after leaving the printer idle for some time. You now appear to have selected nozzles randomly printing the wrong shade, and that to me implies something in or under the head.

If the nozzle checks are fine and images are fine, then like s.christiansen I’d start to suspect the purge pattern. Given the way that these colour codes operate in calibration mode, it would only take a few pixels to be off by just one RGB unit in R or G or B to get this effect, and you’d never spot it in a visual inspection of the TIFF in Photoshop with the naked eye. You could get such artefacts from resizing the page and not using nearest neighbour method, although I’d then expect to see this effect in all channels.

The print head deposits ink on the left-side pad at various stages, but particularly after a chip reset and I think a head clean. If things are working well then the deposits are in a couple of thin lines, but if your cartridges are leaking because there is insufficient internal back-pressure, then you get a general area of wet ink. Given this, I tend to regard wetness in this area as symptomatic of problems rather than a cause of problems. There are maintenance videos around (e.g. jtoolman / Jose Rodrigues, not IJM) which recommend cleaning this area, but I’ve not seen any clear evidence that you really need to. But then there’s probably no harm in doing so either, esp if it is very wet, as can happen after a leaky cart.


#12

The left ink pad on the Epson 1430 is split with a thin plastic strip. The smaller section of the pad is further to the left. On all three of my 1430 printers a thin line of ink builds up there which requires cleaning about every week depending on the printer’s use. If that thin line of ink reaches a certain height then it will contaminate the print head. The contamination usually shows up on a nozzle check with shade 6 printing darker and/or missing nozzles in other ink shades. Once the contamination happens then a head cleaning is required, but after cleaning the ink pad.

In this particular situation here, I would print just a shade 6 flush image at 25% on plain paper in calibration mode. I usually resize the QTR calibration mode flush files to 720dpi and then duplicate the image so that they fit nicely on 8.5x11 paper. I would think that this would give one a good idea of the integrity of shade 6. I’m also using the flush files that came with QTR and not the Piezography Community Edition package.

JP


#13

Another useful tool in addition to the printer’s nozzle check utility is the WIcReset App. The app’s color check pattern provides a finer check of the nozzles than just a plain nozzle check although shade 6 can be hard to see since it’s pretty light. I use a 8x lupe.

JP


#14

The left ink pad on the Epson 1430 is split with a thin plastic strip. The smaller section of the pad is further to the left. On all three of my 1430 printers a thin line of ink builds up there which requires cleaning about every week depending on the printer’s use. If that thin line of ink reaches a certain height then it will contaminate the print head. The contamination usually shows up on a nozzle check with shade 6 printing darker and/or missing nozzles in other ink shades. Once the contamination happens then a head cleaning is required, but after cleaning the ink pad.

I’ve not experienced this behaviour in any of: R1410, R1900, 2100, R2400, R2880, 3880. So if this is happening on the R1430 then there must be something different about that printer. I am a little sceptical that the left ink pad is the culprit. There could be an other cause, and the head clean mops up the symptoms. The symptoms you describe are unfortunately common, and generally attributed to a dirty capping station or leaking carts.


#15

As I got to work on the new suggestions, I started by looking for the QTR flush files mentioned by Mazer. Weird thing is I didn’t find any, though I did find the ink separation files and decided to print that just for fun. It printed fine with no sign of the problem. Then I looked at my Piezo QTR Cal Mode Flush Images folder and noticed I have 3 6-channel files, I don’t remember why, there should only be one. One is a jpeg that I’ve never used; the other 2 are tiffs but the image sizes are slightly different, though the file names are the same except for the lack of a space in one of them. Luckily I can tell from the recent files list in P-T which one I had been using, so I ran a test with the other one and it is perfect. Apparently the problem is in the file I was printing, and I’m guessing I hadn’t used that one previously. I don’t know where it came from or why I have it, but it and the jpeg are going in the trash.

I think we can call this solved. Not a printer problem at all, but a file problem. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions.

Keith


#16

"As I got to work on the new suggestions, I started by looking for the QTR flush files mentioned by Mazer. Weird thing is I didn’t find any, though I did find the ink separation files and decided to print that just for fun. It printed fine with no sign of the problem. "

I assume he meant the ink separation pages. There is a 6 ink version. I am not aware of any flush images that ship with QTR. The term ‘flush images’ usually refers to the files attached to Dana’s initial post in this thread, although you can use the ink separation pages as flush images and an alternative nozzle check.

Glad you got it sorted. Isn’t it frustrating how much time one can waste on little glitches like this?