Cartridge Errors


#1

First of all, I am new to Piezography and filling cartridges, etc. I am trying to work through my problems and have solved several in the last few days. I am sure I have made errors that others have made and have resolved one way or another. In an effort to move forward and not constantly bug Jon Cone I joined this forum and am reaching out for assistance.

In trying to get my system up and running on my R2400 I have been experiencing banding. I have run several cleaning cycles and test prints with each result being different but not 100%. After several cycles this morning I showed a low ink light in the yellow cartridge. Since I had to fill the yellow cartridge I thought it would smart to refill them all even though I have only made two photo prints and a dozen or so head test prints. After refilling all eight cartridges I reinstalled them and tried to run a test print but I immediately started getting error (low ink) messages on cartridges. I removed and replaced the cartridges and the error message would go away but I would then get an error message on a different cartridge. This continued until I had removed and replaced most, if not all of the cartridges. It was a bit bit like a game of “Whack a Mole”.

I reviewed the refilling instructions and tried to find my error but I didn’t see anything that I did wrong.

Any suggestions?


#2

I now see in the FAQ section of this forum that I should not have refilled partially empty cartridges due to chip resetting issues. However, I don’t understand how the Yellow cartridge became empty and the others did not. Basically I have only printed head tests since originally filling the cartridges. Shouldn’t all the carts have used about the same amount of ink?


#3

Also, I should point out that I am trying to solve a banding problem in my prints. I have run around 10 cleaning cycles with no resolution. Yes, I did flush the system with a flushing kit before installing the Piezography inks.


#4

So it may just be a maintenance issue.

The Epson carts use a micro channel venting network that is patented. So the replacement carts use a hole. The ink in the OEM carts will not drop as easy as it will with the replacement carts. That your yellow position cart drained is a sign that the capping station (where the printer does its head cleaning) is probably very dirty. Unless you clean this every six months you can expect this area (including the wiper blade) to get very gunky. If the print head comes close enough for capillary action to occur - it simply wicks the ink straight out of the carts. So look at this article here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance

The chips can not be reset by refilling the cartridges. In fact, the chip has no idea whether you refill them or not. They only reset, when the light comes on the printer and alerts you that the cart is empty. That happens mathematically rather than volumetrically. So if you remove the cart when the light is lit up and replace it - the chip resets (whether you refill them or not!)

There is an article about this phenomena here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/wordpress/product-use/having-trouble-resetting-desktop-cartridges/

So if you wish to remove and refill the carts when you want to rather than when you need to - you can reset them anytime you wish with a chip resetter sold here: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/sc.11/category.34589/.f

If indeed you are having a maintenance issue you will have banding. So possibly if not probably, cleaning your printer will remedy this - and because you have the PiezoFlush already you will be able to clean your capping station and wiper blade. It should make a great difference. Kelly ran some exhaustive testing on the desktop cartridges with clean and with dirty printers here and reported on it.

It’s not unusual for Epson printer users to not perform routine maintenance until they have to. But, cleaning these areas are something we recommend twice a year.

Dana will be on tech support on Monday (maybe this weekend) - so give the video a look at and clean your printer and let us know if that does the trick.

Best,

Jon


#5

Thanks Jon. I did this cleaning procedure prior to installing the Piezography inks. I guess I will try again.


#6

You cleaned the capping station and also the wiper blade and print head?

Was this printer in constant use prior to installing or did you take an unused printer that was sitting?

Does it work well with the OEM carts?


#7

I followed all the procedures in the cleaning video. I cleaned the capping station, cleaned the print head and flushed the print head as shown in the video. The only thing I didn’t do that was in the video was to clean the wiper blade because I couldn’t find one on the R2400.


#8

…and yes, it was working with OEM carts prior to just before switching inks. The printer sat unused for maybe two weeks prior to the switch.


#9

I don’t wish to discourage you, but there are several of us here who have tried to get an R2400 to work with IJM refillables and failed. My printer is not the best example, as it had a troubled history, but jeffg had one similar to yours - working well with OEM - and his experience sounds rather similar. There are a several other such users if you search the forum. These printers are now getting quite old and my view is that their age, plus the older refillable cartridge design used, makes them problematic. Admittedly that’s on a small sample of evidence but that’s all I have to go on. See also The lessons I’ve learnt from using desktop refillables over 9 years. Sometimes despite doing all you can to service the printer and follow correct procedures, you can be plain out of luck. I hope you’re not …


#10

I hope not as well. I am in to this to the tune of about $500 at this point.


#11

Thanks for the lessons learned, though it wasn’t very encouraging.


#12

So, you’ve cleaned the capping station and it is still wicking ink - then the capping station may just be too old and swelled and making contact with the bottom of the print head. That’s not ideal to be sure. I am not certain that there is a remedy for that other than replacing the capping station.

The refillable carts vents are much wider than the OEM. So the ink is just going to drop if the head is making contact either directly or via moisture. There may be something to trying to close the vents off to try and match the OEM. But, that would be a matter of experimenting. The OEMs vent through a very tiny channel. There may be a possibility that the capping station is not swelled from age but instead the drain tube is not draining and needs to be cleaned. It could be that the capping station is just remaining excessively moist and this is why the heads are draining. If the prime is being interfered with - this can be the source of the overall banding. Wicking can produce air in the ink channels.

It’s a question perhaps, of how far do you want to go down the rabbit hole with this printer? The R2400 was discontinued here in the USA about 8 years ago and replaced by the Epson R2880 which of course was replaced by the R3000 now too replaced recently. And I am guessing that you probably have not done any component replacements on this printer and will not want to because of costs vs age of printer. So age may be the limiting factor of this printer.

If you’re serious about Piezography, you should be doing it on the best condition printer you own or can find. It’s a very high performance system and it depends upon you to supply the hardware and operate the software correctly. Here in the USA you could have completely refurbished an R2400 last year for $93.90 which would get you the pump, the capping station, and a wiper. But, Epson just recently stopped support of this printer, the 7600, 9600 and 4000. (7 years since discontinuation.)

You can still buy a refurb kit for an R2880 for only $48.78. So you might want to return your 2400 to color since it works with the OEM carts still. And get a good used inexpensive R2880 and hope for the best that its been well maintained. If the print head works when you test it - and all nozzles are firing true - you can refurbish the clean station when you need to for under $50. But you may be able to use it as is.

(go for cleaning the tubing from the drain system - it’s worth a shot for sure!)


#13

Jon,

I thought about your last response all day before writing this reply.

This afternoon I went through the entire cleaning process again and refilled the cartridges for the third time. Several of the cartridges were completely empty again after only a few nozzle checks and no prints made. The results after recleaning were without improvement.

When I initially contacted you and asked for advice regarding the use of my R2400 there was no mention of the issues you bring up in this last response. Had you shared that information when I inquired I would have never made the decision to invest over $540 to see if it would work on my R2400. I would either purchased a newer printer that you felt would be better for your system or I would have given up on the whole idea. This is really distressing to me. At this point I feel like I have thrown away a lot of time and money.


#14

We take it for granted that everyone keeps their printers in good condition - so we do not go over a preventative maintenance list with our customers prior to their ordering. Those who do not are often found on this support forum. Epson recommends annual maintenance and we do not police our customers. It is actually quite unusual that you have not received the “[B]Certain Parts inside your printer are at the end of their service life[/B]” message. That only indicates that you have not run very much ink through your printer. This Epson message is based upon ink usage rather than actual age. Had you received this message - your printer would have locked you out - and you would have been in a position to think about replacing these components. Most customers actually get a software to unlock their printers when they get the message and ignore the idea that certain parts are actually reaching the end of their service life. But these parts are the ones I indicated to you earlier, in addition to an absorbent pad that should be replaced. This is life with an Epson printer.

Your R2400 is a very old printer that even Epson no longer supports. I assume yours is from 8 - 11 years old. I am not certain what you should expect from a printer so old - but we do sell Piezography inks into printers that are even older. A few customers are still on Epson PRO 7000 and 7500s as well as R2200s and R2100s. Your R2400 is a replacement for the R2200. We can not even source carts for the R2200 ourselves. But - our customers find their ways and we sell ink to them.

If you want to buy a new printer - I think its a good idea. We have tons of customers on the R2880s - and those will be supported by Epson for another 6-7 years as they have just only been discontinued. The R3000 is of a new breed that are difficult to maintain without the PC only Service Adjustment Utility software.

If you find a new printer or a good used R2880 let me know and I will help you into cartridges. The inks are the same between printer models.


#15

Jon, I appreciate your offer to help me with cartridges if I get another printer., but I don’t think I am willing to take that risk again based on my experience with the 2400, I just can’t afford to risk the investment in another older printer. The only thing I am at all considering is converting my 3880 but then I would be stuck with B&W print capability only.


#16

[QUOTE=jon;7921]so we do not go over a preventative maintenance list with our customers prior to their ordering. [/QUOTE]

As a general statement that’s understandable, but with desktop printers, the older the printer the higher the risk. And the various reports on this forum indicate that that’s especially true for the R2400. I think a note cautionary to potential customers regarding this printer would be in order.


#17

[QUOTE=LEH;7923]Jon, I appreciate your offer to help me with cartridges if I get another printer., but I don’t think I am willing to take that risk again based on my experience with the 2400, I just can’t afford to risk the investment in another older printer. The only thing I am at all considering is converting my 3880 but then I would be stuck with B&W print capability only.[/QUOTE]

No you won’t! Your 2400 you said works with the OEM carts so just continue to use it for color printing. It’s a great idea to convert the 3880.


#18

[QUOTE=Brian_S;7924]As a general statement that’s understandable, but with desktop printers, the older the printer the higher the risk. And the various reports on this forum indicate that that’s especially true for the R2400. I think a note cautionary to potential customers regarding this printer would be in order.[/QUOTE]

Yes the older the printer, the higher the risk. Generally, we drop support for a printer about a year or so after Epson drops support. The supply chain for things like cartridges just evaporates. We dropped support on the R2200. But, its still too soon to drop support on the R2400. We actually supply about 100 new systems every 2-3 months for this printer and anyone with issues would be on this public forum. There are only a few problems as there are with all of the printers we support.

Generally speaking - anything that is a high end system should use high end components as it will reduce to the lowest common denominator. But, that is really something that should be widely known. You would not want to pair a great dry aged rib-eye and a microwave oven to prepare it. Or put unleaded regular fuel into a race car or race motorcycle. Or climb Mt. Everest in Keds shoes carrying a nap-sack. Piezography at minimum, doubles the resolution of an Epson printer - reveals every crevice and crack of poor imaging habits and demands high quality paper that can absorb as much ink as it prints.

Had this particular R2400 been used more over the past 10 years its “service life” warning would have gone off and it may have been rebuilt. But it appears to be used very little.
[B]
And still - it is possible that it only still needs some maintenance. Something is causing the cartridges to wick their ink into the capping station. That same phenomena is causing ink starvation because they are losing their prime.

  1. The wiper blade remains uncleaned as I recall on this thread. That wiper blade is responsible for wiping the moisture off the print head when it cleans. Possibly it is not and too much moisture remains behind.

  2. A greater possibility is that the drain tube is not passing moisture quickly and that needs to be cleaned.
    [/B]
    Were it mine - I would do these two things before giving up. Full maintenance or no maintenance at all!


#19

Thanks. I had cleaned the wiper blade during the second cleaning and I just checked the drain tubes which seemed to be clear. There was a very small amount of ink in each of the tubes but no clogs. To be sure I removed the tubes at the 90 degree fitting using the syringe pulled some cleaning fluid through the capping station. I also removed the print head and flushed it again to be sure there wasn’t any hardened ink on the underside.

I would consider keeping this printer for color and using the 3880 for Piezography but OEM cartriidges for the 2400 are getting difficult to find online and impossible to find locally. That is why I wanted to use the 2400 for Piezography.

Not sure where I am going from here.


#20

Epson has R2400 inks on their site and there are plenty of others selling them in Australia. We get everything last and lose it first so I wouldn’t worry about ink availability. I had a similar problem to what you have had with another R2400. My solution was to get a 3880 and dedicate it to PZ. Following that, I bought a new 1430 and went through four sets of carts before abandoning the attempt. One set was from HK, two locally, and one rechipped IJM. My conclusion is that the desktop printers are great if they work but a living hell when they don’t and you don’t know how or when hell begins.