Clarification of Adjustment Program Commands for Epson 4900 Flushing

4900
piezography

#1

I have an Epson 4900 printer that has seen light duty over it’s three year lifetime that has developed a defect in the middle third of the MK channel only. It has performed very nicely over it’s lifetime however the most recent printer head problem has not resolved despite several manual “poweful” paired head cleaning cycles effected through the printer’s LCD screen. I have taken it to a local certified Epson repair center and after one week I was told that I needed a new printer head which would cost about $1,600. Unfortunately, they did nothing more than I had already tried to clear the blocked channel. Since the machine has performed very well up until now and also since I had just purchased a full set of eleven carts for the printer I decided I would try to clear the head. In researching how to do this I came across the InkJet Mall website and ordered eleven carts and a gallon of PiezoFlush to try to clear the blocked channel. I also downloaded and installed the recommended Adjustment Program(AP_4900), however, it is unclear which option to use in the Adjustment Program. It appears as though there are three options that might work:

Option One, Section 2.3, “Cleaning”

                                  It states:  "Select the cleaning strength between "CL1", "CL2" and "CL3". (CL3 is the strongest cleaning)
  • If you do not wish to clean all the nozzle lines, select the pairs you wish to clean. (Multiple selection possible)
  • Click [Run] to start the cleaning.
    CL 2 on all lines is recommended after setting a new print head. (To fill the head with ink)"

I believe this may be similar to the “Powerful” manual cleaning that I have already tried thru the printer LCD. It apears as though it intended to be used with ink to try to clean the head but I could substitute PiezoFlush but I think the volume may may not be sufficient to clear the blocked channel so I don’t believe this is my best option.

Option Two, Section 3.3, “Ink Eject and Initial Charge”

                                 It states:   "Select "Ink Eject" to minimize the ink remaining on the ink tubes when exchanging the tubes, the ink selector or the ink holders. Select also the side you need to eject the ink from then remove the corresponding ink cartridges and click [run]. (Both sides can be selected together)

You may run the procedure twice to reduce further the amount of ink remaining in the tubes.

  • Select “Ink Charge” to perform an ink charge on the selected side. (No need to charge a side already charged) It is necessary to insert the corresponding ink cartridges. (Both sides can be selected together)"

It looks to me that the “Ink Eject” function is to empty tubes prior to repair work. I am concerned that the printer may not run this program if it recognizes the PiezoFlush cartridges as being filled with ink since it indicates that the cartridges should be removed. The “Ink Charge” command may work though. Do you recommend this, or the next option…

Option Three, Section 3.6, “Tubes Cleaning”

                                It states:   "You may use Service Cleaning Cartridges to clean the tubes and try to recover from ink hardening or difficult missing nozzle. (Please note that the efficiency cannot be guaranteed)

Cleaning the tubes allows also to reduce the risk of problems that may arise when storing the printer when not using it for a long time (several months).
Do not run the sequence if you do not have cleaning cartridges!

  • Procedure -
  1. If you do not wish to clean all the tubes, select the color pairs you wish to clean. (Multiple selection possible)
  2. Remove the corresponding Ink Cartridges.
  3. Click [Run], then insert and remove the cleaning cartridges according to the instructions displayed by the program.
    (Note: the tubes will be cleaned twice in order to maintain the initial ink charge sucess rate.)
  • Reference -
    Cleaning Liquid required to clean the tubes (twice):
  • C/M: 23ml per slot,
  • Bk/Lk: 36ml per slot,
  • Or/Gr: 25ml per slot,
  • LLk/Y: 24ml per slot,
  • Lm/Lc: 24ml per slot.

This sounds ideal (lots of volume and it’s designed to clean a stubborn blockage) but I am concerned that the printer may recognize the PiezoFlush-filled cartridges as ink-filled cartridges instead of the Epson Service Cleaning Cartridges and not allow the program to run.

I assume the portion of the program called, “Ink Charge” is similar to, “Initial Charge” mentioned in Option Two(above).

I look forward to your input,
miker


#2

Hi Mike~

When I have flushed our 4900s, I believe I used the “Initial Charge” without doing the “Ink Eject” first. The “Tubes Cleaning” cycle sounds good, but I’m not sue if the printer will perform the cycle with our carts installed, or if it’s programmed to look for specific cleaning cartridge chips.

After charging your printer with PiezoFlush, I recommend printing a nozzle check to see if all channels are printing pink, and check how the nozzles are printing. If all channels are pink with PiezoFlush, but the center section of the black channel is still missing, then I suggest cleaning the printer’s capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the head following our instructions, here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance, then do 1-2 regular cleaning cycles and shut the printer down for at least 12-24 hrs before doing any more cleaning cycles or nozzle checks. Don’t do too many of any cleaning cycle in a row, or you could burn out the head and be worse off then when you started- it’s best to do only a few regular paired or all channel cleaning cycles, or a few power clean cycles, or one initial fill cycle at a time, then print a nozzle check to see how things look, and let your printer rest if the nozzle check still doesn’t look good, then do another cleaning a few hours later or the next day.

I hope this helps, best regards~ Dana


#3

Dana,

Just an FYI for you and the Forum readers -Option One (Section 2.3, “Cleaning” in the Adjustment Program) sounds and lasts just about the same as the “Powerful” cleaning available from the LCD display on the printer so I have just been using the one available on the printer LCD for cleaning. Option Three (Section 3.6, “Tubes Cleaning” of the Adjustment Program) , unfortunately, does not work with the carts from InkJet Mall. I get a message from the Adjustment Program that the cleaning carts are empty. I guess you need special Epson cleaning carts to use this function. I have tried to find them on-line and elsewhere but no one (including an Epson repair facility) seems to be aware they exist. The cleaning carts would be nice to have to use with the “Tubes Cleaning” function, maybe you guys should look into producing some?

Anyway, I have followed your advice (charged all channels with PiezoFlush using the “Initial Charge” command in Option Two (Section 3.3, “Ink Eject and Initial Charge”, of the Adjustment Program), nozzle check (all pink but still missing central PK/MK), cleaned the capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the head, followed by several cleaning cycles, but unfortunately I still have the same partially missing channel. I guess I will just continue the daily clean-nozzle check-wait cycle and hope for some improvement.

If there is no improvement I am planning on moth-balling the printer with PiezoFlush just in case I decide to try K7 printng some day or I need spare parts for my new 4900. Yes, I would, and will probably need to, buy another 4900 (with a 3 yr extended warranty this time) especially since I now have about a thousand dollars invested in new ink for the existing 4900 and a full set of carts and a whole lot of PiezoFlush from InkJet Mall.

Thanks for your help and I’ll let you know if there is any improvement,

Miker


#4

Thanks for the helpful information Miker, please do keep us posted with your results.

Best~ Dana


#5

Dana,

I have performed a pair of cleaning cycles twice a day and several ink charges over the last week consuming nearly half a gallon of PiezoFlush with NO improvement.

I GIVE UP! ! !

Thanks for your help,
Miker


#6

Bummer, then it sounds like you have a permanent clog in your print head, in which case you’ll need to replace the head (though, it’s generally more cost effective to replace the whole printer, unfortunately).

Best~ Dana


#7

Dana,

Yes, you are correct and I just received my new 4900. I have moth-balled my old one with PiezoFlush and packed it away in the new printers shipping box. Let me know if you know of anyone who wants a very lightly used 4900 with a partially blocked PK chaneel for K7 Piezography.

Thanks for your help,
Miker


#8

Are you sure you don’t want to make use of it as a Piezography matte printer? I could modify curves for a custom shade setup.


#9

Dana,

I would LOVE to do that but I don’t think I have space for two 4900’s.

Can you tell me a good source for learning about making “digital negatives” with a printer set up for piezography?

Thanks,
Miker


#10

I know space is a big deciding factor…

We provide lots of helpful information for making Piezography Digital Negatives in our NEW Piezography Manual, starting on page 23 (if you don’t have it already, the manual can be found here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?130-The-NEW-Piezography-Manual or here: http://www.piezography.com/PiezoPress/technical-support/
We also have several posts about it on our Piezography blog, here: http://www.piezography.com/PiezoPress/category/blog/

Please let me know if there’s anything else we can help you with.
Best~ Dana


#11

[QUOTE=miker;5257]I have an Epson 4900 printer that has seen light duty over it’s three year lifetime that has developed a defect in the middle third of the MK channel only. It has performed very nicely over it’s lifetime however the most recent printer head problem has not resolved despite several manual “poweful” paired head cleaning cycles effected through the printer’s LCD screen. I have taken it to a local certified Epson repair center and after one week I was told that I needed a new printer head which would cost about $1,600. Unfortunately, they did nothing more than I had already tried to clear the blocked channel. Since the machine has performed very well up until now and also since I had just purchased a full set of eleven carts for the printer I decided I would try to clear the head. In researching how to do this I came across the InkJet Mall website and ordered eleven carts and a gallon of PiezoFlush to try to clear the blocked channel. I also downloaded and installed the recommended Adjustment Program(AP_4900), however, it is unclear which option to use in the Adjustment Program. It appears as though there are three options that might work:

Option One, Section 2.3, “Cleaning”

                                  It states:  "Select the cleaning strength between "CL1", "CL2" and "CL3". (CL3 is the strongest cleaning)
  • If you do not wish to clean all the nozzle lines, select the pairs you wish to clean. (Multiple selection possible)
  • Click [Run] to start the cleaning.
    CL 2 on all lines is recommended after setting a new print head. (To fill the head with ink)"

I believe this may be similar to the “Powerful” manual cleaning that I have already tried thru the printer LCD. It apears as though it intended to be used with ink to try to clean the head but I could substitute PiezoFlush but I think the volume may may not be sufficient to clear the blocked channel so I don’t believe this is my best option.

Option Two, Section 3.3, “Ink Eject and Initial Charge”

                                 It states:   "Select "Ink Eject" to minimize the ink remaining on the ink tubes when exchanging the tubes, the ink selector or the ink holders. Select also the side you need to eject the ink from then remove the corresponding ink cartridges and click [run]. (Both sides can be selected together)

You may run the procedure twice to reduce further the amount of ink remaining in the tubes.

  • Select “Ink Charge” to perform an ink charge on the selected side. (No need to charge a side already charged) It is necessary to insert the corresponding ink cartridges. (Both sides can be selected together)"

It looks to me that the “Ink Eject” function is to empty tubes prior to repair work. I am concerned that the printer may not run this program if it recognizes the PiezoFlush cartridges as being filled with ink since it indicates that the cartridges should be removed. The “Ink Charge” command may work though. Do you recommend this, or the next option…

Option Three, Section 3.6, “Tubes Cleaning”

                                It states:   "You may use Service Cleaning Cartridges to clean the tubes and try to recover from ink hardening or difficult missing nozzle. (Please note that the efficiency cannot be guaranteed)

Cleaning the tubes allows also to reduce the risk of problems that may arise when storing the printer when not using it for a long time (several months).
Do not run the sequence if you do not have cleaning cartridges!

  • Procedure -
  1. If you do not wish to clean all the tubes, select the color pairs you wish to clean. (Multiple selection possible)
  2. Remove the corresponding Ink Cartridges.
  3. Click [Run], then insert and remove the cleaning cartridges according to the instructions displayed by the program.
    (Note: the tubes will be cleaned twice in order to maintain the initial ink charge sucess rate.)
  • Reference -
    Cleaning Liquid required to clean the tubes (twice):
  • C/M: 23ml per slot,
  • Bk/Lk: 36ml per slot,
  • Or/Gr: 25ml per slot,
  • LLk/Y: 24ml per slot,
  • Lm/Lc: 24ml per slot.

This sounds ideal (lots of volume and it’s designed to clean a stubborn blockage) but I am concerned that the printer may recognize the PiezoFlush-filled cartridges as ink-filled cartridges instead of the Epson Service Cleaning Cartridges and not allow the program to run.

I assume the portion of the program called, “Ink Charge” is similar to, “Initial Charge” mentioned in Option Two(above).

I look forward to your input,
miker[/QUOTE]

Hi –

I tried the “tubes cleaning option” to the service program with your refillable cartridges and piezoFlush. It clearly won’t work. The epson 4900 printer thinks your cartridges are ink cartridges and not cleaning cartridges. As stated it would be REALLY nice if we could run this function of the service program.

Don


#12

Yes, apparently the “tubes cleaning option” requires special Epson cleaning carts (which are probably only available to certified techs, and not the general public), and the printer can tell what carts are installed by reading the chips. We have no plans to modify current or make new chips for the 4900 to work as cleaning carts needed to run the “tubes cleaning” cycle. We recommend using our refillable carts with PiezoFlush fluid to run the “Ink Charge” cycle to flush the printer.

Best regards~ Dana


#13

Don, thanks for your post. Was curious how you measured those ink charge volumes? Were those volumes for a single channel ink charge under tube cleaning? I assume also the piezoflush carts were installed instead of ink. I have been attempting exactly that myself on my 4900. Unfortunately I get about 1.5 grams maximum ink out of any channel I try. I put the waste ink tube into a cup to measure and also weighed the piezoflush carts to validate.

I put a gauge on the line going up to the cartridge manifolds and it reads about 10mm-hg when it does that pulsing sound before every print. You know the bzzzzzzzzSTOP…bzzzzzzzzzSTOP sound. So when it is buzzing the vacuum is on and when it stops it releases it. I’m guessing that pump is probably OK since it seems to be creating a vacuum at least. I have no idea what it does to the manifolds or for what purpose as the carts are not pressurized in the 4900 AFAIK.

Anyway I also totally cleaned and checked the capping/pumping station. It seems to be operating very well but still no ink comes out during ink fills. At this point I am thinking my problem must be damper related. Maybe if I keep at it and finally get the piezoflush in there to soak things will start freeing up.

Jerry