How To Flush Individual Channel using QTR Calibration Mode

(These instructions are provided for changing out inks. Flushing is often used to change inks. This is not the recommended procedure for trying to unclog a printer. To unclog a printer - you need to run a procedure that provides suction rather than isolated printing of the channel. Please refer here for flushing a printer to unclog it.)

To print from one specific ink channel (which is helpful when flushing just one line, without wasting ink in the other positions by doing power clean cycles), you can use the QuadTone RIP’s Calibration Mode. The QuadTone RIP is a $50 shareware program, which can be downloaded from
The QTR Print Tool is necessary when printing from Mac 10.6.8 or higher, for accurate output (other printing applications have screwed up color management that will produce poor Piezography output). QTR PrintTool can also be downloaded from

Pre-made QTR flush images are attached below, and include one image for each color channel, as well as an all-channel image for 8 and 10 color printers

Open QuadTone RIP and select the paper size you wish to print on
Select Tools> Options> Calibration Mode, which will automatically open an inkseparation image file.
Open the desired flush image by selecting File> Open
Select 100% on the “Ink Calibration” slider if printing on heavyweight, coated/print paper or 50-80% if printing on uncoated, very thin or typing paper.
Select the paper feed: either sheet or roll, 1440dpi is fine to select for this purpose, bi-directional will print faster than uni-directional


  1. Open the “QTR flush” image in QTR Print Tool (10.6.8 or higher) or Photoshop (below 10.6.8), specific for the color channel(s) you wish to flush
  2. Select “NO Color Management” in the Print Tool window
  3. Select your K7 printer model, and paper size, then push print
  4. In the QuadTone RIP window- select Calibration Mode, Ink Limit: 100% and Resolution either 1440 or 2880dpi
  5. Select 100% saturation if printing on heavyweight, coated/print paper or 50-80% if printing on uncoated, very thin or typing paper.
  6. Select paper feed: either sheet or roll, 1440dpi is fine to select for this purpose, bi-directional will print faster than uni-directional.

EXAMPLE: The photo below shows two Piezography ink shades being switched using this procedure. To do this, I made a custom flush image using the specific RGB colors for the two color channels I needed to flush, then printed four 24x36 sheets after changing carts loaded in these two positions of the printer (it was a 7880 model printer). If only one channel needs to be purged, then full sheets of that color specific purge sheets should be printed until the new ink is printing fully.

QTR Cal Mode Flush (434.6 KB)

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I think some mention needs to be made about 8 colour printers like the R1900, that have Red, Orange and both blacks. It looks to me like Red uses the LC file, Orange uses the LM file, PK uses the LK File and MK (shade 2) uses the K file. Perhaps there should be a separate zip for these printers. I guess that the R1800 & R2000 are the same, but I don’t know.

Good point Brian. We have a few, though not many users on the R1800, R1900 and R2000 printer models. Yes, the R1900 and R2000 use the same curves. Roy Harrington of QTR makes the Ink Separation images, and he only has them listed by the number of ink channels. I will have to check with Roy to ask about this, and confirm which ink sep file to use with these printers.

Best~ Dana

I asked Roy Harrington, and he said: “They should use the 8 ink sep file. The file shows lk,lm,lc,llk labels but of course they are red, orange, blue, gloss depending on printer. Off hand I don’t remember exact correspondence but should be clear when done.”


Yes, if you want a flush image to do all 8 channels then you still just use the QTR-8 Channel flush.tif file. As Roy said this works even though the labelling is partly incorrect.

But if you want to flush a single channel, which is the point of this thread, then you need to know which image to use for which channel. I can’t speak for other Epson printers, but here is what I believe you should use for the R1900:

Ye Shade 7 - use QTR-Y flush.tif
Ma Shade 6 - use QTR-M flush.tif
Mk Shade 2 - use QTR-K flush.tif
Re Shade 3 - use QTR-LC flush.tif
Or Shade 4 - use QTR-LM flush.tif
Pk Shade 1 - use QTR-LK flush.tif
Go Shade 8 - use QTR-LLK flush.tif
Cy Shade 5 - use QTR-C flush.tif

  1. Select 100% saturation if printing on heavyweight, coated/print paper or 50-80% if printing on uncoated, very thin or typing paper.

I can’t see anything about saturation on the Mac Calibration mode page. has it changed?

It’s now called “Calibration Ink Limit”

I’m using a 1400, which has six colors, and most of these tifs are the same color on my monitor, magenta. The black tif is blue. I have another set of purge files and all the colors are fine.


I’m working on my cyan position… I have Piezoflush in it, and I’ve run about 8 sheets of paper - I’m running various dilutions of black through my carts and all the eight sheets are still black. Shouldn’t I be getting prints of Piezograph pink by now?

Thank you!


Dear Paul.

Please read through the instructions on this page again:

You need to print each specific image using QuadtoneRIP in Calibration Mode (see instructions on link) for it to isolate each individual channel properly.


Thanks for the very quick reply, Walter. Well, I’m quite sure I followed those instructions. I’ll keep looking, it’s possible I might have skipped a step. I’ll let you know!

It did occur to me, when I said all the tifs are magenta, is that this is the color of the Piezography solution. Since these images are using the same fluid for all positions, this color represents what’s actually in the cart, ie the pink (“magenta”) flushing fluid. It’s not the color of the ink that’s normally in the cart. Am I understanding this correctly?



No, you’re not. If you examine those tiffs in photoshop and measure those magenta files that all look the same, you’ll find that in fact while they’re quite close, they’re not exactly the same. When QTR is in calibration mode, it relies on precise colour codes to know which channel to fire, and those slightly different shades of magenta are in fact codes to fire different channels when in calibration mode. If you compare them to the 100% patches in the ink separation page that QTR usually prints out in calibration mode, you’ll find that these tiffs match exactly. You need to print the tiff that contains the code to fire the cyan channel and you need to print it in calibration mode, which I assume is the one labelled cyan although I can’t be completely certain as the tiff files are labelled for the K3 printers.

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Thanks, Brian, for that clarification. I looked at the Information on two of the tiffs (Cyan and Magenta) in Photoshop, and I see now that they were just as you said… slightly different counts for the red channel.

I’m working with a 1400 printer but that’s not a K3 printer, right? How do we know which tiff will fire the Cyan channel? I have a Piezoflush cleaning cart in the Cyan position but when I try and print the Cyan tiff I get a medium/dark gray, even after 10 or 12 prints. I don’t get a pink nozzle check for the Cyan position either.

Sorry, this is all new to me.


I asked a 1430 user and we’re fairly sure that the TIFF labelled Cyan should work on the Cyan channel of the 1430. IJM could probably confirm. In the meantime just try it.

Thanks, Brian, I printed a page just now, with Piezoflush in a flush cart, but it’s all grey, no Piezoflush pink. Actually I printed 8 or 10 pages a while ago, with no pink (see my previous message). How much ink is in the printer head, in other words does the grey ink from the previous cart have to work itself out? Seems like it shouldn’t take 8 or 10 pages worth… but maybe I’m doing something wrong somewhere.

Now starting a second page… grey so far…


PS Is there a feature on this part of the site where an email lets a user know there’s mail? I know there is over in the Forum…

Just tried printing the first couple of inches with the other five TIFFs, with same result. Either I’m still using ink in the head or I’m doing something basically wrong - or stupid.


Sheesh… it was something stupid all right. I wasn’t in Calibration mode! Is there anyway to delete my last two messages?! All pink… this is so embarrassing.

Would this method of flushing a channel allow one to change from MK to MKHD without having to do an init fill? Approximately how many prints from QTR Calibration Mode do you think to would take to accomplish a changeover assuming the printer is a 4880?

@bhiles yes this would allow for that.

About 8-15 sheets of letter sized paper for this printer.


Great! I’m hoping Wells has that ink on sale for Black Friday :wink: One other thing: I have an extra fresh PK cart. I think I can turn that into an MK by switching the chip. Correct? Or do I even need to bother?

Yes, you can simply switch the chip.

Stay tuned on BLK Friday. :slight_smile: