It’s been a long time since I had my R1410, like nearly six years. At that point I knew nothing about micro-banding in the first and last inch. I only discovered it when I upgraded to my R1900. I read reports from others who claimed no micro-banding on the R1400/1410 and I went back and examined my prints. I couldn’t see any. In one or two instances there may have been the slightest hint of it, but I couldn’t be sure. It’s possible that in fact it’s there but at a much reduced level, and perhaps you only really see it at the 720 setting and not at 2880, which is what you’d normally print at with QTR.
As per the article in my blog, my understanding is that what determines whether a printer has this first and last inch micro-banding is the printer firmware, and whether certain code to deal with the first and last inch is in there or the driver. The smaller printers have in the driver and not in the firmware and so QTR can’t access it. Why the 1400/1410 is an exception is a mystery. But I’m fairly certain that the head won’t make any difference, and given the cost of Epson heads I’d be stunned if they replaced it as part of a refurb on such a cheap printer.
I’m not sure I understand. Thinning the ink in which cartridge? The syringe is normally used in conjunction with the dummy cartridge. You’re using Roark inks, are you not? When you reinsert your ink cartridges, with a mix of black and diluter, the resulting head clean should pull the solution in the cartridge through and the piezoflush should be evacuated as a result. You may need two head cleans for some of the lighter shades, and the odd purge pattern at 2880 might also help.
I have seen the differences between the various 1440 printing resolutions described somewhere but I don’t recall. You’ll have to search. I always print via QTR at 2880 and unidirectional, even on matte paper. If printing via the Epson driver (ABW (heaven forbid) included) on matte paper only then would I drop to 1440.
Regarding the suggestions from JDRamsay, scheduling some sort of regular print job is a useful way to prevent printer problems. This is particularly true on larger printers with ink lines and dampers where you can’t readily (i.e. cheaply) hibernate them. It’s doubly true on the notoriously troublesome x900 printers. On the desktop printers I think it’s better to hibernate them with flush carts for extended absences, as we discussed in another thread.
I think JDRamsey’s implied point is that you can’t automate a QTR calibration mode purge pattern, at least not on Windows. So if you want to use this technique for preventative maintenance, rather than diagnostic and for clearing air, then you have to be present and trigger it manually. For automated purge patterns, you will have to use a different technique such as the one described. These other techniques should be fine for exercising the printer, but the resulting prints will not be as useful as a calibration mode print for diagnostic purposes, because the printouts will be a mix of channels rather than one column per print head channel.