Initial fill, head clog and new cartridge questions

7900
9900

#1

[B]Can I run an initial fill on one bank of cartridges, i.e. the left or right side?[/B] I have read that this is possible, but wanted to check with you to make sure how to do it if it is.

[B]Clog problem:[/B] In July, Epson replaced, under warrantee, the head on my 9900. It has been running flawlessly, not a single clogged nozzle for about 4 months. I have been doing a nozzle check several times a week and never seen an issue. Did a check on Friday, no problems, all nozzles firing, printed some over the weekend. [B]On Monday, half of the rows of nozzles on the cyan head are clogged. The clog is split up into two groups, one of about 10 rows and the other about 5 rows.[/B] Will not clear up with a half dozen regular cleanings. All other heads working perfectly. I’m trying everything I can find on the internet to clear up the clog.

[B]Piezoflush:[/B] I have some empty cartridges and some piezoflush and thinking of doing an initial fill with piezoflush. I have some of your old style cartridges which, if you recall, warped on me. I suppose for the cleaning they will be fine. The initial fill question above relates to this flush.

Do you have any other thoughts about my situation. Why the sudden clog and why the sudden clog of so many nozzles?? What to do about it??

[B]Epson ink/expired ink:[/B] Incidentally, when they replaced the head, they gave me a set of epson color cartridges and it was while it was using epson ink that the head clogged. Never got more than minor clogs with your ink, even though that was enough to get Epson to replace the head. I have a bunch of your ink that is expiring after the first of the year and wonder about it. [B]The repair folks tell me that Epson says their ink never really goes out of date; it just requires more frequent agitation to keep pigment in suspension after the expiration date. What do you think about this in relation to your ink?[/B]

[B]New printer P9000:[/B] If I end up having to pay >$2000 for a new head, I’m thinking of buying one of the new P9000s for $4500. I get a year of service and can get two more for a price and am thinking it may be worth it rather than ending up paying as much to keep this printer running. Maybe I could sell the old one it to a piezo person for something.

Do you know anything about the P9000s? Epson says they have new head technology improving the lifetime of the head, but won’t let me talk to any engineer or anyone who would really know anything about it.

[B]Question about your new style of cartirdge:[/B] Regarding the new style cartridges you gave me, which I am using for some of the colors I don’t have Epson ink for: they have have a plate on one side that keeps falling off. I just push it back on. It looks like it has some channels beneath it but nothing seems to be flowing through the channels. Is this normal?

[B]Incidentally, even with the clogged head,[/B] the printer is printing perfectly. The repair guys say the printer is supposed to compensate for clogged nozzles which is what it seems to be doing. No issue even with prints that have lots of cyan, e.g. blue skies.

–Kenoli


#2

I have not heard that initial fill on one side is possible. if it is - and you can find out how - please share!

Clogs are not always clogs. Sometimes they are air. Sometimes they are a film of ink left behind that the wiper blade did not get. The wiper blades on the X890 and X900 are cheap to buy and very very weak. They seem to pit down the middle and leave residue which looks like a clog when you run the nozzle test.

I think that that holds true for our inks as well, depending on how tightly capped etc. When they give out the drop velocity and formation tends to drop off and you see poor printing. However, if not stored well ink can chemically react. So - I would not put anything in your printer that does not appear right in the bottle.

The P9000 has the same exact head. Epson did not retool. They added firmware improvements which translates into purging out ink through it to try and stave off clogs. They did do something in the firmware to prevent the use of 3rd party chips. So no write backs. Do not buy one thinking you can choose your consumables. Epson states clearly that it is designed to only work with OEM carts and this is true. It may be a very long time until a work around appears. Possibly only using CISS. Write backs to synchronize ink usage are not permitted on non-OEM chips. That door has been closed!

The plate is used to hold the valve in place, right? That is how it’s made.

Did not know the printer will compensate for missing nozzles. WE usually see that with Piezography on our 9900 when its missing a nozzle. But Piezo doubles the output resolution. So maybe with color it’s ok?


#3

[QUOTE=jon;9662]I have not heard that initial fill on one side is possible. if it is - and you can find out how - please share![/QUOTE]

I have heard elsewhere that one side is not possible.

When I do an initial fill, the first fluid that will be pushed through will be the ink in the lines. Should I do it several times to make sure that the piezo flush is pushed (sucked??) through?

How many times when switching back to ink will I have to do an initial flush to fill the tubes and head with ink?

[QUOTE=jon;9662]Clogs are not always clogs. Sometimes they are air. Sometimes they are a film of ink left behind that the wiper blade did not get. The wiper blades on the X890 and X900 are cheap to buy and very very weak. They seem to pit down the middle and leave residue which looks like a clog when you run the nozzle test.[/QUOTE]

I have cleaned the docking station parts as your video shows. These are all also quite new as the head, dampers and docking station was replace in July. Any suggestions for solving the air problem? Will the initial fill solve it?

[QUOTE=jon;9662]I think that that holds true for our inks as well, depending on how tightly capped etc. When they give out the drop velocity and formation tends to drop off and you see poor printing. However, if not stored well ink can chemically react. So - I would not put anything in your printer that does not appear right in the bottle.[/QUOTE]

In the past, we have discussed your expired inks and you have told me to avoid them like the plague. They look just fine in the bottle and nothing appears to have settled out. Interestingly, as I mentioned in another post, I think, this clog happened after I had started to use some Epson inks that the service person gave me. This all leaves me very confused, including having to throw away nearly $1000 of your inks because they are expired.

[QUOTE=jon;9662]The P9000 has the same exact head. Epson did not retool. They added firmware improvements which translates into purging out ink through it to try and stave off clogs. They did do something in the firmware to prevent the use of 3rd party chips. So no write backs. Do not buy one thinking you can choose your consumables. Epson states clearly that it is designed to only work with OEM carts and this is true. It may be a very long time until a work around appears. Possibly only using CISS. Write backs to synchronize ink usage are not permitted on non-OEM chips. That door has been closed![/QUOTE]

Does this mean you are not going to be able to use the P9000 with your piezo inks?

[QUOTE=jon;9662]The plate is used to hold the valve in place, right? That is how it’s made.[/QUOTE]

So, no worry if it falls off and I need to replace it?

[QUOTE=jon;9662]Did not know the printer will compensate for missing nozzles. WE usually see that with Piezography on our 9900 when its missing a nozzle. But Piezo doubles the output resolution. So maybe with color it’s ok?[/QUOTE]

It is actually doing a beautiful job of printing, even with 15 rows of cyan nozzles missing, even images with lots of blue.

I’m actually quite confused about what to do now:

Any advice. Should I:

  1. Just keep printing with the clogged nozzles.
  2. Pay to have a new head installed and stay with this printer. (The first lasted 3 years, the new one lasted 4 months.)
  3. Dump it and buy a new 9900. Not sure if I can even buy one with a warrantee now that the P9000s are out. Adorama and the other places that sold it at a discount are no longer selling them.
  4. By a P9000 and pay for Epson inks.

–Kenoli


#4

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]When I do an initial fill, the first fluid that will be pushed through will be the ink in the lines. Should I do it several times to make sure that the piezo flush is pushed (sucked??) through?[/QUOTE]

We think that you should do it once. Then turn it off and let it soak for 24-48. Then repeat the Initial Fill.

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]How many times when switching back to ink will I have to do an initial flush to fill the tubes and head with ink?[/QUOTE]

One time should do it - you may have a little residual pink that will leave after the first few feet of printing.

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]I have cleaned the docking station parts as your video shows. These are all also quite new as the head, dampers and docking station was replace in July. Any suggestions for solving the air problem? Will the initial fill solve it?[/QUOTE]

Power Clean should rid the air. The dampers are designed for some. If you mean air in the ink lines back - then the INTIAL FILL will purge that out.

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]In the past, we have discussed your expired inks and you have told me to avoid them like the plague. They look just fine in the bottle and nothing appears to have settled out. Interestingly, as I mentioned in another post, I think, this clog happened after I had started to use some Epson inks that the service person gave me. This all leaves me very confused, including having to throw away nearly $1000 of your inks because they are expired.[/QUOTE]

I spoke with a customer yesterday still using Piezography ink from 2010 and it is printing beautifully. So use at your own risk. If you see issues in print quality, discard.

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]Does this mean you are not going to be able to use the P9000 with your piezo inks?[/QUOTE]

The P800 on up are designed to not operate without OEM chips. Period. The P600 acts only disruptive when it encounters a non-OEM chip. I am somewhat confident that by 2017, some type of solution can be offered. We do know some brilliant people are working on solutions.

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]So, no worry if it falls off and I need to replace it?[/QUOTE]

You will need to replace it.

[QUOTE=kenoli;9668]I’m actually quite confused about what to do now:

Any advice. Should I:

  1. Just keep printing with the clogged nozzles.
  2. Pay to have a new head installed and stay with this printer. (The first lasted 3 years, the new one lasted 4 months.)
  3. Dump it and buy a new 9900. Not sure if I can even buy one with a warrantee now that the P9000s are out. Adorama and the other places that sold it at a discount are no longer selling them.
  4. By a P9000 and pay for Epson inks.

–Kenoli[/QUOTE]

If it is working to your satisfaction, the missing nozzles may only be during the nozzle check. Run out a field of cyanish looking colors and see if you can see banding. If not - then its probably just the wiper blade.


#5

[QUOTE=jon;9669]If it is working to your satisfaction, the missing nozzles may only be during the nozzle check. Run out a field of cyanish looking colors and see if you can see banding. If not - then its probably just the wiper blade.[/QUOTE]

So, I filled up a set of your cartridges (old ones with bags) with piezoflush and it took me about three hours to get them all recognized by moving shims around. I still had to leave 2 ink cartridges in the machine as I could never get the machine to recognize them. It was a juggle. There is some odd dependency between cartridges and often if one doesn’t work it causes several others not to work.

Once all the cartridges were recognized, I ran the initial fill. It seems to complete but when the machine shutdown, it said it couldn’t see the yellow cartridge (It could see it at the start). I hope it got all the way through the initial charge. At any rate, I replaced the yellow cartridge with another and ran a nozzle check and the same rows on the cyan cartridge were missing.

I’m seeing many posts where people suddenly lost a section of a head like this (virtually overnight) and, in the end, nothing worked and it seemed to maybe be a manufacturing defect.

Should I run an initial fill again in 24 hours?

I know you are not a seer, but do you have andy sense about whether I should keep throwing money and effort into cleaning this head or just spring for the 2 grand to replace it.

It is clear that Epson will not stand behind manufacturing defects unless they show up right away. there’s no way I will ever know what is going on.

–Kenoli


#6

I can’t believe that Epson does not warranty a replacement head. Doesn’t it have a 12 month warranty? I would think that they would replace it again. But they would take a beating if they replaced all their replacement heads. This new thin film head does not seem to like Epson ink.

I’m not certain I would spend $2,000 to repair. We can convert your printer into Piezography use with only 9 working channels. Did you consider that? And you may wish to invest your money into a new color printer. The cyan (if it gave up the ghost) can be mapped out and you still have enough ink channels to run a K7 matte/glossy system, or a K7 matte system with digital negative, or a glossy / matte K6 system with dig neg. Piezography inks very easy on these print heads. Chances are good this 9900 could remain in service for years on Piezography inks. The inks and carts are much less investment and you can buy a new color printer.


#7

[QUOTE=jon;9677]I can’t believe that Epson does not warranty a replacement head. Doesn’t it have a 12 month warranty? I would think that they would replace it again. But they would take a beating if they replaced all their replacement heads. This new thin film head does not seem to like Epson ink.[/QUOTE]

Epson’s policy: On a head replaced under warrantee, 30 days, if the your service contract runs out during that 30 days. If you pay full price for for the head, then you get 90 days.

Generous, eh? As you suggest, warrantees on manufacturing defects generally do run longer, like a year or sometimes a lifetime.

You might remember that you told me that the warrantee on the defects in your older fillable cartridges were only for 90 days, even if they weren’t discovered until later. I did talk you into one new set, though I had bought two from you, one of which I spent 3 hours struggling with this afternoon to get the printer to recognize, shims and all.

[QUOTE=jon;9677]I’m not certain I would spend $2,000 to repair. We can convert your printer into Piezography use with only 9 working channels. Did you consider that? And you may wish to invest your money into a new color printer. The cyan (if it gave up the ghost) can be mapped out and you still have enough ink channels to run a K7 matte/glossy system, or a K7 matte system with digital negative, or a glossy / matte K6 system with dig neg. Piezography inks very easy on these print heads. Chances are good this 9900 could remain in service for years on Piezography inks. The inks and carts are much less investment and you can buy a new color printer.[/QUOTE]

***So, it sounds like you think this issues isn’t going to get fixed.

Given that the main use we have for this printer is as part of my partner and my art making, which is nearly all color, we don’t really have much use for a piezography printer. We also aren’t making a bunch of money with it (we do at-cost printing for artist friends, aside from our own), so it is hard to shell out a bunch of money (we’re actually living on social security). Nevertheless, we don’t have much choice, we have gotten so involved with the printing.

I’m not sure what to do. I can’t buy a new 9900 as they are no longer available. If I could, it might be worth the cost to get the 12 month warrantee they give on a new printer and buy another 2 years for $1200 like I did last time. I may be able to do this with a P9000, which Epson is actually selling for less than the 9900 sold for. They sold the 9900 for $6000, but Adorama and other large sellers sold it for $4000. Now everyone sells the P9000 for $5000, though Epson is offering a $500 discount at least until the end of November, so it is available at lest now for around for $4500.

As you pointed out, it means getting stiffed permanently (at least until 2017) for Epson inks. With their cute P9000 feature that squeezes a “small” amount of ink out of the nozzles at regular intervals to keep them wet, it might mean longer lasting heads, as long as there are no manufacturing defects.

I’m wondering if I made a mistake letting them replace the head. The one that came with it worked fine for 3 years and Epson replaced it just because I called them about a few clogged nozzles. That may have been where my problems started.

Any sage advice? I’m a bit depressed. It feels like a death in the family.

And…I have cases of your ink and defective cartridges as well as rolls of the piezo paper I bought from you that need to be used somehow.

–Kenoli


#8

You say the prints you are producing are beautiful, but the nozzle check is not. There remains the possibility that the issue is only related to making a nozzle check. Did you print the fields of cyan I suggested to see if the banding is there even though you can not see it on your regular prints?

If it prints well but makes poor nozzle checks - don’t worry - it may only be a small defect in the $16 wiper blade.

Isn’t print quality the governing factor?


#9

[QUOTE=jon;9681]You say the prints you are producing are beautiful, but the nozzle check is not. There remains the possibility that the issue is only related to making a nozzle check. Did you print the fields of cyan I suggested to see if the banding is there even though you can not see it on your regular prints?

If it prints well but makes poor nozzle checks - don’t worry - it may only be a small defect in the $16 wiper blade.

Isn’t print quality the governing factor?[/QUOTE]

I printed out a series of blue squares. I tried to find a way to print pure Epson cyan color but couldn’t find any info on how to do that. I tried a half dozen different blues. The colors that I thought were closet to cyan did fine, but the blues that were darker, like the one attached, cam out with a strip of light violet at the top, the rest looking like a darker violet with lines across it. It was a similar banding in an art print that alerted me to the problem.

When that color is missing, it prints excellently.

I gues I’m going to try another initial fill with the piezoflush and then maybe give up.

Do you know anyone near San Francisco that would want to buy a printer for piezo use?

–Kenoli

PS: I couldn’t figure out how to work the attachment feature on this site. It looked like it had uploaded the file but it only showed up in the upload window. Could see no way to get it to the window that let me put it in the forum post. Other dark blues show banding of various sorts as well.

I will probably try to use the printer some as is, but it is clearly limited to certain images.


#10

Thanks for your as usual good advice.

We have become so dependent on our printer that we have decided to buy a new one,

Found a local dealer that gives lifetime support and will get one from him. Everyone, including the discount houses are selling the new printer at the same price due to Epson’s new price setting rules. The good news is that it is only $500 more than the old discounter price. I guess Epson is drooling over ink sales and trying to get lots of these out there.

With purchase of an extended warrantee, we can count on having a good printer for 3 years at least. If we have the same experience then that we just had, maybe we will switch brands.

Sorry we won’t be able to continue using your inks, but maybe the Chinese engineers will work miracles and we will be able to use them again soon.

[B]If you do know anyone in the Bay area that wants a printer for piezo work, let me know. They can get our old one that has had 3 years of love. New docking station, new switching station/dampers/fully checked out and lubricated with only a failed cyan channel.[/B]

[B]***][/B]I was unable to get all of your cartridges filled with piezoflush to be recognized by the machine and so it has ink in some of the channels after the initial fill so they better grab it soon before those channels dry up.

Good sailing…

–Kenoli