New IJM cards draining - is my printer dead?

I have an R2400 that I am trying to resuscitate from a long hibernation, as an alternative to buying an R3000 (see separate thread). But I think it’s dead. Qu: Am I right - is it dead?

The printer has been in storage for many years. I last used it with inks, carts and a CIS from a Hong Kong supplier (i.e. before I started using IJM products), and had no end of trouble with it. In frustration I put it in hibernation and went back to my 2100. Now that ten year old printer is giving me problems too, so I hoped that “new” carts from IJM would be the answer for the R2400. I actually bought these carts back in Nov 2010 planning to do this at some stage, so they’re not brand new, but they were unused and still wrapped had been carefully stored.

I used the piezography cleaning kit to push some flush solution through the head and it seemed to be flowing ok. So I filled the carts with ConeColor and started it up. I had a lot of trouble getting clean nozzle checks and one colour was bleeding into another, which is a worrying sign of leaks. Then the PK cart drained itself.

Silly me I thought, you should have done a fully clean before you started it up, using the tips in that Dana C. video. So I did this. Copious amounts of flush on capping station, cleaned the wiper blade, gently clean under the head, push some more flush through the head for the problem colours. With a lot of QTR calibration patterns and head cleans I eventually got a 99.9% clean nozzle check and calibration print. But the next day the colours were bleeding again with gaps in some nozzle checks. Then I noticed that both the PK and Y carts had drained in less than 24 hours (others were still around 2/3 full).

What I haven’t confessed to is how the printer was hibernated. I used a home-made cleaning solution that I got from the Yahoo Epson group many years ago in some unused CIS dampers. Over the time it evaporated completely or was absorbed somewhere, which would not have helped either. This solution may well have been too toxic and ruined the head. This seems most likely. Does this sound right to you? Have you heard of this before?

I assume the unused 4yo carts would be ok, non?

There is another possibility - the capping station has hardened and crusted and deteriorated to such an extent from the ink left on it for all these years that it is causing issues under the head. There were some hard areas, and I did my best to clean them with copious amounts of flush, and it seemed ok, but it is still a bit hard to the touch. I’m not sure how these are supposed to be when new. Can capping stations deteriorate and cause issues?

I’m sufficiently keen to avoid having to buy an R3000 (hard to print intermittently) that I’m thinking of getting the head and capping station replaced, even though it’s not that economic.

Thanks for any insights.

No reply. Hmmmmm.

If a printer has had the full Dana C cleaning routine and new, unused carts drain, then something is wrong.

The problem I just had with the IJM carts are reminiscent of the problems I had with the older carts from another HK-based supplier some years ago. On reflection I think that the print head on this particular printer is sufficiently out of spec that refillables don’t work properly. I ran some OEM carts when I first got it and they were fine, and I have a hunch that if I were to do it again they it would work. It’s just the cost of OEM and the wastage that the printer generates that stops me from doing this.

If I’m right, and this printer is a partial lemon, it can’t easily be diagnosed on a forum like this.

Hi Brian~

It sounds like there are several factors in this situation. The printer was stored for many years and the homemade flushing solution evaporated, so the head was stored dry. The fact that you had “no end of trouble” with the HongKong ink and CIS you were using prior to storing the printer. The capping station should be porous so suction can come thru to “suck” the print head during cleaning cycles, and so waste ink can flow thru the capping station during cleaning cycles. If the capping station is hard and not allowing proper flow of pressure and/or ink, this could make cleaning cycles ineffective.
Your cartridges are very old, and we’ve had a few different cartridge designs for the R2400 printer. Please tell me, do the instructions you received with them direct you to fill them from the bottom, or top?
If you have an old style cart, you may have better results using our current cartridge design.

Best regards~ Dana

Thanks Dana for your reply. I read here that you were recently married and now on maternity leave. Congratulations and best wishes. I trust that the fact that you’re still posting here is only a sign that you’re a little bored. It won’t stay that way.

This printer is a real puzzle. There are a lot of factors at play. I said that “IJM carts are reminiscent of the problems I had with the older carts” because the symptoms are the same. With the HK-based supplier’s carts, they too leaked and drained, although much worse. I think I went through several iterations of his carts. With his CIS I had the opposite problem. After every one of the R2400’s frequent head cleans, I got a lot of gaps in nozzle checks which were hard to remove - either with more head cleans or purge patterns. Waiting a day or so seemed to help. So I took this to mean that air was getting in during the head clean - a different sort of leak. So this is why I suspect the printer is out of spec. Every refillable system I’ve tried has had issues on this printer.

I’ve had a further look at the capping station and I’m less sure that it’s the source of the problem. The one on my older 2100 is quite soft, but the one on my R1900 is fairly firm like this, so on reflection I think I cleaned it well enough.

The R2400 carts I bought from you on 28 November 2010. The fill instructions that came with the carts are dated 11/15/2010, which as you will recall are for a vacuum fill the first time and refilling using the blunt needle tip. I don’t recall getting any carts that had instructions about filling from the bottom, except perhaps some very, very old non-clear ones for my 2100.

I’d be prepared to try later generation carts, but in addition to the $30 for the carts there’s also $50+ for shipping outside the US, which makes it an expensive exercise to buy them on their own if they don’t work. (Normally I’d buy a couple of sets + inks to get best value for the freight.)

Unless you have any other ideas, then at this stage I either order more refillable carts and hope, or try OEM carts, or get rid of it.

Hmmm … I guess I could try OEM carts just for the two colours that seem to leak - PK & Y.

Thanks for the additional information. You can see the current cartridge model and review the filling/refilling procedure by reading the instructions on the instruction tab of the R2400 refillable cartridge product page. I just did a quick ship quote on the USPS site, and see it would cost about $17 to ship a set of carts (without syringes) to you via First Class International, though I’m not sure how long it would take to get to you. Yes, you can certainly try Epson PK + Y carts along with the other refill carts, if the PK and Y are emptying abnormally fast, but the old style carts you have can be fussy and not provide good/consistent ink flow, so I feel it would be best for you to use Epson or our new refill carts for the best results.

Best regards~ Dana

Thanks for those further observations.

WOW, I’ve never seen filling instructions like those before!!! I’ve looked at the other desktop fillable instructions and the R2400 (and 800/1800) seem to be unique in this respect. Looking at the unused MK cart it seems roughly similar to the current model, but the area above the nozzle appears to be just an empty space and the plug on the bottom next to the nozzle doesn’t want to come out easily - I assume it’s not a refill plug on this model.

My issue (discussed also in another thread) is that in this country there is a cashback on the R3000 printer that ends on 30 September. So I am trying to decide whether to buy one, and deal with the challenges of intermittent printing on that model, or resuscitate either my R2400 or 2100 (which is experiencing similar draining issues after years of working well with refillables) or continue to try to source a second-hand R2880. Ordering more cartridges would be a gamble and may not arrive in time. I feel under a little pressure. The cashback is important given that we pay over $US1,000 for this printer here, compared to $US740 at B&H before cashback.

I checked on the IJM website and USPS shipping for just one set of carts without syringes would be $38.36. I might ask Wells if this cheaper rate that you found is an option.

Another question, if I may. Is there any reason why I couldn’t order and use the Vivid inks for the 2880/3000 in the R2400 if I create my own profiles using my eye-one photo? One option would be to order the carts and some inks and if the carts still don’t work the inks could be used in another printer.

Yes, it is a gamble if you can get this R2400 up and running to print good (and consistent) quality again. I would certainly recommend you get a R2880 because it can be easily flushed/cleaned, and stored with flush carts while it sits unused for a period of time, since you don’t print on a regular/frequent basis. The R3000 is a great printer, but it has internal ink lines and dampers, which make it more difficult to flush, not to mention more time/ink consuming. If you get a R3000, you will want to print at least once a week, and agitate the ink carts every 1-2 weeks to maintain in-suspension pigment, to keep the printer in good working condition, and to avoid having to flush it during periods of non-use between printing sessions. I think the R2880 would be a lot easier and better suited for your infrequent printing needs, since you can flush it and safely store it with our PiezoFlush fluid for as long as you need, then reinstall carts when you’re ready to print.

We may not have USPS First Class shipping option on our website, but when I did a quote on the USPS site it was the least expensive (and probably also the slowest) method.

Yes, you could use the Vivid magenta ink in a non-Vivid magenta printer, such as the R2400, as long as you make your own profiles.

I hope this helps.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

I thought I’d report back and close off this thread. On three occasions I’ve tried to use the latest versions of IJM carts to get this printer going, and on each occasion I’ve failed.

For each attempt I’ve given the printer a very thorough and careful clean, as per the video. On the first attempt I eventually came very, very close to getting a perfect nozzle check. But I needed a perfect nozzle check in order to make ICC profiles, and so did one more head clean and one channel suddenly dropped out. Aaaarrrrgggghhhhh. Perhaps I should have let it sit and print a few purge patterns instead, although I suspect that it may not have lasted long anyway.

I don’t recall the second attempt in detail, but I didn’t manage to get as close to a perfect nozzle check as at the first attempt.

I left it a bit long before the third attempt, over the past few days, and so there were a few clogs to deal with. Also PK was empty, which was an ominous sign. I got moderately close - most channels where there with hardly any missing nozzles - although the C channel was mostly missing. I tried to deal with this over several days, with purge patterns and the occasional head clean. Today I was met with the attached nozzle check pattern. Clearly PK is leaking, in addition to the ongoing issues with the C channel.

I think I really have given up this time. I could pump more flush through the C channel and replace PK with a spare cart, but sooner or later you need to run up the white flag and concede defeat.

My problems mirror fairly closely what Jeff just went through with his R2400.

I wrote down a number of lessons that I’ve learnt in working with refillables, and this printer has really been a learning experience - of the wrong kind:

I’m writing this so that anyone else trying to get an R2400 working with refillables is warned.

Hi Brian~

Thanks for the update, I’m sorry to hear of your continued struggles…

Do you still have refill carts from sets #1 and #2, or did you already discard them? Quickly looking at previous posts, I see you were originally having issues with primarily black and yellow, did you try replacing just these two carts, or did you install a whole new set of carts? I reviewed the sales history, and see we’ve sold over 250 sets of this model cart for the R2400, so have many customers happily printing with these carts, and have only received a few problem reports over the years (more within the past few months than total over the past three years, though have been purchased in large quantities, so it’s not a matter of different batches). I have also personally tested over 25 sets of the current design carts in this R2400 printer over the years with great results. Thinking big picture, I wonder of atmospheric pressure might be a factor???

Out of curiosity, I pulled our our R2400, which has been sitting on the shelf with refillable flush carts installed since 5/23/14. After turning it on, I opened the status monitor, then removed + checked physical levels in the carts. There was one cart that was slightly lower than the others, but all were about 1/2 full still (matching the status monitor). My understanding from your posts, is that you would experience one or more carts being totally empty, even after just a few days. This particular printer has been severely abused over the years, as this is the machine we tested dozens of different types of carts, most of which drained into all parts of the printer (to the point where I had to remove the foam strip that runs the width of the printing path, as it was totally saturated). This printer has an external ink waste bottle attached, and has the cartridge carriage lid in place (I’ve removed the cover from some printers, such as the 1400 in the cleaning video, but not this printer). Do you have your cartridge chamber cover attached, or removed?

Best~ Dana

I haven’t discarded any carts, not yet. At least I don’t think so. I think I even have the previous generation ones I bought back in 2010 that I tried to use at the beginning of this thread, as you never know when the chips might be needed.

My posts from Sept last year were all about the 2010 generation carts. My last post (25 Jan 2015) was the first one about my attempts to use the newer generation carts that I bought from you last year.

Yes, I have the cartridge chamber cover removed. I do this with all my printers, esp the ones that I’m fighting with, as it gives me access to most of the carts when the printer is off, and so I can check physical ink levels. I haven’t noticed any issues from doing this in the non-troublesome printers. Why do you ask?

As for atmospheric pressure, I don’t know. This printer has been in the garage rather than in my studio, and so was a little more exposed to environmental fluctuations, and it has been a stormy summer here, but if that’s a problem why not all channels? I have had the printer will covered when not in use.

I’ve just checked the printer again now, and I don’t think that anything has drained, although PK is down a little, and I suspect that it’s still leaking. I did another nozzle check and it’s similar to the above one, only worse. The problems have spread and worsened a little. I am fairly sure that if I left the PK cart in there then given enough time it will drain again.

Of these two sets of carts that I recently purchased from IJM, I’ve only used one set so far. The other set is unused. Should I use try them, what do you think? I’ve lost a lot of the ink that I’ve bought recently in this printer and the R2880 (discussed in another thread), and at each step I keep asking myself if I should continue to throw good money after bad? I’ve also been corresponding with JeffG, and our 2400’s both have broadly similar issues, so I’m not optimistic about this particular model, despite your experiences. If you want me to persist with this printer, then I’m going to need some support from IJM, as I gather Jeff received.

Thanks for the additional information Brian.

I frequently use our 1400s, 1430s, R2880s and R1900 without the cartridge lid in place, but don’t believe I have ever used our R2400 without the cartridge cover, so am not sure if it makes a difference by holding the carts down for a more snug fit over the nipples (?) I’m curious if Jeff’s printer had the cartridge lid in place or not…
The atmospheric pressure was just a thought of something that may possibly effect ink flow with refillable carts, it may be nothing, and yes- I would expect something like that would effect all channels and not just one or two.

I will talk with Jon about your situation tomorrow, and we’ll decide the best way to move forward: by supporting you to continue trying with the R2400, or call it quits with this particular machine (and focus on your R2880).

Best~ Dana

My plan for the R2400 was to give it to a photographer friend. So I introduced him to IJM, got him to watch your desktop printer maintenance video, and he came over and helped me clean it and fill the new carts, and … failure. If I could get it working, and have some confidence in it, then he would get it and he would order a bundle of your stuff.

My plans are to focus on the R2880 for my own use, as it’s a more modern printer and the carts are easier to refill and it can print on CDs, etc. If I can’t get that to work then I need to face buying a new R3000, with all that entails for an intermittent colour printer like myself. The current cashback ends on 31 Jan, so the clock is ticking, again. (I suppose if I can get the R2400 to work then I might keep it and not the R2880, but that seems unlikely at this stage.)

So that’s background for your chat with Jon. Perhaps we can take this offline. You should have my email.

P.s. I’m doing at least a nozzle check each day, which gives a mini-clean at power-on, and checking on the PK cart. Today’s was a little better than yesterday, and the PK cart hasn’t drained yet. FWIW.

p.s. The cartridge bay cover in the R2400 is no different to any other of the desktop printers, and I’ve seen pretty much all of them. While it may help to keep the area clean, it seems to me that its main purpose is to prevent you from removing the carts without pressing the ink button and putting the head in the ink exchange position (which is precisely why I remove the covers). It doesn’t do anything to secure the carts that I can see.

Yes, I have used many printers with various modifications, including with cartridge chamber covers removed, and generally have good results, but wanted to check all possible factors. I’m not in the office today, so can’t check, but believe the R2400 carts have a bit more spring when you push down, compared to other model carts/printers.

Warmly~ Dana

I just went and checked and I would have said that there is less spring than in other Epson printers that I have / had. But by all means please check when you’re next in the office. I thought that the desktop cartridge designs had tabs and clips and things that held the cart in place. I think the 2100/2200 had a bit of spring, but even that didn’t need the cover in my experience. Later models seem to have virtually no spring, other than the proverbial dead-cat bounce.

There remains the question of whether to persist with this printer …