R2400 refillable carts - plastic covers on exit valves?


#1

Hi
I recently acquired a brand new (i.e. never used) R2400. I’ve printed successfully using a set of OEM carts from day 1, and am now in the process of swapping them out for refillables I bought from IJM.

One quick question: your refillables have a clear plastic membrane fixed quite firmly over the exit valves. Are these membranes supposed to be left in place, or removed? I haven’t removed them, but I’m getting very spotty head check patterns with CCPro inks even after numerous clean cycles.

Thanks
Nick


#2

The clear membrane is kept on.

As the instructions say, it is important to tap this carts with the exit hole down to clear and air from the exit valve. Then let the cart sit for a bit, put in printer, and let sit for longer.

Please post a photo of the cart if you can (showing exit valve). I’d like to see the status of it.

-walker


#3

Thanks, Walker.

I followed the instructions supplied for initial fill to the letter - which, btw, don’t include “Then let the cart sit for a bit …” I inserted them pretty much straight after the tapping procedure, and then let them sit for an hour before running head checks and cleaning cycles.

It occurs to me that, as this was an initial fill, the membranes were unbroken during the tapping procedure, but as the exit valve is just that - a valve, not a vent - this shouldn’t make any difference?


#4

Yikes! You don’t want to turn these guys upside down. I’m sorry if my earlier prompt made you do this. I should have warned you about that. Upside down can fill the vent holes. You need to verify that the vent holes/area are not completely blocked with ink or plugged at all.

FYI, the exist valves look fine.

-Walker


#5

That’s a bit disconcerting …

To clarify, I have the vent plugs in place in the carts when they’re inverted. Your filling instructions do say, “… (cartridge down and syringe up), pull syringe plunger up …”. I understand that to mean that the carts are inverted, as in my photo, when refilling.

The first thing I do when I take the carts out of the printer is insert the air vent plugs, only removing them before the tapping procedure prior to sitting, then reinstalling in printer.

I can see no sign of ink on the air vent plugs when I remove them, which suggests to me that there is no ink in the air vent; there’s certainly none visible from the outside. Is there anything else I can do to verify that the vents are clear?

Thanks - Nick


#6

If you don’t see ink in the air vents you are probably just fine.

The problem with this product is we have discontinued support for this printer (cartridges) just recently as the number of people with very old and pre-failure printers of this model number is increasing. The normal life-span of these printers is less than half a decade but the 2400 stopped production a decade ago. The older the printers the more the problems especially if the printer has seen use over the years and may have gaskets or other problems that only appear with the slightly looser ink flow of the refillable cartridges. The one thing I think you should do is put (clear or scotch) tape of the vent holes and prick a tiny hole in each bit of tape where the vent hole it. This will decrease the ink flow and may actually create perfect nozzle check. I think what is happening is the printer is old and is letting the ink (and some air) flow through the nozzles even while it’s sitting. This is pooling on the flush/capping areas and causing nozzle dropouts.

-Walker


#7

OK, thanks. That makes sense; I’ve been writing the following, and just saw your reply:

Some more observations.

As I’ve been running nozzle checks, i started seeing black lines in non-black ink channels:


(That’s quite a hi-res image - pls download to view at 100% for detail.)
I figured that the capping station was getting flooded, so I cleaned it and wicked the excess ink out of the pads with cotton buds. The printer’s been sitting idle for 12 hours now; I refilled the carts and reset the chips earlier today (14 hours ago), and they’ve been sitting out of the printer since then. I just installed them in the printer to leave them overnight (it’s 11pm here now), and got a red light on the LLK cart (channel 1) … Reset the chip again, same result. So I powered off the printer while I wrote this and the empty light on LLK no longer shows. Still I’ll leave the printer powered down overnight before I do anything else.

I have to say, I’m a bit surprised at how difficult the process of getting refillable working is being. As I mentioned before, this printer is essentially brand new; whe I got it late last year it still had all the transport tape tabs in place. I’ve gone through the one set of OEM carts, printing maybe 2-3 times a week, with minimal problems. I think the most I had to run cleaning cycles to get perfect check patterns was twice, if it had been idle for a few days. You can see from the scan supplied what I’m getting now, with the IJM carts; not pretty. This morning’s refill of the carts was the third fill since I started the swapover - two complete fills have just disappeared with cleaning cycles. I knew that the R2400 has a reputation for being ink-hungry, but I was willing to go with that if I could at least get some prints out of it! I actually intended to use it as a machine on which to learn the PZ process, but took Jon’s advice I saw somewhere that said, get it running flawlessly with colour ink first, whicj made double sense to me as I grabbed the printer when I saw it so as to keep some commercial production inhouse while try to get my 7880 back online - but that’s another story …


#8

I’ll try what you suggest with the tape tomorrow. Do you think an additional layer of tape over the pinprick will be sufficient for refilling?


#9

Yes. (or simply hold a thumb over the hole when re-filling).

-Walker


#10

An update, hopefully useful to someone, somewhere:

So I’ve persevered with the R2400, with mixed success. I bought two sets of carts for it, so I used the second set for PZ Flush and ran about 10 clean cycles, which eventually gave me a 99% good check pattern - just a couple of gaps in the VM channel. Then I reinserted the color carts, and after two shockingly bad check patterns, I let the printer sit overnight and presto - a 99% good pattern, without even further cleaning. I was able to make 3x A4 prints before the MK channel gave me an empty light. I then removed all carts, refilled them, manually reset the chips, and reinstalled them. Straight back to shockingly bad patterns. I’ve run two clean cycles with no improvement, and now I’ll leave the printer on but let it sit again overnight and see what happens.

Another annoying foible is that the LLK cart is showing a red empty light every time I install it, even with the chip reset to full. If I turn the printer off for 15-20 mins (or longer, up to overnight), it clears, but the first thing the printer does on powering up is to run a clean cycle, so I’m going through a huge amount of ink. Whatever the capacity of the external waste ink bottle I bought from you is, I’ve filled it almost twice, and successfully made only 3 small prints. Not a great ratio.

Both sets of carts have been modified with the tape-and-pinprick on the vent holes. I should also add that although I’m being diligent to follow the instructions precisely, it seems impossible to fill the carts using the vacuum back-pressure method without causing the ink to foam. This , I would think, is contributing to airlocks and the associated problems.

All this is taking days because I’m leaving the newly filled carts to sit, leaving the carts to sit in the printer after installing them, and leving the printer off to try to get it to recognise the LLK cart.

I’m getting close to giving the whole thing up as a bad joke. I know the printer is old (albeit unused before I got it), but I did get a good run of perfect trouble free printing with the set of OEM carts that came with it. This leads me to strongly suspect that the problems I’m experiencing come from your carts. Unfortunately, the OEM carts have been discontinued by Epson, at least here in Hong Kong.

I’ll certainly be giving this machine a lower priority. I’ll have a look online to see if OEM carts are still available anywhere, but I also have these questions for you, please:

Notwithstanding your discontinued support for this model, do you still have any sets of carts in stock? They’re quite inexpensive compared to carts for larger printers, and I may buy some more if you’ve got them. I need to be able to print on demand, and one way I can see to improve that likelihood is to have a set of carts prefilled that have been allowed to sit for days, if necessary, to allow the foam to renintegrate and air to work its way out of the vents.

Do you have chips for these carts? My feeling is that the problem with the LLK cart is the chip. I still have the set of empty OEM carts; can I use the chip from the LLK in that set? Your chips have an extra contact point; does this make any difference?

Thanks - Nick