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Author Topic: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it  (Read 1756 times)

pcgpcg

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Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« on: February 24, 2017, 04:16:10 PM »

About six months ago I got a hardware error message on my three year old Canon iPF6400 printer that instructed me to power cycle the printer. I did so and then got the message that I needed to replace the right print head. Not having one on hand, I removed the right print head and then put it back in. The printer ran through a series of checks and I have been printing fine ever since. In the meantime I ordered a new print head. Fast forward to a couple days ago and the same thing happened again and I solved it in the same manner. I still have a new print head on hand for the day this trick doesnít work, but what Iíve learned is when my printer tells me I need to replace the print headÖ I donít believe it.

Just passing this along in case it can save others from replacing a print head when itís not needed.
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Atlex.com

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 06:14:15 PM »

You can go thru this process about 3, maybe 4 times and than it will actually stop and wait until you replace it.  It depends on how much you print basically.  We've gone thru this one with our 8400 and made it seem like we replaced and did the whole cycle and continued to print.

It is helpful to try this process, but hopefully it won't do anything bad to the head if you keep tricking it.  If you have a replacement head upfront, it is better to replace it.  The nice part is if the replacement head is ordered shortly after replacing and there is an issue with it during the year,  you would contact Canon and they would send a replacement at no charge.  The warranty on the head will take care of the problems.  This process goes thru any new head that is purchased or replaced and starts the manufacturer warranty on the head itself over again for a year.

Hopefully not too confusing, but it's helpful to save money either way.
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Landscapes

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 07:38:07 PM »

From my understanding, if you do this, the printhead can fry the main board because as it heats up, due to the clogged nozzles not firing, it somehow causes higher currents at the main board.  But of course I have no direct knowledge or experience.

Did you not have to go through a refilling procedure though?  I can't imagine you will get even 1/4 of extra life out of the printhead, so why bother wasting all the ink to reprime if you will just have to do it again in a few months anyway?

I would love to see the Nozzle Checks from the Service Mode to see how the nozzles degrade over time, and what it looks like when the printer says it needs to be replaced.  I theorize that this could be a good way to track the health of the print head, but on my 6400 I haven't had to replace the heads yet, and on my old 6100, I never knew about the service mode nozzle check when I did have to replace them.  I imagine that once too many nozzles start to get clogged in the same area, and they can't be cleared, then this is when the message comes up that you need a new head, but as I say, I'm not sure what this blocked pattern will look like or how bad it has to be before it won't print anymore.
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pcgpcg

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 08:00:02 PM »

Hmmm... I do a nozzle check once a week if I don't print that week.
I'm curious why, if the printer noticed something that caused it to tell me to replace the head, why it didn't notice it again after I "tricked" it. Scary that a print head could damage the main board. I can't imagine that Canon engineers would design something that would allow this. Well, I can imagine it, but I think it's highly unlikely.
Would love for a Canon tech to jump in and comment anonymously.  Better yet a design engineer... ;)
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deanwork

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 11:07:04 PM »

Yes, one of the big mistakes people make with the Canon LF printers is to keep trying to clean the print head once it has told you to replace the head. What the process of turning off the printer and letting it go through the cleaning over and over does is heat up the main board and then you blow it. Now that will cost you a grand. I did it and I felt so stupid, trying to get another job out of it before I replace the head. When you see that error message to replace the head replace it. Keep one of hand if you can for that eventuality. By the way the head will print when one of the nozzles is gone. I tried to trick mine and keep printing one time and then realized I had no blue channel after I did a nozzle print out pattern. But your color balance may very will be off. I was printing once without a light gray channel as well

john



Hmmm... I do a nozzle check once a week if I don't print that week.
I'm curious why, if the printer noticed something that caused it to tell me to replace the head, why it didn't notice it again after I "tricked" it. Scary that a print head could damage the main board. I can't imagine that Canon engineers would design something that would allow this. Well, I can imagine it, but I think it's highly unlikely.
Would love for a Canon tech to jump in and comment anonymously.  Better yet a design engineer... ;)
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Pete Berry

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2017, 09:58:57 AM »

From my understanding, if you do this, the printhead can fry the main board because as it heats up, due to the clogged nozzles not firing, it somehow causes higher currents at the main board.  But of course I have no direct knowledge or experience.

Did you not have to go through a refilling procedure though?  I can't imagine you will get even 1/4 of extra life out of the printhead, so why bother wasting all the ink to reprime if you will just have to do it again in a few months anyway?

I would love to see the Nozzle Checks from the Service Mode to see how the nozzles degrade over time, and what it looks like when the printer says it needs to be replaced.  I theorize that this could be a good way to track the health of the print head, but on my 6400 I haven't had to replace the heads yet, and on my old 6100, I never knew about the service mode nozzle check when I did have to replace them.  I imagine that once too many nozzles start to get clogged in the same area, and they can't be cleared, then this is when the message comes up that you need a new head, but as I say, I'm not sure what this blocked pattern will look like or how bad it has to be before it won't print anymore.

The reason is that the nozzles are thermo-electric, and vaporize the ink droplets for ejection - ergo "bubble jet". Heads fail by the nozzles shorting out over time, and the more shorted, the more current drawn through the head.

But Canon designs a huge surplus of nozzles in the heads and auto-remaps to new nozzles replacing the old as they fail - unlike Epson, whose "cold" electro-mechanical piezo nozzles are all used. The rub with Canon is that when the spare nozzles are exhausted, the shorted-out continue to try to fire, increasing current draw and head temp, eventually to the detriment of the controller board.

So best to simply replace if a couple of cleanings don't clear the error message. More, as I was told by a Canon tech, simply a waste of ink.

With my original iPF5000 and a head failure after five years, I found it much more economical to simply replace the printer with a 5100 at $1500 - particularly as it was offered then for the same price with a $900 set of full 130ml inks. The retail value of the new printer's "expendables" was $900 for its two heads, and $600 for the started 90ml inks - the printer's cost! So facing a head failure after four more years with the 5100, with the certainty of the second head failing, I did the same (but without the bonus of the free full carts), harvested the roll spindle and cassette, for a very handy three each before the trip to the electronic re-cycle-er.

In the 10 years of lPF5000-5100 ownership - absent the rare error message - I've never done anything but an initial nozzle check on installation, going as long as 2 months without printing at times, with the same excellent IQ. I do run its calibration routine about every six months.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2017, 10:06:39 AM by Pete Berry »
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Marsupilami

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2017, 05:30:03 AM »

About six months ago I got a hardware error message on my three year old Canon iPF6400 printer that instructed me to power cycle the printer. I did so and then got the message that I needed to replace the right print head. Not having one on hand, I removed the right print head and then put it back in. The printer ran through a series of checks and I have been printing fine ever since. In the meantime I ordered a new print head. Fast forward to a couple days ago and the same thing happened again and I solved it in the same manner. I still have a new print head on hand for the day this trick doesnít work, but what Iíve learned is when my printer tells me I need to replace the print headÖ I donít believe it.

Just passing this along in case it can save others from replacing a print head when itís not needed.

This is a similar "advice" I used with my ipf6100. Long story short: I blew the main board and the printer is now garbage. I fellt very stupid and also a little bit angry about advices like that floating around in the internet. Do not do this. Replace the head if necessary.
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enduser

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 08:38:19 AM »

There's  a dedicated Canon Large Format forum somewhere, where some enthusiasts put a fuse somewhere on the main board to prevent it overheating - the fuse goes instead. One individual modified his machine so that the board was external and then replacing the fuse was a trivial exercise. This, of course, is what Canon should have done.
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Swellpix

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2017, 03:53:54 PM »

There's  a dedicated Canon Large Format forum somewhere, where some enthusiasts put a fuse somewhere on the main board to prevent it overheating - the fuse goes instead. One individual modified his machine so that the board was external and then replacing the fuse was a trivial exercise. This, of course, is what Canon should have done.
I need to find that Canon board!

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stockjock

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2017, 04:31:12 PM »

I need to find that Canon board!

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It isn't very active:

http://canonipf.wikispaces.com/
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Swellpix

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2017, 04:50:48 PM »

Oh yes, I saw that one. Thank you anyway - Appreciated

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Swellpix

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2017, 02:03:12 AM »

Thanks.  I checked that out. Some good info there, but you're right about not being very active. Freaking ghost town!

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enduser

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2017, 09:19:18 PM »

That Canon forum is paid for by one of the contributors. Last time fees were due it nearly went dark.  I would get what might be useful from it soon.
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Swellpix

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Re: Canon iPF6400 print head replacement - don't believe it
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2017, 01:56:14 AM »

What I'm really looking for is someone who has done a hdd change on their ImagePROGRAF Printer. I have a ipf6300s that needs a new drive. Canon wants a thousand bucks. I can get a genuine part, and I'm not shy about getting in there myself, but I'd rather not go in blind. Can anyone point me to someone in the know?

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