Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Epson 3880 not printing blacks  (Read 2558 times)

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« on: December 15, 2017, 12:53:47 PM »

Suddenly my Epson 3880 is printing black poorly, it seems blueish.  I've attached a black & white example, but color prints are similar - black not printing properly.  Greys seem okay.

I've run a few cycles of print head cleaning and have also done so myself mechanically, but to no avail.  I've exchanged all black (and grey) cartridges, but that didn't seem to help.

Has anyone encountered this situation before?  Can anyone offer advice or a fix?
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11281
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2017, 01:27:47 PM »

More info would be helpful to try to understand the problem:

You don't mention whether you did nozzle check prints between the cleaning cycles to see what the cleaning did or didn't accomplish. Did you?
Did you run a Black channel purge print between cleaning cycles?
Did you let the printer sit overnight after running several cycles before trying again?
Also, I don't understand what you mean by "done so myself mechanically". Could you elaborate?
How long was the printer sitting unused since you first encountered this problem?
What room humidity is it sitting in?

Depending on the answers to these questions, with that printer, if several cleaning cycles don't clear a channel, it could signal a head problem.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2017, 02:04:58 PM »

Mark, the cleaning I performed myself was similar to what is shown in these two videos: cleaning video 1 and cleaning video 2.

I'd been printing one or two nights a week for the past months without problems.  Humidity is currently low (heating in winter).

I had performed some cleaning cycles yesterday and again today, also one power cleaning cycle (which really runs through ink!).

I have run a nozzle check after each cleaning operation.  Each check shows that black ink is not printing (at all) and all other inks a printing fine.

How do I purge the black ink?  I haven't found that in the manual (or did I miss it?).

I've recently updated the print driver, but have printed properly since then.
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2017, 02:15:45 PM »

Mark, I found a link explaining the purging of colors.  I've downloaded two files and will purge light black and photo/matt black to see what happens.

This is the first time I've heard of purging a color of a printer.  Makes sense.  I'll let you know if this purging helps.
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11281
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2017, 03:17:08 PM »

I suggest you run three successive cycles of "Black ink purge print-powerclean-nozzle check". If that fails, leave the printer over night the next morning do a nozzle check, and if needed try the same cycles again, leave overnight and next morning do a nozzle check. If still clogged, call Epson, as it would likely be a head defect.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

BobShaw

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1138
    • Aspiration Images
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2017, 04:01:32 PM »

By black I am assuming that you mean PK black which would be indicated by a nozzle check with 7 continous blocks of pattern and the end black one missing?
If that is the case then it is possibly the PK /MK changeover switch system.
Manually do a Black ink changeover from the front screen Maintenance menu and see if the black returns on a nozzle check.
If it does then it is not the head.
Logged
Website - http://AspirationImages.com
Portrait and Commercial Photography

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11281
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017, 04:07:54 PM »

Good point - that could be it - I think - under two conditions: (1) He had done a MK/PK switch just before the first indication of the problem, and (2) there was no change in the nozzle check pattern of Black ink for any of the nozzle checks. Anyhow, your suggestion to try ink switching seems worthwhile.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2017, 05:05:19 AM »

Sadly, none of Bob's or Mark's suggestions lead to any change.  The situation remains that the printer will print neither photo black nor matt black (despite switching blacks in the printer).

Since I had recent updated LR, PS and the print driver, I thought it might have something to do with these programs.  Returning to a former print driver didn't give other results and neither did printing from LR or PS using printer managing colors.

I fear the print head has come to the end of its life.   :'(  Rats!  I've got an exhibition starting early January and need to print for myself and other photographers.  I guess I need to contact my local dealer quickly.  There go my relaxing holidays.  :(

Thanks for your suggestions!
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

LawrenceBraunstein

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 83
    • My SmugMug Galeries
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2017, 08:06:59 AM »

Mike, I too had the same problem with my 3880 and like you, I tried pretty much everything to get PK printing again. Unfortunately to no avail; nozzle checks continued revealing at first only faint traces of PK but ultimately none whatsoever. Since I also had a backlog of photos requiring printing, I decided to ditch the 3880 and purchase a Canon Pro-1000. The decision wasn’t easy because the Epson had given me many years of very reliable service. Having said this, I am actually quite happy with the Pro-1000. Whether the Canon printer will also give me the same dependable service over time is yet to be seen. Best of luck with your January exhibition!

Larry
Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11281
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2017, 08:15:00 AM »

Sadly, none of Bob's or Mark's suggestions lead to any change.  The situation remains that the printer will print neither photo black nor matt black (despite switching blacks in the printer).

Since I had recent updated LR, PS and the print driver, I thought it might have something to do with these programs.  Returning to a former print driver didn't give other results and neither did printing from LR or PS using printer managing colors.

I fear the print head has come to the end of its life.   :'(  Rats!  I've got an exhibition starting early January and need to print for myself and other photographers.  I guess I need to contact my local dealer quickly.  There go my relaxing holidays.  :(

Thanks for your suggestions!

It's not inconceivable that the problem is lodged somehow in the pump/capping/damper mechanisms, so if you can get quick access to a technician, it may be worthwhile determining whether that assembly needs to be deep-cleaned manually or changed. While such service, parts and waste ink would cost a few hundred dollars, depending on the status it could possibly be cheaper and faster than buying a new printer.  If the issue does indeed turn out to be a head defect, then it pays to buy a new printer.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

Eric Myrvaagnes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 14566
  • http://myrvaagnes.com
    • http://myrvaagnes.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2017, 08:57:23 AM »

There is a thread somewhere on LuLa about problems with the black ink switching mechanism in 3800 and 3880 Epsons, including links to a video showing how to do home repairs. This sounds very much to me like the ink-switch problem, and it is what killed my faithful 3800 a while ago. I bought a new P800 and it has been a superb replacement.
Logged
-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2017, 09:00:51 AM »

Mark, time is against me.  I'll need to print next week and though I dread printing with a new and unknown printer, I fear that my only alternative.

Monday I'll contact my dealer and see what he can offer.  I drove to him last Friday to discuss the problem and pick up some ink cartridges.  He mentioned something about having a printer he will be offering at a discount, I believe the Canon Pro 1000, but I was too involved in my Epson problem to pay attention to what he was saying.

I've got to survive (with printing) the next two to three weeks, then see what to do with the 3880, probably place it on ebay for parts and sell the inks.  If I could purchase a new 3880 somewhere nearby, I would, but I've only found one for which the fellow is asking an outrageous price.

Thanks for your suggestions, Mark.
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2017, 09:02:07 AM »

There is a thread somewhere on LuLa about problems with the black ink switching mechanism in 3800 and 3880 Epsons, ...
Eric, I'll search for that thread.  Thanks!
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2017, 09:06:20 AM »

Mike, I too had the same problem with my 3880 and like you, ...
Best of luck with your January exhibition!
Larry
Thanks for the well wishes, Larry.  I'll give the Canon Pro 1000 a closer look next week.  I believe that's the printer my dealer was talking about when I visited him last Friday.  He kidded me and mentioned, "I'll sell you a new printer to fix you problems".  Need to phone him first thing Monday morning.
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11281
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2017, 09:06:38 AM »

You are welcome Mike.

Just a reality check: did you actually do any black ink switching just before this problem occurred? Because if you didn't, that would be an unlikely source of the problem.

If you do end-up deciding that you need a new printer you will be well-served in terms of print quality with either an Epson SC-P800 or a Canon Pro-1000. Both make excellent prints. The key decision issue between these printers really boils down to the media options you need. Once you are on the market for a new printer, it's a strategic moment to think about whether you would like to have a flat feed for very stiff media and the option of a roll-holder for e.g. printing panos. If the answer is "yes" to either it points to the P-800; otherwise either printer will do just fine. 
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."

langier

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 898
    • Celebrating Rural America, the Balkans and beyond
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2017, 09:16:29 AM »

This sounds like the black valve problem needing a part replacement by an Epson repair professional. This is a known issue with the 3800/3880 printers and some think that Epson knows it well but won't issue a recall. My studio 3880 had the valve replaced after about 3 years and several of my friends likewise. For the repair person, it's a fairly easy repair if they have the part and can be done in two or three hours if you have to drive your printer to their shop. My repair expert is about 50 miles away so it was just a matter of making an appointment then do several errands to kill the time.

It seemed like it was a couple of hundred for the repair but other things were adjusted and cleaned in the process and it was cheaper and easier than getting a new printer and there haven't been any issues since. I think this printer now is pushing over 10,000 prints through it since new, about six years ago. It may sit for 3-4 weeks and has seldom an issue with clogged nozzles and works like a champ.
Logged
Larry Angier
ASMP, ACT, and many more!  

praja343

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 63
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2017, 10:43:30 AM »

My 3880 printer (5 years old) was not printing blacks after many head cleans (the waste cartridge was also getting saturated) and I took it in to the local Epson expert. Langier's comment was accurate and a valve that is used in the PK/MK switch was stuck. To add insult to injury, this valve also emptied a new PK black cartridge. So about $350 later I have a working printer .... so in my case, it was a valve issue and not a head issue according to the Epson expert.
Logged

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2017, 10:58:26 AM »

Just a reality check: did you actually do any black ink switching just before this problem occurred? Because if you didn't, that would be an unlikely source of the problem.
I had printed on glossy paper as well as matt, but I've never changed black inks manually (as I now did for this test).  The print settings in LR no doubt chose the proper black ink for the selected paper, I assume.

I have no need for roll feed and A2 size is sufficient for my printing.  I'll see what my dealer has to offer.  He mentioned a "fair price" for a printer (demo?) I can't now recall - a Canon, probably the Pro-1000.
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mike D. B.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 769
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2017, 11:02:49 AM »

Larry and Praja, your experiences are interesting, thanks for mentioning them.  Since I'm pressed for time, I'll probably have to opt for a new printer and tackle the 3880 issue when my urgent printing needs have passed.  I could then either keep it as backup (which probably isn't such a good idea since inks dry and clog), or sell it for a fair price.

Thanks for your comments, I'll check with Epson in Germany following the holidays and see what they suggest.  They're just down the road (100 km or so).
Logged
Kind regards, Mike

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11281
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2017, 01:49:35 PM »

Larry and Praja, your experiences are interesting, thanks for mentioning them.  Since I'm pressed for time, I'll probably have to opt for a new printer and tackle the 3880 issue when my urgent printing needs have passed.  I could then either keep it as backup (which probably isn't such a good idea since inks dry and clog), or sell it for a fair price.

Thanks for your comments, I'll check with Epson in Germany following the holidays and see what they suggest.  They're just down the road (100 km or so).

The comments from Larry and Praja are consistent with what I suggested in Reply #9, which is doubly useful as they actually lived through the experience. As it is now Saturday evening in Germany, if your Epson service facility a hundred KM down the road is open Monday morning, perhaps they would be prepared to look it over and fix you up Monday afternoon. Can you be equipped with a new printer fully set-up and in your comfort zone for operation by then? Depending on how quickly Epson can respond, possibly you'd lose little time and may actually gain some giving the repair option a try. But you'd be the best judge of that depending on the conditions over there.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....."
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up