Sorry guys the USPS let us down yesterday. Microscope "camera mount" was marked as "out for delivery" yesterday but it never arrived here. I want to share with you here what me and my genius saw yesterday. I will in time I promise. What did happen yesterday is very interesting..
This 9900 I picked up from Edward The Juggler, in August of this year. I drove to Colorado to meet him in-between race weekends. Once I got the machine back here my focus went straight back to work and racing. The first time I even plugged this machine into a wall socket was yesterday morning. So naturally I figured it's printhead would be wiped out dead. Edward did a lot of work, made a lot of phone calls, and wasted a TON of ink performing every cleaning cycle these X900s have. Nothing he did, or that Epson recommended, cleared his green channel clogs. But every other channel was fine. Now here it is three whole months later and after a week long journey in the back of my van (no air conditioning) through the Mojave Desert (read; hotter than hell - 110degrees, dryer than hell - less than 40% humidity, and dustier than the Peanuts Character "Pig Pen") and then three months of not only neglect but total disrespect (never even powered up), and now you too might expect this head to fire only blanks once we ran a nozzle pattern. Well you'd be wrong..
Two channels, LLK and VLM were both 100% clear on the first test print. All other channels took only one pairs cleanings to wake back up, with the exception of CY which took three to fire 100% clear. However the green channel, which was the reason Edward the juggler contacted me about his machine in the first place, never did come clear - just like he said. In fact in the box of extra parts that Edward left me with in the desert there was one nozzle pattern printed. When I compared his last pattern with our best pattern, there was no difference. WTF? After all that abuse NOT ONE MORE UNCLEARABLE CLOG?? How can that be?
If you think that is bad, how about this - once me and the genius removed this 9900's printhead the first thing we did was take it over to our trusty new stereo microscope to examine every nozzle face of the green channel. For sure we expected, even hoped to see piles of dried ink particles caked inside the openings of the nozzles. Nothing doing though. There is no discernible difference between the outside face of this X900's clear green nozzles when compared to it's clogged green nozzles. For sure that is a blow to my inspiration. My hope was this was a surface problem. Apparently it is not. If these are indeed "clogs", they are inside the head. Could be they are deep inside, could be they are just inside - either way they are not visible from our Lunar Module.
I say Lunar Module because combing your way over the face of our X900s printheads under 180X magnification is quite a lot like being in space ( I imagine). You see things unimaginable. Take for instance the very common paranoia about printhead strikes (paper striking the printhead during prints). Well let me tell you, the printhead that came with our printer (the 7900 that this thread was originally based on) must have experienced multiple head strikes. The steel framework that protects the printhead's actual face is so scratched up you might think some kid dragged it behind his bicycle. This is both alarming and comforting. I have another head here from an older model Epson which does not have any framework protecting it. For sure if this old head endured half of what our protected head did, it would have been damaged. So with the bad news comes good news too. Our heads are well protected from strikes (and the strong possibility of heavy matte paper making contact with it's delicate surface). You will understand more when I am able to share images from our explorations through the Epson Piezo Galaxy.
...more to come