Thanks for the poke(s).
Truth is I screwed up, and I'm really bummed about it. That's why the quiet. I grew up reading a poem my mom hung on our wall. You all know it too. Something about two roads diverging in a wood, and me taking the one less traveled. Sometimes I love her for that poem, other times I wish I grew up illiterate. I've been a builder since my early 20s. That means five days a week I walk through life solving problems with the 28oz framing hammer hanging inches from my finger tips. That's the good side of being a builder. The bad side is seven days a week I walk through life feeling I can solve problems by smashing them.
I am much better now. Rarely am I bit by the smash it monster. But I lost it in that last experiment. Truth is I only told half the story. What really happened is worse...
I took the dead green head, filled it with RED, sat it's face in the ultrasonic cleaner, ran it for a while, rinsed it, then installed it. Everything went fine. Machine recognized it, set itself back up and was ready to print. Typically I do pairs cleanings to get ink in the head again, in service mode, which I did this time as well. I was anxious to see results. More than usual actually. In fact this time I was sure
there would be a difference. I didn't know what that difference would be of course, I just knew it would be. Then the machine stopped me - it asked for another maintenance tank before it could do the pairs cleaning. As you might imagine, I face this challenge regularly. Once I worked my way past the maintenance tank warning I was greeted by an LLK cart stop. I keep one spare of each color so this was not a problem. ...Until the machine couldn't recognize the new Epson cart. WTF. This took some scavenging but finally I robbed a cart with enough ink left to do the pairs cleaning. ...then I got a Cyan stop. WTF, again.. I put my new Cyan cart in the machine and got my second cart failure message in the same night. Can't be I thought, so I put the new cart in my 7900. Same message. This really pissed me off, because I don't have any Cyan carts to scavenge for. So the test is over, just inches from the result I've been working toward for over a year now. You don't even want to know what that felt like. I definitely didn't.
Enter, the framing hammer.
I pulled the head, forced Cyan ink (that I had pulled from an "empty" cart last month) into each channel, then re-installed the head. I knew under service mode I could force my way past the unavoidable cleanings in regular mode, but I also knew I couldn't print a nozzle pattern. I created a full page 8x10 doc in photoshop, with vertical bands of enough different colors and shades that for sure each channel would be fired. This would be my nozzle check. All bands would be Cyan of course, but at the very least I could tell, tonight, if any of the "green" nozzles were firing. Genius right? Yea, no. Not genius. Let me tell you something about service mode which you might not know - it's a LOT like walking through life, after work, with your 28oz framing hammer still hanging inches from your finger tips. Yes you can swap PK for MK in service mode, and yes you can avoid the unavoidable cleanings that regular mode forces the machine to run. Yes you can print in service mode too. You can do a lot of things in service mode that you can't do in regular mode - including even forcing your way past some menu stops which would otherwise dead-end you. That kind of makes you feel like you're smarter than the machine, after a while. Trust me you are not. In regular mode the machine steps in, kind of like a big brother. It warns you of things, it reminds you of things, and most importantly it stops you when you should probably be stopped.
I clicked "print". The machine went to work. Everything was Cyan. Bands grew from page bottom like the dream I've longed for. I watched the first inch with a big smile. Mind a few drop outs (with no cleanings yet) it seemed my plan was working. I was confident that at least some of the green nozzles had been rescued from their mummified tombs. Now I'd let it fill the page with Cyan. Eventually each channel's true colors would begin to show, but for now I didn't care about color - just nozzles firing. With 3/4 of the page printed, suddenly everything stopped dead in it's tracks. A fatal error message flashed across the menu, reading:
- - - This is Japan - - -
- - - Don't look surprised - - -
- - - You knew we were coming - - -
- - - This is no place for you - - -
- - - nor for your hammer - - -
- - - Go home now - - -
- - - and take your fatal error head with you - - -
All air left, my sails went limp. I shut the machine off and went to bed. Next morning I strapped on my belt, slid my hammer through the loop, and dove back into a world where I belong.
Since then I've got a few emails, "What's up? What happened?" I even got a "Don't give up".
This morning I pulled that print from the machine. I think now all nozzles did actually fire, at least at the beginning of the print, but slowly it seems most all of the channels ran dry of ink. The cyan bands get lighter and lighter with each pass that the head made. After about six inches of printing at least two went completely dry, which I assume is when the head overheated. I doubt in regular mode this would ever have happened. Instead the machine would have stopped itself with a menu warning.
So I blew it. But at the same time, I think I might have solved it. I won't know until I get another head, and try again.