L_D_Allen: It sounds like you've got into a complete mess with this, trying too many different things before you have a decent understanding of the processes involved.
Here's a plan
Start again from page 1
I appreciate the advice, and your continued and patient "way-beyond-the-call-of-duty" assistance to this floundering CM newbie. However, I've sort of "been there, done that" as far as starting at the basics with the supplied TC918. At least once. Maybe twice?
Sorry if I'm being defensive and coming across as unappreciative. Here's a bit of a summary of my "saga" from an earlier post:http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=75707.msg610424#msg610424
And sorry for the following long post which may be tl:dr
Originally, I started off with the default TC918 supplied with PMP5 for the iSis. Perhaps it was self-inflicted, but I experienced an "off-by-one" alignment problem early on, if not immediately. Unfortunately, I didn't notice that symptom other than terrible profiles, so I figured the TC918 and the iSis didn't play well together. After the spectro scan, it showed a "Measurement done ok" and I believed it. Drat. In retrospect, I perhaps gave up on the TC918 too soon.
That lead me to some huge wasting-of-time, rabbit trails, and frustration in the weeds trying to get the Measure-Tool to generate test-chart targets. I was 99.44% sure that would work. But, no. Then beating my head against the wall with i1Profiler 1.4.2 demo, then ColorPort, back to PMP5, even some ArgyllCms .... blah, blah, blah. Sorry for the whining.
I did return to using the basic TC918 + iSis + PMP5 a week or so ago. I did find the TDL iSis_INFO parameter issues that I think caused the "off-by-one" alignment problems. I made a checker-board black/white pattern of the TC918 that gives me confidence that the alignment on patch-reading is now ok, rather than the earlier "off-by-one". As delivered, you could see the b/w patches blending together about half-way across the page, which threw everything off. That's solved, and probably "operator error" out of ignorance on my part. But the flaws with gray borders/highlights continued.
If I say so myself, I tend to be pretty organized as far as making notes in my "lab book". That's probably an understatement, especially after all the problems encountered that could be explained by carelessness and getting in a hurry and not in the best state of mind from frustration. That includes putting "procedure notes" on the print-outs as far as time-stamps, how printed, how measured, patch-counts, CS4/Acpu settings, even barometric pressure lately here in Colorado at 6500', etc.
But I fully concur it is excellent advice to be methodical about tackling "one degree of freedom" at a time, starting from "first principles". There is a lot to go wrong, especially with the work-flow spreading out over multiple days as prints dry.
The status now is that the combination of Acpu/CS4 + TC918 + iSis + PMP-5 continues to mostly result in unusable, deeply flawed profiles with highlights/borders becoming gray. Every so often, that combination provides what seems to be a good profile. With Acpu + TC918 + iSis + ColorPort spectro scan, and then PMP-5 to actually generate a printer profile from ColorPort spectro scan measurements, the printer-profiles results are significantly improved as far as fewer prints with gray highlights/borders. I'm actually getting what seem to be very good printer profiles ... hurray/whew ... which suggests that the iSis is working ok.
Further "status" ... I came across info that the PMP-5 choice of "LOGO Classic" for the "Gamut Mapping" choice on a PC may have bugs. That might explain a lot. A whole lot. From my software experience, I try to figure that the hardware and commercial software are ok, and the problems are caused by my PEBKAC. Or not in this case? Something else to try.
Also, I've been grappling with using ArgyllCMS to generate printer profiles from ColorPort spectro measurements of the TC918 target. That seems to be working very well, but it is a bit early to have confidence in that work-flow from dried test prints like the one from OutbackPhoto. That combination would remove PMP-5 entirely from the work-flow. Good riddance?
And I keep hoping I'll have rental access for a week of a relatively new i1Profiler Photo Pro-2 bundle from the organizer of a photography oriented Meetup group. That has been delayed time after time, which has thrown me off on several occasions.
And BTW, it's Allan rather than Allen. But you can call me Ray, or you can call me Bill, or you can call me "clueless newbie" if you can help get the iSis working.