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Author Topic: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?  (Read 9585 times)

Christopher Sanderson

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'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« on: November 22, 2017, 11:11:14 am »

An anecdotal problem and possible 'fix'

I have an Epson P600 which I love but recently had a problem with the Black ink head which went AWOL.

I do not do a lot of printing and find the ink costs for the P600 to be an impediment to frequent printing. Consequently the printer sits idle for longer periods than is healthy for the heads.

Recently I received a copy of Image Print which now supports the P600. I wanted to check it out and went to make some prints.

Starting the printer for the first time in eight weeks or so, I did a nozzle check as I normally would. All inks/heads good but for the black which showed very little of the pattern - just a few lines or about 90% missing.

I did a head cleaning and the result was no pattern or print at all for the black inks. My stomach sank as I thought oh-oh another dead printer

A second and third head cleaning showed the same result: no black ink at all. Both MK & PK showed good ink levels above 20%. I tried an MK to PK switch to see if that would help. No dice. I switched back to MK

The ink levels of VLM, Y, LLK were in the low 10 - 20% range on the control panel.

Since I had already been in contact with John Panozzo of ImagePrint (re our video of IP) I happened to mention to him that the black ink head was AWOL on my printer.

Here is his reply which I quote with his permission:


JP: Let me give you some tips so you don’t waste a bunch of ink and time.  The P600 will drop the black nozzles when other inks are low.  The only way to fix is to replace the other inks and the black will come right back with a cleaning.

CS: Let me change all the inks that are 10% or less and I'll give it another try! [I had a complete set, so I actually changed them all since none was more than 40%]

JP: When we were developing on it we ran into this problem and fought it until we thought the print head was bad.  We had extra ink so to satisfy our curiosity we put them in and bingo it came back. Makes no sense at all but it happened every time inks got low.

CS: A lifesaver tip John. The head is back.


I actually went through a total of four cleaning cycles before the head was fully functional. But the printer now works flawlessly again.

So, my suggestion to anyone who has a problem with a 'missing' black ink head is to try replacing any low ink cartridges.

Is there a problem with the functionality of the P600? I do not know but it strikes me as beyond coincidence that ImagePrint had the same problem as I with the P600 black ink head and their 'fix' worked flawlessly for me.

Has anyone else faced that problem?

Farmer

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2017, 05:08:54 pm »

That doesn't make any sense at all.  I would mention at this point that correlation is not causation.  You ran 4 cleans and the black channel (it's not a separate head) came back.  That has a logical nexus - cleaning and recovery.  The ink levels of cartridges which are not related to that channel do not have a nexus.

So I would suggest that if you had continued cleans, it would have recovered regardless.  Even with JP's anecdote, it's only that, and there are far more cases of people recovering a blocked MK/PK channel by running cleans than because they changed the inks over in the other channels.
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Phil Brown

Christopher Sanderson

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2017, 05:37:04 pm »

That doesn't make any sense at all.  I would mention at this point that correlation is not causation.  You ran 4 cleans and the black channel (it's not a separate head) came back...
Fair enough. However, I find it odd that the black channel went from some to none despite three head cleanings and then immediately reappeared once low inks were replaced.

Garnick

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2017, 06:28:54 pm »

Fair enough. However, I find it odd that the black channel went from some to none despite three head cleanings and then immediately reappeared once low inks were replaced.

Hi Christopher,

I have to agree with Phil, this is strictly another example of serendipity in my opinion.  Otherwise, none of it makes any sense at all.  We have all known for some time that running three or more cleaning cycles in succession with these Epson printers is never a good idea.  After the third cycle you really should have shut down the printer and left it for several hours(or overnight) before rebooting and starting over with the cleaning cycles.  It can do a lot of damage to the head if repeated cycles are run without resting the printer.  Also, after every cycle one should print an image with all colours included.  And I also agree with Phil that more cycles, after a good rest, would likely have recovered the K channel without swapping out any other inks.

Gary   

 
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Gary N.
"My memory isn't what it used to be. As a matter of fact it never was." (gan)

nirpat89

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2017, 07:55:47 am »

Fair enough. However, I find it odd that the black channel went from some to none despite three head cleanings and then immediately reappeared once low inks were replaced.
Hi, Chris:  You can prove if your problem was related to the ink levels or not by switching back to the old cartridges and see if you can recreate the "disappearance" of the black ink head.  If it was indeed related to the ink levels, it would be horrifying - as it is the cartridge costs are high and on top of that you can't use them to their fullest capacity.  This would be a scam of a class-action scale, if true.

:Niranjan.

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Garnick

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2017, 09:27:03 am »

Hello again Christopher,

Since I still haven't had a change of mind concerning the "fix" you have described, I will offer two possible "fixes" that may circumvent the necessity of installing new carts in order to bring the black "channel" back to life.  The first one is the most time efficient; simply open the two ink bay doors and then close them again.  That would normally initiate the pressurizing procedure and might have some positive effects on the issue you have mentioned with the black channel.  Before the P7000 I had read about an "issue" with some of the former Epson printer models.  Now I see this same "issue" with the P7000.  Occasionally, when I insert a new cart and close the bay door one of the other carts is displayed as not communicating with the mother board.  Therefore of course, the printing cycle will no proceed.  The fix for that is to simply open the bay door for the uncooperative cart and close it again.  On a couple of occasions I have had to re-seat the problem cart, but usually the former procedure does the job.  The second "possible" fix for your issue might be to shut down the printer and leave it for a few minutes before powering up again.  Sometimes it just need a reboot to set everything straight, as with any computer.  Of course it's quite possible that neither of these suggestions will work, but it wouldn't require much time to find out, and perhaps save some ink as well.   

Gary           
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Gary N.
"My memory isn't what it used to be. As a matter of fact it never was." (gan)

Christopher Sanderson

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2017, 10:54:16 am »

... You can prove if your problem was related to the ink levels or not...
Thanks but I have little interest in 'proving' the possible problem. My thought in the original post was to offer a potential solution to a possible problem - especially a solution suggested by a company (Image Print) whose business is printing and which worked immediately. I will leave it to others to pursue if they wish.

As John Panozzo of IP said of this 'solution', "Makes no sense at all..." - but serendipitously or not, it worked.

Christopher Sanderson

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2017, 10:57:21 am »

..I will offer two possible "fixes" that may circumvent the necessity of installing new carts in order to bring the black "channel" back to life.  The first one is the most time efficient; simply open the two ink bay doors and then close them again....         

Thanks for this - more options for those seeking advice

BTW concerning the potential damage of over-working the cleaning cycle, how would potential damage show up?

Garnick

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2017, 12:33:52 pm »

Thanks for this - more options for those seeking advice

BTW concerning the potential damage of over-working the cleaning cycle, how would potential damage show up?

Mark Segal posted a few years ago concerning the potential damage to a print head caused by running too many clean cycles in succession.  Apparently, especially when running too many Power Cleaning Cycles the head can overheat and cause it to perform well below its original potential.  In other words, the print head could very well be toasted if abused in such a manner.  Mark posted this information following a conversation with Epson techs concerning this issue.  I don't recall ever running a Power Clean Cycle on any of the Epson Wide Format printers I've had.  However, if I'm running more than two successive regular clean cycles I always print an image file with a mix of all of the colours between each cycle, just to make sure the printer is being used in its intended manner, and using all colours.  That way all channels are put into use, not just the necessary pair(s).  It may not be totally necessary, but this procedure certainly can't hurt, and it might indeed save the print head from unrecoverable damage.

Gary

     
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Gary N.
"My memory isn't what it used to be. As a matter of fact it never was." (gan)

bobeaston

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 01:46:54 pm »

I’m not saying my experience necessarily adds to the analysis of the cause of the problem discussed above, but I have just experienced this same issue with my P600, and the fix outlined by Chris also worked for me (thanks Chris!).

In summary, I always do a nozzle check when I switch on, usually weekly, and for the 18 months I've had the printer, it has always been 100% OK. Today, though, a good 80% of the MK pattern was missing and after a cleaning cycle that made no difference, a bell rang in my head about this article, which I’d bookmarked when I first came across it, “just in case”. Replacing the yellow cartridge – which I’ve been expecting to have to do for some time – brought back the MK, just as the original post describes.

To be honest, I didn’t really read the discussion till after my problem was fixed, so I didn’t explore the alternatives put forward. However, to answer Chris’s question “Has anyone else faced that problem?”, I would say, yes, I have.

Cheers,
Bob
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I.T. Supplies

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2018, 02:27:13 pm »

You won't really over heat the head doing multiple cleans.  We had the same issue with our P600 demo and I went through about 7 or 8 cleanings to get the MBK working.  After 4, talked to my boss on what to do and told me to contact Epson.  They had me go through a few more cleanings (and I told them upfront about what I already did), and after the 6th, it started showing.  Did another cleaning, got much better and the next we basically all back on nozzle checks.

Yes, overheating the head is possible, but give it some time in between to cool.
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Farmer

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2018, 02:42:22 pm »

That's the key - time between.  It also depends on the model and what sort of cleans are available.  What you should never do is back to back cleans.  Always do a nozzle check in between.  This firstly checks if you've cleared the nozzle and secondly allows the head temp to be regulated and thirdly ensures proper supply to the head (back to back to back cleaning can push ink out of the head faster than it can be supplied).
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Phil Brown

alex75

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2018, 06:09:57 am »

Hi,
I am happy I found this topic because it not only solved my problem of missing black ink on a P600, but it pushed me to subscribe to The Luminous Landscape to be able to reply!
I wanted to confirm that what Chris Sanderson reported in its OP is correct, as strange as it can seem.
PK suddenly disappeared in the middle of a print; I did seven cleaning cycles in three days; after the first four cycles some ink appeared; but after the following cycle, it went worse and ink disappeared again.
Two days later, nothing changed. I received a new Y cartridge to replace the old and almost empty one, and everything came back to normal as soon as I replaced it.
My thought is that if one ink is so low that the P600 refuses to swap PK and MK, it won't print K neither.
But whatever the reason is, thank you Chris.
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nirpat89

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2018, 08:56:04 am »

So far the 3 cases reported here seem to involve low Y channel (the OP replaced more than just the Y and the other two instances only the Y.)  Is that a coincidence?  Or does this "flaw" only happens when Y is low or for all channels?

I have the P400 that has considerably different head/cartridge design.  For quite some time I had a low C warning but allowed me to print regardless until it ran out completely in the middle of a print.  I changed the cartridge and finished the print without any visible defect.  So this problem is not in all models. 

Any feedback from Epson regarding this problem? It would be annoying if one has to throw away cartridges at 10-20% capacity every time.   I have been thinking about getting the P600 in the not too distant future.  This issue will deter me from doing so.

Totally weird!

:Niranjan
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2018, 09:18:55 am »

...But whatever the reason is, thank you Chris.

You are most welcome - here and to this 'solution'

CS

Farmer

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2018, 04:19:16 am »

Again, guys, post hoc ergo propter hoc :-)  Replacing an ink cartridge causes the printer to go through a number of routines including pressurisation.  You would achieve the same thing by simply removing a cartridge and replacing it and that, combined with cleaning, is what brings it back.  Going from some to none to back again is not at all unusual.  Replacing the yellow (or any other cart) isn't the issue.  Low ink volume in one has no effect on another.
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Phil Brown

alex75

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2018, 02:05:32 pm »

Going from some to none to back again is not at all unusual. 
I understand, but it was from none to some to almost OK to almost zero again, and to 100% perfect after replacing Y. It's not the same thing in my opinion.

Replacing an ink cartridge causes the printer to go through a number of routines including pressurisation.

Does a normal cleaning cycle include pressurisation? I think this is the pivot question.
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Farmer

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2018, 03:34:21 pm »

I understand, but it was from none to some to almost OK to almost zero again, and to 100% perfect after replacing Y. It's not the same thing in my opinion.

Does a normal cleaning cycle include pressurisation? I think this is the pivot question.

Firstly, welcome to LuLa :-)

The some/none/lots/one/some/etc cycles are all normal and all a good sign.  It's when a nozzle never recovers at all that you probably have an issue with the print head itself.  The other cycles are just typical of minor blockages or detritus on the head or air etc.

Does a normal cleaning repressurise?  No, only when a new cart (or an old cart) is installed/reinstalled is that triggered.  That may or may not help with cleaning - remember that on top of everything else, you ran more cleans.
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Phil Brown

alex75

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2018, 04:25:48 pm »

Thank you Phil.
Then maybe there was some air and only the pressurization when installing a new cart helped.
It would be for sure more logical!
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nirpat89

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Re: 'Missing' P600 Black ink head?
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2018, 05:12:15 pm »

Thank you Phil.
Then maybe there was some air and only the pressurization when installing a new cart helped.
It would be for sure more logical!

That's why I suggested earlier in the thread to put back the culprit Y cartridge and see if the B disappears.  That would prove the cause and effect or the lack thereof. 

:Niranjan.
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