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Author Topic: Epson 3880 not printing blacks  (Read 3181 times)

Mike D. B.

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2017, 03:57:36 PM »

Mark, your suggestion has prompted me to actually phone Epson Monday morning.  I might be pleasantly surprised and they'll ask me to bring them the printer at short notice.  That truly would be nice.

I dread having to quickly adjust to a new printer, trying to match existing prints, lacking icc profiles, having to relive my learning curve with the 3880.

I'll let you know what evolves.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2017, 03:59:58 PM »

OK Mike, I hope it works out well for you - do let us know what happens.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2017, 07:07:27 AM »

Contacting Epson (Germany) is difficult at the moment so I'll see how to possibly revive my 3880 in January or February.

I just returned from my local dealer who also distributes Moab papers (on which I mainly print).  He has loaned me a Canon Pro-1000 which has made the time pressure disappear.  He's a great fellow (Michael Verhoelen)!  I'll use the printer the next few weeks, then return it.  Afterwards, I'll choose between an Epson P800 or Canon Pro-1000.

On ebay, I found an allegedly brand new, never-been-used 3880 with a great number of ink cartridges.  I would have taken to 800 km (round trip) drive upon myself to quickly have a replacement printer.  And better yet, one which I knew and was comfortable with the results.  But the fellow hasn't replied to my questions, so I take that as some sort of sign that I should stick with my "local" (340 km round trip) dealer.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2017, 08:48:59 AM »

I'm glad the time pressure is now off, and I wish you well with either new printer when you get one. I love my P800, and others have spoken well of the Canon 1000.

Eric
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2017, 09:04:16 AM »

Both make excellent prints, the key difference being the slightly larger gamut volume of which the Pro-1000 can be capable, but not always visible in prints - depends on the photo. The key things a purchase decision would be mindful of are the considerable differences of operational features between these printers, and which are of higher priority to the user. Both Keith Cooper on his website (Northlight Images) and I on this website have reviewed both printers in some depth, so a reading of all that material should provide a multi-perspective view of the options and capabilities. These new models are a step-up from the 3880, as one should expect, so if the choice is to buy a second-hand 3880 without a warranty from a little-known private vendor who doesn't answer emails, or a new model with a warranty from a reputable dealer, it's pretty obvious what makes more sense - unless Mike's 3880 is  inexpensively and reliably repairable.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2017, 02:04:50 PM »

Thanks Eric and Mark for your comments and aid.  I've run a few test prints with the Canon Pro-1000 using Moab icc profiles.  The prints look nice, very nice.

What surprised me was the printer's weight: 32kg with inks!!  The 3880 weights about a third less and so does the P800.  I was really sweating when I carried that beast into the apartment (luckily the ground floor).  The Canon also produces far more noise than my 3880, and sounds like it's about to take off!  Is there a fan built into the printer?

I've quit dreaming of a second 3880, Mark.  As you mentioned, the facts speak for themselves and it's probably no mistake to step up one generation (and enjoy a full 2-year warranty period).  Anyone need some 3880 inks?  ;)
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2017, 03:40:45 PM »

If you carried that thing yourself you're probably a younger man than I am, or more muscular, or both! It's a bit of a heavy beast indeed. It does have a vacuum feed which adds to weight and contributes some noise, but really reliable paper feeding. It's just a very solidly constructed machine. Glad you're liking the results.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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mfryd

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2017, 08:03:20 PM »

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.

...

Your problem is likely that your black ink cart is empty, but the printer thinks it's full.  Pull out the black cart (an empty cart weighs noticeably less than a full cart).   Put in a fresh cart, and you should be able to get your immediate printing done.

The underlying issue is likely the failure of the PK/Matte ink switch valve.  One of the failure modes allows the black ink to leak out out of the cart without the printer realizing it.

Epson rates the 3880 as having a 5 year lifetime.  If the printer is close to that age, I would not recommend paying someone to repair it.

If you otherwise are happy with the quality and operation of the 3880, you will likely be happy with its replacement, the P800.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2017, 11:37:38 PM »

Your problem is likely that your black ink cart is empty, but the printer thinks it's full.  Pull out the black cart (an empty cart weighs noticeably less than a full cart).   Put in a fresh cart, and you should be able to get your immediate printing done.

The underlying issue is likely the failure of the PK/Matte ink switch valve.  One of the failure modes allows the black ink to leak out out of the cart without the printer realizing it.

Epson rates the 3880 as having a 5 year lifetime.  If the printer is close to that age, I would not recommend paying someone to repair it.

If you otherwise are happy with the quality and operation of the 3880, you will likely be happy with its replacement, the P800.
That's exactly what happened to my 3800. The black cart leaked out but the chip still thought it was full. But my 3800 lasted well past the 5-year estimated life span, and I'm delighted with the P800.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2017, 01:23:10 AM »

Sadly, an empty ink cartridge wasn't the cause, mfryd.  I exchanged both black cartridges, switched back and forth manually (via printer menu), performed a number of cleansing operations, but without success.  Everything points towards the valve.

Since the printer is roughly six years old, I'll be looking at either a Canon Pro-1000 or Epson P800 as a replacement.

During my darkroom days, I used a Leica enlarger which was decades old, a Leica M3 which was built the year I was born (1954) and, had I not switched completely to digital, could have still been using this hardware.  Our digital age seems to require relatively frequent upgrades or exchanges, not only to stay current (whatever that means) but to simply have operating gear.  I recall when washing machines or vacuum cleaners lasted far longer than 10 years.  Today I seem to need a new one shortly after the warranty expires!  >:(  At least my recent cars seem to last forever.

Sorry for the rant, I got carried away.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2018, 01:57:30 PM by Mike D. B. »
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #30 on: February 09, 2018, 02:04:13 PM »

Update: I've placed a Canon Pro-1000 on order and should be able to pick it up towards the end of next week.

Since before Christmas, I've been using a Pro-1000 my dealer had loaned and I'm very pleased with the prints!  Didn't have the chance to use an Epson P800, but I don't think I'm making the wrong choice.  I will have to get used to all the noises that printer emits prior to printing, agitating the cartridges or whatever.  In comparison, the 3880 was silent.

I hope this printer lasts longer than the 3880.

Thanks, guys, for your comments.
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Farmer

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #31 on: February 09, 2018, 04:59:24 PM »

I hope this printer lasts longer than the 3880.

Realistically, once you pass 5 years on any of these, you're in bonus territory (yes, queue any number of people telling me they're still using a 15 year old printer - I know).  In reality, though, 5 years is the normal expected life of most of these devices from all the vendors.  Depending on how you use them, you may get more or less.
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Phil Brown

Jeffrey Saldinger

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #32 on: February 09, 2018, 05:52:14 PM »

Phil, any thoughts on what to do or refrain from doing to maximize the working life?  Or do you think it's more the luck of the draw, that one is lucky or not until some component breaks down?  Or both?
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Jeffrey
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deanwork

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #33 on: February 09, 2018, 07:10:16 PM »

What I would do is go to inkjet mall.com and buy  one of those refillable inkcarts for the black channel and buy a small bottle of their pink flush fluid and start printing out a target of 100% black. This stuff acts like a solvent on carbon black ink and has saved more than a few printers that would otherwise been dumped. Because black is made mostly of dense carbon it often can get gummed up and dried in the head, lines, or dampers.

First I would put it in and do a couple of heavy cleaning cycles and then let the flush fluid sit in the lines for 24 hours, then do a nozzle check and repeat.

You don't have anything to loose. And I'd say you have about a 50% chance that it might save the printer.

John


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.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2018, 07:53:41 PM »

In Europe he would deal with this company: http://www.taos-photographic.com
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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deanwork

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Mike D. B.

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Re: Epson 3880 not printing blacks
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2018, 12:31:06 AM »

Thanks, guys, for those suggestions.
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