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Author Topic: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?  (Read 1143 times)

Deardorff

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Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« on: September 09, 2018, 10:25:53 AM »

Have an Epson 4900 that is clogged. Completely.
Bought new, used for less than 100 prints and crapped out. Epson replaced it - and the replacement did the same thing - and was just out of warranty when it decided it did not like working without major clogging and eating inks in never ending cleaning cycles.

Has been sitting for a few years now.

Worth putting in cleaning cartridges and making a dedicated B&W printer using Piezography or the Paul Roark type inks?

Would love a dedicated B&W printer - but if the Epson really can't do it I'll look elsewhere.

Since I have the Epson I would like to get some use out of it. No one nearby who knows much on them so asking here.

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JimAscher

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Re: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2018, 12:20:54 PM »

I acquired a used Epson 4800 to produce larger prints to supplement my trusty Epson 1400 (and its 1430 upgrade).  It worked fine as long as I didn't let it sit idle more than a week at a time.  However, my need for large prints didn't occur that frequently so I gave it away and the new owner is now working to unclog it, with mixed success.  I guess all (Epson?) printers need to be used fairly continuously so as not to clog unduly, if at all.  I use (and mix my own) Roark's recommended MIS carbon inks.  The internet is replete with potentially useful advice for unclogging these printers.  But it seems to be quite a frequently frustrating undertaking.  Good Luck.
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Paul Roark

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Re: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2018, 10:14:48 PM »

I think sometimes the printer's capping station doesn't seal well enough, and the heads dry out.  It's certainly true that all these printers and inks will dry on the head and cause clogs if not used reasonably frequently.  On the other hand, I often go for a couple of weeks between printing, with maybe one or two cleaning cycles needed to get a perfect nozzle check.

I suspect the "Eboni-6" type, matte only inkset on my ink info webpage may be the least likely to clog.  The general webpage is at http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/, and the one that may be more appropriate to look at, I'd guess, is
http://www.paulroark.com/BW-Info/3880-Eboni-Variable-Tone.pdf .

When you use the DIY base to dilute the "Eboni" MK ink and the toner inks, there is no binder (glue) added by the base.  Note that MIS sells this base pre-mixed at https://www.inksupply.com/roarkslab.cfm .  Note that I do not receive any royalties or the like from this page.  It's strictly MIS's, but with my permission as long as they don't put products on the page that I have not formulated or their less expensive clones of such, which I also test to be sure they're not dogs (no offense to my Golden Retriever). 

With the MK pigment-based inks there is very little if any binder.  (I can't guarantee that the original MK has zero binders.  The supplier does not disclose the formula.)  Frankly, I made the base originally for a watercolorist (high end and well known) who wanted me to print light images on her watercolor paper before she painted the image.  The goal was to have that ink smear with a wet brush.  To her disappointment, the MK pigments would not move!  Cool, I have an inkset with no binder!  And nothing is cheaper or more archival.

So, if you can live with matte prints (and they may be the best when under acrylic or Museum glass), the Variable tone version of the "Eboni-6" inkset may be the best and cheapest way to go.  The only big expense is the empty, refillable carts.

I do recommend that all large format printers have their carts pulled and agitated weekly or bi-weekly.  All pigment do, slowly, settle.

I might add that I also use the MIS PK and the MIS "amber" base for glossy printing.  In my 9800, I have a setup with both Eboni-6 and the glossy inkset version.  I'm happy to report it also is fairly clog free, and the two types of ink appear to be totally compatible.  The profiles are more complex due to having both ink types in there.  Also, note that I use two MK positions in my personal inksets to get a good dmax on Arches (uncoated) watercolor paper (Arches hot press 140).  I don't really recommend that most bother with watercolor papers.  Inkjet papers and a simpler arrangement, such as noted above for the 3880, are much easier for most to profile.  Where the matte-only Eb6 type inset is used in a printer that is made to have both an MK and PK ink in it, I put clear base in the PK position. 

Good luck with the printer and your B&W printing.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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Rhossydd

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Re: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2018, 03:59:35 AM »

Have an Epson 4900 that is clogged. Completely.
.....Epson replaced it - and the replacement did the same thing - and was just out of warranty when it decided it did not like working without major clogging and eating inks in never ending cleaning cycles.
Has been sitting for a few years now.

Worth putting in cleaning cartridges and making a dedicated B&W printer using Piezography or the Paul Roark type inks?
Haven't you answered your own question here ?
Trying to resurrect a long dead Epson is almost certainly futile, BTDT.

If you want a dedicated B&W, either buy a new printer that will take the inkset you want or pick up a working secondhand printer for conversion.
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KeithR

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Re: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2018, 03:46:10 PM »

Have an Epson 4900 that is clogged. Completely.
Send a note over to Walker Blackwell at Inkjet Mall(piezography). He would have a good answer. Since i had a large format printer repair shop just minutes from my home, I was able to bring both of the used 4800's that I got off thebay. One had been used as a dye sub and the other had a bad head. They changed dampers in both and one needed a new capping station. I now have 2 working 4800's with Cone Color in one & Piezography Pro in the other. I have a third one that is sitting with Piezo flush but it needs a couple of dampers otherwise works just fine.
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Krug

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Re: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 10:28:39 AM »

I have no idea if this would work for anyone else but it has transformed things for me.

I had the 4800 and had a lot of issues with it - mainly related to clogging. Epson replaced it on a shared-cost basis with a 4900 which began to show similar signs.
About the same time my doctor suggested that I needed (not the printer) a humidifier in my studio/workroom and by chance I located it near the printer - have had no further clogging/dryness problems with either my own tubes or those of the printer for more than two years.
Like many of us, I guess, I use my printer spasmodically - intensively at times but often have no further need for a week or three - it seems that those who use their printer every day have far less difficulties but frankly after the first week or three I forget to print for no maintenance reasons.
I have been warned that there could be problems with rusting/degradation of contacts due to moisture over time but the studio atmosphere is not that moist ( I never run the humidifier at more than around one third power) - and in any case for me a replacement printer every 2-3 years with 100% working in between is preferable to regular malfunctioning without warning - my problems always seemed to occur just exactly at the worst times !  At times the alternative seemed to be a heart attack brought on by apoplexy !

May not help but  .... just my two pennyworth of experience.
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Krug

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Re: Resurrect Epson 4900 for dedicated B&W?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 10:39:19 AM »

Apologies - poor proofreading - "for just maintenance reasons" in line 4
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John Ashbourne
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