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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 1082930 times)

clic

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #180 on: February 04, 2012, 05:24:29 pm »

This is a small sample compared to the total installed user base of this printer and while they may be reporting more LLK clogs it's likely not statistically significant.  It also does not include and Epson authorized service calls done under warranty or extended service contract.  Unless we know those data it's difficult to do any firm conclusion.

Alan


I am sure that you understand that neither you nor myself have access to Epson Data or are in charge of establishing word statistics.  The point here is not academic, but practical.  When after looking at already a sizable amount of data through two forums and various other networks, I could find stories of 12 head replacement (needed or effective) due to LLK "clog," and 1-2 due to green "clog," and none due to any other color, my jury concludes that there is something fishy with LLK, possibly Green.  Maybe it has to do with what their father did before conception, their astrological signs or their position in the cart, but those two colors are suspect, especially LLK.

Find me cases where other colors have lead to a head change on a x900 and I'll be interested.

Beyond that though, regardless of color speciousness or blindness, if we don't talk real clog but rather internal head failure, the question will be: why would that happen in printers that young, and should the user be held responsible?
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #181 on: February 04, 2012, 05:29:40 pm »

@Jeverton - please describe your testing procedure.  I'm a chemist by training and would really like to understand this better.  Certainly the inks dry in a perfectly acceptable manner when on paper otherwise one would see this on a print.  Putting a drop on a hard ramekin surface is likely not to be of great utility in understanding why something clogs.  We also don't know whether the clog is external or internal to the head or what the mechanism might be.  Please don't take my comments the wrong way, I'm extremely sympathetic to any user who is going through these problems and self help remedies are perhaps the route of choice when a printer is out of warranty.  I think it's also useful to learn from users experiencing these clogs what their print volume is.  We've heard from a number on LuLa who do a lot of printing that they don't experience clogging with the x900 printers.  I do understand that the print heads are different but clogging has been reported over the years with all Epson printers and it may be that it's because of the approach Epson has taken in designing the print head.

@clic - both the LK and LLK inks are based on carbon black as the colorant and I doubt are materially different.  What is key is the encapsulation process and that is what we don't know much about as it is an Epson trade secret as far as I can tell.
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jeverton

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #182 on: February 04, 2012, 05:31:46 pm »


Maybe it has to do with what their father did before conception, their astrological signs or their position in the cart, but those two colors are suspect, especially LLK.

Find me cases where other colors have lead to a head change on a x900 and I'll be interested.

Beyond that though, regardless of color speciousness or blindness, if we don't talk real clog but rather internal head failure, the question will be: why would that happen in printers that young, and should the user be held responsible?

LMAO  :P... I'm glad we can periodically add some humor into this dialog.  
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clic

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #183 on: February 04, 2012, 05:58:02 pm »

Alan,

Of course you should assume that I was not born last spring.  I have only 40 years of photography in my boots and while I would not call myself a chemist, I do my entire analog chemistry, although that is perfectly irrelevant when it comes to inkjet inks.  I am though probably sensible enough not to just drop a drop on a piece of glass.  Excuse me, but it is somewhat annoying to have to make that clear.  Once again, notably who I write for, I would consider that part of the assumptions.  So no it is not a drop, it is a film, more or less like a quality plastic wrap (Glad), and on glass with plenty of air contact, even heat, it does not fully dry.

Now, I understand that it dries on paper, I have had that printer for 2 years, I have made a few prints with it, that is kind of the way I make a living when I don't post here, or write articles, but when only in contact with glass and air, it does not dry. And actually that is much closer to the conditions it is in the head than paper is.

Now it could be that high volume users do not typically have problems, that data I don't have (Do you? Probably not huh?), although it seems that some of the people in my count of patients seem to be rather solid users as far as volume goes, probably reflecting the proportion of those fellows in the pool of users, but:

* Epson does not provide warning about those printers saying that they should be used, what?  Every day?  And if not, go buy yourself a Canon.

* in my case, the nozzle check was good 2 days before this problem occurred.  So would it seem sacrilegious to you that such a printer could possibly be not used for 48 hours?


Since you are a chemist, I can tell you though, that AIS had once discovered in their testing that when introducing a certain compound that promotes penetration and the loosening of resin in the 9800 inks, at a certain concentration after two weeks of sitting in the head, that was causing similar symptoms as the ones I and 12-13 others are known to have experienced.  That is all we know.  IS would not tell me the name of that compound as it is part of their proprietary formulas.
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gwhitf

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #184 on: February 04, 2012, 06:15:03 pm »

After some discussions about this issue, and being a photographer and not a graphic design production house dealing with Pantone colors or matching logos, if I was to do it again, I'd go for a 9880 or a 9800. I've been told by some knowledgeable people that the 9800 especially is a much more simple design, and the printhead can be replaced easily.

I know for me, I am guilty of buying the 7900 because "the latest greatest just must be better", but I'm almost feeling that the x900 series might just be too much glitz for an average photographer. The green and orange inks, I now know, do very little for the average photographer; they're more for graphic design houses.

Again, simple seems better and that seems to be the x880 and x800.

When I look on Atlex.com, only the 9890 and 9900 are available. (I'm moving up in size if I replace the printer). And I fear that, since I'm out of warranty, the fee from Decision One will be more than what my two year old 7900 is worth. Very sad to chuck a completely good printer, when the only issue is a few missing bars in the LLK line.

I wish the 9880 was still in production. As luck would have it, I sold my 9880 because of tight space, and later replaced it with the 7900, thinking that the orange and green would give me more gamut.

Lastly, if I was dreaming, I'd love one ink cart that was a clear gloss varnish, for use with Epson Exhibition Fiber. I still see that ink differential when the prints are held at a certain angle.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 06:17:28 pm by gwhitf »
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #185 on: February 04, 2012, 07:24:06 pm »

@Clic - I wasn't casting any aspersions at your testing on the other post that said ink was put in a ramekin.  I shall do some testing of my own as I have some almost spent cartridges on my 3880.  I don't have any experience with the x900 machines and maybe they are more fickle/problematic than the x800s.  Believe me I'm sympathetic to the users who are having problems and perhaps Epson bears some of the responsibilities here.  That being said I doubt they would be keeping a machine on the market if it were costing them more in warranty service than their profit margin (but I could also be wrong on that count).  We do have a problem in not knowing the ink formulation and whether in fact it is much different from the ink formulations used in the x800s (which seem to have a better record of no clogs).
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Jim Coda

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #186 on: February 04, 2012, 07:28:28 pm »

Clic, i have a 9900 and LK is clogged.  I may not be the only one with a clog on this forum other than LLK.  The other day I scanned another thread entitled "Re Epson 7900 - LLK channel clogging, banding - what a disappointment" where Jstar responded that he had been having nozzle check failures on "PK,MK/LLK" paired nozzle checks.  Decision One fixed that and then he had a clog on the "LLK" nozzle that wouldn't clean so Decision One came out again and that time replaced the head under his original warranty.  LLK isn't paired with PK,MK, it's paired with Yellow.  So, I'm thinking Jstar may have meant LK with respect to the failed nozzle checks.  I can't make the same argument about LLK and the head replacement, but since he said LLK in the first instance, I'm wondering if he meant LK the second time too.  Maybe he'll find this post and clarify.  I will say that Y/LLK was the pair I most often had to clean (always successfully). 

I think it would be useful if we gave a bit of info for our clogged X900s like how old it is, how many prints were done on it (find via the menu) and whether use was on a regular basis or intermittent basis and, finally, where the clog is. 

I bought my 9900 in December 2008 and it clogged 37 months later.  I ran 600 prints through it.  That's not many over 3 years, but there are probably more than a few owners who have run less than 200 prints a year.  Use was intermittent.  Sometimes I'd go a month or more without printing.  Never had to clean more than two pairs after those long rests.     

I'd also like to hear from the members who use their machines on a daily or regular basis.  How long have they had the printer?  How many prints?  Have they have had to do any maintenance or repairs to their machines? 

With the possible exception of those who have used their X900s every day to keep the ink flowing and "wet," I'm thinking it's not a question of whether a clog will occur, but when. 

Jim     

gwhitf

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #187 on: February 04, 2012, 07:46:03 pm »

Not to start any conspiracy theory, but I actually did just find a new 9880 on Atlex, and strangely, it's the only one that does not have the Instant Rebate of $1000.

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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #188 on: February 04, 2012, 08:07:27 pm »

I could find stories of 12 head replacement (needed or effective) due to LLK "clog," and 1-2 due to green "clog," and none due to any other color, my jury concludes that there is something fishy with LLK, possibly Green.  Maybe it has to do with what their father did before conception, their astrological signs or their position in the cart, but those two colors are suspect, especially LLK.

Find me cases where other colors have lead to a head change on a x900 and I'll be interested.


I don't see what the "jury" can conclude about this data. Firstly the sample may be statistically insignificant as others have mentioned, and secondly, the problem may relate to other issues that affected the LLK nozzles, quite apart from the ink. Only the people with the repair or analysis data would know the answer to this. The problem with coming to premature or inadequately informed conclusions about such things is that the true causes may well remain obscure, when transparency would be in the consumers' interest.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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clic

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #189 on: February 04, 2012, 08:26:55 pm »

Alan:  really I have no idea what difference may or may not be with the 3800 inks, so I will not venture there.  The only thing I know is that AIS, which I trust, tells me that he has rarely seen an Epson head fail before the x900, and now that is current, or common, let's say not a rare occurrence anymore.  Now that could be because the nozzles are so thin, but that does not explain very well why a couple of heads removed were actually flowing just fine, nor why my head with cleaner in it, no ink, kept clogging some more for as long as I left the cleaner in it.  


Jim: well, now I have one case of LK clogged.  What have you done about it?  Have you tried AIS cleaners on the capping station, and then if that does not work, the cleaner from inside solution?  

What I can tell you is that the issue I am studying always manifest itself as a clog in the type of pattern on the test attached: not on top or bottom at first, always as a group, not random nozzles in the color.  

About the other fellow on the other thread, if I remember well, what he was describing was unclear, and once again, it is one thing to have a more or less stubborn clog, it is another thing to have one that just does not go away and actually grows constantly.  So I only consider clogs that are persistent enough that people change the head or the printer and complain clearly about it.  In other words, if you post twice and don't complain, don't scream to high heavens in pain, I am going to assume that you are either extra terrestrial, that your pain threshold is higher than allowed in civilization, or that you just did not have to work that hard and that the clog went away but did not bother to tell us.

I have 13 cases of people aiming for a spot at the Blues hall of fame, and possibly one more pending.


Gwhitf: Why wanting a perfectly uniform glossy print?  For several decades in the latest part of the 20th century, photographers saught to have texture in a print, like in a die transfer for instance, that added a richness to the print, vs. a C print or a Cibachrome one at the time, which were the standards, and had as much texture as a chrome plate.  In b&w, my mentor had developed a te4chnique to remove part of the gelatin in order to bring the silver to the surface, there again among other things, in order to create texture, different ways for the light to be handled across the image.  Certain toners would metalize the shadows, in essence creating "bronzing" to everybody's delight, so why wanting to avoid that now?

Also, as far as Epson goes, only the x900 and x890 can both do glossy and matte at the same time.  That was the selling point for me, as I can't have two printers.


Mark: we already have had this discussion privately, but you are stubborn at confusing the issues. The fact that I only have found so many cases, yet more than one can count on one hand might make it a small amount of data, but the fact that the overwhelming part of that data is related to LLK, that is statistically relevant.  Once again, there is no reason that logic conceives, why all the other users who would have had head failures on a different color would have massively deserted the places where I gathered the cases I know.  Everything points in the direction of an LLK problem, but if you want to be in denial for academic or other reasons, that is your prerogative.

You are right though, that "transparency would be in the consumers' interest."
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #190 on: February 04, 2012, 09:24:45 pm »

Not to start any conspiracy theory, but I actually did just find a new 9880 on Atlex, and strangely, it's the only one that does not have the Instant Rebate of $1000.


If it's a 9880, it's an old unit (epson doesn't sell them anymore) so certainly epson isn't going to have a rebate offer on them.  amazing they still have a new one available.  They probably need to discount it substantially just to unload it.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #191 on: February 04, 2012, 09:49:48 pm »


Mark: we already have had this discussion privately, but you are stubborn at confusing the issues. The fact that I only have found so many cases, yet more than one can count on one hand might make it a small amount of data, but the fact that the overwhelming part of that data is related to LLK, that is statistically relevant.  Once again, there is no reason that logic conceives, why all the other users who would have had head failures on a different color would have massively deserted the places where I gathered the cases I know.  Everything points in the direction of an LLK problem, but if you want to be in denial for academic or other reasons, that is your prerogative.

You are right though, that "transparency would be in the consumers' interest."


Well, if by raising valid technical concerns about statistical inference is being stubborn and confusing, so be it; but I would have thought that systematically ignoring these principles creates more confusion than it resolves. The simple fact of the matter is that neither of us know whether a sample of 12 complaints is statistically significant, or even if it were, what it is significant about, apart from a coincidence of outcomes whose causes are not known to us. I'm not saying these people didn't have the problems; I'm only cautioning about how much to read into them absent much better data.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #192 on: February 04, 2012, 10:29:28 pm »

Wait - there's a suggestion that the LLK is clogging because it will NOT dry and harden?  Seriously?

/boggle
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Phil Brown

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #193 on: February 04, 2012, 10:34:19 pm »

I just want to know if Eric got a print out yet.
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Eric Gulbransen

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #194 on: February 04, 2012, 11:07:45 pm »

Eric and Steve's most excellent adventure has finally come full circle.  What have we learned?

If you have an un-cloggable clog on an Epson 7900:

1 - Changing the Damper assembly won't cure it.  It may however avoid one in the first place.
2 - Changing the head-only on an Epson 7900 takes 45min - start to finish.  You lose no ink except what it takes to re-fill the head itself (minimal).
3 - Yes you can reset the counter for the wiper cleaner right there from your printer's control panel.  No special service programs necessary
4 - Yes you DO need the service program to swap heads - successfully.
5 - No, changing your pump and cap assembly won't cure a clog either.  It may however avoid one in the first place.

And finally, the one we've all been waiting for, number 6 - Yes, taking your 7900's head off, soaking it overnight in cleaning solution, then sucking cleaning solution back up through it in reverse until it runs pure and clear, and then reinstalling it - is a lot of work.  It can also be a great exercise in male (or female) bonding.  As far as it's effectiveness in clearing un-cloggable clogs - I can speak confidently and from experience now that my genius buddy and I have successfully re-fired our Epson 7900 up and run it through it's paces again - that beyond any measure or trace of doubt, it doesn't work for $*&%@!!!


Yes we replaced the damper assembly successfully.  The pump and cap assembly too.  Took the head out, put the head in.  Swapped the wiper cleaner assembly.  Purged our lines, filled our lines, reset counters, performed power cleanings on single colors rather than pairs only, aligned the head again through extensive procedures, etc. etc.  It all came apart flawlessly.  It all went together flawlessly.  Not a single problem in the bunch.  But the resulting nozzle pattern is IDENTICAL to what it was before.  Not surprising in the least, to either of us.


For anyone following this unique journey to the center of the Epson 7900, relax, this is only the end of the beginning of this.  Now we strive forward, in a quest for more knowledge.  Who makes this head.  How exactly does it work.  What are it's weak points.  And why.  Answers to these questions and more will be the key to seeing our way through these endless storms of speculation.  

I suspect now, like I have feared for days, that the problem with our head is not actually a "clog" at all.  Perhaps it was caused by a clog.  Could have been old ink, crap through old dampers, ill-sealing capping station, compromised wiper blade, and on and on.  You know the drill.  But the reason I suspect that our "clog" is un-cloggable, is that our head is not firing properly.  Tonight that's my best guess.

Ironically, our LLK channel is perfect.  PK and YW are our problem.

Chin up people.  The journey goes on...

Peter Le

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #195 on: February 04, 2012, 11:23:06 pm »

    Wow what a bummer.....but don`t give up Eric......keep following this path, it may lead to the source of these problems......Peter
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Jim Coda

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #196 on: February 04, 2012, 11:26:10 pm »

If it's a 9880, it's an old unit (epson doesn't sell them anymore) so certainly epson isn't going to have a rebate offer on them.  amazing they still have a new one available.  They probably need to discount it substantially just to unload it.

Based on this thread, Epson may need to increase the rebate on the X900s.  :-) 

SacredEarth

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #197 on: February 04, 2012, 11:40:44 pm »

How dissappointing! I gave it a go today as well, and soaked my 9900 head via a folded paper towel under the head with edi solution on it for 4 hours. When I moved the head it had saturated the paper towel with a BUNCH of ink. I would say enough to dissolve off any surface clogs on the head. I ran a service clean #4 with the green/orange pair, then a nozzle check, and it looked exactly the same, as before the soaking. Even though i didnt go through quite the extensive cleaning Eric did, and I think this leads me to the same conclusions as Eric. Now, what to do next????
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Jim Coda

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #198 on: February 04, 2012, 11:46:00 pm »

Eric and Steve's most excellent adventure has finally come full circle.  

Ironically, our LLK channel is perfect.  PK and YW are our problem.

Chin up people.  The journey goes on...

Sorry to hear that.  Thanks for taking us on the first leg of your journey. 

Mark D Segal

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #199 on: February 05, 2012, 08:02:26 am »

Eric,

Let me start by saying how sorry I am to hear that after all that effort, the problem remains. Your approach to it is really commendable - take it as a further challenge and not as a defeat. At the very least the learning experience for you guys and the rest of us has been very worthwhile, and it is isn't over yet.

I think for the rest of us, this episode demonstrates clearly the dangers of coming to conclusions about the causes of problems based on incomplete knowledge and information.

If the nozzle check pattern is identical to the way it was before you did all the work cleaning out the whole system, this would lead one to infer, but not necessarily conclude yet, that the problem has nothing to do with ink and clogs, the qualifier being whether despite all the cleaning you did, it failed to dislodge whatever was preventing those nozzles from delivering ink to paper. How likely is that - I have no idea.

Now, I go back to the statement from Dan Berg on page one of this thread: <<It was my 7900 he purchased. For the 3 years I used it, it has run just about as good as one of these can run including the day it went out the door. I even ran 3 prints the night before it was picked up.>>

So that leads one to wonder what happened to it from the time it left Dan Berg until you made your first print? How was it prepared for shipment? Were all movable parts properly immobilized? Were the inks removed and cartridges well-sealed? How was it transported, how was was it set-up (was it based on the set-up instructions), how long a time period elapsed from the time you took delivery till the time you started printing? There may be other questions one could ask - one also needs to know what to ask! I assume you are asking yourself about all of this and more.

But I would like to openly suggest a completely different line of investigation. This thread has generated a tremendous amount of interest. This website is read by about one and a half million unique visitors per month. The thread will exist in the archives probably for as long as the Luminous-Landscape exists - and perhaps longer. This thread has delved into more detail about the workings and working-around of an Epson 7900 than possibly any other resource on the internet, so it will be a reference source for many people long into the future. The outcome is truly unsettling simply because of the fact that the problem remains identical to what it was when you started. If it hadn't, one could ask what you did to aggravate it it, but that isn't the line of inquiry the evidence points to.

For all of these reasons, I would like to see Epson America take a direct, pro bono interest in your case, (pro bono meaning at their expense). Yes the printer is out of warranty, yes it is second-hand and yes it is three years old and yes it has been transported. I am suggesting they set all those fences aside and plunge-in with good-will to help resolve this - at least as far as unambiguously diagnosing correctly what the problem is. They may well need to send the head back to Japan to do this - fine; it can be done. And the understanding would be that once they know for sure what caused the problem they will tell you, they will tell you what needs to be replaced or re-serviced and at what cost and they will not prevent you from reporting this information back to the Forum. I think Epson and the community at large have everything to gain from this.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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