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Author Topic: Epson 7900 from the inside - out  (Read 1082866 times)

chaddro

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #580 on: March 26, 2012, 10:36:13 pm »

Hi David & Mark!

Hey, nice find! I should read the manual more, LOL! But it IS good info to share and to make aware to everyone that may be unaware of this.

BTW, I do print an 8x10 color swatch between cleanings. Sorry I left that out. I was also told that eons ago by an epson tech when I first had my 4000. However, letting the printer relax over night also seemed to help as it did with the older printers.

Oh, and don't go lifting the lid in mid-print ... it seems to make the printer spazz. Better to hit the pause button first.

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randal21

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #581 on: March 27, 2012, 12:19:46 am »

I am a newer owner of a 7900 and I had to call Epson tech on another printing issue that I used to have happen with my trusty 7800. After solving the problem (had to do with paper feed adjustment on a large print) I asked him about problems with the 900 series. I told him of my friend buying a used one and posting his problem here on LL and others who had similar issues. He pointed out that ... like alot of new things on the market .... he used the Mercedes example .... you get some of the products that may have issues. He said they have sold a big number of these 900 series printers and they still think it's a "cadillac" and the problems are few. Mine has printed (I bought it used with 70 prints printed on it) wonderfully for months and I feel a little better now. I think sometimes, just like our local forum/bulletin board where you think "everyone" is having the same issues" but realize there are only a small number expressing their issues AND a big majority are doing just dandy. I saw that in a recent election .... where if you read the bulletin board you thought it was a pushover win but it wasn't ... got smeared. I am just saying there are probably tons of 900 series owners who don't read this and will not have any 900 series printer issues. Just my 2 1/2 cents on the issue. I appreciate the wonderful feedback on solving the problems and will stay connected .... just in case ..... I have the dreadful clogging event or my friend offers me his clogged 9900 for a song. 
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DeanChriss

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #582 on: March 27, 2012, 08:34:46 am »

I'd agree, and for some more "feel good therapy",  I'd add that after a 1 1/2 years with my 7900, I have enough faith in Epson that I purchased a 9890 a few weeks ago to keep my 7900 company, despite some of the negativity being presented on the forums. ;) Today I got a job in from a client that just about totally paid for it already ;D These machines are fabulous, it is truly unfortunate that some are having serious difficulties!
David

If one does contract printing the payback on a printer is quite fast. Congratulations! But even if you just sell your own work or only print for yourself, a printer saves more than it costs in terms of outside printing expenses, not to mention the experimentation and creative options they provide. As printers go WF printers are expensive, but in the grand scheme of things you can lose $3k just upgrading a top of the line 35mm camera body to the latest model, which generally can't be justified in terms of return on investment.

He said they have sold a big number of these 900 series printers.... I think sometimes, just like our local forum/bulletin board where you think "everyone" is having the same issues" but realize there are only a small number expressing their issues AND a big majority are doing just dandy. 

I don't know how many of these Epson print heads exist, but I'm sure it's a very "big number". If there are only 100,000 of them a 1% premature failure rate would mean 1000 very unhappy people, but it also means there's a 99% chance your particular printer will be fine. I'd think a normal failure rate would be a fraction of 1%, and significantly more than 1% would have production stopped at most high tech companies. The whole point in my earlier post was that if you already own the printer and it's working well, you may as well enjoy it because worrying doesn't change the odds of having a problem develop. ;-)
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bupalos

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #583 on: March 27, 2012, 12:52:15 pm »

we'll built a giant sculpture of ruined 7900's
I'd drive a long way to throw mine on the pile too. I still can't believe Epson won't give any love to the supposedly "few" failures if they are so few as supposed by the apologists. I've had two failures on the same machine within 1.7 years of ownership, both out of warranty.
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designpartners

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #584 on: March 27, 2012, 02:19:12 pm »

I had to reply - the count was 666! :)

even a 1% failure rate would be unacceptable in my opinion - it should be a fraction of that, and judging my Epson's market share, it probably is..

James
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bupalos

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #585 on: March 27, 2012, 03:00:28 pm »

Maybe it's less than 1%. I don't claim to know. All I know is that I've been through 2 heads out of warranty in 1.8 years in 2 different channels, PK and M. My first call was within a couple weeks of warranty expiration, and Epson slammed the door shut hard on me. I bought a new head for $1250, changed it myself, printed fine for about 6 months, and the exact same problem came in on the M channel, the exact same way.

Personally, I think something develops in the cleaning cycle that damages the head or jams stuff up in there or something, and it either happens to you or not. From my conversations with epson and vendors they are not at all surprised to hear about "uncleanable clogs." So I really don't think it's a 1% thing, but of course we don't have access to their information.
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bupalos

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #586 on: March 27, 2012, 03:04:58 pm »

if you already own the printer and it's working well, you may as well enjoy it because worrying doesn't change the odds of having a problem develop. ;-)


I'd say if you already have it and it's currently working well, get the extended warranty now. If you are out of warranty, ask to extend anyway. They will probably let you IF you pay to have decision one come certify it. I should have done that after I replaced the first head.
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chaddro

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #587 on: March 27, 2012, 04:49:12 pm »

Did you keep your bad heads? Eric should have some news for us very soon on the success of his ultrasonic cleaning adventure.

Perhaps one of your bad heads can be recovered in the same way if his recovers???

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bupalos

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #588 on: March 27, 2012, 05:00:23 pm »

Did you keep your bad heads? Eric should have some news for us very soon on the success of his ultrasonic cleaning adventure.

Perhaps one of your bad heads can be recovered in the same way if his recovers???



I do have them. One is still in the printer cranking out fine B&W, the other is snug and sound in a plastic baggie praying for a trip to see Eric.
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enduser

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #589 on: March 27, 2012, 07:17:00 pm »

The various points being made by the users of these printers are valid so far as they go - we don't know the failure rate, we don't know the reasons for failure, at least in a true analytic way.   What we can observe though, is a trend developing amongst contributors here that the only way to get acceptable confidence is to purchase extra warranties.   A 7900 is about US$2,500 at the moment from Itsupplies and three years of warranty will cost US$1,286, which actually makes the Total Cost of Ownership, (Purchase) about US$3,786.

That's the actual result of this thread that's important to Epson.  If a lot of buyers are led to believe that they have to spend the extra then sales will definitely be affected.   That must be a result that would disturb Epson. 
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clic

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #590 on: March 27, 2012, 10:56:50 pm »

Those printers do not ship with the field repair guide, which means that for all practical matter, what it states is rather irrelevant as to implicate the end user responsibility.  Wasn't Farmer even stating that that was Epson's copyrighted property not to be distributed to bozos like us?

The study of known cases does not show a pattern of users with more than 6 months old opened cartridges.  As a matter of fact, my LLK cartridge was installed in September, and the issue occurred in December.


Enduser you are right on, except that it is even worse than that, if nothing else because at that price you only get three years of relative peace, and that does not factor the costof disruption in case of failure, which is enormous.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2012, 10:58:51 pm by clic »
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chaddro

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #591 on: March 28, 2012, 12:17:41 pm »

Hey all. Fedex just dropped off my replacement carts. The NEW packaging is more heavy duty. More like a corrugated box, and much more heavy duty than the old. These carts are dated to 11-2013. My old one in a plain box were 7-2013 so they made the change here pretty recently.

I hope my other 5 are problem free as they are in the old packaging (crosses finger). I won't be waiting until the last minute to check them this time.

-chadd
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DeanChriss

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #592 on: March 28, 2012, 12:18:32 pm »

These costs (and maintenance) can easily surmount the costs of outsourcing printing and many don't take that into account. Unless you sell and print a lot of your photos, the costs of expendables can easily overtake your profit if you do not figure your operating costs correctly  and price your product at a high enough margin. (This is what Alan was getting at a couple of pages ago). In that case it is just not feasible to own one of these machines, despite the understandable desire to DIY...

One of these important variables is that Epson repeatedly stresses in many places in the user manual, the need to be using fresh ink not over 6 months old once opened!

David,

I agree. There's a lot more expense in printing than just buying a wide format printer. Buying one starts a chain reaction of expenditures that overshadows the cost of the printer itself. Justifying it as a photographer depends on volume and that in turn depends on sales, which in turn requires some marketing and a host of other expenses like matting equipment and related supplies, display equipment, and inventory. Overall it’s not really something one can just dabble in unless you’re willing to “eat” a substantial and continuing investment. There’s also the fact that all this stuff takes up a large amount of space that needs decent lighting, and may need things like humidity control. Another issue is that these printers need to be kept “alive”, so you can’t just let them sit all summer while you’re busy with other things. You need to be making prints on a somewhat regular basis for as long as you own the thing. Over the years that’s a lot of prints.

I think many get into this without quite realizing all of the ramifications, mostly because it’s extremely difficult to find a high quality personalized printing service. I’m talking about one where you can develop a working relationship with the person who does the printing in order to get exactly what you want. I know there’s a demand for that. I even tried doing it briefly, but found I didn’t have enough time available to do it justice.

The only outside work we take now involves digital restoration and reproduction of photographs, usually antique, from two local gallery and framing businesses. The owners of these have become friends over the course of long standing business relationships.  This started as a favor to one of them when they came to us with a customer who was “in a bind”. They asked if we could help them out, we gave it a try, and things went from there. We only take problem jobs, usually involving fragile and damaged pieces. Often the client has been unable to find someone willing to do the job, or they had the job done but were unsatisfied with the results. We recommend other resources to clients who want straight forward reproduction of photographs. Deliberately being a last resort means that, within reason, schedule is not an issue. That allows me to have a life and do my own work without always being under the gun. My wife and I both do the digital restoration work and I do the printing. That helps keep the ink flowing without being overwhelming. These clients are without exception overjoyed with their new “old prints”, and our friends get the framing business from these jobs, so there’s quite a bit of satisfaction involved.

Outdated ink: I once had a rather long telephone conversation with an Epson service person who said he had been with Epson for over 20 years. He was able to answer any questions I had with no hesitation at all, and one of them was about using 6-month old ink. I was concerned I'd have to throw ink away when it became too old. He said if it was his printer he certainly wouldn't, because he had never seen a single problem in a wide format printer that was related to using old ink, even if it was years too old. I hesitate to write this in case it's bad information. It certainly goes against what's in the manual, but it is definitely what I was told. I have had some ink colors (orange, and green for instance) in the printer for well over a year and never experienced a problem. In fact those colors never clog while others do! I remove the ink cartridges and gently agitate them every few months. I don't know if that's necessary, but with rumors of pigment settling it couldn't hurt. I've never experienced any noticeable color shifts.
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designpartners

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #593 on: March 28, 2012, 02:40:04 pm »

The various points being made by the users of these printers are valid so far as they go - we don't know the failure rate, we don't know the reasons for failure, at least in a true analytic way.   What we can observe though, is a trend developing amongst contributors here that the only way to get acceptable confidence is to purchase extra warranties.   A 7900 is about US$2,500 at the moment from Itsupplies and three years of warranty will cost US$1,286, which actually makes the Total Cost of Ownership, (Purchase) about US$3,786.

That's the actual result of this thread that's important to Epson.  If a lot of buyers are led to believe that they have to spend the extra then sales will definitely be affected.   That must be a result that would disturb Epson. 

good point, but don't forget the benefits of rebates, loyalty deals and warranty deals.. I got €800 off original price and the 2 extra years warranty for €50 - it doesn't have to cost a lot... but I agree that one should't feel obliged to buy the warranty, but admittedly I feel better knowing I have it..

to put it in perspective, I use a number of tools for my line of work, from high end 3d optical scanning technology, to 5 axis CNC machines, to the very latest in software, we generally pay between 20-30% of the original cost per year on "maintenance". sometimes this means a software upgrade... sometimes it's simply if something breaks it gets fixed..

just a thought.. I recently lost my iPhone and trawled some forums looking to see if my phone insurance plan would cover a new one, and people kept on recommending that you don't get the phone plan, but instead, put it on your house insurance under "all risks".. so if your 4 year old spills grape juice over it, you get a new one (minus excess) .. I wonder would the same apply with LFP's at home?  worth investigating anyway..  I just renewed my plan but I'll call them to ask anyway..

James   
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chaddro

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #594 on: March 28, 2012, 04:13:22 pm »

Hey Designerparts!

Hmmm... an inland marine policy (same as all risk?) for my epson 9890! Might be worth it if you move. Carrying that sucker down the stairs is not something I look forward to!
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tmphoto

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Could the ink repelling coating be the problem?
« Reply #595 on: March 28, 2012, 08:31:41 pm »

My experience with older printers (x600, x800) is that no matter how bad a clog is, it can be cleared with some work and patience.  The worst case I have encountered is nozzle deflection with banding showing at resolutions below 1440dpi.  It was probably caused by head strikes and could not be fixed. Recently I cleaned a 9600 which had about 120 printed pages. It had been stored clogged for several years. It is printing fine now with a very crisp nozzle check pattern.

What is different about the new and older printer heads? The only significant difference I can see is the ink repelling coating.
When I first read about the new "Ink Repelling Coating" my first question was, what if it "de-coats", "delaminates", wears off, peels off, or whatever you want to call it?  Then I said to myself, after a while we will see some printers where this will be a problem.

If you look for the word "fluid" in the service manual of the x880 and earlier printer you will find references to cleaning fluid used to clean the head.  There is no mention about cleaning fluid in the x900 service manual.  My guess is that at the time the x900 printers were released Epson knew that the old cleaning formula was bad for the ink repelling coating and they did not have a new formula, safe for the coating.

If this coating is the problem it's very likely that the more you try to clean the head, the worst the problem gets.  It's also possible that ultrasonic cleaning could make the problem even worst.  Or perhaps it could remove the "bad" coating with a slight increase in the amount of ink delivered by the nozzle.

I do not recall reading that the OP’s printer was sent with the head shipping bracket installed.  It is clear to me that if the printer was printing fine before shipping the printer head was damaged during shipping and the cause could have been excessive vibration because the head was not secured with the bracket.  I don’t think it was a normal clog because they are not that difficult to clean.
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Eric Gulbransen

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #596 on: March 29, 2012, 02:01:57 am »

Bracket to secure the head..  Yes Dan and I did communicate about that very thing.  I asked about securing the head with the bracket before shipping, but Dan told me he hadn't kept the bracket when he unpacked his 7900.  He secured the head with a styrofoam block and tape instead.  I don't think the head moved much during shipping.  Vibration however, we can only guess at this point.

enduser

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #597 on: March 29, 2012, 02:59:55 am »

I guess I won't be the first to ask you, TMPHOTO, how you cleaned and or kept clean, all those Epson heads when you say "no matter how bad a clog is, it can be cleared with some work and patience"
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tmphoto

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #598 on: March 29, 2012, 12:04:59 pm »

> how you cleaned and or kept clean
For mild clogs there is plenty of information around, for example:
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/article_pages/inkjet_cleaning.html
http://www.americaninkjetsystems.com/symphonic_inkjet_cleaning_fluid.html

For severe clogs I had to first manually clean the ink bay, ink lines, pump and capping station. After that running the printer with household cleaning fluid and giving it time for the clog to dissolve. And,  of  course, the paper towel method.

If you are a heavy user or a very light user, periodically removing the cleaning unit and manually cleaning it will keep your printer running clog free.  How often, when you notice that your money is increasingly going to the waste tank instead of your prints.
If the wiper blade looks bad, replace it. 
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tmphoto

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Re: Epson 7900 from the inside - out
« Reply #599 on: March 29, 2012, 12:24:54 pm »

>> No, I doubt it is the coating itself or Epson would not be continuing to market
>> all the new models with the same technology. The risks of widespread failures
>>  would quickly put Epson out of the Printer business!
Not really. Take for example professional camera shutters rated to last hundreds of thousands shots. Some of them fail just after a few thousand and some last longer than they are supposed to.  The fact that a few customers have experienced premature shutter failure after the warranty has expired has not put any camera maker out of business.

In a manufacturing process with good quality assurance most defective units are caught before they are sent for distribution to customers. In this case, out of the many thousands of units sold, a relative small number of units have failed and probably most of them failed within the warranty period.

The ink repelling coating is just another point of failure. But I would say that in this respect the older heads are more robust and less likely to be damaged by user actions such as cleaning them with household fluids.
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