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Author Topic: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?  (Read 8124 times)

Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2015, 11:03:26 pm »

Hi Mark:

Well, I do too and I would prefer not to use it.  I started using AIS solution about a year ago when I had an intractable clog.  I have no idea of the long term effects of using the fluid on the printer.   That said, a non-functioning printer is useless and, as much as it's contrary to my disposition, I realize that printers are expendables. The use of the AIS fluids may reduce the theoretical life of the printer, but in my case, it seems to have  increased the useful life. I wouldn't use it if the other techniques had been effective (remember puddle soak for the 4800?). 

Tom

The 4800? And wallet soak........but it was a considerable improvement over the 4000.The 3800 was by far the least troublesome performer of the whole lot - in fact it was stellar, and I wonder to this day why that kind of performance couldn't have been ported into the x900 models. There must be a technical reason, but no one has convincingly explained it.I can only surmise it has to do with the size of the nozzles, but that's speculation.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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tsjanik

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2015, 11:20:26 pm »

.......................The 3800 was by far the least troublesome performer of the whole lot - in fact it was stellar, and I wonder to this day why that kind of performance couldn't have been ported into the x900 models. There must be a technical reason, but no one has convincingly explained it.I can only surmise it has to do with the size of the nozzles, but that's speculation.

We don't know, but I suspect Epson does and the next series of printers may be clog free (I hope).
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2015, 11:29:00 pm »

I don't know either, but I suspect there have been technical trade-offs between finesse of droplets/detail & gamut on the one hand, versus the chemistry of the inks and the (in)convenience of performance in respect of clogs on the other, so save for some technological breakthrough that eliminates one or more of those trade-offs, they are into - well trading-off, and to date they have opted for highest quality, counting on users to do volume printing, which minimizes maintenance problems. In short, they've optimized for continuous usage. In the next generation of printers for those of us who don't print every day, I too hope for less baby-sitting, but not at the expense of the ultimate in quality we get from these machines.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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disneytoy

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2015, 12:52:58 am »

I'll have a 9890. Can anyone describe in detail how to use "AIS fluid applied to the docking station"
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disneytoy

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2015, 07:13:43 am »

Looking at some Honeywells. Is there advantage of a Cool Mist vs Wick Evaporative humidifier? Also regarding square footage, As long as the humidifier is kept close to the printer should I worry about if the humidifier is rated for 400 or 2000 square feet?
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tsjanik

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2015, 08:53:00 am »

I'll have a 9890. Can anyone describe in detail how to use "AIS fluid applied to the docking station"

See here:

http://www.americaninkjetsystems2.com/support/how_to_use_symphonic_cleaning_fluids.html

I would call them, they were very helpful on the phone.

BTW, see what Wayne posted, I too would not use a misting humidifier unless you use only distilled or deionized water.  Use of tap water will eventually leave a fine deposit of the dissolved minerals everywhere in the room.

Tom
« Last Edit: January 02, 2015, 10:08:23 am by tsjanik »
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Ken Doo

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2015, 11:07:02 am »

I do know that there is no single magic bullet to keep your Epson wide format running, though I do know that there are several recommended practices such as monitoring humidity (40-60%), printing frequently, agitating cartridges, replace wiper annually, keep the print area clean, etc.

And it also is apparent to me that the issue of "clogging" is consequently not caused by the same issue or even a combination of issues. And sometimes what we think are clogs, really aren't clogs at all, but simply ink not getting to the head, aka as ink drop outs.

I wanted to add another possible alternative solution, prior to resorting to an INITFILL (which may work, if that's the solution to your issue).  One of my printers is a converted 9890 to K7 piezography. Through the conversion process and printing K7, you get used to seeing the innards of your computer and what may or may not work. Although the printers have a "pressurized" ink cartridge system, I don't think that always solves the issue of "air" in the cartridge which may stop ink from effectively reaching the print head.  Hence, the "clog."  Jon Cone includes in his piezography conversion K7 kit, these modified syringes that are used to suck the air out of the ink cartridges after filling and basically prime the ink cartridge.

Indulge me here a bit longer. The pressurized ink system does work and help, but it's apparent to me that sometimes there just may be too much air in the cartridge, or perhaps the cartridge has not seated tightly enough on insertion to get a good seal. While printing a K7 image, I had a channel drop out. Very weird and the normal cleans and nozzle check didn't work.  I removed the cartridge, primed it with the syringe removing the air from the cartridge followed by a succession of nozzle checks and cleans.  Result?  Printer works fine.

IMO, I do not think that fine art printing is any more of a "push-the-button" affair any more than the notion that all a photographer does is "push-the-button."  It takes time, commitment, skills, maintenance, and a bit of head scratching patience sometimes.  But I'm also convinced that (at least for me) fine art printing is a satisfying and worthwhile endeavor. With that in mind, my Epson 9900 and 9890 printers have been very solid performers.

ken  :)

disneytoy

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #27 on: January 02, 2015, 12:10:24 pm »

Great info Ken!

Like I said, my 9890 come in Wednesday. I'm going to have a humidifier on day one. I read or saw somewhere to remove the cartridges "weekly" for shaking?

Would you say the syringe technique could be implemented on OEM carts?

Max
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Ken Doo

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #28 on: January 02, 2015, 01:27:38 pm »

Max,

If you print frequently, I don't think you need to agitate the cartridges (pigment settling).  I never agitate cartridges on my 9900 which I use most of the time. I wish I printed more K7 B&W and hoping to see more growth there as people discover K7 printing---but I do agitate the cartridges every few weeks or so on the 9890 which is not used as frequently.

The syringes have a modified "head" which hold the priming tip. They can be found here: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.362672/sc.11/category.27717/.f  (not the ones with needles!).  There is no reason you couldn't use these on OEM cartridges since the delivery (valve) system in the cartridges is the same. Simply turn cartridge up (air flows up, right? ;)), insert the syringe priming tip and slowly withdraw air. Some ink will come out as well. Dispose of air/ink and repeat if needed.

ken

Wayne Fox

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #29 on: January 02, 2015, 02:46:20 pm »

I don't think that always solves the issue of "air" in the cartridge which may stop ink from effectively reaching the print head.  Hence, the "clog."  Jon Cone includes in his piezography conversion K7 kit, these modified syringes that are used to suck the air out of the ink cartridges after filling and basically prime the ink cartridge.
An Epson OEM cartridge does not contain any air in with the ink.  While refilling a cartridge with inks as you describe may require removal of air, doing so on an OEM cartridge is unnecessary and could be problematic.

To clarify how Epson uses “pressure” to deliver the ink, the cartridge  has two ports, one for the ink to be delivered, the other connects to the pressure system.  The ink  is contained in a collapsable bladder, and the plastic cartridge  is somewhat air tight. This second port allows the printer to pressurize the air inside the cartridge that surrounds the bladder, effectively squeezing it resulting in pressure.

Any air in the line is likely from the cartridge not sealing when it is inserted.  Personally I think removing the cartridge frequently to shake may be more problematic because constant exposure to air where the ink port is may dry ink around there and prevent a good seal, allowing air to leak in around the seal.  I think once every few months (if at all) is more than enough agitation.

If constant nozzle drops are the result of air, this indicates a possible problem with the dampers, since their main purpose is to allow this air to escape from the head before it can get to the nozzles.

Regarding the replacement of the wiper, examining the wiper is important, but not necessarily replacement.  It can be cleaned with some distilled water and if necessary a little windex.  But if you remove the wiper and it is disgusting, its probably too late, you have already packed dried ink into areas around the head.  

My 9900 is 3 years old the wiper is still virtually pristine.  I pull it about every 6 months and clean it with a little RO water.

I think cleaning the wiper every 3 to 6 months (depending on how often your printer needs cleaning cycless) is more beneficial than replacing it yearly. Keeping it clean prevents old dry ink stuck on the wiper from getting pushed into nozzles.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2015, 07:00:37 am by Wayne Fox »
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AreBee

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #30 on: January 03, 2015, 11:27:21 am »

All,

I hope someone can help me out with the following:

For those of us living in more humid climes (Scotland, in my case), is a value for relative humidity that is greater than 40% problematic in terms of nozzle jams?

Thanks,

Rob
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #31 on: January 03, 2015, 11:38:47 am »

It should help.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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AreBee

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #32 on: January 03, 2015, 12:00:05 pm »

Mark,

Quote
It should help.

But no guarantees? Sigh.

Thanks,

Rob
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #33 on: January 03, 2015, 12:10:05 pm »

The only two guaranteed things in this life are death and taxes. :-)

Serious: higher humidity is better for your printer than lower humidity. But no, not me; only Epson is in a position to guarantee their products and unfortunately there isn't a clogging clause.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Ken Doo

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #34 on: January 03, 2015, 12:14:08 pm »

There are never any guarantees. When things work as they are supposed to (as Wayne describes) it's great. It's when things go awry that you may need to make some additional efforts.

My printer is located in a more naturally humid climate which makes maintenance easy.  Regular printing and nozzle checks are the norm. I use swab-its to clean the wiper on occasion and replace the wiper annually. The wiper is probably the least expensive printer part, as well as the easiest user-replaceable part---which Epson recommends replacing annually.  I wish Epson would develop/print and small booklet on maintenance guidelines/best practices/minor repairs for Epson Pro printers.

ken

AreBee

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #35 on: January 03, 2015, 12:22:27 pm »

Mark, Ken,

Thanks for the additional words. I shouldn't have used the word guarantee, but I had hoped for greater reassurance than "it should help" (no offence, Mark, as I appreciate you were simply being honest).

Food for thought. Thanks again,

Rob
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cerett

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #36 on: January 03, 2015, 01:38:36 pm »

I very much appreciate all of the interesting comments in response to my initial question. My current 4900 is hopelessly clogged and I most likely did a job on the print head trying to clear it using several methods. I love the 4900 and am in the process of replacing it with a new 4900. I now have a humidifier and will try and print more often or at least run a "test" print every few days or so. I am also getting the extended warranty.
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Jager

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #37 on: January 04, 2015, 06:36:45 am »

I just started (literally, just yesterday) using this one after a number of recommendations....... (was on sale during the summer :) )
The unit & my print area is in open 'loft' area so I'm going to assume it will not be able to really keep up but it did bump the % from 30 to 38% (unit on medium) although the unit had shut off (run out of water) in about 18 hours.  Not enough runtime data to reliably say much more

http://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-QuietCare-Humidifier-Technology-HCM-6009/dp/B000G0LDRI/ref=sr_1_sc_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1420119952&sr=8-3-spell&keywords=quietair+honeywell

Thanks for the link, Howard.  My Honeywell unit arrived yesterday.  First time I've ever used a humidifier.  Despite running a wood stove as my primary heat in the room adjacent to my home studio, I've never experienced any kind of significant head clog on my 3880, or the 3800 that preceded it.  The epic stories of clogs in general suggest that a bit of humidity isn't a bad thing, though.  So down the road we go. 

I admit to casting lustful eyes at the 4900, in spite of the horror stories...

Jglaser757

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #38 on: January 04, 2015, 07:21:31 am »

I never considered this living in Florida, but I get very frequent clogs on my machine. I have had two nozzle clogs and auto cleanings due to clogged nozzles in only a month. I do keep air on constantly set to 75.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: Ideal humidity for an Epson 4900?
« Reply #39 on: January 04, 2015, 08:28:21 am »

If 75 is the room temperature, that is not the critical variable here - the concern is humidity. If by "air" you mean air-conditioning, that dries out the air, reducing humidity. This could be part of the reason why you are experiencing the need to clean the printer twice in a month, though I have to say, that's not too bad if the cleaning requirements are mild. The other key factor is the duration of the intervals between machine use.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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