Alignment issue or bad printhead? Canon Pixma iX6820

Kampy

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Newbie here, my first post...

I have a 3 year old Canon Pixma iX6820 that I've been very pleased with. It's been used semi-regularly that whole time to print photos, signs and posters for the shop I work at. I don't think it's ever gone more than a month without being used. Love being able to print up to 13x19 borderless. It's been very reliable, especially compared to the old Epsons I had back in the day.

I've used cheap 3rd party ink from Amazon most of the time I've had it. Mostly "Arthur Imaging" brand and more recently "Paeolos" Typically on cheap Amazon photo paper (Koala brand, glossy) or if I want it to look nicer, Canon Pro Luster or Epson Ultra Premium glossy.

Last week it was about 1/8 into a 13x19 borderless print when it stopped and gave me an error message, can't remember the exact wording but essentially: An error occurred and you have to call Canon service to fix it. Pressing the paper feed button spit out the paper, but I could not reset the printer or clear the flashing error light, even after unplugging, etc.

The next day I tried unplugging again and it powered up and started working / printing again. Except now it was printing kinda fuzzy. Looked like it was laying down some black shifted to the right from the other colors. Tried using the utility to do an "auto" alignment, nozzle check, etc. Didn't work. Changed settings to "manual" alignment and did the whole checkbox thing on the series of test prints. But the problem still persists.

I assumed that one of the 2 blacks (the 6820 is CMYK dye + K pigment) was the culprit, but I read (here on this forum maybe?) that if you choose anything other than plain paper, it will only use the 4 dye inks (is that right?) and I'm choosing either glossy photo or Canon Pro Luster, at "high" or "custom" quality.

Anybody have any ideas on what else I can try?

I've attached a couple closeup pics... I know it looks like there's an intentional drop shadow effect on the text, but there's not. This sample was printed on Pro Luster
 

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PeterBJ

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My guess is that the printhead has failed. If the printer still works could you upload a nozzle check and a print of a text document like the Windows Printer Test Page?
 

The Hat

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Anybody have any ideas on what else I can try?
First of all welcome @Campy, now I’d afraid it’s mostly downhill from here, having looked at your problem I reckon your using 3rd party inks and this may has caused the print head to warp and go out of alignment because the ink is not cooling the nozzle properly.

It’s six of one and two of the other, the only way to stop this from happening is to use OEM inks, it may be only the black for now but there is no guarantee that the colours won’t go the same way as you continue print, in future you could try setting the printed to print slower.. it might work..

So you’ll have to get a new head to fix the issue, it’s a simple trade off, what you save in ink costs, you spend on replacement print heads, and only you can decide which is the cheaper option, this hasn’t happened by accident its purely down to design, to stop the use of 3rd party inks..
infurtur

P.S. Canon Pro 100’s don’t suffer from this issue..
 

nippyink

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print head to warp and go out of alignment because the ink is not cooling the nozzle properly.

the only way to stop this from happening is to use OEM inks,

it’s a simple trade off, what you save in ink costs, you spend on replacement print heads, and only you can decide which is the cheaper option, this hasn’t happened by accident its purely down to design, to stop the use of 3rd party inks.

Have been using Octoink supplied ink to refill my Pixma MP560 cartridges (Durchstich method) for many years now with no problems. Over the years I have only had to have one new printhead which was for another reason than for using 3rd party ink. (can't remember what). I use the redsetter to reset the chips. I also have the gadget that can be used to backflush a cartridge till sponge is again white. I therefore can't agree with "the only way to stop this from happening is to use OEM ink". Had I used OEM ink cartridges over all these years the money would have paid for SEVERAL new printers.
Do Canon really use chemistry research that finely and printhead designed to make ink that will have detrimental effect if the ink chemical formula is varied from by any small amount?

I feel that for every time Canon may change ink/printhead designes {costly research) the 3rd parties will soon catch up and supply suitable inks?

I like my MP560 but very fed up with Canon when their programming completely renders the machine dead for any errors. They should allow scanning and saving to memory stick at least to continue. Also when my Dell 16 bit computer became "obsolete" I found my Apple (32 bit) MacBook would not operate the printer, but it did eventually start working with the printer without me having done anything.......Print program driver?? Canon gave no download option at the time for a driver for that particular MAC O/S.
Now having purchased a MiniMac with yet another MAC operating system this new computer will not work with the printer......driver again? I am hoping that Canon will get their finger out and give a suitable driver for the latest MAC operating system.
I don't know how Windows users get on every time the Windows operating system changes?
I just hate throwing away anything that is still mechanically working but due to programming is made to be obsolete.

I am currently refurbishing my 1936 Austin while also having done a lot of maintenance work on my "modern" Reliant Scimitar of 1980. Both are complementary, one for long distance comfortable fast touring and the other (though very capable at long distance) for fun economical shorter runs. Neither rely on a 3rd party company updating complex electronic programs to be kept running. This is a much greener way of going about things.
I hate the modern throw away society way of doing things.
My background is electronics operating and maintaining complex equipment down to component level. This was possible because the detailed information on the equipment was available so testing and fault finding could be carried out and any modifications for better performance were advised to the owners /maintainers of the equipment.

Sorry for the rant but I am just fed up with the waste of my time having to tease out information to fix what should be small problems/faults with these printers. It has now taken over a month to find out that the MP560 does have tubes from the ink cleaning area to deposit waste to the pads (in the waste tank) so that a waste ink external tank can be fitted to save all the future "full tank" error and printer shut down and merely requires an ink count reset via the service program.
A big thanks to those that have helped get to this stage......it has been a drip feed of info gradually put together.

Would a permanent separate section to this forum be desirable which would contain all the proven correct technical information about each printer updated as necessary........a sort of Wiki......This would save the endless searching over several days, through many posts.

Dennis
 

The Hat

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I therefore can't agree
While I do agree with you about our throwaway society, we just can’t keeping things going indefinitely, consumer products are just that and must wear out to keep industry going.

You may not agree with my statement:- “the only way to stop this from happening is to use OEM inks “ but never the less it’s still fact whether you like it or not.

Your using the CLl-520/521 carts and this new ink issue doesn’t affect your printer, Canon started to made changes shortly after the MP560, they did however later introduce opaque carts to prevent refilling.

Canon has always had the iron in the fire to prevent refilling, the next change came with the Yello Gello syndrome in the CLl-42 carts and then they changed the black ink formula on all new later models again to prevent refilling. And most likely other colours too..

Canon are not a charity and therefore are entitled to do what they wish to prevent users from using 3rd party ink, they make all their money on the ink sales and wish to protect that.

The model printer you use has a life span of approx. 5 years and after that all service is withdrawn, including print heads, so you can’t expect Canon, Microsoft or Mac to continue to support out dated printers.

If you use an old printer you must expect to use workarounds to keep it going after O/S/ updates, and if that doesn’t work then the only choice is to downgrade to an O/S that does work. That’s what most others do, including myself..
This would save the endless searching over several days, through many posts.
P.S. if you’re having problems finding information or the workings of your printer, then ask for help, I’ve been here ten years and I still can’t use the Feckin Search on here either..
 

Ink stained Fingers

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If the printer still works could you upload a nozzle check and a print of a text document like the Windows Printer Test Page?
A nozzle check would be a good starting point
 
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