Introduction and color mixing question

stevem

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Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but I have been working with mostly Canon and Epson home and business inkjet and laser printers for the past thirty or so years. I'm not an expert, just a user-level guy with lots of practical experience.

During the past few years I haven't been called upon to print nearly the range of items that I had been printing in previous decades - brochures, business cards, greeting cards, flyers, posters, photo collections and blow-ups, etc. - all general purpose stuff, but not professional quality or commercial things. Now however my printers are idle much more, and i have to make a point to exercise them regularly to keep things flowing properly.

I joined this forum now because I've run into a problem that I've never seen before. A friend of mine gifted me last year with her old Epson Artisan 837 that she had recently replaced with a new Canon something, because the Artisan still worked fine and would print on a CD or DVD, and this was a capability that I hadn't had previously. And it did work fine for the first few print jobs, at least after I got the very heavily clogged print head cleared out using jtoolman's Windex-on-paper-towel-strips method.

The trouble started later when I noticed that after the printer sat unused for a while, my prints were missing their yellows. A nozzle check showed that the yellow block was in fact printing, but its color was green. So i did a programmed head cleaning and another nozzle check - still green. At this point I installed a fresh Epson factory ink cartridge (# 99 Yellow) and printed about 10 runs of a full page, mostly yellow graphic image to clear out any old yellow ink. Gradually, print by print, the yellow color purified itself until I had a nice pure yellow graphic, and a nice yellow block on the nozzle check. Great.

But then after sitting for a week, things had turned green again. Not quite as deep green as before, but green nonetheless. This process has now repeated itself several times. I print until I'm getting pure yellow, then after sitting unused for a week or two, it's beginning to become green again. So i don't think it's the ink, but i can't figure out what exactly is going on. Apparently there's some blue getting in there somehow. On the Artisan 837 the Yellow cartridge sits right between the Cyan and Light Cyan in the ink rack, but I'm not sure what is happening farther down at the print head. All of the other colors look correct on the nozzle check, and in print.

Another hint though is that when it's printing green on the mono-toned yellow graphic image, it prints a heavy green horizontal streak, followed by an inch or so of lighter green, mostly yellow, and then another heavy band/streak of darker green. This repeats several times down the page, gradually getting lighter and lighter as things slowly clear to pure yellow with no streaks over the course of several page prints. It's almost sounding to me like a firmware problem, but then i can't figure out why it would eventually clear up with exercise.

Has anyone had any similar experience, and know what to do to further test or correct it?

Thanks!
stevem
Epson Artisan 837, Epson Stylus CX 9400Fax, Canon IP2600
 

mikling

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This phenomena is indicative of leakage between two channels. This is one of the "normal failure modes" in an Epson printer. The piezo crystalline material has developed a physical crack from fatigue due to expansion and contraction and is slowly seeping into the other. As you can see the severity is time dependent and it will slowly accelerate depending on how much the printer is continued to be used. Since ink is cheaper than purchasing a new printer, it is recommended that you create a purge sheet for the contaminated color and use it prior to critical printing. Eventually it will seep during print.

Head replacement is expensive and requires much work. So that is an unlikely route to rectification.
 

stevem

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Thank you mikling, that makes perfect sense. I'll do as you have suggested.

stevem
 

berserk

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This phenomena is indicative of leakage between two channels. This is one of the "normal failure modes" in an Epson printer. The piezo crystalline material has developed a physical crack from fatigue due to expansion and contraction and is slowly seeping into the other. As you can see the severity is time dependent and it will slowly accelerate depending on how much the printer is continued to be used. Since ink is cheaper than purchasing a new printer, it is recommended that you create a purge sheet for the contaminated color and use it prior to critical printing. Eventually it will seep during print.

Head replacement is expensive and requires much work. So that is an unlikely route to rectification.
Do You have a reference to this cracking crystals by fatigue?
 

mikling

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Internet junkies strikes again. Same reason for a world of people who lack the facility to think for themselves but follow a regime of internet herding mentality.
 

berserk

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You are totaly wrong!
I'm a berserk.

That's worse...

And in this case I simply do not believe You - on other places on the Internet I have read that those printheads are laminated toghther in several layers with different materials. I do not know but it says this "press glued" layers might after heavy use loosen and in some way give a passage to inks. As said I have not been into a printhead to study and take photos of what really goes on in there.

If I did hurt you - it was not ment to.
Sorry pal!
 

Ink stained Fingers

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Some years ago I took a printhead apart - a small one at that time just with 4 ink channels

and a picture from there
Printhead 04.jpg
The right part of the image shows an opened printhead, with 4 ink openings with fine wire mesh filters, the nozzle plate is underneath.
The left part of the assembly is to be turned over and fitted onto the right part, it carries ink through channels from the ink pins in the
printhead carriage. The ink openings fit over the filters and holding pins keep the 2 parts aligned, the ink channels are separated just by
very thin lines of glue around the filters when pushed together, and it is obvious that ink can leak from one channel to the next when
this glue starts aging, separates from the plastic parts , just keep in mind that this area is exposed to the ink solvent for years, and deterioration is possible.
This is def. an area where the inks of different colors come together very closely. Other printheads may have a different internal construction which I did
not investigate. I just can say that I found similar small filters in a Brother printhead which showed excessive blockage, and you can assume that these filters,
and not the nozzles may clog. It does not make a difference for the user, these locations are not accessible at all for the user, and it can explain why some
clogs just cannot be removed with regular methods.
 
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mikling

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Fact is there it a gap begins due to differential contraction due to materials. This is so common starting on the DX5 heads. Why? there is a correlation between the breakthrough piezo material that allowed Epson to put more nozzles in a head for increased nozzle density and the ability to create similar or larger volume displacement with this material. Same time Epson lifetime printhead warranty ended. Anybody remember those? Lifetime Printhead warranty.....by Epson. Early 2000s.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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so there can be different effects causing cross leakage of inks
 

berserk

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so there can be different effects causing cross leakage of inks
I think that summaries it all - what's happening in the print head is classified by the makers.
To complicated to fully explain/guess/understand and to take advantage of.
Manufacturer tells us in glossy folders how it works. Then it's stop. Rest is secrets.

Care and maintenance helps! (Perhaps also using OEM-inks -Bahhh...)

Ah, let's now do some sober prints - and not make drug related errors.
Right ink in right slot - that is, no cross contamination.
 
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