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OCP Black and Green Inks are Driving Me Insane

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by qwerty42, Apr 24, 2014.

  1. Apr 24, 2014
    qwerty42

    qwerty42 Getting Fingers Dirty

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    ***EDIT 7/6/2014: Please see my follow-up post at the end of this thread. R-JetTek and OCP listened to me and fixed this issue completely!***


    Hi all, I'm new here, and I'm about at my wits' end with my Pixma Pro 9000 MkII and OCP inks.

    I've been using OCP ink in this printer since 2011, and I've always had occasional issues with certain very small areas of black 'skipping.' It has gradually gotten more and more irritating to me that I finally decided to try to find the cause.

    The cause, I'm quite certain, is the OCP ink itself. In the last 2 weeks I have:
    -Cleaned the original print head -- made no difference
    -Purchased a brand new print head from Canon -- made no difference
    -Flushed all of my tanks more than once -- made no difference
    -Bought a whole new set of OCP inks from Rjettek, since my others were a couple years old, and flushed/filled again -- made no difference

    I finally decided to just buy an OEM Canon black tank to see if it would fix the rare "skipping," and sure enough, the problem went away almost immediately. To make double-sure, I then took the new Canon tank, flushed it, put some OCP black in it, and tried it again. The exact same skipping returned. I don't think this has anything to do with my filling technique; all the other colors besides black and green work flawlessly and have never given me any issues.

    To better describe what's going on: I'm theorizing that this issue may have to do with the viscosity of the black and green inks. The OCP black is thick--much thicker than the other colors, and the green is fairly thick as well. The problem only happens when ink flow is initiated. It's like the flow is slow to get started, but once it's going it works fine. I can print an entire page of black, and it prints flawlessly except for the very beginning of the print. I don't think it's a venting issue--all the vent tracks are perfectly clear, and if I hold a paper towel against the outlet sponge it very quickly saturates with ink.

    I've included a couple images that show pretty well what's going on. In the image with the black stripes, if you look at the start of each stripe (top left-hand corner), you can see the black ink fading in, and once it reaches full flow it continues to print properly. After the flow is stopped to step across the white gaps, it has the same flow starting issue again.

    The other image is from the Canon Service Tool application. The normal nozzle check pattern in the printer driver ALWAYS comes out perfect, and I suspect that's because it uses a very small dose of ink. However, the test print that is done by the Service Tool is more demanding because it repeatedly starts and stops the ink flow, so the issues with black flow really manifest here. You can also see the same issue but to a much less extent in the green pattern (top-left corner of the image).

    _DSC1151.jpg
    _DSC1155-2.jpg

    Has anyone else here ever observed similar issues with OCP inks in their Pro9000 MkII? I'm truly running out of ideas here... I was actually considering diluting the black ink a bit to see if it helped, but I'm afraid that may somehow effect the ink chemistry in a negative way. I'm about to just pull the trigger on a set of ink from Precision Colors -- do you all think I might have better luck with that?

    Thanks!
    Josh
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 7, 2014
  2. Apr 24, 2014
    palombian

    palombian Print Addict

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    Does this occur on all print qualities ?

    I have a comparable effect with Image Specialists (pigment) ink - sold by Precision Colors - on a Pro9500 and 2 MX7600's mostly with magenta and less with cyan on fast and standard quality.
    Did all kinds of cartridge cleaning/reconditioning and received new batches of ink, no changes.
    The physical properties of the ink must be slightly different.

    On high quality it is OK.

    I just started this year with refilling, and realised that I can't have the same for 1/5 of the cost (after initial investments and time :)).

    I do not know if Canon sells the Pro9000 ink in larger capacity cartridges, in my case it is and maybe I'll go this way for the problematic colors.
    In your case you could try I.S. ink only for the black and green.
     
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  3. Apr 24, 2014
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    Both viscosity and surface tension affects ink flow. Here is a post mentioning adding two drops of Kodak Photo-Flo to prevent ink flow problems, by lowering the surface tension.

    I don't know if Kodak Photo-Flo is still available, but dish washing liquid has been used as a replacement for the Kodak Photo-Flo by some photographers, so maybe one drop per ounce of refill ink of dish washing liquid could do the same? There also exists special liquid surface tension lowering additives for dish washing machines to prevent lime stain from hard water on glass dried in the dish washer. Maybe this is the product to use?
     
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  4. Apr 24, 2014
    stratman

    stratman Printer VIP Platinum Printer Member

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    @PeterBJ, as a fellow aggregator of knowledge I want to say...

    Your posts are consistently some of the most impressive on the site. The depth and breadth of your knowledge and willingness to patiently explain to others in detailed posts, over and over again, is inspiring and superb.

    We may need to change your status from "Platinum Printer Member" to "Unobtanium Printer Member". :clap
     
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  5. Apr 24, 2014
    qwerty42

    qwerty42 Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Thanks everyone for your replies! To add a bit more info to the original post, I'm using Canon ink tanks, and this issue definitely becomes worse on higher print quality settings, and with media types that use more ink. The examples I posted above were using high print quality with Photo Paper Platinum as the media type.

    Surface tension seems like a very likely culprit. This may be over-simplifying things, but I could certainly imagine high surface tension resulting in capillary action that slightly withdraws the ink from the print head nozzles, causing the flow delays each time flow is re-established.

    I will definitely try the suggestion of using something to reduce the surface tension. I'm in a bit of a hurry to get the printer working again, so I ordered a similar product to Photo-Flo from Amazon, called Formaflo, which should arrive tomorrow.

    Does anyone know if there's any risk of damaging the print head by using a substance like Photo-Flo in the inks? I'm guessing not, but given that I already bought a brand new print head trying to solve this issue, I'd hate to do anything that might foul it up.

    Thanks again for the help--I'll give the Formaflo a try as soon as it arrives and will let you all know if it solves the problem.
     
  6. Apr 25, 2014
    turbguy

    turbguy Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    I suspect adding surfactants (such as photoflo or equal) will increase viscosity slightly. Photflo was viscous stuff. So is Dishwashing "spot preventer".

    I have the same issue with a Canon i960, BTW, using Hobbicolor inks in BCI6 carts. It really only shows up in nozzle check matrixes.

    In any event, let us know what results!
     
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  7. Apr 27, 2014
    qwerty42

    qwerty42 Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Here's the update... I think I've solved the issue :)

    I did get the Formaflo, and first tested a couple drops per ounce with the black ink. The Formaflo is not viscous at all (it's about the consistency of water), but it definitely had a huge and obvious effect on the surface tension of the ink. However, when I tested this combination in the printer, the exact same problem remained.

    Next, I tried going overboard with it, and made a new mixture at 5 drops per ounce. Again, the effect on the surface tension was pronounced, and very visible in the way it coated the sides of my squeeze bottle. But again, despite the huge decrease in surface tension, the problem still remained.

    In my mind, this left only viscosity as the issue, if the surface tension was clearly reduced to less than that of my other inks but the problem was unimproved. So, I decided to start diluting the ink. First I tried 1 mL of distilled water per 25 mL of ink; no improvement. I then tried 3 mL per 25 mL of ink; still no better. Finally out of frustration (and completely not expecting this to work) I mixed up a combination of 25% distilled water and 75% OCP black ink...

    ... and it worked like a charm! :eek: Prints perfect now. And even MORE unexpected--no I'm not making this up--the quality of the black when printed is much better now than it used to be. Before, the OCP black on my photo papers had a noticeable bronzing when held at just the right angle in the light, and it looked visibly worse when compared with the Canon OEM black. The diluted OCP black, however, has almost no bronzing anymore, and is almost indistinguishable from the OEM ink black patches.

    So, that's it. If any of you have a similar issue to what I described above, try diluting your ink a little bit with distilled water. I thought it would kill my print quality even if it fixed the flow issues, but it actually improved both. Go figure.

    Josh
     
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  8. Apr 27, 2014
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    Thanks for the test report and congratulations with solving the problem. :thumbsup

    I wonder if the problem is common for OCP dye black and green ink for CLI-8 cartridges, or if you got bad batches or old ink?

    I don't have a Pixma Pro 9000, but I have a Pixma 5200 and I use Image Specialists ink with very good results. The results with IS inks and a Sihl photo paper, that is very popular in Europe, are very close to those obtained with Canon OEM inks and photo paper. Maybe you should try IS inks next time you have to order ink?
     
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  9. Apr 27, 2014
    qwerty42

    qwerty42 Getting Fingers Dirty

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    >>I wonder if the problem is common for OCP dye black and green ink for CLI-8 cartridges, or if you got bad batches or old ink?<<
    I was wondering the same. The black and green inks, when compared to the other colors, are noticeably more viscous (the black especially). However, I bought the first batch way back in 2010 and it had this same problem. The new batch I bought last week, to try to correct this issue. Both batches were purchased from R-JetTek, who is the USA distributor for OCP ink. I wonder if they mix this stuff themselves in the US, or if it comes as a liquid from Germany? If it's the former, maybe their mixing ratios are off. I'm going to send them an email and ask if anyone else has had this problem.

    I have heard mostly very good things about IS inks. Once I use up my OCP reserves, I'll give IS a try!

    Josh
     
  10. Apr 27, 2014
    PeterBJ

    PeterBJ Printer Master Platinum Printer Member

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    Perhaps you would like to actually measure the viscosity and surface tension of the inks, so you can compare the values for the diluted inks to the values of the inks that function properly? Here is a thread describing these measurements using only a syringe, needle, and a stop watch.
     
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