Print head issues - Stylus Pro 7600

servo386

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Hi. I've dealt with/am dealing with similar problems but with a 9600 instead of 7600, which are identical minus the print size.

A couple insights ive learned:

1. Change the dampers, all of them. They're cheap and after so many years are probably not working properly. these are the ones i bought: https://www.sign-in-china.com/products/23718/us_stock_10_pcs_epson_stylus_pro_7600_9600_damper.html

2. I had issues with my nozzle checks too and changed the printhead, maybe even prematurely but at $150 on ebay, i think it was worth it.

which brings me to MY problem.

I have all new dampers, a new printhead, lines look full and good. I finally got a full perfect nozzle test, did a full print and it looked great. Several hours later i went to do a second print and something seemed off so i did a nozzle check and Light Cyan was completely gone from the nozzle check. Very confused, I did some power cleaning, did some printhead soaking. After a few more cleanings, now i get a few disparate lines (like 5 little dashes total) of light cyan, while everything else is perfect.

Before i take everything apart again, does this seem like an ink like issue or a printhead issue? What really confuses me is that it went from nothing to now a little bit of Light Cyan. Does that mean it *CANT* be the ink line/damper, because if it were clogged it would simply be none? is that a correct assessment of that? Does that mean it MUST be the printhead? i truly do not know, this is my first real pro printer and I have no gained enough experience to know this subtle differential diagnosis information. I'm just truly baffled cause it all worked splendidly for exactly one print after everything had been replaced.
 

FinalProof

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Assuming you did an Init Fill after the print head and damper replacement, it may be air in the ink path i'd just do more prints using a light cyan test page then leave over night and try again the next day, lay off the power cleaning too many close together can damage the print head, give it time for everything to 'settle - in' .
 

servo386

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Unfortunately I did this already, quite a few "purge files" and have not really gotten anywhere. If it were indeed air in the ink line, would drawing it with a syringe perhaps do something?
 

FinalProof

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Unfortunately I did this already, quite a few "purge files" and have not really gotten anywhere. If it were indeed air in the ink line, would drawing it with a syringe perhaps do something?
Possibly, worth checking the light cyan cart and if you have another (even partially full) swap the carts and try again, also might be a pressure leak on the cart or cart seal around the ink coupling.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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that's indeed quite frustrating , please consider another cause - that it is not a printhead problem itself but a problem with the ink flow - air bubbles and other restrictions. You mention disparate lines in the nozzle check, are these always at the same location when you print the nozzle check several times - now and later again ? If the lines move and change location it is not a nozzle clog. Check the damper if there is some ink left.
 

servo386

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So i went ahead and swapped the Light Cyan for another pretty full cart and got no change.

Then I did what I was trying to avoid, which is unhook the dampers and draw the ink out with a syringe. Seemed to work fine but during this I noticed there were definitely bubbles along the line. Also the damper dripped quite a bit after unhooking the syringe, which is a behavior I havent observed in other dampers. My unprofessional conclusion is that the dampers are got are probably not great and that lightcyan one was maybe a dud. I didnt have time to swap it out when i was doing this procedure so i put it all back in, very difficultly, and will swap out that damper hopefully soon.

To answer your question, I think the lines that would come out were not consistent. So ink like then? Thats a good piece of differential diagnostic knowledge. Thank you.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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there shouldn't be any air bubbles in the tube when you pull ink up through the damper, they could cause the intermittent nozzle checks. I don't think at this time that it is the ink - the ink would cover up the mesh wire filter in the damper with a gel like film . I have seen that several times already in different printers, it's either coalgulated pigments over time or impurities in the solvent.
 

servo386

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Update: I think i really stepped in it now.

I unhooked everything to check on/change the light cyan damper. In the process, one of the magentas and one the blacks was intermittently dripping, causing a real mess. I drew ink through the light cyan and seemed to fill up the tube. As I went to change the damper, almost all the lines started to get little bubbles in them. Even after changing the light cyan damper and drawing more ink out of the new damper, i saw a few bubbles down the line. I thought well I dont know what else to do so i hope the cleaning might get rid of those bubbles. I painstakingly put that whole assembly back, which is a small nightmare btw, and finally got it all on. plenty of bubbles in multiple lines. Fired the thing back up, did a power cleaning, saw that light cyan moved but not much. the yellow and such that i saw bubbles in seemed to partially go away. after the power clean, i loaded paper to do a nozzle check. besides having a heck of time getting it to recognize the paper, once it did it stopped and said error code 0040, which I looked up and refers to the cap/pump end of life/failing. lol i think i finally killed this thing. I got it for an ok deal off craigslist but have sunk so much time and money into getting it working. I got 2 great print off it (high res stock photo of a chameleon that i thought would be a good test) and one decent print of one of our dogs, though the light cyan was missing and it shows (it looks faded) and thats it.

I don't know if there is a way out of this but if it involves unhooking all the dampers again im not sure i will do it, since i only left it worse and its a real pia to pull off. Also i snapped some small piece of plastic through all the struggle of the damper assembly and didnt know what it was and I later learned it was a little tab on the part of the paper cutter that you push down on when you move it over. It made it very difficult to push down and at first it made the carriage stuck and the printer went haywire with errors. So even more reason i've down some permanent damage to this machine.

I am at my wits end, or at least the end of my talent/skills/knowledge of this machine.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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I regret to hear that the printer has reached the end of its useful life cycle. There may still be a few points you can check. The firmware is running several maintenance counters like the number of flexes of the tubing, and you can do a reset of those via the maintenance mode, it could be that such a counter is running as well for the pump which you can reset. And you should be able to start an 'Ink charge ' command via the main. menu as well, that is sucking lots of ink through the tubes but should get away with all those air bubbles. This would not require you to access the printhead/dampers etc again.
 

servo386

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Well that was a wild adventure.

Your ink charge idea certainly worked in running the ink and getting rid of the bubbles I could see.

Caveat: It started blowing through my ink like crazy! I had to pull the plug and read instructions online on how to get it to stop the initial charge, but not before it ran through a bunch of my ink! Keep this in mind future reader of this saga. BTW the method for resetting the ink charge is to literally pull the plug (power button wont stop it), turn it on in Maintenance mode (up, down, exec all held down then power on) and scroll to PARAMETERS > INITIALIZE > INKPARAMETER > RESET (execute).

Anyways, after doing that, my maintenance tank was completely full! so i had to learn how to clean and reset that too! (reset chip). Once i did that I finally realized I could just ignore the 0040 Maintenance Required code and do a nozzle check. Lo and behold....... STILL ALMOST NO LIGHT CYAN! I have no idea how its possible but yeah running all that ink, another power clean, nothing. Perfect on every other color except that.

I have a suspicion: I think there is no gasket on the little nut that connects the link to the damper. When i changed it out this second time I noticed there was none but just (in denial i guess) assumed it was just up there or something. Maybe this is causing a persistent, insurmountable air bubble problem that remains no matter how much ink you run. I just dont understand why ink charge and head cleaning can draw plenty of Light Cyan, but actual printing cant...
 
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