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Workaround to print with PK Photo Black on Epson 3800 3880 with Leaking Black ink problem

Discussion in 'Epson InkJet Printers' started by wannaby, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. Jun 22, 2017
    wannaby

    wannaby Getting Fingers Dirty

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    That is very encouraging... not that you promised better results. The big lesson for me here is to experiment and perhaps discover some happy accidents... and not be averse to getting my fingers dirty sometimes.
     
  2. Jun 22, 2017
    martin0reg

    martin0reg Printer Master

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    Sure that makes sense, the ink selector seems to be an "achilles' heel" of these printers. I'm just speculating why that happens .,
    .. and because many users with such failure are telling that they only switched one time...after long time of no switch... it came to my mind that the true reason for a defective switch MAY BE the "dedicated" useage, in particular not using MK - which is much more prone to settle pigments than the other colors.

    MK is like carbon ink without resin coat of the pigments. Thats the reason for faster settle, not staying "dispersed" as long as all other color (pigment) inks. At the same time it's the reason for deeper blacks on matte paper, carbon like particles even bigger than color pigments, I think.

    BTW I should have say "if you choose..." instead of "with hook on.."!?
    English is not my first language as you may notice... so what do I mean with "hook"..? Not the captain... but he has what in german also means: ✔
     
  3. Jun 23, 2017
    wannaby

    wannaby Getting Fingers Dirty

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    I did not know these facts about MK. Perhaps I should have been shaking the MK cart more frequently.

    I do know of the captain. I didn't notice English is not your first language and thought you were using some kind of printer talk.

    So I should say that I will be printing on Glossy paper with hook on Matte. In effect, it will be Glossy ink on Glossy paper with the Matte "algorithm" for lack of a better word).

    So far, no one replied to my question Q2:
    Q2. For Color Management (see attached image)… which Printer Profile should I choose, Photo or Matte (e.g. PLPP, EMP)

    ColorManagementSettings.jpg

    Would you happen to know which I should choose? e.g. PLPP is Glossy and EMP is Matte.

    Perhaps this is just one of those things I try both ways and see which looks better to my eye, eh?

    Thanks again!
     
  4. Jun 23, 2017
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Hi wannaby, because I am not an Epson guy, I wasn’t going to post in your thread, but taught it might help if I did, firstly your Q2. was answered by @Ink stained Fingers in post#2, (You need to run your own tests).

    Your Q5. mentioned putting Piezoflush in your carts, well there is a better homemade product for that very purpose, it’s called pharmacist solution, (Ingredients found here:)- https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/bci-6-starvation-wont-drip.2460/#post-16994

    I never heard that the 3800 will automatically switch black inks when doing any maintenance, my recollection is it usually only cleans the black ink you are currently using, UNLESS you have unintentionally selected the wrong type of Media to print on, forcing this event to happen.

    If you have set your printer to use only one black ink permanently then you should never switch them back for any reason, it does help however if you put pharmacist solution in the redundant cartridge before deciding to discontinue its use.

    Leaving both printer set to use only one black will work indefinitely with no ill effects and you won’t suffer from ink leaks going forwards, by deciding not to switch the blacks at all, you will preserve the switch mechanism and probably prevent it failing prematurity, if that switch ever fails then it’s a huge job to replace it, or a new printer...
     
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  5. Jun 24, 2017
    wannaby

    wannaby Getting Fingers Dirty

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    The Hat, I don't discriminate against non-Epson users. In fact, I might switch brands someday. ;)

    Thanks... I like your suggestion better.

    I found the following information on Eric Chan's website. He created an excellent website on the 3800 back in the days. This is what he said on the FAQ page:

    Question:
    "If my workflow never requires a black ink swap (i.e., I use either Photo Black all of the time or Matte Black all of the time) will the black ink that I don't use dry out or clog the nozzles?

    No. According to Epson, the 3800 monitors ink changes (i.e., the 3800 remembers when you swap PK and MK inks), and if a swap isn't done within 6 months, the 3800 automatically performs a swap to keep the ink flowing properly."

    I have been recording ink levels for both my printers in recent months and have not done an ink swap, except once on my MK printer and just now on my PK printer (to stop the leak).

    I noticed that percentage of the "inactive" black goes down slowly over time even when there hasn't been an ink swap. So my data doesn't contradict his statement. I don't know Eric, thought he seems to be a credible source.

    Here's his FAQ where I found the above quote.
    https://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/faq.html

    Here's the main 3880 page (for others still using the 3800 or 3880 who might be interested).
    https://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan/dp/Epson3800/index.html

    Still, I would like to know whether the printer does ink swaps. Maybe someone with a 3880 under warranty can find out??? Or someone with the dedicated black setup that records their ink levels.

    If the swapping does in fact happen, then do you think there would be an issue filling the inactive cart with the Pharmacist's solution???
     
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  6. Jun 24, 2017
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Who am I to contradict Mr Chan’s, he may know what he’s talking about, so I must apologise for my complete ignorance regarding the auto switching of inks.

    But, if he’s right then a period of six months inactivity with the Matte black cartridge would I reckon lead to a severe blockage and most likely cause the early demise of the switch, due to the build-up of the unused old ink.
    Either way, I’d still recommend the pharmacist solution because it will prevent the likelihood of a build-ups in your ink system, it’s used friendly...
    P.S. I wonder why it is that guys who don’t switch inks over the years never repost any problems caused by leakage...
     
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  7. Jun 24, 2017
    martin0reg

    martin0reg Printer Master

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    Is that really so?

    Now this is my question - and my idea is the same as the suspected auto cleaning/flushing of the unused channel would suggest: periodical switching keeps the ink selector working smooth ... while long time of no switching don't..

    It would be worth to collect the facts and background of as many failed ink selectors as possible
    - to see how many are failing after normal or heavy use of switching MK / PK
    - and how many are failing after long time of no switching or avoiding any switch

    Victims of a defective ink selector please report....!!
     
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  8. Jun 24, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    What is the actual failure mode - how is the ink switch operating ? Electrically via a solenoid ? And what happens in case of a failure - mechanical blockage of some part ? Or some plastics - tubing break or leak ? Did somebody look up a maintenance manual for the Pro 3800/3880 for this problem ?

    P.S. here are some detailed images of the ink selector

    http://www.ianbarberphotography.co.uk/epson-r3880-ink-system-repair/
     
  9. Jun 24, 2017
    martin0reg

    martin0reg Printer Master

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    Search for "ink selector" in the service manual, 32 places are marked. See p43 "2.3.3 Ink Change System", there is a lever moved by the "ink change motor".
    I think it's a mechanical blockage ... and there are videos where somebody is cleaning the whole damper unit (where the selector is mounted) by soaking in cleaning fluid, to free the blocked lever...
     
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  10. Jun 24, 2017
    nertog

    nertog Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Some firsthand experiences:


    I own two Epson R3000s. One of them is dedicated to PK printing on RC papers, another one was given to me and has the (in)famous black ink leaking issue. No problems with the original PK printer as I never need to switch black inks. The other one had 100s of ink swaps.

    In the attempt to repair the 2nd R3000, I decided to dismantle the whole printer. I opened the case and removed the ink supply unit and print head. I flushed everything with a solution of distilled water, ammonia and a non-ionic surfactant. The dampers, ink supply tubes and print head were spotless after this (extensive) rinse. The ink selector system received a separate treatment with the same cleaning solution. After cleaning, the valve and connecting dampers looked like new (as did the rest of the ink supply system). I re-installed the whole thing minus the print head, did some ink flow tests and tried switching PK-MK. All seemed OK, no leakage under pressure.

    After doing an ink charge everything seemed fine. The next day, however, the PK ink started leaking again (and cross contaminated the yellow). I am pretty sure the culprit is not the ink selector switch, but might be the damper itself.

    Solution: switch to MK, load MK with preferred black ink and PK with cleaning solution. DO NOT SWITCH INKS. Epson Ultra Premium Presentation Matte is a good setting for PK ink on glossy papers.


    Cheers,
    Wim
     
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