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Back to the Familiar Routine!!

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Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 30, 2020 2:47:03 AM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Printhead Failures!

Hi guys

We've been doing DTG for many years always with the same NeoFlex original.

In the last two years we've gone through quite a few printheads and the failure always follows the same pattern - one of the colour channels totally stops working, not even a peep from it despite ink coming through the head when I do a clean! A printhead is lasting maybe 3 months and then dies!

We print daily to keep the inks moving and one day the printer will produce perfect prints and the next a channel will completely fail!

I always use salvaged printheads from other printers - usually the Epson 2880. I know from experience that when I completely lose one of the colour channels and do everything I know to recover it, fitting a replacement head will fix the issue immediately.

I will usually, replace the damper, reverse flush the printhead, ensure there are no clogs, check cables, and all the other usual stuff. Unfortunately these remedies don't work and there's zero printing from the broken channel.

So I have a couple of questions:

1. Would a replacement BRAND NEW printhead work longer than the 2nd hand ones I'm using?

2. Is there something 'programmed' into the the printhead that fails these printheads after a certain time/print count?

3. Is there a counter built into the head that causes the issue? If so, is there anyway of resetting the counter?

4. I have seen printheads described as 'Locked' or 'Unlocked' - what exactly does this mean?

5. Finally, is there anyway to reset a printhead to bring it back to life?

Any other info would be gratefully received as I'm getting rather tired of these problems and I'm about to 'pull the plug' after many years of DTG printing.

Cheers

John
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Last edited by Stitch-Up; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:52 AM..
 
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Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 30, 2020 6:02:38 AM -   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

there is a company that sell new printheads that will last about 2 years the place is call digiprint supplies and you want to get a DX5 epson 4880
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 30, 2020 6:24:40 AM -   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch-Up
Printhead Failures!

... despite ink coming through the head when I do a clean! ...
So when you waterfall it - liquid comes thru?
If yes- this is very strange ...
Also the fact that you have to change print-heads once in 3 month is also very strange.
I had to replace printhead in my unit twice, about 12-15 month apart .
And it was never because of the blockage!
(I had "shadow prints" twice and changing printhead solved it)

Did you ever change the motherboard? As if you are able to push cleaning solution thru the prinhead (waterfall) and all the channels are clear, but you can't print certain color - I see almost no logic in such thing. So I would assume that the problem is not in the printhead, but something else - like motherboard , cable or even software.
 
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 30, 2020 6:43:56 AM -   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

1. Would a replacement BRAND NEW printhead work longer than the 2nd hand ones I'm using?
I would say theoretically - yes.
But Epson printheads are "good" for about 50.000 prints, so it is unlikely that if you bought used printer to salvage the prinhead- that they made so much prints.

2. Is there something 'programmed' into the the printhead that fails these printheads after a certain time/print count?
As far as I know - No.

3. Is there a counter built into the head that causes the issue? If so, is there anyway of resetting the counter?
As far as I know - No.


4. I have seen printheads described as 'Locked' or 'Unlocked' - what exactly does this mean?
Locked printheads will work only on Epson motherboards(Epson integrated this feature to fight Chinese manufacturers that started to build their own printers(including DTG) using Epson printheads.
In our case (with Neoflex) any printhead "locked" or "unlocked"will work as we have Epson motherboard and hardware.

5. Finally, is there anyway to reset a printhead to bring it back to life?
Not sure
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 30, 2020 11:37:10 PM -   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Thanks for the replies,

Yes this is very strange indeed and seems to be a common theme for me! I think the last 4 printheads have failed in the same way and it's not a white channel!

This time the Magenta channel has stopped printing even the slightest hint of the colour, last time it was Cyan and I can't recall before - but certainly one of the colours just goes dead!

On each occasion I carry out the same procedure and treat it as a blockage - I remove the printhead and flush all the channels with cleaning solution - yes liquid comes through the magenta nozzles in the same way as it comes through any of the others. Even when the printhead is installed, a simple clean brings magenta through to the cap.

As for the cable - it's good.

If I swap the head today, it will work on all channel right away so this tells me the motherboard must be okay and the cable but I anticipate I'll be confronted with the same issue again!!

All very strange and definitely NOT logical.

My only thought maybe earthing of the printhead although I do make sure the copper prongs do make contact when refitting the head unit. Today, I'll check the earthing continuity.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 31, 2020 11:07:23 AM -   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

New/different printhead might reset motherboard's "blockage" (if my theory is correct and it is a motherboard that creates this "blockage")
Did you ever tried to put an old printhead after a while? the one that was blocked 3-4 month ago?(although it it possible that motherboard remembers the sn of an old printhead...)

If you have spare motherboard - try to replace it before replacing the printhead.
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 31, 2020 1:19:44 PM -   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

This is not normal... My printheads average around 30,000 prints before failure, and the failure is gradual.
I think you are burning the ink channels... It happened to me once, but I'm not sure about what caused it.
I removed the printhead manifold and found that one of the 8 capacitors close to the connector was shorted.
Replacing the capacitor fixed the printhead.
Give it a go... you may have the same issue.
 
Old 2 Weeks Ago Jul 31, 2020 2:27:36 PM -   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Agree with you that this is not normal .
But if this is a line problem-wouldn't a new prinhead make the same problem with the same channel?
 
Old 1 Week Ago Jul 31, 2020 4:29:27 PM -   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uz27
But if this is a line problem-wouldn't a new prinhead make the same problem with the same channel?
What do you mean by "line problem"?
The capacitor issue I mentioned is on the actual printhead, but as I said I have no idea what caused it.
I thought it was just a random failure, but it did cause a sudden loos of all the nozzles in that channel, so maybe this is the problem you are having.
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Old 1 Week Ago Aug 1, 2020 5:54:45 AM -   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

You're all right, it's not right.

Interesting your comments on the capacitor. My guess is the capacitor is a SMD (surface Mount device) - do you recall the value and whether the replacement was easy/difficult?

A capacitor should show open circuit on a DC ohm meter, was your faulty one showing a short circuit e.g. faulty?

I've been going through printheads at an alarming rate - every 3 months or thereabouts! They go suddenly and there's no degradation before hand - one day the channel is there and the next = NOTHING, ZILCH but the ink is still drawn through when I do a clean.

I'm at the stage now where I don't really want to 'butcher' another Epson 2880 with the nagging expectation that give it 3 months and the printhead will be shot!

If I was to take the printhead from the 2880 I have here and fit to my NeoFlex 4880 I'm quite sure I'd be up and running again.

Cheers
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Old 1 Week Ago Aug 1, 2020 8:24:12 AM -   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch-Up
Interesting your comments on the capacitor. My guess is the capacitor is a SMD (surface Mount device) - do you recall the value and whether the replacement was easy/difficult?

A capacitor should show open circuit on a DC ohm meter, was your faulty one showing a short circuit e.g. faulty?
Yeap... shorted capacitor. My initial plan was to replace all of them with the ones from a working but worn-out printhead, but I found the shorted one in the process. I have no idea what the values are... My guess is that all 8 of them are the same.


Replacement is easy if you know how to solder. I used a flat-tip soldering iron, low temperature solder, a pair of tweezers, flux, and some isopropyl alcohol.
 
Old 1 Week Ago Aug 3, 2020 5:24:26 AM -   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

So here's an update for you guys following the problem.

Today I removed the printhead from a working and tested 2880 and fitted it to my NeoFlex confident that as before it would work - well, it didn't!! Also replaced the damper and pulled ink through.

So, I changed the 3 flat cables, still didn't work. All other lines are fine, just not a whisper from Magenta.

I've now wrecked a perfectly good Epson 2880, got a non-working NeoFlex and I think it's time to say goodbye to DTG printing for me.

Thanks to everyone who followed and offered suggestions on this thread. After owning the Neo for 10 years I suppose I've had a good run, encountered and overcome so many problems, learned so much and met so many nice people along the way. Thanks guys
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Old 1 Week Ago Aug 3, 2020 9:16:51 AM -   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch-Up
I've now wrecked a perfectly good Epson 2880, got a non-working NeoFlex and I think it's time to say goodbye to DTG printing for me.

Thanks to everyone who followed and offered suggestions on this thread. After owning the Neo for 10 years I suppose I've had a good run, encountered and overcome so many problems, learned so much and met so many nice people along the way. Thanks guys
I wouldn't give up so easy. What you are saying means that both printheads are good and the problem is elsewhere this time.
Try swapping the cyan and magenta (move the dampers and ink lines).
If the problem moves on the cyan channel (now printing magenta) then the problem is the ink supply...probably a vacuum leak.
If the problem stays in the magenta channel (now printing cyan) then the problem is the mainboard.
Both are much cheaper than a printhead.
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Last edited by TABOB; 1 Week Ago at 09:32 AM..
 
Old 1 Week Ago Aug 3, 2020 3:55:15 PM -   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

I would not give up.
Even if I would decide not to do DTG anymore.
Don't you think that it is very curious what this thing really is?
It's like a puzzle :-)
 
Old 1 Week Ago Aug 3, 2020 4:40:10 PM -   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Back to the Familiar Routine!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uz27
I would not give up.
To be fair, working with a single printer is frustrating... I would go mad.
 






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