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4880 based printer ink lines problem.

2070 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  ozstockman
Hi guys,

I was reported this problem here in the past and I have been fighting with it for months. At first it was just a black ink line but now it is almost all lines on the left hand side of the printer except one CYAN line.

So here is a problem. When my printer sits without printing for 2 and more days three lines out of four on the left side stop supplying any ink. It either seems there is no ink left in dampers at all or at least there is a very big gap with air inside these three lines between corresponding cartridges and the dampers.

After I do not print for 2 and more days I have to run power cleaning to get all dampers charged with inks. Then I can print with no gaps in nozzles. If I do not do power cleaning these three lines show very little or no ink at all in nozzle check(see attached image).

My guess that during power cleaning all lines and dampers are charged with inks without any problems and I can print with all colours(see attached image with nozzle check) but then after some time somehow I have no ink left even in some dampers.

I have replaced dampers and connectors twice, capping station once and even replaced all tubing as the last attempt to fix it but I have not fixed the problem. In fact I may be even have made it worse because before I had this problem only with black ink but now extra two lines(Magenta and Yellow) are showing the same problem.
Surprisingly there is no such problem with CYAN that sits on the same side between Magenta and Black. The right side with two white and LC and LM seems to be perfect all the time.

I must add that MFG for this printer has changed the way inks are supplied to the print head. Instead of getting the ink from the back of ink cartridges ink tubes go into the holes located at the top of each cartridge(see attached image). I do not think that it can cause all these problems.. except all ink tubes at some point located higher than the print head.. but this design causes a lot of ink wasted during power cleaning. Mostly because when you asked to get these blue levers up which I believe should close the lines they stay open and inks are sucked into print head all the time. I have measured how much ink I waste during power cleaning and it seems to be 200ml.

Has anybody ever experienced something like this? If yes what is the problem here. I want to fix it but I have no idea what can cause this problem.
Also with my current ink supply design, is it worth to change it back the way it is originally done in 4880? It is a bit messy the way it is now plus power cleaning cost me at least $40 based on the ink cost of $200/L

BTW, the ink I use is UV ink. Never seen them clogging ink the print head. The right hand side colour do a perfect nozzle check print even I do not use the printer for a month. At least I can say it about LC and LM because other two channels are white and is it hard to see.


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No suggestion at all?

BTW, I have found out why MFG has made the ink supply the way it is now. They need to remove valves to give a room for a UV lamp on the left side. I cannot see if these valves are still on the right side but I can see they have been removed on the left side. So it seems there is no way for me to get the ink from cartridges supplied to a print head in the same way it is originally designed by Epson.
How is your capping station and wiper blade?
I have replaced the capping station and it does not help.

The blade is old but seems to be ideal. I do not see how the blade can affect three channels only.

Can it be a problem with the print head? Even though I cannot understand how it can affect just three channels and where all inks from these channels disappear to.
So it seems there are no solutions or ideas at all.
How's the fitting that connects the tube to the damper?

How are the printhead nipples below the damper? Any hairline cracks?
So it seems there are no solutions or ideas at all.
More then likely your problem is in the design of the cartridges. Best way is to deliver ink from the back of the cartridges, the way it was intended, instead of the top. Back in the day when we built Blazer models, which were also 4880 based, we tested a ink delivery something similar but did not create the proper pressure that was needed for the ink to print properly. My suggestion is to go back to the original way of delivering ink. Also power cleanings do waste a lot of ink. That function is intended to be used only when you are flushing out the ink system with cleaning solution. Hope this helps.
Thank you guys for your suggestions.

I did not notice any cracks on the nipples when I replaced the dampers twice but to be honest I did not pay attention to and did not check them. I have just found used 4800(mine is 4880) for a good price and if I get it I will try to get the print head from 4800 and install it in mine to see if it makes any difference.

As I mention I would love to go back to original ink delivery but it seems there is no way for me to do it. If I put these valves back there will be no room for the UV lamp attached on the left side of the print head carriage. I think that is the reason why MFG has to remove valves on the left side and get the ink sucked from the top of each cartridge.

If I get a bulk system shown on the link below do you think it will help me to fix the problem?

Air Pressure Bulk Ink System for Epson 7700 9700 Printer ( Large Bottle Ink Supply System, CISS)-in Consumer Electronics on Aliexpress.com

It comes with regulated air pressure. I do not know if I can get it with 8 channels but they sell it in 4 channels configuration and I think I should be able to hook up tubing from this system to my flatbed one if their tubing diameter is different. With this system the ink will be supplied from outside of current ink system but I will keep empty ink cartridges just to get around the problem with the chips.

Any other suggestions would be much appreciated. I do not want to recycle $10 000 printer just because there are some problems with three channels. It makes very great prints straight after power cleaning and I love UV inks. I have tried solvent based printers and UV inks much better and easier in printer maintenance than solvent ones.
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