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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Epson have released in Asia the L 1300 and L1800 - 4 and 6 colour A3 printers, with genuine Epson ink tanks!

I have an old A3 flatbed based on the 1390 - When it was good it was very very good, when not it was hell (mostly). Main problem was getting over service requests, & also short printhead life. I am printing onto ABS, not textile so required a special non Epson ink - which loved to block up the 3rd party CISS. Also ink deplasticised the CISS tubes, ended up like hard PVC, then cracking after a few months. New CISS; & ink would suck the plasticiser out of the tubes, & not cure.

I have nearly got L1800 flatbed going, but the drive is very erratic - moving in and out at any time, e.g. 'printhead test' or 'printhead alignment' can be printed all over the sheet, not just at the front. Any print usually ends with a 'fatal error'
I have installed new PF sensor cable, new PF encoder & sensor and done everything I can think of.

L1800 shows a lot of promise, but just this one huge problem - at the moment. Would be very grateful for any suggestions -

Thanks,
Stuart.

I will try to make a video & upload.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ryan,
DO you know if the 1390 and 1800 encoders are different? I have checked them all (have several from the 1390) & they all seem to be the same - a very low interference pattern on the encoding, when you hold two together.

Now I am not getting the erratic drive any more, just getting fatal error as soon as the print heads finish traversing on startup, & it attempts to drive the table. The fatal error occurs whether table clutch is engaged or not.

Thanks,
Stuart.
 

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now it might not be but it sounds like the sensor on the encoder wheel is not aligned correctly, i saw this on my old 1160 and 1800 builds, the startup sequence goes as you said, you get one spin on the drive rod and it errors. It can take alot of trys but subtley respositioning the sensor can solve it, or of course it might be something else, diy builds are like that :) but do make sure you have the right encoder for the right printer, some look identical with the naked eye but wont work in another printer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi Steve,
Thanks for your reply.

I presume that alignment means just the location of the sensor within the beam? i.e. not the angle of the sensor to the encoder? I can adjust fairly well - to either side of the encoded area, where nothing is sensed, & also to the middle, where it does sense. But I imagine that it is a point detector, so the angle of the sensor to the encoder would not matter?
I have aligned by eye to very close to the picture in the manual -
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ryan,
I don't know of any adjustment programme for the PF sensor - only for the printhead alignment.

I am getting a fatal error (paper & ink lights flashing simultaneously, fairly slowly) after the print carriage finishes its traverse, as soon as the table begins to move - get abt 4 mm movement, less than ¼ of an inch.
 

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Hi Steve,
Thanks for your reply.

I presume that alignment means just the location of the sensor within the beam? i.e. not the angle of the sensor to the encoder? I can adjust fairly well - to either side of the encoded area, where nothing is sensed, & also to the middle, where it does sense. But I imagine that it is a point detector, so the angle of the sensor to the encoder would not matter?
I have aligned by eye to very close to the picture in the manual -
thats the one, it fires a little beam of light through the plastic wheel, if it is slightly off the printer can error on startup at the point yours is doing. I had mine completely removed from the metal of the printers, i used to use blue tack to fix it in place then keep repositioning it until it worked then hot glue around it to fix it in place for good. Im sure others have more elegant solutions but that used to work for me.
 

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The encode should align from the centre of the gear that drives it and have a gap from the encoder wheel of .5mm to 1mm. Make sure the encoder disc spins centre of the sensor or it could scratch the disc.

The Epson tubes seem to be holding up to a rather aggressive uv ink I am testing however the adaptors seem to clog very easily.

Good luck please send pics they say a thousand words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Ryan, it is an L1800 (new mod. with external EPSON! ;-) tanks, not the R1800. I have had a look at the lights code but there isn't a code for this - a slow blinking of both the ink and paper lights. Fatal error can be seen at the end of the video at https://vimeo.com/108052341

Have changed encoders & sensors & new sensor cable - are the 1390 and 1800 PF encoder the same?
 

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Looks like the drive motor to encoder sensor is out of sync in your video, the encoder to final drive ratio may be wrong why did you not implement the l1800 encoder and drive system, probably sensing too much current on the motor.
To be sure you are still engaging the PF switch/sensor correct? It must remain in place till near end of print.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks all, for all the suggestions. Printer is now running veeeery well! Problem was excess play in the three drive belts (not much - but encoder & control circuitry is very sensitive to free play), and also some slack in the shafts.

I think I can recommend the L1800 (but early days yet) - if it is sold in your country?
 

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if you're looking into messing with UV curable ink and a lamp, it's a big project, but really fun. the main problem is finding a suitable ink, and way to move and turn the lamp on and off. just be super careful because once you clog a head with UV, there ain't no unclogging it. I used to work for Direct Color Systems and a couple other printer manufacturers who used an epson base to convert into a UV printer. Let me know if you have any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
if you're looking into messing with UV curable ink and a lamp, it's a big project, but really fun. the main problem is finding a suitable ink, and way to move and turn the lamp on and off. just be super careful because once you clog a head with UV, there ain't no unclogging it. I used to work for Direct Color Systems and a couple other printer manufacturers who used an epson base to convert into a UV printer. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thanks Ryan. Would like to do UV, but having taken 18 months to get my eco solvent working I think I will put UV on my 'todo' list - after everything else gets done. i.e. -

Only problem I have now with the eco solvent is an unreliable start position - variation of 3 - 4 mm in first print location. We have to print a start mark off the product, & if it is not correct, cancel & try again. The maker had an IR sensor detecting the table edge which was pretty unreliable, I have changed it to the orig chopper type with the chopper connected to the table, which is improved but still not 'good'.

I think the problem is that the PF motor starts with a sharp jerk - if it could be made to start slowly, the position detector should be much more accurate.

Is Epson software editable? To make the motor start slower? Can / does anybody edit Epson software?

TIA,
Stuart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
It seems that the erratic start position was due to failing linear bearings - replaced them & now I get ~ 75% of starts within 0.2mm which is acceptable.

Printing is now very good even at 'quality' - but some arts require 'best quality' to provide a slower ink deposition, to prevent orange peel.

Still have one problem however; about every 5th to 10th print, the drive will jump forward about around 5mm, causing a double print on that part, & ruining the other parts unless you catch the error, and cancel the print. Occasionally the table does a bit of a 'dance' - in & out - but mostly this is after finishing the print, so can cope with it.

So still looking for a solution to the erratic feed - ~ 5mm in the middle of a print -

Grateful for any suggestions!

TIA.

BTW, printing eco solvent ink onto ABS credit card sized products, 3 x 8 on the table.
 
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