Author Topic: Ink Jet Help Requested  (Read 4988 times)

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Online xrunner

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Ink Jet Help Requested
« on: September 09, 2017, 04:08:14 pm »
Trying to print out some high quality images and discovered a problem with the magenta. I executed the internal cleaning several times to no avail. I then removed the print head and cleaned with alcohol, but it did not improve. It's a Canon MG5320.

What I do not understand is how it prints out a magenta bar on the test, but the other two magenta bars below it (which are supposed to be lighter) do not print out at all. How is it possible for magenta to print out once each test pattern but not the other two bars? Is that a print head issue or something else?  :-//

Thanks.
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Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2017, 04:25:40 pm »
Oh crap. Canon *and* an inkjet? The help I provide is wearing my steel-toed ranger boots, my kilt for leg freedom, and an open window.

edit: "and" into "an".  :palm:
« Last Edit: September 10, 2017, 01:10:34 am by Alex Eisenhut »
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Online xrunner

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2017, 04:35:22 pm »
Oh crap. Canon *and* and inkjet? The help I provide is wearing my steel-toed ranger boots, my kilt for leg freedom, and an open window.

Dammit this piece of junk! Now the Cyan is dead and it's got a new magenta ink cart!  :wtf:

Might be time for a new color laser ...
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 04:46:06 pm »
Or if you want to go really reliable, Colour ribbon. I have a monochrome ribbon printer, and even though it's slow, it will work long past anything that can even interface with it. It has never failed to print for arbitrary reasons, the ink cartridge has no connection to the electronics so YOU can see if it's running low and not have to have a machine refuse to work with one even though it's full of ink. Most of them will work with any computer that has Centronics support (Mine even works on a Commodore 64 WITH bitmaps through a special adapter). The only thing that can really go wrong with them is the heads wearing out, which has not happened to me, and probably will never happen to me so long as I keep to occasional prints.

If you need something for speed, then you really have to look elsewhere, but if you are fine with setting 10 documents on to print, loading up the paper feed, and walking away for 30 minutes for great, often cheaper prints, then colour dot matrix impact printers are the best option I can think of for reliability, simplicity, and support. There are even dot matrix impact printers that can go actually pretty fast. Mine doesn't but I do not need to print anything in a time of crush, and can wait 4-5 minutes for a full page print.
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Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2017, 05:14:40 pm »
My services come with a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. However you must supply me with the correct quantity of haggis. Yum!

It's a little-known fact of inkjet printers that they have a sort of sponge to rest the heads on, and once it's full, the printer's rubbish.

All consumer printers are rubbish in one degree or another. My recent experience of a new (and heavy) HP laser that printed wobbly lines out of the box with its own test pattern sort of confirms this.

I ended up with an equally large Brother MFC-9340CDW, which is a LED printer, but also has weirdness. It is able to print straight lines, but the print driver is hilarious, apparently Brother doesn't know most people have more than one monitor.

The print dialog opens on the laptop's screen, but with the "main" (external) screen's location. So all I see is the bottom strip of the print dialog on the wrong screen, with no way to fix it. I press alt-space and move the dialog manually.  :palm:

The color copier mode has very bad color accuracy (everything is skewed green), and there seems to be no calibration mode.

The printer's OS seems very sluggish on the printer's touch screen. Come on.

When printing, it sounds like there are about 15 different competing processes happening inside as the fan revs up and down and up again, and weird internal processes happen. I'd feel a bit happier if the fan turned on, the whole print process happens, then the fan turns off.

I gave away (sadly) my 20 year old HP 5L after trying and giving up to make it work with various USB->parallel adapters. So I kept a 2001 W2K machine around for it.

Lately all I could find for it were rebuilt toner cartridges. The one I ended up with had a long scratch across the imaging drum and HP wouldn't take it back since it was obviously my fault.  :--
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Offline drussell

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2017, 06:43:05 pm »
It's a little-known fact of inkjet printers that they have a sort of sponge to rest the heads on, and once it's full, the printer's rubbish.

Some have a little tray or container that can be emptied and cleaned.  For the ones that just have absorbent pads, you can take them out and soak them for a while and rinse them out a few times to clean them out.  It's a bit messy but very effective.
 

Offline frozenfrogz

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2017, 06:59:49 pm »
To clear a clogged print head, you need to flush it with cleaner fluid. There are some recipes out there, basically consisting of ISO-propanol, some distilled water and a drip of ammonia.
Just rubbing and cleaning the outside will not get you there :/



Also, soaking the head in hot water might be an option.

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2017, 07:12:12 pm »
This does not look like clogged printhead. Rather some sort of electronics issue, probably damaged FPC cable or bad connection to the printhead.
 

Online xrunner

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2017, 07:17:14 pm »
OK thanks for the tips - I'll try some of those home remedies today.  :-+
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Offline Gyro

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2017, 07:29:22 pm »
I watched that first video, thinking why on earth hasn't he removed the printhead, rather than stuffing bits of kitchen paper in?  :palm:

I've used the syringe method successfully on Cannon printheads using various diameter bits of sleeving to fit the colour and HC black inlets. I used IPA and deionized water. It works a bit better if you keep the bottom immersed in a saucer of water so that you can keep flushing backwards and forwards. If you look at the nozzles under a gecent magnifier you can see if any are still blocked. You just keep going until they are all clear.

You can also clean and check the printhead (flexprint) and carriage contacts with IPA at the same time. The contacts get splashed during cleaning anyway, the whole thing is waterproof.
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Offline steve30

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2017, 07:36:34 pm »
Or if you want to go really reliable, Colour ribbon. I have a monochrome ribbon printer, and even though it's slow, it will work long past anything that can even interface with it. It has never failed to print for arbitrary reasons, the ink cartridge has no connection to the electronics so YOU can see if it's running low and not have to have a machine refuse to work with one even though it's full of ink. Most of them will work with any computer that has Centronics support (Mine even works on a Commodore 64 WITH bitmaps through a special adapter). The only thing that can really go wrong with them is the heads wearing out, which has not happened to me, and probably will never happen to me so long as I keep to occasional prints.

If you need something for speed, then you really have to look elsewhere, but if you are fine with setting 10 documents on to print, loading up the paper feed, and walking away for 30 minutes for great, often cheaper prints, then colour dot matrix impact printers are the best option I can think of for reliability, simplicity, and support. There are even dot matrix impact printers that can go actually pretty fast. Mine doesn't but I do not need to print anything in a time of crush, and can wait 4-5 minutes for a full page print.

TwoOfFive: What model printer do you have? I have a couple of dot matrix printers, but they are a bit past their best. I'd like a better quality 24 pin one. I also wouldn't mind having a colour one, although I doubt I'd really have much use for it. I've never used a colour dot matrix printer myself, but I hear they are very prone to the colours bleeding into each other. Might be something to consider if you are looking for quality prints.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2017, 07:39:40 pm »
Epson FX80 was the one to have!
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Online wraper

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2017, 09:13:39 pm »
Try cleaning print head contacts with cotton swab and alcohol.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2017, 10:38:17 pm »
Or if you want to go really reliable, Colour ribbon. I have a monochrome ribbon printer, and even though it's slow, it will work long past anything that can even interface with it. It has never failed to print for arbitrary reasons, the ink cartridge has no connection to the electronics so YOU can see if it's running low and not have to have a machine refuse to work with one even though it's full of ink. Most of them will work with any computer that has Centronics support (Mine even works on a Commodore 64 WITH bitmaps through a special adapter). The only thing that can really go wrong with them is the heads wearing out, which has not happened to me, and probably will never happen to me so long as I keep to occasional prints.

If you need something for speed, then you really have to look elsewhere, but if you are fine with setting 10 documents on to print, loading up the paper feed, and walking away for 30 minutes for great, often cheaper prints, then colour dot matrix impact printers are the best option I can think of for reliability, simplicity, and support. There are even dot matrix impact printers that can go actually pretty fast. Mine doesn't but I do not need to print anything in a time of crush, and can wait 4-5 minutes for a full page print.

TwoOfFive: What model printer do you have? I have a couple of dot matrix printers, but they are a bit past their best. I'd like a better quality 24 pin one. I also wouldn't mind having a colour one, although I doubt I'd really have much use for it. I've never used a colour dot matrix printer myself, but I hear they are very prone to the colours bleeding into each other. Might be something to consider if you are looking for quality prints.

It's an Epson LQ-570+ Centronics printer with ESC/P2 support (Epson's somewhat proprietary standard that is supported for most of their printers as a better LCD communications protocol than straight ASCII or IBM codepage printing. It is a loud, slow, massive beast, but it will be working when every single printer off the line today dies, and it will be working more. If you are looking for SERIOUSLY fast printing where you can go through MASSIVE stacks of paper in a few minutes, regular impact printers can make even the fastest inkjets look like a brain damaged gorilla poking at the paper with a lead stick.
They are huge, expensive, can often only do text, but they are FAST

For a good modern printer, I would suggest laser. The toner will kill you (so does ink for inkjets) but they truly have the best print qualities and speeds for a modern printer. We had a monochrome one that could spit out paper after paper after paper in rapid fire succession.

Honestly I do still love dot matrix printers. The fact that it's the only printer you can have that will never screw up for stupid reasons (at least in my experience) is awesome. As long as nothing is broken, you hook up the cable to your computer, set a document printing, make sure the paper is loaded, and you will get a print, little to no variables. There may be the issue with some colour bleeds on colour dot matrix impacts, but I'd say if you can get one of acceptable quality and you can stockpile enough ink (nobody uses them so it can be a bit hard to find ink), it will make a perfect backup when your expensive Brother or Epson decides to shit itself and break for no obvious reason.
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Online Alex Eisenhut

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #14 on: September 09, 2017, 10:38:34 pm »
My first "serious" printer was an Epson LQ-500.



It was awesome for the day. 24 pin NLQ printing, good graphics resolution.
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Offline Brumby

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2017, 04:32:08 am »
I still have an Epson LQ-400, sitting in a filing cabinet drawer.  I wonder if it still works?

Just need a driver for Win 7.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2017, 04:47:01 am »
and best of all - they are Tractor-Feed!
i really miss just ripping open a new box of 2000sheets and just loading it onto the sprockets like an ammo-belt!

now i have to constantly be topping up relatlively small trays with a couple of hundred sheets at a time,
and the sheets have to be stapled or clipped together afterwards.  :(
 

Offline Assafl

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2017, 08:40:56 am »
If it has a separate printhead (separate from the print cartridge - usually connected by a thin flexible hose) it may need to be replaced. If the hose is clogged - it may be time for a new printer.

Also, not printing color for a long time causes these types of outputs on inkjet. I make it a point to print in color whenever I can.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #18 on: September 11, 2017, 12:17:13 pm »
Trying to print out some high quality images and discovered a problem with the magenta. I executed the internal cleaning several times to no avail. I then removed the print head and cleaned with alcohol, but it did not improve. It's a Canon MG5320.

What I do not understand is how it prints out a magenta bar on the test, but the other two magenta bars below it (which are supposed to be lighter) do not print out at all. How is it possible for magenta to print out once each test pattern but not the other two bars? Is that a print head issue or something else?  :-//

Thanks.
The reason that cyan and magenta have three bars each in the test pattern is that they actually have three printheads each, for 5, 2, and 1pl droplets. (512 nozzles each for the six magenta and cyan, yellow, photo black, and pigment black.) It looks like there's either a catastrophic clog in the duct to the 2 and 1pl magenta nozzles, or an electronic problem.

A replacement printhead (part Qy6-0080) can be had on eBay for about $25, so it may be worth trying that.

If it has a separate printhead (separate from the print cartridge - usually connected by a thin flexible hose) it may need to be replaced. If the hose is clogged - it may be time for a new printer.

Also, not printing color for a long time causes these types of outputs on inkjet. I make it a point to print in color whenever I can.
This model has a separate head, but has no hoses - the cartridges sit in the carriage, directly atop the printhead.

As for using them regularly: every inkjet cleans all the nozzles on power-up (or first print after a while), even when just issuing a black and white print job. That said, I've used Canon inkjets since around 2003, and have never had issues with clogging, even after months of disuse. (In stark contrast with the Epson inkjets I used from 1998-2003, which clogged often, and ultimately clogged irreversibly.) The only time I've had to replace a Canon printhead is when I accidentally damaged one.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #19 on: September 11, 2017, 12:21:21 pm »
It's a little-known fact of inkjet printers that they have a sort of sponge to rest the heads on, and once it's full, the printer's rubbish.

Some have a little tray or container that can be emptied and cleaned.  For the ones that just have absorbent pads, you can take them out and soak them for a while and rinse them out a few times to clean them out.  It's a bit messy but very effective.
Early inkjets did that, but most now have a rubber-rimmed cap that seals the head shut, and a separate felt-bottomed tray to catch waste ink, which has a specific (and to me amusing) name: the spitoon! Indeed the printers track how much ink is dispensed into the spitoon and disable the printer when full; it's then supposed to be replaced. Service menus usually let you reset the spitoon counter of course.

Some printers' head caps have a vacuum hose attached, used for cleaning by actually sucking ink through without activating the nozzles, and also for priming the heads after ink changes.
 
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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2017, 02:57:02 pm »
The reason that cyan and magenta have three bars each in the test pattern is that they actually have three printheads each, for 5, 2, and 1pl droplets. (512 nozzles each for the six magenta and cyan, yellow, photo black, and pigment black.) It looks like there's either a catastrophic clog in the duct to the 2 and 1pl magenta nozzles, or an electronic problem.

Yes I see that now. I was cleaning it again and did notice that the magenta had more than one streak on the cleaning pad. I never realized it worked like that. I persisted in cleaning and eventually it started working. Several of the magenta heads were clogged, and I need to print out more color from time to time. Thanks.
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Offline Ampera

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2017, 06:26:28 pm »
I still have an Epson LQ-400, sitting in a filing cabinet drawer.  I wonder if it still works?

Just need a driver for Win 7.

I recall mine having drivers for Windows 7, but if all else fails, just get generic ESC/P or ESC/P2 drivers, as it will support most of the printer's functionality.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2017, 07:37:58 pm »
Driver is IBM proprinter or proprinter 2, or Epson FX80, or Generic/text only. Depends if you want graphics ( the proprinter or Fx) and incredibly slow multipass printing, or really fast text only printing.
 

Offline Assafl

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2017, 07:58:24 pm »

Some printers' head caps have a vacuum hose attached, used for cleaning by actually sucking ink through without activating the nozzles, and also for priming the heads after ink changes.

So that is what that tiny peristaltic pump in Epson printers is for? A peristaltic spittoon?

Crazy Kickstarter idea: A peristaltic spittoon for the lazy wine lover.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2017, 11:13:56 pm »
The reason that cyan and magenta have three bars each in the test pattern is that they actually have three printheads each, for 5, 2, and 1pl droplets. (512 nozzles each for the six magenta and cyan, yellow, photo black, and pigment black.) It looks like there's either a catastrophic clog in the duct to the 2 and 1pl magenta nozzles, or an electronic problem.

Yes I see that now. I was cleaning it again and did notice that the magenta had more than one streak on the cleaning pad. I never realized it worked like that. I persisted in cleaning and eventually it started working. Several of the magenta heads were clogged, and I need to print out more color from time to time. Thanks.
Thanks for the update! By any chance, did you in the past allow the cartridge to actually run dry, and then leave it dry for a while? That's the only thing I'm aware of that can really cause a clog in a Canon. That's why they warn when the cartridge is running low (though I really appreciate that the Canons let you override the low-ink warning and keep printing if you choose.)

Some printers' head caps have a vacuum hose attached, used for cleaning by actually sucking ink through without activating the nozzles, and also for priming the heads after ink changes.
So that is what that tiny peristaltic pump in Epson printers is for? A peristaltic spittoon?
Possibly, but to be honest I'm not entirely sure, I've never dismantled an Epson.

The ones that I know have the vacuum pumps are some HP OfficeJet models, the ones that use ink tanks that look kinda like squished marshmallows. They actually have bidirectional pumps that can pump backwards towards the tanks, to dislodge obstructions in the ink paths.

Crazy Kickstarter idea: A peristaltic spittoon for the lazy wine lover.
Isn't that what most people would simply call their esophagus?  ;D
 
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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2017, 11:56:27 pm »
Thanks for the update! By any chance, did you in the past allow the cartridge to actually run dry, and then leave it dry for a while? That's the only thing I'm aware of that can really cause a clog in a Canon. That's why they warn when the cartridge is running low (though I really appreciate that the Canons let you override the low-ink warning and keep printing if you choose.)

Well, I've had the thing for over 5 years (or more), so can I definitively state I never let it go dry? No, I cannot so we'll assume I have.  :P

I'm going to Google a good color test print image and I'll make sure to print it out at least once a month (or more).

Edit: Additionally, I got a supply of ink carts to use up, but I think after they are gone I'll switch to a color laser ...
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 12:04:04 am by xrunner »
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Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2017, 09:08:12 am »
Printing anything once a month should be enough, as the color nozzles are cleaned even before printing a black only document, as I already said above.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2017, 10:28:43 am »
Just a curiosity question .... I have a Canon PRO-100 (affordable A3 capability) that gets used infrequently, but I have seen the ink levels go down with alarming speed from, I suspect, the extended song and dance it does when powered on each time.

Does anyone have ideas on whether there is less ink wasted with this if the printer is left on or not?

I am interested in any observations that people can offer - but if anyone wants a reference point, assume 1 A4 page printed per day with half page of colour graphics and half page of text.
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2017, 11:27:17 am »
0 ink is wasted on ribbon printers

ever.

Seriously, it doesn't do any bullshit, it just spins the ribbon and strikes it against the paper.
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Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2017, 11:34:37 am »
Just a curiosity question .... I have a Canon PRO-100 (affordable A3 capability) that gets used infrequently, but I have seen the ink levels go down with alarming speed from, I suspect, the extended song and dance it does when powered on each time.

Does anyone have ideas on whether there is less ink wasted with this if the printer is left on or not?

I am interested in any observations that people can offer - but if anyone wants a reference point, assume 1 A4 page printed per day with half page of colour graphics and half page of text.
No, as long as it is left plugged in, it remembers how long it's been since the last use whether turned on or not, and decides how deep a cleaning to do depending on the interval. If, however, you actually disconnect AC power, it doesn't know how long it's been, and it will default to a deeper cleaning.

Leaving it on uses slightly more power just to keep the ports on. I keep mine plugged in but off, simply because the power light is annoyingly bright in my bedroom. Otherwise I'd leave it on.

Many Canon inkjets have an intermediate mode, auto power on, which turns the printer "off" but keeps the USB port awake, and turns the machine on automatically. I'm not even sure whether mine has that or not, since I connect via Ethernet, which doesn't have wake-on-LAN.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2017, 11:36:23 am »
0 ink is wasted on ribbon printers

ever.

Seriously, it doesn't do any bullshit, it just spins the ribbon and strikes it against the paper.
True, but when's the last time you saw a photo capable printer that uses ribbons? (Last I ever saw was the Alps dye-sublimation-ribbon printers from the mid 90s. They SLO's had thermal wax transfer ribbons, including metal foil, which was a unique capability.)
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2017, 12:57:39 pm »
No, as long as it is left plugged in, it remembers how long it's been since the last use whether turned on or not, and decides how deep a cleaning to do depending on the interval. If, however, you actually disconnect AC power, it doesn't know how long it's been, and it will default to a deeper cleaning.

Well, AC power is connected all the time - unless there has been a blackout (which we have had a couple of).  Still, there hasn't been that many instances to cause a noticeable difference.

I would like to think someone could come up with an ink solution that didn't suffer from this problem - but, then, the ink revenue would dry up too - wouldn't it?
 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2017, 01:22:45 pm »
0 ink is wasted on ribbon printers

ever.

Seriously, it doesn't do any bullshit, it just spins the ribbon and strikes it against the paper.
True, but when's the last time you saw a photo capable printer that uses ribbons? (Last I ever saw was the Alps dye-sublimation-ribbon printers from the mid 90s. They SLO's had thermal wax transfer ribbons, including metal foil, which was a unique capability.)

My dot matrix impact printer uses ribbons and can print in full greyscale bit mapping over it's own drivers, or even the ESC/P and ESC/P2 communication standards. There are also colour dot matrix impact printers that use ribbons, and if you can find a good quality one, they will do full colour pictures no problem.
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Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2017, 02:47:42 pm »
No, as long as it is left plugged in, it remembers how long it's been since the last use whether turned on or not, and decides how deep a cleaning to do depending on the interval. If, however, you actually disconnect AC power, it doesn't know how long it's been, and it will default to a deeper cleaning.

Well, AC power is connected all the time - unless there has been a blackout (which we have had a couple of).  Still, there hasn't been that many instances to cause a noticeable difference.

I would like to think someone could come up with an ink solution that didn't suffer from this problem - but, then, the ink revenue would dry up too - wouldn't it?
I think that from a technical standpoint, using ink as a cleaning medium is not a bad approach. I don't think anyone would mind wasting ink on cleaning if it didn't cost as much as vintage single malt.

I wanna say that some industrial inkjets have separate cleaning solvents, but I'm not at all confident on this point.

I think ink formulations are an ongoing vexing problem in any printing context. Every inkjet ink needs to have the right density, viscosity, etc for the printhead and print medium used.  Bubble jet (Canon, HP) requires some form of volatile solvent in the ink that boils in a controlled fashion in the nozzle to propel the ink out, while not drying out and clogging. Piezo inkjet (Epson, most industrial inkjets) is far more flexible in terms of ink formulation since it needn't boil the ink, but the print heads are costlier to make, and I believe they're pickier in terms of air bubbles getting in the ink tubing. Presumably when using non-water-soluble inks, like varnishes, it becomes critical to not let ink dry on the head, or you're left with an unclearable clog. (I suspect that's what the problem was in older epsons: the ink, once dried, wasn't able to be dissolved by the ink in the nozzles.)

One cool approach in industrial inkjets is using UV-curable lacquers, so the ink really won't dry on its own, and then the printed object is just UV-exposed after the ink is applied.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2017, 02:48:44 pm »
0 ink is wasted on ribbon printers

ever.

Seriously, it doesn't do any bullshit, it just spins the ribbon and strikes it against the paper.
True, but when's the last time you saw a photo capable printer that uses ribbons? (Last I ever saw was the Alps dye-sublimation-ribbon printers from the mid 90s. They SLO's had thermal wax transfer ribbons, including metal foil, which was a unique capability.)

My dot matrix impact printer uses ribbons and can print in full greyscale bit mapping over it's own drivers, or even the ESC/P and ESC/P2 communication standards. There are also colour dot matrix impact printers that use ribbons, and if you can find a good quality one, they will do full colour pictures no problem.
I know, but I did say "photo capable", as in, capable of producing something photo-quality. No dot matrix printer can come even distantly close to that, even if graphics-capable.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2017, 03:31:19 pm »
there is a printer type that can have good images without liquids,
wax printers use pellets that they melt.
tektronix phasor was a name i seem to remember.
severly expensive though - even used at auctions they went for huge amounts.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2017, 04:32:31 pm »
there is a printer type that can have good images without liquids,
wax printers use pellets that they melt.
tektronix phasor was a name i seem to remember.
severly expensive though - even used at auctions they went for huge amounts.
Actually, those were under a thousand bucks new by the time Xerox discontinued them, which was only in the past year or two.

They used wax blocks (not pellets). They were fast, but you did not want to turn them off: the heating and cleaning cycle used tremendous amounts of ink (on the order of 5% of an ink block!!!). Their print quality was eclipsed by the best color lasers by around 2001, and by the late aughts, cheap color lasers marched them in quality and undercut them substantially in price. I'm actually surprised they lasted as long as they did.

FYI, they were invented by tektronix, which called all its color printer products "Phaser". They sold their printer division to Xerox, who continues the Phaser name for its laser printers to this day. They changed the solid ink printers' name to ColorQube for the final few years of the technology's life.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2017, 07:17:00 pm »
Got one in the garage, tossed out because of the consumable price. Used 3 of each block per month ( black was free as well, and if you asked for more it was free with the next order, so I always printed as white or other colour text on a black background) even in standby, and half a block per start up cycle in cleaning the ink reservoir and piezo print heads. At $100 per colour per month it was crazy expensive to run, though i did make some black candles from the wax blocks.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #38 on: September 13, 2017, 04:23:27 am »
I picked up a dye sublimation printer many years ago.  It had an uneven printing problem that I was going to have a look at - but the price of the consumables put me off.  Eventually, it found its way to an e-waste collection along with 100kg or so of other obsolete gear.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #39 on: September 13, 2017, 02:01:59 pm »
Got one in the garage, tossed out because of the consumable price. Used 3 of each block per month ( black was free as well, and if you asked for more it was free with the next order, so I always printed as white or other colour text on a black background) even in standby, and half a block per start up cycle in cleaning the ink reservoir and piezo print heads. At $100 per colour per month it was crazy expensive to run, though i did make some black candles from the wax blocks.
Yep. They excelled at high-volume office printing, but were terrible for sporadic use.

"Even in standby" -- well I think that's the thing. If you let them go into standby, then they'd have to reheat and purge when waking up. They really worked best when kept fully on at all times, which only makes sense in high volume environments. (Many Xerox models default to "smart" standby, where it learns the customer's typical usage patterns and then automatically sleeps and wakes for them. But in these, it can be... suboptimal.)
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2017, 02:10:46 pm »
I picked up a dye sublimation printer many years ago.  It had an uneven printing problem that I was going to have a look at - but the price of the consumables put me off.  Eventually, it found its way to an e-waste collection along with 100kg or so of other obsolete gear.
Dye-sub was awesome for its time (and still is for certain applications), but for the most part, it's amazing how inkjet (for photos) and laser (for graphic design/DTP) totally displaced it. I mean, looking at the earliest inkjets (like the HP ThinkJet) and the ones in the early 90s, who would ever have guessed that inkjet would become the highest-quality printing technology for so many color applications? They've gone from sorry-i-can't-afford-a-laser-so-i-have-to-settle-for-this to actually exceeding laser for photos and graphics, being roughly equivalent for text (except on cheap paper where B&W laser still excels), matching dye-sub for photo prints, but also expanding into areas I never would have predicted, like bulk invoice printing, cash register receipts, and large-format printing like billboards, banners, posters, and blueprints.
 

Offline stj

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2017, 02:31:00 pm »
inkjet gave rise to customer abuse.
i had what i consider the best inkjet,
canon BJ330
black&white (well just black) A4 with tractor-feed.
AND the ink cartridge also contained the waste pad - looked like an 8-track tape.

no waste box in the printer, no chip in the cartridge, no automatic cleaning to waste the ink.

and then came HP & Epson to destroy the fun.
eeproms, heads on cartridges etc.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2017, 03:52:17 pm »
inkjet gave rise to customer abuse.
Oh please, that's absurd. The razor-and-blades model was well established by then, having been introduced decades ago by, you guessed it, Gillette.

i had what i consider the best inkjet,
canon BJ330
black&white (well just black) A4 with tractor-feed.
AND the ink cartridge also contained the waste pad - looked like an 8-track tape.

no waste box in the printer, no chip in the cartridge, no automatic cleaning to waste the ink.
Waste recepticle in the ink tank is a cool idea. For the low print volumes in consumer models, though, it just doesn't make sense to add the machine complexity of that, given that almost nobody actually fills the spittoon.

That printer most certainly does consume ink in automatic cleaning -- that it doesn't was such an absurd claim that I looked up the service manual, and it says that the cleaning function (which wipes the head and then "fills the nozzles with fresh ink") "is automatically performed when the power is switched on, before printing starts, or when printing starts after 24 hours or more". Moreover, it has the "maintenance jet function that ejects ink from all the nozzles of the bubble jet head to ... prevent the nozzles clogging", which "automatically operates when turn [sic] on the printer, before printing starts, every 12 to 30 seconds during printing, or every 1 hour for 24 hours after power on."

So yeah, it's using ink for cleaning, just like every inkjet.

and then came HP & Epson to destroy the fun.
eeproms, heads on cartridges etc.
Many, many early inkjets used integrated heads in the cartridges, including the HP ThinkJet (the first commercial desktop inkjet, 1984), Canon BJ-10 series, BJ-200 series, etc. Canon and HP now both use integrated heads in their cheapest printers, and permanent or semi-permanent heads in higher-end models.

Epson inkjets have never used integrated heads, and like most printers had no chips in the ink tanks until the 2000s.

Why did ink cartridges get more and more expensive over the years? Because the printers got cheaper and cheaper. In the end, you're paying a similar amount of money over the life of the printer. The same thing has happened to laser. And as always, very expensive printers with cheap consumables do exist for users with high print volumes.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2017, 05:13:54 pm »
I picked up a dye sublimation printer many years ago.  It had an uneven printing problem that I was going to have a look at - but the price of the consumables put me off.  Eventually, it found its way to an e-waste collection along with 100kg or so of other obsolete gear.
Dye-sub was awesome for its time (and still is for certain applications), but for the most part, it's amazing how inkjet (for photos) and laser (for graphic design/DTP) totally displaced it. I mean, looking at the earliest inkjets (like the HP ThinkJet) and the ones in the early 90s, who would ever have guessed that inkjet would become the highest-quality printing technology for so many color applications? They've gone from sorry-i-can't-afford-a-laser-so-i-have-to-settle-for-this to actually exceeding laser for photos and graphics, being roughly equivalent for text (except on cheap paper where B&W laser still excels), matching dye-sub for photo prints, but also expanding into areas I never would have predicted, like bulk invoice printing, cash register receipts, and large-format printing like billboards, banners, posters, and blueprints.

I have an old Sony Dye sublimation photo printer, along with a load of the dye film cartridges and photo paper for it. Of course, being Sony, it uses a Sony Memory stick as input source, or a paused TV frame, as it uses a regular TV set as a display for the menu, and has a very s______l_______o_____w processor on board, for driving the on screen display and driving the thermal print head that will eventually, after 4 passes of the paper through the machine, print a pretty decent full colour photo as output.
 
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Offline stj

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2017, 05:17:12 pm »
memory-stick is no problem, you can get an sd-card adapter.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2017, 05:57:12 pm »
memory-stick is no problem, you can get an sd-card adapter.


I bought a Sony camera on gumtree instead, it came with a few MS cards, and even had a pair of Duracell lithiums in it that were near new, and cost less than the adaptor online as well. Was good to add extra ones to the 8M one I had, plus I gave some to the nephews to use on the Playstation as game storage. I even have a sony optical mouse that has an integrated MS reader in it, though the grey case really needs a retrobrite, which would destroy the screenprinted logos on it.
 

Offline tooki

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Re: Ink Jet Help Requested
« Reply #46 on: September 14, 2017, 09:53:42 am »
Are you sure it will damage the printing? I've seen many people use retrobrite on vintage Macs that have silkscreened (or actually likely pad printed) model names on them.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2017, 09:55:13 am by tooki »
 


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