Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Someone else’s strategy for keeping their Epson Pro printer happy

Coming down off the ceiling of despair caused by my recent trials I find that on the Yahoo 4000/4800/4880 forum someone posted a solution to keeping their Epson 4000 printing after being near to scrapping it due to continued nozzle blockages. This is their strategy plus some printing utilities that might help as well.

From ragnar22751:
Anyway, here is what has worked for me (for the last 3 weeks anyway)

1. The printer is left on

2. It's dust cover is draped loosely over it with a wet sponge in a dish placed on the left side of the paper tray. (I didn't think that liquids were a good idea as the printer would splash things around from the motion of the printer) Add water to the sponge as needed.

3. The Harvey Head Cleaner program runs a nozzle check twice daily.

4. The MIS autoprint utility is set to print the 8 color purge file every third day.

Of course it goes without saying that the printer is stuffed with standard laser print paper and not expensive ink jet art paper. I found that the nozzle checks alone were not enough to keep things clear although it did improve greatly when the printer was covered and the damp sponge was introduced.

Now that Harvey Head Cleaner works on my PC I shall give this a try – HCC’s current price is $39.99, with a free 7 day trial on request if you want to try it before buying.

The MIS Autoprint utility mentioned is another automatic printer utility (free this time) – this prints a bigger ink purge file, but I have not found their 8 ink purge - the largest option I can find is a 7 ink option. I don't use MIS Autoprint as on a Windows XP system it will not run unless Windows is set up with a user ID and password, although there is a workaround for this.

MIS offer a selection of purge files, including an 8 ink file, but I have not found that it isolates nozzles, so I simply use a colour patch file for inkjet paper calibration as a general purge file to exercise my printer when needed.

On the same forum another program called “Printer Jockey” has been recommended. This is a $99 utility that seems to do what HHC does as well as allow for individual ink channels to be cleaned, which, if it works, would really help save ink & money. I may have a look at it and decide which way to go, but at $99 with no trial period I think that I need some convincing that it really does work.

In my experience just printing blocks of colour when the nozzles are blocked does not do help clear the nozzles; that is what it looks as if Printer Jockey does - it does not say that it runs a cleaning cycle just for one channel. The YouTube tutorial seems to indicate that channel flushing is just printing through a particular colour's nozzles rather than cleaning. Anyone know any different?

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