We get a ton of questions from listeners who find their prints speckled with ink drops or smudged by roller marks, so we invited long-time Epson technician Ron Ardito onto the show to identify what’s causing these frustrating imperfections.
- Roller tracks – an incompatibility problem
- Using slightly curled paper can ruin a print
- Separating the PK and MK black channels on Epson machines
- D17E error – a common network problem
- Epson 3800 vs. 3880 – same ink cartridges?
- The 4000 error
- Much more!
Listen in to learn about roller marks and random ink drops on prints
- For more on Ron Ardito, check out his website.
- Listeners featured in this episode include Ricky, Stephanie, Renee, George, Donald, and Louis.
- For our archive of Ron Ardito’s appearances on #AskBC, use our new text-in feature! Send the word “ARDITO” to 33444.
- Love the show? Have some feedback for us? Leave us a review on iTunes.
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Or, to view a web version of the transcript:
Announcer 1: You are listening to the AskBC podcast – your printmaking questions, answered by the experts!
Justin: Hey guys, this is your host Justin, welcome to episode 26 of the AskBC podcast! We have Ron Ardito here with us today from Arditos.com, and we are going to talk about roller marks on prints, random ink drops on sheet-fed printers, and Epson separating the matte and photo black channels.
Announcer 2: Ricky asks, “What causes roller tracks to show on prints? They look like bulldozer tracks caused by, I believe, advancing the paper when printing. I am using the Canon iPF6400. This does not occur at all times, but is more seen on 24” rolls.”
Ron: [unintelligible]…Incompatibility between the ink he’s using and the paper, and the papers coming out of the machine still wet, which is now getting picked up by the rollers.
Justin: Ah, gotcha, so it’s probably a print setting.
Ron: Yep, or the paper.
Justin: Interesting, okay.
Announcer 2: Stephanie asks, “I have a terrible time with my Epson R3000 and previous R2400. Randomly I get drips all over the print or sometimes just on the edge. Epson has no answer for me, or didn’t the last time I asked them at least. I use Epson and Red River paper. Could it be the platen gap as I change from paper to paper and MK to PK ink? It also seems to occur right before I change a cartridge or right after. Sometimes the black ink is getting low, but the drips are red.
Ron: Without a doubt, what’s happening, especially on a 3000 and the 3880, if there’s any kind of curl in the paper whatsoever, you’re gonna pick it up on the edge – usually on the left edge, standing in front of the machine, the left edge, mostly the right edge. And he probably should increase his platen gap to wider.
Justin: Okay, so you think it’s the printhead getting caught on the paper.
Ron: Oh yeah, without a doubt, without a doubt. Yep. And anybody that’s using [unintelligible] paper, “A” they’ve got to store it flat number one, “B” when they load it into the paper, if there’s any curl whatsoever, work the curl out before you put the paper in the machine.
Justin: Right, okay. Gotcha.
Announcer 2: Renee asks, “When will Epson separate the photo and the matte black channels on the Epson large format printers? It’s extremely inconvenient to have to flush the channel that feeds the print head of matte black when you want to print something photo black and vice versa. Any insight?”
Ron: They are separate.
Justin: Well they use the same black channel to feed the print head, right?
Ron: Well they use same black channel, right, two rows, but up until that point they’re definitely separate.
Justin: She’s wondering, I assume, when will you be able to forgo the black ink switching and just do kind of like Canon.
Ron: Oh, oh – you can’t. At this point, I don’t know – I don’t have an answer for her.
Justin: No insight from Epson on that? Or why they handle it that way or anything?
Ron: Probably a cost consideration for the print head, they’d have to add a channel, possibly drop a channel, you know. As it stands right now, I don’t think that’s a factor. Me personally, I don’t think – it doesn’t take a long time to switch from one to the other.
Justin: Yeah, yeah, I guess people that just use one printer, though, and switch between glossy and matte, it’s costly – it uses quite a bit of ink to make a switch, I think.
Ron: Not as much as you would think. Not as much as the older machines, where you actually had to put change cartridges into the machine.
Justin: Yeah, the 600 or whatever.
Ron: Well it would be the 98s and the 78s, and the 9880s – you had three cartridges that you had to install on the machine and that wasted a lot of ink.
Justin: Ah, right.
Ron: And it was time-consuming, now it’s much better than it used to be.
Justin: No idea when or if they’ll consider…
Ron: I have heard nothing about that. I’ve never heard it even referred to as an issue.
Justin: Really? Yeah, we get people asking that all the time, it’s pretty strange.
Announcer 2: George asks, “I keep getting a D17E error when I try to print on my Epson 9890. I’m told it has something to do with Windows stability, or Windows network, or something, by Epson. So I disconnected the ethernet and put it direct to USB. Same problem, though less frequently. I experience this same problem from different PCs over the network, one over USB so it’s not the PC. When i get the error, I need to turn off the machine and restart it. The error started happening at the same time as I started to notice bad print color and discovered a bad print head, though it may be unrelated. Ever heard of this error before? ANy advice for resolving?”
Ron: What I would suggest he does, if he’s got the machine on a network and he’s got a laptop, or whatever he’s feeding it from, I would definitely try USB cable just to eliminate the network as the issue first.
Just go directly from the Epson driver to see if he gets that document to print the way he wants it to.
Justin: Any ideas if he’s run through a USB already and had the same error?
Ron: Then I would have to say it’s a software-related issue, I don’t know what driver he’s using, I don’t even know if he’s using a RIP.
Justin: Okay, I’m just reading through the rest of the question here, he doesn’t mention that. Okay.
Ron: But that’s where I would go first, you know, I would definitely – if I was on-site, eliminate the network.
Justin: You handle issues like that on-site, where they’re dealing with – that’s kind of like outside your scope a little bit it seems like.
Ron: Sure, well I tell them it’s out of my scope, but if I’m there I gotta fix it, you know. I never, ever, make any changes to a customer’s network. Although I can, I never do because it’s – then you open up a whole can of worms.
Justin: Yeah, you get tangled up in that mess, you’ll be there for three days or something.
Announcer 2: Donald asks, “I’ve recently upgraded from an Epson 3800 to an Epson 3880. Can I use the ink cartridges from the Epson 3800 in the 3880?”
Ron: Absolutely. the only thing you can’t use in the 3800 from the 3880 would be the vivid magenta and vivid light magenta, because those are the only two cartridges that are different between the 38 and the 3880.
Justin: Interesting, so they’re interchangeable except, obviously, for what doesn’t fit.
Justin: Cool, that’s good to know.
Announcer 2: Louis asks, “On an Epson, what does the error 4000 mean?”
Ron: That’s a maintenance error – usually a pump needs to be reset – it’s a resettable error.
Justin: Okay, user-resettable?
Justin: Okay, call service.
Ron: Call service.
Alright guys, that wraps up episode 26 of the AskBC podcast.
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