As our listeners continue to write in to AskBC to ask our experts for help and advice, we’ve found many of you are having printer problems that don’t come with an easy solution.
This week, Epson technician Ron Ardito brings his expert knowledge to the show to discuss a few printer errors that seemingly happen out of nowhere. We take the mystery out of these unexplained malfunctions to reveal what’s really happening to your printer and what you can do to fix it.
- Failed nozzle checks on a single color when the other colors check fine
- Horizontal banding in the black areas of a print – what’s going on?
- Removing banding after you’ve tried all traditional fixes
- Can RIPs lead to banding?
- What to do if your status monitor isn’t showing ink levels
- Can you use an abridged driver for an Epson printer?
- Code 10 errors – what do they mean? What’s the fix?
Listen in to learn about unexplained printer errors
- For more on Ron, check out his website at Arditos.com
- Listeners featured in this episode include Michael from MichaelDLucero.wix.com, AC from AnneCatherineFallen.com, Larry, and Bob from Scruffyy Productions.
- For more on Horizontal Banding, a topic discussed in this episode, check out our blog article Four Steps to Fix Horizontal Banding
- Love the show? Have some feedback for us? Leave us a review on iTunes.
Prefer to read over listen? Want to save this conversation for reference later? We transcribe all of our shows for these reasons! Download this episode’s transcription below:
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: In this episode, we talk about pesky nozzle clogs, horizontal banding, the status monitor, and the dreaded “Code 10” error. [00:15]
Justin: What’s up everybody? It’s your host Justin and this is episode 14 of the AskBC podcast. Today we’re joined by a special guest: Ron Ardito from Arditos.com.
As you may already know, Ron is a longtime independent Epson technician, who helps us dig up the true answers to your printmaking questions.
Announcer 2: Michael from MichaelDLucero.wix.com asks, “Every time I perform a nozzle check on my Epson 4900, it is always the cyan that needs cleaning. All other colors check fine. It could be a day or a week, always the cyan and occasionally the magenta. Is there any way to determine if there is a leak in the pump system? Or maybe to see if the cap is misaligned? [01:01]
Ron: It could be one of two things. When people have this issue on a 49, this is not uncommon. Usually if he’s able to get it back, I’m gonna say it could be a temp releated issue, but when you have – all the other colors are good, and when using the same pump and when using the same neoprene seal on that particular pump unit to clean the other colors and they’re okay but the cyan is bad and the magenta is bad, I’d basically lean towards the print head.
Now the majority of the repairs I do on these 49s are in warranty, so I usually will go in and change the print head and the pump unit at the same time. And, having done that, I don’t really know which one corrected the issue.
Ron: But that’s not uncommon on that series of machines to see those colors – cyan, sometimes it’s the light black sometimes it’s the matte black – but it’s the print head failure. [01:53]
Announcer 2: AC from AnneCatherineFallen.com asks, “I started to get subtle banding in the black areas of my prints. I did all the logical things: nozzle check, print head alignment, platen gap adjustment, but it persisted. I tried to print at 2880 dpi and the banding disappeared. Any thoughts on what’s happening?
Ron: I don’t have a nozzle check in front of me. Based on what he’s saying, I think he’s looking at a print head that’s going south and it’s starting to fail.
Ron: You know, when he goes to 2880, now he’s just throwing so much ink at the paper that, you know, it hides a bad print head is what it does.
Justin: Gotcha, any things that you might recommend taking a look at aside from, you know, assuming you see a perfectly clear nozzle check with the solid lines, kind of what the next step would be, if there is one?
Ron: Well it really depends on what he’s describing. If he’s describing fine, little tiny white lines the width of the nozzle spray, it’s a print head issue. If he’s talking about artifacts, artifacts being horizontal light and dark sections of lines, basically, on the output, then you have a RIP issue.
Ron: You know, RIPs and artifacts go hand in hand. What I tell people to eliminate the RIP or the machine or that print head, is to take a lap top or another PC, not using the RIP, using the standard Epson driver, and in Photoshop, if you’re seeing it in the cyan or you’re seeing it in the blacks, do a black or cyan square. You know, a complete block of that particular color and see how it prints out without the RIP.
And then do the same block of color with the RIP and you’ll find out if it’s the RIP. Because – you know what artifacts are?
Justin: Yeah, I sure do.
Ron: Sure you do, so again, I usually point at the RIP. [03:28]
Announcer 2: Larry asks, “I’ve had an Epson Pro 7890 for about two months and still cannot get the status monitor to show ink levels – great printer by the way. It is connected to my network with a cable. Epson service basically said I have to live with it unless I can figure out what in the network interface is causing this. Any ideas on how to fix this issue?”
Ron: Just real quick, if he’s using Epson inks and he’s not getting ink levels he’s probably using a Mac and he’s probably using the driver that came with the Mac versus the real Epson driver.
Justin: Oh, you think so?
Ron: Yeah, it’s really possible. A lot of times people just plug them in and, “Oh, look, it saw it – I’ve got a driver!” But you really have an abridged driver, not the real Epson driver. So you want to delete that driver, delete all drivers, and reinstall the Epson driver.
Justin: Good note, awesome. [04:12]
Announcer 2: Bob from Scruffyy Productions asks, “On the Epson 7900, I keep getting “Code 10” error, but nothing seems to be wrong. Have you ever run into this issue before?”
Ron: 0010. What that usually means is, people sometimes, with that machine, will spray Windex into the pump area. And there’s a grid that moves up and down, it looks like a flushing box – basically it is a flushing box. What it does, is it comes down when the machine is running a cleaning cycle, and it counts the number of droplets that are being sprayed from the print head.
This is how it determines if a print head is clogged. You know, whatever color is not spraying correctly, it actually, through the grid and the electronics associated with it, and the AID board (AID standing for “Automatic Ink Detect”), it can actually determine whether or not all nozzles are firing on a print head.
People will spray cleaner into that grid and it overwhelms the grid, forcing you to go into that error. And I’m not saying that’s what he did, but that’s where I would go with that one.
Justin: Okay, so he’ll have to kind of dig a little bit more into it.
Ron: Yeah, the answer is replace the pump unit.
Justin: Got it. [05:15]
Justin: Alright guys, that’s it for today’s episode. If this is the first time you’ve caught AskBC, I hope you’ve enjoyed it and gained some valuable insight from listening.
If you’ve been around for a while, thanks so much for coming back, and we really hope you enjoyed the show. If you don’t mind, it would be great if you could head over to iTunes and search for the AskBC podcast and just leave us a rating and review. This is really super valuable, super helpful for us, because otherwise we really have no idea if these shows are even helpful for you guys, you know, if they’re appreciated.
So, just head over there, take the couple of seconds it takes – search for the AskBC podcast on iTunes, and just leave us a quick rating and some feedback. That’d be so awesome.
For the show notes for this episode, you can visit ask-bc.com/episode14. I really appreciate all your questions, thanks so much for being a part of the conversation, and I will send out a free Breathing Color t-shirt to each of you whose questions we chose to feature on today’s show.
And if you would like to ask a question of your own, it’s super easy – just head over to ask-bc.com, fill out the quick form – it takes just a couple of seconds – and if we choose to feature your question, we’ll mention your business name right on the show and we will send you a free Breathing Color t-shirt.
[End Audio 06:28]
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