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What can go wrong...
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Post What can go wrong... 
This is going to be a thread with various problems users have found over the years with CIS systems... Initially it'll be a thread with various solutions, links, etc... but eventually we'll develop FAQ articles as the site grows.

So, if you have a problem issue with a solution then please post it below (giving credit to the original author where appropriate please)


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Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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Post Tube Pathway issues in the C84/C86 
Tube Pathway issues in the C84/86
(Printer head slams left and right as if lost)

I fully recognise that this problem was my own fault but on 3 seperate C84 printers I managed to cause the printer to fail due to the fact that the tube would press against the clear grey flat plastic strip (which runs behind the head). This strips runs through a small circuit board behind the print head unit and can dislodge if the grey strip is pushed back. If this happens the head will lose its bearings (ie: doesn't know where it is) and quite literally slam from one end of the printer to the other before failing with the double red flashing light.

So it is vital that you check the tube pathway carefully so it doesn't press against this plastic strip.


The actual reason the head slams around like this is that when the circuit board dislodges it invariably loses the small flat cable connection that should be within it.

Fixing it is impossible without taking the printer apart to the point of removing most of the case. Once you've done this though, you can then slide the head far enough left to locate the flat cable responsible and slide it back into the receiver on the circuit board. I personally do not have the instructions on how to do this, but the fixyourownprinter forum does have links to the service manual for many Epson printers. You attempt this at your own peril.

The only reason you need to take the case off is that the circuit board is very hard to hold still and the flat cable requires a firm grip and force to slide it home properly. The case stops you getting a good enough grip or close enough so getting it out of the way is vital.



Last edited by Martin on Thu Nov 10, 2005 5:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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Post Need to Re-prime (fill) a sponge fill CIS kit 
This little nugget is instructions on what equipment you need and how to correct a badly primed set of CIS cartridges.

This is usually the result of either:
- Poorly maintained vaccuum in the cartridge and tube line (All CIS kits
- Free flow of ink due to non clamping of tubing after filling (Canon CIS kits)

Note: this will soil your vaccuum pump so please be warned.


Equipment:
  • You need is a vaccuum pump of some description.
    This is usually available from most CIS manufacturers and will probably have come with your kit. If you've never received one then it's unlikely that you need this solution.
  • Something to clamp the tubing with.
    (eg: clamps, clips, that were used to stop ink or air flow)


Instructions:

  1. Setup your vaccuum pump as you would normally as it you wish to prime an empty cartridge
  2. If all possible attach the exhaust end to a air vented bottle so you can vent any ink contaminated air into it without creating a mess. If not... Put get a lot of paper underneath your work area because it's going to get messy.
  3. Find some way to crimp/clamp your tubes at the reservoir end so that no ink or air will flow either way.
  4. If this is a Canon CIS kit, you will need to put the orange caps on the cartridges and secure them.
  5. If this is an Epson CIS kit, you will need to put something airtight on the cartridge outflow ports to create an airtight seal (Aluminium tape is very good for this)
  6. Take your cartridges out of the printer and set, face down, on the same level as the ink reservoirs (bottles).
  7. Unhook the tubing from your ink reservoirs, carefully, one at a time.

  8. Make sure the syringe is fully empty and then attach a tube to the end for creation of the vaccum.
  9. Unclamp the relevant tube
  10. Draw air (it will contain some ink) into the syringe
  11. If this is very easy to do, you haven't created a vaccuum and have a leak, so check your cartridges are properly sealed at the outflow ports and that you don't have a leak elsewhere
  12. Draw more air/ink into the syringe until you have a solid vaccuum in your tubing and cartridge again.
  13. Re-clamp your tube to make sure you retain a vaccuum

  14. Repeat steps 8 - 13 for each cartridge and tube required


  15. When all the required cartridges are ready, reattach the tubes to their reservoirs
  16. Release the clamps on each tube and check that the cartridge and tube fills rapidly with ink.
  17. If the ink fails to flow you lost your vaccum and will need to repeat for that tube/cartridge
  18. Repeat until all tubes and cartridges are filled.
  19. Reclamp your tubes.
  20. Remove the seals/stoppers from the ports on the cartridges
  21. Reseat your cartridges into the printer and push down into firmly installed
  22. Unclamp the tubes and check that the ink will flow (ie: no twists, bends, etc...)

  23. If everything is now filled properly you should be able to print find any there is likely to be only a small amount of air in the tubing, if any.
  24. While everything is still wet, wash out your now soiled vaccuum pump using warm water and leave to dry (You'll probably want to keep it in case you ever need to do this again!)



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Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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Post Tube Clip detaches itself from the case 
Clips can sometimes detach themselves from the casing and this can result in anything from a head jam to more serious damage..

The problem is discussed here:
http://www.allthefaqs.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=33576#33576
... and is aimed at a specific brand but can affect any CIS system that has a poorly mounted clip.


_________________
Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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Post Remember to re-mix your ink before you use 
This one I learned the hard way recently with a litre of Yellow pigment ink that I know comes from a good supplier.

Basically, what I did wrong was to use the ink without giving the bottle a good shake first (with the cap on obviously) to refill a number of reservoirs that needed topping up. I then poured off 500ml of the remaining 800ml into a seperate bottle as a reserve for a customer...

My troubles started when I tried to use the remaining 300ml in a new CIS kit I'd created myself for the C86 printer. The issue was a clog that started almost as soon as I started to print anything out with the symptoms of an initial lean print, then banding, then worse banding and eventually no yellow ink at all...

After much troubleshooting I narrowed the problem down the ink and it would seem that my litre of ink had settled so that the pigment was heavily concentrated in the bottom of the bottle. When I topped up the CIS reservoirs and then transferred the extra 500ml to the spare bottle I was most likely pouring off the lighter ink base with a lower concentration of pigment in... So, when I came to try and use the remaining concentrated ink solution it seems it didn't have the right mixture of base and pigment and resulted in a clog..

To a certain extent this is guesswork but all other possibilities have been ruled out and as yet I've not tried dilution of the ink I have with some pigment ink base I have from MIS but the lesson here is clear:

always give your ink a stir/shake before you use it to refill


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Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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Post Will your glue stick? 
One for the homebuild types out there..

Not all plastics are compatible with all glues so you need to be sure you have the right glue to handle the right plastics..

For example, I have some virgin compatible Canon BCI-6 and 3 cartridges that will glue perfectly well using a 5-15 minute cure epoxy resin when I mount the elbows parts but the new Epson spongeless cartridges are made of something that isn't compatible and results in air leaks at the mount point.

Result = a bunch of CIS's that won't retain their vaccum..


At some point I'll try and get together a glue guide for different materials.. so please start a thread in DIY if you have any nuggets of intel.. Ta Smile


_________________
Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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Post Ink Reservoir(s) placed too high - Ink drains 
This little gem is one I relearned recently.

Unless you have some kind of gravity/pressure neutral reservoir system you cannot under any circumstances allow your ink reservoirs maximum ink level go higher than the bottom of your printhead. If you ignore this, overfill, or attempt to move your printer with the reservoirs on top of the printer you will create a freeflow. This means that your ink will start a syphon effect that will empty your ink reservoirs into your printer.

Net result is you waste a serious amount of ink, flood your printer and curse a lot..

Just done this by overfilling a self built kit of my own and can definitely confirm the cursing part.


_________________
Printers: (Canon) MP500/830, MX700, iP4000/4200/4300/4500/5200, iX4000(A3) (Epson) C84/86, D88, CX6600, R285/800/1900 (HP) K550, K850, K5400, L7680
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