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Old Oct 22, 2008, 2:59 PM   #1
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Help! My Epson R1800 which has given me good service for about two years developed an alarming symptom last night. After printing several 4 x 6 "proofs," in the middle of a print the head carriage went all the way to the left and stayed there while making a horrible noise, much like gears failing to mesh. I dived for the power switch, and the head then very slowly moved to the right and stopped entirely.

I shut the printer down and a few minutes powered it back up, it went through its power on sequence normally. Another attempt to print resulted in the same problem.

Epson's online troubleshooting doesn't cover anything like this. I've sent them an email but haven't heard back.

Has anyone had anything like this happen? Any suggestions for fixes? Am I at the tender mercies of an Epson service center? Is my printer wrecked?

If the R1800 is a basket case, any suggestions for a replacement which would also print good black and white?
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Old Oct 23, 2008, 12:22 AM   #2
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I'm no expert at this, and without diagnostic s/w, it is really a shot in the dark. As a guess, I would say that there is a problem reading the head position, and the tape may be dirty or marred in some way. The tape runs across the width of the printer near the top. It looks light gray from a distance, but if you look closely, you will see the vertical lines. The reader in the carriage uses this to determine position, and if it is marred, or has some dirt or grease, or ink, on it, the printer loses track of where it is, and may do what you are describing.

If this is the case, be very careful about cleaning it. I haven't tried cleaning mine, so can't advise any safe chemical cleaner. Possibly, a cotton swab with a little Windex.

brian
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Old Oct 23, 2008, 2:32 AM   #3
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Also something I saw in the C86 a lot when I was using a CIS.

There's a ribbon cable which runs into the back of the printhead carriage which connects to the sensor for the calibration strip (or tape as VTPhotog called it).

I found that if the ribbon cable was caught or worked loose the printer then becomes the equivalent of "blind" and starts running off, slamming into the sides.

You might want to check that:
a) the ribbon cable at the back hasn't come loose
b) the little circuit board at the back of the carriage unit hasn't come loose or broken off at all.

You may find that the calibration strip has become soiled as VTP suggested or that the LED and/or sensor on the back of the carriage unit have died or been damaged...

Hopefully that gives you some other clues though.
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Old Oct 23, 2008, 8:22 AM   #4
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Many thanks, VTphotog and Websnail! With you suggestions and the service manual I downloaded from http://www.2manuals.com/ I may be able to get the Big Boy back up and running.
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Old Oct 30, 2008, 3:54 PM   #5
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Before I dive into the printer's innards I might get a professional evaluation. I checked Epson's website; they have a gadget which asks you to select your printer model from a drop-down menu then enter your zip code. But...my R1800 isn't listed, nor are other photo printers that I'd recognize. Not a good omen!

Does anyone out there have any experience with Epson printer repair in the Atlanta, Georgia area? Good or bad stories?

Many thanks!
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 3:58 PM   #6
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George in Georgia wrote:
Quote:
Before I dive into the printer's innards I might get a professional evaluation.* I checked Epson's website; they have a gadget which asks you to select your printer model from a drop-down menu then enter your zip code.* But...my R1800 isn't listed, nor are other photo printers that I'd recognize.* Not a good omen!

Does anyone out there have any experience with Epson printer repair in the Atlanta, Georgia area?* Good or bad stories?*

Many thanks!
Did you find out where to take your printer?

I am at my wits end with this printer! Is it even worth it to take it in to get it fixed? I think it needs to be reset and the pad replaced. How mch does this cost? Where can I take it?
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Old Oct 31, 2008, 3:58 PM   #7
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also wanted to mention that I think the Ink Pad needs to be replaced...
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Old Nov 4, 2008, 2:34 AM   #8
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johndawg wrote:
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Did you find out where to take your printer?

I am at my wits end with this printer! Is it even worth it to take it in to get it fixed? I think it needs to be reset and the pad replaced. How mch does this cost? Where can I take it?
Sorry I didn't really read your own post properly as I was still taking it to be a problem on the same level as George's.

If you're only getting the "Parts in this printer have reached the end of their service life" or the shorter "Service Required" error then you can safely modify the printer to use an external waste ink tank and then reset the waste ink counter.

All you need to know for the R1800 is listed from here:
http://www.continuousink.info/forum/...pic.php?t=4097

Resetting is relatively simple too IIRC (if I remember correctly) and should be possible with the SSC utility.

Hope that helps.
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Old Nov 4, 2008, 8:15 AM   #9
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Interestingly enough, Epson (at least here in the US) will furnish the reset utility on their website. As I remember you have to furnish the model number and serial number of the printer after going through a series of questions.

Of course they take no responsibility for whatever horrors may occur if you use it! The question arises: Why aren't the waste ink pads a user-replaceable item? I gather that they are for the big Epsons. Could it be that it is to drum up business for repair centers? Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old Nov 5, 2008, 2:30 AM   #10
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George in Georgia wrote:
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Of course they take no responsibility for whatever horrors may occur if you use it! The question arises: Why aren't the waste ink pads a user-replaceable item? I gather that they are for the big Epsons. Could it be that it is to drum up business for repair centers? Inquiring minds want to know!
There's a few possible reasons.
  1. To get the service centers more work[/*]
  2. To force the less technically minded to just throw it away when they realised that a service cost more than a new printer thus forcing folks to upgrade to the new printer[/*]
  3. .. following on from 2. By forcing people to get new printers, forcing them to accept the new chip technology and thus thwart yet more attempts to use third party inks for the first few months a model was out.[/*]
Unfortunately for Epson.
  1. The environmental issues of throwing away cartridges and printers caught up to them and legislation in the USA has forced them to provide the reset info' because these printers can quite literally run for a decade if properly looked after.
    [/*]
  2. Most technically literate folks have wised up to Epsons tricks and found sites like this to extend the life of their printer[/*]
  3. The less technically minded realised they were being ripped off and went to the competitors.[/*]
QED: Epson are a bunch of profiteering company types like most others... Sure it makes a profit but at what cost?
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