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Old Oct 7, 2007, 12:42 AM   #401
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Sorry about that — I've not had occasion to try the 3-button reset on an R200.

Have seen several posts from people who had problems with it — most eventually got it to work.

It works fine on my R310, which is the same mechanism with different firmware (and buttons — therefore a different set used for the reset.)

You'll probably find the Canon a bit cheaper to run, but not all that much.

Think about fitting a CIS to it (if available for your model — a Google search will tell you.)

I've used one in my R310 from new — has saved me about $1500 for far.
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Old Nov 2, 2007, 2:37 AM   #402
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Hi folks,

My waste pads recently filled and I did the mod. I also disassembled the unit and cleaned the other, smaller waste pads and rinsed out the bottom housing. All those little molded square collectors under the pump had lots-o-ink in them. I also removed the "ink system unit" and cleaned it up. This is the messiest printer I've owned, in terms of waste ink.

After reassembly, everything seems to work fine, pix look good, text is good (as good as when new anyway). But, there are a couple of issues:

1) Using the Epson adjustment program, I was able to set everything up satisfactorily except the head angular adjustment -- the needed adjustment is out of range (i.e., I have it at +3 but the best adjustment is on the right "NG" mark). The results are not apparent in normal printing or on the test photos I did, but it still bugs me that it cannot be adjusted properly.

2) The ssc utility no longer completely works with the printer. It will print a nozzle check and perform cleanings, but refuses to communicate otherwise, throwing the infamous "Printer off, or some other problem!" prompt.

Ok, as to #1, unfortunately, I didn't remember to print the factory adjustment sheets prior to disassembly, so I have no way of knowing whether that head angular adjustment is the same as factory or if I very very slightly threw it off merely by virtue of disassembly. I'm pretty sure I recall the factory adjustment read being +3 prior to my post-reassembly test print, though. Which part might I have moved just enough to have thrown this out of range of possible adjustment, if any? I was careful with the frame, and I didn't remove the head/carriage or anything other than what I mentioned above. Have any of you printed your head angular adjustment sheet? If so, is yours slightly out of alignment, out of range, or is it perfect? If perfect, what's yours set on?

As to #2, what gives? Did the Epson adjustment program EEPROM rewrites make proper communication with the ssc utility impossible from now on? I've tried powering the printer off, unplugging it, waiting 10+ minutes then trying it again, to no avail. I also tried uninstalling all Epson drivers/programs and the ssc, and even removed all registry entries and files relating to same, then reinstalled drivers then ssc, again to no avail. This is perplexing.

TIA,
Jet
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Old Nov 2, 2007, 4:09 AM   #403
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I can't credit the number of people who insist on playing with fire!

I've yet to see an "R" series printer that really needed such exhaustive cleaning as a result of normal use.

Sure, they collect ink in all sorts of odd places, but as long as the paper path is kept clean (a fairly simple matter) it never does any harm — a very small amount of ink on a hard surface looks an awful mess, but it's still a very small amount.

If you didn't alter the print head alignment and it's still turning out a satisfactory job, I'd leave it as it is.

Hopefully you got the rest of the ink unit into place so that it seals properly and pulls ink through with the vacuum pump when required.

As to the SSC utility, there's probably nothing wrong — it doesn't claim to fully control the "R" series firmware and it's obviously done the counter reset (which can be done in other ways, BTW.)

Apart from that, the only use I ever found for it was to disable the ink counter and I know that works — I disabled the counter on mine a long while ago and it continued to a count of nearly 100,000 (normal pad life is usually between about 25000 and 45000) without the reset requirement coming up at all.

Then Windows fell over and had to be re-installed — I forgot to set up SSC, immediately got the flashing lights and had to reset the printer for the first time.


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Old Nov 7, 2007, 1:13 PM   #404
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As a consumer electronics technician, I work with electricity quite a bit, yet to result in fire -- though I do have a wall-mounted extinguisher near the service bench just in case. :O

This isn't my first printer job, but it's my first R200. It's my own unit, and I only paid $50 for it after rebate 2 years ago, so even in the unlikely event I made it FUBAR, I wouldn't take a major loss.

You're right about the cleaning, though. It didn't exactly need that level of attention, but having routinely dissassembled and reassembled numerous complex VCR mechanisms, et al, I was confident in my ability to handle it. And I was bored with some spare time to kill...

At any rate, having compared the photos I printed when the unit was brand new to those printed after servicing, I see the factory head angular adjustment on this one was no better than it is now. There's no noticeable bending, shearing, ramping, skewing, etc. Indeed, under magnification, the output is actually of higher quality post-service -- specifically, reduced hor. banding in the photo modes (eliminated in RPM/Microweave) and increased detail in the same images at the same settings on the same paper as when new.

But, I would still be interested in feedback from others who have printed from their Epson adjustment program. I'd like to know whether the factory head angular adjustment is typically this far off on this model. As I mentioned, the pix are great, with minimal imperfections at 3x (and up) magnification, so this is something the end user won't likely notice unless they print the alignment sheets.

Anyone?

re: SSC utility
There is something wrong. It may not be critical, and sufficient usefulness may remain, but when a program loses functionality, something has.. gone wrong. I'm just curious what, exactly, the trouble is. I must assume it's a result of the Epson service program's EEPROM rewrites, since neither the SSC nor the Epson monitor (as I discovered later) can extract data from the printer since the Epson service software was utilized. No, I don't really need these working at 100%, but it's a mystery I'd like to solve nonetheless.

Perhaps other users of the Epson adjustment program will share their results. Is your SSC and/or Epson monitor software functioning the same as before you rewrote your R200's EEPROM? Maybe it's just me. If it is, I'll have to dig deeper into Windoze for the culprit.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 9:25 AM   #405
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Update (for those who may find themselves in a similar situation):

The SSC utility is now functioning as it was prior to the mod/cleaning.

My auto-reset (refillable) carts apparently didn't get along well with the EEPROM rewrites. After the carts reset @ 10% level, voil*, SSC worked again.

However, the Epson status monitor still won't read from the printer, whereas it did before (even with these auto reset carts), so there's still somewhat of a mystery.
This isn't a serious problem, but it does cause an annoying "Unable to find printer information" popup everytime I print something. And no, selecting "Disable Epson Status Agent" in the SSC utility doesn't remedy this -- it's in the driver, which MUST be used in order to print.
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Old Nov 17, 2007, 5:24 PM   #406
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That's often merely the print driver hunting for the output port, which still (as of the R200/300, at least) defaults to LPT1 before going to the USB port.

If it takes a bit longer than usual there might well be such a message — seem to remember seeing it myself in the past.

I think they just modify the basic driver (which wasn't done by Epson, BTW, but by someone in England) for each new model — for all I know it might even look at serial before LPT.
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Old Jan 19, 2008, 6:29 PM   #407
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I've disassembled my printer and cleaned the diaper pads--basically one just needs to prop up a paint stirring stick in a stationary tub, placea pad on the stick,and run water over the pad (but not at the very top, which could separate layers of the pad). The stir stick is to keep the pad from sucking ink from the bottom of the wash basin into the pad. Just let water run onto the pad until the water runs out clear, then let the pad air dry for a few days. DO NOT squeeze the pad, or it will compress, and getting the compression out isn't fun. Squeezing the padwill not get more ink out if it than the running water will. The pad will not look white as some of the ink will have stained the pad, but the pad will go from a black sopping mess to a dark yellow/grey/brown/black pad that drips clear water. Make sure it dries out slowly at room temperature before replacing the pads. Putting a pad in the dryer will destroy it.

Borderless printing actually does spray ink into a sponge, and that drains into the diapers, so if you use the external waste tank late in the life of the printer, you could still flood the pads. The ink does not dry out. There are also small pads at the right of the printer, not connected to the main pads, apparently meant to catch over-spray.

I did take the pump apart, and there is no fear of it sucking air and drying out. The tube is wrapped around the inside of the pump cylinder once, and a roller presses the tube into the cylinder wall as it rotates. It would be like pinching off the tube between your thumb and index finger, then pulling down the length of the tube to squeeze ink out of it. The setup works well.

One question on the vacuum line: Does the suction actually pull the ink through the heads, or does it just pump ink from the catch pad to the diapers? Has anyone actually watched the ink tank levels? I use Epson cartridges instead of continuous feed, so can't watch the levels move.

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Old Jan 19, 2008, 11:35 PM   #408
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As I think I've remarked before, the action of the Epson ink pump is not dissimilar to hand-milking a cow (with which I have personal experience — in another life I stroked more tits than Errol Flynn...).

The pump creates a vacuum in the space between the pump and the heads, which is why fiddling with the parking pads is a bad thing.

If you damage the seal around the edges and cause an air leak there will be no vacuum raised, therefore no ink drawn through and resultant eventual print failure from head clogging.

Some users have been known to save on ink by removing the vacuum line (black tube) from the side of the parking assembly and replacing it only when head cleaning becomes essential — this works fine until one day your hand slips and you break something...

Overspray from borderless printing (if any — from a properly adjusted printer there should be none, for proof look at the accurate cutoff on a CD print) is very tiny and unlikely ever to cause a problem — much more ink will find its way to the waste pads from the wiper at the far end, and even this is minimal and highly unlikely to fill the pads before the printer wears out.

The waste pads are fillled by "planned wastage" from head cleans and priming, if this is instead taken to an external tank the pads need never be disturbed.
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Old Feb 11, 2008, 9:16 AM   #409
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Hi Everyone,

This thread has been going on for some time and has been viewed quitea bit. It has just taken me over two hours to read through it and another a hour to try everything thats been recommended on my printer.

..and it still doesn't work!

I have the Epson R220 with the two red flashing lights! About two weeks ago I started getting the "Your parts need replacing" message. Then last week it stopped printing and not just trys to start up on Power on and ends up with the two flashing lights. Reading through the thread this is obviously a common error but mine just won't clear.

I have downloaded SSC and ran it on the Printer from two seperate PC's (very many times!) and reset the counter, which is now displayed as 0.

I have made the external tank modifaication as suggested!

I have tried the power on/off pressing buttons down in every possible combination mentioned in this thread... loads of times. and still the lights flash!

This printer will just not go past the starup after the Paper feed and Ink lights starts flashing together.! Am I missing something really stupid? I do love the printer and have a fortune of ink to use up so I am loathed to ditch it if I can get it working? Any suggestion anyone?

Help!

Paul.




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Old Feb 11, 2008, 6:13 PM   #410
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Did you remember to switch the printer off and on again after doing the reset with the SSC utility?

I've used it on R200, R210 and R310 with no problems to date.

As I recall (haven't had to do any lately and at 83 my memory isn't that crash hot) the ink counter error is two lights flashing alternately.

If they're flashing in unison then you have a different problem and should look elsewhere (sometimes it's a carriage motor overload.)
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