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Old Nov 2, 2005, 5:38 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I just received an Epson Photo R200 from someon who'd basically run it into the ground to the point it was showing the double red flashing light - "I need service" error. Figuring the problem to be the whole ink pad and reset counter I decided it was worth pursuing a bargain and learning exercise re: servicing such a printer.

Unfortunately the seller "packed" it (and I use packed in the loosest sense of the word) in it's box with only the bottom polystyrene segments, no bubble wrap or packing material around it on top to protect it or hold the printer in position. Net result I open the printer to find it's been banged about all over the shop and doesn't show any life whatsoever.

Needless to say I've complained to said seller and she's convinced that it was packed just fine... Perhaps she thinks couriers carry everything right side up like it's china..



So... knowing I'm onto a loser here I've opted to take it apart and learn as much as posible from the whole thing. Now what I'd like to do, is obviously get it all back up and running if I can but I'd appreciate any suggestions of things to try and look for.

So far I've found:
- button panel flat cable was pulled out (slotting back in and trying buttons makes no difference)
- the button panel has been tested on a second printer (just swapped them over) and it works fine so it's not a switch issue.
- remove power supply and check fuse with multimeter.. (fuse is still working)
- try listening to power supply when plugged in (no sound.. no idea if this means it's working or not) and no idea how to test for functionality

Any other ideas? or is this just as I suspect.. a box of spare parts?


Martin
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 6:38 AM   #2
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websnail wrote:
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Hi all,

I just received an Epson Photo R200 from someon who'd basically run it into the ground to the point it was showing the double red flashing light - "I need service" error. Figuring the problem to be the whole ink pad and reset counter I decided it was worth pursuing a bargain and learning exercise re: servicing such a printer.

<snip>

Any other ideas? or is this just as I suspect.. a box of spare parts?


Martin
The problem is the R200 isn't designed to be serviced... I don't know from personal experence but everyone I talk to says basicly to even replace the ink waste pad one needs to break the body plastic, and this is routine maintance on most inkjets.

You said reset the counter, well if you've done that via the CSS utility, and you've cleaned the reflectors that align the head, esp that one beyind the printhead, there isn't all that much that I know of you can do.






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Old Nov 2, 2005, 6:52 AM   #3
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Not having had one of those to bits I can only speculate, but if you've stripped it right down you'll have the fun of Cork getting it to print straight when re-assembled.

As you'll have noticed, when removed from the plastic case the assembly is very flimsy -- unlike the sturdier early models and the more expensive current units it relies on the case to keep it lined up (I think the factory assembly is done on a jig, as is re-assembly in the service depots.)

The power supply will be a cheap chopper unit, I expect -- they should never be plugged in without at least some load on them (it's unlikely to have been the failure point anyway -- more likely a shorted print-head or something) as they rely on loading for regulation and often burn out if let run free (as also do most computer PSU's.)

Without the service manual and at least a good multimeter, plus the knowledge to use both, I think your chances of getting the thing to work again are slim.

Still, stranger things have happened.
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 4:34 PM   #4
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Idle wrote:
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Not having had one of those to bits I can only speculate, but if you've stripped it right down you'll have the fun of Cork getting it to print straight when re-assembled.
Well I didn't go quite that far but yeah it wasn't too great and I must admit these printers definitely are not built to be serviced at all.


Quote:
The power supply will be a cheap chopper unit, I expect -- they should never be plugged in without at least some load on them (it's unlikely to have been the failure point anyway -- more likely a shorted print-head or something) as they rely on loading for regulation and often burn out if let run free (as also do most computer PSU's.)

Without the service manual and at least a good multimeter, plus the knowledge to use both, I think your chances of getting the thing to work again are slim. Still, stranger things have happened.
Ah well... it seems I've gotten a rather expensive pile of bits... if nothing else it was an expensive lesson in things to look out for on a printer like this, but it could have been a whole lot worse.

Thinking this through some more then... Would you say that an R200/220/240 or even the R3xx models were serviceable to a reasonable degree so long as the issues were limited to print head clogging issues or ink pad replacement...

As to the latter I've already decided to simply complete the waste ink pot modification and avoid the pad completely.

Thanks for the info to date and thanks for your help overall... seems you're a guy worth keeping on the good side :-)

Cheers
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Old Nov 2, 2005, 6:38 PM   #5
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Both the 2x and 3x are products of the throwaway era -- they're not really meant to be repaired when anything goes seriously wrong.

Both have the same print mechanism --- the 3x have the inbuilt card reader etc. which dictates a different case layout, power supply and firmware.

Given their selling price, their output quality is phenomenal -- but the same can't be said of their physical attributes, service life or general reliability.

Even replacing the waste pads without the required alignment tools and software is risky -- if you don't get the alignment exactly right the thing will never print the same again.

Printhead clogs are usually either fixable without dismantling anything or not at all -- if you need to replace a head it's usually as cheap to buy another printer (deduct what you can sell a new set of OEM cartridges for and it's probably cheaper...)

And the amount of ink they waste...

Mine had the waste tank fitted before it was first fired up, and in eight months of not particularly heavy use I've thrown out some 250cc's of ink -- at Epson cartridge prices that's more than the purchase price of the printer just poured down the drain.

I'm told you can greatly reduce this wastage by disconnecting the drain tube from the head assembly and only reconnecting it when a head clean is really necessary, but I'm old, don't see all that well any more and my hands are shaky so I've not tried it.

I'd only suggest (recommend is too strong a word, I think...) it for printers that are used at least daily, though -- opening the line will let air into the head area when the heads are parked and should be sealed (thinking about it, you could cap the opening, I suppose.)
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