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Old Jan 13, 2004, 11:12 PM   #1
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Default HP 7960 print problem .. little perferations by 'star wheel'

Purchased an HP7960 thanksgiving weekend. Print quality is great with one exception. There are what looks like little perferations in my prints running lengthwise from the printer. Worked with HP support and they sent new cartridges to try and after no success I decided to look more closely at the paper path of the printer. Sure enough as the paper exits you'll see little 'star wheels (which is what HP calls them) to feed the paper out. After speaking with my third HP tech person they sort of admitted that this is a known problem with no solution. Her solution was to send my some free photo premium plus paper. According to her the premium plus does not exhibit this problem. I was sing HP premium photo paper, not the plus. Nice for HP in that only the most expensive paper works well with the printer. Bad for mr (or mrs) customer because this is very expensive paper.

Because of the design flaw I would strongly recommend against this printer until you hear of a solution from HP other than purchasing the highest quality paper for all prints.

This is the first time I have been disappointed with an HP product. I've owned 4 other HP printers. Upgrades were using done just because I wanted higher quality and faster prints.
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 11:44 PM   #2
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Default Star wheels

Yep, big time problem with the HP printers at the moment.

If you go to their webpage and type in "star wheels" you will find a little tech support blurb about it.

here is the exact blurb:

HP Photosmart 7660, 7760, and 7960 Printers - Track Markings Appear on Photos

Pictures printed on photo paper on the HP Photosmart 7660, 7760, and 7960 printers may exhibit track markings. These markings appear as dots in a straight line. These printers use special wheels, called "star wheels," to pull the paper through the printer while printing to the edge of the page. These star wheels may cause marks noticeable under some conditions.


NOTE: The issue will not be resolved by servicing the printer.
Use swellable media such as HP Premium Plus Photo Paper, rather than porous media like HP Everyday Photo Paper, to reduce or eliminate the marks from the star wheels. In addition, allow the paper enough time to dry thoroughly after printing.

So basically, they know it is an issue, but don't care to fix it.
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 4:17 PM   #3
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Hi everybody,
Yep, I'm having the same problem in printing 4 x 6s on the 7760.
I guess the paper I'm using is wrong. It is: "HP premium glossy photo paper".

I've only had the printer for a few days. If I return it to the store, does anyone have an idea which 'other' brand of printer I might try?

I just love the 8 x 10 borderless prints. They just look awesome. But I DO have a need to do the small prints for family sharing etc.

Comments and ideas would be GREATLY appreciated!

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Old Jan 29, 2004, 5:20 PM   #4
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HP isn't alone (or wasn't) on this issue. My older printer was an Epson PM-770 and it also exhibited the "star wheel" tracks. My new Epson, a PM-G800 doesn't.
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Old Jan 29, 2004, 5:27 PM   #5
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Default Reply toPatoG

I looked into this line of HP printers, but heard of the star wheel marks. I was really impressed with the articles/reviews on the Epson R300 printer. I received it from BestBuy two days ago and printed out some photos last night. The resolution, color, and detail are exceptional. I showed a print to some co-workers and they thought that I had it commercially printed. They were amazed that I printed them out on my Epson R300. The only problem I have is that I have not worked out the details on downloading from my xD card, but I believe this is an operator issue. I would strong recommend you buying the Epson R300. I have no regrets.

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Old Mar 16, 2005, 8:29 AM   #6
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Hi The 'Star wheel problem doesn'stop at HP, it also attacked my Epson.

THE STAR WHEEL DOES NOT PULL THE PAPER AT ALL... It is a device to keep the paper in as straight a line horizontally as possible to assist the print-head to maintain a given ( even) distance above the paper. If the paper comes out of the printer in a curled manner (instead of completely flat) it will tend to ride up on the STAR WHEEL. This will also happen with 'Wet' paper, as it swells and becomes soft.

You may be ab;e to apply pressure to move the Star wheel bar upwards very slightly, as I did, and place something on the paper outlet to ho;d the paper flat as it comes out.

Cheers Bob Monk
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Old Mar 16, 2005, 10:30 AM   #7
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Justa thought - my HP 5550 has two settings under "Preferences/Features/Advanced Features" that adjust the"Ink Volume"and "Dry Time" - your printer driver may have similar settings.The ink will obviously dry faster if there is less of it to dry. You will have to see how badlythis compromises the image quality. I am not sure what the "Dry time" adjusts, but if it slows the actual printing process, thisshould also help.

Other than that, keeping the printer in a warm, low humidity room would help a little. If you are having this problem while the humidity is low,this problemwill only get worse this summer.

You might also want to try some Kirkland (Costco) paper. It is "fast drying" and a good buy.
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Old Mar 22, 2005, 6:47 AM   #8
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I recall exactly this problem coming up on the (now defunct) Leben list with several Epson models some years ago -- the only sure fix was to remove the star wheels (didn't seem to cause any problems for those who were affected.)
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