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Old January 19th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #1
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Epson "End of Service Life" Message...

I have two Epson 300 printers for printing directly onto DVD's.

The one that had a lot less hours on it just gave me a service error message soon after replacing four ink cartridges. I called the service center and they suspect that the ink resevoir needs cleaning.

Anybody done this yet? Kind of scary that it happened with no warning at all.

I tried to trick the machine by unplugging it for over a day, but the error message was the first thing to pop up on the small screen afterwards.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Machi
I have two Epson 300 printers for printing directly onto DVD's.

The one that had a lot less hours on it just gave me a service error message soon after replacing four ink cartridges. I called the service center and they suspect that the ink resevoir needs cleaning.

Anybody done this yet? Kind of scary that it happened with no warning at all.

I tried to trick the machine by unplugging it for over a day, but the error message was the first thing to pop up on the small screen afterwards.
The ink resevoir may indeed need cleaning. On my Photo R200 the resevoir on the right side of the printer carriage, directly below where the printhead sits when idle. How to do that is the question. Absorbent paper towels? I used to do that with my first Epson printer some 6 or so years ago.

Another thing that could happen (it happened on my old Canon printer) was the locator ribbon got so dirty the print head couldn't figure out where it was supposed to be at any given point in time during a printing process. The "locator ribbon" (my name for it) is a transparent looking ribbon of plastic that runs the entire length of the carriabe above the drive belt. According to a Canon service rep, this transparent strip actually has a very fine grid printed on it which the print is constantly scanning. That grid is what allows the print head to know where it is located. Cleaning the strip needs water and a soft cloth or foam pads. Rub too hard and the grid is removed.

I've discovered repairs generally cost more than a new printer. It really annoys me to discard a good piece of equipment because service costs are so high.
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Old January 19th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #3
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I can't say that Epson or all inkjets share this "feature", but my old 11x17 HP1130 had a "spitoon" on the park end of things that the jets would "spit" into on setup. If you left it long enough, it would build up a "steagtite" of old ink and soil the bottom of the heads. Since the ink buildup was semi-solid, I would unplug the printer, take it into the garage, turn it upside down and clear the pile with the tip of a screwdriver. The object was not to get it spotless, just to make room for more.

The printer never wore out, its just that HPs (all of them) use rollers to turn the paper over and when they glaze, it would not feed reliably. Besides, the inks faded very quickly. Now I use Epson pigmented ink printers like the 2000P, superceded by R800/R1800 to get beautiful, archival results
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Old January 19th, 2007, 06:46 PM   #4
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I don't like that the the cartridge ink container is stuck in the far right position so I can't swap out the inks. I just put four new inks in the print and my other printer has all six cartrides almost out of ink.

Obviously I'd like to swap the new cartridges from the bad printer into the good printer before I bring the unit in, yet according to the service center it is IMPOSSIBLE to move the ink container from the corner where it currently is hiding because the warning on.

I don't believe them. There should be a reset or memory blanking feature that I can disable just so I can at the very least swap out the ink cartridges between machines.

Last edited by Alessandro Machi; January 19th, 2007 at 07:49 PM.
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Old January 21st, 2007, 12:43 PM   #5
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Based on my experience with this machine, as well as my own searches when having come up against this error message, it is almost certain that the printer 'believes' that your cleaning ink repository is full. This factor is programmed into the printer to present this message after a certain number of cleaning cycles. This includes cleaning cycles that you initiate yourself through the printer utilities software interface, as well as the periodical self cleaning that the printer initiates intermittently or in the middle of large print jobs to ensure that it will continue to lay the ink smoothly.

Inside the printer, there is a small pad of absorbant material that the ink is 'sprayed' onto when the the printer runs its cleaning cycle. WOTS (word on the street) has it that if this pad gets fully saturated, successive cleaning cycles will result in ink 'dribbling' around (the rest home kind, not the NBA kind) inside your printer casing, and eventually out onto the desk, making a huge mess.

At this point, according to Epson, you are supposed to take the printer to an authorized Epson repair facility, where they can remove the saturated pad, and replace it with a new one, at a cost that may be arguably as high as replacing the printer itself - or close to it.

It is important to note, however, that this is a soft alarm, not a hard one. The printer is 'programmed' to present the error message after a set number of cleanings. It is physically not able to test the pad to know for sure. It is possible to ignore the message, initiate a soft reset, and keep printing...hoping for the best.

That's what I did a year ago, and so far I have seen no dribbling...though I should check...I just forgot till seeing your post.


I don't remember the exact process for the soft reset - but I think it is the following:

1.) Turn the printer off.

2.) Press the 'maintanence' button (the one with the ink drop on it), the STOP button, and the POWER button all at the same time, and hold them down for about 10 seconds. The printer will power up during this process.

3.) Turn the printer back OFF again.

4.) Wait a moment, and turn the printer back ON and it should have reset the internal counter that is programmed to present your error message.

------

Aside from taking it into a service center as described above, this reset process provides you with 3 alternative options that you may consider.

1.) Apply the reset procedure and let things be. (I have done this for the past year and haven't had any ink overflow yet...(tap wood)

2.) Open the printer yourself, (there is a plate on the back I believe - just be sure to unplug the unit first ) locate and remove the absorbant pad - clean it if possible and replace, or remove and craft your own pad of similar characteristics and place it appropriately.

3.) For really crafty folks I have heard this to be a workable option; Permantly remove the plate from the rear of the printer. Find the ink run-off tube that you find in your printer (that normally dribbles the ink onto the absorbant pad ) and divert it to the exterior of the printer, attaching it to a small can, cup or similiar container that you can semi-permanently keep next to the printer to catch the dribbling ink - thereby avoiding the absorbant pad altogether. Apply the soft reset when necessary and empty your 'catch can' whenever it warrants it. (This is somewhat of a Frankensteinian approach but is reportedly a great workaround for folks who print constantly on a daily basis and don't mind the utilitarian look of their setup.

I make no promises with any of this in your specific case, but I have researched it for my own ends and hope the info proves helpful to you as well.

Good luck.
-Jon
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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #6
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Unfortunately, I have already started taking apart the Epson 300 when I read your response about pushing different buttons again to reset the machine. If this is true then the Espon center lied to me. I hate being lied to.

I purchased an Epson 220 to replace my 300, but my internal dvd player is not working so I could not download the drivers. I instead downloaded the drivers directly from Epson via the internet, but I cannot get the printer to print DVD's. It prints normal papers fine, but that is it.

On my one remaining Epson 300 printer, I noticed something. I'm not suggesting anyone try this, I'm just passing on my experience. I was printing a small Jpg image on a full sheet of paper and for the first time ever I noticed I could see the far right of the machine, the magic landing spot where the printing head is normally parked.

For the first time ever I noticed a small square sponge. I calculated I could fit my hand into that area while the print was being made because the print head was making a small picture in the center of the print paper and was not going completely to the right margin.

Again, do not try this at home, I am a professional experimenter (haha), but I was able to dab the sponge with a kleenex and take off a bunch of ink from it. I've since noticed that whenever I replace an ink cartridge and I make a print onto paper, the ink head seems to linger, first the print head lingers all the way to the right, and then the print head travels across the printer and lingers all the way on the left for a couple of seconds. For my purposes only I felt I had enough time to dab the sponge located all the way on the right of the machine and remove my hand before the ink head whips back to the right. I haven't tried yet to see it's possible to just power down when the ink head is lingering at the far left for a couple of seconds to see if the ink head would actually stay there. If so, that would eliminate trying to clean the right side sponge while the printer is printing.

I think it's crazy that Epson treats the print head landing area as the holy grail of the machine and we are never allowed to access it, especially when a perfectly working printer just suddenly stops working because of excessive ink in that same area. I print on EVERY DVD that I make for a client, so to have my world rocked so suddenly by an error message that is easily correctable is bad. Luckily I have set up two printers for bigger orders so I was not completely hamstrung.

Hopefully dabbing the right hand sponge with a kleenex will extend the life of the printer before it gives me an error message and instantly stops working.
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