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Tag Archives: R2880
I just got the following great news. Mark H. McCormick-Goodhart, Director of the ink longevity research programme at http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/news.html has just announced that the subscription fees to the website are being dropped, making all the research available to everyone for free. I’ve been a member since the very early days, and found in invaluable as a printer in selecting (or ignoring) third party inks for use in my printers.
I’m actually in the proud position of having the WORST EVER performing sample in that programme. An Ink I played around with in the early days was a dye ink off eBay called “Signal Inkjet”. I got one batch of 600ml (6x100m bottles), which cost me $10. It seemed ridiculously cheap, and sure enough, the results matched the price. The prints were only good for a few months before visible fading and colour shifting kicked in. Once I saw the results coming out of Aardenburg-Imaging, I quickly switched back to Claria OEM inks (I was on a dye printer at the time) which was showing much better results.
I eventually got and Epson R2880, and as a result of this research, I settled on Inkjetfly inks, as they have longevity and colour gamut approaching that of OEM inks for a fraction of the price. I’m printing all of my on photos now (and also for some friends, club competitions, etc.) and we’re very happy with the results.
Also, if you’re interested in the research, you can also submit your own samples. It’s very interesting to see your own samples put through the light-fade tests, and you can be confident that the results are accurate and measured in a way that can be compared consistently with the other samples under test.
Have a look at Mark’s website, and take a look at the longevity test results. It lists a huge amount of printer/paper/ink combinations, invaluable for someone who’s looking to use third party inks at either an amateur or professional level.
There’s a very handy feature of the Epson R2880 printer that I only discovered in the last few months, and it’s been great when it comes to cleaning the heads before making an important print, and ensuring all of the nozzles are getting a good ink supply. I put this little blog article together because I was using the printer for about a year before I discovered it (I know, it pays to read the manual), and I thought that it might be worth mentioning just in case anyone out there might find it useful also. It’s probably available in a good few of the Epson printer range.
The printer head is made up of an array of tiny nozzles, split into one array for each colour. In the R2880, there are 8 colours, each colour having an array of about 180 nozzles. That makes a total of 1440 nozzles in the print head! That’s a lot of nozzles, and a lot of chances to get a dodgy print!
Anyway, the auto-check-and-clean function is in the printer dialog screen:
By clicking on the top left icon “Auto Nozzle Check and Cleaning(C)”, the printer will start printing out a check grid, and will then read back what it’s printed to ensure that all nozzles are printing as expected. The following is the resulting output of the auto clean process. (Click on the image to see a bigger version).
Oh, an it’s advisable to insert a good paper for this, such as a glossy paper. It gives better contrast than plain paper, making it easier for the printer to read back the test patterns it’s just printed.
So, in the test page above, the printer prints the first 4 colours. Then it reads back the patern. Becuse there’s a couple of missing blocks in the Light Black array (right side of area marked Pass 1), it runs a clean cycle. Once that clean cycle is complete, it’ll print that pattern again and re-check. If that’s ok, it’ll then print the second 4 colours (Marked as Pass 2). It then sees that Cyan is missing a few blocks in the pattern, so it runs the cleaning cycle again. For Pass three, you’ll notice that it prints the first 4 colours again, then the second 4 colours. This is because the clean cycle may have affected some nozzles in the 1st 4 colours, to it needs to be sure that these are still working ok. For pass 3, you can see that ALL the Cyan nozzles are now lacking ink. So it cleans again. Finally, on pass 4, everything checks out, and the process completes successfully.
I’ve found that it may take doing this process twice, but it’s usually a lot easier than doing a manual nozzle check and clean repeatedly. Also, I suspect that when it’s charging the nozzles, it may only charge the colour that’s Missing ink rather than all colours, thereby wasting ink, but that’s only a theory.