2nd 3880 fails, same reason - Using Photo Rag

Started Jul 22, 2011 | Discussions thread
SRC000
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Re: 2nd 3880 fails, same reason - Using Photo Rag
In reply to Henri S, 1 month ago

There is a lot of speculation around the 150C error out there and I cannot say that my experience and perspective does anything but add to the speculation but here goes.

I purchased a 3880 in January of 2012. I used it consistently for two years running up to 100 images a month in batches of 5 to 20 images twice a week. When I moved in April of 2014, my printer use dropped of significantly. Sometimes I would go two or three weeks without running any images. I would run a nozzle check since it is very dry every 10 days or so. It was after I moved that I started to see the 150C errors.

Epson has a little thing you can do with moving the print head back and forth (which I believe forces the printer to recalibrate head position). I would go through the little dance most times I turned on the printer. Epson service was little help when I asked about the suggested action from their FAQ and speculated that firmware might be related to the problem. The response was "It is more of a Hardware issue." The key word here (in my mind) is "more," this is a hedge. So I started thinking about what changed. The first thing that came to mind was frequency of use. Before I moved, the printer was turned on at least twice a week, now I hardly use it. I decided to see what would happen if I turned the printer on at least twice a week (this would be 3 to 4 intervals). I can usually find something to print even if it is just a single image. Since doing this (for the last 8 weeks), I have not seen a single 150C error. Cycling the printer probably consumes ink but this is the price I pay for great photo output, living in Nevada and avoiding the dreaded 150C errors.

So what is happening? I don’t know. Maybe it is just luck (I doubt it though). Maybe there is a design issue that causes the printer to lose some calibration if left unused for long periods of time. But I think that it is significant that the Epson FAQ gives a solution that involves moving the print head around (which seems to force the printer to do additional startup calibration). Additionally, I noticed that several people reporting this error also mention long printer down times before the error shows up. I am not convinced that the problem related to any “broken” part. Maybe there is some battery backed ram (capacitor powered) that loses calibration information if left too long unpowered. Maybe as the aging capacitor loses charge storage capacity requiring more frequent power cycles. This would fit the “It is more of a Hardware issue.” response while at the same time support their FAQ solution to force a total recalibration of parts.

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