Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?

Started Aug 29, 2010 | Discussions
DavidF
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Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
Aug 29, 2010

It's been a while since I've set up a printer, but I remember running some of the utilities before starting to print. I'm wonder for my Epson 3880, should I run any of these (and in any particular order):

  • Nozzle check

  • Head cleaning

  • Print head alignment

Thanks, David

Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to DavidF, Aug 29, 2010

DavidF wrote:

It's been a while since I've set up a printer, but I remember running some of the utilities before starting to print. I'm wonder for my Epson 3880, should I run any of these (and in any particular order):

  • Nozzle check

  • Head cleaning

  • Print head alignment

Thanks, David

Only my assumption -- NOT facts. If the setup details does not "specifically" indicate which (if any) of these are to be run, surely it would not be necessary.

However, if it were mine, I would run the Nozzle Check just to be certain it prints a good pattern. If the pattern is not correct, then I would consider going further such as Head Cleaning.
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Vernon...

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BobMert
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to DavidF, Aug 29, 2010

I would run a nozzle check

and then spend a lot of time on head alignment using Epson's Remote Panel Utility.

And if possible a Paper feed/ microweave adjustment using the Remote Panel Utility is worth the time.
Bob

DavidF wrote:

It's been a while since I've set up a printer, but I remember running some of the utilities before starting to print. I'm wonder for my Epson 3880, should I run any of these (and in any particular order):

  • Nozzle check

  • Head cleaning

  • Print head alignment

Thanks, David

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dperez
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to BobMert, Jan 12, 2013

My 3880 arrived yesterday, and I've got the same question...

The nozzle check was easy, and appears to be fine.

I went into the user guide and ran the AUTOMATIC print head adjustment.  Do I understand correctly that this test, will actually ensure that the heads are optimally adjusted?  If so, is there any point running the MANUAL adjustment - do I really figure I'll be more accurate that the automatic test?

And, running the "microweave" adjustment sounds interesting, but I can't find anything that says how to do this...  HOW do I run the microweave adjustment, and is it automatic or manual?

Is there anything ELSE I should be doing?  I saw a bidirectional alignment, but I presume I don't need to worry about that?

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jtoolman
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to dperez, Jan 12, 2013

dperez wrote:

My 3880 arrived yesterday, and I've got the same question...

The nozzle check was easy, and appears to be fine.

I went into the user guide and ran the AUTOMATIC print head adjustment. Do I understand correctly that this test, will actually ensure that the heads are optimally adjusted? If so, is there any point running the MANUAL adjustment - do I really figure I'll be more accurate that the automatic test?

And, running the "microweave" adjustment sounds interesting, but I can't find anything that says how to do this... HOW do I run the microweave adjustment, and is it automatic or manual?

Is there anything ELSE I should be doing? I saw a bidirectional alignment, but I presume I don't need to worry about that?

Just run the auto alignment and before that a nozzle check. Your 3800 can print great in High Speed ( By Directional ) mode. So it will lay down ink with each pass of the print head and effectively print about twice as fast as when printing with High Speed turn off or Unidirectional.

For the printer to print flawlessly in High Speed, your head aligment must be perfect. Thus the need to run the auto align before serious printing is to comence.

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Peter Patricelli
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to DavidF, Jan 12, 2013

It has been  awhile since I set up my 3880, but as I remember it, you run  the disc which installs the printer drivers, utilities, etc.,etc..  Once the printer has cartridges installed I think it goes through a drawn out lne charging routine.  My memory is that THEN there is a test print to be printed which basically confirms all the cartridges, lines, printheads, etc. are running fine and your computer has connected to the 3880.

That was IT!  I printed out a real picture...was blown away by the printer...and have been ever since.

I have lived with old epson 3000's for a decade.  Every printing session starts with a nozzle check and alignment...and sometimes another cleaning routine in the middle of a printing run.  PIA.  Since installation 18 months ago with the 3880 I have YET to run a nozzle check OR alignment.  I have had my own self-inflicted issues with a leaking refillable cartridge...which I probably damaged myself, but that issue aside, the 3880 has been the most trouble free printer I have ever owned.

I look at each print critically, and before committing to a very large print or panorama I'll do some smaller stuff first, but my philosophy on the 3880 so far is "if it isn't broke....don't fix it".  And my volume is low so the printer sits for weeks or even a month or more between printings.

Others, based on past experience with other printers, habit, or general carefullness or compulsiveness may run through a nozzle-check/alignment routine but this is a heck of a self-adjusting, self maintaining, trouble-free printer....so far.

Just another perspective.

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Peter Patricelli www.flyfishingfotography.com

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canon person
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I loce my 3880 and..
In reply to Peter Patricelli, Jan 12, 2013

I only do a nozzle check when banding/lines are visible in the prints (which is rare).  Once in a great while I will perfom an automatic head aligment.  The printer has revolutionzed the way we do printing.  Those blacks are BLACK and skin tone are DEAD ON.  Thank you Epson.

Canon Person

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GMack
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to DavidF, Jan 12, 2013

Mine spit out some page with two tightly-spaced faint grey vertical lines when I first got it.  I had to select #1 as they appeared tied together and not spaced apart under a strong magnifier.  I had to set that number in the printer's LCD menu as I recall.

I think there are two different nozzle checks?  Maybe one off the printers LCD menu, and the second off the computer software's?  I seem to recall mine did not look anything at all like the books nozzle check for the 3880.  The one I had looked more like a checkerboard pattern than the staggered color check pattern often seen.

Epson should have made the start-up procedure a little easier to follow, imho.  Maybe a lot less "dark blue shipping" tape too, and some of it in not-so-hard-to-get-out-of-the-cranny places too.

Nice printer.  Not too crazy over their insanely high OEM ink prices though.  The platen height setting is often confusing too where Canon 9000 doesn't have that.

Mack

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dperez
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Re: Epson 3880 - which utilities to run when first setting up printer?
In reply to GMack, Jan 12, 2013

Thanks for the replies...  Not to laugh at Epson, but they must have gotten an INCREDIBLE deal on large quantities of blue tape!  I've never peeled so many little pieces of tape off OTHER little pieces of tape in my life.  But, I got 'em off, the printer set up, and all connected...

Yes, the automatic nozzle check on mine ALSO generated a sheet with a bunch of little colored areas and nothing to tell me whether or not things are properly set up.  Even looking at the colors with an 8X loupe doesn't tell me anything 'cause I don't have anything to compare...  Which is why I was wondering if I'm REALLY supposed to do a manual check.

When I started the printer, it did the ink charging and whatever other fiddly stuff it does, but mine didn't print any sheet.  Do I somehow need to print a sheet to show me anything...

And I'm STILL curious about the whole microweave adjustment and bi-directional thing...  Is there anything else I SHOULD be doing or can I just happily continue printing and not worry about alignment, adjustment, or whatever?

OH, and another thing...  Is there anything out there to periodically do an automatic nozzle check?  I looked at Harvey Printhead (or whatever it is), but they want $50 for software to do a nozzle check.  I'm probably being paranoid, but after my experience with the R2880, I'd like some way to do an automatic nozzle check weekly for a while.

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Petruska
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There's an internal optical sensor
In reply to dperez, Jan 12, 2013

that checks the auto-head alignment printed patterns. Works quite well. You can run the manual head alignment check if you want but the auto does a great job.

Bob P.

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dperez
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Re: There's an internal optical sensor
In reply to Petruska, Jan 13, 2013

I think, as some others in here have recommended, if it's not broken, don't mess with it.  I've gotta do some fiddly prints with a lot of detail to see if things look right, and if they do I think I'll just leave the thing alone...

I am, however, interested in some kind of script or whatever for windows that would enable the printer to periodically do a nozzle check...

ALSO, and this one may be more important - do I leave it ON or turn it OFF when it's covered and not in use? I've read in here topics that advocate BOTH leaving it on and turning it off.

I ask because in the packaging for the printer was a sheet that said they made a modification that AUTOMATICALLY turns the printer off after an adjustable interval. Based on that, am I safe in presuming I should let the printer turn off automatically?  when it turns back on won't it go through a turn-on head cleaning every time?

And last (at least until I come up with some other dumb, newby question), I've read in here that people put a dish with a wet sponge under the cover to keep the 3880 from clogging in the winter when the humidity is low.  BUT, when I talked to the Epson repair place THEY said they've had 3880s and other units come in with RUST on moving parts because of people keeping the humidity high.  So, which way should I go?

I wouldn't be concerned about the last two questions except that the 2880 was supposed to be off when not in use and it gobbled ink and clogged every time it was turned on.  So, I'm trying to give myself the best chance at not having problems with this new printer...

thanks for continuing your thoughts...

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Sal Baker
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Re: There's an internal optical sensor
In reply to dperez, Jan 13, 2013

dperez wrote:

I think, as some others in here have recommended, if it's not broken, don't mess with it. I've gotta do some fiddly prints with a lot of detail to see if things look right, and if they do I think I'll just leave the thing alone...

I am, however, interested in some kind of script or whatever for windows that would enable the printer to periodically do a nozzle check...

ALSO, and this one may be more important - do I leave it ON or turn it OFF when it's covered and not in use? I've read in here topics that advocate BOTH leaving it on and turning it off.

I ask because in the packaging for the printer was a sheet that said they made a modification that AUTOMATICALLY turns the printer off after an adjustable interval. Based on that, am I safe in presuming I should let the printer turn off automatically? when it turns back on won't it go through a turn-on head cleaning every time?

And last (at least until I come up with some other dumb, newby question), I've read in here that people put a dish with a wet sponge under the cover to keep the 3880 from clogging in the winter when the humidity is low. BUT, when I talked to the Epson repair place THEY said they've had 3880s and other units come in with RUST on moving parts because of people keeping the humidity high. So, which way should I go?

I wouldn't be concerned about the last two questions except that the 2880 was supposed to be off when not in use and it gobbled ink and clogged every time it was turned on. So, I'm trying to give myself the best chance at not having problems with this new printer...

thanks for continuing your thoughts...

I turn off my 3880 and keep it covered when not printing.  I've had no clogs after several years so I'm sticking with what has worked so far.

Sal

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GMack
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Re: There's an internal optical sensor
In reply to dperez, Jan 13, 2013

I don't know about a 'special script' which would require a computer to tell it to do that anyway, so I'll just print something in the printers once a week else the Epson's I have will clog (dry heat here).  The Canon 'dye' 9000 MK II will usually get something in two weeks.  I'll just print some small 4x6 inch print of some test image off NothernLights or someplace to all the printers and be done.  If the colors are bad in the test print, then a nozzle check may be in order.  Bad part if it is required (like when I forgot the portable Epson Charm for two weeks), it sucks a lot of ink which is even more annoying.  I've had as many as 6-8 nozzle cleaning and nozzle checks to get the ink flowing again out of it and then got the "Out of Ink" warning for my efforts.

I suspect it is safe just to leave the thing (3880) on since it has the Green EcoSafe Label on it.  If I were to go away for a 4-7 days, then I would turn it off.  Turning it off and on sounds like it is doing some nozzle charging and maybe some waste of their 'overpriced' ink too.

I need to come up with a clear plastic cover for the printers at some point to - or a large garbage sack.  Not so much as fear of drying out, but darn dust.   Don't know if I'd be willing to store a saucer of water in them either.  Just do a weekly printout of something and be done with it.

Mack

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Sal Baker
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Re: There's an internal optical sensor
In reply to GMack, Jan 13, 2013

GMack wrote:

I don't know about a 'special script' which would require a computer to tell it to do that anyway, so I'll just print something in the printers once a week else the Epson's I have will clog (dry heat here). The Canon 'dye' 9000 MK II will usually get something in two weeks. I'll just print some small 4x6 inch print of some test image off NothernLights or someplace to all the printers and be done. If the colors are bad in the test print, then a nozzle check may be in order. Bad part if it is required (like when I forgot the portable Epson Charm for two weeks), it sucks a lot of ink which is even more annoying. I've had as many as 6-8 nozzle cleaning and nozzle checks to get the ink flowing again out of it and then got the "Out of Ink" warning for my efforts.

I suspect it is safe just to leave the thing (3880) on since it has the Green EcoSafe Label on it. If I were to go away for a 4-7 days, then I would turn it off. Turning it off and on sounds like it is doing some nozzle charging and maybe some waste of their 'overpriced' ink too.

True, but turning it off and the resulting nozzle charging may be why I've had no clogs in almost 3 years.  Who knows.  BTW, the 80ml ink carts in the 3880 have shown no obvious dropping in levels from the nozzle charging or whatever it is the 3880 when turned on.

I need to come up with a clear plastic cover for the printers at some point to - or a large garbage sack. Not so much as fear of drying out, but darn dust. Don't know if I'd be willing to store a saucer of water in them either. Just do a weekly printout of something and be done with it.

I think that's another reason why I've been so lucky the 3880.  I use the Tumi form-fitting cover and the inside of the printer is sparkling clean.  Without the cover there would have been 3 years of household dust srttling in every part of the printer, which eventually turns to "gunk."

Sal

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Petruska
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R3000, 6 months, zero clogs....
In reply to dperez, Jan 13, 2013

dperez wrote:

I think, as some others in here have recommended, if it's not broken, don't mess with it. I've gotta do some fiddly prints with a lot of detail to see if things look right, and if they do I think I'll just leave the thing alone...

I am, however, interested in some kind of script or whatever for windows that would enable the printer to periodically do a nozzle check...

ALSO, and this one may be more important - do I leave it ON or turn it OFF when it's covered and not in use? I've read in here topics that advocate BOTH leaving it on and turning it off.

I ask because in the packaging for the printer was a sheet that said they made a modification that AUTOMATICALLY turns the printer off after an adjustable interval. Based on that, am I safe in presuming I should let the printer turn off automatically? when it turns back on won't it go through a turn-on head cleaning every time?

And last (at least until I come up with some other dumb, newby question), I've read in here that people put a dish with a wet sponge under the cover to keep the 3880 from clogging in the winter when the humidity is low. BUT, when I talked to the Epson repair place THEY said they've had 3880s and other units come in with RUST on moving parts because of people keeping the humidity high. So, which way should I go?

I wouldn't be concerned about the last two questions except that the 2880 was supposed to be off when not in use and it gobbled ink and clogged every time it was turned on. So, I'm trying to give myself the best chance at not having problems with this new printer...

thanks for continuing your thoughts...

First, the printer is always unplugged and sitting in the corner of my room when not used for printing.  I print at least every 3 days, it has only run an auto-cleaning cycle 3 times in 6 months with 770 prints through it.  This was confirmed by the WICreset program.  The printer sits against my baseboard hot water heating system which is probably in the 120-140 degrees F range all winter, humidity about 30%, no cover, no bowl/sponge placed inside, and I have yet to have one segment missing on a nozzle check pattern (I run a nozzle check on startup and finish during each printing session).

I also run Cone pigment ink though it.

Now my R2880 (had 2 of them) is a different story, same environment, same usage, and same Cone pigment ink and now with Cone dye, and I get occassional complete color(s) missing at startup even though I used the printer the day before and the final nozzle checks were perfect.

The R2880, R3000, and R3880 all use the same ink set and have the same anti-clogging head technology, but they all have different nozzle diameters which could be one of the reasons why one type of printer is more prone to clogging than another.

Bob P.

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dperez
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Re: R3000, 6 months, zero clogs....
In reply to Petruska, Jan 14, 2013

I found a piece of paper in the printer box.  It says

"POWER TURN OFF TIMER"

A POWER OFF TIMER item has been added to the MAINTENANCE MODE menu.  See the documentation provided with the printer for more information on the MAINTENANCE MODE menu.

On the menu, you're supposed to be able to select the delay before the printer turns off automatically when no errors occur, no print jobs are received, and no control panel or other operations are performed...

SO, I went INTO the Maintenance menu on the printer.  There is ABSOLUTELY no "POWER TURN OFF TIMER" that I can find in the list...  There's no reference I can find in the User Manual, AND, I can't find a single reference to this in any forum or at Epson.

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Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: R3000, 6 months, zero clogs....
In reply to dperez, Jan 14, 2013

dperez wrote:

I found a piece of paper in the printer box. It says

"POWER TURN OFF TIMER"

A POWER OFF TIMER item has been added to the MAINTENANCE MODE menu. See the documentation provided with the printer for more information on the MAINTENANCE MODE menu.

On the menu, you're supposed to be able to select the delay before the printer turns off automatically when no errors occur, no print jobs are received, and no control panel or other operations are performed...

SO, I went INTO the Maintenance menu on the printer. There is ABSOLUTELY no "POWER TURN OFF TIMER" that I can find in the list... There's no reference I can find in the User Manual, AND, I can't find a single reference to this in any forum or at Epson.

Probably a shipping department "slip up" since the paper may (or could) apply to a completely different Epson printer Model.

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Vernon...

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dperez
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Re: R3000, 6 months, zero clogs....
In reply to Vernon D Rainwater, Jan 14, 2013

That's what I initially thought too, but the printer DEFINITELY turns itself off...  I had it on yesterday, rummaged through the menu trying to find the settings for the turn off timer, checked before I went to bed last night and it was on.......

This MORNING, it's off.

I think, mayhap, I'll give Epson a call, although they too appear to have outsourced support...

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dperez
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Re: R3000, 6 months, zero clogs....
In reply to dperez, Jan 14, 2013

Ah....  A pleasant experience with a technical support group!

Called Epson on the preferred, special for "pro printing" line.

Got a guy that checked, who confirmed that there is NO power off timer on the 3880.

The reason the printer APPEARED to be off in the morning is 'cause it's going into sleep mode, turning off the lights and display, and sitting quietly...

Also, I talked to him about clogs...  He said the BEST way to avoid them is to keep the printer where the humidity is between 40 and 60%, and the temperature remains between 68 and 75 degrees...

Recommended, not turning it off, let it sleep, keep it covered, and keep it humidified...  I don't think I can get to 40+% on the humidity, even here in the home office where there's a separate humidifier, but I'll do what I can...

OK, enough fiddling around, measurebating, and trying to make it perfect...  Time for the printer (and me) to get some work done...

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GMack
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Made my own 3880 cover for $3.
In reply to DavidF, Jan 14, 2013

Went to a fabric shop and bought a yard of clear 10 mil vinyl as used for seat covers for $2.99.  Cut a 30x48 inch piece out of it.  Then cut a 9 /34" square out of each corner so it would fold down over the printer. Voila!  An Epson 3880 cover!  Sort of surprised on how good it turned out too for maybe an hours worth of work.

I 'll add that I did allow for a one inch overlap on each corner's cut out for a tab so I could fold it under the side (i.e. end pieces).  The stuff is pretty clingy to itself as it came wrapped in tissue.  Reminded me of a thick Handi-Wrap.  I used some vinyl clear adhesive to glue the flap to the ends to make it a big box to cover the printer.  Might not be necessary as it really is clingy stuff.  Vinyl tape might also work with it if glue isn't handy.

It touches the top of the stand when covered its on so it pretty much is sealed.  Plus, I can see the power light and turn it on or off through it too.

I did see they also had some colored vinyls with some soft underside as used in some restaurants as well if you want something different.

Mack

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