Ink Republic CIS nightmare!

Started Dec 24, 2012 | Discussions
Robert Hoy
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Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
Dec 24, 2012

I got an Ink Republic CIS for my 6 year old Epson R1800 and what a mess.  Clogs, clogs, clogs!

First the instructions are 7 years old and are outdated showing and detailing items that are now not part of their system.  And their instructions seem to be poorly translated into English from another lanugage.  I had to search the internet looking fo images of a finished recent R1800 system to figure out how to attach the tube brackets since what was pictured in their instructions weren't even close to the brackets they shipped me.  Alass, I've dumped about 15% of my large bottles of ink already through cleaning cycles trying to get all nozzles to print with no avail.

I just got a nozzle test pattern print out to be as close to being "good" as I've had so far and just did another head cleaning and guess what?  It made it worse!  And of course I never had any problems using Epson ink cartridges.  Initially my Blue ink was not printing much at all, so I pulled its damper out and used the print head cleaning kit they shipped me with their system.  And that made the Photo Black and Red ink go from nearly perfect to 50% printing on the nozzle pattern test.

And whenever the print heads move all the way to the left of the printer, there's a bad gear grinding noise that now happens that again never happened before.

Any thoughts before I pull all their crap out of my printer and go back to Epson tanks?  Thanks!



Robert Schoner
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Dec 24, 2012

Hi,

A couple of things. First, the  "cleaning causes clogs" scenario may be caused by the "Parking Pads" being over saturated. They are located on the far left and right of the printer and can be cleaned with Windex and paper towels. If you search for this you should find some better instructions. The bottom of the print head may also be dirty and can be cleaned by running it over a Windex soaked paper towel. Press the change ink cartdidge button, the head will move a bit to the left then unplug the printer from the wall and the print head will move freely.

Sometimes a perfect nozzle check can be obtained by letting the printer sit for a while; this lets air work its way out of the system.

Second, I get the grinding noise when the movement of the print head is restricted by the CIS ink tubes. If the tubes are too short the head can't move far enough. If the tubes are too long they get caught in front of the head and restrict it.

HTH,

Bob Schoner

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Zone8
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Schoner, Dec 25, 2012

Worth noting that many apparent clogs when using a CIS are in fact due to poor ink flow down the tubes and air gaps.

Take a really close look at your installation (there should be some videos on youtube.com).  The fact that you hear that rasping (identified correctly by other poster as tubes being too short so need re-positioning) indicates that could also be the reason for the ink flow problem.

For most installations, the procedure is to first get the printhead moved to the "change cartridge" position - then remove the power supply - NOT just turn the printer off.  That then has left the printhead unlocked (it locks in its parked position) so you can slide the printhead side to side  = end to end, enabling correct adjustment/location and length for the tubing.

Once satisfied all is working OK, replace the power - the printer will then set itself up correctly again.  Just watch when it operates for any potential problem if you have not got the tubing correctly supported = might mean repeating the procedure should there seem to be any movement restrictions.  Finally, make sure the tubing is not kinked or perhaps squashed if the top cover is closed and that the supply bottles are on the same level as the printer, thus if printer rests on say a table, the supply bottles stand on the same surface.

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http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
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http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
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JJ Winkel
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Zone8, Dec 25, 2012

I used my IR CIS for almost 2 years on my R1800 without real problem due to the CIS itself, but as specified before I started the assembly by unpluging the power cord when the head was in the middle position and then carefully studied the tubing length, supporting and fastening by manually moving the head to both extreme positions and then only reconnected power when I was satisfied that the tubing was moving properly without being pulled or rubbed against any printer part. It took a little care and reflection ....

Also what is heard as gear grinding is the print head belt "jumping teeths" if the head is blocked before reaching the far end and the stepper motor not stopping ( sorry for the wording but could not find a better way to describe it ).

About the situation being worse after a head clean, it is more certainly NOT clogs but air locks, you have to remember that ink is not "pushed" into the nozzles but "aspired" by a very mild suction, this is OK with the original carts as they are above the head and ink being fed by gravitation. But with the CIS this is different and only governed by the ink level in the bottles, too low = air locks, too high = ink floods !

In my install after several tests I found that elevating the full bottles by about 2 cm above the table was the overall best position.

Also when priming the carts, take care to leave a little air bubble in the vaccum chamber of the carts ( about half full and not completely empty).

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Robert Hoy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to JJ Winkel, Dec 26, 2012

JJ Winkel wrote:

I used my IR CIS for almost 2 years on my R1800 without real problem due to the CIS itself, but as specified before I started the assembly by unpluging the power cord when the head was in the middle position and then carefully studied the tubing length, supporting and fastening by manually moving the head to both extreme positions and then only reconnected power when I was satisfied that the tubing was moving properly without being pulled or rubbed against any printer part. It took a little care and reflection ....

Also what is heard as gear grinding is the print head belt "jumping teeths" if the head is blocked before reaching the far end and the stepper motor not stopping ( sorry for the wording but could not find a better way to describe it ).

The tubes are not stretched too tightly and when the power was off I could push the print head device all the way over to the left side until it hit against something without the tubs stretching. So I think my tube position shoudl be just fine.  That gear grinding must be something that Ink Republic's system messed up my printer with.

About the situation being worse after a head clean, it is more certainly NOT clogs but air locks, you have to remember that ink is not "pushed" into the nozzles but "aspired" by a very mild suction, this is OK with the original carts as they are above the head and ink being fed by gravitation. But with the CIS this is different and only governed by the ink level in the bottles, too low = air locks, too high = ink floods !

But their instructions specifically, several times, say to have the ink bottles on the same table as the printer.  And they are.

In my install after several tests I found that elevating the full bottles by about 2 cm above the table was the overall best position.

Also when priming the carts, take care to leave a little air bubble in the vaccum chamber of the carts ( about half full and not completely empty).

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Robert Hoy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Zone8, Dec 27, 2012

Zone8 wrote:

Worth noting that many apparent clogs when using a CIS are in fact due to poor ink flow down the tubes and air gaps.

It's the "last" 3 colors in order that are having trouble printing and have 10 to 15% more ink in the bottles than the colors that are printing.  Yellow, Cyan, Magents, Matte Black are already down to 80 ml (from 100), 20% of my ink wasted already! but Photo Black, Blue, and Red are at 90 to 95 ml which shows they aren't getting ink drawn from them.  I can see an air gap in red a couple of places. There are no crinks or kinks or pressure on the tubes.

Take a really close look at your installation (there should be some videos on youtube.com). The fact that you hear that rasping (identified correctly by other poster as tubes being too short so need re-positioning) indicates that could also be the reason for the ink flow problem.

Unfortunately youtube videos and their instructions are from 7 years ago when their system came out and are outdated.  They've changed their system quite a bit and often instructions and the video is no longer correct.  I had to search the web for a photo of a recently finished R1800 in order to see how the tube brackets were supposed to be attached since the bracket(s) change so, so much.

For most installations, the procedure is to first get the printhead moved to the "change cartridge" position - then remove the power supply - NOT just turn the printer off. That then has left the printhead unlocked (it locks in its parked position) so you can slide the printhead side to side = end to end, enabling correct adjustment/location and length for the tubing.

Once satisfied all is working OK, replace the power - the printer will then set itself up correctly again. Just watch when it operates for any potential problem if you have not got the tubing correctly supported = might mean repeating the procedure should there seem to be any movement restrictions. Finally, make sure the tubing is not kinked or perhaps squashed if the top cover is closed and that the supply bottles are on the same level as the printer, thus if printer rests on say a table, the supply bottles stand on the same surface.

And it seems the printer is pulling the tubes as it moves.  I had set the tube position so it could hit the left side just fine but the printer motion has pulled more tubes along preventing it from getting all the way to the left.

The sad, stupid, part is that from the finished R1800 photo I found online, they did not send me a last bracket piece to mount on the printer which lets the tubes move more and may be why the printer is pulling on them.  They sent me a piece of double sided ahdesive, but I cannot us it on the tubes or I'll be unable to open the "cover" to the ink cartridges/dampers.

I do not recommend using Ink Republic CIS - to anyone!  Old outdated directions that were poorly translated from a different language.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

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Zone8
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Try this!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Dec 27, 2012

Robert Hoy wrote:

Unfortunately youtube videos and their instructions are from 7 years ago when their system came out and are outdated. They've changed their system quite a bit and often instructions and the video is no longer correct. I had to search the web for a photo of a recently finished R1800 in order to see how the tube brackets were supposed to be attached since the bracket(s) change so, so much.

And it seems the printer is pulling the tubes as it moves. I had set the tube position so it could hit the left side just fine but the printer motion has pulled more tubes along preventing it from getting all the way to the left.

Hi Robert. In your comments, you seem to indicate that you have not actually got the tube support location set correctly viz: "and it seems the printer is pulling the tubes as it moves"

When I suggested checking youtube for videos - I was NOT specifically saying to check for their video but videos posted - even for alternative CIS units. For example, check out the inkjetfly.com video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf5QOTdMNoE

and another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqnk9KWwX60

and yet another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0BZ0ThJMN0

Either may well help find where to make adjustments or change the whole approach. I have never used the CIS make you mentioned but I do have a couple from inkjetfly.com and over the years, have used different CIS units in different Epson models, my current ones being the 1400.

I did notice (I don't have an 1800 model) that your unit shows the cartridge compartment cover being left in position and closed as for normal individual cartridge use - as does the IJF one in their video - but on all Epsons I have used (and in the other videos linked above) it does show using a small screwdriver to prise one side of the cover's clip-hinge location so as to then remove the cover. It is just possible the cover itself, if left in place, could cause some slight pressure on the tubing, so worth checking.

You certainly need to check 1) location of the tubing support abd 2) free movement of the tubing with the printhead side to side movement as from your comment, that is clearly not right as of now.

BTW - there could be other videos (perhaps some from users?) on youtube that could in themselves help identify and resolve your problems.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

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JJ Winkel
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Dec 27, 2012

Robert Hoy wrote:

That gear grinding must be something that Ink Republic's system messed up my printer with.

I just remembered having had that too, the tubes became loose after a while and the bottom part of the tubes returning to the heads got too much slack and rubbed against the printer, at some point they got in the way of the head assembly preventing it from moving freely, the belt tension is quite weak and jumps teeth easily.

But their instructions specifically, several times, say to have the ink bottles on the same table as the printer. And they are.

Well, my own experience prooves differently 

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JJ.

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Robert Hoy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Dec 28, 2012

Still no luck getting all nozzles to print.  The gear grinding was the tubes being pulled over too far preventing the print heads from getting all the way over to the left.  Solved that by holding the tubes in place.

Ink Republic is sending me new dampers, thinking they are bad so that means I'll have to start at about the beginning again...... I had been doing a "nozzle check" which prints vey little, but I just did a "auto nozzle check and head cleaning" which prints a much more complete square for each ink tank and shows a far better condition of the nozzles.  Here it is and it's upside down.  At the start yellow, magenta and cyan were perfect but the head cleanings made them worse and the red was actually perfect during the 3rd nozzle check.  But you see the blue tank has the most issues.

Earlier today I re-pull the ink up in the red and blue tanks becase I could see air gaps in the red and the blue was always printing incompletely.  But you see all ink tanks are having problems (well Y, M, C really werent') but even both blacks are not right.

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Robert Hoy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Jan 3, 2013

Ink Republic sent me a new set of dampers, tubes, etc. as well as a new set of inks since I've gone through 20% of my ink with head cleanings.  So now I get to essentially start from scratch again... when I can find the time for that big of a project.

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williamio
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epson R3000 CIS reference
In reply to Robert Hoy, Jan 3, 2013

I have InkRepublic R38XX refillable carts, it's been working great. Very good company to deal with. It's my 9th refill inkset already since I use their solution. Support is great too. I think your problem is on either air locks (no clogs) or the bad carts. It's wise to try another set. I also noticed that their R3000 CIS looks neat and they place the ink bottles higher than R1800's, perhaps it's different CIS  design.

http://www.inkrepublic.com/R3000.asp

You may need to find the sweet spot yourself for your 1800 printer. Good luck.

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Robert Hoy
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Re: epson R3000 CIS reference
In reply to williamio, Jan 5, 2013

williamio wrote:

I have InkRepublic R38XX refillable carts, it's been working great. Very good company to deal with. It's my 9th refill inkset already since I use their solution. Support is great too. I think your problem is on either air locks (no clogs) or the bad carts. It's wise to try another set. I also noticed that their R3000 CIS looks neat and they place the ink bottles higher than R1800's, perhaps it's different CIS design.

http://www.inkrepublic.com/R3000.asp

I see in that video the R3000 is rather different.  The ink cartridges don't move during printing which then has the tubes going into the ink bottles not moving either taking a lot of points of problem out of the equation.  And yes those bottles are very high.  But with the R1800 they say to keep the ink on the same table as the printer. If I raise the ink bottles it could flood my printer.

You may need to find the sweet spot yourself for your 1800 printer. Good luck.

Yes and I won't have a lot of patience trying to get it to make a plain, regular print before I throw their system in the trash and buy Epson ink tanks again.  I very much did not like how they've modified their R1800 ink system over the years all without changing their instructions to reflect said changes.  Disrespectful.

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artistguy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Jan 5, 2013

lots of good responses and help from forum members, I'm sure you'll get it sorted, then comes the nightmare of profiling the new inks for your papers............

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Robert Hoy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to artistguy, Jan 6, 2013

artistguy wrote:

lots of good responses and help from forum members, I'm sure you'll get it sorted, then comes the nightmare of profiling the new inks for your papers............

These are supposed to be replacements for Epson inks, if that is what is needed I might as well throw it all in the trash now.  Never profiled anything before, never needed it.  Always used printer driver to control printing with great results, never messed with paper profiles.  Alwaysed used Epson paper settings in the printer driver when using Ilford and Inkpress papers again with great results.

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Vernon D Rainwater
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Jan 6, 2013

Robert Hoy wrote:

artistguy wrote:

lots of good responses and help from forum members, I'm sure you'll get it sorted, then comes the nightmare of profiling the new inks for your papers............

These are supposed to be replacements for Epson inks, if that is what is needed I might as well throw it all in the trash now. Never profiled anything before, never needed it. Always used printer driver to control printing with great results, never messed with paper profiles. Alwaysed used Epson paper settings in the printer driver when using Ilford and Inkpress papers again with great results.

Then, why not just continue to do what you have in the past and YOU judge the results -- it may be OK as it evidently was in the past.

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kcbeatty
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Jan 6, 2013

Robert Hoy wrote:

These are supposed to be replacements for Epson inks, if that is what is needed I might as well throw it all in the trash now. Never profiled anything before, never needed it. Always used printer driver to control printing with great results, never messed with paper profiles. Alwaysed used Epson paper settings in the printer driver when using Ilford and Inkpress papers again with great results.

I agree with Vernon.  Print like you always have and see if your images look to you.  I'm using the same CIS on my R1800 and for most of my work I use paper from Epson, Inkjetart.com, and Redriver.  The stock epson drivers do a very good job.

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Robert Hoy
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update, no change
In reply to Robert Hoy, Feb 17, 2013

So I got around to pulling out the original damper system I was sent and installed the replacement set they sent me all with the same result.  Well actually worse.  My nozzle print test comes out much less complete than before with hardly any of the grey checker box come out printed.  And it's again the Photo black, Red, and Blue colors coming out the least.

Never had a problem with Epson OEM inks. My system is setup just like it's shown here in this guy's photos: http://www.inkrepublic.com/members/sci/review.asp  And I cleaned up pads and heads before putting in the replacement system.

In a hidden part of Inkrepublic's website they have some steps which include turning on a hair dryer and point it at the inks to help the ink flow better - not what I expect from such an expensive product.  The heat in my place is about 64 degrees.

Any more thoughts?

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jtoolman
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to Robert Hoy, Feb 17, 2013

Robert Hoy wrote:

I got an Ink Republic CIS for my 6 year old Epson R1800 and what a mess. Clogs, clogs, clogs!

First the instructions are 7 years old and are outdated showing and detailing items that are now not part of their system. And their instructions seem to be poorly translated into English from another lanugage. I had to search the internet looking fo images of a finished recent R1800 system to figure out how to attach the tube brackets since what was pictured in their instructions weren't even close to the brackets they shipped me. Alass, I've dumped about 15% of my large bottles of ink already through cleaning cycles trying to get all nozzles to print with no avail.

I just got a nozzle test pattern print out to be as close to being "good" as I've had so far and just did another head cleaning and guess what? It made it worse! And of course I never had any problems using Epson ink cartridges. Initially my Blue ink was not printing much at all, so I pulled its damper out and used the print head cleaning kit they shipped me with their system. And that made the Photo Black and Red ink go from nearly perfect to 50% printing on the nozzle pattern test.

And whenever the print heads move all the way to the left of the printer, there's a bad gear grinding noise that now happens that again never happened before.

Any thoughts before I pull all their crap out of my printer and go back to Epson tanks? Thanks!



I never did like the dipstick type CISS systems. Preffer the Syphon style for much more secure ink flow. Form the pics it looks like the Chamber in the damper and the all the ink channels should be filled with ink. In a system like this unlike the ones that actually use carts, would be more prone to ink starvation of ink flow problems. Are your lines completely full of ink or during the idle times, does ink flow back toward teh bottles? On a Syphon system, there is no back flow problems.

I do not think it is an ink clogging problem as much as it is an ink flow or air problem.

Your gear grinding is due to you tubing interfering with the head carriage travel. Some of the old systems kike this one, do not use very supple and flexible ribbon tubing as found on newer versions of CISs

Did you try a higher positioning of the bottles?

I used to use CISS on some of my 15 printers but have since given up as the reliabilty was simply not there.

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Zone8
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 17, 2013

jtoolman wrote:  I do not think it is an ink clogging problem as much as it is an ink flow or air problem.  Your gear grinding is due to you tubing interfering with the head carriage travel. Some of the old systems kike this one, do not use very supple and flexible ribbon tubing as found on newer versions of CISs.  Did you try a higher positioning of the bottles?

I used to use CISS on some of my 15 printers but have since given up as the reliabilty was simply not there.

Good observations with which I totally agree.  Must admit that whilst CIS systems are infinitely easier to refill, nevertheless, every one I have used has required fairly regular attention, mostly due ingress of air in some form.  These days I use refillables - routine makes it easy to refill and seem 100% reliable means to use alternative high quality inks.

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Zone8: Although I am a handsome genius, when I stand in front of a mirror, I vaguely recognise the ugly idjit standing on the other side!
LINK: For B+W with Epson 1400 (and other models) using black ink only PLUS other useful tips:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/epson1400-B&W.htm
Cleaning DSLR Sensors, including Kodak DSLR Factory Cleaning method:
http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/KodakDCS-sensorcleaning.htm
Solving back/front focus problems on Sigma and most other DSLRs
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1027&message=35565277
PDF format list of lenses you can print or download - covers Italian Flag YES/NO for DCS 14n but applies to others. http://www.photosnowdonia.co.uk/ZPS/ItiFlagLensList.pdf

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Robert Hoy
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Re: Ink Republic CIS nightmare!
In reply to jtoolman, Feb 17, 2013

jtoolman wrote:

I do not think it is an ink clogging problem as much as it is an ink flow or air problem.

Did you try a higher positioning of the bottles?

I am beginning to think so too, see my update from yesterday too.

After I re-installed the system yesterday and got poor nozzle patters I pulled dampers out to see ink levels and they were all partially filled which means ink is not flowing into them.  Inkrepublic states to have the ink bottles on the same table the printer is on because raising the bottles will flood the printer.  I tried raising the bottles by 1.5 inches with no different results.

The heat in my place is about 64 degrees and their website has "help" that says using a hair dryer on the tubes will help ink flow - not something I want to have to do just to get my printer working properly.

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