Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Started Jul 2, 2014 | Discussions
subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

So - I ended up getting an R2000 based on loads of good reviews and anecdotal evidence.

Initially, I thought "this seems like a decent printer".

Very easy installation - was printing within minutes.

I knew the Epson inks were expensive - so decided I was going to go CISS early on - before I'd even bought it.

But since I opted to go refillable/CISS it's just been a complete nightmare.

Because I couldn't initially find a CISS for the R2000 - ie the first retailer which I found that had them listed, on closer inspection actually had pulled the CISS from sale - so I had to go with refillables at first - going with Ink Express.

The inks are fairly cheap, but as I've found to my cost, this R2000 goes through ink at a rate of knots.

Just so you know if you haven't had experience of refillables (like I hadn't) - they are a complete faff - invariably ink gets all over the place, so disposable gloves are very handy - but I've found, at least with Ink Express, that the chips seem very temperamental.

You need to repeatedly short the chips to get them to work - and quite often the act of pulling, shorting and replacing a cart somehow manages to screw around with how the other carts are recognised by the printer too.

When you change one cart, you almost have to refill and reset all the other ones at the same time, otherwise you have a load of inaccurately filled carts, that is the monitor doesn't recognise accurately how much ink is in the cart. No point resetting a cart to get it recognised, only to find that the printer registers the cart as being full, when in reality it's not a new cart, and it's half empty.

Given how much of a pain in the a** refilling these carts has been, I jumped at the chance of trying a CISS when I eventually spotted one.

Rather than jump in with two feet and install it straight away, I opted to run down the existing ink I had from the refillable system - and eventually then got to using the CISS.

I purchased my CISS from CityInkExpress - and that's when the serious problems began.

First of all - I didn't notice that there was a sort of addendum to the included instruction manual.
This was quite important supposedly.
Secondly the included instruction manual was AWFUL.

It's truly horrific to think that these people think that they somehow they can supply any old kind of info to help you get their ink into your printer.

My R2000 wasn't a cheap printer - and yet this ink supplier thinks that a crappy (no doubt prepared in china) instruction manual, with poor photography, and just as poor copy somehow should be enough to get you going? Really?

Anyway - me being me, I persevered - followed the instruction manual (or tried to), not realising there was an addition A4 sheet in the box, with a youtube URL I should have visited before I started the install. Of course - there was. Silly me. I mean, I should have known that the instruction manual didn't actually contain all of the instructions. How daft of me.
So anyway - I thought I'd follow the manual to the letter - inserted the carts - and none of them were recognised by the printer.
These carts need pushed really quite far in to click. And similarly to the refillables, these also had slight issues in terms of being recognised by the printer. Eventually I got them all to be recognised - but when I tried to do some test prints - hardly any ink came out.
So - after some comms with City Ink Express, (who appeared to be dumbfounded at my stupidity at not noticing the additional A4 sheet, with it's small sized type, but emboldened and large youtube URL, and finding my ire a bit distasteful  - I mean how dare I get perturbed by the fact that their ink and CISS may well have screwed up my £450 printer - I couldn't have followed the instruction correctly, and they've never had any problems EVER with their inks causing blockages etc), I go on what is still an ongoing quest to get this printer back to something like the initial state it was before I started using this CISS.

And, whilst I remember, NONE of the instructions from them said that I'd end up doing damage to my printer removing the cartridge cover - or rather damage to the cover when trying to remove it. (One of the hinge pins snapped).

Supposedly this is unavoidable if trying to remove the cover on the R2000 - the only way to remove the cover safely is to take the whole thing apart - and in the service manual it states that if a printhead is to be replaced, a new cover needs to be fitted, as there's no way of reusing the old one.
But I digress...
So - here's the current situation.
I ditched using the CISS - because either it wasn't flowing right or there were blockages or I had airlocks - I'm still not sure.
I figured this just isn't working - I need to revert to the old carts as they worked.

So - I did - and for the most part this has worked.

After what seems like hundreds of cleans, nozzle checks, using print head cleaner, and so on, I've got all of the nozzles working - except the ORANGE ones.
ORANGE has about 50% of the nozzles not spraying ink.
It's not a patchy print on the nozzle check prints either - the top half dozen lines and bottom 3 lines aren't visible at all - the middle portion prints perfectly with no gaps, and this pattern happens every time I do a check and remains unchanged pretty much since I switched to the CISS and the inks from CityInkExpress.

I've tried doing several things to get things going - I've filled the waste ink with printhead cleaner - I've used some spare refillable carts to run lots of fluid through the heads - but though the other nozzles seem to be printing about as good as they ever have, Orange still doesn't fully work.

So - what can I do? IS there an easy way to get to the print head I don't know about?

In the old days of my Canon S9000, it was a breeze taking the head out to give it a soak in head cleaner, or whatever - nowadays, the manufacturers seem to be doing everything they can to limit any DIY maintenance. It's really quite shocking tbh.

I've had this thing about 6 months - and I haven't properly put it through it's paces yet, due to ink/cart issues.

Another member on here that I PM'ds suggested using proper Epson inks - they can be acquired off ebay fairly cheaply - say £40.

I need a steady supplier though - if I need ink I generally need lots of it - the printer is being commercially used - not at home. On any given day, I might have as many as 300 A4 prints to do - so faffing about locating some cheap sets off ebay isn't really that efficient. Having a good reserve is key - hence why I went down the CISS route. And when I bought the machine, Epson ink sets from Amazon etc were circa £70 a set. I could blast through two or three sets in a day easy - so it ain't a cheap route.

Apologies for the rant - I had to vent spleen - and if anyone has any idea what I can do with my orange nozzles, I'd really appreciated some advice - otherwise I'll just need to get used to all my prints having noticeable banding whenever orange is used.

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MOD xrdbear Veteran Member • Posts: 3,961
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Bump. A good rant is worth another read.

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Serhat Abaci Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

R2000? as commercial printer...

okay..

There are no clogs with the DX5 Golden printhead its either Air in the ports or air trappend in the Dampers or tubes...

Go from R2000 to either R3000 / 3880 .. booth these machines have their OWN CISS internally so basically the Printhead will never run out of ink an no air will be trapped inside the tubes.

But if you are really into the GLOSS and R2000 print quality buy yourself a viable CISS and study some utube videos how to set it up properly, even think about an Decoder board, which will reset ALL ink levels at any given time so the printer would not force to stop printing when 1 cartridge level shows empty

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Hugowolf Forum Pro • Posts: 12,676
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

subharmonic wrote:

...

In the old days of my Canon S9000, it was a breeze taking the head out to give it a soak in head cleaner, or whatever - nowadays, the manufacturers seem to be doing everything they can to limit any DIY maintenance. It's really quite shocking ...

It is different technology. Epson heads use piezoelectric injection, HP and Canon thermal. HP and Canon heads are user replaceable. With Epson, essentially the head is the printer.

Brian A

Chuck_IV Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

I recently switched from Epson ink to Precision Colors ink on my Epson R1800 due to the high cost of Epson inks, and had a similar problem with print heads not wanting to fully print after the switch. I ran head cleaning after head cleaning to no avail. Sometimes I'd get close to full print, then the next cleaning(or 2 or 3 consecutive), it would get worse. After wasting an entire cartridge worth of ink(had to refill every one), I had finally gotten to where it was just one print head giving me an issue(photo black).

What finally got me all set was running the print head cleaning in Qimage Ultimate on that one color{probably should have tried Qimage sooner but forgot Mike had just added it to Qimage). I have no idea as to why I had such issues swapping inks. My guess is, either the cartridges weren't primed properly or I just got air in it somehow.

Anyway, try the print head cleaning(it just prints a set of lines on a full sheet of papers) in QImage and see if that helps get things going on your Orange.

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OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Sorry - when I meant when I said that I use the printer commercially - I didn't mean in a sense that it would be used to print off large runs of boxes for packaging or whatever - rather that it is relied upon in a commercial sense.

It's used to produce basic proofs for packaging and product concepts, and for printing off the odd piece of marketing material - the runs of marketing material can be quite large - several hundred sheets - (and I agree that this isn't the right too for that particular job - but hey, the gaffer won't fork out for an additional printer for this kind of thing).

It's not a printer that's only used at home and very occasionally - therefore it needs to be reliable.

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OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

I've already bought the printer - so I'm stuck with it.

The 3000 etc I figured were just a bit too pricey, though I guess they are probably excellent.

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OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Qi Image Ultimate?

Never heard of it - what is this - sounds interesting.

Re: old Canon (thermal) vs new Epson (piezo).

I didn't realise this difference - does the difference between thermal and piezo have a huge bearing on whether it's likely to clog or not?
And - if this is an airlock (probably due to the botched attempt to set up the CISS) - how generally do you fix this?

Seriously - all the other nozzles seem to print perfectly well now - arguably better than when I first got it esp black - but the few orange nozzles that don't work are a real irritation.

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Hugowolf Forum Pro • Posts: 12,676
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

subharmonic wrote:

Qi Image Ultimate?

Never heard of it - what is this - sounds interesting.

It is an inexpensive printing program that produces excellent prints but has a terrible user interface. The most recent version has a utility that produces near single ink prints allowing less ink waste when trying to clear single ink clogs.

Re: old Canon (thermal) vs new Epson (piezo).

I didn't realise this difference - does the difference between thermal and piezo have a huge bearing on whether it's likely to clog or not?
And - if this is an airlock (probably due to the botched attempt to set up the CISS) - how generally do you fix this?

Actually thermal heads are more likely to clog, but because of this they are made with redundent nozzles (when one goes another can be used instead), and the higher priced models have user replaceable heads.

Brian A

OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Ok - I've acquired, and tried Qimage - and though it does some really interesting stuff, it hasn't sorted out the problem.

Maybe I need another approach - Assuming it's an airlock, as opposed to a clog, what can I do?

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Serhat Abaci Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

force ink with a syringe and a little bit of silicone tubing directly into the airlocked channel its called waterfalling look for various utube vids for reference

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websnail Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Serhat Abaci wrote:

force ink with a syringe and a little bit of silicone tubing directly into the airlocked channel its called waterfalling look for various utube vids for reference

Before you go that route, I'd try a few other less "active" measures first.

1. Make sure that air is not the problem with the cartridges by re-priming the refillable cartridge(s). If there's any air in the space that feeds the outlet nozzle then you're just going to keep aggravating the issue with foam.

Chances are you have self-priming cartridges as you're dealing with an R2000 and the cartridge designs are mostly of that type but worth checking.

2. Do a passive head clean using a suitable printhead cleaning solution... I detailed it recently on printerknowledge so check the post here

2b. Once you've done an overnight soak then I'd consider the active flushing process suggested BUT, do NOT use anything you'd call "pressure". Gentle, slightly more than featherlight touches to the syringe are all you should need to do. If you're having to press the fluid in, you'll run the risk of de-laminating (a quaint word for exploding) the printhead so be careful.

3. Make sure you allow the printhead to rest for a few hours and then print a nozzle check, some target colour sheets and make use of minimal head cleans...

Tip: Multiple head cleans usually cause more problems when used in anger (ie: one after another, after another, etc...) so if you're not winning walk away for an hour. Sometimes problems can resolve themselves when left to settle out.

Beyond that, I wrote an article on CIS usage and pigment ink that might be useful if you ever return to CIS usage... Unfortunately the R2000 is one where I remember chip compatibility was "fun" but it may be worth contacting InkRepublic to get the full skinny on any issues.

Hope that helps.

Martin

OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Ok - so blockage has been resolved.

I just put in a genuine Epson cart, and the blockage has gone - just from doing a few prints.

Weird.

I wonder, if I revert back to the compatible now, if it will work?

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jtoolman
jtoolman Veteran Member • Posts: 6,815
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

subharmonic wrote:

Ok - so blockage has been resolved.

I just put in a genuine Epson cart, and the blockage has gone - just from doing a few prints.

Weird.

I wonder, if I revert back to the compatible now, if it will work?

It wasn't really a true block but more like a case of bad ink flow. You replaced the orange (?) with a OEM cart and suddenly all is fine? That points to bad ink flow, a need for priming the cart or damper and several other problems but not really a clog.

Joe

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Serhat Abaci Regular Member • Posts: 269
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

exactly what I was thinking

I never was able to really clog an DX5 Golden Head based Printer (R1900,R2000,R2880) these work like a beast and even beeing cannibalized for Industrial Wideformat Priniting with Solvent based inks.

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OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Does this suggest then there might be an issue re: the compatible ink cart I have?

I haven't had time to change it yet - but I guess, if I did change back, and had problems, reverting back to the Epson cart would probably resolve the issue again...

Maybe worth a try...

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jtoolman
jtoolman Veteran Member • Posts: 6,815
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

subharmonic wrote:

Does this suggest then there might be an issue re: the compatible ink cart I have?

Please cover your ears.... ABSOLUTELY!!!!

I have since gone back to nothing but OEM for my R2000 as well.

I am using supposedly self priming refillable carts and besides the funky battery / short out the terminal resetting, they also tend to fail without warning in the ink flow. I've tested many types of Refillables for this printer incase anyone is asking. Besides the fact that NO other inks have the gloss level and the fact that cheap sets of OEM carts can still be obtained on EBAY, it's a no brainer for me.

I haven't had time to change it yet - but I guess, if I did change back, and had problems, reverting back to the Epson cart would probably resolve the issue again...

Maybe worth a try...

Reprime and refill ALL the carts and give it a try. Nothing to loose but some time. Switching back to OEM carts pretty much always solves any problems. Mechanically speaking nothing comes close to them.

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OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Well - a few months down the line, and low and behold, the gaps in the orange head are still there in tests.

Initially, with brand new OEM cart, the problem resolved, but within a few days, the same issue reappeared.

I've ordered a new set of Epson inks, and will be trying this again - but I'm at a loss.

I've also noticed the issue re: light prints at the first 10mm of any prints (if printing full A4 or larger sheets) - this is really annoying.

I'm thinking this head might be duff, and I'm thinking I might just send it back to Epson as it's still in warranty...

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 27,683
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Now you know why I have been recommending the Epson inks (OEM) for a long time - no clogs! This being the internet, everyone has an opinion. And that's fine. I would suggest, however, that one should always look carefully at the source of the opinion.

I have had six Epson printers over a 10 year period and have yet to experience a seriously clogged nozzle. This would include many hundreds of prints from 8.5 x 11 to 2' x 3'. I print 100% of my work - that is, no outside printing.

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OP subharmonic Junior Member • Posts: 34
Re: Epson R2000 - Nightmares and Persistent Clogs

Fair dues Steve - everyone has their own opinion.

For me though, I'll rattle through several hundred prints in a year, and so the price of ink is very key. Buying sets of OEM ink is fine and dandy - but it's tough to get a steady source of low cost oem ink. That's the main reason I went down the compatibles route. Plenty people seem to not have any problem.

I'm starting to think that maybe it's just a dodgy print head - the fact that it has this light patch on all prints at the first 10mm of the page suggests something over and above a few blocked nozzles is at play also.

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