Epson 3800 printer issue/question

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by ray ., Jun 29, 2019.

  1. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    First, that Preview printed without the issue you report points to an issue in Photoshop or how you're setting it (although it looks OK)....
    IF you wish to see if Photo Black is 'getting though' you do a nozzle check but you said you did. But what I see from your first post really still appears like not all inks are firing. But that's an assumption.
    I don't see how you can print without the Epson driver so how can it be uninstalled?
    The Epson driver isn't IN applications. It's installed such you can go into Printer and Fax and load it there.
  2. I printed your Printer Test in color with Preview and with Photoshop and they're pretty much identical. Following is a close facsimile of
    the photoshop print. The paper is slightly yellow so I'm not sure if it's old or a different batch of paper. I printed the Preview print in the middle of a whiter paper and it looks the same- just slightly better. Both are pretty close to the Test as it shows on screen but not as saturated and slightly less contrasty- so slightly faded. Noticeable is the section of the woman's hair at top left that didn't print dark.

    The ink leak along the edge of the paper here has happened at times before since I've had the printer new but this seems more than normal. It's not on the print that's centered on the other paper so I don't know if this is an issue with printing small close to an edge.

    - Also cyan and magenta lights are flashing and both of those inks are very low, so I don't know if that affects the results here.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
  3. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    That printer is NOT producing output correctly AND look at the black ink on the side. You've got a bad valve or something mechanical that needs to be fixed. Get it serviced, attempt a ink switch valve replacement yourself if you feel you can do so (I can supply some URLs) or replace it.
  4. I could take a look but I'm not too mechanically inclined if it gets past a certain point.

    The printer is over 10 years old, so if the cost is even $200 to repair it I may as well scrap it or sell on craigslist for a nominal price and pick up a P600 or 800.

    The ink leak has occasionally happened to a lesser degree for most of the time I've had the printer and hasn't really been much of a problem, at least up to now.
  5. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    If it's the ink switching value, the part alone costs about $25. Then you have to do all the work and there's no guarantee that will fix the issue but it's likely it will based on what I see. My 3880 is running strong after 9 years. But yeah, I'd probably consider replacing it with a P800 considering you'll get all new ink cart's after you told us you need to replace two already. But there's no need to keep testing; your printer is broken.
  6. Just checking here:
    Looks like something I don't want to get into. Apparently the switching valve can be found on ebay, but otherwise Epson only sells the entire $160 assembly.

    Seems to be a common issue and supposedly regular maintenance issue with these printers. Are the new Epsons built the same way? Ink for the P600 seems more expensive in smaller quantities than the 800, but I don't need the larger print size and don't do a massive amount of printing. Canon cameras are known for being very reliable- no idea re their printers.
  7. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I wouldn’t say it’s a common problem when you consider the tens of thousands of Epson printers in use every day. It is a part that is known to fail and hence we see reports on the web. The valve itself costs only about $25. But you may need to replace the entire assembly which costs as you report $160. Since you tell us you are not mechanically inclined, I think your best bet would be to replace the printer with a new one.
  8. Almost makes me want to go back to the darkroom. If not for exposure to chemicals, I would.

    Photonet seems to have virtually evaporated. 10 years ago there would have been at least a half dozen people in on this discussion. I had the same experience a couple weeks ago with one person helping me through with a couple of pages of posts on Hasselblad questions.

    Thanks for your help.
  9. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    You never had an enlarger break or go out of alignment? ;)
  10. - Not the Leitz Focomat V35 I've had sitting in the garage for years. It's rock solid. I hang onto it for the 10% chance I'll ever use it again.

    Also, if you get it exactly right, a nice silver print can be more beautiful than inkjet. It's just that it takes 10 to 100 times the time and effort.
  11. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Let's not go there..... ;)
  12. Can you post nozzle check results? If nozzle check shows all 8 channels OK, it's ether bad ink or color profile mismatch( driver's error :) ).
  13. I can try to post it tomorrow. It looked pretty consistent. Just fairly light color tones on plain paper. I don't know if that's how it's supposed to look.
  14. Someone who wants to buy the 3800 says they want to convert it into a T-shirt printer. Is that possible? Would it use different inks then?
  15. I've had that problem a few times with my Epson R2400. It was curved paper rubbing on the print head. The paper didn't have to be curved very much to get smudged. Ensuring the paper was dead flat fixed the problem.
  16. The black junk along the right edge of your sample print looks like head strikes and does not resemble the classic failing black ink switching valve dripping spots onto the print. Agree that some nozzles may be clogged. Find some flat paper to test on. Cheap photo glossy 8.5x11" from an office supply store is fine.
    digitaldog likes this.
  17. No one has yet mentioned head cleaning which is what your printer probably needs. Been there, done that - especially after long periods of non-use. Running your ink tanks to the bottom can also cause issues and have had this happen on my Epson Stylus Photo R2000. Its worth a try. Constantly running nozzle cleanings only runs your tanks down and can muck up things even worse.

    I've used Printhead Hospital products with excellent results. There's a lot of wait time so be patient. You'll also have to run several prints thru after the cleaning.

    Step-by-step videos are also offered on YouTube.

    Hope this helps.

    - Jeff
  18. Hi Jeff,

    The description on the Printhead Hospital kit on Amazon says it’s not compatible with Stylus Pro printers.
    I emailed the Printhead Hospital to confirm.
  19. So yeah, Print Hospital confirms the solution isn’t effective on the kind of ink the Stylus Pro printers use.

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