Weird Epson SX430 printer behaviour

  Diemmess 20:53 22 Apr 2013

Have had this printer for nearly a year and used it very seldom preferring a Laser for everyday use.

This afternoon needing to print a colour chart for a club AGM found regular gaps in the black parts of the print. Parts of Apr-13 and other dates similarly printed as white against a pale grey background so Apr-13 printed as Ap 3.

I used lots of paper and patience including a test page with 4 narrow ellipses each primary and black. The figures moved down a portrait page.

In this test black printed properly for 3mm then absent for 5mm and so on right down the page the colours were loud and clear as expected.

The errors seem to occur when I reduced the quality and disappeared when selecting 'photo' and 'best photo', but 'image' and 'image with text' brought the problem back again.

I realise I had never bothered much and only used 'Photo' since I had this printer. (Epson offer 5 grades - Draft, Text, Text&Image, Photo, and Best Photo).

The three lower grades are useless, yet it prints fine in the two top grades. I would love to know if there is a cure, or if anyone else has the same problem.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:04 22 Apr 2013

Have had this printer for nearly a year and used it very seldom

Print nozzles tend to block if not used regularly.

To be honest after buying one of these series printer I don't think I'll ever bother with an Epson again.

  Diemmess 21:34 22 Apr 2013

I echo your last statement.

I will of course try head cleaning though I doubt if that is the reason. Windows test page has a perfect MS flag but once printing the text prints 4 lines and then misses 4 altogether. early on it will lose part of a top or bottom line.

Printing from that Corel test-piece I made shows perfect black followed by total failure to print any black for the next few millimetres.

Dreams....... Has the gap in quality improved so as to compete - Colour Laser with an Inkjet?

  Woolwell 21:46 22 Apr 2013

Nozzle cleaning may well make a difference but you may have to do it more than once. Inkjets like being used frequently. I have had Epson's for years and have never had real problems with them. I'm currently running a SX535WD. Are you using compatible inks?

  alanrwood 09:00 23 Apr 2013

Whenyou select Photo quality the printer uses "Process Black" which is a mixture of the colours which is why you get it printing black on photo quality. In lower resolutions the black cartridge is used for black printing. The fact that you say you have been using it on Photo for the last year is probably the explanation why the black jets are blocked as they have not been used. Clean the black jets several times and it will probably sort it out however after a year it might need physical cleaning using a jet cleaning kit.

  woodchip 10:18 23 Apr 2013

You should try first after Jet Cleaning, go to printer folder right click printer/properties print test page

  woodchip 10:23 23 Apr 2013

PS after standing for long periods carts dry up so you may need new carts, also Epson as that high Resolution Printing jets are very fine and block easy if not used regular

  Diemmess 17:58 24 Apr 2013

The Head-cleaners win!

It should have been a no-brainer, and in spite of having used a range of printer over the years Ive never seen anything quite so bizarre. The tramlines were absent and great blocks that should have printed varied every few mils from full black to nothing.

I had seen nothing like it and duly went off at a tangent wondering whether it was a driver corruption or print-head failure. About 3 head cleanings were enough but even one cleaning produced some black and gave me encouragement

Thank you all.

  alanrwood 18:23 24 Apr 2013

Glad it is sorted.

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