What Was Wrong with the 7800

You might remember (I sure do) all the problems I had with smudges on the left side of the print (facing the printer) a few weeks ago.  I went through every trick in the book trying to figure out what the problem was – but all to no avail.  A few days ago, I had an idea.  I wasn’t getting any smudges with the 4800, and in fact never did.  So I was wondering what the difference between the two machines could be, after all, the 4800 is at least a year or two older than the 7800.

I had noticed something odd with the 7800 a few weeks ago.  What happened was that the ink displays on the printer (those LCD bars) didn’t match what the Epson Driver software was showing in terms of the amount of ink.  In other words, the Epson Driver might be showing 5% of ink left for a particular color, but the LCD bar on the printer wasn’t flashing.  Really weird.  (No, I don’t remember if I ever upgraded or changed the printer firmware).

But I got to thinking that if it could be wrong about the ink, it might be mixed up about the maintenance tank as well.  And luckily, the 4800 and the 7800 both use the same maintenance tank.  So I took the relatively clean maintenance tank from the 4800 and swapped it with the 7800 tank which had quite a bit of ink around the circle part where ink is dumped.

And so I began doing test prints and almost immediately I noticed a difference, i.e. less smudging on the 7800.  Hmmm… could that have been the problem?  Later in the day, I did another print on the 7800 – now there were only very tiny bits of smudge on the print.  And after a third print – it came out clean.

I’ve been printing most of the day – all with clean prints.  I ordered two new maintenance tanks  which I now have, and sure enough, the 4800 is starting to smudge.

So there you have it – the crazy problem is solved – mostly – and I’m guessing that something is screwed up with the Epson firmware and I’ll install the latest and greatest.  I should do it for the Epson Driver as well so that the Exhibition Paper shows up in the media choices.  I don’t feel like futzing with either one right now until I’ve got all my orders finished, but once that’s done I’ll update everything.

Ever hear of anything so strange.  The printer firmware had always been correct, at least I never noticed it not being in sync with the Epson Printer Status app until a few weeks ago.  Did I change something?  Not that I can think of, and anyhow, nothing I could have done would’ve changed the Epson firmware.

I suppose this falls under the heading of odd anomaly, though maybe all anomalies are odd if you don’t understand them.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

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