7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short story
AuthorTopic: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short story Read 497 Times
Gold MemberPosts: 737Epson Printerson: October 14, 2020 at 2:04 pm
Maybe someone will find this useful, or at least amusing.
I recently became the proud, if somewhat poorer, owner of an Epson SC-P7500 (7570 in the US, I think). I don’t print every day, or even every week, so of course I started to worry about blocked nozzles. I derived some reassurance from living in Manchester, which is, to put it mildly, generally neither hot nor dry, but I’d read sufficient horror stories still to be concerned. So I wanted to set up my iMac (which is always on) to print something from time to time, unattended. I bought a roll of plain paper, which was very cheap.
It seemed to me that a nozzle check pattern would be a good thing to print. It uses all the nozzles, including both PK and MK lines, with very little ink and not much paper wastage. I set up a Keyboard Maestro macro that opened System preferences’ Printers and Scanners tab, clicked on the printer in the list, clicked on “Utility” and “Print test page”, then “OK” and “close window”. It worked very nicely (it’s quite fun to watch, the whole thing taking less than a second) and KM allows me to set it to run automatically at a particular time on selected days of the week.
Unfortunately, it didn’t work when the screen was locked, requiring a password. I have lots of client-confidential stuff stored on the Mac, so it has to be password-protected, particularly when I’m away (the Information Commissioner can fine me £5k for each data breach if anything is hacked, which could work out a bit on the pricey side for thousands of pieces of information). A solution which only worked when I was at my Mac wasn’t really much help.
I asked around the KM help forums. There’s no way for KM to be able to unlock the Mac, as UI control is disabled at the login screen. It can, however, print a file even if the screen is locked, and someone showed me how. So I could print an image, but it used a lot of paper and a lot of ink and only one of the PK/MK channels.
It occurred to me that the System preferences panel probably sent a single command saying “print a test page”. Given the idea by someone on the Epson Large Format Google group (a very helpful bunch, as are the KM people), I dug around in the spool folder on the Mac just after I’d printed a test page, and sure enough there was a small text file, whose contents were
This looked very promising. I copied it to my desktop and set up the KM macro to execute a shell script:
lpr -P Photo_24_ /Users/jbr/Desktop/printTestPage.txt
and it works just fine. Out comes a nozzle check, set to happen four times a week.
Is it necessary? I don’t know what it does for the printer, but it’s worked wonders for my neuroticism; and the journey has demonstrated to me, yet again, what a wonderful resource help forums can be and how much, perversely, I enjoy playing with stuff like this when I should be doing something useful.
Of course, I have to remember to load the plain paper roll before I go away. If only I could automate that.
PS: me and my toy.
Gold MemberPosts: 281Re: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short storyReply #1 on: October 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm
If there was a big ‘Like’ button for your post Jeremy, I would click it. Paranoia is the grandad of invention.
Mark D Segal
Silver MemberPosts: 654Re: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short storyReply #2 on: October 14, 2020 at 2:58 pm
Sounds ingenious – but for one detail: printing nozzle checks will be only partially helpful if the printer is sitting in conditions prone to clogging. It would be better if you could get it to print a full page using all the inks – a pattern or printer test image of some kind would do. Nozzle checks push through extremely little and don’t keep the works exercised.
Mark D Segal Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8, SilverFast HDR, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop". Please check the PhotoPXL Store for availability.
Silver MemberPosts: 1037Re: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short storyReply #3 on: October 14, 2020 at 5:31 pm
Well, aren’t you getting to be a techy. Nice job. You enjoy digging around for the solutions. I just execute the test pattern from the printer control panel [prior to each print run. The P800, P700 seem to never have issues. My 9900 has some issues every now and then but nothing that can’t be fixed by a nozzle clean run or two.
Also, nice photo. When do we get to see one with your Sony a7r iv?
CEO & Publisher of PhotoPXL.com and Rockhopperworkshops.com
Gold MemberPosts: 737Re: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short storyReply #4 on: October 15, 2020 at 2:00 pm
Mark, I don’t think I’m at high risk of clogs. Manchester is chilly, certainly at the moment, and almost never dry, and I don’t overdo the central heating. I take your point about minimal ink usage – that’s what attracted me to the thought of using a nozzle check. It would be easy enough for me to set up another macro to print an image every now and again.
Kevin, I’ve always enjoyed the debugging phase of writing software. Some call that perverse. A7Riv? probably next year. I’m not going anywhere interesting until your Faros workshop, so there’s no rush. The new Nikon Z7ii (if I have that right) looks at least moderately interesting, doesn’t it?
ParticipantPosts: 3Re: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short storyReply #5 on: November 3, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Excellent, also a new owner of a P7570. Will look for a similar solution on a Windows 10 platform.
ParticipantPosts: 13Re: 7500 and avoiding nozzle clogs: a short storyReply #6 on: November 13, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Shaun, Harvey Head Cleaner is a program for Epson printers, (Windows Only).
I used to use it when I was printing with a 4800 Epson. Still have the SW, but have not been using it. The Website says for Epson and Ricoh printers.
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