Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Continuing Saga of the Epson Stylus 2200

For the last 3 or 4 years, I have been producing my own high quality reproductions of my original work using an Epson Stylus 2200 printer. It produces good, sharp images, and the media and ink cartridges are reasonably priced. It has been fun to create prints as they are needed, and over time I have learned which images are most likely to sell, and which ones are more likely to stick around for a while.
Last September, one particular print came out of the machine showing some unusual marks, sort of like a faint bar code, showing each of the 7 colors, at random places within the print area, but not the result of ink on the rollers, and not responding to repeated print head cleanings.
The repair center that had replaced the print head in the past wasn't familiar with the problem, but didn't encourage repairing the machine again, since it's now obsolete. I checked out the newer models, but none seemed to have the familiar, simpler features I'd grown accustomed to.
So, I took my printing business to Blueraven Creative, and was very satisfied with the results of the work. However, I still missed producing my own prints, and the flexibility of creating prints whenever I wanted, as few or as many as I wanted.
I contacted the repair center again, and the technician suggested it may be a software issue. I uninstalled the program, and eliminated all traces of the printer from the registry. Then I downloaded the driver from the Epson website onto another computer first, and ran a test sheet. It came out clean, without the strange line pattern. Encouraged, I downloaded the software on my computer, and the test sheet again came out clean. I ran 2 prints successfully, and on the third try, the lines reappeared. This was frustrating, to say the least.
Though the machine is long out of warranty, I felt that I had nothing to lose to contact Epson support online. I described the problem, and their solution was to try realigning the print head, something I hadn't thought of. It took some time, paper, and a magnifying glass, but the realignment happened, and I ran several prints successfully. No strange lines.
This takes us to the present day. I hope this saga does not continue. . .

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