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  • Roland SP300V Black Head Issue

    Posted by Robert Neill on August 24, 2021 at 9:05 pm

    Sorry guys, me again.

    Looking to see if someone can advise as to whats going on with my black head. When i bought the machine (second hand) the black head test prints always looked all over the place. So at the start of this year i bought a brand new head, which was fine. But the black is away as bad as ever. It only seems to be the black. Attached is what it looks like now. On the right is what the test print just came out like, and the proceding two are what its like now after doing head cleans…. its as if the black doesnt do the self clean periodically like the others.Every time i boot it up i have to go through the whole head clean thing to get the black back, and even then its not great. I have recently replaced the cap toes aswell, incase that was the issue.

    I do use non genuine inks

    Regards

    John Thomson replied 8 months, 1 week ago 6 Members · 48 Replies
  • 48 Replies
  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 24, 2021 at 9:09 pm

    Also i noticed that when i do the powerful head cleans that my ink levels fair drop, but the black doesnt really drop…

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 24, 2021 at 10:14 pm

    Or is there any engineers in Glasgow that would come and have a look, there is clearly something wrong somewhere when this was a brand new head not so long ago 😞

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:11 am

    A few blocked nozzles there by the looks of it Robert, has it been stood idle for any length of time? What aftermarket ink do you have in it? If the head is fairly new & not faulty, has new caps & dampers, I would be looking at the pipes for congealed ink, specifically the drain pipe from the cap which I always replaced with tigon tubing. Thats where I found solidified ink which prevents the pump from doing it’s job properly. Had my SP300 for 20 years & seen that test print a thousand times on my old versacamms. Powerful cleans will rinse your ink so if the black ink level isn’t dropping, its likely not going through the cap into the waste bottle. An overnight head soak with the cap pipe clamped off would be the first thing I’d try, power cable out to prevent it trying to do the periodic cleans when you’re not there. Aftermarket ink will normally get the blame from most engineers but I reckon that head could come back ok. A small test print every day generally keeps the ink flowing in the pipes & avoids these problems, damage usually occurs when the more aggressive solvents sit in the machine not moving.

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:22 am

    Hi Kevin…. it has not been sat idle at all for maybe more than a day or 2 at a time. As after replacing the head I am scared to leave it, so I make sure I print something at least every day or 2. Also see when you say a blocked pipe, do you mean the one coming off the cap toe ?

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 25, 2021 at 10:31 am

      Yes mate, I always replaced the stiff black tube for tigon, that’s where the issue was 95% of the time. The pump creates a vacuum in the ink lines so as the versacamm shares cyan & black on the head, if the black line is blocked, it just powers out the cyan even stronger & rarely solves the problem. It looks like the deflecting nozzles are potentially congealed ink in the head, an engineer would probably say it needs a new head but he isn’t spending his own money

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:39 am

    Ah OK thanks Kevin.

    Yeah last night I took the cap toe out and removed the clear tube from it and made sure that was clear. But there is then the one black tube going into the pump and one coming out and into the drain bottle. So should I replace both black tubes ?

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 25, 2021 at 10:48 am

      I would check those for blockages as well, the one from the pump to the waste doesn’t have much pressure so won’t be clearing properly & could be the source of the problem. It was definitely a problem on my pro 3

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:59 am

    Ok no worries, thank you Kevin. Just need to source some tubing now lol

    Will update how it goes

    Robert

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 11:12 am

    Sorry Kevin… one other thing, can I isolate the power head clean to only the black ?

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 25, 2021 at 12:26 pm

      Afraid not, if you’re conscious of your ink disappearing into the wast tank, clamp off the yellow/magenta cap pipes but cyan & black are on the same cap so you’ll lose the cyan ink on the power clean. If the cap pipes are already tigon, Josero can sell you enough to do the rest

      • This reply was modified 8 months, 4 weeks ago by  Kevin Mahoney.
  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    Cool thanks Kevin 👍

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Well done a head soak for many hours today, checked all the pipes, just put it back together there, ran 2 meduim cleans and pic on right is the result. Done a 3rd medium clean and pic on the left is the result….. black dropping out again…. so so frustrating.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:04 pm

    What ink are you running Robert? Have you spoke to your suppler?

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:30 pm

    I believe they are called Lotus

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:36 pm

    Do you think the inks could be the problem, as I know someone who uses them and has no problem with them, plus why only the black again…. thats what I am not getting, and the fact that when I got the printer the black head was the same, yet I don’t know what inks were being used in it previously

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:46 pm

    Well the right picture indicates that most nozzles are firing & not much deflection is present so the head itself looks in good order. Did you change the manifold on the head? Were the dampers changed? Is the cap seating properly? Not familiar with lotus ink so won’t make any judgement on the ink. I ran Nazdar in my Rolands & had very few issues, & all wet parts were warranted so some support was there to fix any problems I had. If you still can’t solve, I’d call Andy Malcolm from ADM services. The bloke is as straight as an arrow & knows Rolands like the back of his hand, he may even sort over the phone if you send him some photos

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    The manifold was new, I have not changed any dampers. I have noticed that when in the home position that the magenta and yellow head sits spot on with the cap toe, yet the black and cyan head sits slightly to the right, so more to the cyan side, but i don’t know how to correct that, as if I do then I knock out the magenta and yellow position.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    August 25, 2021 at 11:42 pm

    Did you fit the head yourself or get an engineer in?

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 6:06 am

    I fitted it myself Kevin.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 26, 2021 at 7:58 am

      Not doubting your ability but you’re braver than me mate, every head change I had done was done by Andy Malcolm, if it didn’t work, it was his problem. I would guess that if the head doesn’t align to the cap it isn’t seating properly & not creating a perfect seal for the pump to pull ink through the lines properly. It would also indicate that air is getting in so possibly drying the head out. Also, not wishing to kick you in the nuts but that ink you’re buying? An absolutely massive saving on genuine ink & I would argue, too big. A genuine Roland 440 ink cartridge runs at about £80. Lotus ink is £20 a litre, you know they’re unlikely to be the same quality. I went through three different brands of ink after moving away from the Roland cartridges & had issues with most of them. The first one wouldn’t print magenta, the second worked ok but needed the machine to run a hundred million passes to get any sort of quality so a false economy. The last was Nazdar & that worked really well but was more than double the cost of Lotus ink that you’re buying. I’m no engineer by any stretch but given the cost of printheads & competent engineers to fit them, I advise using quality inks & media, running the machine regularly & be very disciplined with your cleaning & maintenance schedule.

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Hi Kevin…. spoke to Andy this morning, seems a really nice guy. So he went through some possibilities etc… dampers being one of them. He reckons by the look of the images that the head is shot again. He also offered to come up and have a look. Just trying to work out financially if I can do that, as I am just a wee one man band here lol

    And yeah the inks, I dont know a great deal about ink, just that I know someone who uses them and has no issues at all.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 26, 2021 at 9:56 am

      Maybe you’ve just been unlucky but Roland ink works out at roughly £180 per litre based on a 440ml cartridge, Nazdar was about £80 per litre in refillable cartridges so a pretty decent saving there, but £20 a litre is just asking for trouble down the road in a precision instrument like these printers. Almost like buying a Ferrari & then buying the oil on special offer from the centre aisle in Lidl

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 10:05 am

    Yeah I guess that makes sense, I am a Newby to printing, so I just go with what I hear works and is decent a.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 26, 2021 at 10:25 am

      Sorry to break this to you mate, this is unlikely to be the last time you will be haemorrhaging hard earned cash on a printer. We’ve all been there, build a bit in for wear & tear on any future jobs & it won’t hurt so much next time. At the very least you’ll have a decent chunk to put down on your next machine

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 10:35 am

    Yeah thats not a bad idea Kevin lol…. Good shout man.

    Oh I don’t know, doing my box in… i am just afraid to pay for Andy to come out and say I need a new head right enough, and then I am another x amount 😞

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 11:08 am

    What would you do Kevin…? Keep at it yourself or get someone out ?

  • David Stevenson

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 11:32 am

    I know lots of people have had successful results with 3rd party inks but after replacing thousands of pounds worth of heads over several years for no apparent reason (head strikes, lack of cleaning, etc) the only common factor we could tie it to was the inks. Our XR640 ran for years on genuine inks yet 6 months after changing ink to “save” money we had to replace the heads. Switched back to genuine and all is working perfect. That was Nazdar inks we’d been using who are very well known in the business.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    August 26, 2021 at 12:15 pm

    Personally, if you’re determined to stick with the printer I’d call him out if you can get him. Yes, it will cost you a few quid but if your printer is up on blocks then its costing you money now whether you call him or not. If the printer isn’t usable you’re better off putting a coke machine in it’s place, at least it will be earning. I would bite the bullet & get back to doing the job that pays you well, don’t waste valuable production time trying to be an engineer as well as a sign maker. But this may well be a time to upgrade it so it could be worth more as a trade in repaired or not, Andy will be honest.

    A used working Versacamm today is worth around a grand. A new head around £600 & roughly £300 to fit it. Its an old machine now though so maybe past it’s best & is in danger of becoming a money pit. If that machine has paid for itself, (& I’d bet the farm that it has) I would honestly be looking at newer & faster. I’ve only just offloaded my original SP30 after 20 years use & very few problems, but it should have gone years ago but for my pigheadedness. They just sat there unused. I loved my Versacamms, had 3 of them & they are great entry level printers. Stack them up against a modern production printer & it will take your breath away & there are some good finance packages out there that although scary to be tied into finance, your business will be leaner & more productive than it was nursing along old kit.

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 28, 2021 at 10:57 am

    Hi Kevin…. I dont think I would get a finance package, as in I don’t think they would let me, my premises is a garage shed at the back of my house lol

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    August 28, 2021 at 11:28 am

    That means nothing at all mate, a business is a business even if it operates from a hole in the ground

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    August 28, 2021 at 11:43 am

    Yeah but do these companies that lease printers etc not come out to inspect your premises to make sure it’s suitable and at certain temp and all that jazz ? I thought they did , maybe I am wrong.

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      August 28, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      No mate, they don’t care where you put them, they just want the monthly payment.

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Hi Kevin…. so in the interim I have replaced the hoses to the pump and tank using the hose from Jessops that you mentioned. I am still waiting on the dampers, which are due tomorrow. But this is the result I have just now… black heads seem to have come back although still all over the place. Is there anything can be done with that ?

    Regards

    Robert

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 9:51 pm

    Big improvement mate, are you running it now?

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    September 2, 2021 at 9:53 pm

    Not right at this second, but ran some stuff earlier. So what do you think about the black. Will that get any better, or is it gubbed ?

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    September 3, 2021 at 6:52 am

    Hard to say at this point but you’ve got it this far so not out of the question

  • Robert Lambie

    Administrator
    September 3, 2021 at 10:46 am

    we all want perfection, but surely that’s running perfectly good prints at that?

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    September 3, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Hi Robert…. it is OK, but not perfect, still got some slight banding. Maybe it’s just me, expecting to much from an old machine

  • Jamie Wood

    Member
    September 3, 2021 at 2:22 pm

    We tried several different brands of 3rd party inks when we had our Mimakis. Without exception, they were all crap, with multiple issues. As soon as we swapped back to OEM ink, the problems disappeared. My advice would be to use OEM ink, and adjust your prices accordingly.

  • Kevin Mahoney

    Member
    September 6, 2021 at 8:42 am

    At this point Robert, the printer works. An engineer will cost you around £350 + vat for the day & he will probably tell you your ink is the culprit. Before the engineer visit, why not stump up £300ish & get a new set of genuine ink cartridges just to eliminate the ink?

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    September 6, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Hi Kevin…. yeah that is prob a good shout. I take it I would have to flush the other ink completely out of the printer in some sort of way yeah ?

    Regards

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    September 6, 2021 at 8:59 am

    Also…. any recommendations of where to buy from ?

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      September 6, 2021 at 11:10 am

      yeah, you’ll need to do a full flush to rule out the old ink from the root of the problem, Josero sell genuine Roland cartridges

  • Robert Neill

    Member
    September 10, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    Hi Guys…. just a wee update if anyone is interested…. the attached image is where my print test is now after changing hoses, manifold and several nights head soaks. Far better than what it was from the original test print 😀, thanks for all your help.

    Regards

    • Kevin Mahoney

      Member
      September 10, 2021 at 4:56 pm

      That’ll be £650 pounds please

      • Robert Neill

        Member
        September 10, 2021 at 5:04 pm

        Bargain…. i was almost purchasing another new head lol. Just need to get shot of the slight banding now… i am such a perfectionist, so its killing me 😩

        Thanks Kevin

        Regards

        • Kevin Mahoney

          Member
          September 11, 2021 at 5:42 am

          Pleasure mate, I’m prescribing a bitter pill, 4 Roland cartridges & a small increase on your prices should sort you out

  • John Thomson

    Member
    September 11, 2021 at 10:24 am

    Looking much better now.

    Banding is now probably down to head alignment.

    John