View Full Version : Tips and Tricks cleaning Dye Sub "HELP"

AL Ursich
02-18-2008, 10:59 PM
I thought I would pick everyones brain for tried and true methods of cleaning a plugged Epson R1800 Dye Sub Printer.

I went through this a year ago last Christmas and in my panic bid on 3 used R1800 on eBay and ended up winning 2....

I would like to finish this 300 Tag job without changing to a backup printer.

I have been doing print head checks all fall knowing my heat will dry out the heads more in the winter. I have been pleased with no problems through some fun jobs.

In prep for this job I lifted each bag in my bulk system making sure I still had ink since I am going on 1.5 years on this set. I have a backup set ready to go.

I started getting lines in the RED tags after about 70 tags, I have more than 30 more to do. I test printed on a scrap getting the lines I expected.

I ran about 6 cleaning cycles manual and automatic with no luck. I still have ink, I checked and the hoses are showing good.

When I talked to the ink supplier one time he suggested using 409 to wet the sponges as sometimes the ink dries on the outside of the nozzles and that can help.

I am going to pull the hose tanks and using a syringe pump some 409 into each head overnight. I do have extra empty sponge less fill cartridges to put cleaning solution in tomorrow. I have my 2 extra printers stored with cleaning solution.

Your tips and tricks would be greatly appreciated.



This is a 300 tag Fire Dept Accountability Tag order.

I did discovered something to watch out for when unpacking a Unisub pre cut Name Tag like the 5786 1.5 x 3 inch one sided FRP.

When they pack the box they made 2 rows of tags then filled in the sides with some flat tags. The exposed good face of the side pieces rubbing against the 2 rows will have missing coating. You don't see it until you print the whole face and have white scrapes. Next time I will discard the ones with a exposed face hitting the sides.

Edit: Well I pulled the ink and installed refillable cartridges with 409 cleaner.... Tried a few cleaning cycles will let it soak overnight.

Mike Null
02-19-2008, 5:30 AM

I suggest calling Rick Hilton and getting his advice.


AL Ursich
02-19-2008, 9:47 PM
I know Rick, I talked to him after I got the last flier. Looking seriously into that.

Well I killed my R1800..... Put OEM ink back in this morning and ran cleaning cycles. Emptied 2 sets of cartridges good thing they were refillable... Got a great solid printout.

Put the Bulk ink back on and fought it another 4 hours still getting blanks.

Finally tonight I heard a clunk then saw the head in the far right and the 2 LED buttons were flashing alternately. Nothing I can do will get it working. To get my bulk Sublimation Ink out will be UGLY.... With cutting plastic..... Before I do that I will contact Epson in the morning.

24 hours of being plugged..... Will look at the 2 back up printers in the morning. This is SO much fun.....


Kevin from Johnson Plastics had a great suggestion to use a lanyard soaked in windex to clean under the head.

AL Ursich
02-20-2008, 10:36 PM
The backup R1800 had cleaning cartridges installed for over a year and the heads were still open. Had a nice pattern in a few cycles.

Printed the last batch for my order.

Happy Scale....1 :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D 10

Loading the Sublimation Software or selecting the printer drove me nuts... I had the drivers loaded for my 3 R1800's and Sub Lite drivers. Finally ended up deleting all the R1800 drivers and Sublimation Drivers.

Loaded the R1800 driver
Made sure the USB was selected in properties, ports.

Loaded the Sublimation Lite software
Using properties and ports moved the selection from Parallel Port to the same USB that I was using for the R1800.

Done... Works !!! That easy if you do it right.....

Cleaning Cartridges I found on eBay saved the day in my book....

I am looking for a Maintenance / Repair manual for the R1800 if anyone knows of one. Talked to a part place today and ordered a container of "Official Head Cleaner Solution" for about $35.00 shipped. She couldn't find a Repair Manual.

AL Ursich
02-21-2008, 4:45 PM
Was looking on eBay to get some more empty R1800 refill cartridges as I hear a law is in the works to make them a no no.... Then I saw a Service Manual for the R1800 for almost $25.00.... Electronic Transfer..... His claim is that he made the manual? Well it is Electronic GOLD to a Former Sony Service Tech.... 238 pages and so much detail, everything from A to Z..... Just what I was looking for.....

Just might go into the Fix-in Business.....

WOW.... Made my day.....



Edit: Kevin from Johnson Plastics just called and thinks the Waste Ink Counter just tripped and he sent me a link to a utility to reset it.... I believe that is all that is wrong......



:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D A TEN on my Fun Meter...

AL Ursich
03-01-2008, 8:42 PM
I ran into a speed bump today as I was finishing the order. Some of the tags had a defect from scraping in the box and I made the replacements with the backup printer. They came out darker. Must have had a plugged head with green and did not know it. Checked CMYK - RGB and it is set to RGB.

I am reprinting all the green tags so later replacements will match....

I dipped them in Poly and I like the way they came out.

Murphy is Banned from my shop..... Murphy's Law.....


Murphy strikes again.... 1 tag short....

Edit... 3:00 AM.... Finished dipping the tags....

Edit 2: As I wrap this up at 3:30 AM I have a little pride knowing that at 2 AM my local Fire Department went over the boarder into New York State to assist in a house fire. The Fire Dept Accountability Tags I donated to them last year will be used to track who is where at the fire. The batch I am doing tonight are for a neighbor company that uses paper tags. :O)

AL Ursich
03-03-2008, 12:23 AM
Finally DONE..... Deliver and Invoice Tomorrow.... I mean today... 12:30 AM....