View Full Version : More on the Epson Stylus C82

Formula Jr
04-12-2006, 12:53 AM
I took this non-working, out of warranty printer completely apart today.

What I found still has me shaking my head. There is fore thought here that I have never seen before in a design.
In the twenty-five years that I have been repairing my own printers and computer stuff, and also being involved with the design and building of
electronic equipment, this is completely new. I am glad the damn thing quit working. It is much more crazy than I ever imagined.

I don't want to bore you with most of the technical details of why this stopped working. But here is an overview of the postmortem. As anticipated, the little clearing tube that pulled away waste ink from its cleaning cycle had popped off and so it could not clean its print head properly. Why it popped off is the crazy part, the insane part.
This was designed to clean its print head by pushing the black ink under pressure through the head and into a waste tray. From the waste tray, the ink is pressure forced through a complex run of tubing. If it can't drain, pressure builds up and the drain tube pops apart. In the base of this printer is a tub formed by the shape of the base. That is where all this waste cleaning ink was being directed to, a little like building a toxic waste tank under the foundation of a house and not telling anyone about it. The ink was being directed to this tub, deep in the base of the printer that no one can empty with out taking the print engine out of the case. This tub is lined with a felt like material that would act as a wick to keep the ink from sloshing around. Epson must have thought a great deal about this and made the waste ink holding tank big enough to hold waste ink for a couple years of use. The three year old one I worked on was nearly full. It was even designed to fill up in a particular way with over flow channels. The last overflow channel looked like it would dump ink directly out of the base and all over what ever footing someone had it on. Fortunately, with infrequent use, the ink pooled and hardened and jammed the drain tube, causing the heads to clog since the waste drain tray was not being emptied, and the ink in the tray would also dry and gum the print head up. This printer was on a floor, over white carpet in an apartment.
What I can't understand, is how you could get a team of people to agree that this was an okay way to design a printer. This, in my opinion, isn't ignorance. They put all these baffles in it and timed overflow places and lined the holding tanks with wicks so it would not leak if you picked it up, but would eventually spill ink all over the place when the last channels were filled, long after the warranty was up. Those last channels don't even have the protective wicking material. So it would dump ink, about a cup's worth, everywhere and all over the interior gears when you turned it over to get the case apart to try and fix it. I've never seen anything like this before in consumer electronics.