Monday, March 10, 2014

I may not be crowing tomorrow, but . . .

My trusty Canon MP640 is a real workhorse.  For a little and fairly inexpensive printer, it does a lot a things.  It is a little slow, but it prints on two sides - without having to remove the finished prints and flipping them.  Imagine my consternation when I got my Epson and found out that "prints on two sides" meant that instructions for how to flip the paper popped up when you were done with the first side!

My mighty Canon can be filled with 25 lb. paper, the printing for 30 of my two sided flyers for the Walkerton Dairy Herd Association  (see more here) or my skin care products (more about that here) programmed, and then I really don't care how slow it is, because I can shower, or make a batch of soap, or load the dishwasher while it is doing its thing - it prints two sides without any further input from the operator.  It even senses when you have new ink cartridges and it lets the ink dry a little longer before it does the second side.  Good machine!

Today my color was off -- I use a lot of brown in my printed material, and it was lavender/pink instead of brown -- and even though it hadn't said to clean the print heads, I did it anyway; but the yellow just didn't work.   Then I got a printer error message.  I have already changed the print head once.  They are expensive!  I went out to the internet to see if I could find a good cleaning kit so I could save $75.  One site said to remove the print head and reinstall and sometimes that would clear it.  I did.  Oops!  Now it wouldn't print at all!!  Perfectly blank paper, even after it made all the sounds of printing.  I reinstalled it three times, figured I had damaged something and would have to buy a new one.

I found another site that showed you how to clean the head by putting it under warm running water.  Say what?  Would that really work?  Well, what did I have to lose?  I rinsed it until the water ran clear, dried the contacts thoroughly, reinstalled it, and voila! it printed again.  Yellow still wasn't good, so I ran a cleaning cycle, and all is well!!  Who'd of thunk it?  $75 for a print head, $8 plus shipping for a cleaning kit, and this cost me a couple of paper towels.  :)

Go to this site (video on how to clean a Canon print head) to see it done if you have a Canon with a sticky print head.

I can only hope it is still printing tomorrow morning.  Soon I'll be printing greenhouse labels, can't do without it.

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