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Wednesday, October 06, 2004

So, after printing 80 notecards (color) on Red River stock yesterday, the new #59 black cartridge was used up.  It goes at about 3 times the rate of the other cartridges.  Then something very annoying happened. I changed the cartridge and the dreaded pizza wheels which I hadn't had before - appeared.  HP calls them Star Wheels.  I call them Star Wars.

Now I had had similar problems with the 1280 and MIS inks and eventually removed the pizza wheels.

But I'm not sure that I really want to do this with the HP, especially since a) I don't know how to and b) I'm in the middle of a print job and c) I'm not sure how visible the problem is.  Depends on the lighting.

The pizza wheels are used to eject the paper.  I haven't tried wasting any ink by testing with Prem. Plus type paper since that doesn't matter to me right now.  I tried several things to cure the problem, including trying to apply wax from a candle (not hot) on the wheels and the rollers, and fanning the paper in different directions.  All to no avail.  Why in the world this should suddenly appear after changing a cartridge - I have no idea.  The problem wasn't really bad enough to stop me from printing and I did about 200 cards yesterday - but now that I have a little time - I'm trying to figure out some fix.  I think that I'm going to finish printing the order, and then take a serious crack at removing at least the one offending pizza wheel which is the worst culprit.

Oh - and just for fun - I began to run the Live On-Line chat with an HP tech.  When I clicked on the button it asked if I wanted to trust something from HP and I said yes, and at that point it crashed my PC.  I don't mean a clean reboot, I mean a crash with a blue screen.

And of course I searched all over the forums for info on the star wheels and saw lots and lots of people with the problem with various papers - but I never heard of it just appearing suddenly.

Then, just for fun, I stuck in the #56 black cartridge and you know, there was just a very very subtle difference on the Red River stock as far as color goes.  Considering that this will last three times as long as the #59 cartridge... oh the headaches of the small businessman.

- - -

Item: Okay.  It took me two full days of printing but I finished 350 color cards.  Towards the last hundred, I came up with a weird system for minimizing the pizza marks, which is: I put a couple of one pixel gray dots at a couple of strategic border areas of the card so that the card wouldn't be ejected so forcefully - and that seemed to help quite a bit.  And I printed the last two hundred cards with the #56 cart.  It was just getting too expensive to keep changing #59 carts.

Item: The Hanemuhle Photorag Paper 309 arrived.  I showed a couple of test prints I had done on it to some friends - they thought that the whole thing about how long the prints would last was a dumb thing to worry about.  I showed Eddie the difference between the heavier paper and the lighter paper - and he thought I was nuts to spend that much on paper.

Then I showed the cards without saying anything about the pizza wheel marks.  Nobody saw anything until I pointed them out.  You see, I said, you need to hold it under the light - just like this -- see.  Anyway, they both wanted a couple of cards for their own Christmas list.  What do I know.

 

10:15:23 AM    


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