I wish it would just say PC Load Letter, I know how to deal with that
June 22, 2006 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Epson 1520 printer is refuses to print properly. Streaks when printing color and won't print head alignment tests properly.

I got this Epson Stylus Color 1520 from a friend's dad who was in the printing business. He had been using it with a macintosh (don't know the model, but it was old) and it was working fine. Using it with a Windows 2000 machine, I installed the most recent drivers from the Epson website and also installed the software that came with the printer. I was told that the existing catridges were fine but when I first tried to print color, there were these awful streaks on it. The streaks were evenly spaced discolored horizontal bars across the image. I tried aligning the print heads and halfway through the process, the printer shuddered, made loud noises, then quit, blinking the 'pause' and 'cover open' lights. The test page itself was completely messed up: the printer printed maybe the first 3-4 lines and it was obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. I checked the reference material, and couldn't find reference to the indicator light combination that flashes after the aborted attempt at aligning. OH yeah, and I have to turn the printer off and on after it fails to align.

So, I bought a new color catridge, let the printer warm up, clean the heads, everything the manual said to do. I tried alignment again and no luck. I tried printing again, and no luck: still the streaks (though the color was better, so replacing the cartridge did help).

Now, black and white will print just fine, no problems at all, it's just the color that refuses to print properly, as well as the alignment issues. Any printers/designers/lovers of antique hardware have any suggestions for remedying these issues (that is, other than purchasing a new printer)?
posted by marxfriedrice to Technology (4 answers total)
The 1520 is an insanely old printer. It's probably fucked.

You should try the Epson Windex Trick, and if that doesn't work, throw it out.
posted by unSane at 7:27 AM on June 22, 2006

Agree with unSane. Those streaks are caused by dust and debris caught in the print head - it moves along with it causing the ink to streak. You could try to fix it by carefully cleaning this dust out with a type of material that does not leave more dust (Q-tips are bad because of this, my wife found out). Some glas rags are good for this.

I know you said you don't want to get a new printer but for the price you paid for the color cartridge, you probably could have gotten a printer. They practically give away the physical printers, then charge an arm and a leg for the cartridge to make their money!
posted by aurigus at 7:50 AM on June 22, 2006

Epson printers are notorious for clogging. Some say if you use them at least once a day, the heads won't dry out, but in my experience, that has not been true. They are just prone to clogging, imho, even the most expensive models that I used to buy. Google 'unclog Epson printer' and you'll see what I mean.

Toss this dud (it was probably dying already; that's why it was given to you) and get a Canon. They print beautifully are are practically zero maintenance, even if you don't use them every day. Try to find the i960 or i990 (or i9900 if you want to print poster size). That series has since been replaced by the Pixma which gets hit and miss reviews on Amazon.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 9:28 AM on June 22, 2006

Epsons USED to be notorious for clogging, especially with third party inks, but no longer, especially with the new ultrachrome inks

unSane <-- owner of an 1160, 1280, 2200 and 7800!
posted by unSane at 10:44 AM on June 22, 2006

« Older Why doesn't anybody care about HIV/AIDS in the US...   |   How to find a manufacturer in the UK Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.