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Need Help Is my head gone?

Discussion in 'Roland' started by solantis, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. solantis

    solantis Member

    Aug 17, 2013
    South Africa
    My Roland 540 yellow head needs atleast 2 or more powerful cleans every morning before its starts spraying yellow ink and that also 80-90% only. Without cleaning it either doesnt spray at all or only sprays around 30%. Would this mean that the head is clogged or could it be a damper or cap top?
  2. player

    player Major Contributor

    Apr 24, 2006
    Change captop.
  3. Solventinkjet

    Solventinkjet Merchant Member

    Aug 2, 2011
    Denver, CO
    Dampers and cap tops are regular maintenance items that many people ignore. Any time you experience ink flow issues that is the place to start. If you want to avoid issues in the future and allow the head to last as long as possible, change the dampers and cap tops once per year.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    This is a cap top issue where it is not making a good seal between the the head and the cap top and it is letting air into it when it is not in use so thus the ink is draining down and drying out the head.
    Also change the two springs under the cap top because once get stretched they no longer apply enough pressure to the cap tops to hold it in place again letting air into the system and draining down the ink.

    Are you using Roland OEM Cap Tops or aftermarket cap tops which sometimes become an issue and could be simply not sealing the cap tops to the head properly.

    These are simple fixes often overlooked that can create major problems.

    Jim Hill
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    We were gone for a little over a week during the holidays and when we returned the yellow on our vp-540 was missing a full channel. I had recently changed the dampers and captops, but lo and behold, I didn't use the new captop springs on the yellow.

    I did several head soaks, deep cleanings, changed the captop springs and ran tons of small blocks of yellow and test prints. It came back fully and better than ever.

    My question to VanderJ is will all those cleanings and such affect my ink level sensors?

    They were reading correctly before we left, but now they are all showing empty and Versaworks is showing my black as full and the other three as near empty.
  6. Johnny Best

    Johnny Best Very Active Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    buffalo ny
    Does Roland have an automated cleaning cycle to come on when you know you are going to be gone for a week or so to prevent the head from drying out. I have a Mutoh and set mine with it when going away for a time.
  7. solantis

    solantis Member

    Aug 17, 2013
    South Africa
    I will try to replace the captop and spring. I've also left the machine for about a week now and the yellow is completely gone. Even when i syringe it hardly anything comes out.
  8. TimToad

    TimToad Very Active Member

    I'm not sure what the default is but it seems like its about every 4-6 hours. In our case, it was not changing the captop springs when replacing the dampers and captops a few months ago that was the culprit.
  9. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    I'm just glad to see things are coming around for you. When I first read the title, I thought you lost something else...... and that would be most devastating. :rolleyes:
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  10. solantis

    solantis Member

    Aug 17, 2013
    South Africa
    So i've checked the captop and everything seems fine. I syringed it and it doesnt sound like any air is coming through. I replaced the dampers and when inspecting the manifold found a hairline crack and when I tried to gentle wiggle the nozzle on the manifold it cracked completely so I changed the manifold and so far so good. It prints 100% again.

    Will let you guys know if it drops out again but hopefully not!
  11. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    Roland Printers do not like to sit for day's without being used! I have leaned this lesson the hard way.
    Today my yellow and magenta would not print so once again I took out all of my spare parts such has cap tops, dampers, hoses of different sizes, and other parts.

    Anytime you have the heads parked under the cap tops there are a few things you need to understand such has making sure the capping station is adjusted correctly under the heads so that there are no air leaks because if you are trying to draw it with a syringe from under the heads and are not getting any ink flowing there is an air leak some where in the system.

    If you have no ink flowing lower the capping station and take a very close look at the cap tops to make sure they are sitting correctly and that the springs do not look stretched out because this could be the problem.
    Today when I installed my new cap tops they looked fine and yet I had no ink coming into the syringe so after just one or two pulls I lowered the capping station and the yellow and magenta cap top had moved and in my case this is why no ink was pulling through.
    This one simply step created a lot of problems so if you are getting no ink in your syringe go back and double check the cap tops to make sure they are sitting correctly. Keep in mind that sometimes even brand new cap tops don't always work.

    The other thing that is really important is having spare syringes because they also can go bad and the tubing that connects the syringe to the hose from the cap tops can also cause problems when trying to pull ink through the heads because the cleaning solution we use to clean printers can attack the plastic and rubber hoses so it good to simply cut off and inch or two of hoses to get a better connection. I also keep a package of small plastic Y fittings handy with a few different sizes because a pinhole in one them can also cause an air leak.

    Always be thinking of an air leak in the system once you have tried once or twice to pull ink from under the capping station without success because that is many times the problem.

    Today when I was trying to pull ink I noticed that I could easy pull the syringe back with very little resistance which told me the cap top was not installed correctly and sure enough once I fixed that problem on the very first pull of the syringe I was I could feel the difference in pressure and the ink came right though and everything work properly.

    I purchased my printer used in 2010 and had never used one or even worked on one before that but I started fixing everything myself including changing heads and many other parts myself for a number of different reasons such has a trip charge fee of $300.00 dollars to drive three miles to my shop and then a few hundred more dollars an hour plus parts.

    If you have a head that is not working in my opinion most of the time it is something very simple that is causing the problem and can be an easy fix so please don't panic and start ordering new heads because it is an air leak or a cap tops that is not properly installed or may have just gone bad that is created the problem.

    Jim Hill
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. C5 Service&Repair

    C5 Service&Repair Member

    Jan 14, 2018
    Omaha, NE
    Trained techs are well worth the money. Find one that doesn't charge $300(??) trip charge and treats you fair. YouTube will only teach you so much, and using a syringe is a last ditch effort, not to be the go to test.....
  13. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    C5 Services$ Repair:
    I agree with you trained techs are well worth the money and I have used their services a number of times.

    James McGill was one of the best techs I ever used and he travels from Kentucky to Florida and all the states in between and he is knowledgeable and has very fair prices and his a real nice guy.
    I never forget the first time someone gave me his number and I realized how many stated away he lived from me and yet when I called him he told me he would be in Florida within the next few weeks and sure enough he came to my shop on a Sunday morning. How many techs do that?

    Your comment about using a syringe is a last ditch effort and not to be the go to test. Could you please elaborate on what tests you are referring to?

    I appreciate your help and it is always interesting to learn from a trained tech for many people who no where near the nearest techs and live in the county.
    Jim Hill
  14. Michael Hajduk

    Michael Hajduk New Member

    Jan 4, 2019
    A good way to test the dampers is to leave the ink lines on and pop the side clips on the printhead and separate all four dampers from the printhead by pulling up. Make sure you turn the printer off for this test, this will close the choke and stop ink from flowing. Just don't turn the printer off at the switch at the back or the choke will not close. You have to press the power button on the front as this will close the choke as the shut down procedure, then once the lcd screen is off you can turn the printer off at the back.

    when you have the damper assemble removed from the printhead do not remove the dampers from the printhead assembly. Take a syringe, no needle just a plastic nipple at the end press it against one of the holes on the bottom of the damper and try and suck ink, there should be a lot of resistance and if so the damper is good. If the is no resistance then the damper is drawing air and is bad. This is assuming all your lines are good and not leaking. Repeat this test for all the other holes and if good you can replace the assembly back on the printhead.
  15. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and that great tip for checking the dampers.

    Learning is a life long experience and I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with myself and others on how to become better at fixing problems with our printers.

    I purchased my Roland SP-300V in 2010 and had never used one but learned how to use it and then how to repair it over the past 8 years.
    I have learned how to change the heads, dampers, cap tops, ribbon cables and whole bunch of other disposable parts. I also converted my SP-300 to an SP--300V so that I can use VersaWorks and also use the printer with Windows 10

    I am not a tech and I do not work on anyone else's printer but mine but I always liked the idea of knowing to fix many of these problems myself and so that I was not sitting hear for day's waiting for help to arrive.

    Thank You Jim Hill

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