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Resurrecting old Rolands.

Discussion in 'Roland' started by NZMaker, Mar 30, 2020.

  1. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    Hi, I've acquired a CJ-500 and an SP-300 (now V) that have been sitting unused for more than a year.

    I've got a bunch of boxes with software on them, and a dongle. (I'm a Mac guy - just thought I would get that out there. So, I'm on sufferance from the off).

    I guess the boxes run RIPs for the two printers and the dongle is for... something I haven't worked out yet.

    I've started a head soak on the 300 and will check the progress tomorrow. It was shipped with the blue moving plate installed, and seems to move smoothly, manually. I'm confident it will be fine.

    So, I have some solvent ink cartridges, a big syringe, where do I start? I've tried looking, and on youtube, but can't find a primer on resurrecting stored printers.
     
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  2. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    If the printers weren't properly flushed beforehand the complete ink train is probably toast. Lines, dampers, manifolds and the heads are most likely clogged beyond repair.

    For the money you'll spend in parts you could buy a working rig. Not to mention the countless hours and frustration.
    Case in point. I sold my fully functional SP540V for $2800.00. CK head would need replacing at some point, but I could still print wraps with it.
     
  3. E Coloney

    E Coloney Member

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    FRUSTRATION and TIME in all capitals.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. IsItFasst

    IsItFasst Member

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    While I've had good luck with my used SP-300V I bought about 10 years ago (fully functional form the beginning) I did not have good luck with "working" VS-640 I bought from Ordway Sign Supply years back. While they say it was properly prepared and essentially factory new when they sent it to me it didn't print right from the beginning. I would print one sheet and then it would stop printing. Replace a bunch of parts all for it to repeat by printing one thing and then just stop working again and again. After spending about $6000 in parts on it with it constantly not working I finally just threw it in the dumpster as a lost cause. While it's possible to restore I wouldn't recommend it for the reasons others listed above. But if you are in quarantine this will definitely help pass the time.
     
  5. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    The guy that gave them to me is on top of his maintenance and smart about procedure - they were properly mothballed.

    So what do I do - just plug the ink cartridges in and load it up?
     
  6. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    US prices are not relevant in the South Pacific.

    Servicing costs are expensive and machines are kept running well after the time they would have been binned in the US.

    Our base prices for machines are 3-4x what you pay.

    And these machines were working fine before they were correctly mothballed. The owner is a pro and really knows these machines.

    He changed business tack and bought bigger, newer sticker-makers.

    He still runs one Roland, but laments the loss of the CJ-500 - his notes and such with the service manual are comprehensive.

    The CJ-500 has a solvent kit fitted, from a US company. I haven't even looked at it, yet. The SP-300 is the first off the rank.
     
  7. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    Just my opinion but I like the early Roland SP-300 printers better then the later model printers.
    I understand that it is not has fast for production but for some of us the speed is not a big deal.

    Most of the time you can fix and replace anything that goes wrong with it and now that Roland has decided to consider these printers legacy printers it is harder to find parts and you can forget about calling a Roland Dealer and asking to have a service tech come out and look at it.

    Many people do not like using parts from China but when you cannot get the parts from Roland China becomes your source for parts and they seem to have just about everything you need.

    My Roland was new in 2005 and it stills works just fine for everything I need it to do.

    Jim
     
  8. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

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    Go ahead then and report back.
     
  9. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    We seem to be stuck in a loop - I can't 'go ahead' as I don't know where to start.

    The anecdotes to info ratio is high.
     
  10. player

    player Major Contributor

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    Were they mothballed with cleaner in the heads and lines?

    I would pick one to start on. The CJ is older and the prints are not as durable as the SP-300.

    So I'm thinking you should get the SP-300 going first.

    The big question is are the heads, dampers and ink lines clogged up or will they function.

    I think you will want to use the cleaning cartridge to do a pump up. This is having the machine pump cleaner through everything. If I remember correctly this is what is done with a new machine. The tech puts the cleaning cart in one slot, the printer pumps the cleaner to the first head, then he is prompted to put the cart in the other slot and the second head get pumped full of cleaner. After that you put the ink carts in and fill it up. If the cleaner didn't make to the heads, don't put in the ink. It may mean the rubber captops that seal under the heads are not sealing and need replacing. Or something worse is going on.

    You can carefully remove the shroud covering the printheads. This will expose the heads and dampers. The dampers are little plastic bladders that sit on top of the heads. Inspecting these could tell you a lot about the heads.

    Remember if the heads are toast they will be expensive to replace. There are cheap heads for sale but lots of people have been burned.
     
  11. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    Thank you - exactly what I wanted.

    Yes, he did a full clean and flush and mothballed it for later - he knows these machines inside and out, but he's busy, lives 120km away and I took them on the understanding I wouldn't bother him :)

    And, while I'm comfortable with most machines, these big Roland's are new to me and there's little out there about putting them into service.
     
  12. Jim Hill

    Jim Hill Active Member

    I find working on the old SP series of printers is a process of going through the entire machine from the ink lines, heads, encoder strip and sensor, scanner motor, dampers, O rings, cap tops, ink pump and changing all of the hoses and connectors and just about everything else.

    One very very tiny air leak will drive you crazy until you understand how the entire system has to work together for ink to flow to the heads.

    Always start with OEM new ink cartridges and once you get the printer working properly clean it once a week every week.
    One very small piece of lint on the head can ruin whatever you are printing so pay close attention when cleaning the heads with the proper cleaning solution..

    These printers want to work at least every two or three days or you will have problems so if you are repairing these for resale please keep this in mind!

    Jim
     
  13. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    thanks Jim. No, I'm getting them ready to run them for myself.
     
  14. player

    player Major Contributor

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    You need to find out if the heads work on the SP-300. The heads are really finicky and flushing before storing in no way guarantees they will work. The CJ may have a better chance, but the inks are not durable so the prints are not really commercially viable. (edit: I see the CJ was converted to solvent.)

    As mentioned if the heads don't work on the SP-300 the cost of 2 heads, captops and dampers may make it cost prohibitive. You want to find out as cheaply as possible. A set of inks and a cleaning cart (cartridge) will be expensive. Changing heads and aligning them is no simple task. It is not something done successfully by novices.

    Have you heard of Digiprint Supplies? They offer parts, OEM and off brand. I would stay away from off brand parts. The may work, or they may not, I would say not or not for long.

    https://us.digiprint-supplies.com/us-en/
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
  15. player

    player Major Contributor

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    There is a service manual for the SP-300 out there in PDF form. It will give basic instructions on repairing the printer. Maybe someone can help you out here if you ask.

    The SP-300 is mostly the same as the SP-540, but there are some differences. Of course the width, but the 300 doesn't have the head height option and it may not be the same connectivity wise.

    You will also need to get Roland VeraWorks rip software loaded and updated so you can print. It is free with the printer but it can be tricky to update. Roland stopped supporting the SP's so that is another potential problem.

    There is a program called Peck that helps out with connecting, ip addresses, firmware updating etc. I am not sure if the 300 is a network printer though.
     
  16. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    I'm not in the US - but I am an experienced engineer/ ech - in the print industry, so RIPs, image setters, etc. and I've known these particular printers since they were new, but the previous owner did all the maintenance.

    I'm familair with the Epson head, as used by Roland.

    It's going to take some time, but I'm patient and thorough.

    Worse case, if the heads are down, I can get a new set from Asia for ~$300 ea. or I end up with a very big and heavy vinyl cutter :)

    The CJ has been running the same solvent inks as the SP, thanks to an aftermarket heater.
     
  17. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    I'm familiar with the computer side, thanks.

    I have the service guide, but it's short on resurrecting a stored machine. I think I have enough to get me going, now.

    Nothing ventured, and all that :)
     
  18. player

    player Major Contributor

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    I wished you would have said you knew everything instead of saying "I don't know where to start."
     
  19. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    ...
     
  20. NZMaker

    NZMaker New Member

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    What makes you think I think I know everything?

    I know how to set up RIPs, configure print queues, set up computers and install and upgrade VersaWorks. I know how to clean and soak the heads.

    What I don't know is where to start with resurrection.

    Getting a cleaning cart and running through that is useful info. Knowing when to install the ink carts and how to bleed the lines, I don't know. I could fumble along, trying and failing, or I could ask people who have done it before.

    Just so there's no confusion: I'm a 40-year veteran tech in the print industry. But, I've never worked on these specific machines before, except for the 'front end' of making the workflow work better.

    Assume I don't need to be told HOW to do stuff, just what order to do it in and what steps not to shortcut or overlook.

    From a hands-on perspective, I've never even changed a cutting blade on one of these. I have never loaded media. I have never run a cleaning cycle.

    But that doesn't mean I don't know the way they print, mechanically.

    I'm unsure why you have taken offence, it's not clear what, specifically, upset you in my post.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
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