Any reason why you don't just use the various head cleaning facilities on the printer preferences page under the maintainance tab?
Well, I do turn the printer on/ off every day and that does a partial cleaning but that does not help. I thought printIng a page of color bars would be easier than doing the head cleaning. They recomend that for really bad head clogs to print a similar type of page to through more ink through the heads.
I am using a CIS and I need more ink to be shot through the heads. I thought a color bar page would do just that. I need to use enough ink that it keeps the system drawing from the ink tank and through the tubing. The tubing has a tendency to stop drawing or drying out as well. Probably it is not the best system for me. The ink in this system it superb and cheep compared to buying OEM cartridges. Also, I don't have to keep changing cartridges all the time. Mine is from a company called "Marrett" in England. They sell the Lyson inks.
Google up an image of the cartidge set, and you have an instant colour bar set I have no idea how you can force both black cartridges to be used though, so you are still back to the printer's self cleaning routines. I expect there will be a range from simple 'Print Test Page' through to "Ouch, that muat have been $50 worth of ink I just wasted!"
That's exactly my problem too! Running the head cleaner is way too expensive when you start adding up the .25% usage per cartridge x 8, per session, (each cartridge average best price: $13.50) and each session can easily involve 3 to 5 head cleaning attempts, (and that's if you're lucky!).
Anyway, I see a number of RGB test prints and I can shoot a few myself as well. The idea to use the R1900 cartridges as a test print is great! I think that would be sure to run each of the cartridge's print nozzles, which is the entire point.
Then I'll run that print once per week and I can avoid yet another massive loss of time, (if not ink), in a recent re-prime/nozzle-clean I had to do because I was away for two weeks. The technique is a combination of an on-line tutorial and the nozzle cleaner’s instructions:
First, I pressed the 'ink cartridge change' button to get the carrier in the ink changing position. once it's there and waiting, I unplug the printer from the wall, (very important). Then I placed a paper towel sheet, (it's important to use a paper towel brand that doesn't easily tear or have a lot of loose lint). I used "Bounty" Select-a-sheet and I used only one-half of a full size sheet. The "select-a-sheet" version has perforations permitting you to tear off a half sheet instead of a whole one.
Then, I folded the half sheet 3 times so that I had a strip that was now about 1" to 1.25" wide and 12" long, (the length of the sheet as supplied). I place that strip in the pathway of the cartridge carrier and then squirted the length of the entire strip with about 6ml of alcohol solution, (Windex mixed with alcohol is supposed to be even better).
I then gently slid the carrier over the paper towel strip and to get it started, I pressed down on the strip's edge nearest the carrier while pushing the carrier to the left. I pushed the carrier over to the left until I could see the end of the paper towel strip appear on the right side of the carrier. Then grasped both ends of the strip and gently pulled one end of the strip and then the other, (as if it were a belt), to wipe the bottom of the carrier.
Then I moved the carrier and strip together, back to the ink-changing position so that the lid of the carrier could open. I left the strip under the carrier for the remaining cleaning procedure.
I then extracted a small amount of ink from each cartridge with a syringe, (no needle, just the syringe), via the cartridges own ink port. That was to make sure I 'pulled' any clot from the cartridge that may have existed and to prime the cartridge in the process.
Finally, after doing that 8 times, I closed the carrier’s lid, (very important), and removed the paper towel strip from under it. I plugged the printer back in and after it settled to its “ready” state, I ran a head cleaning procedure.
I didn’t check the nozzle pattern first! I ran the head cleaning process first because I wanted to clean out any residual alcohol and surfaces before anything really had much time to dry. Then I ran the nozzle pattern check and I could now see the 8 cartridges were working.
They weren’t putting out ink correctly at this point but I didn’t expect them to. I ran another head cleaning twice in a row and then tested the nozzle pattern and “viola”, 100% passed!
I only used this procedure in extreme cases such as this one, where I had no nozzle pattern visible from any inks after the printer had been off an unused for an extended period of time. If I were to run the R1900’s head cleaning procedure to try and fix it, I would have likely hit the ink pad limit and then would have had that to deal with before I could continue.
The ‘auto-clean’ option for the ink head would have used an entire cartridge for each color and still may not have cleaned it well enough to get a good pattern test. I know this because I did exactly that about a year ago.
The printer was unused for a prolonged period of time and when I started it and tested the pattern, there was no pattern to see! I had at least 3 ink cartridges of each color in my stock supply so I ran the major head cleaner function over and over and literally used up a full ink cartridge of all 8 inks plus about another .25%!
This procedure I outlined above WILL work but you have to be methodical and it will take about an hour. A better way is to run a RGB test print once per week!