asked Apr 23, 2008 at 3:25pm
Epson Epson LQ 300

Replacing the 1520 or Going to the Head(s)?

My Epson Stylus Color 1520 print heads are dead and require replacement. The local Epson certified repair shop would charge me 300 USD for black and color print heads, pump and two cartridges. This is a lot of money and perhaps it would be wise to consider swapping the printer.

I read with great interest the topics about print head replacement, including service manual, item reference and adjustment software. But I am unsure about the actual process and level of expertise required to perform the replacement. Does it require specific hardware, tools or calibration expertise?

The other issue I have would be to choose an Epson replacement for the 1520. According to Epson, a good choice would be the R2400. But what about the 3000 or the SC900?

I am sorry about the disordinated way I presented my issue, but it is very late and I am quite tired. I hope to hear from you all soon!

Best regards,
I would seriously discourage attempting to replace the heads yourself. I wouldn't even attempt it and I've been a printer tech for 18 years. On the Epson USA site, they have a clearance center that sells refurbished Epson printers. You can probably find a good deal that is cheaper than repairing yours. Unfortunately for France is in French and my French isn't that good. Hopefully, living in France, yours is better.
by moe on Apr 23, 2008 at 5:03pm Add comment

First, how do you know your printheads are dead? Is this a 'new to you' printer or one that you have had consistently in service and has now gone bad?

For someone very familiar with working on 1520 printers, replacing the heads is not difficult. The degree of difficulty GREATLY increases for a person that does not have significant experience working on moderately delicate equipment. Beyond that, after the new printhead is installed, many fine adjustments must be performed to get the manufacturer's intended optimum performance for the printer. An adjustment program that runs in DOS on a Windows 95 platform is required. The printhead can be installed without running the program and it will most likely work but the quality of print may not be up to par.

- Scotty
by Anonymous on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:36am Add comment
My story is pretty classic. I received the 1520 as part of the shipment of a Paris suburbs graphics professional. The problem is that the printer was stored in a cellar for about two years without working at all. So when I ran the calibration software under Mac OS 9 there was an issue with the black print head whereas the colours printed extremely well.

The nozzles of the black print head were partially clogged and although I ran three tests in a row followed by 360 dpi test, there was nothing to do about the missing lines in the black nozzle test.

I decided to swap the cartridge with a new one, which ran out quite quickly, as I used without success the Epson cleaning process.

I tried a cleaning solution from crab chemical. No success. I ran hot water and a combination of alcohol and water. No luck.

So I completely disassembled the machine and took out the print heads in order to clean them. Here I performed several big mistakes as there is a lot of rubbish to be read all over the web regarding the declogging of Epson print heads.

First, I injected hot water on the pads, then with a syringe on the head. I pumped back and forth (which is *wrong*. And then I realised that the colour print head would not work anymore, too.

So I inspected the print heads and noticed that the combination of alcohol, hot water, etc... had damaged the upper part of the print heads.

Also I used purified water. And only then I came across your web site and ordered the cleaning solution, which is now sitting on my desk, but too late.

It is possible to order the heads, and perhaps to find the software, too (although I don't know where.) But the Epson technician told me that he would change the pump too.

Again many thanks for your kind support and informative help.

- Frederic. - fredericerk
I read with interest about Mr. Bigelow Printers utility for diagnostics. Unfortunately I could not find any source or reference about that piece of software, which was originally developed by Dynamic Learning Systems, P.O. Box 805, Marlboro, MA 01752 (United States of America.)

The idea of a software dedicated to troubleshooting printers is interesting, since it provides many tests, which are not available on the default printer software and/or driver.

If someone could provide me with some information about specific software to the purpose of printers diagnotics and calibration, I would be grateful.

Frederic W. Erk
IHSD, Simulation.
by fredericerk on May 5, 2008 at 3:28pm Add comment
hi, I'm from Malaysia.

I got the software but it is encrypted. Do you know how can I get the password so I can install it to my PC - Anonymous

I got the software but it is encrypted. Do you know how to get the password. - Anonymous
The adjustment program for the Epson 1520 and 300 printers is SCSERIES.EXE and is run in DOS.

Each printhead for these printers is unique and it's performance is optimized by having it operate under specific, unique to that printhead, voltage settings. The program provides for entering the voltage, assigned at the point of printhead manufacturing and handwritten on the side of the printhead, into firmware. The program also enables fine mechanical printhead adjustments some non-adjustment printer functions.

- Scotty
by Anonymous on May 6, 2008 at 7:46am Add comment