Vintage 95

asked Sep 4, 2013 at 4:07pm
Epson Epson Stylus Color 1520

Epson Stylus Color 1520 Experts Unite

Hello, I have two old Epson Stylus Color 1520 with two more on the way to get one to work and am willing to offload three to someone who can get me one to work!

I live in the San Francico Bay Area and would love to share the goods. BTW, ScottyJr, are you still there?

Tried taking out and clean clogged black printhead at the first printer from Craigslist. NOW black and color don't print at all. Just bought another from eBay (with two more "prints test page" on the way). It has a has broken pump cap assembly and so I couldn't test printheads but noticed caked on black ink and so soaked it in cleaner. Installed second set of cleaned printheads in first printer, which still goes through motions without any sign of ink on paper.

Could a fuse be blown, and if so, how can I replace it? Seems strange that all four printheads have nothing coming out...

I took it apart so many times that I wish I could just find a Vintage Epson expert who can just do it for a fee. Any feedback, advice, or referrals are greatly appreciated!
What are you using for a solvent on your print heads?
I'm fighting a similar problem....
Got one in and it printed the self test for color OK, no black.
I cleaned up the black and got it working BUT now no color.

I used AMMONIA as a cleaner.... THAT'S a NO, NO!!! Because I put it through the nipples on the heads. I did not know until one of the heads actually fried (smoked) (I took that one all apart) that these print heads are really made up of an intricate maze of tiny electronic circuits on a plastic film. Anything you put in them that can be conductive (any electrolyte) WILL destroy them. If you look at the bottom of the print head there are rows of tiny holes.
Just inside these holes inside the head is a very intricate electronic circuit on a plastic film. Short that out and your print head is toast. (Learned the hard way!!!) Now I too am looking for another printer. I'm in Dallas TX... USPS Shipping for one of these suckers is typically $25-30.. I now have plenty of spare parts... Just no color print heads that are good.

Here is something that might help: You might try using an electric tooth brush and Isopropyl alcohol to scrub the heads where the tiny holes are.
by dcyoung9 on Sep 11, 2013 at 6:45am Add comment
Hi Don,

I did not know you can scrub the printheads from the outside. Thanks. I am using a special printhead solvent with syringe that i bought for ten bucks, online. Will need to look up the brand later.

I also used water. Could it be that it comines to produce an electrolyte?

The second printer had little black drops that were completely baked on. The solvent, soaking overnight, did not work. So i uses a needle to carefully scrape off black droplets.

Placed both cleaned and dried printheads in the first printer, and both printheads still didn't work.

The third printer arrived. Ad stated that it needs cleaning. However it doesn't even do a self test.

Awaiting another printer over next two weeks...

I read something about a "DOS Reset Utility" and wonder if one always needs to run it after reinstall first to get it working it all? Does anyone know more about this?


Joanne - Vintage 95
What I did was remove the cover... Two screws in the front and there are 4 plastic clips you have to release through holes in the bottom of the case with a screw driver, one on each corner.
Then there is a bar across the front held on by 3 little screws.
Remove it. It holds the print heads cage down in the front. With the bar removed you can tilt the print head assembly up enough to
see and get to the bottom of the heads. In order for the heads to be free to slide across you have to unplug the printer while it is doing something like a cleaning cycle, then the heads slide easily. Don't force them. I used Scotch Brite scour pads to clean the head surface without scratching it. NOW with the cover off and the little bar back on to keep the head assembly where it belongs you can use a rubber band to hold the cover switch in the cover closed position and do all the testing you want.
I've fixed several this way but I sure screwed up trying to use the ammonia. Black head on eBay is only, only, only $110 :-))

Never used any of the utilities and I've been using one of these printers for 15 years. Don't know anything about the utilities.
by dcyoung9 on Sep 11, 2013 at 9:02am Add comment
Thanks for the tip, Don! Previously, I always took out printheads completely and soaked them at my kitchen sink. Now having removed the front bar, I can see that both are completely smeared with blank ink. There's greasy black ink inside, everywhere, and pads are almost full.

I wonder if anyone in the forum can forewarn me of the dangers that might sneak up if I take out printheads out myself. I.e., what is it that I need to look out for?

I don't know if the ones I took out myself are no longer working because a fuse broke, water reacted with solvent to create an electrolyte that zapped tiny circuitboards (just guessing), or if I need a resetter tool to make them work again.

I was really careful with each of the parts and there's no reason I can think of why they'd no longer be working after I soaked them in head cleaning solution.

by Vintage 95 on Sep 11, 2013 at 9:48am Add comment
it took me about only three hours to clean out the insides and your tip that enabled me to keep printheads in was very useful. In the last hour, i placed unit ion top of my sink and kept on spraying windex on the rollers while letting it drain frontwise.

Haven't touched he printheads to be sure I am not doing anything tobreak them again ( not knowing what exactly causes perfectly functioning heads break after they have been out.) I might offer parts in form of three printers to a professionl in turn of making one work.

The 1520 really had lots pf qualities. Too bad epson had to siscontinue it. But them, the are in the business of making money...

by Vintage 95 on Sep 11, 2013 at 8:12pm Add comment
Let me know how it all works out. I'm still looking for a printer.If I was sure I could fix two of yours I'd take you up on the fix one for one and pay the return shipping...
by unknown on Sep 11, 2013 at 9:32pm Add comment
Do you have a Maintenance/Repair manual for the 1520?

Does anyone out there have the detail schematics for the main logic board?
by dcyoung9 on Sep 21, 2013 at 5:08am Add comment
My compliments to Joanne and Don. I've learned a lot - almost enough to get my 1520 to work. Please keep this thread going. Anyone?
by Nerman on Dec 8, 2013 at 12:22pm Add comment
Thanks very much! BTW, due to lack of space in my home, I have one more printer up for grabs. I donated three. The one I kept has the best data cables, interior, exterior, etc. It just needs new print heads.
by Vintage 95 on Dec 10, 2013 at 10:49am Add comment
Do you have the software to reset the voltage on the print heads if you change them out. The manual says that you have to set the voltage using the # written with a magic marker on the sides of the print head... Each one has a unique number?
by dcyoung9 on Dec 10, 2013 at 10:59am Add comment
Don, i took my printer into the shop as you need an older OS, Win 98 or older, for it to work properly with DOS. If you have an older pc and wantvto try ourself, you can try an online search for "1520 Adjustment Program"...
by Vintage 95 on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:25pm Add comment
I have that adjustment program for Win95/98
by philly5706 on Dec 10, 2013 at 1:39pm Add comment
I have literally spent hours and hours looking for it on the net.
I found links to sites that are supposed to have it but they are very old and no longer work.
Is there any way you can send a copy of it and some instructions?

The other thing I have hunted for is the actual schematic of the main logic board. It is NOT in
any of the manuals I have been able to find.
The power supply board is there but no logic board.
- dcyoung9
Sorry, I don't have it either. Good luck Don!
by Vintage 95 on Dec 10, 2013 at 3:24pm Add comment