asked Feb 5, 2001 at 8:17am
Hp HP DesignJet 820

HP820 won't clean

Hi folks,
I've got an HP820CSE that won't finish a clean cycle.
It starts, then flashes all three front panel lights. After
attempting a clean, we get black smears. Looks like the spittoons
are full.


1. could a buildup of ink interfere with the service station operation and cause
the error condition?

2. Can I remove the service station and soak it in solvent (alcohol, MEK, acetone?)
to remedy?

3. will cleaning the spittoon (right term?) of dried ink (without removing from the printer) remedy this?

I really hate to trash this printer; it's operated flawlessly since 96.
One more: are there service and cleaning manuals available anywhere?
I'd really like to take it apart and give it thorough cleaning/lube.

Thanks for your time,
I usually take a popsicle stick and scoop out the ink accumulation on the left side of the spitoon.
Where'd you learn the terminology from?
by moe on Feb 5, 2001 at 2:30pm Add comment
Hi Moe,

I've been digging on the HP support site, and picked up a few terms there. I was just getting ready to fire you an email, so if it's oK, i'll just paste what I had here:

I've got a five year old HP 820CSE. No streaking, smearing, banding; alignment is razor sharp; it works just fine, except for the clean cycle. It starts to clean, gets through the black diagonal lines, and gets through half of the first blue line.

What started this: black cartridge went dry. replaced it and re-aligned, no problems. On close examination of heavy black printing, there are a couple of heads not firing , it looks like.

A few weeks later, the color cartridge started fading, so we replaced it. Noticed a lot of gunk on the nozzle end. Put in the new one, and got some pretty smeary output. Tried a clean cycle, got the flashing front panel lights after it started. Took the color cart back and exchnged it for another, thinking it was bad. No help.
The clean cycle diagonal lines, black, show some gaps, but not consistently from run to run.

After printing a few test patterns (pure Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black lines, 1 pixel wide and 25 pixles wide, 300PPI, horizontal, vertical and diagonal, there are no gaps at all.)

What I've done:

1. Ran self test (power on, hold power, press FF 4 times) no problems.

2. taken out and cleaned the service station. had a large pile of dried ink in the spitoon. Cleaned all the rubber tabs, wipers, etc. everything with ink on it got cleaned. Threw out the air filter. Checked for binding, everything seems free. Don't know how far it's sposed to travel, but it looked like it was happy.

3. cleaned up everything else that looked inky or dusty. Lubed the carriage bar (Silicone spray, real light)

4. Ran an align, test page, and clean cycle with the cover off. align and test were flawless. Clean cycle started, printed the black diags, started the blue. The error occurred with the carriage over the spitoons.

I'm not in a jam yet, but the first time it needs to have the carts cleaned, I'm screwed. Any advice or other things to try?
Could this be caused by a bad cartridge? Are there any sensors/switches in the service station?

This has been such and outstanding performer for the last 5 years, I really hate to retire it.

Thanks a lot for your time, and for your newsgroup support.
by unknown on Feb 5, 2001 at 2:58pm Add comment
Just keeping the thread on the screen, I know you got way behind with the server problems...
by unknown on Feb 8, 2001 at 6:32pm Add comment
Sorry, I've been putting in so many hours I have been neglecting the board.
The bad part is that it's a windows printer and there is no way to initiate a cleaning from the printer like on all the other HP models. That's strictly a function of the logic board and software. I guess it could be a bad driver. It's a lot cheaper try than the logic board.
OK, back to work it's Sunday but I've got another 5 hours of work 'fore I can go home.
by moe on Feb 11, 2001 at 3:45pm Add comment
I found that my Cxi was very easy to take apart. I did stay away from the Electrical parts , but all the others were washed in soap and water and dried out and put back together with very good results. Being the least bit dirty really can screw things up. I've cleaned mine twice using this method and have never had a bit of a problem.
by unknown on Feb 11, 2001 at 3:56pm Add comment