Mystery on the Plano Trabuco – Buzzards circling


Buzzards, Mystery on the Plano Trabuco 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In the Southwest the sight of circling buzzards is not a good omen as it foretells of something that might be dying or perhaps already passed on to its afterlife. I realized that an image of circling buzzards would make a great image for my Mystery on the Plano Trabuco as representative of something dark and forbidding, so I have been on the lookout for such an aerial event.

Although the image above is in line with my visual quest, the subject of this post is about something else that appears to be on the ropes and might be dying; my Epson Pro 4800 printer. Perhaps interesting that the day I sighted and photographed this circling group of buzzards when I returned to my studio, my Epson 4800 started going sideways. First it locked up with a Service code in which the printer appeared to be demanding some respect that was related to a “memory” issue; the net discussion with the Epson technical services folks over a three hour span.

Next the trailing half inch of the prints were printing incomplete; with both banding and then the printing ceased part way on the image at the back edge of the paper as it comes off the printer. The recommendation from the Epson tech was to turn off the fast print option, but regretfully it was not even on. This print issue was occurring whether the print was small at 8 x 7 on 8-1/2 x 11″ paper or a 16 x 20″ image on a 17 x 22″ sheet. sigh.

In one sense, I will have to admit that this printer has been pretty decent for the past 13 years IF I rule out the constant ink plugging and need to go through countless head cleaning cycles. Which has soured me a bit on an Epson replacement. I have had a bunch of folks state that the new Epson’s do not have this issue any more, but there are a few others that state that it just occurs a lot less often. 13 years ago Canon was seriously getting into the printer game and it now appears that Canon has a great set of printers and many of my friends have made the switch.  So Canon is now on my radar. If I made the recent switch from PC to iMac, perhaps I could make the change from 20+ years of Epson to Canon.

Meanwhile, back in the studio I have taken the advice of some Facebook friends to use a power vacuum to clean the beast’s internal workings and then I ran the print alignment diagnostic again. Good News! This combination has seemed to do the trick to fix the printing issue; no banding or print fall off on the 8-1/2 x 11″ paper, so next is to tempt fate and print a large image at 16 x 20″ on a full sheet of 17 x 22″. So for the short term it appears that the printer is working but I still have big time concerns. I know that I have a little bit of time to do my homework on it’s replacement, but the clock is ticking. Tick. Tock.

Maybe even time to consider a 24″ wide big brother printer.

This is pretty much like when I was a kid driving an old clunker car and never knowing when the wheels might fall off. So pretty sure I am now on borrowed time, because as I look up, the buzzards are still circling my studio.





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