Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A printing breakthrough!

Following the instructions from the ink guys, I popped out the ink carts and looked at how much ink was in there. There were three carts that did not have much ink in them at all. I was told they should at least look about 1/2 full. Anything less is probably a bad sign. I went and purged the blue, yellow and black carts. It turns out, "purge" refers to the removal of the air, I guess, not the ink. What you're doing is drawing ink into the carts. After doing all three, my printouts are MUCH better. At least the color is right. There's still some banding in the printouts, but not enough for me to want to give up on the whole system. I'm hoping that a print head cleaning will help things a little.

I sent an email to the ink guys letting them know the progress, and asked a couple more questions. I think I will need to pick up some ink refill tools and probably some more purge tools. Hopefully, they can help me so this isn't a recurring issue.

I might as well go and give these guys a plug. The company is inkproducts.com. They're based out of Florida, which is convenient for me. They were responsive and seemed genuinely interested in getting to the bottom of the issue.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Continuous ink status report

Ok. The CIS guys sent me another cryptic email today instructing me to call them. No information about what, just "Hi, please call customer service". A little odd, but OK. I called them, and they seemed surprised I was calling, but they did clear up that the package being sent was a full set of replacement ink.

While I had their ear, I asked about the print head issue. Their technical guy ended up calling me back and had me walk him through what I've experienced. He seems to think it's probably *not* the print head, but possibly an ink flow issue. He gave me some simple things to try out tonight, so when I get home from work, I'll lay down some paper towels and see if the cyan cartridge has just run dry, or if it's clogged.

I will say that it's a good sign that they had someone knowledgeable call back with what sounded like totally valid ideas about what's going on. That *isn't* the kind of support you get from big companies. I'm staying cautiously optimistic about the process.

UPDATE:  I got home and tried his suggestions. I am at a loss for what is going on. I mean, it LOOKS like the cyan (and yellow) cartridges were not filled very much, which was a guess he had. His suggestion was to use the provided tools to "purge" the cartridge - draw ink through it to fill it up. I did that, but it hasn't helped the problem any. I will have to try to email him and see if I can walk through things on the phone with him.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Inkpire Stikes Back

I printed out a couple Hinterland Cliff tops to put onto the foamcore I've been cutting, and darn it if the printouts didn't seem way more yellow than I'd like. They should be a really rich, deep green. I printed out a test page from the printer (you know - the one where I just replaced the print head?) and GRRR the cyan is streaking again!

I am thinking there was something seriously wrong with the batch of cyan I got. I'll be calling the company that sold the ink tomorrow to see what's up.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

CIS Saga

Ok. So, the print head is working now - Canon delivered a new one pretty quickly, and I've been able to get good prints once again. But, I noticed that the ink levels were actually starting to get low, so I ordered two full sets of ink containers from the company that sold the continuous ink system. The box finally arrived the other day. I cracked open the box and pulled out the first zip-lock plastic bag. It had five bottles of ink in it. Super. Then I moved more of the packing peanuts away, and here's what the second bag looked like:

Blech. One (or more) of the ink bottles leaked in the bag. I haven't opened the bag yet. It turns out the company's support lines are available Monday through Thursday, 9-5. Wouldn't you know, I found out about the leaking ink at 6pm on Thursday. I used their website to let them know that the package arrived, and one bag had blue ink all over it. I left my email address and phone number.

The next day, I got an email with a tracking number. There's no information about WHAT they are sending me. I'm hoping they're sending a whole replacement set of ink -- I don't actually know if it's just the blue ink that's leaking, and I don't want to even open the bag until I find out whether they want the bag back or not. So far, I haven't really seen a savings on this ink system. It's been a pain in the butt. I'm left worrying about the fact that I've had a print head clog once already (and they are NOT cheap to replace), and even though my data points are limited, the reliability of having ink shipped isn't looking great... Only time will tell.

Monday, February 20, 2012

A sign of things to come!

So, Staples keeps having sales on foamcore. How cruel is that, right? I keep dropping in and buying sheets and sheets. Today I felt enough was enough, and I started slicing up tiles. Here's a shot of where I'm at:

So, there are Hinterland Cliff tiles in the middle there. For reference, there are two stacks of unfinished 6" tiles in the middle there. The stack on the left has 10 tiles in it, and there are 7 in the stack on the right. So, I've got about 40 6" tiles already cut, and about the same number of hallway tiles. I've got what appears to be 60-80 3" tiles that haven't been finished. Yikes. But, this is a sign of things to come!

Sometimes, it's the little things...

I've been trying to keep some momentum going with the papercrafting. Sticking to small projects has worked pretty well. Here's a shot of some small outbuildings by Dave Graffam.

It's not ALL of the outbuildings - I didn't do the larger warehouse. I stuck to the buildings that were on a single page. These were a lot of fun to build because they're cute structures and they took no time to put them all together!

Game on!

I'll admit that recent setbacks slowed me down. I had issues with the printer's print head, but that's been resolved. Sadly, the ink reservoirs for some of the ink are running low, but I've put in an order for more ink. There's a HUGE stack of printed cardstock for the Hinterland Cliffs set, but the print quality is so bad, I don't want to use any of it! Ugh. My desk space has become a shrine to failed papercrafting.

Time for a change!

I dug through my old printouts and found some pieces from the Vault of the Ancients and Treasures and Tombs sets, and ran them through the robocutter. Slowly, I worked my way through the pieces, and finished off a pile of little things that helped get me back into the game:

What you see here are just a couple things that I've finished off. There's a pile of dwarf standees. I finished five little tiles, and have a couple more along the way. I've got seven sarcophagi, eight lecterns, four large pillars, and a bunch of new walls. Oh, and I now have a slew of barrels too!

Props turn out to be a great way to keep in the papercrafting groove. They tend to be quick to put together and add interest to sets!

I'm anxiously awaiting the ink. I plan on getting more tiles underway soon.