For those of you who own a Kodak ESP 9 Printer, reader Gail G. provided some great fix-it tips that may just solve some of the print issues you may be experiencing. Gail even has recommendations about what paper worked best for her and why, plus she shares some of her experience about paper jams and what she has learned to correct the problem. In addition Gail speaks about how she keeps her print heads clog free.
For my newly minted home business, I purchased a Kodak ESP 9 back in April of 2009. Couldn’t find that model at a Best Buy or a Walmart or a Staples, so I got it directly from Kodak.
I run a 64-bit Vista operating system, and can’t complain about its performance with the Kodak. I have updated firmware at least once for the Kodak since I’ve had it; major upgrade back in January/February of this year. Took quite a while, but it went through successfully. No complaints with that.
I do use the Kodak to print small jobs every day, mostly black ink printing, and even with the color printing have found the quality of print to be quite good, with a quick-drying ink that lays flat on the paper, and doesn’t make the paper ripple-y, like the other inkjet printers. Nice. I dig that.
The cartridges are definitely cheaper, and I don’t need to wait two or three weeks to buy cartridges (as I used to have to do when I had a first-generation HP laser printer and later, an Epson inkjet). I mean, I literally had to wait to have the money in my pocket, and couldn’t print until then! I planned, upon researching printers for my business, to avoid this problem by getting the Kodak. Every freelancer has lean weeks, and I wanted to plan for them.
I also wanted the scanning, copying, faxing features, just in case such a thing was needed. By now I have used all of these features, although I don’t have to use them often. But they all work just fine!
Now, back to the printing specifics. As i said, the print quality is very good. However, with use, I have noticed the following problems that I was able to work through, and perhaps you will find these remarks helpful:
If, like me, you are a bit of space cadet and foolishly leave something sitting in front of the printer (like, say, a few pieces of mail or other seemingly harmless small obstacle sitting there) and you ditzily try to print anyway, you will find that as the gears are pushing the paper out, the piddling resistance offered by this very small obstacle will cause the printing to go awry ( the paper will become skewed), rather than simply causing the paper to rise up a bit on feedout and roll over the obstacle. This in itself is annoying, but other than compelling one to stop one’s work to try and find a lasting cure for ditziness, what problems can it cause?
Well…once you curse and print again, you will find the print quality will be affected.
Why? Because the printhead will be smeared with the ink that didn’t transfer to the paper. Once I genius’d this through, after unrewarding recalibrations, printhead cleanings, etc., I found that by physically removing and cleaning the messy printhead (carefully), THEN performing the steps of powering up again and recalibrating and clearing the nozzles, etc., I was able to forstall the “gotta replace the ink-clogged printhead” problem. All was seemingly well again. (Until the next time I did the same GD thing with something in front of the print feedout. Then, with the same required maintenance on my part to get things printing right.)
So, obviously, one should keep things away from in front of the printer…unread junk mail, one-inch-high stacks of dead bees, slim volumes of verse.
Other discoveries: find a paper that works well with the Kodak. Avoid getting either the cheapest paper or, inversely, an expensive, too-stiff paper that is literally too thick for the gears to work with. I found that Staples 98 Bright White Inkjet paper works well. During my year of ownership, before I arrived at this paper choice, I have also, at times of poverty, used papers that were too flimsy (gears would pull two at a time, and again, if the paper is not pulled correctly, you risk smearing of ink on printheads) and others that were a bit too slick or had a lower quality, roughened composition that, I believed, contributed to paper jamming problems due to “fuzzing up” (paper lint accumulation). So, once you find a paper that works well, stick to that one. I have found mine and I am staying with it.
As a general remark, I have found that paper jamming occurs but seldom, but I will say, once it occurs, it’s a real PIA to resolve. You have to pull out the paper tray and all but upend the printer to pull out the jam. And even then you end up with torn paper in there, so you have a legacy of shreds to clean out here and there. This can cause some printing hell, but with the right paper choice, not putting too much paper in the paper holder at a time, and a using paper that has been protected from curling in humidity (just keep the paper stored flat in its plastic wrapper, not out all naked in a big stack, where it can collect moisture from the air and curl), you will probably have a good result.
Maybe some of this stuff will help somebody out there. I like the Kodak ESP 9, and if it keeps chugging along, I’d buy another one down the line. But with comments like the ones I’ve read here, I will keep my eyes open to any situations that I can’t live with (like constant printhead replacement, mindless paper jamming I can’t resolve with some simple home fixits, and so on). I would go nuts if I had to contend with that crap all the time.
Good luck to all.
Gail was responding to an article I did back on 03/31/2009 which has received a large number of comments.