I recently inherited a used Roland BN-20 as a part of a bigger hardware acquisition. What a great little printer cutter it is, however it had been sat unused for 8 -10 months in a van. We pressed it into service and its been working really well with just one exception - the black. It is pretty good on most images but on heavy black outlines I get all this noise/spatter.

I cleaned the head many times, soaked the cap top twice and manually cleaned the head carefully 3 times and I just can't get rid of the noise. I tried dropping off the black saturation in Versaworks to reduce the amount of black on the "EasyPrint" media with no success. Please see attachments...

Do I need a new print head (super scary price tag)? And why is black the only colour to suffer?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated as I have no experience with these things.


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You need a new head.

I put the bottom line up front. So here I go into the explanation. Your headsoak was not long enough - I know you did not say how long it was. If it was not 48hours then not long enough! You have super deflections not to mention complete blockage of nozzles. So your cyan channel looks wonky too. Congrats on getting it to the stage you have now. These machines must remain with power so they can come on and do the minimum amount of cleaning. The BN that is on and not used would give you the same results. The BN that uses the same head as the VS - destroys the head a lot quicker. So if you do not want to pay the 2400 plus labor for the new head, you can try the following.

A 48hr headsoak on the old captop (must clamp lines to keep fluid in the top)

Follow by 2 powerful cleans, then assess

Replace the captop

Ensure you are using OEM cleaning solvent.

Now if you do not get straight columns of nozzles in all columns, then you will always get noise.

Noise also comes from static in dry climates, but yours are from those nozzles. You can try running cleaning solution cartridges by printing single colors with a cleaning cartridge substituted for the ink which will attack the issue from both directions - but I had little success with that and head washes. All of those blank nozzles will not produce the proper colors and cause banding. So the quick fix but costly is a new head, the delayed fix and more costly is the time of doing the soaks and changes just to replace the head. Either way - you will need a new captop - they are rated for 6 months when in use, but with a cmyk printer and in use - a good year.

Thank's Irving, well we got it for very little so I guess a new head would be the right thing to do, however I will do as you suggest and clamp the tubes then carry out a 48 hour soak followed by the cleans. I think you have confirmed my suspicion that a new head will be on the cards.

Thank-you for your help, I'll do a follow up when I've achieved something!

Yes do the follow for the community and those that do not take that important step in posting. Please post the results so I can evaluate if there is any movement. If there is then I may have some more suggestions.

Time for an update, did a nice long head soak over the weekend and ran a couple of powerful cleans. The net result was no improvement whatsoever, so today I called a well known company and chatted to an engineer and described the test print result and it would appear that the problem is more than likely an electrical breakdown on the print head board rather than blocked nozzles.

So its a new print head plus the four dampers plus call out fee - £2500k inc. VAT probably after chatting to two different engineers.

My decision is to PX or ditch the BN-20 and purchase a used SP300v as they are a much better bet to maintain and replace parts when required - plus they are much quicker!

I will cosign a new head, not on board with the electrical point of view. Not on board with the SP300v. The printer would be one of the oldest out there. If you can find a SPi or and SP then you will be well suited with what you stated above. All the best. For all reading if you get a new head, always put in new dampers and captop(s), always.

Understood, but either way it means a replacement though Irving so at least you prepared me for this so thank-you. Yes I think we will get an SP300V, it's more affordable in these uncertain times.


I understand, Cheers


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