I have a Sp 300i I bought used a couple weeks ago. It has been printing great with slight banding on some black colors.  From the reading the forum I’ve learned some banding can come from feed calibration so I’m trying to adjust it. Below is a pic of my first test print before adjusting and a picture of my last test print. I’ve also adjusted the bi-directional calibration. Anyway my test print now has a dark line across the middle and I’m just not sure how to read the test prints. These prints are on stahls expess print. 

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Also I notice the gaps in the test prints change with the calibrations never had the gaps in the magenta before black test prints changes also. 

OK SP has 2 heads - black and cyan share - I have seen many test prints from SPs like yours. For some reason cyan looks great and the other half, the black looks wonky. The nozzles are not supposed to look wavy - dried ink usually or head wear. Black and Magenta are used the most, but I have found that the cause is dried ink in the nozzles. You can try a 48 hour head soak, followed by a few powerful cleanings - but a new head is the quickest, but costliest. As for the nozzle test on that machine - the black head is used. You cannot properly read the result because the head is not giving you full nozzle results. 

Dark banding - calibration is over printing Your second picture

Light banding - media moving too fast - maybe slight in your first pix - you never mention type of banding

With that said:

Consistent missing nozzles across or up and down can also cause light banding and color shifts.

Your first nozzle test was closer to right. Top block just touch bottom block to make it look continuous - a space or and overlap is no good - hard on your prints to read.

BiDirection - correct fuzzy prints

Lines right over each other - thus the thinnest line in the test

On both test the arrow shows you where you are.

Below is an an image of the banding I’m trying to fix. It appears to be light color banding to me. Also a picture of a new test print from tonight and a test print from last week side by side. The one from tonight is on the left and last weeks will be on the right in the photo. This test print after changing the captop filling with cleaner and soaking for 7 hours. The two test prints look almost identical to me so wondering if you think it’s worth the time to try the 48hr soak or is this about all I can expect from my black?  Thing is the printer really prints beautifully on most of the jobs I’ve done on it which is mostly patterns on heat transfer vinyl. Problem is I have someone wanting 2000 black stickers and I don’t think I’ll be able to get good enough quality from the black. One thing to add my black ink level is on the last line (almost empty) it’s also dated 6-22-2017?  I’m ordering all new ink tomorrow. Do you think the ink could be causing any issues or is it simple to many missing nozzles?  Thanks

There are no pictures.

7hrs is almost 1/7th of 48. You are trying to dissolve ink that you do not know how long was in the nozzles. You do not know the history of the machine, but maybe what you were told. If you sent me the nozzle test prior to purchase I would have told you that the head needed to be replaced or the seller would have to discount for the head. A month or two back, a poster had stated about 40 powerful cleans had cleared a test similar. Ink is cheaper than a head, but instead of that - I would load a cleaning cartridge and just print black until the nozzles cleared. You did a headsoak on a top that had waste ink in it, further diluting the strength. Most do not want to use a new top - a correct way to get 100% solution - due to cost. Until you get your calibration and direction set correctly  - you can expect sub par results. Prints that do not use much black will be ok, even with some missing nozzles in the magenta. When black is used you can expect, banding and overspray. Where black is needed you can expect color shifts. All the best.

Thanks for the reply and your time.  Not sure why the pictures didn't upload with last post. Also the magenta doesn't have any missing nozzles in the latest test print only the black all others look perfect to my untrained eye.  I replaced the captops before the soak per another post I read.  I put the solution in the new captops without any ink ever being in the tops. Unfortunately I ended the soak prematurely out of fear of the ink drying up in the lines from the machine being unplugged and off power.  After stopping the soak i ran test prints and cleanings so now I don't have clean tops to soak heads in.  I'm about two weeks into ownership of the printer so I'm very unfamiliar with best practices and not sure how long it normally takes ink to dry up in lines etc.  I do have some cleaning cartridges and would like to try "printing black until nozzles clear".  I'm not 100% sure how to print just black.  Would i load a black square vector in versaworks for example and turn the black up to 100% all other colors to 0 and then the printer would print the solution from the black and not any other ink?  Also how would I know when to stop printing from the cleaning cartridge?  I'll try again to upload the last test prints. thanks again.

No worries, make sure you get a copy of the manual for your machine.

We all started somewhere.

You can do a headsoak with a used top, just not as strong.

VCs are closed system so ink to dry takes a while if there is fluid in the top. If your clamped the lines under the top, you should be good for 48 hours. if the machine is off you can slide it to the right to unlock the head, move the head left, fill with fluid, and slide slowly to the right until it locks. It will take a few times and it locks when it will not move to the left. Check it again in 24 hours. When you check the top and there is a lot of sludge sitting there, then you had a good soak.

Your worry is not keeping the main switch on in the rear;

No fluid in the top and machine off

Flushing adjustment issues

Clog lines between top and the waste container


Yes purchase and OEM cleaning cartridge.

Use your vector base program and create an RGB black bar or box - Do the with of your media until you are printing cleaning fluid. You can cancel by hitting the pause button, then holding pause until job cancels. The other way is to do a million powerful cleans, but then you are wasting CYM.

having trouble figuring out how to print pure black without the other colors.  I created a square in rgb mode color is #000000 which should be all black.  Saved as eps when it prints in versaworks its printing purple squares with a cleaning cartridge in both black and blue ink slots,  When i look at my job log it's showing ink used as black 1.28cc , cyan .22, magenta .61 yellow .05  

im using roland wayfair removable vinyl with generic profile.  Versaworks version 5.5.1  I've tried to find an option for density control only but can't find it on this version of versaworks. 

OK ensure you are not converting the file on exit from your graphic program

You can use the Roland Color Library and select BK21A

When you go to the VW settings in the file format tab you will see the K value at 100 and the others at 0, VW will automatically print it at density control regardless of what is in the color management tab (where the density control is set)

RGB is a true black that does not add the other colors, unlike CMYK that uses all the colors to make its black

Thanks I’ll try this again if needed. In the mean time I’m out of magenta and cyan ink so I started another head soak while I’m waiting for ink which will arrive tomorrow. I have a question though, since I ran cleaning solution through the cleaning cartridges into the cyan and black head to the point the print was becoming very faint as I’m guessing it was starting to clear most of the ink from the lines do I need to do anything when I replace the cyan and black ink cartridges tomorrow? I also have a new black cartridge on the way.  I put the Eco-Sol ink back in after using the cleaning cartridges last night and I think I did a normal or medium clean but then parked the head for a soak.  Prior to this I was printing the black squares and then doing a test print but The Black was still showing up pretty good in the test print so I kept printing the squares until the test print became very light. It took a lot more printing than i expected for the black to stop showing up. On a good note I did notice atleast one line on the black nozzle check that had been consistently missing came back. 

The worst part of what we do is patience. We try to short circuit the process just to have to start it all over.

Once cleared - 2-3 powerful cleans will bring the ink back to the head. 

If it is the quickest method you seek, replace the head.

I ran numerous prints using the cleaning cartage until it was printing clear. I have one more question. I’ve noticed in my prints before I started this cleaning process sometimes they start out dark or the correct color on the first line of the print then get lighter. This also happend while running the cleaning cartridge. Can you explain why this is?  Even when I printing mostly cleaning solution the first line of the print is still much darker than the rest?  I hope this has something to do with calibration but not sure?  Ill attempt to post a picture for reference. 

Picture of how my dark prints start with a dark line then change to a consistent color.  The dark line is usually the correct color and then the print gets lighter in color but consistent throughout after the initial darker line? 


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