The Digital Photo Guy

Keep Your IJP Clog-Free

by on Jul.15, 2010, under Monday Morning Tips

Keep Your IJP Head Unclogged

I’ve been using an Epson R1800 for about 5 years with a CIS (constant ink supply) from and pigment inks from on Calumet Brilliant Supreme Lustre paper. I love the rich colors and wide tonality of this combination. All my prints for public viewing are printed using this system. Here are several that were recently printed. Regular readers will recognize the middle photo as a winning entry in the 2010 San Diego Fair.


The only downside to most 3rd party inks is a tendency to clog Epson heads unless exercised every day. When I’m in the office, that’s not a problem because I can open the Epson printer controls and print a Nozzle Check pattern. However, when I travel, especially during the summer when the temperatures in my unoccupied office can reach 95°F, the heads tend to dry out and clog almost immediately.

In the past, I’ve used a witches brew of programs and tools to automatically print a test pattern every day. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. It certainly wasn’t for the faint of heart and keeping the program running was almost as much hassle as it was to unclog the heads. Now, there’s an (almost) painfree solution.

While placing an order at, I noticed a free utility titled Autoprint for PCs. Each day, the program wakes up and prints a test pattern to the printer. If you have more than one IJP, you can create a job for each printer and it works with any ink jet printer. I loaded the program on a spare laptop since I usually travel with my main laptop. When I leave the office for more than a day, I plug my Epson R1800 inot the spare laptop and leave it running.

To download the program, go HERE. It uses the Windows Task Scheduler so it has an odd quirk. While configuring the utility, it will ask for your computer user name and password. Since most people don’t password protect their home PCs, leaving it blank causes Task Scheduler to throw a hissy fit. There’s a way to fix the problem by editing the Windows registry but it’s not for the faint-of-heart. I chose to use a space as a password. Now, when my PC boots, I have to tap the spacebar as a PW but that’s a lot easier than messing with the registry.

The utility was written and donated by Rickard Dahlstrand, a Swedish consultant and programmer. As the name implies, it only works for PCs and not Macs.

Reduced Price on Canon 10D

I sold my Canon 20D but still have a 10D for sale. The price has been reduced to $200 so, if you’re looking for an entry level dSLR at a P&S price, check it out.

I also added a CD publisher to the excess gear page. If you’re a budding musician who needs to produce professional looking (how it sounds is up to you) CDs for sale or demo reels, this is your ticket. Another use is for groups and organizations (churches, Boy/Girl Scouts, camera/PC clubs, etc) that need to produce multiple CDs with professional quality labels.


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