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HP Designjet 10ps, 20ps, 50ps, 30 and 30n Printers - Image Quality Print Tests

Introduction
Print quality problems with the HP Designjet 10ps, 20ps, 50ps, 30 and 30n printers may be caused by the following:
  • Ink nozzles in the printhead that are weak, misdirected, or blocked
  • Badly aligned printheads (bi-directional alignment or color-to-color alignment)
  • Skewed paper or accuracy of the paper advance mechanism
If there is a print quality problem, it may be necessary to:
  • Replace a printhead
  • Recover (clean) a printhead
  • Calibrate the printer
A diagnostic page is available to understand exactly what is causing the quality problem.
Printing the diagnostic page
To print the diagnostic page, follow the steps below.
  1. From the software RIP in the computer select Help.
  2. Select the Maintenance option. This opens the Maintenance application page, containing several options.
    1. If the computer is connected to the Internet, select Troubleshooting Process. This links to the hp.com web site, which will offer the latest troubleshooting guidance. Follow the instructions given there.
    2. If the computer is not connected to the Internet, load a sheet of A4- or Letter-size paper and select Image Quality Diagnostic.
  3. After aligning printheads, the printer will print the Image Quality print.
The diagnostic page looks like this:
Figure : The diagnostic page
Understanding and interpreting the diagnostic page
The diagnostic page is composed of three sections (see figure 1 above):
  1. A block of twelve solid colors (in three rows by four columns).
  2. Fifteen blocks of linear grids (in five rows by three columns). (Ignore the blocks of color outside the frame.)
  3. A block of thin black broken lines, with a thick black bar alongside.
Interpreting the block of twelve solid colors
If white streaks or bands occur in one or more of these blocks, the printheads may need cleaning. To do this:
  1. Select the Help button from the driver software.
  2. Start the Maintenance application.
  3. Select the Clean Printheads option.
  4. When the printhead recovery (cleaning) has completed, print the diagnostic page again, to confirm that the problem has been corrected.
If there are still problems in this section, one or more printheads should be replaced.
  • If blocks A1, A2 and B2 all show streaks, replace the magenta printhead.
  • If blocks A2, A3 and B3 all show streaks, replace the cyan printhead.
  • If blocks B1 and C1 show streaks, replace the black printhead.
  • If blocks B2, B3, C2 and C3 all show streaks, replace the yellow printhead.
  • If blocks C2, D1 and D2 all show streaks, replace the light magenta printhead.
  • If blocks C3, D2 and D3 all show streaks, replace the light cyan printhead.
Interpreting the fifteen blocks of linear grids
  • Ignore the blocks of color outside the frame.
  • The first column (A) in each row should show only black horizontal and vertical lines.
  • The second column (B) should also show only black lines.
  • The third column (C) should show black lines and also lines of one color (cyan, magenta, yellow, light cyan or light magenta).
  • If any of the blocks in column B shows color in addition to the black and white lines, the printheads need alignment. See the examples below:
Figure : No alignment required
Figure : Alignment required
Aligning the printheads
  1. Select the Help button from the driver software.
  2. Start the Maintenance application.
  3. Select the Align Printheads option.
      note:
    This procedure will print and then read in an alignment pattern, so a sheet of A4 or similar paper should be loaded.
  4. When the printhead alignment has completed, print the diagnostic page again, to confirm that the problem has been cured. If there are still problems in this section contact HP Customer Care (instructions below) for additional assistance.
Interpreting the block of thin black broken lines, with a thick black bar alongside
  • Ignore the thick black bar.
  • The thin black lines should be straight, though not necessarily perfectly aligned.
  • The thin black lines may also show short irregularities, which are of no concern at this stage.
Figure : Example of good paper advance calibration
  • If the thin black lines show jaggedness or serrations that extend along the whole length of the line, as in the figure below, then there is a problem with the paper advance calibration. This may be due to a fault with the printer, or it may result from the use of paper that is not supported by this printer. If this printer supports the media being used, contact HP Customer Care (instructions below) for additional assistance.
Figure : Example of jagged or serrated lines
Contacting HP Customer Care
To find out more about HP Customer Care, please click here to visit us at: www.hp.com/go/support
What to do before calling:
  1. Review the following troubleshooting suggestions:
    • Read the relevant driver documentation supplied with this printer (for users sending PostScript (R) files or those using Microsoft (R) Windows).
    • If there are third-party software drivers and RIPs installed, refer to their user documentation.
    • If the problem appears to be related to the software application, first contact the software vendor.
  2. If there are still difficulties, refer to the HP Support Services booklet shipped with this printer. This document contains a comprehensive list of various support services available to help solve printer problems.
  3. Before calling one of the Hewlett-Packard offices, please have the following information available to help them quickly answer questions:
    • The printer product number and the serial number, found on the label at the back of the printer.
    • The type of computer connected to the printer.
    • Any special equipment or software (for example, spoolers, networks, switch boxes, modems, or special software drivers).
    • The cable being used (by part number) and where it was purchased.
    • The type of interface used on the printer (USB, parallel, or network).
    • The name of the software in use, and its version number.

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