The Epson Pro 7900 and Pro 9900 printers are identical in almost every respect, except their width, weight and a few other minor details. The same instruction manual comes with both models.
I ordered the Pro 7900 from an out of state dealer for four reasons:
- Very competitive price.
- No sales tax.
- No shipping charge.
- Four hundred dollars worth of roll paper of my choice included in the quoted price.
Epson was also offering a rebate at the time. I suggest shopping around for the best price, and waiting for rebates if possible: It pays dividends.
The Pro 7900 weighs 222 pounds (100.9 kg) including the printer, stand and paper basket, but not the ink cartridges. It comes in one very large box that requires delivery by a truck with a lift gate. I paid a $75.00 US charge for the lift gate delivery truck.
When mounted on the stand, the Pro 7900 is 48 inches tall (1,218 mm), 53.4 inches wide (1,356 mm) and 26.26 inches deep (667 mm). It is considerably larger in all dimensions, and heavier, than the Pro 7800 that preceded it. Two or more (Epson recommends four) capable people are required to lift the printer out of the shipping carton and place it on the assembled stand. The Pro 7900 stand has been improved over previous large format printers, as there is much less side to side vibration when it is printing.
If the printer is to be used some distance from the unloading area (down a long hallway, or on another floor) I suggest carrying the printer and the stand to this area for assembly and mounting. For long distances, a wheeled dolly for the printer would be very useful. The size of the shipping carton precludes moving it indoors for unpacking and assembly, unless a freight door, or double doors without a middle jamb are available.
Once on the stand, the unit was easily rolled into the house and on to the designated room. Epson suggests at least twelve inches clear space on all sides. This is a sizeable printer and space should be carefully considered before ordering.
The stand consists of two sides and a lateral strut, which are easily assembled using the included hex wrench. An instruction manual holder is clipped onto one of the sides, a couple of cable clips are inserted, and assembly is complete.
Once in final position, the cloth paper basket is assembled and attached to the printer. This basket folds up and out of the way under the printer when not in use. The casters should also be locked at this time to keep the printer from moving while operating.
All moveable components are held in place for shipping by several strips of blue tape which should be removed, including a small tab that holds the print head in place.
I always power my printers through an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for several reasons:
- To protect the printer from power line surges, which are very common in this area.
- To protect the printer from power outages (also very common here) while printing, which wastes paper and ink.
- To assure that the printer will not be shut down prematurely. Epson recommends always shutting the unit down by using the power on/off button on the console, assuring an orderly shutdown procedure. Power strips and externally switched circuits should not be used.
Once the power cord is connected, the printer is turned on at the console, the “Install Ink Cartridge” message appears in the LCD display, and the ink cartridge doors (one left and one right) are automatically opened. It is not possible to open the ink doors manually as in previous Epson printer models. The Pro 7900 (and Pro 9900) ink cartridges are pressurized and must be depressurized prior to removing them. Hence, the change in door opening procedure. When replacing exhausted ink cartridges, a button on the console is used to access an on-screen utility and select left, right, or both doors for opening.
The Pro 7900 uses eleven ink colors. An initial set of eleven 110 ml cartridges are included and installed at this time. The ink colors and their abbreviations include:
|Left Side||Right Side|
|1) Cyan (C)||7) Vivid Magenta (VM)|
|2) Orange (O)||8) Light Black (LB)|
|3) Yellow (Y)||9) Green (G)|
|4) Light Cyan (LC)||10) Light Light black (LLK)|
|5) Matte Black (MK)||11) Vivid Light Magenta (VLM)|
|6) Photo Black (PB)|
Like all color printers, the eleven 110 ml cartridges will not be used at the same rate, depending on individual users images and printing practices. Replacement cartridges are available in 150, 350, and 700 ml sizes. As the 110 ml cartridges are depleted, selection of replacement cartridges can be determined: smaller cartridges for the less frequently used colors, and larger capacity cartridges for the more frequently used colors. I am not a production printer, and have settled on the 150 ml cartridges for the less frequently used colors, and the 350 ml cartridges for the more frequently used colors.
Prior to insertion into the designated slot, each ink cartridge should be rocked gently form end to end to distribute the ink pigments in the liquid vehicle. Cartridges should not be vigorously shaken, as this may introduce air bubbles in the pigment/vehicle mixture that might cause problems later as the bubbles make their way through the lines to the print head.
Epson ink cartridges have a shelf life of two years, and a use-within period of six months for installed units. It is possible to remove cartridges, gently agitate them, and replace them should the six month period expire before they are depleted.
Once all ink cartridges have been installed and the doors closed, the ink charging procedure begins. This procedure will take several minutes
At this time, the printer can be connected to either a USB interface (1.1 and 2.0 compatible) or an Ethernet 10/100 Base T cable. The Pro 7900 manual suggests a maximum cable length of “10 feet (6 m?)”. I have been using a USB 2.0 cable approximately 16 feet long (5 m) with no problems of any kind.
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