She's dead, Jim.
I've reached the end of the road with this used Epson 4900 I've been trying to revive. After failing to get more than three colors (out of ten) to print I decided to try and swap the head to the extra head that came with the printer. This other head did not appear to be in great shape, but it could give me some clues as to where my problems are.
I installed the head easily enough, but after installing it the printer would not power on. This is completely illogical but it happened. I put the old head back in and the printer powered up fine. I tried doing this again following the instructions for entering the code numbers on the head very carefully, but this did not help either. In fact, the software that you use to do this consistently said that the codes I was entering were invalid. I triple checked them, they were correct. It didn't matter - the unit won't power on with the alternate head anyway.
After reinstalling the original head I went to run a test and got the message "Fatal Error". I powered off the machine and restarted it. I did not get the fatal error, but I am getting an error 1497 - a timing problem in the black in transfer process.
I don't want to get into this any further. I'm done. Anyone who wants this thing can send me a note and come and pick it up. If no one wants it, it will go to the landfill.
Too bad. Paul Roark has cooked up a new universal, 100% carbon ink set that will print on glossy and matte papers with fade resistance to over 200 years. That would have been sweet in the 4900. I will adopt my little Epson 1400 for this ink and be satisfied with prints up to 13" wide. The 1400 does not give me much trouble and with the 4900 gone I'll be getting back a lot of desk space in my "darkroom".
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