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Setting up the Epson P5000 printer

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Setup and installation for the Epson SureColor P5000

Setting up, ink configuration and software for the 17″/A2 P5000 printer


Keith Cooper is currently testing the Epson SureColor P5000 printer for one of his in-depth reviews.

As part of this we received a brand new P5000 from Epson UK – This initial article cover all the initial setup activity and configuration you’ll need to get the printer up and running.

If you’ve P5000 questions, please do feel free to contact Keith…

setting up the P5000

A large printer arrives

The Epson P5000 at 17″ width may be quite a lot smaller than the 24″ Epson P7000 I reviewed last year, but it still comes in a much bigger box than the excellent 17″ Epson P800.

This article covers its installation and initial configuration, right up to the point I can start using it for making prints.

It’s shipped on a pallet and arrived in a big truck.

delivery of p5000

The delivery driver was very helpful, realising that the box and pallet were simply not going in through my front door.

unpacking

The box on top is a spare set of inks.

The printer definitely needs two moderately strong people to lift it out of the box, and in my case carry it into the house.

packing materials

If you are getting a P5000, note that it wasn’t raining and that not all delivery people will be that helpful.

Check through the packing to make sure you have all accessories and paperwork – you may want to consider what you are going to do with this stuff, in case you need to move the printer at some time…

The printer is being tested in my print room – recently vacated by my old Canon iPF8300 44″ printer.

I’ve moved the plan chest over, for the P5000 to stand on. Here it is with the contents of the box.

setting up the P5000

Old plan chests like this are superb for keeping prints and boxes of paper in – this one cost me £18

The printer is at the front of the chest, since you need space at the back to print manually loaded sheets, particularly if you’ve stiff media to uses (I’ve a box of poster-board I’ll be trying).

The suggested space needed:

P5000 space required

I’d query this for larger stiff media – you’ll see from the photo that I’ve the printer right at the front edge of the chest.

The documentation is comprehensive, until you realise it’s in dozens of languages…

However, the basic setup sheet (top) is very clear in a step by step guide to what you need to do. This initial setup stage is also covered in the online install process, but the paper sheets are clearer for me.

First up I need to remove a lot of tape tabs that are there for shipping.

remove tape tabs

There are ones round the back and inside too.

Yes, there are a lot of them…

assorted tape

The guides are very clear, and once I’ve removed all that tape, I check the parts needed for setting up the printer.

P5000 parts

A few more parts need putting in place.

paper roll holder

The roll holder end just slides in place – there are adapters for borderless printing and 2″/3″ core sizes, but I’ll look at that in the actual review when covering paper handling.

At the moment I just lift the roll cover and drop it into the slot inside.

The printer has a paper tray that accepts up to A2 size paper.

extended paper tray

It extends out forward, to take large sheet sizes.

If you have it set this way, there is a gap at the front where dust could get in – this is what that spare plastic thing you’d noticed is for.

Of course, if you’d read the attached sticker, you’d see an explanation of where it goes…

dust cover added

It clips over the front of the tray when extended for large paper.

paper tray cover

One other detachable item I’d note is the paper output and front manual feed tray.

print supports

Normally you’d leave this in place.  The printer comes with an optional SpectroProofer unit, which I’ve not got. This is not such a great loss for me, since it’s firmly aimed at the proofing market and is -not- suitable for general production of paper ICC profiles. I’ll cover profiling and colour management in detail in the review, but it you’re interested in the SpectroProofer, I covered it when I reviewed the predecessor to the P5000, the SP4900 [SP4900+ SpectroProofer review]

The printer has USB2 and GigaBit EtherNet connections (cables not supplied), so I can easily set up the printer with a USB connection to my laptop, or just connect it to our EtherNet.

Note that there is no wireless option – that’s very much a ‘consumer’ feature ;-)

Before I worry about connectivity, I need to install the 11 starter (80ml) ink cartridges.

Ink Install

The P5000 has a total of eleven ink carts

Ten are active at any one time, with a switchover between Matt Black and Photo Black enabled for different paper types.

When you buy a P5000, you need to choose whether to have the version with a light-light black ink for smoother tonality in light areas and B&W printing -or- the violet ink, which gives a slightly larger gamut.

Some photographers have asked me why I’ve not got the larger gamut version of the printer? Sounds reasonable, but the question is based on mistaking a slightly larger gamut (range of colours) as being more important than the overall quality of printing throughout the range of tones printed. I’ve not made a direct comparison, but Epson assure me that the LLK option is definitely the one for printing photos…

The very first thing I have to do when starting up the printer is tell it which option I’m using.

ready to go with ink

I now pick LLK

pick ink set

The printer wants to make sure.

another warning

Am I really really sure?

ink charge confirm

OK, that’s it and it’s time to load the carts.

time for ink carts

I’ll start on the left.

The ink cover just flips out with a (very) light press, the carts click into place.

add left carts

After putting the carts in and shutting the cover, the carts are listed

add second group of carts

Now for the right side.

second set of inks

Closing the cover starts a period of 10-15 minute whirring noises as the inks are pumped through to the print head.

ink charging

After a while, the process is finished and I can load some paper.

interrupted charge

A warning – do not interrupt ink charging

If you look at the picture above, you can see how some ink has been used from each cart, in filling up the ink lines and the print head. Some of this has also gone into the main maintenance tank  (#1 – far right). This is quite normal when you set up any printer.
However, note that the VM/C levels are a bit lower – what happened?
Well, whilst I was watching the printer (at about ~70% into the ink charging) I leaned over it to look inside. I brushed against the door to the left cartridge slots. The door popped open and the ink charge process stopped.
I closed the door and it restarted with the progress bar at 0% – it zipped through quite quickly, but two carts seem to have gone down quite a bit.
Now I can’t repeat this and I don’t suggest you try it, but I’ll just say that you should be careful with the front covers for the ink carts. Incidentally this also happened whilst printing out a paper profiling sheet. The printing paused and when it restarted, about a centimetre of printing was faulty (i.e. the whole sheet).
Perhaps this is why there is that suggested space in front of the printer – anyway, I have two bits of the shipping tape re-purposed to avoid me opening the panels by mistake.

P5000 networking and software

Although the printer comes with a CD, on my Mac all you get is a link to a web site to download the software needed. This isn’t actually so much of a problem these days (you get the latest drivers for example), but worth noting if you are setting up a printer in an environment where external downloads may be limited.

It’s quite easy to follow the menu options on the printer to set up an IPv4 address and other networking settings directly from the front panel – although you do need to understand some networking basics and know what addresses to use.

In a simple networking environment, the printer and software can find each other over the network and set things up from your computer, however depending on the complexity and security installed this may not always work.

The easiest way may be to temporarily connect your new printer via a USB lead as well as the EtherNet – I connected it to my MacBook Pro via both.

Whatever you choose – the instructions and documentation are very clear. Remember that I test quite a few printers and our network is relatively complicated (I used to work in IT and still tinker…)

To get the software, just enter your model number on the setup web page.

software setup web site

I’ll start with the basic setup – I’ll be looking at some of the additional software in the review, although I cover Colour Calibration later in this article, since like Print Head Adjustment, I regard it as essential elements of setting up the printer.

software options

As I said, it’s stepwise process, that’s clearly explained.

setup printer workflow

I’ve loaded the inks, so need to download the setup software.

The screen shots of the setup software are all using Macs here, but the process is very similar for Windows.

I select software to install – I’d pick all of it.

The software needs to know how I’ve connected the printer.

printer connection

The software works whether this is the initial setup or just adding it to your computer for an existing computer.

initial setup

The software has plenty of reminders built in.

lan connection

Once the printer is talking to your computer, it’s time to add it to your printer list (Mac shown here)

add a printer

I’ve picked the network connected printer.

add printer to mac

Once the printer is in my Mac’s printer list I can then access various setup options, such as default paper type…

setting printer defaults

or check the ink levels.

supply levels

I should note that the printer has its own web server, so you can go in and alter network settings and a few other features if you feel like. You can also check that the firmware is up to date

printer firmware

Well, that’s it, the printer is ready to go.

Just two more things…

Before starting my use of the printer I want to adjust two features that will help produce better quality and more accurate prints.

The first is to check the paper feed adjustment – this calibrates paper movement at a fine scale to reduce any chance of banding.

I start this by launching the printer utility

printer utility

and then the remote control panel (you can also do this adjustment directly via the printer control panel).

LFP panel setup

The feed adjustment needs some paper in place to test

paper feed adjustment

I’ll load up a 16″ roll of Epson PGPP250 glossy paper.

Here’s the roll ready to put at the back of the printer (I’ll cover paper loading in much more detail in the review)

load roll of PGPP

There is a ‘how to load paper’ option on the main menu, but it just goes into the slot and gets loaded after you press the release button.

roll paper load

Just follow the instructions for Adjustment A and a test pattern will be produced for the built-in sensors on the print head carriage to measure.

I went off for a cup of tea, and by the time I came back upstairs with it, the printer had finished its measurements on this print.

adjustment print

Just the ‘A’ setting is OK at this point.

Colour calibration

colour calibrationThe calibration utility software allows you to get your printer to a known state – having done this, I know for example that the ICC profiles I make will be more accurate for other people’s P5000 printers. It’s also a confidence test that the printer is working OK for my subsequent testing.

The calibration is of perhaps more immediate use for people with multiple printers wanting to synchronise their print performance across multiple printers.

It’s very simple to do with the glossy paper I already have loaded.

You need to select the printer.

select printer to calibrate

I make sure the right paper is selected (note how the printer has told the software that a 16″ roll of paper is loaded)

check with pgpp250

The printing starts…

calibration underway

After a while, the measurements are completed.

I now have a completed calibration sheet.

calibration print

and the printer calibration is stored

reference completed

If you need more detail than this, then you’ll know what you need and why…

The printer is now set up for me to start testing…

P5000 specifications

Printing Method: Epson Micro Piezo TFP print head

Ink Technology: UltraChrome HDX

Paper Formats: A2, A2+, A3+, A3, A4, Letter, 17 ” (43.2 cm), User defined

Print Margins Sheet Media: Mode 1: 3 mm (top), 3 mm (right), 14 mm (bottom), 3 mm (left)

Paper Tray Capacity: 250 Sheets Standard, 250 Sheets Maximum, 100 Photo Sheets

Compatible Paper Thickness: 0.08 mm – 1.5 mm

Duplex: No

Number of paper trays: 1

Energy Use: 52 Watt, 5 Watt (economy), 0.5 Watt (standby)

Supply Voltage: AC 100 V – 240 V, 50 Hz – 60 Hz

Product dimensions: 863‎ x 766 x 406 mm (Width x Depth x Height)

Product weight: 52 kg

Sound Power: Operation: 6.2 B (A)

Noise Level: Operation: 47 dB (A)

What’s in the box

Driver and utilities (CD), Individual Ink Cartridges, Main unit, Power cable, Setup guide, Software (CD), User Manual (CD-ROM), Warranty document

Memory: Printer: 256 MB, Network: 1 GB

Emulations: ESC/P2

Compatible Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 7 x64, Windows 8, Windows 8 (32/64 bit), Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2003 (32/64bit), Windows Server 2008 (32/64bit), Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 (64bit), Windows Vista, Windows Vista x64, Windows XP, Windows XP x64, Windows server 2003 R2

Warranty: 24 months On site service

Media Handling: Auto Sheet Feeder, Auto cutter, Borderless print, Fine Art Paper Path, Manual duplex, Roll Paper, Thick Media Support

Printing Resolution: 2,880 x 1,440 DPI

LCD screen: Type: Color, Diagonal: 6.8 cm

More print related information

For information about other printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main Articles and Reviews page, or use the search box at the top of any page. There are also specific index pages for any articles connected with the following topics:

 


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