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Setting up the Epson SC-P900

  |   Article, Articles and reviews, Epson Printer, Printer articles, Printing   |   2 Comments

Setting up the Epson P900 printer

Initial printer setup and software installation

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Keith Cooper has the the Epson P900 printer here for a detailed review.

Before any testing though, you need to set the printer up. This setup article looks at the process in rather more detail than is covered in the review. There will be another short article (and video) that looks at setting up and using the optional roll paper holder for the P900. Unlike the smaller P700, this is not standard, and is quite a large device which attaches to the back of the printer

The printer is simple to set up, but a few points are worth noting if you’re new to printing.

Unboxing the Epson P900

The process of setting up an Epson P900 printer should take less than an hour.  The three longest parts are

  • Removing all the tape and packing
  • Waiting for the printer to fill its ink system
  • Waiting for any firmware update to complete

The printer is well packed, but UPS were able to break one by dropping it on a corner during shipping. OK, because Epson sent another, but do check very carefully before accepting any packages. Broken polystyrene blocks and obvious dents are a bad sign.

printer-box

The black box in the top contains ink cartridges, as well as a short setup guide and the holder for printing on DVDs/CDs

cd-holderink-carts

The carts are slightly overfilled startup carts, meant for initialisation only.

The ink carts need shaking for a bit before installing – much easier to do whilst all in the box.

Do not install the inks until the printer is powered up and ready

The blue tape

There is a lot of sticky tape protecting the printer. It takes a while to remove it all. It’s inside as well, as you’ll find when opening the covers.

P900 printer setup

It all needs to go.

The printer has an opening at the back where front fed paper (or board) comes out before being drawn through the printer for printing.

If you have a roll paper unit, it simply plugs in and clicks in place [I’ll have a guide to using it in due course].

In normal use there is a thin plastic plate which clips in place and folds down should you need access at the back

rear-cover

The plate only needs bending a little bit to clip into place, or remove.

fit-rear-cover

The printer comes with a mains lead (no USB) and a spare maintenance cart. This is the white box on the printer above.

There is a cart fitted, but it can get close to full during the setup. It’s at the front lower right behind a flap.

mc-cover

Just pull the grey tab.

mc-access

The box just clips in place.

maint-cart

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll need another soon. The replacement will likely last for years, since it’s only there to catch overspray ink from borderless printing and when you run head cleaning cycles.

At this point, don’t connect USB or Ethernet cable at the back.

network-and-USB

All you need to do is power up the printer and follow instructions.

The online guide

There is basic setup instructions in the Epson install system.
For accessing this, go to: https://epson.sn

Do ensure that you use the full model name of the printer when searching any Epson site, for this printer it’s an SC-P900

setup-1

The guide is very clearly written and easy to follow.

I’ve an overview below, but you might just want to check you’ve enough space for the printer.

Enough space?

The printer is light and compact. However, the compact state is not the one you’ll use when printing. It’s lighter and easier to move before installing the ink carts.

Some space is required at the sides for ventilation whilst at the rear and above, some space is needed for the paper feed support, especially if you’re planning to print on A2 sheet paper.

P900-size

*1: When you load paper in the front paper feeder, secure more than 405 mm, and when you set the optional roll paper unit and load roll paper, secure more than 332 mm behind the printer.
[P900 manual p219 – see examples below]

Here’s the printer, with a tape measure giving a feel for how much bigger it is ‘opened up’

p900-space-1

The two sticks are just to show where the feet of the printer are – these must be on a firm surface.

There are six feet, circled here. These must rest on a firm surface.

P900-feet

With sheets of A2 paper in the input and output tray, I’ve added the roll holder to the back to give a feel for how large a space the printer can need.

P900-size with paper

Just one more thing. If you want to print via the front slot on paper or card, it comes out of the back before going back in to be printed.

This is thin card – it will hit the back wall very hard if there isn’t space when you load it. You do not want to do this…

card-out-of-the-back

Initialising the printer

The printer is initialised on its own, you just plug it in and start it up.

You need to set the display language and the date/time first. Then lift the front cover to see the 10 slots for the ink carts.

ink-slots

The display has an animated help screen to assist, but all you need do is fit the ink carts.

There’s no order to it, but each cart will only fit the slot it’s meant to go into.

load-ink-carts

The grey tabs above the carts are there to release the carts when it comes to replacing empty ones.

The carts included with the printer are setup carts with a bit more ink in them to initialise the printer. The carts are some 15-20% full after setup, so you will need new ones before too long. I’ll look at ink usage in more detail in the main review.

Between the ink carts and print head are flexible tubes supplying the ink – these have a protective (clear) shipping fluid in them which is flushed through, and out into the maintenance cart during setup.

pipes-to-fill

Once the carts are in place, close the cover and the printer will start the fill process.

initialising printer

it takes around 15 minutes.

DO NOT do anything to the printer whilst waiting – no opening covers, fitting cables or anything. just leave it.

After some 15 mins, the printer is initialised and set up.

setup-complete

At this point the printer is able to be used.

ready-to-go

Now’s the time to run the install software to connect up the printer.

Connecting up the printer

The USB and Ethernet sockets are under a rear panel which folds out.

In setting up the P900, I used a wireless connection rather than my more normal wired one. With the P700 (which is identical the the P900 in many respects) I used wired connections – see my P700 setup article for more info.

The connection part of the install web page will help here.

setup-5

Now, you don’t have to use this process. If you wanted you could set the printer network details (wired or wireless) directly from the front panel. You could then simply add the printer to existing driver software as a new printer.

However, I’ll assume that if you’re planning on going that route, you don’t need me to tell you about IP addresses and the like…

Setting up the printer and software

The simple method is to use the Epson install system I mentioned earlier. For accessing this, go to:

https://epson.sn

You need to put in your product type. Unfortunately the search is not very smart, so  ‘P900’ isn’t good enough. ‘SC-P900’ works though.

I  downloaded and ran the Epson installer software via the setup link. For this printer I chose wireless, but options are there for network and direct connections.

check-for-connection

The installer seemed to take ages finding the appropriate connection, but it was only a minute or so…

check-network

After the connection is made, the appropriate driver software for your system is downloaded. You can also download the manual (useful) along with other software for the printer.

At this point during my setup, the software noticed that the printer firmware was out of date, and offered to update it.

You can do this from the printer control panel as long as the printer is on a network, but there’s no reason not to do it here. The printer will install the firmware and restart itself.

firmware-update

Firmware is often updated quite regularly when a printer is a new product – most fixes are actually pretty minor internal stuff, but it would be nice to have a bit more information.

The printer will also be set up as a printer on your computer. The example here is using my oldish MacBook Pro, but works similarly on Windows machines.

The AirPrint issue

There is just one minor warning to note when setting up Macs

Make sure that the printer is not setup using an AirPrint option – this is very useful for iPhones, iPads etc but offers a cut down functionality which is not what you probably want when printing from applications on your computer. Indeed, it caused me some consternation a while ago when i first did it and couldn’t work out why many of my print options were no longer there.

Here’s part of the printer registration stage during setup, where the Epson software is reminding me of this.

beware-airprint

The drop-down menu shows the Secure AirPrint and AirPrint options I do not want to select.

After setup, there are all our printers on the network showing up – the important check is that the word AirPrint isn’t appearing next to ‘Kind’.

driver-set-up

One other bit of software I’d very much recommend getting at this point is the latest Epson print software. See the P900 and P700 reviews for more about using it.

Epson Print Layout

At the time of writing, the Epson Print Layout software is not installed in the process above. I’ve more information about it in the review and B&W print articles, but the official download page from Epson UK is:

https://www.epson.co.uk/apps-software/epson-print-layout

Oct 2020: This still has broken links, but these are the Mac and PC versions

Hopefully that’s covered the really quite simple process of getting your printer up and running. I’m always happy to answer questions about any of my articles here or directly.

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Site Notice: Thanks to everyone who has offered support - we're starting to see some work again, but I'm still at home a lot. At least I've lots of videos, articles and reviews to write - if you've any suggestions or questions, please do let me know - Keith & Karen
...Sign up for our (ad free) Newsletter to hear about new articles and subscribe to my YouTube Channel
...My book about how to use tilt/shift lenses is now available for pre-order.

2 Comments
  • Keith | Oct 27, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Sorry, should have been clearer – the initialisation carts are for starting up the printer, the remaining ink can of course be used for printing.
    I’ll have details (I weighed the carts) in the full review. There is more ink left (~20%) than with the P700
    The P900 is identical to the P700 in many respects – my P700 icc profiles work just fine.
    The full review is probably a couple of weeks off…

  • Iustin Pop | Oct 27, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Yay, finally the SC-900 review(s) appear. It’s still not available here in Switzerland, I guess it’ll take a while longer.

    The sizing bit is really important, I’ll have to see if it fits well in the place where I have the 3880 right now (especially concerned about the needed space at the back).

    Quick question: “The carts are slightly overfilled startup carts, meant for initialisation only.” Do I misunderstand, or you can’t print using these cartridges at all, and one needs to order ink at the same time as the printer? That would be surprising, normally it’s just that ~half of the ink is spent on initialisation, but not that there’s none left.

    Thanks again!

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