Setting up the Epson SC-P900
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.
The black box in the top contains ink cartridges, as well as a short setup guide and the holder for printing on DVDs/CDs
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.
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
The plate only needs bending a little bit to clip into place, or remove.
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.
Just pull the grey tab.
The box just clips in place.
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.
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
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.
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.
*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’
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
Once the carts are in place, close the cover and the printer will start the fill process.
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.
At this point the printer is able to be used.
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.
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:
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.
The installer seemed to take ages finding the appropriate connection, but it was only a minute or so…
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 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.
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’.
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:
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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