About the 1430 -
I’m on my second one. The first was working great until one day it had some sort of sensor problem and couldn’t find its way home. Even with help from Walker I couldn’t find the source of the problem, so I replaced it with a refurb for $200.
The star-wheels are a maybe yes maybe no proposition. On my first 1430 I removed them at the beginning. We now know this is not necessary. Don Messec discovered a way to disable them without making any permanent modifications. There was a thread about it last summer. It’s very simple. But even though I was using that method on my 2nd 1430, on day I removed the little plastic piece that I used to keep the star-wheels up in order to make some prints on paper. Then I forgot to put it back when I made the next negative. There were no star-wheel marks and I’ve been using it unmodified ever since. It’s worth a try. If you are able to print with the star-wheels in the normal position you will not have the fairly severe leading and trailing edge limitations that disabling them brings.
I did not put the Epson inks in first to “proof” the printer either time. I don’t think it’s really necessary. You can always instal them later if you have unsolvable problems from the beginning. I only know of 1 person who has had such problems.
You will find that the 1430 negs are finer “grained” than your 2880 was. This holds true for any other printer, and is simply a function of the smaller dot size - 1.5pl for the 1430 vs. 3.5pl for others. This is the great benefit of the 1430. It’s not dramatic in a print, but it’s there especially if you know to look for it.
The biggest drawback I’ve had with the 1430 is that it clogs fairly easily. This is in stark contrast to my 3880 which (almost) never clogs. It hasn’t been that big of a deal but it sometimes takes a bit of work to clear the clog and get it back to 100%. If I haven’t used it for more than 2-3 days I have learned to expect to have to spend some time getting it cleared. This doesn’t happen every time but more often than not.
If you are using the CISS system, don’t forget to replace the vent plugs when you are finished printing, otherwise ink can syphon through the head. Likewise, don’t forget to remove them before printing, though this will be obvious in that there will be no ink in the lines! I have found that some ink flows back into the tanks when the printer is idle (and/or off) and the vents are plugged. A few cleaning cycles recharges the lines.
There’s a button on the cartridge block for resetting the chips. I think it is a good idea to reset it before a printing session even if it is not giving you an error, especially if you are printing a bunch of negs or large ones so that it does not throw an error during printing. I’ve lost a few this way. It’s easy enough to reset, and it will continue right where it stopped, but there is always a slight density difference where before and after overlap. I don’t think this is documented anywhere.
Finally, the output tray is oddly placed on this printer. There is a drop of about 2 inches from where the film/paper exits the printer to the tray. This could possibly cause the film to bow upward underneath the head if you have the star-wheels disabled. It’s probably not a problem if the star-wheels are in the normal position.
All-in-all I have come to really like this little printer even though it is cheap and flimsy. I’ve been making 8x20" negs on it using 17x22 film cut to 13x22 and am very happy with the results.