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Roland VP540 Solid Yellow printing, motherboard connection issues


New Member
I am new here but have been reading here for weeks. I have a vp540 that when I warm it up enough does seem to connect more with more stability. I am going to need to address this as it connectivity is flaky and not so sure if it is connected to the few times it stopped in the middle of printing and said "processing" until I canceled the jobs. I am not sure if sending in the board to macmedia is the answer or not but he specifically says that if it is for connectivity reason.....contact him before sending. I sent detailed email to Georgia and they kindly replied that it is likely solder delamination but offered a good deal on a mim. printer or told me the only other answer was unfortunately, a new board.

I was having problems with head separating from cutter most recently so research revealed sticky grease that once removed, allowed the head to move with MUCH less friction and I think the problem may have gone away. I also cleaned the linear encoder and besides it looking old has a few questionable areas that led me to ordering a new one. I read about flipping it over and it may have already been done, it just looks like it is time, I think it is only around 14.00 to replace anyway.

I have had it printing small samples about 2 x 4 and the Versaworks test print at 49% smaller and at first it was printing all colors although lots of missing lines on all heads. Black and Magenta being best condition.

I have had to replace both pumps and discovered that one of the two hoses that run 2 of the 4 colors into the drain was clogged. I have been doing head soaks and thought if I could keep running it and cleaning it - maybe it would clear......

When I bought the machine I was told 2 of the heads new, 2 of them "newer" and he had replaced the motherboard (I think). He was concerned that selling it he just wanted to get the money out of the "new" heads and board he thought it was worth....etc.

So, after fixing the drain, the pumps, the wiper motor he broke the wiring off, which he said was the main reason for the error code, I fixed the bent up carrige and broken wiper slider and tried to get ink flowing....and knowing the mother board would still be addressed. I think he didn't realize that with the pumps failing the heads were not being cleaned and was the reason he said I could run cleaner 20-30 times and it wouldn't amount to much in drain tank.... I used cleaner, syringes and overnight soaks to get it flowing again although it was crappy quality. It was still printing and at least I was learning to use the setup on laptop and how to get prints and cutting to work. POOR quality but working..... I closed the head covers up after a few business card sized test prints but then the Yellow head (has 2 cables both yellow) started over printing full yellow across entire 54 inches, media or not....... It has not stopped and I realized that the head cables , obviously replaced are tooooo long. It is hard to get the cover on without the excess of the stiff cables having to bend - pulling and moving around. I have ordered the right size cables and will be replacing them... I saw a couple leads bend over when they were inserted or suspected they were moving. +++++ I wonder if anyone could tell me if sollid spray means a burnt out head or the small printer head board is damaged. I wonder if I can simply unplug a head and then turn on machine and see which yellow cable is firing which side of head or both etc....

I don't know if I should buy a new head or mess with sending it in for one of those 75.00 refurbish offers. I look in behind the dampers with a flashlight and I can not tell you which 2 heads are newer or new as he mentioned as they are all splattered with off brand ink. I did not do this and it apparent it has been this way for quite a while.

I don't know if I should just buy a mother board to fix network communication problems and then buy a head and replace the yellow to see if the head will stop spraying full bands of yellow. I am not sure if the actual mother board can be causing the spray and might go away (ya, if I could be so lucky) if I replaced the mother board to get my conectivity issues taken care of.

I tried calling the previous owner and asked to get back with me several days ago. So many screws missing in this machine it looks like there are not many places someone has not been......


1 motherboard connectivity problem, best plan to fix

2 don't know what head strike looks like but know they had one.

3 what would make yellow turn on full but not turn off?

4 can I pull head ribbon off, turn on machine and run without hurting anything?

5 Maybe yellow damper or small head board now bad due to long cables getting possibly yanked on or possibly off?

6 is it worth it to send in a head for cleaning and are these heads so damaged not worth it?

7 I really appreciate all the reading and education I have found on this site and the willingness others have given to share and help each other. I really have enjoyed the reading, and sympathize with others who have invested a huge number of hours like I have, just to make it work.


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New Member
1. Replace the mainboard, have sent many to Macmedia, and have yet to have one work better than it was before.

2. Head strike evidence can be seen on the printhead surface itself, will usually be scratches or actual dents itself.

3. That yellow streak accross the platen is more than likely the printhead cable not seated properly or the cable ends are damage or crossing over when inserting onto the slot.

4. You can remove the cable from yellow, cyan and magenta and the printer will act normal (but nothing will be outputted from removed cables/heads). If you remove the K cables you will get "Temp Too Low" error message when powering on. Speaking of power, always unplug the power cable and hit the front panel power button before removing any cables or connections.

5. See response to #3

6. Depends, if you have damage to the printhead surface, not amount of cleaning will bring back those nozzles. If you can get a service report by holding down the down arrow and turning on the printer. IF you have more than 6 billion shots on the head, then I would just replace with a new head, because over 6 billion your already past normal life expectancy for the head.

just my .02


New Member
Oh my ! Thank you for your reply. I know I have a lot I am working on and I appreciate your response. I am chasing down a few problems but am getting there. I have the new Shorter cables coming and will replace the new, (but also too long) cables I bought and put in on the yellow. Hopefully when I put them in it will be better.

So now the other thing.....I originally sought out this printer because a local friend had a Roland Solex Pro 2 sc540 EX that he had put away wet. All the research said 5000.00 was too much. Talking to others that repaired they said they would look for deals in the 100-1500 range because they knew most of the time a lot of parts beyond the huge expense of the heads would still be making a 5-7k machine that was still old.....

Well now that this guy had apparently talked to his repair people, he has changed from saying 5000k and expecting about 1000-1500 to get it running........ to saying 3000 to buy because apparently that is what his guys offered to take the machine.....to fix it up. I am not sure but for all I know they told him 1000-1500 and maybe they said if you got 3000 you would be lucky.....so possibly he thinks coming down from 5k to 3k is his being reasonable.....

I just wonder if it is worth that......It is physically in good shape compared to the ink mess versacam I have that is needing a 1500 motherboard and the heads. I wonder if it is worth it to pay the extra 1500 and basically to keep moving ahead? I look at the versacam as something I learned alot from and now know that working on them is not that difficult although if it is motherboard....nothing I can do.....

Do you know if ALL Rolands have the motherboard delamination/failure problem or in a comment I saw posted here that older versacams are known for this problem....... Obviously, if they all do this, I would be better off just paying the 1500.00 and finish getting vp540 running. I don't really need two machines but it looks like if I jumped to another machine the difference is 1500.00 and I have to replace the lines and pumps which isn't a big deal.

The short of it is if I should get around the 1500.00 motherboard problem of the vp540 by investing the 1500+1500 difference to get the better shape sc540 machine and fix that intead. I will have something much cleaner, will print larger, and prints 6 colors or I think might do gold and/or white..... This guy keeps telling me that for 3k and maybe 2k I can have it up and running and be worth 10-12k......... Just getting tired from it all.

I have had to take a break from all this expense to rebuild an apartment bathroom this week that the drunk tenant started by touching off a towel and let it go...... Fire department busted out the drywall and we been dealing with the smoke and reset.....I am just trying to survive and it just seems harder and harder......

This is why I appreciate your response so much and am just now sitting down to find someone cared enough to help. THANK YOU!
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