DVD sticking in printer odd cause for problem (1 Viewer)

TheForce

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Here's an odd one I just encountered.

I have this large job of DVD duplication. Several thousand.

I burn the DVD's in a tower and then stack them in a Print Factory II from Microboards. The disks feed one at a time perfectly, sometimes two in the stack. But if I do more than 10 in the stack they don't drop like they should.

Tech support said it is likely the cartridge, swap it out. Maybe you have a bad batch of cartridges. He said that the cartridge has a sensor that prevents disks from dropping if there is a problem. He felt the connection for the sensor was intermittent.

So, as I sit here feeding the DVD's 2-3 at a time, I noticed the DVD's were sticking to each other in the stack plus the hair on my arm was standing up. Why? static electricity! When there are a large number of static charged disks above the one next in line, the charge won't allow the disk to drop into the alignment hopper.

Besides building a metal table that is grounded to sit the disks stacks on waiting for the printer to bleed off the charge in each disk is there any other way to fix this?

Normally, you wouldn't suspect that static electricity would be a problem in humid Florida in the summer, but it is when the disks are spinning in the burner at elevated temperature which will charge up the disks. Putting the disks in a stack for printing, just works like putting cells in a stack to make a battery. The charge increases.

I think this also explains why when I get ahead on the burn time and have disks waiting these will print just fine in a stack. It gives the disk stacks time to bleed off the charge.
 

TheForce

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Thanks for the suggestion on the mat. Scott- that is too much handling time for these large orders.
Presently the problem seems to go away if I just take the stack of DVDs off the burner and let them sit for 20 minutes or so on a table near by.

Its so funny and reminds me of my days in the chemical business where from the lab to the plant strange things would show up. Even from intermediate pilot plant we had unpredictables. I'm just happy I have the problem figured out.


Another issue I had here is a case of DVD's (500) were mis-labeled from the factory. They worked fine at 4X, but even though labeled 8X, would not work, 50% were not recognized and those that were burned a normal 4 minute run in 25 minutes. ouch! Set the burner to top out at 4X and they worked 100% in 7 minutes!
 

Anole

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Ion generator

I haven't seen one of these in 30 years (haven't looked), but they used to sell a little radioactive probe that caused the local air to ionize and dissipate static charges.
It might have been related to playing records and keeping dust off the needle, but my memory is foggy.
Knowing that such things exist(ed), you might search and see if they ever worked, and are available today.

The expensive ion breeze air purifiers were debunked by Consumer's Union a few years back.
Total crap for air cleaning.
However, you might still ask the question, "will this kill my static cling?" :cool:
I honestly don't know.

Having lived in Florida as a boy, I can't imagine working up a charge that won't dissipate within moments.
But then, my memories are of 98% and 98º. :eek:

Some standard ways to dissipate static charge include
- making the surface conductive.
That would require a formula change to the printable coating , by including carbon or other conductors.
You don't need much conductance to get the charge bled off.
- You could spray a conductive coating onto one side or the other.
Doesn't sound too practical.
- I think there's a technique where you can generate a micro-mist fog with an ultrasonic probe in your liquid.
It won't actually wet the surface, but it'll bleed off the charge, if you make the fog with the right stuff.

Traditionally, you run the charged surface past a bunch of grounded, sharp, needles, spaced very closely to your disc.
Frayed out grounding strap (coax shield) would do the job.
Cut it square, then comb out the end for 0.5 to 1.0 inches, and let that wipe lightly across the disc top as it ejects through one of your mechanisms.
I suppose half millimeter clearance might work, too , but for best effect, the grounding wires need to be sharp and pointed at the surface, and spread evenly across the entire disc path as it travels by.

I think there's another trick with aluminized mylar confetti (like Xmas icicles ) which drag across your disc surface.
Very light touch, and a guaranteed way to bleed off any charge.
Have to be sure they're conductive, and grounded.

Putting the disks in a stack for printing, just works like putting cells in a stack to make a battery. The charge increases.
Is this hopper plastic?
If so, spray it inside with anti-static spray, and let it dry.
Then, run a grounding wire up the outside, and slop some spray over to the wire, at top and bottom of the hopper/tube/stack.

The more I think about it, there's a whole industry with products directed at controlling static build up.
Do some internet searching for industrial static control solutions.
Let us know what you find.
I think this is really a trivial problem, when using the right technology.
 
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TheForce

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The hopper is part plastic part metal This is a commercial printer. And as such is well grounded.

Basically the problem is resolved here. I'm a firm believer in Occams Razor. The simplest solution is generally the correct and best solution. I sit the disks on a grounded surface for about 10 minutes before dropping them into the hopper. IT works 100% ! :)
 

TheForce

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Thanks Mastermesh but places like this are actually competitors. Besides they couldn't handle the level of service I do. e.g. One job is 65 different titles of varying quantities. Places like this would have setup charges that make them too costly or unit pricing that is not what is advertised once they see the content and packaging. Not sure if you are in the business but I can tell you it's the hidden charges that put these guys out of the running most of the time. I'm not big time at all but what I do is a level of service these guys can't touch. I use the same equipment, too.
However, I'm always ready to "Tom Sawyer" ( let the other guy paint the fence) the project and just turn a small profit. To date I have found no one who can do it as specified.
 

mastermesh

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Cool. Do you have a website or something that lists all your services and prices? If you are better than them, and cheaper too, I suspect that there's lots of people, especially in the indy game and video creation places on the internet that would be very happy to work with you.
 

TheForce

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Cool. Do you have a website or something that lists all your services and prices? If you are better than them, and cheaper too, I suspect that there's lots of people, especially in the indy game and video creation places on the internet that would be very happy to work with you.


There are, but I am just one person or me plus a part timer, so about 10 years ago I made a decision to begin firing all my bad customers, you know, those that want the cheapest prices for the highest quality with nitpicky demands, in unreasonable time, THEN, take forever to pay you or make to take them to court. I am fortunate today to have a small number of great clients who have become my friends. But even these have some periods of slow times so those weeks, I accept work that comes in. Many of those don't agree to my terms, some do. I stopped advertising my services in 1999. I rely on word of mouth.

Being cheaper than "those guys" is a matter of specifications and hidden costs. The advertisements often publish ridiculous;y low process. For example- one who offers DVD duplication for $.79 each won't tell you that it is for a 30 second video content at run quantities of 500+. Then they have delivery charges, handling charges, setup fees, If I gave them a typical order for 70 titles of 3-8 DVD each, their price would be much higher than mine. Another service I do for my best clients is do the digital conversion from tape to DVD master for free with their first order. This is not a real time DVD recorder like you can buy at CC that has serious compatibility issues and ugly menus, but a computer rendered master with custom menus that produces a fully compatible disk.

Additionally, I don't plan to make DVD duplication my bread and butter income. I see this business going the route of desktop publishing in a couple of years. More and more of my TV clients who would have purchased a set of 100 DVD's of their program buy one and then make them in house 3-4 per hour on their little Bravo Primera DVD publisher. They think it is cheaper to do it that way. I create the master for them, charge them for the work and wish them well. Replication is another ball game and I will never be in that business as it is too large an investment. Also, most of my DVD clients today are those like the guy with the Primera and they have programs that I shot and edited. One client has over 200 titles. I produced about half. Slowly, they are moving their other titles to me too as they realize the Bravo system is often frustrating and not their forte business dealing with robotics and print idiosyncrasies.
I appreciate you well wishes for my business, but have to say, going after more at this time is not on my plate. :)
 

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