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Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Epson 7900 Experience - The Delivery

Let me first set the scene. We live in a very architecturally typical house for Western Pennsylvania. That is to say that it is 1) very old, 2) has three floors, with the third floor being relatively small, and 3) has a normal sized staircase to the second floor but an extremely narrow, winding staircase from the second to third floor. My wife and I have our study up on the third floor and that is where I have my computer and do my printing. That was the destination for the 7900.

So, after three days of trying to making sure it was delivered in a liftgate truck, and with the freight company stating that they knew nothing about that each time, I finally got it delivered. Why a liftgate truck? The printer is delivered on a wooden pallet with the shipping weight being over 320 pounds.

After the truck puts it on the sidewalk the next question to the driver is.....well, how do I get it into the house? Lets see, there are two small steps, a walkway, and then about eight or nine steps up to the front door. The truck delivery guy is supposed to just drop it and not move it up any steps. Luckily, there were two things working in my favor. First, this was his last delivery of the day so he wasn't in a huge rush and two, he was an extremely nice guy and willing to help. So we got my 16 year old son who is probably stronger than I am and the three of us, using a dolly and a bit of ingenuity, managed to get it into the front door. I probably would have freaked when I heard the underlying wooden pallet crack a bit had I known that there is no bottom to the box and that the printer, in Styrofoam protectors, sits directly on the pallet.

But it got in safely and after giving the driver a nice tip the unpacking began. After all the documentation, stand, inks, parts etc are removed you are left with the printer on the pallet with lots of Styrofoam protection. Despite knowing from the Epson website that the printer weight without the stand is about 190 pounds, those were just numbers to me, and it didn't sound all that heavy for multiple people to handle. I had anticipated it being about the size and weight of my 7600, which I got upstairs to the third floor with the help of only one other person back in 2004. The biggest probl;em with the 7600 wasn't its weight (though it was heavy enough), but, rather, the difficulty in manipulating it around a narrow, tight, winding staircase. We did it, but just barely.

Having removed the surrounding box, the shock set in! The 7900 makes the 7600 look like a toy. It is MASSIVE! I don't know how much the 7600 weighs but it has to be significantly less than the 7900. I immediately knew this was going to be a problem, and a big one!

I called my good friend (the same one as back in 2004, only then his 17 year old son and my 16 year old son weren't big enough to help) and he came over with his 17 year old son (one's age is driven home when it becomes apparent that your kids are stronger than you are). This was going to be a job for 4 people with my middle child, at 14, giving some directional guidance and assistance as well. Getting it to the second floor was going to be a piece of cake. Wrong! This 190 pounds is spread into a huge sized object which is heavier at one end and not all that easy to grasp (though there are areas designated for hand placement they are flat and smooth and not recessed with a grip). It was so difficult just getting it up to the second floor that it required a rest before the toughest part of the journey which was to come.

The path to the third floor was looking very tenuous and perhaps even a bit fraught with danger both for the printer as well as for us. First we tried getting it through the doorway horizontally, but because the stairs are actually to the left of the entrance there was no way to get it to the stairs that way....it was too long and the fit was too tight. Now, the printer obviously comes with no ink installed and with the printhead locked in place. I had asked tech support about turning it on end to carry it and they indicated it should be OK. So we had to flip it up on end and the four of us tried to get it up the stairs taking breaks every few minutes. This thing is extremely heavy and huge in size, making it difficult to maneuver in anything but a straight line. This was going to be a 'one stair at a time' journey.

Partway through I actually gave up and told my friends that there was simply no way in the world it was going to make it up and that it looked like I went a bit too far this time. I was prepared to leave it in our second floor bedroom and run an Ethernet cable down. My wife, who was watching this whole fiasco even agreed, as she thought there was bound to be an injury if we went any further. But my buddy and his son said they weren't prepared to quit just yet and lo and behold we made it around the tightest curve in the staircase with the printer on end with only one minor injury to my son's hand. With a final effort we made it up the remaining stairs and through the opening to the third floor (I had removed the door before we even started as it opens into and partially blocks the stairwell).

So there it sits on the floor of my study. I still have to build the stand and then get it lifted onto that. Needless to say, it took a few bumps and bruises on the way up but everything is locked down in it with no ink etc....so I am sure it will work just fine.

So, if one is thinking of purchasing one of these do be aware that it is quite different in size and weight from the 7600. As a matter of fact, the first thing my friend said when we finally put the 7900 down on the floor next to the 7600 (after glancing at the 7600 and then back at the 7900) was "That old one is just a baby compared to this one!" It really is a beast of a machine....however, it really is a beautiful sight to behold!