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DirectAdvantage FAQs

Note:  The information contained here applies to the Direct Advantage (DA) printer in general, and to the dual color (dual CMYK) model in particular. 


Packing and Shipping

Software Issues

Printer Issues

Error Messages

Print Quality

Contact Information



What is the SHOCKWATCH?Photo of Shockwatch Red (activated)

The SHOCKWATCH is the indicator affixed to both the external packing and to the side of your DirectAdvantage® Printer.  It is activated when the shipment is dropped or jarred while in transit. 

When you receive your DirectAdvantage Printer, please be sure to inspect the box for external damage and ensure that the SHOCKWATCH is not red or missing.

If box is damaged or the SHOCKWATCH is RED as shown in Diagram 1 or missing completely, refuse the shipment and file a claim with the shipper. 

What should I do with the packaging material? 

In the event that the printer will need to be repaired or replaced, we recommend that you retain all original packaging material to minimize the risk of damage during transport.  Replacement packing materials may be provided at a cost to you. 

I have to send my printer in for service, how do I prepare it for shipping?


The standard warranty for the DirectAdvantage is 12 months from the original purchase date.  During this time, we will service your printer at no cost.  To do so, you will be asked to prepare your printer to be shipped back to our facility using the original packing material.  You will then have to secure the printer to a pallet.  When the printer is ready, please call us at 800-537-1196 so that we can coordinate the pickup for you. 


Instructions for Preparing the Printer for Shipment can be found here.

Why won't the Advantage Queue or Advantage Printer install? 

In order to install our Direct Advantage Queue Software, you must have the Recommended System Requirements. What are the Software Requirements?

If your PC is on a network, you must have Administrative rights to install software.  These rights can be granted by your Network System Administrator. 

What are the Software Requirements?

  • Operating System: Windows 2000 or XP with Service Pack 2 or 3
  • Pentium 4 – 3.0GHz Processor
  • 1GB System memory (RAM)
  • 80 GB Hard Drive
  • USB 2.0  

 I sent a job to the Advantage Queue, and nothing happened. Why is it not in the Queue?

  • Make sure there is a folder named "Sawgrass" in your root (C) drive.  If not, create the following folders and resend the job to the Queue:
    • C:\Sawgrass\Advantage Queue\Job Files
  • You must have administrative privileges on your computer system.  These privileges can be granted by your  Network System Administrator.

Why does it appear that there is no power?

If there is nothing on either the Sawgrass LCD or the printer LCD, check the following:

  1. Make sure that the power cable is plugged into the back of the printer and into a power source.
  2. Ensure that the green switch in the back is turned on and illuminated.
  3. Make sure that the Red Emergency Stop button is pulled out.
  4. Ensure that the Power button on the Epson printer is pressed in. 
  5. Ensure that the printer is not up against a wall, or has some other obstruction behind it.  The shirt platen must have sufficient clearance to be able to move freely all the way back without hitting any object.  

Why does my Advantage Queue say "Communication Error" next to the Advantage Printer?" 

  1. Ensure that you have the USB cable plugged into the PC and to the MAIN port on the printer.
  2. In the Direct Advantage Queue, right-click on the Advantage Printer, select "Properties," then click on the "Control" tab. 
  3. If the Queue does not “find” one printer and it still says “Communication Error:”
    1. Make sure that the Advantage Queue is assigned to the AQP Port
    2. Make sure the Advantage Printer is assigned to the correct USB Port.
    3. Make sure the Direct Advantage Queue “finds” a printer on a COM port:
  4. Check the Device Manager.  Make sure there is a the USB Serial (COM) port (under Ports--COM & LPT) and the USB Serial Converter (under Universal Serial Bus Controllers).

I have checked my Device Manager and I don't see the USB Serial Port.  What do I do?


If you DO NOT have a COM port and/or the USB Serial Converter, check the following:

  1. Ensure that the SHOCKWATCH was not red upon receipt of the printer.   
  2. Ensure that you are using Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher.
  3. If you are using a USB hub or a print server, try to connect the printer directly to the PC.
  4. If the USB serial port (COMxx) is not visible, perform the following steps from the Device Manager:
    1. Click “+” beside "Universal Serial Bus" controllers
    2. Right-click "USB Serial Converter" and click "Properties"
    3. Click the "Advanced" tab
    4. Check the "Load VCP" box if it is not checked.
    5. Click OK and then remove the USB cable from either the printer or the computer.
    6. Reattach the USB cable: the computer should now install a USB serial port (COMxx) for the printer.  NOTE: If the Found New Hardware Wizard prompts you to browse your system for files, they can be found in the following folder: C:\Program Files\Sawgrass\Direct Advantage\CDM 2.00.00)
    7. Safely remove any other USB devices, especially a SmartCard (or other FTDI device) or another Epson 4800 printer. These added devices can create conflict when trying to install the Direct Advantage printer.
    8. If the above steps fail, you may want to:
      1. Plug the USB Cable into another USB port on the PC.
      2. Try a different USB 2.0 cable.
      3. Plug the printer into another PC (i.e., borrow a laptop)
      4. Contact Sawgrass Technical Support

The printer says Service Req 0001001E. What do I do?

The most common reason for this error is that the "paper cutter" has been turned on and will need to be turned off.  Below is a picture of the display, showing how the printer should read before you print (roll paper icon and no scissors icon). 

DA roll mode

If your display does not look like this, you will need to press the left arrow and scroll through the three options until you get to the Roll paper icon. 

The only way to recover from a Service Req error is to power the printer off completely and remove all documents from the Advantage Queue and Printer Drivers as outlined below:

  1. Switch off the green power switch on the back of the printer 
  2. Disconnect the USB cable.
  3. While the power is off and the printer unplugged, go to your list of printers and faxes.  (Start Menu > Control Panel > Printers and Faxes or Printers and Other Hardware) and cancel any documents that may be in the Advantage Printer or the Advantage Queue. 
  4. Go to the DirectAdvantage Queue and double-click on the Advantage Printer, which is listed in the lower half of the Queue window.  The following error message will most likely be displayed, "Communication Error."  Once you double-click on the printer name, a new window will open showing a list of jobs.  Delete any jobs that are on that list, and then close the window. 
  5. Reconnect the USB cable.
  6. Plug the power cable back into its source.
  7. Ensure that you have removed the thumb screws and pulled out the green tab to unlock the printer.   
  8. Ensure that there is enough room for the platen to move freely from front to back.  If there is a wall or other obstruction behind the printer and the platen strikes it, it can prevent the printer from initializing, causing Service Required errors, or possibly printer damage.
  9. Switch on the green switch and pull the emergency stop button. 
  10. Go through the usual start-up sequence.  You may need to start up printer with the jig off, or with it on if it was off.
  11. When the printer display says "Ready," check the Paper Selection option on the Epson display to see if it is set to roll paper.
  12. Run the auto height process to set the jig at the correct height.
  13. Print the ColorSure palette. 
  14. If the palette prints correctly, send a job to the printer.
  15. If the job prints normally, you have resolved the situation. 
  16. If the job fails to print normally and you still get a service required error, power the printer off and back on again as outlined above, and then verify that the error is not caused by the image file or graphics application.  To do so, proceed as follows:
    1. Test what happens when you print another image or file.
    2. Test what happens when you print through a different design program (Corel, Photoshop).

I have been instructed by Sawgrass to do a Belt Tension Adjustment.  How do I do that?

We do have instructions for adjusting the belt tension.  To obtain those instructions, please contact Sawgrass Technical Support.

The Sawgrass Display says "Head Clearance Error." What do I do?


A head clearance error means that the height sensors have been activated by either a wrinkle or seam in the garment, or some other obstruction.  The printer will not allow you to print if there is potential for anything to come in contact with the printhead. 

  1. Press "LOAD" on the DA front panel to return the jig to the loading position, then smooth the wrinkle or seam. 
  2. If the error is still present,  press the UP button on the control panel in small increments to raise the printer up (thus increasing the print head-to-garment distance), to prevent this sensor from activating.

I have a message on my Printer LCD, what does it mean? 

There are several different messages that may be displayed on the printing unit's LCD panel.  Here is a list of the most common messages and their possible resolutions. 


This is an ink cartridge chip error.  This error may be caused by an improperly seated cartridge, or a defective or loose chip.  To resolve it, proceed as follows:

  1. Remove the cartridge that corresponds to the flashing icon
  2. Gently go over the chip with a pencil eraser
  3. Clean the chip with an alcohol swap
  4. Return the cartridge to the printer (don't forget to push the blue lever down again)
  5. Hold down the Pause button on the printer for 5 seconds.
  6. If the above steps do not remedy the situation, replace the cartridge. 


Service Request errors in the range 00010004 - 000101D are related to a print-head-carriage movement problem. In some instances, such as paper jams, the carriage-locking tab may be partially pushed in, causing the carriage-locking mechanism to place a drag on the carriage, or even lock the carriage completely. This will cause a carriage error. Make sure the carriage-locking tab is pulled to the left. Then turn the printer power off and release the carriage by pushing down on the cutter blade. Slide the carriage to the left and look for any paper that also may be restricting the carriage from moving freely.


For Direct Advantage 1.0:

  1. Ensure that you have the paper selection mode set to "Sheet" (indicated by the sheet icon)
  2. Ensure that you are using the latest and correct version of the Direct Advantage Queue Software for the Direct Advantage 1.0.

For Direct Advantage 1.5, 1.5i:

  1. Ensure that you have the paper selection mode set to "Roll."
  2. Ensure that you are using the latest correct version of the Direct Advantage Queue Software for the Direct Advantage 1.5 and 1.5i.


For Direct Advantage 1.0:

  1. Ensure that you have the paper selection mode set to "Sheet" (indicated by the sheet icon).
  2. Ensure that you are using the latest and correct version of the Direct Advantage Queue Software for the Direct Advantage 1.0.

For Direct Advantage 1.5, 1.5i:

  1. Ensure that you have the paper selection mode set to "Roll."
  2. Ensure that you are using the latest correct version of the Direct Advantage Queue Software for the Direct Advantage 1.5 and 1.5i.

 If the correct paper type is showing on the printer, and the error will not go away, you may have to perform the following steps:

  1. Start the printer in the normal way and, when the printer displays RELOAD PAPER (instead of READY), press LOAD. 
  2. Lay a sheet of paper on the jig (as you would when doing a nozzle check) and perform Auto Height (press AUTO on the front panel)
  3. Press LOAD twice, as you would when printing a shirt, to send the jig to the rear.  (If you get a Head Clearance Error, perfom an Auto Height with nothing on the jig, and once you send the jig to the back, lay the paper on it from behind.)
  4. Power the Epson printer off and then back on.  You will notice that when the Epson powers up, the printhead will move over the paper and shine a white light down on the page.  The printer will then move the jig forward until it “sees” the paper, after which it will display the "READY" prompt. 
  5. At the Epson Main Menu, turn the sensors off as follows:
    1. Press the Menu button to access the Printer Setup, then press Menu again.
    2. Press the down arrow to access the PPR ALIGN CHK selection
    3. Press Menu. The display should read, *ON
    4. Press the Down arrow to turn the selection to OFF
    5. Press Menu to set the option.  The display should now read, *OFF (there must be an asterisk [*] next to OFF for the setting to take effect)
    6. Press the left arrow back to PPR ALIGN CHK and then the down arrow
    7. Repeat the procedure to set these options to OFF as well: PPR SIZE CHK, SHEET SIZE CHK, AUTO NZL CHK, AUTO CLEANING. 


This question should be accompanied by a Y (right arrow) or N (left arrow). Press the left arrow to answer NO to the Power Clean.


This question should be accompanied with a Y (right arrow) or N (left arrow). Press the left arrow to answer NO to the Auto Nozzle Check.


An ink cartridge is nearly empty.  You will be able to continue printing, but make sure you have a replacement available. 


An ink cartridge is empty.  Printing will stop until you replace the cartridge. 


You have tried to install one or more incompatible cartridges.  If this is a first occurrence, verify with your distributor that you have received the correct cartridges.  If this is a replacement cartridge, be sure that it has the same label and bar code type as the older cartridge.


Lower or Raise the Left (L) or Right (R) blue cartridge-locking levers.


The maintenance tank is nearly full.  You will still be able to continue printing, but be sure to have a replacement tank available.  You can purchase one from  As of this writing, a maintenance tank sells for approximately $40.


The maintenance tank is full.  The printer will no longer print until you replace the maintenance tank from Epson.  You can purchase it from


The maintenance tank is not installed, or not seated properly.  Install the maintenance tank or pull it out and push it all the way back in.


This error occurs when the Auto Nozzle check option is selected.  Hold down the PAUSE button to RESET the printer, or power off and on. 


There is no cartridge installed, or a cartridge is not seated properly.  Install the cartridge or pull it out, push it back in until it clicks, and lower the cartridge lever.  If this procedure does not work, then:

  1. Remove the cartridge
  2. Gently go over the chip with a pencil eraser
  3. Clean the chip with an alcohol-moist swab
  4. Return the cartridge to the printer
  5. Hold down the Pause button on the printer for 5 seconds.
  6. Replace the cartridge if the above steps fail to remedy the situation..   

Why isn't the image printing in the correct position on the shirt?

  • Make sure that you have the brass stopper in one of the holes on the jig (1.5 models).
  • Be sure that you are pushing the jig all the way in and have it loaded correctly. 
  • Be sure that the jig is not mounted backwards (the brass/nickel stopper should be in the front).
  • The best paper size to use in CorelDRAW or Adobe Photoshop is 17 X 22 (but 17 x 18 in 1.5i printers operating precision mode).  Look at the Preview screen to ensure correct placement before printing. 
  • You may have to access the Windows "Printers and Faxes" menu, right-click on the Advantage Printer or Advantage Queue, and select "Properties" to “apply” the properties if the settings selected do not change.
  • You may want to check the Paper Size in the Advantage Queue (i. e., Control Panel > Printers and Faxes > Printing Preferences > Layout > Advanced > US C 17x22)
  • There are Templates that you can download to assist in aligning the images correctly. 

 My image is blurry.  What do I do?  

  • Print the ColorSure Palette to see if it is blurry on the whole shirt or just on a portion of it.
  • Use a level to check if the jig is bent or uneven. 
  • Confirm that the table and platen are level.
  • Reassemble the jig to ensure that all sides are level.
  • Perform an auto height to make sure the jig is in the correct position.
  • Check to see if any pockets, buttons or pouches are in the way of the sensors.
  • You might also need to move the printer down a little by pressing the DOWN button, thus increasing the distance between the garment and the printhead.  If you do this, do so in single increments at a time.  Too much distance between the printhead and the garment will result in overspray around the image.

Why is there a smudge on my shirt? 

  • If you see the smudge before pressing the shirt, it could be the print head striking the shirt.
    • Make sure you are performing the auto height before printing.
    • Make sure there are no wrinkles or high areas on the shirt” (such as pockets, buttons, or straps).
    • Inspect the printhead to see if there is any cotton or ink surrounding the printhead.  If so, clean it (refer to the print-head cleaning instructions in the Preventive Maintenance CD that came with your printer).
  • If you see the smudge after pressing the shirt, it could be occurring during the heat press process.
    • Be careful not to bump the wet ink when moving the shirt from the printer to the heat press.
    • Ensure that the hoop is clean and free of ink.
    • Clean the heat press to ensure that no residual ink is transferring to the shirt.
    • Use a full sheet of blotter paper on top of the shirt to protect the press.
  • Print the ColorSure Palette to see if the smudge will be on the entire shirt or just a portion of it. 
    • You may need to reassemble the jig to ensure that it is level.
    • Check to see if any pockets, buttons or pouches are in the way.


Why is only part of the image printing? 

  • Verify that your system meets the required specifications. What are the Software Requirements?
  • Print the Color Sure Palette to see if it prints the entire palette.
  • Ensure that the Paper Size or Canvas in your design program is 17 X 22 (or 17 x 18 in precision mode).
  • Check also the Paper Size in the Advantage Queue to be sure it is the correct one (i. e., Control Panel > Printers and Faxes > Printing Preferences > Layout > Advanced > US C 17x22)
  • Resend the image from the graphics application to the queue and try to print it again.
  • Print another file or artwork.
  • Print from another design program. (i. e., CorelDraw, Photoshop)

Why do the colors look different from my monitor?

  • Ensure that you have a good nozzle check. What is a nozzle check? How do I do one?
  • Ensure that you have Color Management turned OFF in your design program (see your Users Manual for complete instructions)
    • For Corel versions 10 - 12, select Tools > Color Management from the main menu.  In the lower left-hand corner, next to Style, choose Color Management Off, from the drop-down menu. 
    • For Corel X3, select Color Management from the main menu.  In the upper left-hand corner, next to Settings, choose Color Management Off from the drop down menu. 
  • Verify that you are using appropriate settings in the Advantage Queue and Printer for Vector or Bitmap.

Guidelines for Printing Vector images:

  • Print and heat transfer the ColorSure Palette on a white T-shirt (this is also a good benchmark for establishing print quality).
  • Load the ColorSure Palette into your design program.
  • Use your corresponding RGB values when creating vectored art.
  • When using the ColorSure palette, be sure to “Check” the ColorSure boxes.
  • If the color you are looking for is not on the ColorSure palette,  use the Custom Palette Utility to add colors (See Users Guide for instructions.)
  • Remember, the color on the monitor will often look very different from the color that prints.  That is why it is essential to print the ColorSure palette first, so you can design your image based upon the printed output.
  • Please note, checking ColorSure will limit the output to just the ColorSure palette colors, sand this may sometimes result in significant banding in half-tones and gradients.

Guidelines for Bitmap images

  • Ensure that the image is in RGB mode.
  • You will most likely NOT want to check the ColorSure boxes when printing bitmaps, but there may be times when certain customers prefer it.
    • Please note, checking ColorSure will limit the output to just the ColorSure palette colors, and this may result in significant banding in half-tones and gradients.
  • You may want to try different Profile Settings to account for personal preference.
  • Print a Primary Chart and a ColorSure Palette – This is a good benchmark for establishing color issues. If this printout looks good, you know your printer is functioning normally.

If you are still having problems with color, it is a good idea to print a different image, and from a different design program, to ensure that it is not an isolated file or a specific design application or setting.

You will also need to consider the weight, brand, and color of the 100% cotton shirt or garment on which you are printing.  Different brands (and even the same brand manufactured in a different country) often exhibit different characteristics, leading to different image results.

Be sure you are using the correct heat press parameters.  What are the correct heat press parameters? If you are still having problems with color or quality, we may request printed samples to include:

  1. Nozzle check (on paper)
  2. Primary Chart
  3. Color Sure Palette
  4. Sample Image. 

Where do I mail the samples?

What are the correct heat press parameters?

The heat press should be set at 375 degrees F, 40 psi (pounds per square inch) for 25 seconds.  Be sure you cover the entire shirt with blotter or parchment paper.

 What is a nozzle check?

A nozzle check is a tool used to determine if all of the nozzles in the print head are firing, i.e., are jetting ink onto the substrate (paper or garment).  Sometimes, these tiny openings become clogged resulting in poor image quality.  This is the first place to look if you are experiencing any quality problems such as faint output, streaking or banding, or issues with color. 

Most users print a nozzle check at the beginning of the print cycle, and even several times throughout the day, to ensure that all of the nozzles are firing properly, i.e., the traces produced by the nozzle check are uniformly even.  Printing daily nozzle checks is also a recommended technique to keep the nozzles from clogging in the first place. 

How do I do a nozzle check?

For instructions to perform a nozzle check, refer to your Users Guide.

 I did a nozzle check and it doesn't look good.  What should I do? 

If you have done a nozzle check, and it is not complete. i.e., is missing a few ticks, a whole section of a color, or even multiple colors, try the following procedure:

  1. Find out what colors are missing and obtain bar codes/lot numbers and install by dates from each cartridge, ensuring that none have passed their recommended use by date.
  2. Perform up to three Utility Cleanings.  Please do not do any more cleanings, unless instructed by Sawgrass Technical Support, as the procedure does consume some ink.
  3. Ensure that you have more than 50% of the capacity remaining in the maintenance tank, and 50% left in all eight cartridges, by looking at the levels (denoted by solid vertical bars) on the Epson LCD Display. 
  4. Clean your capping station by following the instructions on your Preventive Maintenance Video that came with your printer, or follow the Instructions below for How do I clean the Capping Station on my Printer.
  5. Try a back up cartridge for whichever color is missing.  Please note that it may take several cleanings to recover all of the nozzles once you have installed a new cartridge
  6. If none of the above steps works, call Sawgrass Technical Support or your Dealer.

How do I clean the capping station on my printer?

  1. Power off the printer. 
  2. Open the top cover.
  3. Unlock the print carriage and move it over to left to reveal the pump/capping station assembly. (How do I unlock the print carriage?)
  4. Locate the capping station area. (Diagram and Instructions)
  5. Spray and saturate the capping station with Simple Green or similar cleaning solution.  
  6. Remove the flushing box by removing its screw and lifting it straight up and out. (Use a magnetic screwdriver to avoid dropping the screw into the printer.)
  7. Rinse the flushing box with HOT water until the water runs fairly clear.  You can also use a lint-free cloth to clean any ink, cotton fibers, or foreign material. 
  8. Locate the wiper blade, which is located  back between the capping station and flushing box, and clean it thoroughly using a foam-tipped swab or a lint-free cloth.  Clean between the split of the two rubber squeegees. 
  9. Return the flushing box to its place by reattaching the removed screw. 
  10. Push the carriage assembly back to the parked position, and allow the print carriage to sit on the capping station for at least 20 minutes, or even overnight, if possible.

How do I unlock and move the print carriage out of the way to clean my printer?

For instructions for how to unlock the print carriage, click HERE.

How do I contact Sawgrass Technical Support?

Click below!

Contact Sawgrass Technologies Technical Support

You may also email us at or by filling out the Support Form.

Where do I mail my printed samples? 

Because of the visual nature of our industry, there may be times when the only way for us to help you is to request printed samples.  You can mail or ship these samples to:

Sawgrass Technologies
ATTN: DA Tech Support
2233 Highway 17 N
Mt. Pleasant, SC  29466

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