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How Much Ink Is Left in That Dead Cartridge?

#61 User is offline   Evildave 

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 10:20 PM

I print very little. My Brother Multifunction (MFC) printer consumes ink whether I use it or not. After about a year, ALL cartridges are 'empty' (or 'nearly empty'). Generally once one reports 'Empty', the rest suddenly believe they're 'empty', too. Since I print a handfull of pages a year, that averages dollars per page. Even worse, Brother MFC printers lock you out of the scanner and sending faxes when they're out of any color ink, not to mention simply printing black & white pages, which is all I usually want to do, and which the driver steadfastly refuses to accommodate anyway.

There is a trick with Brother printers, of using white-out or masking tape on the ink measurement window (placed conveniently HALFWAY UP one side of the cartridge). This fools the printer into thinking it's 'full' until you at last get artifacts on the pages you print.

After this batch of ink is gone, or the next color runs out (actually sort-of-low - there's always LOTS of ink left in the carts), this inkjet printer becomes 'e-waste', and I'll get another black & white laser printer I never have any need for color, there's no way to stop a color printer printing color (especially yellow, which it spews all over the white space as a UV signature for your printer), and at least a laser printer won't 'wake up' at 2:00am to 'self clean' away all the toner like an inkjet will. For me, one laser toner cartridge literally outlasts everything else in the office.

And I'm serious, the 'print' dialogs on every OS have a drop-down or radio button that say 'Print Black & White', but the proprietary Brother driver will force the machine to print color, no matter what your preferences are.

Color and Photo printing sucks on most home printers anyway, so you're just better off taking 'color' work into an office place or the drug store to get prints made. The cost is small compared to getting lots of 'bad' prints at home, especially after a few months, having the printer mysteriously 'run out' of multiple inks that it pissed into a sponge.
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#62 User is online   RobLewis 

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 11:27 PM

Don't you love it? I have an Epson CX4600 multifunction device that won't even scan a page if it thinks the printer section is low on ink (it's not: there's still lots of ink in the tanks, though the printhead has stopped working). I got a cheap electronic thingie that resets the chip in the ink cartridges. The printer still doesn't work, but at least I can scan now. Oy.
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#63 User is offline   ouboub 

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 03:03 AM

What about Laser printers.

I have a (relative cheap but good) Brother DCP 7010. The screen tells me all the time that the
cartridge is finished but removing, shaking and reinserting it "solves" the problem: the printer
just prints fine. I have seen Laser printers which really give bad results and the cartridge must be
replaced but here? Does anybody have similar experience?
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#64 User is offline   brianjon 

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:49 AM

I have an HP Deskjet 6980, and I am very pleased with the quality of how it prints. However, when I do get a low ink level warning, my print quality deteriorates very rapidly. Than I have to get new cartridges no matter how much ink is left in them!
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#65 User is online   sbruce454 

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 06:36 PM

I don't know if most people leave their printer on all the time, but I do not print often and found that clogging can occur if I leave my Epson C86 on all the time. Since I don't print often, it has to prime the heads before printing. Therefore I get much less than the stated number of pages per cartridge. Probably less than 50 pages a cartridge. Thus, even though I usually only print in black (I have black only set as the default), the color ink gets used up too, at about half the rate of the black.
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#66 User is offline   Beatkat 

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 02:04 PM

I was always a supporter of HP printers for there bullet proof drivers, construction, and reliable, high quality output. But the one thing I always hated was the exact question this article addressed.....how much ink is left when I run out of one color? Then I bought my first Canon IP4000 series printer a few years ago, (I now own two), with the Canon individual ink tanks. These tanks are transparent so one can easily see the ink level clearly, and one can also anticipate needing ink if a large or critical printing job is coming up. Why can't other companies use a transparent or translucent cartridge? Is it because they don't want you to see how much ink you're throwing away when you say, run out of yellow? Even the HP and Epson printers that use individual tanks make them black......what gives? I have to say that being able to see the available ink, being able to replace a single color independently and inexpensively, and knowing that I can really empty a cartridge was one of the big selling points for the Canons I bought...(that and the consistently good PC World reviews and outstanding output). This system also yields much more ink in the printer because each color is in a separate 13ml ink tank. The typical, expensive tri-color ink cartridge can't compare. Canon continues to make printers available with the see through, individual ink tanks, and Kudos to them for this seemingly simple system, that eliminates the guess work, frustration, and waste that's typical of every other manufacturer producing opaque, black plastic cartridges.
Beatkat
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#67 User is offline   SDW48 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:39 AM

i agree a clear cartridge would be a benifit. i have an "EPSON R 260" an it has 6 indiviual cartridges. a little trick i use is to lift out the the cartridges and shake them. you can tell if there is still alot of ink left.
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#68 User is online   roge05156 

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 05:58 AM

I agree with Beatkat.I have a Canon Pixma MP500 and like the fact that the ink cartridges are clear.I have re-filled them a few times.

Only problem I ran across is once when I tried to print I got a message that I was using a cartridge that was previously empty.After several attempts,I was able to disregard the message.I put a new cartridge in and worked fine,then I put the re-filled cartridge back in and can still use it. Another time the magenta position was clogged and several attempts to clean it failed ,even soaking it over night.I had to buy a new print head and everything is working fine now.
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#69 User is offline   bobwh 

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 01:13 AM

I no longer have that problem with my Epson R260 and a Media Street Niagra IV ink system. I can see the 6 clear external ink reservours and top them off as required ( every 6 months), I used about a set of Epson cartridges in 3-4 weeks. I do not even think about ink consumption/cost any more and just enjoy printing color 8 x 10's at will.

The first set of ink bottles lasted over a year, started on the second bottle of black at about 1 1/2 year. System works well. and shure beats cost of Epson cartridges. Six 4 oz bottles cost less than $60
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#70 User is offline   SDW48 

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Posted 07 January 2009 - 05:26 AM

THANKS BOB. i'll check into that system. i print a ton of dvd labels directly on the dvd. use lots of ink. i've been buying substitute ink cartridges at about 5 dollars a cartridge. i get 6 sets of each colors at a time. but that media street system sounds better.
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#71 User is offline   TroveMistress 

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 06:49 PM

This should not surprise anyone. There is a discrepancy in the labeling (mislabeling) of the Lexmark x5495 printer, its software, & the Lexmark ink cartridges. If you purchase the cartridges based on the mislabeling as being "x5400 series", the you will purchase the wrong cartridge. I believe this is intentional to sell more cartridges.





Edited by MPHEnterprises - Please do not post your personal information within the forums for your own security and privacy. That includes phone your email address(es), your address, your phone number, the serial number to your computer, or any product keys related to software or the Operating System.
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#72 User is offline   raynewton 

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 02:07 PM

That is not the only reason that I, and anyone I have spoken to, will never buy another inkjet device.

When any one color is depleted on my Canon Pixma MP510 multi-function printer it becomes a brick. It will no longer print in black only, no longer function as a scanner, no longer copy. What a rip off!

With the bargains on color laser printers and standalone scanners everyone I know is abandoning their inkjet devices.
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#73 User is offline   franbarb 

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:01 PM

OK enough already, I have used many different printers over the years, I now settled on Epson.. the 260 to be exact.. I had all kinds of problems with the original cartridges. I was ready to dump it, until I heard about CISS ink systems.. This system is in use now for over a year and my ink supply in inexhaustable.. I run every page at hi quality and don't worry about running out of ink. check out CISS for your printers.
thanks
franbarb
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#74 User is offline   bobwh 

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:32 PM

CISS is a word which gives no information. Please give internet address







Edited by MPHEnterprises - Please do not post your personal information within the forums for your own security and privacy. That includes phone your email address(es), your address, your phone number, the serial number to your computer, or any product keys related to software or the Operating System.
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#75 User is offline   bobwh 

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 05:41 PM

SORRY franfarb, found it on internet. Sure looks like unit sold by media street.com. USED ONE FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS
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#76 User is offline   HelmutF 

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Posted 14 February 2009 - 05:37 PM

I have serviced many different types of printers, both my own and other owners as a hobby.
When your printer stops printing, first take out the cartridges and check if the head has dried up. Use a moist paper towel and DAB the head until you get an clean head, then see if you can get a single black stripe/or three colored stripes. If not you can learn to refill the cartridge with ink refills, either generic ink (not recommended) or specific for your printer model. Oddparts.com has them all, about $30 per pint. That's good for dozens of refills!!! Instructions and syringes are included. Can be messy on hands if you don't use rubber gloves.

Else you can get them refilled in town for 1/2 price.

Buy a digital scale from an office supply with at least 2 oz. range. I bought mine from Harbor Freight Tools for $19.99 / on sale for $10.88 last week (1/2 the price of one cartridge). You can now weigh your cartridge full and empty and know if it needs refilling. When your printer screams at you that its empty, you can bet the other half is still in the cartridge. Just reinsert cartridge into printer and tell it that it's a NEW one and it will let you print another month. Unless you are stuck with an Epson printer that has an embedded counter. Oddparts sells a device to let you reset that counter, about $30.

To refill you must find out where to insert the syringe for your specific cartridge. It may already have an access hole, or you may have to drill a 1/16 in. hole, or push in a ball or remove a piece of tape.

I have found that some printer cartridges can be refilled indefinitely (HP), others will burn out after only one or two refills (Lexmark).

Staples gives you a couple of dollars toward cost of a new cartridge.
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#77 User is offline   MidNightSkulker 

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Posted 19 February 2009 - 12:32 AM

I have an Epson R200 that is about four or more years old, that is hooked up to a Continuous Ink Supply System. No brand name is visible on the tank or the box it came in. I bought the printer with the ink system installed by M S L Printer Supplies (tel. 877-MSL-INKS no web address) in South El Monte, California. The printer has been used so much that I have had to have some internal memory counter reset twice now. After a period of time an error condition is displayed on the printer (paper and ink red lights both flashing rapidly - an error that is not covered in the manual or any trouble clearing proceedure from Epson), and the printer will not print until I have the tech reset it ($25 labor charge). I am so satisfied with this set up that I bought an Epson R1800 large format printer and had the same system installed on it. I will never buy another printer unless I can have a tank farm to replace the cartridge system.
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#78 User is offline   EvilGenius 

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 09:16 AM

According to the article, the vendors claimed that only a few milliters of ink were left in the cartridge when the user was alerted the cartridges were out of ink. I have been really looking at ink costs as I have been shopping for my new printer. My old canon Ip1500 which I was very happy with, used a BCI-24 color cartridge which held 5ml of each color. One of the HPs that I was looking at, held only 3ml of each color in the multi-color cartrigde. So for me, it is a big deal if there are only a few millilters left.
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#79 User is offline   EvilGenius 

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 10:28 AM

I am incorrect about the HP ink. It is canon that is 3ml.
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#80 User is offline   Johnd151 

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

I would like to see PC World include an artical on manufactures placing chips that programs cartrigaes to stop working after a period of time. Is this true or a myth and what companies are doing it. Knowing this will help me in selecting my next printer...John
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