Review: Inside The HP 60 Black CC640WN Ink Cartridge (Cracked Open)

A look inside the Hewlett Packard (HP) 60 black ink cartridge – CC640W

Look here for a peek inside the HP 60XL black inkjet print cartridge.

HP 60XL, 60 XL ink cartridge opened to expose the internal structure - removal of cartridge cap - remove top of ink cartridge.

There is not much good about this cartridge.  HP uses words like “value” and “standard” to describe their HP 60 series inkjet cartridges, but the real value is in getting rid of any printer that use these cartridges.  These black and color cartridges are an insult.  There are two different versions of each cartridge, the “standard” or half-full 60 series, and the “full” HP 60 XL series.  The cartridge we have opened here is the HP 60 standard cartridge.

Close-up of the HP 60 black ink cartridge (hewlett packard)

Removing the cover reveals “sponge island”

Apparently HP felt the need to build in an ink containment section inside the HP 60 ink cartridge.  The sponge inside the cartridge is about the size of two sugar-cubes stacked on top of each other.  This cartridge is not even half full of ink!  Up to 80% of this cartridge is air-space.

Cartridge cover comes off the HP 60 inkjet printer cartridge ink to reveal the internal cartridge structure.

This HP 60 ink cartridge is a complete rip-off!

Inside the HP 60 black ink cartridge:

Looks like “sponge island” inside the cartridge.  The HP 60 ink cartridge could take a bunch more ink, however Hewlett Packard (HP) has designed this cartridge to start out about 80% empty – there is no (easy) way to tell the amount of ink in the sponge.  At $15.00 retail for this cartridge, heavy printing can get expensive very quickly.

HP 60 black ink cartridge standard capacity  - or half full ink cart - cover removed to reveal inside the cartridge.

Paying $10.00 to refill this cartridge? Think again. A very small area to refill. This cartridge will only accept about 5ml of ink.

Specifications:

* that 200 page estimate is from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage really looks like) – needless to say, manufacturer estimates are on the “high side.”

This cartridge is often paired with the HP 60 tri-color (color) cartridge which we cracked open here.

For Refillers:

Refilling is easy if you know where to drill.  There are five (5) holes in the cartridge lid, however only one goes into the sponge and ink containment section.  This cartridge is crazy.

HP 60 ink cartridge refill holes, drill baby drill right here in the middle of the HP 60 black ink cartridge.

The print head:

Unlike Epson, which makes the printhead part of the printer, Hewlett Packard (HP) puts the print head technology on the cartridge (for most of their consumer printers).  This means every time you buy a new cartridge, it’s like getting a new printer.  This is why these type of HP printers (that use this cartridge style) last forever in our opinion.  As long as the mechanics of the printer keep working it will last forever since the print head can simply be repalced by installing a new cartridge into the printer.  Not all HP printers and cartridges use this style (print head on the cartridge) of build, but a large majority of the ones you will find at Wal-Mart, Target, and other discount retailers use these cartridges.

Notice the 2D UPC code on the print head ribbon.

HP 60 black - print head close-up

The HP 60, 60XL, XL cartridges will work with the following Deskjet and Photosmart inkjet printers.

Hewlett Packard HP 60 (60XL) Series Ink Cartridges Work In The Following HP Inkjet Printers
Deskjet Series Photosmart Series
DeskJet D1660

Deskjet D2500

Deskjet D2530

Deskjet D2560

Deskjet D2660

Deskjet F42

Deskjet F4200

Deskjet F4210

Deskjet F4230

Deskjet F4235

Deskjet F4240

Deskjet F4250

Deskjet F4272

Deskjet F4273

Deskjet F4274

Deskjet F4275

Deskjet F4280

DeskJet F4283

Deskjet F4288

Deskjet F4292

Deskjet F4293

DeskJet F4480

PhotoSmart C4640

PhotoSmart C4650

PhotoSmart C4680

PhotoSmart C4740

PhotoSmart C4750

PhotoSmart C4780

PhotoSmart C4795

Compared to the HP 60XL Black Inkjet Print Cartridge:

HP 60XL, 60 XL ink cartridge opened to expose the internal structure - removal of cartridge cap - remove top of ink cartridge.

The HP 60 cartridge compared to the HP 60XL black inkjet print cartridge.

Hewlett Packard (HP) 60 ink cartridge page estimates:

http://h10060.www1.hp.com/pageyield/us/en/DJD2500/index.html?jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN

Hewlett Packard (HP) 60 ink cartridge specifications:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF17a/A10-12771-64199-69422-69422-3564563.html?jumpid=reg_R1002_USEN

Hewlett Packard HP 60 Pricing:

HP 60, 60XL, XL ink cartridges.

Review: Canon CL-52 Photo Ink Cartridge (Cracked Open)

A Look Inside The Canon CL-52 Photo Cartridge:

The CL-52 photo cartridge from Canon works in the following printers:

This cartridge is rated at 710 pages (photos?), and contains about 21ml of ink (divided by 3).

This cartridge was never very successful, and only worked in (3) printer offerings from Canon.  This cartridge was intended to be used with the CL-51, or CL-41, and is installed in the black cartridge slot.  If you notice, this cartridge contains 3 different sections for ink – black, photo cyan, and  photo magenta.  The CL-51 and CL-41 cartridges are both “color” cartridges which contain – cyan, magenta, and yellow.

So if there is a CL-52 photo cartridge present in addition to a color cartridge (CL-51, CL-41) the color configuration will be: black – cyan – magenta – yellow – photo cyan – photo magenta.  You certainly do not want to use the CL-52 photo cartridge for printing documents, text or black and white photos since there is a very small section of the cartridge dedicated to black ink.  Also, once the cartridge is out of a single color, the printer will report it as empty.

Hewlett Packard (HP) Does It Too:

This type of “ink separating” in a single “specialty” cartridge is far from dead – HP uses this a bunch for cartridges like the HP 58 (photo cartridge), the HP 99 (photo cartridge), and the HP 102 (light gray, dark gray, and black).  There are others, but heavy printers should avoid printers that use these types of cartridges.

Canon CL-52 photo color ink cartridge cracked open, internal structure revealed.

Canon CL-52 photo color ink cartridge cracked open, internal structure revealed. Notice the colors, black, photo cyan, and photo magenta.

Review: HP 564 (564XL XL) Compatible Cartridges $3.00!

There is a catch, they come without a chip…

Surgery required, but level of difficulty low.

Try a set of 5 cartridges for $21.99.

As of this writing there are no HP 564XL compatible cartridges available (due to un-resettable chip), and the HP 564 compatible cartridges (with chip) are about the same price as the HP brand ($6.99 vs. $12-$9).  So, there are no “completely full” compatible 564XL ink cartridges on the market, and when they are available we estimate that prices will most likely be in the $8-$14 range to begin with.

So what is the difference between a 564 and 564xl?  About 2.5 times more ink:

Look here for HP website cartridge yields.

We took a look at these cartridges a while back…

So, if you are an owner of one of these printers:

And you get this message, there is hope.  It is possible to avoid paying for $80.00 plus for a full set of HP brand ink.

HP 564 564XL XL magenta ink cartridge empty warning with Hewlett Packard B8550 inkjet printer

The HP compatible 564 “chipless” cartridge.

Generic makers over in China making (cloning/coping) the plastic cartridge, just a plastic mold, and some top shelf  ink. The problem begins and ends with the chip that HP puts on the bottom of the cartridge.   HP, Epson, Canon, and all the other printer manufacturers will tell you the chip is there for good reasons – to monitor ink levels – but then why scramble the chips with 128-bit encryption? To defeat refilling and reverse engineering, plain and simple.  Reduce the number of options the consumer has for a steady supply of generic ink, thanks “big ink.”

HP 564 564XL XL ink cartridge print monitor message center hewlett packard B8550 inkjet printer

There *is* a solution:

Since the cartridges can be made (without chip) and work just as well as the HP brand, what is the catch?  When your 564 or 564XL cartridge “runs out” of ink, the chip will report to the computer that the ink is low, or needs to be replaced.  Since HP (or any other printer manufacturer) cannot explicitly lock out other inking choices, the chip will still function after it registers as empty.  There is one caveat, the print monitor will no longer work with the “refilled” cartridge.  The chip get’s released from monitoring the ink levels, but it must still be present in order for the printer to register that a cartridge is installed in the print head.

There are sensors inside the print head that mirror the cartridge chip contacts. The chip must be present in order for the cartridge to work properly.

HP 564 564XL XL print head printhead chip contacts

Contacts inside the print head for the HP 564, 564XL, XL cartridges. Printer is a B8550.

As mentioned above, it is not necessary for the chip to report back ink levels and that functionality can be turned off once a cartridge runs out of ink, you can simply override the chip once the cartridge goes to empty.  The override procedure cannot be done until the cartridge is empty and you are prompted to change the cartridge.  Directions will appear on-screen, but we can tell you it only involves pressing some buttons.

But how will i know when I need ink?

When your cartridge runs out.  Since the ink monitor is disabled

Need an empty HP original cartridge to start with (need that chip):

HP 564 564XL XL Magenta Ink Cartrige Compatible Ink Cartridge comparison

HP brand 564, 564XL, XL cartridge next to chipless compatible cartridge

Remove chip with something thin, like an exacto knife, or razor blade – we used a box cutter blade to pry off the chip, which came off easily.  Make sure to get underneath the chip – it is stuck on the actual cartridge with double sided adhesive.

Do not bend the chip:

Our cartridge included a bottle of “glue-remover” (that had all evaporated) but we dove right in with a box-cutter.  If you simply try to peel the chip off, circuits will possibly break resulting in added expense (new chip must be acquired).

Removing cartridge chip hewlett packard HP 564 864XL XL magenta ink cartridge

There is a small gap under the 4 gold leads where the chip sits on the 564 cartridge - pry chip off here by sliding knife under the chip.

Do not bend the chip – it is made of very flexible material and bends very easily.  The reverse side of the chip has sticky tape (see picture below) on it and can be hard to remove in one motion (use an Xacto knife).  The flexibility of the chip board can be a potential  problem because  there are tiny circuits on the chip that will break apart if the chip is twisted or bent.  If this happens, the chip cannot be repaired, and a new chip must be acquired.  Translation, find another HP brand OEM 564, or 564XL cartridge with a working chip, or buy a new cartridge – so be careful (we damaged the 564 photo black cartridge chip so it is now unusable – the magenta 564 cartridge works perfectly.)

Chip removed…

HP 564 564XL XL magenta ink cartridge chip removal with compatible ink cartridge

Do not bend the chip, circuits can be broken and the chip rendered un-readable

Back Side Of Chip:

Double sided tape on backside of chip, try to slide your blade as far under the chip as possible so the chip “lifts off” the cartridge.  If the chip board is bent, or twisted – circuits can be broken – it may not work once moved to the “chipless” compatible cartridge.  If the printer does not see the cartridge, or reports that there are issues with a cartridge a new chip will have to be acquired.

Back side of the HP 564 564XL XL magenta ink cartridge chip microchip chipped, or chipless compatible ink cartridge

Double sided adhesive tape (very thin) on back side of the HP 564, 564XL, XL chip

Once the chip is installed on the “chipless” compatible cartridge it can be put back in the printer.

Successfully moved chip from HP 564 564XL XL magenta ink cartridge

Successfully moved chip from HP 564 564XL XL magenta ink cartridge

Ready For Printer:

Once the cartridge chip has been moved to the chip-less compatible cartridge it is ready to go into the printer.  Install the cartridge as normal, and start saving money now.  There may be an “alert” message on the printer (if it has a LCD display screen), or on the computer itself.  It does not prevent the cartridge from being used, rather it is an attempt by HP to make the user feel bad about not buying the $40.00 HP cartridge.

Previously used cartridges installed - identified by color and symbol (as there are 2 black cartridges)

Previously used cartridges installed - identified by color and symbol (as there are 2 black cartridges)

HP 564 Chipless Compatible – Pros and Cons:

HP 564 Series Chipless Compatible Ink Cartridge

Pros: Cons:
  1. Cartridges are completely full of ink, and since there in no ink monitor function, the printer will use every last drop.
  2. No chip cartridges are very inexpensive – in some cases as low as $3.00 each! Since compatibles are completely full of ink, you will make sure to use every last drop of ink.
  3. Not having to buy HP brand ink – HP brand 564XL cartridges are around $18.00 for each color, and $35.00 for black.
  1. Chip has to be moved again when cartridge is out of ink.
  2. Chips are easily damaged (see here) if bent.

Get a 5-Pack of cartridges to try here.

Chip swap video:

Review: Inside The HP 94 Black Inkjet Print Cartridge (C8765W) – Cracked Open

Inside the HP 94 (half-full) ink cartridge.

Internal structure of the HP 94 black ink cartridge.  The sponge is large, but it is only half filled.

HP 94 black ink cartridge retail price on the HP website.

HP 94 black ink cartridge retail price on the HP website.

Run of the mill cartridge released back when HP was experimenting with small (HP 92), medium (HP 94), and large (HP 96) ink volume sizes. The HP 94 black is the mid-range cartridge (*note, not all HP printers can use the HP 96 high yield – full –  black inkjet print cartridge; in some cases, the HP 94 is the best you can do).  Try to shy away from printers that can only use this cartridge (for black) and look for printers that can also use the HP 96 black ink cartridge for maximum value.

HP 94 ink cartridge exploded view.  There are five refill holes present, and one giant sponge.

Removal Of Top Of Cartridge

We managed to get this top off with a screwdriver (normally, and usually it takes a dremel).  There was much prying, and it took some real force, but we managed to get it off in one piece.  It will not go back on the cartridge without glue, and that may not be enough to hold, so this cartridge is no longer usable for refilling or re-manufacturing.

Hewlett Packard (HP) 94 Black Ink Cartridge Open And Exposed

The HP 94 has a full sponge. Good for refilling.

HP 94 cartridge highlights:

Uses durable pigment based inks.  Pigment inks will clog inkjet printers – a fact of life – so basically replacing the print head with every cartridge is a good application.  Pigment inks are noted for their longevity, and resistance to smearing, however they will eventually hopelessly clog the print head.  Since the print head is on the cartridge, the “heads” are replaced every time you replace the cartridge with a new one.

Specifications:

Color: Black
Part Number: (C8765W), HP 94
Ink Type: Pigment based ink
HP 94 Ink Volume: 11ml
Page Yield: 480 pages*

Ink Drop Size: 15pl

Retail price: $23.99
Street price: $19.68

* that 480 page estimate is (impressive) from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage really looks like) – needless to say, manufacturer estimates are on the “high side.”

This cartridge is often paired with the HP 93 tri-color ink cartridge, or the HP 95 tri-color ink cartridge, or the HP 97 tri-color inkjet print (color) cartridge which we cracked open here.

For Refillers:

Refilling is easy if you know where to drill.  There are five (5) holes already in the cartridge lid.  As you can see from the other images, there is black ink around only three (3) of the holes. We suggest using the top most holes since they are  closer to where the ink will exit the cartridge. Refill kits can be a hassle, but are worth it if you are on a tight budget.

Where to refill the HP 94 black inkjet print cartridge - refill holes for the HP 94 ink cartridges

Bottom two (2) holes can probably be used, but were not when cartridge was filled by HP

Contact! – Contact!

These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, give the contacts a quick clean with a damp cloth, or other device and try again.  If the contacts are harmed, the cartridge may not function at all.

HP 94 black ink cartridge contacts.

If these contacts become damaged, the cartridge may not work.

The Print Head:

Unlike Epson, which makes the printhead part of the printer, Hewlett Packard (HP) puts the print head technology on the cartridge (for most of their consumer printers).  This means every time you buy a new cartridge, it’s like getting a new printer.  This is why these type of HP printers (that use this cartridge style) last forever in our opinion.  As long as the mechanics of the printer keep working it will last forever since the print head can simply be replaced by installing a new cartridge into the printer.

Not all HP printers and cartridges use this style (print head on the cartridge) of build, but a large majority of the ones you will find at Wal-Mart, Target, and other discount (online) retailers use these cartridges.

Notice the 2D UPC code on the print head ribbon.

HP hewlet packard 94 inside the black ink cartridge from HP

If the printhead becomes damaged, the cartridge may not function correctly.

Is this an embedded expiration date?

Yet another 2D UPC code on the outside front of the cartridge.  So that is 3 total on a single cartridge.  If (HP) Hewlett Packard went to the trouble of putting them on there, you can bet they are there for a reason.  HP claims there is no built-in “self-destruct” expiration date for their cartridges.  Read more about it here…

http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01764161&cc=us&dlc=en&lc=en

HP 94 black ink cartridge expiration date.

Is the expiration date a self-destruct code for the HP 94 black cartridge?

Compatible With:

Specifications and warranty info:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06c/A10-12771-64199-69422-69422-397352-397354-397358.html

Page yield info:

http://h10060.www1.hp.com/pageyield/en-019/searchResults.html?cCode=us,st=cartridge,ss=C8765W

Compare prices here.

Epson: Ink Cartridge Yields For T078, T077 Series

Epson Stylus Photo R260, R280, R380, RX580, RX595, RX680, Cartridge Yields.

The T078 has 7ml ink, the T077 contains 11ml

Cartridge yield information for the above mentioned printers.  The T077 and T078 ink cartridges from Epson represent a “you can pay us now, or you can pay us now” cartridge strategy.  The cartridges are the same physical size and shape, but one (T077) is full of ink, and the other (T078) is only half full.  This is also reflected in the price as the T078 cartridges are slightly cheaper ($16.99, $12.99) than the T077 ($19.99) cartridges.

The effective cost per ml is the same on these cartridges, so there is no major savings by going with the higher capacity ink cartridge.  Just try and find the best deal.

We cracked open this cartridge and took a look here –

http://freedomtoprint.com/2009/04/16/review-epson-t078-and-t077-ink-cartridges-cracked-open/

Link to original (T078-T077) cartridge yield page on Epson’s website here:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/Landing/InkYieldISO2.jsp

T078 Series (half full cartridges 7ml) – $16.99 black, $12.99 colors

  • Black – T078120 Cartridge: “About 300 pages”
  • Color – T078220, T078320, T078420, T078520, T078620: “About 515 pages, average of all colors”

T077 Series (full cartridges 11ml) – $19.99 each

Black – T077120 (High-Capacity): “About 480 pages”
Color – T077220, T077320, T077420, T077520, T077620 (High-Capacity): “About 855 pages, average of all colors.”

Epson T078, T077 Ink Cartridge Page Yield Info Graphic

T078 cartridges contain 7ml of ink, T077 series cartridges contain 11ml of ink.

All the more reason to use a CI System (CISS) for these printers – if you are a high volume printer, and are tired of sending countless inkjet cartridges to landfills a CIS is the way to go for your printer.

Look here for systems for your:

Epson Stylus Photo R260

Epson Stylus Photo R280

Epson Stylus Photo R380

Epson Stylus Photo RX580 (multi-function)

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 (multi-function)

Epson Stylus Photo RX680 (multi-function)

Excellent series of 6-color photo printers from Epson, and they work well with aftermarket inks.  Replaced in the Epson lineup by the Artisan series (50, 700, 710, 800, 810) inkjet photo printers.  These photo printers that use the T078 and T077 series of inkjet cartridges are still a solid choice for anyone serious about photo printing.

Review: HP 564 (564XL) Ink Cartridge Cracked Open – Chips!

A Look Inside The HP 564 Magenta Ink Cartridge

It was not easy, but we cracked it open.  Air-space abounds.

HP’s version of you can pay me now, or you can pay me now.  The 564 cartridges are all the same size and shape, with the exception of the black 564 cartridge (thicker) which is about twice the size of the color and photo black cartridges.  There is no physical outward difference between the HP 564 and HP 564XL cartridges, the only difference is the amount of ink contained.

A closer look at cartridge options.

Basic cartridge part number information.

Hewlett Packard (HP) offers two different (but the same) cartridge choices for the 564 cartridge series:

This cartridge series works in the following Hewlett Packard (HP) printers:

Inside the HP 564 magenta ink cartridge:

A very “low tech” cartridge from Hewlett Packard with “high tech” refill prevention.  This cartridge consists of a molded plastic cartridge, a sponge,  and some ink.  There is a chip on each one of these cartridges that identifies it by color (so the magenta cannot be used in the yellow slot, and so-on).  The chip also reports the ink levels and tells the user when to replace the cartridge.

Once the cartridge is “empty” the chip will give a warning message.

There is no ink level sensor in the cartridge, so the printer makes a guess on the number (and kind) of prints via the chip on the end of each cartridge that keeps track of number of prints, and what kind of prints.  The chip on the outside of the cartridge determines when the cartridge must be changed – there is no real ink monitor.

About 30% of the cartridge is just sealed off airspace.  So when this cartridge is purchased it is already 30% empty from what it could be filled to.

CB319WN HP 564 hewlett packard magenta ink cartridge with top cracked off.

Notice all the empty space in the HP 564 series ink cartridges from Hewlett Packard (HP) - Can't be sure how full the sponge is either.

Side View:

From the side, and with some of the cartridge removed (dremel) the sponge is clearly visible.  There are actually two sponges, one stacked on top of the other.

Hewlett Packard HP 564 Series Inkjet printer cartridge cut open to reveal internal structure

Chip Swap:

Before and after a successful chip removal.

Before and after a chip swap on the Hewlett Packard (HP) 564, 564XL, XL ink cartridge

There is no way to tell how much ink is in these cartridges (due to the sponge) unless HP provides that information.  The ink contents cannot be removed with a syringe to be measured (like the Epson spongeless cartridges can).  HP does provide an expected pages estimate on their website:

Hewlett Packard (HP) page yield estimates for the HP 564, 564XL, XL ink cartridge

Current Cartridge Options:

Currently, there are no copies of the HP chip, and there are no chip resetters available for the chip on the 564 cartridges from Hewlett Packard (HP).  There are compatible cartridges available that come without the chip, and there are also cartridges that come with a “used” chip.  So there are some options, but half are no good –

Sponges removed:

Inside the internal structure of the HP 564 series inkjet printer cartridge 564, 564XL, XL

Internal parts:

There is no big technology mystery here – gravity, ink, and a sponge.  This cartridge is nothing more than an ink holder, or ink tank.

HP 564 series cartridge internal parts - what's inside the HP 564 series ink cartridge 564, 564XL

Careful With The Cartridge Tab…

Be very careful handling the cartridge – HP makes the cartridge tab on the 564, 564XL cartridges very delicate and if it breaks off, the cartridge will not sit correctly in the printer.  With the cartridge tab broken off, the chip – which resides on the bottom of the cartridge – cannot make contact with the print head and the printer will not recognize the cartridge.

The Problem With HP’s 564 564XL XL Cartridge Series

The good and the bad re: the HP 564, 564XL, XL cartridges.

HP 564, 564XL, XL photo blak ink cartridge from HP, hewlett packard

This cartridge has all of the hallmarks of a perfect cartridge – looks good for refilling, or using inexpensive 3rd party compatible cartridges, and ultimately consumers who wisely chose printers that use this cartridge series (see a full list here).

Full, or “half-full” cartridge?

The HP 564 series of cartridges come in two flavors, a “full” cartridge (the XL version 564XL…), and a “half-full” cartridge version (the plain 564 version).  Hewlett Packard also uses a shifty pricing scheme to make ink cartridges not seem as expensive – the “half-empty” cartridge is cheaper ($14.00-$10.00), but has half the ink of the XL cartridges ($40.00-18.00)We have looked at this cartridge in the past.

Wait a second…what is this chip for?

HP 564, 564XL, XL cartridge chip, chipless, microchip, micro chip, refill prevention, ink monitor

Notice the broken gold circuits - this chip will not function and is not recognized by the HP B8550 we own (we damaged it trying to get it off the HP brand cartridge)

Guilty, guilty, guilty…

The entire industry is guilty of this, so we are not singling out HP – the whole lot are wicked.  There is a small chip on each individual cartridge in this series – black, photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow – and that chip is specific to each (color/shade) ink cartridge.  For instance, a chip from a yellow cartridge cannot be used on a cyan cartridge – and so on with all the shades of black and color.

The “chip” has two (2) functionsone (1) is to let you know when the cartridge thinks it should be empty (there is no “ink-level sensor” in the cartridge, the empty message is a total guess pre-programmed into the cartridge based on number of times used).

The second (2nd) is more nefarious and quite the headache – simply put, it is there to prevent refilling.  Since the chips cannot be reset (many manufacturers are using 128-bit encryption on their chip designs to prevent a simple reset-of-the-chip solution) the chip must be “disabled.”

Canon employs a similar effort, and calls it “releasing the cartridge” and also provides some scary grade-school like scolding.  HP also allows the cartridge to continue to be used with “empty” chip attached, but there are several hoops that have to be jumped through (no scolding).  This means the chip can be turned off (as a result, the ink monitor will no longer report ink levels), but not reset.

HP 564 564XL XL ink cartridge print monitor message center hewlett packard B8550 inkjet printer

Having used cartridges that required a chip swap in the past, you know when you are out of ink when it is no longer showing up on the paper.  None of the pesky reminders to change the cartridge, but it is a good idea to keep an eye on the ink levels and try to change to a new cartridge when levels are getting low.  This can prevent air from getting in the print head and causing clogging issues down the line.

Current Cartridge Options:

Currently, there are no copies of the HP chip, and there are no chip resetters available for the chip on the 564 cartridges from Hewlett Packard (HP).  There are compatible cartridges available that come without the chip, and there are also cartridges that come with a “used” chip.  So there are some options, but half are no good –

*Most economical option

So owners of the following printers, heads up, more info to come over the next few months.

Chip swapping, what not to do – HP 564, 564XL, XL HP Cartridge

HP 564 cartridge series – chip swap gone wrong:

564 ink cartridge chipless compatible, no chip chip-less

Houston, we have a problem. This 564 cartridge chip is damaged.

Be Careful With HP 564 Chip

Interesting image – when we attempted to move a HP 564 series chip to a “chipless compatible” cartridge we made a big mistake – bending the chip.  The print monitor chips on the HP 564, 564XL, XL cartridges are very flimsy, and if they are not carefully removed cracks can occur in the circuitry and cause the chip to be unrecognized by the printer.  The chip does not have to report ink level status, but it does need to be seen by the printer.  This chip is toast.

The HP 564, 564XL, XL cartridge chip - no resellers for this cartridge available yet.

What the chip *should* look like – no breaks:

HP 564, 564XL, XL ink cartridge chip - perfect condition.

HP 564, 564XL, XL ink cartridge chip - perfect condition.

Chip-less compatibles here…


Review: Epson Artisan 50 CIS (CISS) Continuous Ink System

Review: Epson Artisan 50

with continuous inking system (CIS, CISS).

Epson Artisan 50 Inkjet Printer - about to be put to good use with a CIS, CISS, CI system.

CI System (CISS) and printer bundle here.

Great printer – 6-color photo printer, small form factor, outstanding prints, just a great 4×6, 8.5×11 top quality photo printer.  Will also do legal size paper, and prints to CDs and DVDs with included tray.  Professional quality photos – and when combined with a CI system, a perfect everyday printer for all kinds of documents.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished inkjet printer from the Epson.com website.

Detailed specifications available on Epson’s website:

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?oid=63083139

The Artisan 50 replaced the Epson Stylus Photo R260, R280 (260, 280) as the only 6-color letter size “just-a-printer” offering from Epson.  Every other 6-color Epson printer  is a multi-function printer (Artisan 700, 710, 800, 810), or large format (1400, R1900).

Epson Artisan 50 with CIS, CISS, continuous ink (inking) system (solution).

The elusive refurbished Artisan 50 6-color printer with CI system – $59.00 at the Epson store.

When you can catch it – man they sell fast.  The refurbished printers include the same warranty as a new printer, and we have been happy with the quality.  You can also purchase new for $93-$99 from Amazon.

Price:

$60-$120

Features:

Short specs on the Artisan 50:

  • 4″ x 6″ photos as fast as 11 sec
  • Ultra Hi-Definition photos
  • CD/DVD Printing
  • 4.8 ppm black  – 5 ppm color
  • 6 (six) Individual ink cartridges
  • Dye based Claria inks
  • Prints from (4×6) to legal size (8.5×14)

This is just a printer.  There are no multi-function capabilities, and it will not print larger than legal size paper.  Great for what it does, but if you need a fax or a scanner, look elsewhere.

What About The Cartridges:

T078 – T077

The T078 and T077 (high capacity) ink cartridges cracked open and compared - which one has the most ink, and by how much?

The T078 and T077 (high capacity) ink cartridges cracked open and compared - the T078 has airspace! The T077 is completely full.

We cracked these cartridges open for a look a while back, you can see pictures and read more here:

http://freedomtoprint.com/2009/04/16/review-epson-t078-and-t077-ink-cartridges-cracked-open/

Cartridges for the Epson Artisan 50 are priced out of the stratosphere – the printer uses six (6) individual ink cartridges.  Epson plays the same full vs. half-full cartridge game as HP and Lexmark.  There are two cartridges you can use in this printer; the “half-full”T078, or the “full” T077 series.

Epson even puts a sticker on the inside of the printer so there is no confusion.

Epson T078 T077 Cartridge Numbers Printed On Inside Of Epson Artisan 50 Inkjet Printer

T078 series “standard capacity”

– or what they really mean (half-full).  These cartridges contain Epson Claria dye based inks.  One for each color, and black; the T078 series cartridge contains about 7-8ml of ink.  Average price of $13-$14 per cartridge, or $75.00 for a full set.

T077 series “high capacity”

– or the more correct term (mostly-full), available through the Epson store.  You can sometimes find them on Amazon – here. Cartridges contain Claria dye based inks.  One for each color, and black; T077 series cartridge contains about 11-12ml of ink.  Average price of $20 per cartridge.  A full set of the T077 cartridges will run you $95.00 minimum.

Cartridges? Who cares…

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished refurb inkjet printer with CI system (CIS, CISS)

We really don’t care what the cartridge situation is – this printer was born to use a CIS, or CISS (continuous ink (inking) system).  The only thing interesting about the Epson cartridges is how many we will *not* have to purchase over the life of this printer.  This lets us focus on paper – Epson paper is quality stuff, however we think Red River Paper is the same quality and about half the price.

Ink and paper products for the Artisan 50 photo inkjet printer from Epson

Installation:

Consist of these few steps (all covered in the included instructions):

  1. Equalize ink levels (tilt ink supply reservoir forward)
  2. Remove shipping plugs – (replace with breathers)
  3. Remove printer cartridge cover*
  4. install CIS cartridges and route tubing
  5. Trick “lid-open” latch (q-tip works great)*

*3.) This step is not difficult, however knowing how to remove the cartridge cover saves a few coins from the swear jar. The cover must be removed with a CI system so the tubing can escape, and the cover would not close anyway. The cover is not needed, it gets in the way, and it does not hurt the printer to remove it.  Off it comes.  See our install video for a working example.

Removing the cartridge cover – not hard if you know *where* to pry.  Upper right-hand corner of the print head – remove the hinge with a flat head screwdriver. *Then* the cover is ready to come off.

Where to pry the cover off an Epson Artisan 50 inkjet printer for use with a CI System, or CISS, CIS, Bulk Ink.

Epson Artisan 50 cartridge cover hinge, clip and where to pry or place the screwdriver

Press cartridges down firmly to seat. Epson Artisan 50.

5.) This printer is perfect for use with a CI system.  There is plenty of clearance inside the printer for the tubing to run free, and the printer is easily tricked concerning the “lid is open” message with a q-tip.

q-tip open cover hack for Epson stylus photo Artisan 50

Ready to print!

At this point run a few test prints and see if you want the external inks on the left or the right, or maybe you want the ink tank in the back?  By running some test prints we can see how the tubing behaves and decide the best position for the external tank.

This printer has 6 colors, and produces incredible photos.  We ran off 15 or so photos on some Epson and Red River glossy and matte papers, and our prints all looked fantastic.

The Artisan 50, and most Epson 6-color photo printers less than $300, use a dye based ink – so colors are brighter and more defined.  Our CI system has dye inks as well, and they look perfect.  Nice to be able to print without having to worry about the ink price.

Installation video (instructions):

We decided the external tank should go on the left, but we might change our minds.

Installing the system is easy enough…

CD-DVD printing:

Popular choice among CD-DVD printers.

The Epson Artisan 50 6-color inkjet photo printer will also print directly to CDs and-or DVDs.  Make sure to get the “inkjet printable” recordable media, and print directly on the media – no more labels!

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished refurb CD-DVD tray insterted and ready for printing

The coolest CD-DVD printing we have seen was with the Artisan 700-710-800-810 series; so cool we made a video.  The CD-DVD tray is stored inside the printer – much harder to lose this way.

With the Artisan 50 CD-DVD printing is easy with the included CD-DVD print tray.  The media sits on the plastic tray, and once lined up, it is sucked into the printer were the media is printed to.  Works fine, but take your time lining up the tray, and whatever you do, don’t lose it.  Must use the bundled Epson CD-DVD printing software utility to print CDs or DVDs.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished inkjet printer with CD-DVD tray inside printer during printing

Video of the CD-DVD printing process:

Takes about 3-4 minutes to print a CD or DVD, but the results are fantastic!

Plenty of room inside this printer…

Epson ink monitor is still watching you…

Epson Artisan 50 ink monitor image

The Artisan 50 is really perfect for a CI system.  The print head is of the same family as the old R200, R220, R340, R320, RX620, RX600 series.  The quality of prints is fantastic, and the CI system has plenty of room to operate inside the Artisan 50.

What to do when the cartridge runs out of ink?

There are chips on the end of each cartridge – these chips “keep tabs” on your estimated ink usage and will report empty at some point.  There are several ways to reset the ink levels, but with our system there is a button.  Press the red flashing button on the printer to get the print head to the “replace cartridge” location.  Simply press and hold the white button 3-4 seconds.  Now press the red flashing button on the printer  and your cartridges are now reset.

It is important to note – the cartridges cannot be reset at just any point – the Epson ink monitor must report out of ink (for any cartridge), and then a reset of all cartridges can be done.  Once reset, all chips report full cartridges.

Artisan 50 Inkjet Printer Refurbished CIS, CISS Ink System Custom - reset the cartridges when they indicate empty.

Notice these cartridges, the Epson T078, and T077 series inkjet cartridges, also work in the Epson Stylus Photo – R260, R280, R380, RX595, RX595, and RX680 series inkjet printers.

Ink quality:

We also tried some different papers.

Tried some Epson premium presentation matte (double sided) S041568 (it was ok), and some Epson high quality ink jet paper S041111 (not awesome).  We then tried some of our Red River paper sampler – a luster photo satin, and about 15 different glossy photo papers – color adjustments took some time, however we were pleased with the quality of the prints we saw. We have no problems recommending this system, and printer to anyone – the print quality is outstanding.

Conclusion:

Get it.  Well worth the price, and flexible.

If you are looking for a solid “just-a-printer” the Epson Artisan 50 is a very good choice – new or refurbished.  Low entry cost ($60-$129) for the printer, and a continuous inking system works fantastically well.  Lab quality photo prints, fast 4×6 photo prints, and when bundled with a (CIS, CISS) CI system the Artisan 50 inkjet photo printer becomes a great everyday use printer.

If you are planning on using Epson brand ink cartridges, all bets are off – the Epson brand ink is a killer.

Here is the refurbished printer link – Epson.com (or try Epson.ca) – $59.99

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?oid=63088260

New printer – Epson.com website – $99.99.

http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/consumer/consDetail.jsp?oid=63083139

And there is always Amazon…

Epson Artisan 50 CIS, CISS, inking systems.

Review: Inside The HP 21 C9351A Ink Cartridge (Cracked Open)

A Look Inside The HP 21 Black Ink Cartridge

We cracked it open and took a look.

HP 21 Black Ink Cartridge (Retail Price):

Retail price for the HP 21 (C9351AN) Black Ink Cartridge

Inside the HP 21 c9351a Black Ink Cartridge:

Specifications:

*that 220 page estimate is from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage looks like) – printer manufacturer estimates are not very realistic in our experience.

+often paired with HP tri-color (color) cartridge HP 22 C9352wn

Cartridge specifications here on HP’s website.

Page yield info here  – (had to dig)

Want to reset the ink monitor after refill?

Just follow these four (4) steps to reset the ink monitor level for HP 21, 22, 56, 57.

  1. Turn off the printer and unplug power cable from the rear
  2. Press and hold “ON” and “Cancel” buttons  – plug in printer
  3. Release both buttons *only* after any led lights stop blinking
  4. Printer will do full reset, and inkjet printer cartridge  level is 100%

Used in these printers:

Cracked open – a look inside the HP 21 c9351a cartridge:


Contact! – Contact!

These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, give the contacts a quick clean with a damp cloth, or other device and try again.  If the contacts are harmed, the cartridge may not function at all.

Contact! – Contact!  These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, give the contacts a quick clean with a damp cloth, or other device and try again.  If the contacts are harmed, the cartridge may not function at all.

Refilling?

If refilling this cartridge, here is a picture of the top, with HP 21 sticker removed.  Notice there is only one pre-drilled hole, and that is where the black ink goes.  Refill in top hole – where sponge is located, the other part of the cartridge is empty space.

HP 21 ink c9351a ink hole for refilling black ink

The HP 21 Print Head:

Many refill attempts are foiled by a dirty or clogged print head.  When refilling cartridges, they should be refilled right before the ink is depleted, or immediately after they run out of ink.  The longer a cartridge sites, the more likely that ink will dry inside the print head and cause clogging.  If your print head becomes clogged, use a wet paper towel and gently clean off the print head surface.

Conclusion:

The HP 21 tri-color (color)  inkjet printer cartridge does not contain very much ink (5ml).  If printing more than 100 – 200 pages per quarter, it would be wise to avoid printers that use this cartridge.  Hewlett Packard tries to trick their own customers with a deceptively low cartridge price ($14.99) without also mentioning that the cartridge is not completely full.  This cartridge contains a measly 5ml of ink, and will run out quickly – there are better options out there.  What is sad is that this cartridge could take a bunch more ink, but the electronics doom this cartridge to 5ml of ink performance.

If you are stuck with using this cartridge – look here for the best pricing.

Review: Inside The HP 22 C9352A Ink Cartridge (Cracked Open)

A Look Inside The HP 22 Tri-Color Ink Cartridge

We cracked it open and looked around.

HP 22 Color Ink Cartridge (Retail Price):

HP Hewlett Packard 22 c9352a tri-color color ink cartridge cracked open - retail price

Inside the HP 22 c9352a ink cartridge:

We tried a different bit with this cartridge, and it got pretty mangled – lid is a little easier to get off than the condition of the cartridge indicates.

HP Hewlett Packard 22 tri-color color ink cartridge with lid off removed c9352a sponge

Hewlett Packard HP 22 c9352a color ink cartridge removing the top of the cartridge.

Specifications:

*that 220 page estimate is from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage looks like) – printer manufacturer estimates are not very realistic in our experience.

+often paired with HP tri-color (color) cartridge HP 21 C9351wn

Cartridge specifications here on HP’s website.

Page yield info here  – (had to dig)

Used in these printers:

Cracked open – a look inside the HP 22 c9352a cartridge:

It looks like the HP 22 c9352a tri-color (color)  ink cartridge is completely full, but looks are deceiving in this case.  The HP 22 cartridge contains a measly 5ml of ink and is rated at 165 pages (figure half that).  The (beige) sponges contain the individual color inks (magenta, yellow, cyan) – puncture holes indicate where the cartridge was injected with ink.  Re-fillers should aim for these spots when refilling (see below).

HP Hewlett Packard 22 tri-color color ink cartridge with lid off removed c9352a sponge

The cartridge looks like it will take more ink (it will), but unfortunately the cartridge is programmed as a 22 low capacity cartridge so the cartridge will think it is out of ink at the 22 levels (5ml) of ink.

HP also markets a 22XL cartridge for the Deskjet D1500, and F2200 inkjet printers.  It is a full version of this exact cartridge. HP 22XL Tri-color Inkjet Print Cartridge (C9352C), rated at 415 pages.

Contact! – Contact!

These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, give the contacts a quick clean with a damp cloth, or other device and try again.  If the contacts are harmed, the cartridge may not function at all.

HP Hewlett Packard 22 tri-color color ink cartridge with lid off removed c9352a sponge

Refilling?

If refilling this cartridge, here is a picture of the top, with HP 92 sticker removed.  Notice the 4 “phantom” holes.  Refill in top hole – where sponge is located, the other part of the cartridge is empty space.

Refill hole location for HP 22 tri-color ink cartridge

The HP 22 Print Head:

When in use, the print head on the HP 92 cartridge is cleaner.  Many refill attempts are foiled by a dirty or clogged print head.  When refilling cartridges, they should be refilled right before the ink is depleted, or immediately after they run out of ink.  The longer a cartridge sites, the more likely that ink will dry inside the print head and cause clogging.  If your print head becomes clogged, use a wet paper towel and gently clean off the print head surface.

Hewlett Packard print head for cartridge HP 93 c9361wn tri-color cartridges

This photo turned out great - can almost see the holes where the ink exits the cartridge. HP 22 c9352a color (tri-color) ink cartridge.

Conclusion:

As you can see from the above pictures, the HP 22 tri-color (color)  inkjet printer cartridge does not contain very much ink.  If printing more than 100 – 200 pages per quarter, it would be wise to avoid printers that use this cartridge.  Hewlett Packard tries to trick their own customers with a deceptively low cartridge price ($19.99) without also mentioning that more than half the cartridge is empty.  This cartridge contains a measly 5ml of ink, and will run out quickly – there are better options out there.  What is sad is that this cartridge could take a bunch more ink, but the electronics doom this cartridge to 5ml of ink performance.

If you are stuck with using this cartridge – look here for the best pricing.

Review: Inside the HP 93 C9361WN Ink Cartridge

A look inside the HP 93 tri-color (color) inkjet printer cartridge

We crack one open and have a look around.

HP 93 c9361wn retail price:

Retail price for the HP 93 c9363wn Hewlett Packard inkjet printer cartridge.

Inside the HP 93 c9361wn ink cartridge:

HP hewlett packard 93 ink cartridge with lid on, tri-color, color cartridge.

HP 93 tri-color (color) ink cartridge with lid on (c9361w)

Specifications:

  • Color : Tri-Color (all 3 colors in one cartridge)
  • Part Number : c9361wnHP 93+
  • Ink Type : Pigment ink
  • Page Yield : 220 pages*
  • Storage temperature : 59 to 95° F
  • Estimated Ink Volume : 5ml
  • Retail Price : $14.99
  • Street Price : $14.49

*that 220 page estimate is from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage looks like) – printer manufacturer estimates are not very realistic in our experience – figure about half that for everyday printing.

+often paired with HP black cartridge HP 92 C9362wn

Cartridge specifications here on HP’s website.

Page yield info here  – (had to dig)

Used in these printers:

HP 93 c9361w tri-color (color) ink cartridge – “cracked open.”

The HP 93 tri-color, or color, inkjet printer cartridge.  This cartridge has three (3) different chambers for cyan, magenta, and yellow inks.  Can be easily refilled once or twice, and maybe more (your mileage will vary), however compatibles and re-manufactured cartridges can be found – the issue is finding a good quality compatible or re-manufactured cartridge.

The top is glued on very tightly…

We used a dremel to get it off – there could could be an easier way.  If simply refilling the cartridge, there is no reason to crack open the physical cartridge – there are holes in the lid, which are covered by the cartridge label.  Looks like yellow in the top, magenta to the left, and cyan to the right.

HP hewlett packard HP 93 c9361 tri-color ink cartridge review and information

Pay a discount price, get a half full cartridge…

Three shrunken chambers within chambers with matching tiny sponges.  Hewlett Packard (HP) really sticks it to customers with this cartridge.  Cannot ever be completely “full” due to smaller sponges, and chambers within chambers.

HP hewlett packard HP 93 c9361 tri-color ink cartridge review and information

What about refilling?

Sure, or you can buy replacement carts for $10-$20 depending on your model.  Generics are cheap, but if you want really cheap, think about getting rid of the printer and upgrading to a CIS friendly printer from Epson.

Refill hole locations for the hewlett packard HP 93 c9361wn tri-color ink cartridge

Contact! – Contact!

These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head – cannot be reset without additional hardware.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, try cleaning the contacts with a damp q-tip before tossing the cartridge – it may take a few attempts, so try 2-3 cleanings.

HP hewlett packard HP 93 c9361 tri-color ink cartridge review and information

If any of the contacts become dirty or damaged, the cartridge will simply not function.

The Print Head:

The print head on the HP 93 tri-color ink cartridge.  Notice the three (3) individual nozzle trails.

Hewlett Packard print head for cartridge HP 93 c9361wn tri-color cartridges

This photo turned out great - can almost see the holes where the ink exits the cartridge. HP 93 c9361wn ink cartridge.

If your print head gets clogged (no matter the cartridge type), remember to try and dab the cartridge on a damp paper towel to soften up the possibly dried ink.  Let it sit for a few minutes before putting back in printer.  The longer a printer sits without usage, the more likely there will be a clog.

Conclusion:

As you can see from the above pictures, the HP 93 tri-color (color)  inkjet printer cartridge does not contain very much ink.  If printing more than 100 – 200 pages per quarter, it would be wise to avoid printers that use this cartridge.  Hewlett Packard tries to trick their own customers with a deceptively low cartridge price ($23.99) without also mentioning that more than half the cartridge is empty.  This cartridge contains a measly 5ml of ink, and will run out quickly – there are better options out there.

If you are stuck with using this cartridge – look here for the best pricing.

Review – Inside The HP 92 C9362WN Ink Cartridge (Cracked Open)

A Look Inside The HP 92 Black Inkjet Printer Cartridge

We crack one open and have a look around.

HP 92 c9362wn retail price:

Retail price for the HP 92 c9362wn Hewlett Packard inkjet printer cartridge.

Retail price for the HP 92 c9362wn Hewlett Packard inkjet printer cartridge.

Inside the HP 92 c9362wn ink cartridge:

HP 92 ink cartridge c9362w removing top cover to expose the insides of the cartridge.  Lots of empty space.

Specifications:

*that 220 page estimate is from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage looks like) – printer manufacturer estimates are not very realistic in our experience.

+often paired with HP tri-color (color) cartridge HP 93 C9361wn

Cartridge specifications here on HP’s website.

Page yield info here  – (had to dig)

Used in these printers:

Cracked open – a look inside the HP 92 c9362wn cartridge:

About 60% of the HP 92 c9362w black ink cartridge is just empty airspace.  The (beige) sponge contains the black ink – a puncture hole indicates where the cartridge was injected with black ink.  Re-fillers should aim for that spot when refilling.

The HP 92 c9362w black inkjet printer cartridge does not much actual ink.  Looks like 60% of the cartridge is just air.

The HP 92 c9362w black inkjet printer cartridge does not much actual ink. Looks like 60% of the cartridge is just air.

Contact! – Contact!

These solder points, or contacts help make up the print head.  Printers that use these types of cartridges do not have an internal print head – rather the print head is located on the cartridges themselves.  If print quality declines to the point where the cartridge is no longer usable, simply try another cartridge (it’s like getting a new printer).  If your cartridge cannot be recognized, give the contacts a quick clean with a damp cloth, or other device and try again.  If the contacts are harmed, the cartridge may not function at all.

The HP 92 Print Head:

When in use, the print head on the HP 92 cartridge is cleaner.  Many refill attempts are foiled by a dirty or clogged print head.  When refilling cartridges, they should be refilled right before the ink is depleted, or immediately after they run out of ink.  The longer a cartridge sites, the more likely that ink will dry inside the print head and cause clogging.  If your print head becomes clogged, use a wet paper towel and gently clean off the print head surface.

Print head for the HP 92 inkjet cartridge - on the bottom of the cartridge.

Refilling?

If refilling this cartridge, here is a picture of the top, with HP 92 sticker removed.  Notice the 4 “phantom” holes.  Refill in top hole – where sponge is located, the other part of the cartridge is empty space.

Conclusion:

As you can see from the above pictures, the HP 92 inkjet printer cartridge does not contain very much ink.  If printing more than 100 – 200 pages per quarter, it would be wise to avoid printers that use this cartridge.  Hewlett Packard tries to trick their own customers with a deceptively low cartridge price ($14.99) without also mentioning that more than half the cartridge is empty.  This cartridge contains a measly 5ml of ink – there are better options out there.

If you are stuck with using this cartridge – look here for the best pricing.

Review: CIS For Canon Pixma iP4700, iP4600 (CISS) CI system

Canon Pixma iP4700 and iP4600 CI System (CIS, CISS) Review:

Hot off the truck – iP4600/iP4700 CI systems with Canon CLI-221, PGI-220 series auto resetting ink cartridges.

canon-cli-221-cis-ip4700-carts

When using a CI system, or CISS there are few important things to remember. Most important is to never, ever, ever put the external ink supply higher than the cartridges.  Keep the cartridges and CI system at the same level.  Setting the system next to the printer (on the same level) is the best, and recommended, way to ensure proper operation.

Read through the included directions, go slow.  Basic premise is that ink is fed from an external source to a set of cartridges that pass ink through the printer.  The cartridges must be there for the printer to function, so tubing is used to pipe-in-ink as needed.  No more needed cartridges, and no more refilling 5 cartridges at a time.

Quickly becoming a staff favorite.

iP4600 Pictured – Identical to iP4700:

iP4700 CIS Canon Pixma iP4600 Inkejt Printer Ink Solution

Been waiting for this one for a while.  This Canon “just a printer” series is awesome (no all-in-one features).  The Canon Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500, iP4600, and iP4700 are basically the same printer from a print quality and technology perspective, and the differences are really just cosmetic – these are solid performers with either compatible ink, refills, or CI systems.

To top it off, all these printers include an auto duplexer feature so you can print on both sides of the page – all from a relatively compact printer.  Uses a standard power cord (unlike HP, pet peeve).

Step 1 – Set-Up:

Detailed instructions on this step are included with the system, and it is pretty self explanatory once you see the actual external ink tank.

First step is to equalize the ink levels in the external ink container, and then remove and replace the shipping plugs and included air breathers.  The system is shipped with the external tanks full of ink, so the system is sealed up for shipping as not to leak.  When removing the shipping plugs, make sure to watch the splatter – use a paper towel, tissue, or cloth to remove the shipping plugs and absorb any microscopic ink splatter.

Process:

To keep proper pressure, the external ink tank must be leveled off.  There is a chamber inside the chamber that has an opening at the bottom. Tilt the external ink tank forward, and the ink levels in the rear chambers will start to lower.  You will want to keep these levels low to ensure proper ink flow.  When you refill the external tank, you might have to repeat this process.

Tilt external tank forward - this will equalize the ink levels

For iP4700, iP4600 CISS tilt external tank forward - this will equalize the ink levels. Click for larger image.

Ink levels should be very low in chanbers at the back of the external ink supply.

iP4700 CIS, iP4600 CIS ink levels should be very low in chanbers at the back of the external ink supply. Click for larger image.

Again, this step is covered in greater detail in the included instructions, and we only mention it first because it is much easier to do with the shipping plugs installed.

Shipping plug – vs. Ink refill plugs.

The shipping plugs are the smaller plastic plugs located along the back of the external CISS tank.  The larger refill plugs are not to be removed until an ink refill is required.

Types of plugs on the outside ink tank for the Canon Pixma iP4700 CISS and iP4600 CISS

Types of plugs on the outside ink tank for the Canon Pixma iP4700 CISS and iP4600 CISS. Click for larger image.

System includes all necessary materials

  • External ink supply – no more refilling small cartridges
  • Dummy “pass through” cartridges, with auto reset chip
  • 5 individual gaskets – must be placed inside the print head (sounds harder than it actually is)
  • Tweezers for gasket placement
  • Metal tubing guide
All items included with iP4700, iP4600 CISS, CIS package

All items included with iP4700, iP4600 CISS, CIS package.

Gaskets, Step 2:

Hardware included with Canon CIS For iP4700, iP4600, iP4500, iP4300, iP4200

Hardware included with Canon CIS CISS For iP4700, iP4600, iP4500, iP4300, iP4200. Click for larger image.

Before the cartridges can be installed in the print head, a set of gaskets must be placed on the ink inlets.

This process (placing the gaskets) is the same for the Canon Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500, iP4600, and iP4700 series.  After removing the installed cartridges (if present) simply place a rubber gasket over each of the five (5) ink inlets – this must be done before you install the new CIS, CISS cartridge set.

Gaskets have an obvious orientation with the wide side to the back, and the smaller rounded edge to the front.  The gaskets will prevent the ink from pouring through the printer, so they are a necessary part of the installation.

There are 5 cartridges for the Canon Pixma iP4300, iP4200, iP4500 printers, and each seal must be covered.

Installing Cartridges – Step 3:

Remove orange covers, install as normal…

Cartridge covers should be removed slowly – do not break cartridge locking tab, and watch out for ink spilling out once the covers are removed.  It is a good idea to hold the cartridges together in a bunch.  Also the orange covers detach from the cartridge in the front (non-chip side), and then just move off the locking tab.  You will know it when you see it.

Removing the orange clips from the CLI-8, PGI-5 cartridge set for  install into the Canon Pixma iP4300. iP4200, iP4500

Watch out here:

Be careful with this step.  Ink seems to run through the cartridges very easily – and we mean very easily, and we made a big mess on our first install attempt with this system.  You want to make sure you hold the cartridges up-side down when removing the orange cartridge covers –  it would not hurt to hold the cartridges above the external ink tank to keep ink from running out of the cartridges.  Try to hold the cartridges in one hand and install the cartridges in the print head as a bunch.  The quicker you can get the cartridge set in the printer, the better.

(pressure builds up during shipping, and the ink is just ready to pop out once the orange caps are removed, just be aware.)

Look out for “Error Number 6502”

Once you get the cartridges in the printer, look out for this error message:

“Error Number : 6502

A problem has occurred with the printer mechanism. Cancel printing and turn off the printer.  Wait a few moments, then turn the power back on.  If the problem persists, contact one of the service centers.”

This happens because there is an optical sensor inside the printer, and if there is to much light getting inside the printer (via the open or cracked lid) this error message will pop up:

Solution:

You can easily remedy this issue by modding the case, or by using a piece of cloth to cover the exposed area.  If the lights start flashing like crazy at you, the printer must be restarted with the excess light eliminated.  Do your best to get the lid to close at least partially.

Press down on the cartridges until you hear an audible “click” – or at least feel one.  All the red lights should be lit up showing a good connection.

Make sure you hear (or feel) an audible click when seating the cartridges for the Canon Pixma iP4700 and iP4600 CIS, CISS systems.

Make sure you hear (or feel) an audible click when seating the cartridges for the Canon Pixma iP4700 and iP4600 CIS, CISS.

Routing Tubing – Cartridge Cover Trick – (Final) Step 4:

Canon pixma iP4600, iP4700 CIS, CISS, Inking System Tubing

Now simply route the tubing out of the printer as you see fit – we think the natural fit is to the right of the printer, but you can experiment to see what works best for you.  You may have to mold the included metal bracket to suit your needs.  In this configuration the lid almost closes completely.

Making the printer think the cover is closed…

The “printer cover latch” needs to be fooled into thinking the printer cover is closed (since the lid cannot be closed with tubing coming out of it) – simply take one of the shipping plugs that was removed from the external ink tanks and insert it into the latch area with the included tweezers.  The printer will now think the printer cover is all-the-way closed, and your printer will function normally.  There is the added benefit –  a partially closed lid protects the under-side of the print head by keeping dust and particles out of the “print-track”.

Use an included shipping plug to press down the lid closed latch on the printer.

Use an included shipping plug to press down the lid closed latch on the printer.

Now start printing.  You might need to make some color adjustments in the printer driver software, and you might want to experiment with different print settings (like glossy setting for plain paper).  Print quality of both photos and text documents were solid.  Use good paper and photos will last forever.

Custom color adjustments can be set in the printer driver (Mac OS X)

Custom color adjustments can be set in the printer driver (Mac OS X)

We know that compatible cartridges are cheap for this print series ($5.00 each, $25 a set), and refilling is one way to go, but if you print more than a ream of paper in a 2 month period, a CI system is a great alternative to buying cartridges repeatedly, and dealing with refilling hassles are a thing of the past.  This system just sits there and works.

No more cartridges…

Suffering from “cartridge confusion?” Well, no more!

No more ink cartridges - CISS, CIS is the way to go with this printer series.

No more late night, or weekend trips to track down an ink cartridge (included chips auto reset) when one runs out. Canon makes it so the empty cartridge must be replaced before the printer will function (think of it as holding your printer hostage).  Gone are the days when you could print your report (that is due in 15 minutes) in simply blue ink.

Overall this system is an excellent value and will pay for itself quickly.  If you can follow directions, and are mildly proficient at problem solving,  installation can be done by anyone.

Get your Canon iP4700, iP4600 CIS here $85.00 shipped.

If you would rather use Canon brand ink cartridges, or compatible 3rd party alternatives, get your cartridges here.

Full video on installation:

Deal or No Deal? HP Photosmart C4680 $55.00 Delivered

Deal or No Deal? HP Photosmart C4680 $55.00

HP-C4680-Inkjet-Printer

HP Photosmart C4680 $55.00 Delivered

http://www.xpbargains.com/index.php/send_deal/140987

Look inside the cartridges for this printer – not recommended for heavy use.

Cartridge cover comes off the HP 60 inkjet printer cartridge ink to reveal the internal cartridge structure.

Check out the Epson Artisan 710, and 810 for heavy printing.

This is a terrible printer to select for the regular, everyday use printer.  There are many other printers out there from Epson, HP, and Canon, that have the same basic features, and use cartridges that are bigger in ink volume, and thus will provide a more favorable cost per page total.

cc641wn-60xl-black-ink-cartridge-35 dollars

This printer series uses the HP 60 cartridge series - black and color, XL and small

Cartridges for this printer come in two different sizes, full (XL) and half-full.  The physical cartridges are the same size – HP just puts more ink in the XL version of this cartridge and charges a premium for it.  This is troubling for heavy users (users who print a ream – or more – per quarter) as the cartridge yields are very low, and your effective cost per page will be very high with this printer.

Not an every day printer

This printer is NOT intended for an every-day use type printer. If you want to actually print more than 100 pages per month, skip this model, and look at other hardware options – otherwise you are going to spend a small fortune for ink.

Cartridges used:

ink-cartridge-choices-hp-60

HP 60 Series:

High capacity (full of ink)

*HP estimates, and they are wildly optimistic – in our testing HP cartridges come in at about 60% of their stated page counts.

So for a full set of full ink cartridges, you are looking at a whopping $75.98 for around 300 pages, or .25 cents per page (just for ink).

Other printers that use the HP 60 series ink cartridge include:

  • Deskjet D2500
  • Deskjet D2530
  • Deskjet D2560
  • Deskjet F42
  • Deskjet F4200
  • Deskjet F4230
  • Deskjet F4235
  • Deskjet F4240
  • Deskjet F4250
  • Deskjet F4272
  • Deskjet F4273
  • Deskjet F4274
  • Deskjet F4275
  • Deskjet F4280
  • DeskJet F4283
  • Deskjet F4288
  • Deskjet F4292
  • Deskjet F4293
  • PhotoSmart C4640
  • PhotoSmart C4650
  • PhotoSmart C4680
  • PhotoSmart C4740
  • PhotoSmart C4750
  • PhotoSmart C4780
  • PhotoSmart C4795