Mod: Artisan 50 With (CIS, CISS) Case Modification (Optional)

Artisan 50 (CIS, CISS) Case Mod:

We reviewed this system here – our new favorite printer.  Makes cost per page in the fractions of a hundredth of a cent range.

This modification is not necessary for the CI system (CISS) to work right, it was just an idea.  Actually the CI system we own works fine on the outside of the printer in a more traditional configuration.  However it was fun to do and makes the system very compact.  The lid closes easily, and there is no need to trick the lid closed.

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50

CIS, CISS tubing through back:

Tubing is run through the back of the printer – where waste ink tubing is located.  There is an access panel on the back of the printer.

Artisan 50 Epson CIS, CISS, Continuous Inking System custom modification.

Removed Artisan 50 waste ink pads:

We removed the waste ink pads, and used an external collection system from Octoinkjet (Ink-Anarchy in the UK).  Not sure if it was entirely necessary to remove the waste ink pads for the Arisan 50, however there was much more room to work with after removal, and the tubing does need to flow freely.

We removed the waste ink pad, but here is what our modified Artisan 50 inkjet printer with CIS, CISS looks like.

Waste ink pads for the Artisan 50 inkjet printer:

They are much smaller than the other Artisan series printers like the 700, 710, 800, 810.  We also noticed that the cleaning cycle for the Artisan 50 series inkjet printer used much less in than the Artisan 700, 710, 800, or 810.

Waste ink pads for Artisan 50 inkjet printer - parts inside the printer are at the end of their life.  Buy a new printer? No!

Tubing routed from back:

The tubing now comes from the back and the cover can be completely closed – the tubing slides along a metal shelf, very efficient – not better, just different.

Epson artisan 50 case modification - no cutting, just need a screwdriver.

No more tubing outside the printer:

Works quite nicely, and we can have the CI system put behind the printer, and – as mentioned above – the lid closes very nicely.

Epson artisan 50 inkjet printer case modification.

We got our bundle here.

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Deal: Epson Artisan 710 $127.22 Delivered – Amazon

Epson Artisan 710 $127.22

Epson Artisan 710 Inkjet Printer - $128 from Amazon.com

Amazon offers the Epson Artisan 710 inkjet printer for $127.22 delivered.  The Artisan 710 is a great all-in-one 6-color photo printer that will print to CDs-DVDs, includes wireless or Ethernet networking. The once “optional” $30.00 auto duplexer is included with the Artisan 710 – print on both sides of the page (note: the Artisan 700 does not include the auto duplexer, but it is a $30.00 add-on option) is perfect for use with a continuous inking system (CIS, CISS) as the cartridges never move.

Artisan 710 inkjet printer - $128.00 delivered from Aamazon.com

CIS, CISS a no brainer for this system

The cartridges on this printer never move, so a CI system works perfectly with this printer.  Check out some videos and reviews here:

http://freedomtoprint.com/epson-inkjet-printer-reviews/epson/artisan-710/

Continuous inking system installation video.

Review – Epson Artisan 50 Waste Ink Pad (Location, Bypass)

The Epson Artisan 50 Waste Ink Pad(s):

Location and bypass.

We recently did a review of this printer with a (CIS, CISS) continuous inking system here – http://freedomtoprint.com/2010/06/22/review-epson-artisan-50-cis-ciss-continuous-ink-system/

The waste ink pads for the Artisan 50 inkjet printer are easy to locate, and oddly, easy to either replace or bypass.  The waste ink tubing is easily identified through a access panel in the back of the printer.  This is helpful if you are going to use an external waste ink system like what Octoinkjet offers. As of this writing there is no reset utility available from Epson, or from 2Manuals.com, but we are sure it is coming as more of these printers go off their 1-year warranty.

The access panel (to the waste ink tube) is on the back of the printer:

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink access panel.

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink access panel.

Simply remove the cover with a flat head screwdriver to reveal the waste ink tubing.  The waste ink pads are directly behind this area.  In fact, some ink can be seen in the waste ink pad even though this printer has never been used (refurbished).

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink tubing exposed.

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink tubing exposed.

The waste ink tubing is currently routed to the waste ink pads.  We can now re-route the tubing to an external tank from someone like Octoinkjet.  Use a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the tubing while being careful not to break the connector.

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink tube removed.

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink tube removed.

Removing The Cover To Get At The Waste Ink Pads.

Getting the cover off the printer was actually quite easy (there is no need to remove the cover, but it was so easy to remove, we decided to post pictures).  There are 4 screws that hold the top on the printer, and once removed, the entire top of the printer lifts off and exposes the insides, and more importantly a full view of the actual waste ink padding.

There are two (2) screws on the back of the Artisan 50:

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 screw locations on the back of the printer.

Artisan 50 screw locations on the back side of the printer.

There are also two (2) screws inside the font of the Artisan 50:

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 screw locations for front of printer.

Screw locations - use a phillips head screwdriver.

Once these four (4) screws have been removed, the entire top of the printer lifts off exposing the internal parts of the printer.  Again, there is really no need to remove the cover, but it is very easy to get off.

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Artisan 50 waste ink pads.

Artisan 50 waste ink pads. Nice and white. This is a "brand new" refurbished Artisan 50 inkjet printer.

Another shot with the Epson Artisan 50 print head in the picture…

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support. Epson Artisan 50 waste ink pads.

Artisan 50 waste ink pads. Nice and white. This is a "brand new" refurbished Artisan 50 inkjet printer.

So what is the waste ink pad?

Simply put, the waste ink pad collects any ink that is not used in the printing process, and also when a cleaning cycle is run – this is where the extra ink is discharged.  These pads are super absorbent, so there is really no need to change them (even if they seem full of ink) as they can soak up, and then let evaporate, a ton of ink.  If you get the error message:

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support.

Do not toss the printer!  It can be fixed!  See earlier post:

http://freedomtoprint.com/2010/06/29/news-epson-artisan-50-waste-ink-pad-reset-software/

The Artisan 50 6-color inkjet printer is *perfect* to use with a (CIS, CISS) continuous inking system.

More info on Epson Waste Ink Reset Software here – http://freedomtoprint.com/2009/12/14/epson-has-an-app-for-that-epson-ink-pads-reset-utility/

News: Epson Artisan 50 Waste Ink Pad – Reset Software

Printer ink pads are at the end of their service life. Please contact Epson support.

This is a very common “error” message that may appear if you use an Epson printer of any kind.  Epson puts a pre-programmed self-destruct number (of pages printed) inside each of it’s printers, and the Artisan 50 is no exception.  In most cases it might seem like the printer is no longer functional, however there are solutions.  If your printer is under warranty, simply contact Epson for a replacement at 562-276-7282 (6am-6pm PST).  If you are in Canada, please call 905-709-2567 (6am-6pm PST). If your printer is out of warranty, there are other options.  Don’t toss that printer, it can be fixed with a simple software patch.

Note: the software that Epson provides (via links below) requires a PC (Windows) operating system to run.  Waste ink reset software is not compatible with Mac OS X.  Epson seems to post the waste ink software for printers that are obviously out of warranty period (have been released for over a year).  The Artisan 50 is not listed here, but should be soon – you can always pay for the reset software at http://www.2manuals.com/.

Epson makes available a waste ink pad reset utility for owners of the following printers:

Artisan 700
Artisan 800
PictureMate
PictureMate Dash – PM260
PictureMate Deluxe
PictureMate Express
PictureMate Flash – PM280
PictureMate Pal – PM200
PictureMate Snap – PM240
PictureMate Zoom – PM290
Stylus C120
Stylus C46
Stylus C66
Stylus C68
Stylus C86
Stylus C88
Stylus C88+
Stylus CX1600
Stylus CX3800
Stylus CX3810
Stylus CX4200
Stylus CX4400
Stylus CX4600
Stylus CX4800
Stylus CX5000
Stylus CX5800F
Stylus CX6000
Stylus CX6600
Stylus CX7000F
Stylus CX7400
Stylus CX7800
Stylus CX8400
Stylus CX9400Fax
Stylus NX200
Stylus NX300
Stylus NX400
Stylus Photo 1400
Stylus Photo R1800
Stylus Photo R1900
Stylus Photo R200
Stylus Photo R220
Stylus Photo R2400
Stylus Photo R260
Stylus Photo R280
Stylus Photo R2880
Stylus Photo R300
Stylus Photo R320
Stylus Photo R340
Stylus Photo R380
Stylus Photo R800
Stylus Photo RX580
Stylus Photo RX595
Stylus Photo RX600
Stylus Photo RX620
Stylus Photo RX680
Stylus Photo RX700
WorkForce 30
WorkForce 40
WorkForce 500
WorkForce 600

If you own one of these printers, simply download the reset utility, follow the directions, and apply to your printer.  We covered the reset software from Epson a while back, look here:

http://freedomtoprint.com/2009/12/14/epson-has-an-app-for-that-epson-ink-pads-reset-utility/

Epson iPrint 1.2.1 Update For iPhone OS 4

Epson iPrint 1.2.1 Update For New Apple iPhone OS 4.

This update just appeared in our app store update list  – for the new Apple iPhone OS version 4. No real enhancements.

Neat App For Photos:

If you own both a wireless Epson printer, and an iPhone – this free program from Epson is worth downloading.  Epson iPrint is a neat little application that will allow the user to print photos directly from the iPhone to one of Epson’s many wireless inkjet printers (see list below).  The software has just been updated to version 1.2.1 and is now fully compatible with Apple iPhone OS 4.

While the program is not very robust (will not print documents) it *is* free, and still worth having for that occasional “let me print you a copy” moment.

From what we can tell this is a cosmetic update only – there were some buttons missing in the old version.  No additional functionality added.

We took a look at this handy app back in January:

http://freedomtoprint.com/2010/01/02/review-epson-iprint-print-photos-directly-from-your-iphone/

The features are limited, and it’s only really for photos (no re-touching) – but since it is free and it works with many Epson printers (see list below), it is definitely worth checking out.

Click image for direct link to Epson iPrint software @  Apple iTunes App store:

Epson iPrint v1.2.1 application update available for Epson wireless inkjet printer, and iPhone owners

Supported printers:

  • Artisan 700
  • Artisan 710
  • Artisan 800
  • Artisan 810
  • Epson Stylus NX420
  • Epson Stylus NX510
  • Epson Stylus NX515
  • Workforce 310
  • Workforce 520
  • Workforce 600
  • Workforce 610
  • Workforce 615

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.

Un-Box: Epson Artisan 50 Refurbished – Epson Store

Un box – Epson Artisan 50

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

*Top choice for CIS

We recently received a set of Artisan 50 refurbished inkjet printers (5) – part number C11CA45201.  We purchased these printers through the Epson.com website for $60.00 each – they are hard to find and pop-up only occasionally.

Direct link to printer on Epson.com website:

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

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished printer from the Epson store.  What to expect.

Price?

List price on a new Artisan 50 is $129, but can be found new on the web for less than $90.00.  There was some noticeable “scuffing” on one of the 5 printers we received, however it did in no way effect the functioning of the printer, and was easily “buffed-out.”  Another printer came with a set of Epson brand empty cartridges installed 🙂  Worked perfectly, after cartridges removed, thanks for the $18.00 Epson.

Refurbished Epson Artisan 50 inkjet printer at the Epson Store.

Warranty?

Warranty service is the same on refurbished Epson printers – if it breaks w/in warranty period Epson will send you a new (refurbished) one.  Most all Epson printers include a 1-year warranty – in fact, most all printer manufacturers include only a 1-year warranty.  There are some exceptions, however it is still cheaper (over the long run) to replace hardware on a regular basis.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished printer from the Epson store.  What to expect.

Outside of the warranty period, who cares?

It would be nice to buy a printer and have it last 5 years, but those days are over.  It is more cost effective to replace the hardware when/if it breaks.  With the cartridge savings you can achieve by using a CI system (CIS, CISS), or compatible cartridges, hardware is not the money pit, it’s the ink.  The Artisan 50 is perfect for a CI system and works very well – CI systems for this printer provide easy installation, quality dye inks, and auto or manual reset cartridge chips – when the printer says it is empty, simply press a button, and poof! your cartridge registers as full again.

Epson Artisan 50 inkjet printer accessories with refurbished epson store refurb purchase.

Includes all the original materials – ink cartridges, driver software on CD, quick start guide, power cord, and CD-DVD printing tray.

Generic cartridges are an option, but the quality of ink is not as good, and quality compatible or re-manufactured Epson cartridges are $5.00-$6.00 each.  Epson brand cartridges for this printer can exceed $120.00 per set of 6, so that is really out of the question.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished printer from the Epson store.  What to expect.

What does “refurbished mean?”

Repaired? Some body work done? How is the engine? New print head?

Not sure what makes an Epson printer qualify as refurbished – we have a theory – printers sent back to Epson when the waste ink reset message is tripped.  80% of Epson owners have probably never heard of available software reset methods for this error, and there is nothing Epson can do over the phone, so it’s back to the factory for a simple software reset.  Our money is on printers that are returned to the factory for some minor issue.

The print heads sometimes look new, and sometimes look used with refurbished printers.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished refurb from Epson inkjet printer 6-color photo printer.

All-in-all not a bad deal.  When hooked to a (CIS, CISS) continuous inking system this thing is gonna be a printing beast!  We have already printed several hundred 4×6, 8.5×11, and 5×7 photos and the quality is outstanding.  A nice deal at $60.00, and still a good deal at less than $100 for a “new” Artisan 50 photo inkjet printer.

Epson Artisan 50 refurbished printer from the Epson store.  What to expect.  When paired with a CIS, CISS, this becomes a printing beast!

Cartridges?

Cartridges for this printer will run you $15-$20 each, and there are six (6) cartridges in this printer.  You guessed it, all cartridges must be functioning for the printer to work.  This means if a yellow goes out, and all you want to do is print black – tough luck, Epson says, replace the cartridge Nancy.

T078, and T077 cartridges used.  We took a look at these cartridges, and what they look like inside.

Link to refurb on Epson.com website:

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

Link to new on Amazon:

Artisan 50 – NEW!

Link to CIS – CISS:

CI System for the Epson Artisan 50