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 website.

Detailed specifications available on Epson’s website:

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.




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:

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


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.


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 – (or try – $59.99

New printer – website – $99.99.

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 website for $60.00 each – they are hard to find and pop-up only occasionally.

Direct link to printer on website:

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


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 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 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 website:

Link to new on Amazon:

Artisan 50 – NEW!

Link to CIS – CISS:

CI System for the Epson Artisan 50

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.


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.


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:


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:

Review: CIS Plus Epson Stylus Photo RX595 CI System (CISS)

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 With CI System

Excellent combination – works extremely well. Highly recommended. The Epson Stylus Photo RX580 has an identical print head, and the exact same insides.

Why the RX595?

We like to highlight solid performing inkjet printers that have one thing in common – a cheap printing solution is available.  That is our main criteria when evaluating inkjet printers.  If we like the printer, and we can use either compatible and re-manufactured inkjet cartridges, or (even better) a CI system – you have a winner, and the RX595 is just that, a winner with a CI systemIf you are looking for product specs, please go here.

CIS, CISS, Continuous Inking System, Continuous Ink System, Bulk Ink, Extrenal Ink

What are you waiting for? That is a stack of cartridges that retail for $450.00.

Slick 6-color photo printer from Epson:

With the RX595 inkjet printer, a CI system works extremely well, and it is surprisingly easy to install.  Just remove the cartridge cover, plug the scanner unit open latch, and route the tubing.  The system works very well when the scanner unit is completely closed – there is a bounty of room inside the printer so the CI tubing does not tangle or kink at all.  The RX595 is just a great overall candidate for a CI system.

This printer produces incredible prints, even if it is a little poky.  Takes about 2 minutes to print a modestly sized image from the memory card slot (about 4MB) at maximum quality.  Also prints text quite nicely.  The Epson Stylus Photo RX595 is a 6-Color printer, so photos come out looking better than lab quality.  Epson brand cartridges use a dye based ink with this printer, and our CI system was no different – it also uses dye based inks.

Step 1 – Remove the cartridge cover:

Plastic part that holds the cartridge cover on the printer. Epson Stylus Photo RX595 inkjet printer cartridge cover removal. Epson Stylus Photo RX595 cartridge cover removal.

Removing the cartridge cover on the Epson Stylus Photo RX595 could not be easier – one of the easiest of the Epson printers to do.  Simply pry off the small piece of plastic on the bottom right side of the print head assembly, and the cartridge cover will lift right off.

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 continuous inking system (CIS CISS) how-to installation video.

Step 2 – Plug the scanner unit open latch:

There is a peg on the under side of the scanner unit that fits perfectly into a cut-out that contains a latch.  When the peg depresses this latch, the printer knows the scanner unit is open.  To get around this issue, simply take some wadded up paper, or some Styrofoam from the CI system box and stuff it into the hole.  Place a piece of scotch tape over the plugged up hole, and the printer will think it is closed all the time.

This is not an issue during normal printing, however when running a nozzle check with the top open – the printer will prompt you to close the hatch so printing can complete.  Plugging the hole is a fairly straightforward process.

Locate scanner closed latch:

RX595 Scanner Open Sensor, Latch, Solution. Print with RX595 scanner unit open.

Plug hole so latch is always depressed:

We cut a piece off the CI system box and plugged the hole with Styrofoam and a piece of scotch tape.  You could also use a piece of wadded up paper, or other material to achieve the same results.  Use your best judgment.

RX595 Scanner sensor unit covered up with styrofoam, and a piece of scotch tape.

Step 3 –  Install CI cartridges and route tubing:

Now we can install the CI system dummy cartridges (with push-button resetting chips) and route the tubing through the printer.  You can place your external tank wherever you like, however we found that setting the external tank on the outside left of the printer was the best position for us.  The tubing wants to naturally go to the left, so that is where we put the external ink tank.

Routing the tubing was very simple – lots and lots of room inside the Stylus Photo RX595.  This CI system performed perfectly.

The final result.

After about 4 head cleanings – which is really a print head primer cycle – the RX595 was printing perfectly, and we ran off some test prints.  Color was amazing, no streaks or lines, and we highly recommend this system to owners of the RX595 printers.

Epson RX595 nozzle check printout - looks like we need to prime the print heads one more time.

Epson RX595 nozzle check printout - looks like we need to prime the print heads one more time.

We discovered that one of the tubes was not full of ink (black), so we ran a cleaning cycle (priming the print head) and wanted to show the ink as it is being pulled through the tubing.  Pretty neat, and also pretty revealing – think of how much ink is used to clean the print heads on an Epson inkjet printer.  No wonder cartridges go out so fast.

Continuous inking system installed:

There is a reset button on the set of cartridges.  When the printer says it is out of ink – simply press this reset button and the ink levels will be reset to full.  Easier than changing a cartridge.

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 continuous inking system reset button on the outside of the cartridges.

With the system installed there is plenty of room for the tubing to travel safely through the insides of the printer.  No need to worry about tangling, or the tube catching on some protruding corner.

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 inkjet printer with CIS, CISS, continuous inking system installed.

Solid performer:

We like this printer, it prints to CDs, prints from memory cards, no need for a computer – built-in LCD display, and it’s a six color photo printer.  Solidly built, and stylish offering from Epson.  The Epson Stylus Photo RX595 and a continuous inking system make this printer a color laser replacement printer.

Youtube videos:

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 with continuous inking system installed

Installation of a CI system on an Epson Stylus Photo RX595

Review – Epson Artisan 800 Waste Ink Reset Software

Et tu, Artisan 800?

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

for info on the Octoinkjet external waste ink kit click here.

Waste ink error on the Epson Artisan 700, 710, 800, 810 series.

Your printer is not broken:

If you simply want to replace the pads, look here.

This error (service request) is common with Epson printers, however it seems to be coming up more lately, and more for the Epson Artisan series specifically.  Owners of the Epson Artisan 700, 710, 800, or 810 be on the look-out for the following error message that will cripple any printer use until resolved,

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

If you have used the SSC Service Utility for Epson Stylus printers, then this may not be new information to you (about the planned obsolescence of your Epson printer). We highly recommend SSC program for owners of older Epson printers. It is a 3rd party utility for resetting a number of things on your “presumed dead” Epson printer.

This is not a death sentence for your printer.  There is a way to reset this annoying little “error” for the Epson Artisan series, however it will cost you, and it’s not available trough Epson directly.  You can download the actual Epson service application over at for $20.00 and the error is corrected with the press of a button (resetting the waste ink counter).  This software is for PC only, so if you are a Mac user/owner you will need to boot into Windows if possible – if not, better find a friend with a Peecee you can borrow.  The fact that you have to pay $20.00 for the software is no fun, but at least its available for download, and it corrected the issue – the software also provides some other minimal printer intel.  Epson does provide a (software – PC only) reset utility for some printers, however the Artisan series are not listed there as of yet. They want serial number, name, eMail address, etc…

Epson Adjustment Program For Artisan 800. Waste ink pad reset issue.

Welcome screen once the Epson printer utility reset is open. PC only, this will not run on Mac OS

So for now, the only option we know of is to pay (a 3rd party) for the actual Epson Repair Utility.  We paid our $20.00 and the program worked perfectly – did exactly what we wanted it to do.  We also noticed some other neat monitoring features of the Epson software, but we were disappointed that we were unable to turn things off – scanner sensor, ink monitor, chip reset, etc.  There are a few cool utilities to reset the printer to out of the box condition (factory settings) – you can force a print head (ink) charge, check ink levels, but still frustrated with lack of the ability to disable things.  We tried an EEPROM dump, then attempted re-import and we got an error message to the effect, “you need other software.”

Our Epson Artisan 800 claims that the waste ink pads are full.

Waste ink pads say the need replacing. This is not true, however. Our printer only has 519 prints on it. (see below)

Long story short, it did what we wanted it to do, but wish it did more.  Your mileage may vary, and if you have ideas/ways to turn things off please let us know. The 2manuals offering at $20.00 is the actual Epson tech program.  This program is not distributed by Epson, not intended for public use.  Let’s just say we are not asking them where they got it.

After the waste ink reset process - just the push of a button really on our Epson Artisan 800 inkjet printer.

After clearing the waste in pad counters on the Artisan 800 inkjet printer.

It is also important to note that in some cases it may actually be necessary to replace the waste ink pads at some point, however our faulty Epson Artisan 800 inkjet printer only showed 519 prints, so this was an error message caused by something at the factory.  It was covered by warranty, but we had modified this Artisan 800 to work with our CI system, so warranty service was not an option.  Once a printer gets into the 10k-20k page range, it might be wise to either replace the actual waste ink pads, or another less maintenance option is to re-route the waste ink tube entirely.  We have run an Epson Stylus Photo R200 with a CI system for over 5 years, and after 3 resets, we have yet to replace the waste ink pads.

Lot’s of things to look at:

This is a composite image of what the adjustment program will let you adjust, and what it will let you look at.

Epson Artisan 800 Inkjet Reset Waste Ink Pad Software

Complete list of all the things you can do with the Epson utility software.

Printer information check:

We ran a printer information check before we reset the waste ink pads – just to know the totals.  As you can see below, this specific Epson Artisan 800 had only printed 519 pages according to this report.  Why this printer got the waste ink pad error message is a mystery.

Cannot be right?  The printer will not function at all until the waste ink pad situation is reset.

Information about our Epson Artisan 800 inkjet printer with the waste ink pad issue. Notice there have only been 519 pages print.

Epson Ink Types Explained – Durabrite, Claria, K3?

When is generic ink ok?

Types of Epson ink explained.

Generic ink prints as good of a grocery list, or birthday flier, as branded ink.

Epson offers 4 different “ink formulas” or “brands” of ink and this reveals a lot about how Epson divides it’s customer base.  There are basically 4 different Epson “brands” of inks – durabrite (pigment), Claria (dye based), UltraChrome (pigment), and UltraChrome K3 (pigment).  It really comes down to pigment, or dye based inks, and which printer has the functions you need.

Go Generic:

For 90% of us, generic inks are not only cheaper, but they do the job very nicely thank you.  My grocery store list does not need to be printed on $4.00 a page paper, with $6000.00 a gallon ink.  But if I did decide to print that occasional greeting card, or special photo-in-a-frame-instead-of-a-real-gift, “last minute” anniversary present – I want it to look good.  And for 90% of us, generic inks are just fine.  Find a good dealer, and stick with them – refilling-remanufacturing an inkjet or laser toner cartridge is more of an art form than a standardized process.

Now if you intend to sell your work, or want it to last 500 years you might want to keep reading.

Durabrite Ultra (pigment):

Average users.

Epson durabrite pigment based inks.Durabrite Ultra, or as Epson parses it – DURABRite Ultra.  This is a pigment ink which means it is resistant to water, prints will last longer, however colors will be dull in comparison to dye based inks.  Pigment ink is “thicker” than dye based ink, so more clogging may occur.  Pigment based inks are organically based and much of the ink is soaked into the paper.  Good for archival purposes – when printed on the right paper, and kept behind glass (out of the sun), prints can last for decades.  If you use crummy paper, the pigmented ink may have trouble bonding to the paper, and increase the chances of fading, flaking, or missing colors.

Printers that use this ink are normally the 4-color printers that are designed for home use, and maybe small office.  If it’s a 4-color printer from Epson, most likely you are getting the “durable” durabrite “brand” inks.  Nothing fancy here.

Claria Hi-Definition (dye):

Photo enthusiast.

claria high definition ink dye based ink from Epson.Used mainly in the Epson Photo printers, as this dye based ink produces much brighter colors.  However, dye based ink is almost all water, so fading can be an issue.  As long at the materials are printed onto good paper – we cannot state that enough, paper makes all the difference – and kept from the sun and other elements, your prints should last decades as well, if not more. The Hi-Definition part is the “secret ingredient” – sounds like opportunistic marketing to us.  This is nothing more than a common dye based ink.

As mentioned above, this ink is standard with an Epson entry level photo printer – like the RX680, Artisan 800, or Photo 1400.  Most all generic inks we have run into are by default, “dye based” inks.  There may be some exceptions, but we have not seen them.

UltraChrome Hi-Gloss (pigment):

Photo hobbyist/professional/student

Ultrachrome Ink From Espon Pigment Based - Glossy SprayIf you are using this ink, you are a serious about what you are doing.  Maybe not making money at it quite yet, but honing your craft and the occasional paying gig.  Some really good printers use this “brand” of Epson ink.  Epson tries to overcome some of the dullness of the pigment inks (folks at this level can tell the difference) by adding a “glossy” component to the ink.  Designed for high end color photo printers. Included with the R1900, R1800.

UltraChrome K3 (pigment – blending focus):

Professional – printer – resale

Ultra Chrome K3 Inkjet Printer Cartridges From Epson.Three levels of black in these cartridges, so the color tuning has to be perfect.  Epson has engineered an incredible line of printers that will do professional work.  Epson is so proud of this “brand” of ink, they claim it is “suitable for high quality prints worthy of resale or gallery exhibitions.”

You can find this ink in the Epson Stylus Photo R2400, R2880, 3800, or 3880.  If you sell your work, and want it to last, this is the ink (and printers) for you.

Selling your artwork or prints, Epson inkjet printers are the way to go.


There is a HUGE disclaimer for Epson ink on their website – this also applies to any other inks you might use.  Sun will fade your pictures, and the elements will aid in their demise – from Epson’s own website:

“…displayed in a glass frame under indoor display conditions or in album storage. Actual print stability will vary according to media, printed image, display conditions, light intensity, temperature, humidity and atmospheric conditions. Epson does not guarantee the longevity of prints. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or UV filter or properly store them.”

Well, most anything will last 100 years if you cover it up, or take care of it. Thanks Epson for the heads up.  Think paper.  Have to have good paper to start with.

Review: Epson iPrint – Print Photos Directly From Your iPhone

Free From Epson – Print Photos From Your iPhone:

Finally, there is an App for that.  Wireless photo printing from an iPhone to several different Epson inkjet printer models.  While you can’t print documents, eMail’s, notes, or web pages, this app is a nice start from Epson – and it’s free!  Note, your printer must be set-up for wireless printing – an Epson printer connected via USB to your computer will not work with this application.

Epson iPrint Wireless Photo Printing For Your iPhone And Epson Wireless Printer

You can download via iTunes here.

There is also a FAQ for that:

Epson iPrint App For iPhone Lets You Print Photos Directly From Your iPhone, Wireless

Click here for Epson FAQs

Epson iPrint supports the following printers with an Ethernet or WiFi connection:

Check the Epson iPrint description located at the Apple App Store for information on the latest supported printer models.

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application

Launching the application:

Launching the application opens the photo albums on your Apple iPhone.  No, we never delete photos, and we take a lot.

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application

Select a photo and print!

Simply select a photo from your images and you are presented with this screen.  Note – you can select your printer from this screen via those buttons at the bottom, or you can select it before you start printing.  Just a reminder, your wireless printer must be configured for wireless printing in order for this application to work.  It will not work for printers connected via a USB connection.

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application

Hit print and away you go…

You must keep the application open (active) until the print is complete – otherwise the printer will stop printing the photo and eject the paper.  Once printing has started, you will be presented with a progress bar of the actual printing.  We were impressed with the speed – pretty fast for a wireless connection (took us about 15-20 seconds to print a 4×6 photo).

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application

Different paper sizes supported:

You can select from several print sizes for your photo.  Paper sizes supported include 4 x 6, 5 x 7, letter (8.5 x 11) and A4.

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application


You can also select the orientation of the photo as well – landscape or portrait.  You cannot select paper type or print settings at this time.

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application

Selecting a printer is easy:

Epson iPrint iTunes Wireless Printing Application From The Apple iTunes App Application

Sizing the image:

The Epson iPrint wireless photo printing on your iPhone.  Let's you resize the photos to fill the page, or make it smaller.

Pinch to shrink:

Using the pinching motion, you can re-size the image if necessary.

iPrint image re-sizing complete, now simply hit print and the Epson iPrint app will send the job to the printer.