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.

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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:

Review: Canon Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 CI System (CIS, CISS)

Canon Pixma iP4300 With CIS (Continuous Ink System):

CIS - Cartridge Set Canon PGI-5, CLI-8 - Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 Continuous Inking System Pre-Filled

The Canon Pixma iP4300 is a great little printer (same as iP4200, iP4500).  Has a built-in duplexer so you can print to both sides of the page.  When used with a CI system, or continuous inking system (aka CIS, CISS, or bulk ink) cost per page is way below a penny per print, and there are no more hassles with refilling or cartridges at all.  Dual paper sources in the iP4300 (iP4200, iP4500) make it easy to print 4×6 photos, and simple letter documents all w/out changing the paper. Just a great little printer.

Canon CIS system contents:

This CIS, CISS, package includes pre-filled 5 chamber ink system (one chamber is left empty).  Dummy cartridges with auto-resetting chips, and an accessory kit with gaskets, air breathers, and a metal tubing guide.

Canon Pixma iP4300 Inkjet Printer With CIS, CISS, Continuous Inking System CLI-8, PGI-5

Hardware?

Hardware included with the CI system – breathers, gaskets, and a guide rail for the tubing.  Very easy to install, and a very logical process.  Cartridges snap in just like the originals.  If you can change a cartridge, you can install the parts in this package.

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

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

Removal of the old cartridges, and replacement with a CIS, CISS, or continuous ink system for the Canon Pixma iP4300.  Much of this process is the same for all of these printers – Canon Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500, iP4600, iP4700.

Canon CI System for Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 Inkjet Printers - Save on ink!

Gasket install first:

Gaskets must be installed in the print head, which is easily accessable after the cartridges have been removed.  Installing the gaskets is easy – simply place over the ink supply seals with the supplied plastic tweezers:

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

Remove cartridge covers…

After the gaskets are installed, you can now remove the orange cartridge covers and install the cartridges into the system.

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

Be careful, ink will start to flow shortly - get those cartridges into the printer.

Install cartridges like normal:

The internal optical sensors can get confused if to much light is getting into the “insides” of the printer.  We got this error message after our install:

Canon printer error number 6502 means close the lid!

Simply closing the cover slightly and turning off the lights correct the issue.  This is what prompted us to modify our case to accommodate the tubing with the lid fully closed.

Cartridges installed in the iP4300 inkjet printer - red light indicates we are good to go.

Cartridges installed in the iP4300 inkjet printer - red light indicates we are good to go.

Route the tubing.

We think this way works best (off to the right), but you can really route the tubing to the left or right.

Placing the bracket in the right place - pre-molded for Canon iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 inkjet printers.

Placing the Canon CIS guide bracket in the right place - pre-molded for Canon iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 inkjet printers.

The bracket and tubing do get in the way of the lid closing. If you look closely, there is a latch that needs to be “fooled” and forced into the down position to simulate the lid being closed.  Before and after pictures below – click for larger image.

Canon iP4300 lid closed latch needs to be forced down. We used a plug from the CI system to force the iP4300 lid open latch closed.

The finished product:

Canon iP4300 CIS, CISS, Bulk Ink System Installed.

More help please.

We have also prepared a quick installation guide video and posted to youtube.  You can watch below.  A reliable system can be had for $85.00 – $95.00 including shipping and is available now.  No need to refill cartridges, or buy expensive compatibles and OEM cartridges.  Installation has a few extra steps (as compared to the Epson Artisan series), however it is quite easy and the system performs flawlessly.  We actually like how this printer works with a CI system better than many Epson printers – the Canon CIS printing process, or movement of the print head is not as violent.

Overall this is a great system.  5 stars. Compatible with:

May also work with other printers that use the CLI-8, and PGI-5 cartridges in a 5 cartridge configuration.  We have only tested in the iP4200, iP4300, and iP4500 printer series so far.

CIS for Canon Inkjet Printers - The finished product, iP4300 pictured.

More info here.

Installation video here:

Case modification (mod) for Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 printers here:

Canon CI System (CIS) For Pixma iP4500, iP4300, iP4200

Canon CI System iP4200, iP4300, iP4500

(CLI-8, PGI-5 Cartridges)

Get one here.

These Canon printers work great with a CI System, and while the cover must be kept open partially, this is a small price to pay for an unlimited ink supply.  Compatible cartridges for these printers can be had for $5.00-$7.00 (original Canon cartridges are $15.00 each!), and refills are possible with special chips (or by turning off the Canon ink monitor), CI systems provide a hassle free way to print thousands of documents or photos for pennies on the dollar.  Here is a video we compiled of a complete install of a CI system into a Canon Pixma iP4200, iP4300, iP4500 (CLI-8, PGI-5BK) printer.

Main things to watch for:

  1. Equalize ink levels – easy as pie
  2. Gaskets must be used in order to prevent leakage – no problem
  3. Careful with those cartridges – they can make a mess on install

CIS – Canon Pixma iP4200:

CIS (CISS) for Canon InkJet Printers Coming…iP4700 CIS

Testing in bunches.

We have been testing a bevy of printers and will have reviews posted shortly.

Test printing with the Red River Paper sampler -20 different inkjet printer papers

We have been using the super cool sample printer paper packs from Red River Paper to run a full set of tests on not only the printer and the CI system (CIS, CISS), but how 20 different papers (light glossy to heavy matte) work with the printer/CI system combo.

Canon items we are posting shortly:

Canon Pixma Alternative Ink Solution CIS, CISS, Inking System iP4200, iP4300, iP4500

We can say that both systems work as advertised, and we are quite impressed with the performance of these printers when equipped with a CIS, CISS, or CI system.  You can stop refilling ink cartridges, and go CIS easily, and for less than $100.00.  Cartridges used are the PGI-5bk, and CLI-8 series, as well as the newer, and smaller, CLI-221, and PGI-220 series cartridges.

No more cartridges!

New: Canon iP4600 – iP4700 CIS (CISS) CLI-221, PGI-220

Canon iP4600, iP4700 CI System:

Complete installation guide and review here.

The Canon CLI-221, and PGI-220 inkjet cartridges are much smaller than their predecessors, the CLI-8, PGI-5.  You can see a comparison here. With cartridges getting smaller, and cartridge prices going higher a (CIS, CISS) continuous inking system is an easy solution to your high cost ink problem.

Canon ip4600, ip4700, inkjet printer low cost ink solution, the CIS - continuous inking system.

Canon ip4600, ip4700, inkjet printer low cost ink solution, the CIS - continuous inking system. Ink fed directly to cartridges from an outside tank.

Easy installation:

This (CISS), CIS includes detailed instructions on how to install the system, and the tubing is easily routed out of the printer.  Cartridge set fully assembled, and ready for installation.  Chips on the cartridge will auto-reset once the printer thinks it is out of ink.

Low maintenance:

Install the system and forget ever needing to replace another cartridge.  When the printer says the printer is out of ink, simply tell the printer you have changed the cartridge, and the system is now reset, and the printer believes the cartridge is full again. Completely transparent.

Unlimited printing:

System comes pre-filled (50-60 cartridges worth) with ink.  Cartridge set, and resetting chips.  The external reservoir can be easily refilled with individual inks costing as little as $5.00 per color – about 15 cartridges per bottle.

Complete Review – Installation Guide:

You can see our complete installation guide, and review here:

http://freedomtoprint.com/2010/04/08/cis-ciss-review-canon-pixma-ip4700-ip4600/

Canon Pixma iP4600 Inkjet Printer.

Canon Pixma iP4600

Canon Pixma iP4700 CIS, CISS, Continuous Inking System Detailed Info

Canon Pixma iP4700

Answers: Artisan 700 Problems? What is a Waste Ink Pad?

Artisan 700 Problems?

The Epson Artisan 700 wireless set-up can be stressful enough, but what happens when the printer gives a mysterious error and demands a call to support.  The Epson Artisan 700 all-in-one inkjet printer is an excellent choice based on numerous reviews around the web, however there are some lesser known problems that may pop up over time – and they have alternative solutions.

Artisan 700 waste ink pads - removed from brand new printer, after initial ink charging.

Artisan 700 waste ink pads - removed from brand new printer, after initial ink charging.

A major issue is the waste ink pads – there are super absorbent pads inside the printer that are present to soak up wasted ink, or ink used during cleaning and spillage through normal printing.  Once these pads get full of “wasted” ink, the saturation level is communicated to a memory chip inside the printer, and the printer will not function until the waste ink memory is reset, and the pads may need changing. This is all covered under the warranty, however if the printer has been modified for a CI system, or other reason, warranty support may be void.

If the printer is out of warranty, there is hope.  That memory chip has to be reset with a piece of software generally reserved for Epson tech support staff. Through the magic of the internet, the Epson made waste ink pad reset software tool from Epson support can be had, for a price.

Removing the waste ink pad – Artisan 700:

Step One:

Get a good work area set-up.  You will need a phillips-head screwdriver, and something with a flat surface to pry something open with.  A small flat-head screwdriver should do the trick.

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Step Two:

Position the printer with the LCD screen down, and the scanner lid facing away.  Stand it up on the LCD screen side, and have the bottom of the printer facing you.  This way, the screw is easier to get to, and the waste ink pads tray can just fold open like a book.

View of bottom of the Artisan 700 inkjet printer. Waste ink pad is highlighted.

View of bottom of the Artisan 700 inkjet printer. Waste ink pad is highlighted.

Step Three:

Remove a single screw.

Single screw to remove to get the Artisan waste ink pad out of the printer, or gain access to the waste ink tube.

Pry off the waste ink pads with a flat-head screwdriver.  There is a slot, right next to the screw.  You will see it.

Step Four:

The waste ink pad opens up like a book.  Watch the silver plate that covers the waste ink pad part.  It is quite gangaly, and very hard to get back on once removed, so try not to let it come off the plastic cover – there are opposing hooks and slots, which makes the silver cover hard to get back on the plastic waste ink pads part. It is “loosely” connected to the plastic part, best to not let it come loose.

Artisan 700 waste ink pads part latch.

If you can pry down over this latch next to the screw hole, the waste ink pads come off easily.

Step Five:

Artisan 700, 710, 800, 810 waste ink pads tubing configuration.

Tubing to route the waste ink to the pads.

Locate the tubing – notice how it’s configured.  The waste ink tube goes into a dispersion part, and is this distributed throughout the waste ink pads.  Artisan 700, 710, 800, 810 inkjet printers used a bunch of ink during the cleaning process.

Good view of how the waste ink is sent to the super absorbent waste ink pads.

Good view of how the waste ink is sent to the super absorbent waste ink pads. Click for larger image.

Artisan 700 waste ink pads exposed - open from the bottom of the printer.

Artisan 700 waste ink pads exposed - open from the bottom of the printer.

If you are simply replacing the waste ink pads, just reverse the above steps and you are done.  Watch that silver panel – it likes to fall off, and it is very hard to get back on.

Step Six (optional):

Connect Octoinkjet (Ink-Anarchy in the UK) external waste ink container.

An external waste ink collector can be a very good idea for the Artisan series of inkjet printers, or for any Epson inkjet  – when used with a CI system, and high volumes of printing are being done.  The Epson cleaning cycle wastes a ton of ink, however levels vary depending on printer model.  All that ink has to go somewhere, and when the waste ink pads get “full” the printer will no longer function and the internal memory must be reset (requires Epson service, or 3rd party solution).  The waste ink pads error can be tripped by saturated pads, or when the pre-programmed print limit has been reached.

Installation is quite straightforward.

Connecting the waste ink tubing for the Artisan 700 to an external collector.  Could be a very good idea with the Artisan series - they use a ton of ink on cleaning.

Connecting the waste ink tubing for the Artisan 700 to an external collector. Could be a very good idea with the Artisan series - they use a ton of ink on cleaning.

Plenty of room for the waste ink tube to exit the printer.  We could not see an obvious, or easy way to route the tubing through to the outside with the waste ink pads re-installed, so we just left them out.

Epson Artisan 700, 710, 800, 810 waste ink tubing exiting the printer through the back

The octo waste ink collector sits nicely behind the printer:

Octoinkjet waste ink container for CISS, CIS users - waste ink pad substitute

Step Seven:

If you want to use an external waste ink kit, and, you want to re-install the waste ink pads, you will need to do a little modification. The easiest way involves a drill?  However, there is always the warranty issue, and if you want to preserve your warranty by not modifying the case things get a bit more tricky.  We are not currently aware of a non-warranty breaking method of doing this.  If you know of one, let us know. freetoprint at gmail dot com.

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You can get a continuous ink system (CIS, CISS, Bulk Ink) for your Epson Artisan 700, 710, 800, or 810 photo inkjet printers here.  If you are looking for an external waste ink container, you could try to make one yourself – but we recommend Octoinkjet based in the UK.