Review: Opening The HP 99 Photo Print Cartridge C9369W – Inside HP Ink Cartridge

Inside the HP 99 photo inkjet print cartridge.

Wanna print 6-color photos on your HP 4-color printer? HP has the answer, the HP 99 cartridge is designed to give the user 6-color photo prints when combined with a tri-color inkjet print color cartridge.

HP 99 photo color ink cartridge for (HP) Hewlett Packard inkjet printers.

A look inside the HP 99 ink cartridge – internal structure:

The HP 99 ink cartridge is a strange bird – designed to be used with a tr-color cartridge (like the HP 97 – opened here, or the HP 95 cracked open here)  to print 6-color photos with your HP printer.  This cartridge contains three (3) colors – black, photo cyan, and photo magenta.  This is *not* the cartridge you want for printing large volumes of text, or black only documents – since the black ink is inside this cartridge shares space with two (2) other colors, the back ink will run out quickly.

Removing the cartridge cover on the HP 99 photo color ink cartridge from Hewlett Packard - inkjet print cartridges.

Specifications:

Color: Black
Part Number: C9369W- HP 99 Photo
Ink Type: Dye based ink
HP 99 Ink Volume: 21ml*
Page Yield: 130 4×6 photos**

Ink Drop Size: 15pl

Retail price: $28.99
Street price: $13.18

*7ml per color (black, photo cyan, and photo magenta)

** that 130 page estimate is from HP and based on 5% coverage (see what 5% coverage really looks like) – needless to say, manufacturer estimates are always on the “high side.”

This cartridge is often paired with the HP 95, or HP 97 tri-color ink cartridge to offer 6-color photo printing.

For You Refillers:

Don’t remove the label – there are air channels on the top of the cartridge that need to be maintained – best way to refill is to just stick a syringe (needle) full of ink into one of the pre-drilled holes that are in the cartridge.

A look inside an HP ink cartridge - the HP 99 photo color ink cartridge. A look inside the internal structure of the (HP) Hewlett Packard ink cartridge - HP 99 photo ink. Hewlett Packard (HP) photo ink cartridge 99 - inside the ink cartridge, or where to refill your HP ink cartridge.

Refilling is easy if you know where to put the refilling needle.  There are five (5) holes already in the cartridge lid which are covered up by the cartridge number sticker.  As you can see from the other images, there is black ink around only three (3) of the holes. We suggest using one of those three (3) holes since they are closer to the ink exit point.  All the other two holes  are there to confuse refillers.  This cartridge will hold around 18-21ml of ink, which is a good amount for a modern ink cartridge.

Where to refill the HP 99 photo ink cartridge.

Contact! – Contact!

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

Inside the HP Hewlett Packard - 99 picture photo ink cartridge.

The Print Head:

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

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

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

Inside HP inkjet printer cartridges - a look inside the sealed ink cartridges from HP 99 photo color.

Is this an embedded expiration date?

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

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

HP 99 photo ink cartridge - expiration date, and serial number of the cartridge.

When to use this cartridge (HP 99):

Use this cartridge when printing photos only – the HP 99 photo cartridge is rated at 130 4×6 prints.  At its current price, this cartridge is not a bad deal for printing photos, however the photo quality will not be professional level (fine for home use).  If printing 130 photos at a time sounds daunting, try and preserve the cartridge for future use (using a cartridge clip, available on eBay or Amazon – or here) by removing it from the printer.  Easily refilled, but not practical for everyday use.

Note: cartridge clips are included with some refill kits like the InkTec brand.  Good kits in our experience.

Specifications for the HP 99 (C9369W) photo ink cartridge:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF06c/A10-12771-64199-69422-69422-397452-397454-397458.html

Information about HP cartridge page yields here:

http://h10060.www1.hp.com/pageyield/en-019/searchResults.html?cCode=us,st=cartridge,ss=99

Hewlett Packard HP 99 sponge sponges ink cartridge cartridges.  Internal structure of the HP 99 ink cartridge.

Compatible with the following HP printers:

You can use this cartridge for photo printing, however avoid using this cartridge for everyday printing.  As mentioned above, this cartridge is only one-third (1/3) black ink – the other two chambers are for photo cyan, and photo magenta.

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News: “New” Printers From Canon, Pixma MG5220, MP495, MG5120, MP280, iP4820

Canon Announces “New” Inkjet Printers.

New and improved inkjet printers from Canon?  Not really - welcome to new-old cartridges.Canon has introduced a new set of Pixma Inkjet printers. The Canon Pixma MG5220, Pixma MP495, Pixma MG5120, Pixma MP280, and the Canon Pixma iP4820.  Rest easy, no “new” major printing technology has been developed in the past several years, so these printers represent nothing more than “new” model numbers.  Oh, and new ink cartridges too (cli-226, and pgi-225)*.  There are two wireless printers in this bunch, the MG5220, and the MP495 – we currently have a love/hate relationship with wireless printing.

CLI-221 chip cartridge chips.  All Canon cartridges include a page count and ientifier chip on the end of the cartridgeNew designs, new cartridges…

These five (5) printers (MG5220, MP495, MG5120, MP280, iP4820) have some new plastics and design changes, but they are functionally the same as their predecessors.  There is some software included with these printers to let users print single frames of HQ video, and pictures can be downloaded and printed from Flickr (we could already do that right?).  Nothing major here, just an excuse to introduce a new cartridge series (PGI-225, and CLI-226 series cartridges), and to expand on the existing market for their “HP like” PG-210, and CL-211 inks cartridge series.

“Meet The New Canons”

Canon PIXMA MG5220 *Wireless* AIO (All-In-One) Inkjet Printer:

Canon mg5220 inkjet printer - Canon pixma mg5220 inkjet print cartridges.

Canon Pixma MG 5220 printer. Wireless.

Suprise! These printers use a new cartridge from Canon, the PGI-225 pigment black (larger black cartridge), and the CLI-226 color ink cartridges (including individual photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges).  These printers use 5 individual ink cartridges total.

Ink Tanks Used: PGI-225 Pigment Black CLI-226 (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black)

We expect these cartridges to look exactly like the current CLI-221 ink, and PGI-220 ink cartridges.  You can bet the chips on the end of the cartridge are different. Wireless printing is a nice feature in a home or small office with wireless laptops or other devices.

Canon PIXMA MG5120 AIO (All-In-One) Inkjet Printer:

Canon MG5120 inkjet printer from Canon - uses the PGI-225, and CLI-226 inkjet printer cartridges.

Canon Pixma MG5120 Inkjet Printer

Suprise! These printers use a new cartridge from Canon, the PGI-225 pigment black (larger black cartridge), and the CLI-226 color cartridges (including individual photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges).  These printers use 5 individual ink cartridges total. These “new” cartridges are the same physical size and shape as the previous cartridges used in this printer series [iP4200, iP4300, iP4500, iP4600, iP4700] the CLI-221, PGI-220] however now there are new chips to deal with, and your old cartridges will not work in this “new” printer.

Ink Tanks Used: PGI-225 Pigment Black CLI-226 (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black)

We expect these cartridges to look exactly like the current CLI-221, and PGI-220 cartridges.  You can bet the chips on the end of the cartridge are different.

Canon PIXMA iP4820 Inkjet Printer:

Just a printer.  Probably a really good one, but the Canon Pixma iP4700, and iP4600 are identical inside.

canon pixma iP4280 inkjet printer from Canon 7-20-09

Canon Pixma iP4820 Inkjet Printer.

Suprise! These printers use a new cartridge from Canon, the PGI-225 pigment black (larger black cartridge), and the CLI-226 color cartridges (including individual photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges).  These printers use 5 individual ink cartridges total. These “new” cartridges are the same physical size and shape as the previous cartridges used in this printer series [iP4200, iP4300, iP4500, iP4600, iP4700] the CLI-221, PGI-220, however now there are new chips to deal with, and your old cartridges will not work in this “new” printer.

Ink Tanks Used: PGI-225 Pigment Black CLI-226 (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black)

We expect these cartridges to look exactly like the current CLI-221, and PGI-220 cartridges.  You can bet the chips on the end of the cartridge are different.

Canon Pixma MP 280 (All-In-One) – $69.99

Canon pixma mp280 inkjet printer.

Canon Pixma mp280 - $69.99 list.

Cartridges used in the Canon Pixma mp280 include the 210/211 cartridges – stick with the XL version (full) of these cartridges:

Or The Full XL Cartridges:

This printer “does not” use individual ink cartridges. The black and color cartridges for this printer come in two different ink volumes, the standard fill (half full_ and the XL version of the cartridge (full).  The color cartridge (CL-221) has all three primary colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow) all in the same cartridge.  If you want a printer with individual ink tanks, check out the other offerings from Canon.

We are not big fans of single black and color cartridges with printers. Using a CISS, or CI system with OEM cartridges is a hassle as they ultimately wear out and need replacing.  Not a very aesthetically pleasing look.  On the other hand, individual ink tanks offer the possibility of CISS, CIS use, and generally have cheaper ink cartridge costs.

Canon PIXMA MP495 *Wireless* Photo AIO Printer:

Canon Pixma MP495 inkjet printer - used dual cartridges, not individual ink cartridges.

Canon Pixma MP495 Printer Wireless.

Cartridges used in the Canon Pixma mp280 include the 210/211 cartridges – stick with the XL version (full) of these cartridges:

Or The Full XL Cartridges:

The MP495 “does not” use individual ink cartridges. The black and color cartridges for this printer come in two different ink volumes, the standard fill (half full_ and the XL version of the cartridge (full).  The color cartridge (CL-221) has all three primary colors (cyan, magenta, and yellow) all in the same cartridge.  If you want a printer with individual ink tanks, check out the other offerings from Canon.

We are not big fans of single black and color cartridges with printers. Using a CISS, or CI system with OEM cartridges is a hassle as they ultimately wear out and need replacing.  Not a very aesthetically pleasing look.  On the other hand, individual ink tanks offer the possibility of CISS, CIS use, and generally have cheaper ink cartridge costs.

Press release here:

Cartridges: New Canon Ink Cartridges – CLI-226 Colors, PGI-225 Black

“Augmenting” the Canon ink cartridge line.

CLI ink cartridges from Canon have not really changed much over the life of the ink cartridge.

When any printer manufacturer releases new printers, it usually means new cartridges too.  Welcome the new CLI-226, and PGI-225 ink cartridges from Canon.

Pay me now consumerThis *also* means if you plan on “upgrading” in the next 6-8 months, make sure to use up all your current ink cartridges.  Canon invented the individual ink tank market with the old BCI-6, and BCI-3 ink cartridges – which were Canon’s flagship cartridge(s) for over 6 years.  Fast forward to 2010, and aggressive revenue generating plans have resulted in Canon releasing three (3) – three! – new ink cartridges in the past 3 years. The cartridges are ink tanks, nothing more; there is no “great technology” on the cartridge itself, so there is practically no reason to change the cartridge. Unless…the prevalence of compatible cartridge usage, refilling, and other 3rd party inking methods are getting more popular, and more widely accepted. Just asking.

Smart LED with Canon logo to let you know it’s installed correctly.

Should really read – special “microchip” attached so we can punish consumers by rendering the ink monitor useless if you want to refill your cartridge, and using scare tactics when it comes to 3rd party solutions.

Downgrading of the Canon ink cartridge

So the CLI-8 and PGI-5 cartridges needed “downgrading” by Canon to the CLI-221 and PGI-220 (very tiny) ink cartridges.  We now must welcome the CLI-226 and PGI-225 cartridges to the fold.  They look the same, act the same, and perform the same function as their predecessors. To bad the plastics are keyed differently and different chips are used.  No word on chip resetters for these cartridges.

PGI-225, and CLI-226 ink cartridges available on the Canon eStore:

Canon cli-225, and cli-226 inkjet print cartridges for the Pixma iP4280.

The PGI-225 pigment black (larger black cartridge), and the CLI-226 color cartridges (including individual photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges).

New cartridges include the following.  The printers in this series typically use five (5) individual ink cartridges – the larger black cartridge (PGI-225) contains 19ml of pigment based black ink. The “colors” (CLI-226) which includes a photo black, cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridge contain 9ml ink, and are physically smaller than the PGI-225 cartridge.

Ink Tanks: PGI-225 Pigment Black CLI-226 (Cyan/Magenta/Yellow/Black)

Seems reasonable at first glance, but what about when you make a set – that is over $50.00 for a set of ink (essentially a black and color cartridge) – look at what they did the last time Canon changed cartridges:

New CLI-220 Canon cartridges are MUCH smaller than the previous CLI-8 series.

These cartridges are compatible with the following Canon inkjet printers:

Expect there to be shortages on these cartridges when these printers first hit the market in full.

News: Epson Says Hack This! T069/T068 Refill Prevention

More Bad News For Epson Refillers/Remanufacturers:

(see update at bottom) We cracked open some cartridges yesterday and have more bad news for refillers/remanufacturers. There is an easily findable internal Cartridge World document floating around on the web that corroborates our findings.  It appears the rumors are true, and Epson has deployed a second chip embedded inside the cartridge,  behind the outer chip in another effort to make the cartridge un-refillable.

Epson double chip cartridge makes refilling almost impossible.

Epson double chip cartridge makes refilling almost impossible.

Hidden Chip Inside Cartridge:

In addition to the chip on the end of the cartridge that monitors your ink usage, there is a second chip embedded inside the cartridge that is not user resettable.  While the chip on the outside of the cartridge can easily be reset, the internal chip cannot be reset and communicates with the outside chip.  If this internal chip becomes dry “due to ink depletion” the main chip on the outside of the cartridge is written to as permanently empty and the cartridge becomes forever useless.

Clever Design:

Close-up of the internal ink sensor chip on the T068/T069/T088 cartridges.

Close-up of the internal ink sensor chip on the T068/T069/T088 cartridges.

Epson has cleverly incorporated this second chip into the cartridge, and we doubt most people even know of its existence.  What the chip does is not exactly clear.  However, you can tell from the cracked open cartridge picture below that the Epson ink cartridge has two distinct ink channels or chambers that meet at the internal chip (which is placed right above the egress hole where the ink hole is).   When compatibles (copies) from China were available for the T068/T069 and T078/T077 series inkjet cartridges, it was simply a copy of the Epson cartridge shape, sans the internal chip.  Now that no more compatibles (copies) are making it into the US we are not sure how to get around this one.

2nd Chip Complicates Remanufacturing or Refilling:

Epson ink monitor chip on all currently shipping Epson inkjet printers.

Epson ink monitor chip on all currently shipping Epson inkjet printers.

In a pre-litigation world, some 3rd party company would have developed copies of the chips and made them available to remanufacturers, and refillers. This second chip is a new development (the second chip was not present in the last pre-lawsuit set of cartridges from Epson T048/T060/T044) and it takes time for the aftermarket to catch up. Combine that with Epson’s recent victories in preventing the importation of compatible cartridges (exact copies), and we have a cartridge shortage on our hands. To exacerbate the problem, Epson has recently released a new cartridge series (T098/T099) along with some new printers, and you can expect more new cartridges in the very near feature as Epson tries to get way ahead of the aftermarket competition.

Lots Of R&D Money To Design Un-Hackable Cartridge:

We must say, it is a very clever design.  Makes most cartridges impossible to refill.

Also mentioned in the Cartridge World internal document is the requirement of refilling the cartridge before the “low ink” warning comes on.  How one is supposed to know when a cartridge is 1/4 full  we have no idea.  The document goes on to say that if refilling is not done when the cartridge is at least 25% full, the chip embedded in the cartridge will write to the outside chip that it is – empty – rendering the outside chip un-resetable.  Maybe it cuts off the flow?  Who knows, but this would explain what the two distinct ink chambers are for.  All we know is there are no remanufactured T068/T069 series cartridges currently available (if you live outside the USA, the import ban obviously does not effect you).

Are There Still Compatibles Out There?

There were some compatibles available right before the import ban (so we know it is easy to make a copy), however Epson was changing the outer chip design every month or so, therefore the compatibles that were available did not always work properly.  Before the importers from China could work it out, the cartridges were cut off.  There may still be some of these cartridges out there, but they are getting old.  Import ban was effective October of 2007.

Epson's clever two chip designed inkjet cartridge.

Epson's clever two chip designed inkjet cartridge.

We assume that this dual chip design is also incorporated into the T078/T077 series, T098/T099, as well as other newly shipping Epson cartridges. Epson has brought a sledgehammer to the aftermarket fight, and it will take some time for 3rd party cartridge remanufacturers to catch up.  So to review, this is what Epson includes as “refilling-deterrents”:

  1. Chip on outside of cartridge (ink monitor) – must be reset
  2. 2nd chip inside the cartridge – ?
  3. Black tape over the clear plastic covering to prevent one from seeing the inside of the cartridge

In the mean time, find those cheap cartridges wherever you can, and stay tuned for updates.

If you would like to see the Cartridge World internal document, it is still available in PDF form here:

http://www.box.net/shared/8bc7e95gid