Epson: Ink Cartridge Yields For T078, T077 Series

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

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

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

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

We cracked open this cartridge and took a look here –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Epson T078, T077 Ink Cartridge Page Yield Info Graphic

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

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

Look here for systems for your:

Epson Stylus Photo R260

Epson Stylus Photo R280

Epson Stylus Photo R380

Epson Stylus Photo RX580 (multi-function)

Epson Stylus Photo RX595 (multi-function)

Epson Stylus Photo RX680 (multi-function)

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

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

Review: Epson Artisan 50

with continuous inking system (CIS, CISS).

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

CI System (CISS) and printer bundle here.

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

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

Detailed specifications available on Epson’s website:

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

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

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

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

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

Price:

$60-$120

Features:

Short specs on the Artisan 50:

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

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

What About The Cartridges:

T078 – T077

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

T078 series “standard capacity”

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

T077 series “high capacity”

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

Cartridges? Who cares…

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

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

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

Installation:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Press cartridges down firmly to seat. Epson Artisan 50.

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

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

Ready to print!

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

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

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

Installation video (instructions):

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

Installing the system is easy enough…

CD-DVD printing:

Popular choice among CD-DVD printers.

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

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

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

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

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

Video of the CD-DVD printing process:

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

Plenty of room inside this printer…

Epson ink monitor is still watching you…

Epson Artisan 50 ink monitor image

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

What to do when the cartridge runs out of ink?

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

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

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

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

Ink quality:

We also tried some different papers.

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

Conclusion:

Get it.  Well worth the price, and flexible.

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

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

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

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

New printer – Epson.com website – $99.99.

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

And there is always Amazon…

Epson Artisan 50 CIS, CISS, inking systems.

Un-Box: Epson Artisan 50 Refurbished – Epson Store

Un box – Epson Artisan 50

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

*Top choice for CIS

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

Direct link to printer on Epson.com website:

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

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

Price?

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

Refurbished Epson Artisan 50 inkjet printer at the Epson Store.

Warranty?

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

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

Outside of the warranty period, who cares?

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

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

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

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

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

What does “refurbished mean?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cartridges?

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

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

Link to refurb on Epson.com website:

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

Link to new on Amazon:

Artisan 50 – NEW!

Link to CIS – CISS:

CI System for the Epson Artisan 50

Ink Cost: Epson Cartridges Contain Low Levels Of Ink

So you just got a new Epson printer, and you need to change ink already?  Does it seem like you don’t get as much life out of your new Epson ink cartridges?  There is a reason, and Epson isn’t talking.

Epson Cartridge Surgery:

surgeryAfter weeks of scouring the web for information about how much ink an Epson cartridge contains, we came up empty (no pun intended).  Epson does not provide information on their website, or on the retail packages about how much ink their cartridges contain.  Simply weighing the cartridges did not tell us anything about the liquid content levels, so we got out the syringe and started extracting.

Cartridges Tested:

ink-measurement-t068Since all current Epson cartridges are the same physical size and shape, it is safe to assume that there is a maximum level of ink the cartridge can contain, and we have verified this through our syringe experiment.  Both the T077 series (sold exclusively by Epson), and T068 series (also sold exclusively by Epson) are completely full of ink and will run you $20.00 each.  They are referred to as “high capacity cartridges”, but what they should really be called is full of ink.  In contrast, the T078, T069, and T088 series (while the same physical size as the T077/T068) are NOT completely full of ink and differ in price from the $9.00-$15.00 range.  How do we know that Epson also sells you airspace along with the cartridge? We cracked open some cartridges a while back and took a look inside, posted here for the T077/T078 series cartridges, and here for the T088, T069, and T068 series cartridges.

Our little experiment was very expensive, as we purchased off the shelf cartridges to test and paid close to full retail, but how else could we find out?  What we did find was shocking.

The T078/T077 Series:

t078-t077-ink-amount1

T078 cartridge – 7ml of ink. Retail price $13.00 (avg)

  • So, $13.00 / 7 ml = $1.85 per ml, or $7,002.00 per gallon*

T077 cartridge – 11ml of ink.  Retail price $19.99.

  • So, $19.99 / 11 ml = $1.82 per ml or $6887.70 per gallon*

Epson claims on their website that users will get %50 more prints from the full ink cartridges, and our data seems to back that up.

The T088/T069/T068 Series:

t068-t069-t0881

T088 cartridge – 3ml of ink (no joke).  Retail price $9.00.

  • So, $9.00 / 3ml = $3.00 per ml or a whopping $11,355.00 per gallon*

T069 cartridge – 7ml of ink.  Retail price $13.00.

  • So, $13.00 / 7 ml = $1.85 per ml, or $7,002.00 per gallon*

T068 cartridge – 11ml of ink.  Retail price $19.99.

  • So, $19.99 / 11 ml = $1.82 per ml or $6887.70 per gallon*

*there are 3785 milliliters  in a gallon.

Get Educated Or Get Screwed:

Noticing a trend here?  Looks like the maximum amount of ink a current Epson cartridge can hold is 11ml.  This is insulting!  Cartridges from Epson, and for the entire industry, have been getting smaller every year, but this is ridiculous. We wish we could tell you how many prints you an expect from each of the cartridges, but this is hard to calculate as printing patterns and needs are different for each user.  We hope to have some standardized test in the future, but we are still working on the ratio of text to photo.  We will post when we feel like we can do some relevant testing.

Older Epson Cartridges Have More Ink:

For comparison, the previous generation of Epson cartridges like the T048 series (Stylus Photo R200, R220, RX620, more…) contain 17ml of ink, and before that the T032120 cartridges (Stylus C80, C82) had a whopping 31ml of ink.

More Tests Coming:

We plan to crack open some T098 and T099 series inkjet cartridges in the near future, so stay tuned.

Review: Epson T078 and T077 Compared And Split-Open

A Peek Inside The Epson T078, T077 Series Cartridges:

A little background…

The T078 has 11ml ink, the T077 contains 15ml

The T078 has 11ml ink, the T077 contains 15ml

Epson has employed a 2 cartridge marketing effort with the T077/T078 series inkjet cartridges for owners of the Epson Stylus Photo R260, R280, R380, RX580, RX595, or RX680 inkjet printers.  The T078 series of inkjet cartridges which have 7ml of ink per cartridge and cost $14.00 each, and the T077120* cartridge which will set you back $19.99 and contains 11ml of ink. Think of it as a pay me now, or pay me later type situation.

What is most interesting about these cartridges is what they reveal about Epson’s strategy for defeating or strongly deterring re-fillers or re-manufacturers.  More on this in another article.

Inside the T078 Series Inkjet Cartridge:

Getting into the T078 series cartridge (we used a T078520 photo cyan cartridge in our example below) was a pain.  You must first remove the outside plastic cover (8-tabbed), and then carefully remove a blanket of securely fastened black tape, while at the same time trying to be extremely careful not to rip the clear plastic tape that holds the ink inside the cartridge.  The black tape is not present on some older cartridges (over 1-year old); consider yourself lucky if you can find one of these.

Getting inside a pain…

t078-tabs-clips-cover t078-black-tape peel-black-tape-t078

Inside the T078520 cartridge:

epson.com web site.

epson.com web site.

The cartridges are actually quite insulting. When T078/T077 compatible cartridges from China were available they were completely filled with ink, and the part number distinction was not necessary for that simple reason.  Epson prices the smaller capacity T078 cartridge at $15.00 black and $12.99 for each of 5 FIVE colors.  Yes, you will use color when printing black only, so you will need color cartridges in the future.  The ratio of black to color cartridge replacement is about 4-1 on standard out of the box settings.  The higher ink volume T077 cartridges are just about completely full of ink and will run you $18-$19 each…no kidding.  They contain about 11ml of ink.

Cracked open T078520 cartridge.  This is al the ink you will get in a T078 series inkjet cartridge.  About 11ml.

Cracked open T078520 cartridge. This is al the ink you will get in a T078 series inkjet cartridge. About 11ml. Notice all the air space. Thanks Epson.

Lots of air-space inside the T078 series of inkjet cartridges.  So you are basically paying for ink and air. Stay classy Epson.

Inside the Epson T077 Series Ink Cartridge:

epson.com web site

epson.com web site

The T077* series of inkjet cartridges are what should come with the printer to begin with.  The cartridge is completely full of ink, with minimal airspace in the cartridge.  The problem is the price.  If you are printing photos, and most likely you are if you purchase this 6-color photo printer, printers use a ton of ink for photos, and replacing the cartridges can get expensive.

Same process as above getting into this cartridge.

T077520 inkjet cartridge cracked open.  Notice that the T077 series inkjet cartridges are just about completely full of ink.

T077520 inkjet cartridge cracked open. Notice that the T077 series inkjet cartridges are just about completely full of ink. The design is similar to the T078 series, but w/out the airspace.

So what to buy?

To understand which is the best deal, we now have to do a little math.  Need to figure cost per ml of ink; not gonna be pretty.  The T078 cartridge has 7ml of ink divided by $12.99 = $1.85 per ml of ink.  The T077* cartridge has 11ml of ink, and will run you $19.99 from the Epson store, so we end up with $1.81 per ml of ink.  This means the effective price per ml of ink in both the T078 and T077 series cartridges is practically the same. But what if we could get two (2) of the T078 cartridges for the same price (or less) as a T077 series cartridge?  This is a much better deal.  14ml of ink divided by $19.99 = $1.42 per ml of ink.  Much better deal.  Moral of the story? Stick with the T078 ink cartridges.  You will change them more often, but the actual cost per ml of ink could be markedly cheaper if you can get 2 of them for the same price as the T077 series.  Don’t you love how Epson does that?

  • T078 @ $12.99 each = $1.85 per ml of ink
  • T077 @ $19.99 each = $1.81 per ml of ink*
  • T078 x’s 2 @ $10.00 each = $1.42 per ml of ink

You can check pricing on Epson T078/T077 OEM cartridges here.

* At this time, T077 cartridges are available from Epson direct only.

News: Epson T069 Can’t Be Refilled?

Can new Epson cartridges be refilled?

Example cartridge used is the T069 series yellow and magenta, however Epson’s current line of cartridges (T088, T069, T068, T077, T078, T098, T099) are all very similar in both shape and size, and getting inside the cartridge involves the same steps.

Step 1: Removing the cover

First part is to get the cover off.  There are 5 self locking tabs around he top of the cartridge. We used a thin blade, but it was still very difficult to get these tabs dislodged.  The bottom of the cartridge consists of three very simple to release tabs.  Start at the bottom to get better leverage.

There are 5 clips and 3 tabs that must be released to remove the outer cover of the Epson T069, T068, T077, T088, T098, T099 series inkjet cartridges.

There are 5 clips and 3 tabs that must be released to remove the outer cover of the Epson T069, T068, T077, T088, T098, T099 series inkjet cartridges.

Cover removed.

Cover removed from the T069 series ink cartridge.

Cover removed from the T069 series ink cartridge.

Step 2: Removing Black Tape

Once you get the cover off, Epson has seen fit to put a piece of black tape over the very thin layer of clear plastic that holds the ink in the cartridge.  If you rip the underside clear membrane while trying to remove the black tape, the cartridge will not be refillable.

The black tape prevents easy refilling, unless you know where to poke.

The black tape prevents easy refilling, unless you know where to poke.

Now removing the black tape is a very hard thing to do.  We had a heck of a time getting it off and punctured several cartridges in our attempt to remove the stubborn black tape. Be careful and go slow.  It took us 5 tries and a heat gun to get the pesky black tape off the cartridge without puncturing the clear plastic underneath which is holding the ink in the cartridge.

It was much harder to get the black tape off.  This is for illustration only.

It was much harder to get the black tape off. This is for illustration only.

As the caption implies this is not the way the black tape came off.  We started pulling back the black tape from the edges, heated with heat gun and just sent very slow pulling he black tape up slowly.  It took us about 5 minutes to get the tape off after practicing on 4 destroyed cartridges.  The black plastic is not really tape, rather it is glued onto the cartridge along the internal chamber walls.

Finally, we can see the inside, and the protective coating which keeps the ink in the cartridge.

Finally, we can see the inside, and the protective coating which keeps the ink in the cartridge.

Step 3: Where to fill

Remember  to refill both ink chambers.  Both ink chambers (one on top left, and one on right) must contain ink at all times.  There is a sensor in the egress hole of the cartridge that will short out the chip on the outside of the cartridge if the chamber on the right runs dry.

Epson's clever two chip designed inkjet cartridge.

Epson's clever two chip designed inkjet cartridge.

The cartridge above is the T088 series.  Notice all the airspace? If you want to know more about the double chip configuration of these cartridges, please click here:

https://inkdaddy.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/news-epson-says-hack-this-t069t068-refill-prevention/

And there you go.  If you can figure out how to reset the chip on the end of the cartridge you can reinsert the cartridge as is, or you can put the cover back on and pop into your printer.  As far as the black tape goes, we can see no justification for it being there.  It adds nothing to the cartridge, and was not present on cartridges from as little as a year ago.  It is there to foil refilling plain and simple.