Epson Pro 3880 and chip decoders

Steve-O

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I have an Epson Pro 3880 and I have modified the oem carts as directed by Jose Rodriguez on his informative YT channel.
The printer recently developed the yellow/black contamination problem after the MK to PK swap so I am in the process of stripping and cleaning the ink system and whilst I have the covers off I would like to modify the cart chip system to an auto reset system.

I had been using after market carts but I was disappointed because a couple of the carts leaked ink into the cart holder bays (yellow, lbk & cyan). It looks like the ink was making it past the cartridge rubber seal and the cellophane where the cartridge bay nozzle enters the cart. With these carts you need the oem chip which you place under the auto resetting aftermarket chips.

Now the oem carts are more substantial with their seals and the cartridge bays showed no leaks with those. The idea of containing the cart ink in a bag with little ink surface to air appeals also so I have therefore modified the oem carts.

My main question here is does anyone have knowledge about using "Cartridge Chip Decoder For Epson Stylus Pro 3800 3880 3890 3885 Printer 9 color" as can be found on the internet? I have coupled the oem chips to the aftermarket auto reset chips with success and all my carts report full. Now it looks to me that I can do away with the oem chips and the aftermarket auto resetting chips by using this chip decoder strip (which would be a neater solution) and I would simply need to place the ribbons from the chip readers into the relevant position on the decoder chip....could it honestly be that simple? If so this would allow me to use carts without chips!!
I am hoping for some information on this before I go ahead and invest in some.

Kind regards
Steve-O

 

Steve-O

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Well although I have had no replies regarding my question here, I have proceeded to purchase the decoder chips. I now also have the instructions for the install and clearly the original cart chips are required also a little bit of deft soldering is needed as the oem chips will be soldered onto the decoder chip boards. The circuit tracer ribbons are removed from the chip reader contacts on the cartridge bay and then fitted to the decoder chip board (all makes sense with pictures though). I have also ordered the ink damper and switch kit too, so when it all gets here hopefully I'll have my 3880 up and running again.

Kind regards
Steve-O
 

Dae

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Well although I have had no replies regarding my question here, I have proceeded to purchase the decoder chips. I now also have the instructions for the install and clearly the original cart chips are required also a little bit of deft soldering is needed as the oem chips will be soldered onto the decoder chip boards. The circuit tracer ribbons are removed from the chip reader contacts on the cartridge bay and then fitted to the decoder chip board (all makes sense with pictures though). I have also ordered the ink damper and switch kit too, so when it all gets here hopefully I'll have my 3880 up and running again.

Kind regards
Steve-O
Hello Steve.

Can you show pictures of what you're doing with these chips? I own three 3880/3800 printers. I've been using them with third party inks for over a decade and have the self resetting carts in them. I've read through your post but I'm a bit of a lost how you're going about what you want to achieve.

I might be able to help if you need it at this point.

talk to you soon.
 

Steve-O

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Hi Dae,

I am waiting for the "decoder -chips" to arrive (probably mid-late April) and once I have them I will post up pictures.

What I am trying to achieve is the ability to swap out cartridges without ever having to deal with chip resetting etc.

I am hoping to be able to swap in a cleaning cartridge into any position without a chip if necessary, So I have already removed the circuit ribbons from the chip readers above the carts and I managed to secure the chip reader connector to an auto resetting chip and then the Epson cart chip basically using heat shrink tubing. The decoder chip circuit board I have ordered still needs the original cart chip and this needs to be soldered onto the decoder chip board the decoder board has a ribbon connector. The decoder board method will be neater and less prone to bad contacts. I will then place all of the 9 chip sets behind the left lower front grey plastic panel so that I could easily access them if needed (I intend to put all the covers back so that outwardly the printer will look untouched).

I prefer the original Epson cartridge ink bag system and I have refilled a complete set ready to go (and no leaks). I had a few leaks to deal with using the after market refillable carts and I am prepared to sacrifice the ability to see the ink levels over measuring the weight of the original carts, there will be merit in taking the originals out to measure and fill as this will provide an opportunity to shake the carts too.

I really like the finish print that this printer provides even with the refillable ink (last lot from Octoinkjet here in UK).
I have printed some panoramas and large prints using cut roll paper and I prefer to use satin or pearl papers and therefore do not use Matte Black. I have filled the MK cart with PK ink.

I am sure the printer has developed the ink switch problem and I have ordered a new damper and ink switch complete unit to replace the clogged unit and I hope to be able to flush and clean the clogged unit (for a spare) too.

I really appreciate your reply and I hope that you are still using a 3880. You will probably have a wealth of experience that I might benefit from.

If you have done the damper swap as I am intending, do you know if it is possible to suck the ink through the old tubes, ink maze and carts by using a syringe at the damper to head seal so that a fully ink charged damper set can be reinstalled on the print head and thus not so many cleaning cycles will be needed to charge the head and ink lines?
It may be necessary to disconnect the air pump from the cart bay to allow air into the original carts maybe?
What do you recommend as a good cleaning fluid?

Thanks for your reply and in anticipation,
Kind regards
Steve-O
 

Dae

Getting Fingers Dirty
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Hi Dae,

I am waiting for the "decoder -chips" to arrive (probably mid-late April) and once I have them I will post up pictures.

What I am trying to achieve is the ability to swap out cartridges without ever having to deal with chip resetting etc.

I am hoping to be able to swap in a cleaning cartridge into any position without a chip if necessary, So I have already removed the circuit ribbons from the chip readers above the carts and I managed to secure the chip reader connector to an auto resetting chip and then the Epson cart chip basically using heat shrink tubing. The decoder chip circuit board I have ordered still needs the original cart chip and this needs to be soldered onto the decoder chip board the decoder board has a ribbon connector. The decoder board method will be neater and less prone to bad contacts. I will then place all of the 9 chip sets behind the left lower front grey plastic panel so that I could easily access them if needed (I intend to put all the covers back so that outwardly the printer will look untouched).

I prefer the original Epson cartridge ink bag system and I have refilled a complete set ready to go (and no leaks). I had a few leaks to deal with using the after market refillable carts and I am prepared to sacrifice the ability to see the ink levels over measuring the weight of the original carts, there will be merit in taking the originals out to measure and fill as this will provide an opportunity to shake the carts too.

I really like the finish print that this printer provides even with the refillable ink (last lot from Octoinkjet here in UK).
I have printed some panoramas and large prints using cut roll paper and I prefer to use satin or pearl papers and therefore do not use Matte Black. I have filled the MK cart with PK ink.

I am sure the printer has developed the ink switch problem and I have ordered a new damper and ink switch complete unit to replace the clogged unit and I hope to be able to flush and clean the clogged unit (for a spare) too.

I really appreciate your reply and I hope that you are still using a 3880. You will probably have a wealth of experience that I might benefit from.

If you have done the damper swap as I am intending, do you know if it is possible to suck the ink through the old tubes, ink maze and carts by using a syringe at the damper to head seal so that a fully ink charged damper set can be reinstalled on the print head and thus not so many cleaning cycles will be needed to charge the head and ink lines?
It may be necessary to disconnect the air pump from the cart bay to allow air into the original carts maybe?
What do you recommend as a good cleaning fluid?

Thanks for your reply and in anticipation,
Kind regards
Steve-O
I will have to see what you're doing before I could tell you how to go about it. I've read what you have here and it's pretty detailed.

From my understanding you are sticking with the OEM carts and refilling them. In turn you're trying to set up self resetting chips on those OEM carts, is that correct?

Before you going doing anything with the damper replacement and really flushing out the printer. Just make sure it has that problem first. These little 17" printers are work horses. I've had ones running almost every day of the week, with third party inks and very little issues that can be fixed with "soft cleanings".

We use the refillable carts, they've always worked great.

I don't think you can pull the ink from the cart, tubing, printhead assembly, dampers and to the head. It's honestly not that much ink to get the ink from the cart to the print head. Yes if you do a ink charge that is where it will take half of the ink from the cart to fill the Ines, dampers and print head, but if you do two to three power cleanings it will get the ink to the print head.

I can send you the type of carts we use, and third party inks that have worked great fro us, with no problems.

Thanks for being patient on this reply. I've been slammed in the print shop a of late and have had little time to get on here.
 

Steve-O

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Thanks Dae,
yes you are correct and have understood what I am trying to do.
I am almost completely sure that I have the damper and black switching problem. I usually don't use matte black and on having just switched once from mk to pk then my troubles started loss of pk ink and black bleeding into yellow even after switching back to mk (with pk in the cart).
I will have a go at the power clean method as you suggested (seems less messy) once I get it all back together.
I would be very interested in what type of third party ink and carts you use.
It's great to hear that you are still getting great service out of your 3880, I think the prints that I have had out of it are quite acceptable and I hope to get a lot more use out of mine too although I shall not be using daily though!!

Regards
Steve
 

Steve-O

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A little update on this; I have managed to remove all the chips from my carts and by using the ARC's (Auto Reset Chips) from the refillable carts and connecting them to the contact unit and ribbons (using tape and heat shrink) my printer now registers all carts as full on power up. I have the decoder chips but I don't trust my soldering skills and soldering the oem chip to the decoder is fiddly. I bought a complete set of refillable carts and have filled them with flushing fluid. I have already modified my cart bay unit and blanked off the air and ink connections for MK so that bay is redundant. I have also modified the damper unit so that no mechanical switching of MK/PK can take place.
I have cleaned the waste ink pump and capping station. So far I have run about 3 power cleanings and then 1 power clean each day for the past 3 days. The left waste ink pad still looks dark and the right pad looks much lighter, the ink lines are looking clear (apart from the MK line which has been blanked off).

I have a question, now that I have managed to stop the MK-PK ink swap from happening mechanically does anyone know if I can prevent the 6 monthly software auto swap from taking place? That would help prevent an unnecessary waste of ink as this printer is modified to not run MK.

I have learned quite a bit about the ink flow in this machine and where the one way valves are in the ink maze and dampers and how the cartridges connect to the cartridge bay, all very fascinating.

I am confident that I should be able to get good print head nozzle pattern soon and I will endeavour to run a print job through the printer at least a couple of times a week and never leave it idle with pigment ink in it from now on.
 
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