Freedom Refill Method for Canon BCI 3, 5, 6 & CLI 8 & PGI 5 and others

ghwellsjr

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
3,645
Reaction score
85
Points
233
Location
La Verne, California
Printer Model
Epson WP-4530
I have finally found what I consider to be the best way to refill the popular Canon cartridges. By "best" I mean a method that does not compromise the cartridge in any way and ends up with cartridges looking just like OEM, that is with a little bit of white sponge material at the top and no holes, plugs, screws or tape anywhere. I'm introducing it on American Independence Day, July 4, 2011 and calling it the Freedom Refill Method--freedom from high prices. This method was inspired by information posted on this thread called A new way to fill but I had to come up with some of my own ideas to make it actually work at a cheap price. Although I haven't tried it, I believe this would be a perfect refill method for the new opaque cartridges.

First, watch this video.

PLEASE NOTE: Although it may look like I'm pushing on the plunger, I am not. Don't push on the plunger at any time. The plunger will go back in all by itself. In fact, you have to restrain it from going in too fast. If you let go of it, it will snap in so fast that it will jar the cartridge off the adapter.

The materials I used were:

1) a 60 cc syringe which I bought from a local medical supply store for $3.

2) vinyl tubing 5/16" ID x 7/16" OD available from a local hardware store for a couple dollars depending on length

3) rubber fuel line hose 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD available from a local auto supply store for a couple dollars.

4) rubber heater hose 1/2" ID x 3/4" OD available from a local auto supply store for a couple dollars.

5) a small piece of vinyl tape.

Here is a picture of the large syringe:

1315_60cc_syringe.jpg


What I do next is use the flame of a small candle to heat the post of the nozzle, rotating it until it becomes pliable and then I bend it at 90 degrees in the direction away from the lettering on the side of the syringe:

1315_bent_nozzle.jpg


Here is a closeup of the bend:

1315_closeup_of_bend.jpg


I actually took a BCI-6 and BCI-3e cartridge into the auto supply store and tried a bunch of different sized rubber hoses until I found some that fit very snuggly on the outlet ports of the cartridges. It is important that these be very hard to fit because we want the hose to make an air-tight seal with the outlet port. I cut short pieces (less than an inch) of each type of tubing. I fit the vinyl tubing half way into the smaller rubber hose, making two of these. For one of them, I fit the smaller rubber hose halfway into the larger rubber hose.

Here is a picture of the two adapters for the two different sized cartridges:

1315_adapters.jpg


And here are pictures of the two adapters attached to a BCI-6 and a BCI-3e cartridges:

1315_adapter_on_bci-6.jpg


1315_adapter_on_bci-3e.jpg


Notice how the rubber hoses are tapered as they go on to the outlet ports. This is necessary because there are four ribs around the outside of the outlet ports making a complete tight seal impossible. The taper allows the inside of the hose to ride over the ribs but still make tight contact with the edge of the port. We depend on this tight seal to not only keep air from getting in but also to mechanically hold the cartridge onto the adapter.

Before you can start refilling, you must seal off the air vent on the top of the cartridge. Use a piece of vinyl tape making sure you cover all the groves in the air vent and pressing the tape down firmly:

1315_tape_on_air_vent.jpg


Next you should test the air tightness of your apparatus. Do this by starting with the syringe fully depressed before you attach it to the adapter. Now pull back quickly on the plunger until it is near the 60 cc mark then allow the vacuum in the cartridge to pull the plunger back into the syringe. Whatever you do, don't let go of the plunger because it will snap back in and probably knock the cartridge off the adapter. The plunger should return to within about 5 cc of its original position, hopefully even closer. The longer you leave the plunger out, the farther away it will return to its starting point and you don't want that to happen.

You will likely spill ink with this method so you should wear gloves and work over a sink or other area where you won't care about ink splattered about.

I recommend you practice with water instead of ink until you get the hang of it. With the syringe removed from the adapter, you can just pull the plunger out of the syringe and put water into it. When you want to fill the cartridge with water, you position the apparatus so the cartridge is down. While you are pulling on the plunger, make sure the hole between the two chambers is at the top so that air can escape. When you are letting the plunger back in, rotate the apparatus so that the ink can flow under gravity from the outlet port to the hole between the chambers and enter the tank. Watch the video closely to see how I am doing this.

After you fill a cartridge with water, you can remove the water by starting with the syringe not fully depressed but with maybe 20 cc of air in it. Then you hold the apparatus with the cartridge on top and repeatedly pull on the plunger and slowly let it back in until all of the water has been milked out of the cartridge and into the syringe. If you want to pour the dirty water out, detach the syringe from the adpater.

When you get ready to try ink, there are several methods of getting it into the syringe. You can use a needle adapter that comes with the syringe:

1315_needle_adapter.jpg


In this case you would attach a long needle to it so that you can insert it into your ink supply and pull back on the plunger until you have 15 to 30 cc of ink. I recommend 20 cc for the smaller dye ink cartridges and 30 cc for the larger pigment black ink cartridges. You may have to repeat the whole process to get a complete fill.

Another method is to pour some of your ink supply into a wide mouth jar so that you can insert the bent syringe into it to draw up whatever amount of ink you want.

A third method is to attach a length of vinyl tubing which you insert into your ink supply and draw up the ink into the syringe.

Whatever method you use, be careful to cap your ink supply bottles when not using them to reduce the risk of a spilling them.

At this point you attach the syringe to the adapter so that the tank in the cartridge is at the lowest point. When you are drawing on the plunger, hold the apparatus so that the hole between the two chambers is uppermost so that air can escape. When you are allowing the vacuum in the cartridge to pull the plunger back in, tip the apparatus back so that the ink has a greater chance to flow down to the hole between the chambers. Keep your eye on the area between the sponge and the air vent because you don't want to get any ink in there. If you see that starting to happen, slow down the rate that the plunger is going in.

You can repeat the cycle of pulling on the plunger and letting it back in as long as there remains ink in the bottom of the syringe. But eventually, you will run out of any distance to pull on the plunger because the syringe has gotten full of air. At this point, if you want to continue refilling, you can detach the syringe from the adapter, hold the syringe with the outlet on top, make sure there is no residual ink in the nozzle, and then depress the plunger until there is a minimal amount of air in it. Then if you want you can put more ink in the syringe and repeat the whole process.

When you finally get the cartridge refilled to your heart's content, remove the tape over the air vent and use a fresh piece of tape stretched across the outlet port to seal it until use.

Happy Freedom Refilling!!!
 

barfl2

Print Addict
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
481
Reaction score
65
Points
168
Location
Hampshire U.K.
ghwellsjr Very interesting post yours usually are. 1 question could the existing Inktec clips be adapted to this idea? no adaptors needed for those of course who have used and retained the clips like myself although Pharmicist did say this method not suitable for filling the larger HP364XL carts.

barfl2
 

The Hat

Printer VIP
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2010
Messages
15,591
Reaction score
8,675
Points
453
Location
Residing in Wicklow Ireland
Printer Model
Canon/3D, CR-10, CR-10S, KP-3
ghwellsjr
My hat is off to you on this revised invention because you have taken a very expensive refilling method
improved on it and made it much more economical for the would be refiller.

I also noticed that you took the time to seal the air intakes very well which
most of the others in their videos fail to do, again thank you for a most interesting video.

Happy 4th..
5128_old_faithful.png
 

ghwellsjr

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
3,645
Reaction score
85
Points
233
Location
La Verne, California
Printer Model
Epson WP-4530
barfl2 said:
ghwellsjr Very interesting post yours usually are. 1 question could the existing Intec clips be adapted to this idea? no adaptors needed for those of course who have used and retained the clips like myself although Pharmicist did say this method not suitable for filling the larger HP364XL carts.

barfl2
I think you meant the Inktec clip demonstrated in this video, correct?

This video says you can refill HP364XL carts as well as many others. Since this video describes a positive pressure method, it can only fill the sponge side of the cartridge. I think that was what pharmacist was referring to when he said it was not suitable for the HP364XL carts.

ThrillaMozilla reported some success using this clip with a vacuum technique with various carts so he can probably report on what the issues are he had with it. I think the main problem is the smaller orifice on the normal size syringe which makes it harder for the bubbles that form to get into the syringe allowing the ink to flow back into the cartridge. That, combined with the smaller capacity of the syringe that I think he was using would prove to be not too satisfying. But with the larger unmodified syringe using the small blue needle adapter that comes with the syringe, I think one problem would be that the syringe would be more or less horizontal which means the ink would not flow easily out of the syringe while there is a vacuum in it. But if you melt the bend into the larger syringe then you could easily have the apparatus in the correct orientation. However, from my experience, going through the smaller orifice of the needle adapter would constrict the flow of ink into the cartridge due to the formation of bubbles that form while the plunger is being pulled out. Someone who has one of these clips should give it a try.

ThrillaMozilla also pointed out at the end of the link above that the non XL versions have the hole between the two chambers in the top instead of the bottom so you would not want to use a vacuum method on these cartridges because although it would put ink into the reservoir, there would be no way for the ink to get out while the cartridge was in the printer. Although it wouldn't hurt anything, it would be a waste of good ink.
 

gigigogu

Getting Fingers Dirty
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
150
Reaction score
2
Points
49
I tried it. It works, sort of.

I got a half filled cartridge and magenta all over my hands.
I know it is my fault as I improvised the connection between syringe and outlet port, also the seal on air maze was not great.

However, I noticed forming a lot of ink foam inside the sponge. Won't this affect the ink flow?
 

ghwellsjr

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
3,645
Reaction score
85
Points
233
Location
La Verne, California
Printer Model
Epson WP-4530
That's why you need a larger tube between the syringe and the outlet port. What actually did you use?

It's not hard to seal the air vent. Why was it not great?
 

gigigogu

Getting Fingers Dirty
Joined
May 7, 2011
Messages
150
Reaction score
2
Points
49
For connection I used a 5 mm/0.2 in tube fitted in a hole drilled in original orange cap (and a small hole in silicon gasket), with some rubber band to press the cap on cartridge.
For air maze I used simple adhesive tape.

As I said, I know the (partial) failure is because of me and not because of method.
 

pharmacist

Printer VIP
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
May 29, 2007
Messages
2,539
Reaction score
1,241
Points
313
Location
Ghent, Belgium
Printer Model
Epson SC-P800,WF-7840,XP-15000
Very nice method indeed, albeit a bit risky if the sealing is not sufficient. It is similar to the special Eweko refill box: the underlying principles are the same, but I think the Eweko refill box is safer to use. It all depends how good you will make the sealing, both around the ink outlet hole and the breathing hole alike.
 

ghwellsjr

Printer Master
Platinum Printer Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2006
Messages
3,645
Reaction score
85
Points
233
Location
La Verne, California
Printer Model
Epson WP-4530
What is the risk you are concerned about?

Can we have a reference to the Eweko refill box?
 
Top