German "Durchstich" refill method for the PGI-520/CLI-521 cartridges

y3kcjd5

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Gah, banding still there... I scanned an image of the minor banding I see (sanity check, please tell me I'm not seeing things), but it's a bit big so I'll post it as a link instead of in the board directly: img818.imageshack.us/img818/6456/blacktestbw.png (Argh new member restriction on images and links? Geh.)

By the way, why is so called oversaturation of the sponge bad? Is it just because of leaks, or does it have other negative side effects somehow? If the latter, how do you tell if your sponge is oversaturated?

P.S. Also, is there some way to unjagger (make smooth) the holes I drilled? they seem to conduct ink out onto my piece of plug tape (a minor annoyance).

P.P.S. Is there some compelling argument for use of distilled water in various cartridge related applications (mixing ink, cleaning cartridges, etc) or is tap water generally OK?
 

The Hat

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barfl2 but the Cyan was a disaster
Following on from your disaster while filling the cyan cartridge, I reckon you didnt squeeze (hold) the orange clip
on securely enough with the rubber band, it has to be held on tightly to work.

It doesnt matter which instrument your use to get the ink in as its down to personal choice (I use SquEasy bottles).

Dont take this the wrong way but I think your method of refilling has deviated from
the original method so much that it is the main cause of your problems.

I think youre trying to get a square peg into a round hole and end up over filling your cartridges in the process.

I have also noticed you mentioned you mix down your inks (Watered),
which is not necessary at all as it will lead to all sorts of headaches for you later.

As for the sensor that is inside your cartridges, yes it does work so you can forget about trying to fool it or the chip.

Try This..

Reset your chip and deliberately half fill your cartridge then put it into your printer and just print in the normal way,
when the reservoir in your cartridge become empty or shortly afterwards youll automatically get an on screen low ink warning
and the chip will display a yellow triangle beside the cartridge.

In a nut shell overfilling only leads to ink flow problems later so dont try to estimate what the cartridge chip is doing
and concentrate more on your own refilling technique and leave the guess work to the sensor because its pretty good at its job.

So it simply works like this when the sensor registers no ink left in the reservoir it sends that message to the printer
and it responds by directing the chip to show low ink, the printer will then do a countdown
as to when it estimates that the cartridge is empty, your chip is not involved in that countdown.


It would be helpful to you to run through pharmacist refill procedure again and see if you can improve your own methods by simply following
his example step by step and that may make a big difference to your whole refilling technique and the quality of your prints.

It's worth a try..:)
 

irvweiner

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"I can guarantee you that I will make an absolute mess of the hot glue >_> and possibly fail to seal the hole properly anyways." I believe you, attitude is everything!

"Having to repeat the sealing process every refill will definitely be too involved for me to handle." Not if you don't change your attitude. I used this simple technique for ~5 yrs on my Canon 9xxx printers, never had a leak. I switched over to nylon 4-40 screws with the Pro MKll, later having found proper sized plugs on RjetTek replaced the screws. All 3 methods worked well for 12 yrs and counting.
Top filling for me was most convenient and efficient--just don't overfill.

good luck irv weiner
 

y3kcjd5

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>>342
Square peg? Round hole? Please elaborate.
My refill method is almost identical to the one in the first post, the only differences being the location of my hole (halfway up the cartridge in order to prevent sponge displacement, and yes, I can get my needle into the reservoir from that angle) and the angles at which I tilt my cartridge while I'm filling (if chip/handle facing left and outlet port facing down is 0 and counter-clockwise is positive, 135 until the reservoir is full, then approx. 45 until ink threatens to come out the outlet port). If my modifications are somehow introducing potential problems, please tell me how.

As for mixing down the ink, it cuts the price in half, that's why I do it, how exactly could this cause headaches later?

Wait, there's a sensor IN the cartridge? Where? That's the first I've heard of that...
To test that, I reset one of (dye black) my cartridges that was giving me the low ink message (reservoir empty), put it back in without refilling it, and printed two nozzle checks, but the indicator still showed full (I subsequently reset and refilled it properly). How exactly is this sensor supposed to work?

Finally, how exactly is overfilling detrimental to ink flow? If drying in the sponge is the reason (I can see how drying in the air maze would cause problems, but that's easily avoidable), I don't see how overfilling would be any different from regular filling; in either case the ink level leaves behind ink-coated sponge as it drops. If anything, dry-ink-in-sponge would seem to me to be a case for purging all cartridges every so often, regardless of whether or not they are overfilled.

>>343
Wait, you switched to plugs and still didn't have leaks? How exactly did you make those holes in the top? I got the impression that there's a way to pull out the original manufacturer's plug; does that leave behind a nice, clean round hole? Also, there is something of a hood that extends out over the cartridges in the printer that limits how tall the plugs can be, so how high do your plugs stick out, and how do you insert/remove them? Also, when you're filling it seems necessary to plug the bottom hole securely to prevent ink from escaping out the bottom. I'm a bit worried about doing so reliably (see >339). Also, how do you tell when your cartridge is full (i.e. prevent sponge over/undersaturation)?
 

The Hat

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The square peg suggestion was in relation to the way you approach your refilling procedures.

You can answer all of the refilling questions easily but then say
My refill method is almost identical to the original one
but if it was you wouldnt be having any of the problems that besets you now.

Your also still obsessed with this sensor in the cartridge and you shouldnt be its only a piece of angled plastic (Prism)
that reflects light back to the printer when your reservoir becomes empty.

The test your preformed was a reflection on just how much you misunderstand this whole process,
try it again properly next time but dont wait till you get the low ink warning, do it before hand.

I suggest maybe you follow irvweiners advice above and try out some of his methods
for top filling as it may be a better alternative for you.

If you have a clearance problem between the top of the cartridge and printer case then you could remove
a very small section of the casing say 5 mm neatly with a hacksaw or even better a dremel tool.
 

PeterBJ

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y3kcjd5 wrote:

My refill method is almost identical to the one in the first post, the only differences being the location of my hole (halfway up the cartridge in order to prevent sponge displacement, and yes, I can get my needle into the reservoir from that angle) and the angles at which I tilt my cartridge while I'm filling (if chip/handle facing left and outlet port facing down is 0 and counter-clockwise is positive, 135 until the reservoir is full, then approx. 45 until ink threatens to come out the outlet port). If my modifications are somehow introducing potential problems, please tell me how.
I think your refill method is OK, I am using a similar procedure except that I pierce the refill hole with an awl in the middle of the >< markings, using an awl produces a much cleaner hole which is easily cleaned using a knife, and I use squeeze bottles instead of syringes.

If you have no problems with getting the needle to enter the ink chamber I think your method with placing the refill hole higher might actually be a good idea, minimizing the risk of separating the lower sponge and the outlet filter. I have actually thought of trying the same thing.

Do not overfill the cartridges, overfilling can cause leaking and/or it can block the vent maze with ink. This maze consists of some tiny air channels plus 2 reservoirs that are easily filled with ink in case of an overfill.

So I think your problems might not be caused by your refill method, but could be the same problems other have experienced with these cartridges, or your problems especially with pigment ink could be caused by your watering down the ink.

Dye ink is basically a solution of a dye in water, but there is much more to it than that. Additives are used to adjust viscosity and surface tension and more properties. Adding water dilutes the additives, so they may no longer have the desired effect.

For pigment ink it is even more complicated. It is not a solution of a dye in water. Instead the pigment particles are kept in suspension using more additives and a binder is also needed. You can think of pigment ink as a very thin paint. pH value might be important to keep the pigment particles in suspension. Adding water could cause pigment particles to start precipitating by diluting the additives or changing the pH value.

Formulating ink is not a simple task, it is a science. Adding water totally changes the formulation. You are no longer using OCP ink but your own formulation, so in case of problems with the ink you shouldn't blame OCP.

Wait, there's a sensor IN the cartridge? Where? That's the first I've heard of that...
To test that, I reset one of (dye black) my cartridges that was giving me the low ink message (reservoir empty), put it back in without refilling it, and printed two nozzle checks, but the indicator still showed full (I subsequently reset and refilled it properly). How exactly is this sensor supposed to work?
There is no sensor but a prism in the cartridge. When this prism is covered in ink it doesn't reflect light. When the ink chamber gets empty the prism is able to reflect light.

The sensor is located in the printer below the printhead carriage. and the printhead carriage passes over it. The sensor shines a light towards the prism and if an ink chamber is empty the the light is reflected, and the sensor picks up the reflected light and this triggers the low ink warning.

Could you upload a scan of the nozzle check? This would be more helpful than two pages of black with fine stripes. The stripes might be caused both by clogged nozzles, inkflow problems or the printhead needing an alignment. For image upload see this: http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=36 . There is a 24 hour waiting period before new members can upload pictures, so you are now allowed to use this feature. Due to limited server capacity the max allowable file size is 80 kB, files larger than that are compressed, so to get the best results crop your images to show only the area of interest.

In case of problems with clogged nozzles it is strongly recommended only to print nozzle checks until the problems are solved. Continuing to print with clogged nozzles may burn them out.

Wait, you switched to plugs and still didn't have leaks? How exactly did you make those holes in the top? I got the impression that there's a way to pull out the original manufacturer's plug; does that leave behind a nice, clean round hole? Also, there is something of a hood that extends out over the cartridges in the printer that limits how tall the plugs can be, so how high do your plugs stick out, and how do you insert/remove them? Also, when you're filling it seems necessary to plug the bottom hole securely to prevent ink from escaping out the bottom. I'm a bit worried about doing so reliably
Don't drill any holes in the cartridge, see this: http://www.precisioncolors.com/Using the Zero Clearance Plugs.pdf and this http://www.precisioncolors.com/Canon instructions BCI Jan 2010.pdf

For the topfill procedure see this thread: http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=6264 and especially note post #1, #4 and #12
 

PeterBJ

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Here is an image shot inside a Canon Pixma iP3600 which uses the same cartridges:

6881_ink_sensor_ip3600.jpg


The ink sensor is in the centre of the green circle. It shines the (probably infrared) light towards the prisms at the bottom of the cartridges through the rectangular openings in the printhead carriage marked with a red rectangle.
 

barfl2

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The Hat

No I think the band was OK. However I had a thought that my needle hole is low down, just clearing the floor, is it possible that when I try to topfill a cart previously prepared for Durstrich that my needle position has created a direct path for the ink to come out?. Mind you it comes out of outlet almost as fast as I put it in.

I will endeavour to obtain some more carts purely for topfill because I can see the logic behind their popularity. Am I right in thinking though its popularity is with those Forum Members using the older BCI/CLI carts. Bigger capacity more robust build perhaps the internals are slightly different?.

I just could not figure out why some fill OK but others are a disaster. Also if bought S/H like mine you do not know how long they have hanging around or treated. I have never had an NEW original set of carts. My printer came with compatibles although with the Canon Test Photo.

I suppose a lot of people find it easier to make a small hole with awl/drill than carefully cut the label and prise the ball out and NOT damage the walls, and that led to the large take up of the alternative method.
 

PeterBJ

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Hi barfl2

The Hat is offline but I think I can also answer your questions

No I think the band was OK. However I had a thought that my needle hole is low down, just clearing the floor, is it possible that when I try to topfill a cart previously prepared for Durstrich that my needle position has created a direct path for the ink to come out?. Mind you it comes out of outlet almost as fast as I put it in.
It looks to me like you didn't get an effective seal of the ink outlet, either by reapplying the original orange clip held in place with rubber bands or using a cartridge storage clip. Failing to seal the outlet hole properly will certainly make the cartridge leak during refill. If the cartridge has previously been refilled using the German method the German method refill hole must also be sealed, else it too will leak during refill.

I suppose a lot of people find it easier to make a small hole with awl/drill than carefully cut the label and prise the ball out and NOT damage the walls, and that led to the large take up of the alternative method.
It is a matter of personal preferences, piercing or drilling a small hole in the top of the ink chamber and sealing it with hot melt glue also works. I trust the use of low profile plugs plus aluminium tape more. The important thing is to get an absolutely airtight seal of the ink chamber after refill, else the cartridge will leak inside the printer. For topfill instructions see this thread: http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=6264 and note posts #1, #4 and #12.

Edit: I share your suspicion that the newer cartridges are less robust than the older cartridges, but I lack evidence. I am trying to find out.
 

The Hat

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OK barfl2

PeterBJ has covered just about most things especially the need to completely block the German refill hole.

I usually drill a very small hole in the top of my cartridges except for the ones Id gotten from OctoInkjet
they came with low profile rubber grommets so I didnt have to change them,
I also trimmed my printer casing for a better clearance anyway.

The reason I drill a new hole is to enable a good seal with the hot glue plus it makes it much easier
to remove the glue later for the next refill. (Laziness and convenience I suppose)

When the large hole is used for refilling another member marceltho (Good Tip) uses a small piece of tape over the hole first,
then cover that with a blob of hot glue which seals the hole completely
this makes it easier to remove the glue later, another bonus is no glue can get into the cartridge.

I top fill CLI-8, BCI-6, CLI-42 and CLI-521 using my own drill hole and there really isnt any difference in them at all but I have to say,
I take special care not to overfill the CLI-521s because of their smaller size and especially because of their poorer visibility also. (Small Window)

Now some of the orange clips that I have come across have little protruding groves on the inside of their rims
and that can cause your cartridge not to get a good seal, just use a small knife (Carefully)
to remove them and youll find they will make a much better seal.
 
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