Howdy From Houston, Texas

cooltouch

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I would have never guessed that there would be a forum for printer knowledge, but a google search brought me here, and it brought me to a thread that even answered my question. I was about to just exit out of here and close the browser tab, but then I got to thinking . . . I haven't had the best of luck with printers recently. In fact, it's been downright crummy. So I sez to myself, "Self, you may have just hit upon exactly what you need." Printer advice is what I need. As in, what's the best printer to buy for a given amount of $$$. As soon as I wind things up here, I'm off to look for an appropriate forum here to post that question.

Right now, I have seven, count 'em, seven busted printers cluttering up my work space -- actually six. One is still an unknown and might can get resurrected yet, so the jury's out on it yet.

I have always liked Epson products, but I don't think I'm ever gonna buy another Epson printer. The heads clog too easily and they are impossible to reach. I have three broken Epsons. I have a Lexmark that lasted a couple years then something inside its processing unit went berserk and it started printing gibberish and spitting out sheets of paper, without even being asked to do anything. I have a Xerox that worked great until its heads clogged all too quickly, at which point it became a big useless hunk. I have an HP 1200 series laser printer that just suddenly stopped printing one day, after about 12 years of reliable use. Hard to fault that, really, but I wish it was still working because I'd just bought a new toner cartridge for it. And lastly, the one that is an unknown that I might be able to revive is a Brother All-in-One. I don't recall the model number and I'm too lazy to get up and find out. Its cartridges are empty and have been empty for quite a while -- over a year. What brought me here was a discussion amongst your members as to how to refill the brother ink cartridges. So, with that knowledge in hand, we'll see how things work out.

Okay, that's it. You know why I'm here. See ya on the boards.
 
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The Hat

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Canon were, BUT 3D are better.
Welcome to the forum, its good you stayed and became a member and I’ll tell you something for nothing, with your plethora of printers you won’t regret it.:celebrate

You have all of the hallmarks to fit in nicely here(Printaholic) so just maybe we’ll get you back printing with one or two of your printers real soon.

We deal mainly in Canon printers followed by Epson and then HP with Brother following up the rear and any other one that come along so in fact if it prints you’re in the right place that’s for sure..:thumbsup
Nice Avatar.:love
 

cooltouch

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Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. Heh, my "plethora of printers" is just a pile I haven't taken out to the trash yet. And unless I can revive that Brother, it looks like I'll be shopping for a new printer Real Soon Now. Mainly Canon, eh? There's a MicroCenter located not too far from here and they've got a sale on several Canons, including a PIXMA 392 for $60. Honestly, these days, considering how crappily printers are put together, I don't really want to spend much more than that on a new one.
 

ghwellsjr

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Of all your dead Espsons, did they all use DURABrite ink? Did any of them use the newer DURABrite Ultra ink?
 

cooltouch

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I just took a look at an old set that came out of my WorkForce 600 and a set that was in my Stylus Photo R300, both Epson brand sets, and none of the cartridges say Durabrite anywhere. Funny, I was under the impression that both used Durabrite -- which is a pigment ink, isn't it? And I made a conscious decision to go with a dye based ink when I bought replacement cartridges for both. Which is what they both have right now. The old C80 is collecting dust over in the corner, and I'm not even gonna bother with it.

I'd been using the WF600 for the last couple of years or so as a monochrome printer because the color heads had clogged up just a few months after I bought it. It worked fine as such until quite recently, when the black head began to clog up. Very quickly it went from streaks to no output, even though the cartridge still had plenty of ink. So I bought a cleaning solution set from an eBay seller, figuring that I needed to open up the color heads anyway. I used this cleaning solution on the WF600, and while I was at it, I used it with the R300 also. It was a real struggle doing so with the WF600, but a fairly easy process on the R300. With the WF600, I finally managed to get the color heads opened up, after several tries, but then the black head just quit working at all. Which was puzzling, since it was the head that had been working fine until just recently. Very frustrating. I felt like throwing the printer up against the wall, but I didn't because I didn't want to have to deal with a hole in the wall. :) Guess I could have thrown it on the floor, and then I would only have to sweep up a bunch of bits of Epson trash.

The R300 was a gift from my brother-in-law, who claimed that it had only been lightly used. So, since its heads were opened up, I put it into service, only to see about a month later it issue a "general error," which, from what I've read, means the waste ink tank is full and that in order to empty it, you have to totally dismantle the printer. Lightly used? Hah. From what I've also read, this error also is generally taken to mean "end of service life." Besides that, the printer had started making a really weird very loud buzzing noise often when I'd turn it on. It was caused by the print head carrier vibrating back and forth by a very small amount, but doing so very forcefully, such as to emit that very loud buzzing noise. It would emit this noise for a few seconds then stop and send an error. I don't recall which, now -- might have been that general error. Anyway, I can't clear that error anymore. It won't go away, even using the ON, ERROR, and whatever that other key is called -- to basically give it a cold reset -- so the R300 has also become a pile of junk. Too bad, too, because it really did a good job printing photos.

I've had such poor luck with ink jet printers that I've decided that whatever I buy in the future is going to be very cheap, so that when it breaks I won't have been out very much money. These days, as much as printer ink costs, if I were to buy new name brand ink for a printer, I'm better off just buying another printer, and using the ink that comes with it -- assuming they still come with ink, that is.
 

fotofreek

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Generally speaking, the cheaper the printer the more expensive per cc the ink. At least avoid the tri-color single cart printers and get one with separate color cartridges. You've found the truth that not using an inkjet printer for a long time causes clogs. Another issue is that using a lot of printhead cleaning solution can fill up the waste ink area more rapidly than lots of printing.
 

ghwellsjr

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The R300 uses dye inks, the C80 uses the older DURABrite pigment ink, and the WF600 uses the newer DURABrite Ultra pigment ink. I was hoping the newer pigment ink would be less prone to clogging. I have had my Epson WP-4530 for less than a year and I just did a perfect nozzle check. I know that the best preventative maintenance for any printer is to use it regularly, was that your habit or did you let it sit idle, maybe turned off or unplugged for weeks at a time?
 
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cooltouch

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Hey guys, thanks for the additional info. Yeah, I used to do HP and Lexmark -- both which have three-color cartridges/heads -- but I wised up pretty fast on those. However, HP has this new ink refill service that a person or a business can subscribe to. I checked the prices they charge, and for my usage level, which would be either $2.99 or $4.99 a month, it really doesn't sound like a bad deal. Their available printers one would need to subscribe to this service are cheaply priced, but only one of the three that they mention covers the usage I need (I need a paper fax, and only their 4630, of the three they mention, has fax. But when checking Amazon reviews of this printer, a majority of them mention that print quality -- especially for photos -- is just okay. That isn't acceptable, especially after using that Stylus Photo R300. So even though HP offers affordable workarounds to their single-cartridge problem, the printers they're offering aren't anything I want.

I wouldn't mind taking on the task of dismantling my R300 to empty the waste ink tank. I had just bought a set of six bulk ink refills for it before all these problems started. So yeah, I just wish I knew what was causing its print head carrier to emit that frightfully loud buzzing noise. You can see it vibrating. The print head carrier moves out to a middle position and then the buzzing starts -- it's moving left and right by maybe a millimeter in each direction -- but it's slamming itself in each direction, which is why the buzz is so loud. I don't think this buzzing issue is being caused by that general error. It's worth repeating, however, that it doesn't do this all the time. Just sometimes when the printer is first turned on. Before it began issuing that general error, if it didn't buzz, then it would work normally for however long I needed it to.

Assuming that I can't get the R300 back in service and that my WF600's black head is truly dead, I'll be looking at getting a new ink jet. Right now I'm looking at some cheap Canons, specifically the MX 922. This is apparently Canon's cheapest printer that uses individual color cartridges. After reading several reviews, however, I wonder if I would be happy with the output quality of its color prints. Some reviews reported that its color printing was very good and other stated that it was just okay.

I'm a photographer and I have a few hundred sheets of 8.5x11 photo paper that I plan on making prints with, and I need a printer that's gonna do a good job with color printing. So this is why I keep emphasizing color print quality. But being basically a cheap bastid, I don't want to have to pay extra for this capability.

I dunno. Despite its tendency to clog heads and the difficulty one has in cleaning them, and despite my poor experiences with reliability, I still like Epson. The color printouts my Epsons gave me were always excellent. But as far as brand loyalty goes, I've been a Canon user for over 30 years -- I own Canon cameras and a bunch of Canon lenses. Their photo products have always been first rate, IMO, and I'm hopeful that their printers are of equivalent quality. But the reviews I've read cause me some concern.

@ghwellsjr: Regarding the WF600, its color heads started clogging up within say 6 months of purchase. I didn't have much occasion at the time to do color prints, but my daughter often did, so I repeatedly requested that she run at least a page of color content through the printer once a week. But she didn't. And neither did I, so when I finally needed to print something in color, it wouldn't, even after several cleaning cycles. From that point forward, it became a monochrome printer to me, until I finally got around to buying that cleaning kit -- which ended up up being useless fro the WF600.

@fotofreak: Thanks for the tip. I haven't done enough head cleaning with that solution yet to make a difference. Most of it gets sucked up in the pads you lay down under the heads anyway. But still, this info is good to know about.
 

websnail

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Quite a lot to respond to above but I'm aware I could end up complicating matters if I go into verbose mode (as @iPeach has informed me of late).

So, keeping it brief.

R300.
You can resolve the waste ink counter issue easily enough without accessing the waste pads, in fact you can ignore them. Resetting the counter can be done from the button panel on the printer and that'd clear the "service required" part of things. As to the waste ink, I sell something called the printer potty that does the job but you can also DIY a solution if you prefer.
Info for resetting, fixing, etc... can be found via:
http://www.octoinkjet.co.uk/qf4/r300 (look for the install instructions link/tab)

As for the slamming around it sounds like it could be one of a few things...

1. The ribbon cable running to the LED in the back of the printhead may have come loose and the printhead is "lost"
2. The location strip (the thin plastic strip that runs the width of the printer, behind the printhead may have come loose
3. Something may be blocking the printhead and/or stopping it from releasing the little locking peg that allows it to move off the resting pad.


For the WF600 and general printhead cleaning, you may have delaminated your printhead if you used too much pressure but that does require a bit of work.. More likely the black line needs a different approach.

You could try a passive head clean that involves using the same cleaning solution but instead of forcing it through the receiver post, you soak a small wad of absorbant paper towel (the type used in the kitchen to wipe up spills) and place it on the printhead resting pad.

You need to get the printhead off the pad to start with so a quick power on and cable pull to leave the printer without power and the printhead released is required. Pop the soaked pad on the resting station and then move the printhead back into position then (very important this bit)... walk away... leave it alone... for at least 3 hours. Take the pad away, power the printer back on, do a single printhead clean followed by a nozzle check and then if stuffs missing, a 4 page printout of block colour columns. This cleans the printhead using suction (the printhead cleaning routine) and from pushing ink through (printing the blocks of colour).

If it's only missing a little bit of colour leave it an hour, do another printhead clean and nozzle check and see if it has improved...

If it's a more impressive clog repeat the cleaning solution pad routine and leave overnight.

You may find a little judicious use of the syringe, tubing and cleaning solution to gently push a little more solution into the head may also work the problem a bit better.

If it's a real git of a clog I've filled refillable cartridges with cleaning solution and installed those in the printhead, left the pad in for 12 hours at a time and gone through this process for about a week. Even with a 2 year unused R1900 we won out in the end so patience does pay off so long as you don't give in to the urge to pick up a sledgehammer ;)


Hope that helps.
 
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