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Sealing the refill hole BCI-6 BCI-3

Discussion in 'Canon InkJet Printers' started by Nifty, Nov 11, 2004.

  1. Apr 1, 2005
    Mark

    Mark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Hello Friends:
    I am reading with some concern about the performance difficulties of refilled canon threes & sixes, for example Nifty's sponge saturation problem. I am also fully impressed with the energy and enginuity dedicated to scientific solutions. I applaud your collective resourcefulness. My suggestions here will be more useful to those like me with limitations on energy & enginuity; and to wonder aloud if perhaps some of the difficulties could simply be unrelated to refilling techniques and attributible instead simply to products. I regulary print everything from multiple 4x6 prints to 16 sheet posters and refill/top off the entire rack at least once a week, when not more often. Here's the kicker - I also leave for extended periods (I do intend to start using the autoprint program offered free by MIS, though) and NEVER experience the problems I've been reading about in performance. For quite some time I have been using a cartridge/ink combination that I believe may be responsible for my good fortune and feel compelled to pass it along. I must first emphasize that I have no commercial or other such motives here whatsoever. With that said, I suggest that anyone not satisfied with solutions attempted thus far might consider using AcuJet cartridges & MIS inks. The labeling on the AcuJet cartridges lists it as a product of Master Ink Co., Ltd, "Made in USA, assembled in China with imported components." I bought these on ebay from "WiredBeans" for about $2 each. The reason I to decided to try them initially was that they have a much larger reservoir than other cartridges (25%-50%) and consequently would need to be refilled less often. They refill so smothly, I am still using the first set I opened. The ink migrates over to the sponge quickly and evenly and I never need to purge (although I realize the printer does a certain amount of that on its own).
    If these cartridges really do have an advantage, it's my guess (and only a guess) that somehow the density of the "sponge" medium is less than others. It is certainly smaller. I suspect this connection because the single disadvantage I find with these cartridges is that when you uncork them after refilling, they seem to bleed more than others...say three good wet dabs on a paper towell before it stops. Because the refilling defeats the ink level sensing and I am paranoid about cooking the print head; I am constantly pulling cartridges out to check the ink levels. Again - zero problems or failures.
    Best Regards to everyone! Mark
     
  2. Apr 1, 2005
    Grandad35

    Grandad35 Printer Master Moderator

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    This post addresses an issue which also appears in http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=35 .

    Nifty-stuff sent me an Arrow cart to dissect, and I cut it apart to look at the passage that controls the exchange of air and ink between the sponge chamber and the ink chamber. I compared it to an "old generation" InkGrabber cart that I had previously dissected.

    The first difference is that the Arrow cart uses a one piece sponge (as do a few other suppliers) as opposed to InkGrabber's and Canon's two piece sponge design. I have no proof for this next statement, other than my observations of two piece sponge carts as they empty. It seems that the two piece sponge carts almost completely empty the top sponge before ink begins to flow from the ink chamber. Since ink is relatively free to flow through the top sponge (it is made from an open cell foam), it is no surprise that it keeps the ink at a uniform level as long as it has ink. The attached photos show the construction of the InkGrabber cart on the left and the Arrow cart on the right. This photo is a view from the sponge chamber looking through the opening into the ink chamber with the carts turned upside down.[​IMG]
    It can be seen that the opening on the InkGrabber cart is larger and (more importantly) the grooves are longer to allow air to get into the grooves when the ink level is higher.

    This photo shows the same two carts, but shot looking down the grooves at an angle.[​IMG]
    The blue and red lines are not part of the carts, but were added to illustrate another subtle detail. There are "rails" on both sides that extend straight down from the top of the sponge chamber - the blue lines point out the position of the rails. The red line shows the depth of the grooves at the bottom of the cart. The grooves on the Arrow cart start out very shallow at the top (the bottom in these views) and gradually get deeper. The grooves in the InkGrabber cart not only start out earlier (higher), they reach about 80% of their final depth within 3 mm and end up much deeper at the bottom (the length of the red line). This provides a much larger passage for the air to reach the ink chamber.

    Nifty-stuff - do the Arrow carts work well for one or two refills, or do they have problems from the start? Do they only have problems on certain inks? I remember Neil's statements that Canon and InkGrabber carts work well for refilling. Now that InkGrabber has gone to a one piece sponge, I wonder.

    [4/1/05 Edit]
    I forgot to mention that the sponge material in the Arrow cart is a different color, but is otherwise very similar to the InkGrabber bottom sponge (closed cell, stiff, hard to blow through, does not readily absorb liquid once dry, low tendency to drip, etc.).
     
  3. Apr 1, 2005
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Mark, good to see you again! Thanks much for your post and your honest recommendation. Please keep us posted with your progress and other experiences.
     
  4. Apr 1, 2005
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Grandad, I knew I sent my carts to the right man! Great job. Regarding your question, it has been hit or miss. The first 5 Arrow carts I used all worked fine except for the BCI-6bk. Subsequent cartridges have exhibited the same problem from the beginning and also after refilling. Unfortunately with with how often I'm swapping out cartridges (for a plethora of reasons) it is hard to keep track of what problem is happening when and why.
     
  5. Apr 2, 2005
    Grandad35

    Grandad35 Printer Master Moderator

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    Mark,

    You are correct that there may be a better (simpler) solution out there that we don't know about. How the sponge and filter absorb and distribute the ink while preventing dripping is critical to the operation of these carts, and these people may have found a better combination. I ordered a set of their carts and will try them when I get a chance. For now, the "don't touch the carts" solution continues to work very well.

    Thanks for your input.
     
  6. Apr 2, 2005
    fotofreek

    fotofreek Printer Master Moderator

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    I received the alotofthings 12 cart set for my i960 just last week and have not needed to install them yet. After reading nifty's posts I'm wondering if I should. Nifty - have you talked to Joe at alotofthings about this issue? If so, what was his response? IVe seen posts on the computer peripheral printer newsgroup from an extremely satisfied user of these carts, and that doesn't jibe with your recent experience. Any new info? I just installed a set of virgin MIS carts with MIS inks and printed a dozen or so 4x6 photos. Seems to be workiing fine. I have two i960's and the newest one still has the original OEM carts. I printed the same photo on each printer - one with OEM and one with MIS in virgin carts (100% MIS inks, not mixed in with any other residual ink when refilling.) On very careful examination I could not tell one from the other. Looked like they had come out of the same printer. In this particular print there happened to be no deep greens, so I can't comment on that area of the color spectrum. The MIS virgin cart sponges took up the ink extremely well - saturated all the way to the top. To avoid the little rubber plug inconvenience I will try the screw/O ring seal. I did buy stainless screws, but they are a bit longer than the ones noted in the post describing them. The ones I bought also had a self drilling end section which looked like an easy way to insert them on the first refill.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2005
    Nifty

    Nifty Printer Master Administrator

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    Boy, this thread is just turning into a smrgsbord of different topics... oh well... what areyagonnado?

    I talked to Jerry (Joe's brother I think) about the bleeding issue that my brother and I were having when the BCI-3ebk was bleeding into the other colors and the response was mostly "never heard of anyone else with that problem." I haven't talked to anyone over there about the ink not feeding into the sponge as it has been more of a recent problem and I haven't done enough experiments to know for sure if it is a problem with all their carts, just my order of carts, or something I've done wrong.

    I've also heard good things about them, so I may have just got a bad batch of carts?

    Oh, BTW, I also tried stainless screws the first time, but also couldn't find them as short. It was taking me forever to screw and unscrew them, so I went to the zinc... so far so good.
     
  8. Apr 3, 2005
    fotofreek

    fotofreek Printer Master Moderator

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    The stainless screws I purchased (with the "drill" end section) actually have a fairly short threaded section - probably equivalent to the size screw that was recommended for this technique. Less "screwing around" to remove and replace than the total length would imply. I don't imagine that there would be much interaction between stainless and the inks.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2005
    tyamada

    tyamada Printer Guru

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    Mostly I have refilled True Canon cartridges. What I do is to remove the ball from the top of the cartridge with a long finishing nail.
    Insert the nail at an angle (so the ball dosen't get pushed into the cartridge) far enough to pry it out of the hole. I then fill the cartridge with ink and plug the hole witth a MIS RIVET FOR REFILLING EPSON CARTRIDGES (MIS Part #MIS-RIVET .02 cents apiece).
    The fit is friction and the rivet is just big enough to seal the hole air tight. To remove the pry it up with a flat screw drive, it takes less than a second, beats turning the screw driver and maybe making a mess.

    I filled 15 cartridges about 4 times each and have not had an air leak yet, will keep you posted
     
  10. Apr 3, 2005
    Craig Ross

    Craig Ross Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Sorry I was unable to reply to my earlier posts sooner due to work commitments
    however my kids have now allowed me to use MY computer at home for a while tonight.
    I would just like to clarify my comments on refilling a bone dry cart and adding a few drops
    of alchohol to a bci-3 cart, these were done on a work bench outside any vacuum chamber.The bone dry carts had only one use and had not as I explain later gumed up.
    I will attempt to answer your earlier questions to the best of my knowledge, they are based
    purely on my own experiences and research on the web over the last 12 months with canon hp lexmark and epson carts and any input on any of these theories is more than welcome.
    1st I don't think a sponge would last indefinetly I,m sure pure mechanical fatigue would eventually break a sponge down but I can say I,m still filling the same carts after 40 or more
    fills,these carts are manually filled with a syringe,carts that do become difficult usually due to foamed ink from running it low (I say foam as opposed to just air as fresh ink would simply replace air in a sponge but not replace foam) are put in a vacuum with the express purpose of collapsing the foam that is ,allowing the the foam to completley dry out seems an option based on my bone dry expierence but may take a few days or weeks but this is not as big a problem as high viscous residue not allowing the sponge to expand and collapse so ink can replace the air,this residue must be eventually flushed out Canon ink has glycol to raise the boiling temperature so as to withstand the heat pulses of a thermal head ,500 degrees celcius I,m told, and glisterine for viscousity to create some back pressure so ink doesn't simply flow out the head and also helps the sponges ability to hold ink among other additives like anti-foaming agents,sounds like it would gum my car up let alone a sponge after a few refills.
    Flushing sponges with alcohol is mentioned on a number of ink web sites for cleaning. However removing the alcohol without vacuum may be difficult but a few drops in the exit port of a canon cart as mentioned earlier does seem to help.Incidently a centrifuge is used for emptying or evacuating carts as well as priming print heads.
    All sponge carts are vented to air , the heads simply are not strong enough to pull ink against a vacuum the amount of air or the the size of the vent hole is not critical I have run epson carts with its top completly off! just little experment custom tinting some black and white quad inks from mis.Some ealier instuctions I had for canon carts was to drill holes both into the resevour and sponge and fill both but leave the vent hole open .The vent maze found on carts is only there to minimise leakage by expansion or transport the two holes to nowhere you mention on canon carts are small leakage resevours
    I do suspect my high refill rate on a single cart is probably due to refilling an entire set of carts almost daily, continuous feeding is on my todo list and it is what led me here Thanks ocular
    and thanks Niel Slade for the ink tank full workaround on the s9000 found that one last year.
    OK the kids are demanding the computer back NOW,
    I'm hoping to reply to grandad35 tommorrow.
    Regards
     

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