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Using Epson Ink in an HP Printer...

Discussion in 'Hewlett Packard HP InkJet Printers' started by guymark, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. Apr 14, 2017
    guymark

    guymark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    I know this sounds stupid (and it might well be) but there is a reason for me wondering and asking.

    I have recently bought a lovely old DesignJet 500 and generally speaking it works very well - and until such time as I get through the many genuine cartridges I have, I am not going to mess around with third party ink.

    BUT.

    I have done various experiments with the printed output and anything other than glossy paper fades within DAYS (genuine HP INK) if used outside - and yet some coloured prints I did YEARS back on an old Epson R285 (BEFORE I switched to CISS / generic ink) stay strongly coloured for MONTHS when left outside (though sheltered from rain).

    A lot of googling later seems to find that almost all dye based HP ink will fade INCREDIBLY quickly outside BUT *nearly* all Epson ink (even the old stuff it seems) is VERY resistant to UV fading - even when printed on plain paper.

    I am not sure if it is just the different ink formulation or the fact the Epson ink isn't "boiled out" but vibrated out - I just know that from what I have read and from what I have found myself, HP ink fades FAST (HP 82 dye cartridges) and almost any genuine Epson ink lasts MUCH longer in bright lighting and/or outside - even the old dye stuff I used to have in my printer years ago.

    So what I was wondering, is when I finally run out of HP ink, would it be a REALLY bad idea to try and buy a refillable cartridge and load it with genuine Epson ink or is there a fair chance it would work?

    This is NOT about saving money (though on a different note, interested in hearing of any respected UK suppliers of refillable cartridges for HP cartridge 85), as I expect it will be an expensive job to buy Epson cartridges and suck the ink out to place into an HP cartridge - it is about trying to see if there is a way of making the DesignJet 500 print banners that will remain boldly coloured outside for at least a few weeks (HP ink is fading within days).

    As a worst case, I can get a set of replacement print heads for about £30 from EBay and flush the lines with HP ink - but I was interested if someone felt that either it was "likely to work" or "likely to fail dismally".

    I am always prepared to learn from my own mistakes (I make lots), but prefer to try and learn from experiments of others where possible! As the cartridges made by HP are (I am guessing) the same formulation they were a decade or more back, it is possible that other ink may perform BETTER than HPs original ink. Or so I am wondering.

    Just cannot (yet) ignore the fact they almost all Epson dye ink seems relatively colourfast oustside and the HP ink my DesignJet 500 takes is almost useless for outside work. Not after anything permanent, just temporary outside posters / banners which will stay vibrant for at LEAST a couple of weeks.

    Foolish to even try - or unlikely to do harm if the ink is dye based?

    Many thanks

    Mark
     
  2. Apr 14, 2017
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @guymark, You are chasing shadows with this idea, yes Epson ink will work in the HP, but it is totally unsuitable for the print head, and all dye inks will fade quickly outside including Epson, it’s the nature of the beast.

    You can if you wish use Canon inks to refill your cartridges, but unfortunately, they too will also fade, dye inks are only suitable for indoor presentations but even there in certain lighting conditions they will fade just as fast as in an outdoor display area.

    P.S. gloss paper would be much more suitable for outdoor display and the dye ink won’t wash off that surface, and matching your ink with your paper would help considerably for durability...

    Sorry I couldn’t give you any better advice, nice printer by the way...
     
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  3. Apr 15, 2017
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    HP is using the thermal printhead technology, and I would not expect Epson inks for the piezo method would work reliably in such a printhead. Dye inks fade faster than pigment inks, genuine inks by Epson or Canon, apparently not HP, have some stability, and 3rd party refill inks are much worse in this respect, you would be much better off with your intentions to use pigment inks/a printer which supports pigment inks
     
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  4. Apr 15, 2017
    guymark

    guymark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    @The Hat
    Thank you for your comments and thoughts. I appreciate the points made and realise that regular dye (non UV) is not aimed at being used outside, my curiosity was just peaked at the fact that the colour prints from my old Epson showed remarkably good resistance to fade - enough that it could be used for short term outside advertising / banners / posters etc.

    You are right about the glossy for a degree of waterproofness - and interestingly even the HP ink, when printed onto Glossy Media seems to be MUCH more fade resistant than when printed on plain or matte coated paper.

    I might do a material / time fade test for my own amusement. If I do, I will show the results. The idea is to print three sets of colour image across the page on plain, glossy, matte and polyester material, place on of each image inside with little daylight, one outside but facing North so no DIRECT sunlight and one SouthWesterly to catch the sun. Clearly expecting the SW facing image to fade fastest but I thought it might be different to see the fade time of each type of material in each location, with photo taken at 1 day, 3 day, 1 week, 2 week, 3 week and 4 week.

    I doubt it will reveal anything too surprising but thought if I sprayed HALF of each image with a clear lacquer to perhaps limit ozone and possibly provide SOME UV protection it may show at least what the best / worst combinations are.
     
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  5. Apr 15, 2017
    guymark

    guymark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    @Ink stained Fingers
    I agree with you that pigmented ink would be the ideal way to go - however my budget does not run to that really (buying a pigment based wide format printer), so it is very much a case of "making do" as best as I can. I was just hoping to find a way to use Epson's ink on the printer I already have - as it seems to be so MUCH more fade resistant than HPs - even though BOTH of them are dye.

    I now accept that it would be an unwise experiment to do on a perfectly functional printer though.

    As The Hat pointed out, when printed onto glossy media, the ink has MUCH better resistance to fading. I need to test to see if it has similar fade resistance on coated polyester. I suspect probably not but am wondering if a spray coating of lacquer might help protect the ink a little - I am not trying to make dye ink printed items permanent - just trying to keep them from fading too much for a two or three weeks or so.
     
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  6. Apr 18, 2017
    guymark

    guymark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    S8000001.JPG

    Well I have made some test prints ready which are currently all in a dark room (not a darkroom). At noon tomorrow they go up, one inside the house in a room with only diffuse natural light, one outside facing North and one outside facing SW.

    Each "test print" is a board with five types of paper (plain, "water resistant matte", Glossy, Heavy Matte & Coated PVC. Each is printed twice on each board with one set (the bottom set) sprayed with a cheap clear lacquer - including a VERY heavy coat along the very centre of the colour bars (so heavy it would have run if not horizontal). The idea being that in each location, the different papers can be compared AND whether the lacquer helps limit fade - and if so, if the HEAVILY oversprayed centre part of the lacquered bars lasts longer or not (or possibly even fades faster).

    The plan at the moment is to take a photograph after 4 hours (4pm) and 8 hours (8pm) and then each day at noon (I work from home) for a week and then each week for a month.

    I will take each set down to be photographed in the kitchen under the same illumination levels each time to TRY and keep things as objective as possible and then put them back in position. Kind of wish I had mopped the floor tonight and not left it until tomorrow now but there you go!

    Not sure if this will provide anything of real surprise but I am keen to learn io the properties of the coated PVC and the effect of spraying with lacquer if nothing else.

    Rather than uploading all three "test boards" when they look identical (yet to be exposed to light other than for the photographs) and creating a spectacular waste of bandwidth, I have just uploaded an picture of "Test Board A".

    All three boards however and the subsequent updates if folks are interested can be seen on my home page here http://www.buggerall.com/fade_test.htm and if at the end of the test anything unexpected or useful is found, I will share it back on here.

    After this test ends (around May 18th) then I want to do one with high level internal lighting - but as I only intend on using the best two papers (of which I am almost certain one will be the "glossy"), then that test cannot start until this one ends.

    Anyway, I think I have yacked on for far too long, all the best!
     
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  7. Apr 21, 2017
    guymark

    guymark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    A short update. The test continues and as expected the plain paper is fading first - and the one facing South West is fading fastest. What is also not surprising but is still welcome news is that the cheap lacquer ("Auto Extreme") bought from Ebay is making a significant difference to fade speed - and indeed the plain paper facing SW that has been coated with the spray lacquer is presently showing little obvious sign of fading.

    As such it would suggest already that generic "car spray lacquer" is both a cheap way of making outside prints reasonably water resistant but also is of value for retaining the colour for (I think significantly) longer.

    We have just had day "3" photos go up at http://www.buggerall.com/fade_test.htm and once I have a full weeks worth, I will do some "cut and paste" work to overlay the colour bars next to each other so it is easy to compare the original print with subsequent hours, days and (ultimately) weeks. The original plan was to run the test for 4 weeks but I may simply add an extra set of prints each week until both of the outside test boards have shown clear signs of fading even to the glossy / laquered images - simply so a VERY crude guideline could be offered that HP Dye Ink for Designjet 500 & 800 is suitable for X weeks outside IF using a certain type of media / lacquer and if the degree of fade shown on the example print is acceptable.

    For people who only need an outside banner for a week or so - this may indeed prove adequate.
     
  8. May 14, 2017
    guymark

    guymark Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Well, the prints have been outside for three weeks now and during that time, Fade Board C has been partly wrecked by some VERY strong wind and rain which demonstrated two things.

    1. The ink is not really water resistant in any meaningful sense of the word - except on the PVC medium and to a degree, the Glossy paper too.
    2. The Lacquer provided quite impressive protection against water AND against fading.

    I am guessing that the lacquer is very similar around the world, but in the UK, the one I used was "Auto Extreme" car lacquer - the one with the mostly white tin and NOT the silver tin. The silver tin may work too - but the one I use seems to be outstandingly good and is the WHITE tin with the words "AUTO EXTREME" in a red box and then "Auto Spray Paint" in black. (Despite saying it is paint, if you have searched for lacquer, that is what you get" - I will attach a pic here which hopefully will work (I sometimes screw up image attachments hence the description too)

    autoextreme.jpg

    It is incredibly cheap - under £2.50 per 400ml tin if you buy 12 at a time from Ebay - and that price is including carriage.

    The lacquered inkjet coated PVC HAS faded for sure BUT the image is still bold enough that for short term outside use (perhaps two weeks ideally 4 weeks at most) it is suitable for all but "artwork quality" prints. A sign saying "Car Boot Sale Here Next Weekend" would still be just fine I think for most folks.

    I have taken the plunge and purchased a pigment ink Epson Stylus Pro 9600 which I am planning (as a result of good reviews on here) to use the inktec inks and refillable cartridge. Although I am expecting this to be MUCH more resilient to external use, I am going to do a test sheet in the next few days anyway and aim it SW and then take a photo once per week for the first month - and then monthly thereafter. Facing SW it should be about as severe a test for UV. I will lacquer HALF of the colour bars in case lacquer is useful here too even for pigment ink.

    (If anyone has an Epson 9600 printer and changes inks (photo black to matte black) then if you do not already know it, there is a way to greatly reduce ink wastage, the fifth post here https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/epson-stylus-pro-9600-size-and-general-query.11643/page-2 provides a link AND some additional info on how to reduce wastage down to as little as about 5ml.)
     

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