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Author Topic: Refillable catridges on the 3800 - question.  (Read 1696 times)
steveclv
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« on: March 02, 2014, 03:33:28 PM »
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I have been looking at the possibility of getting a refillable ink system for my 3800 as I can get 220ml K3 ink cartridges a lot cheaper than I can get 80ml 3800 ones (go figure!) but having done a little research, I find that the OEM cartridges use a mylar bag to hold the ink and the 3800 then pressurizes the air around it to provide positive pressure.

The refillable cartridges that I have seen so far either have a bung or a screw top that allows you to inject ink directly into the body of the cartridge so that the ink is in contact with the air.

What experiences do people have with these - do you notice any issues or am I worried unnecessarily?

I did find that one person had modified the OEM cartridges to allow them to be refilled by drilling the one way valve but that seemed to be quite a delicate operation.

Thoughts?
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 05:36:32 PM »
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"The one way valve"  Do you mean the one where the cart meets the printer?  I wouldn't be fooling around with that.  Leaks there could be catastrophic.

I do have lots of experience with refillable carts and third party inks, though.  Pretty much trouble-free if you buy from a reliable supplier.

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Some Guy
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 05:57:52 PM »
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....
I did find that one person had modified the OEM cartridges to allow them to be refilled by drilling the one way valve but that seemed to be quite a delicate operation.

That was probably jtoolman's post (Jose Rodriquez I think?).  He is a machinist (I think?) so it could be and issue for some to do it his way.

I use the Cone refillable carts with the chip stacked on top of the OEM one that shows them as "Always full."  No issues so far.  I think jtoolman even mentioned the need to put tape over the top of the chip holder part to hold it down and keep it from breaking or bending the contacts in the printer.  I did that and they do load into the printer a lot easier where that lip is covered and held down.

I'm using Cone's dye ink as I prefer the wider gamut over the Epson pigment that looks a little dull.  Dye works better with metallic inks too for the aluminum looking paper sheen.  Not concerned over longevity as I toss them after I get bored with them in a few years or after a competition.

With the Cone ink in his bottles (dye or pigment), you can just butt the end of the bottle's tip up against the cart's fill hole and squeeze to fill them.  No need for a syringe once past the priming part of them.  Not that big a deal.  I check them about every two months for levels and you can see it with a bright LED flashlight through the plastic case.  He showed a way of polishing the ends at one time where you could see the levels a lot easier while in the printer, but I think he milled it down a bit and polished it too.

Add:
There was also some talk of the pump in the 3800/3880 not being able to supply enough air for the larger 220ml sized tanks that stick out a bit and keep the cover from being closed.  Might be a concern too.

SG
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 06:31:00 PM by Some Guy » Logged
jtoolman
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« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 09:03:02 PM »
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Actually there is not need to drill out the rear cap of the valve body which contains a little round piece of plastic to allow ink out but not in.
There is NO need for this little body which holds that little disk in. It's only function is to prevent you from injecting ink in.

After removing the front retaining ring, rubber seal, piston, and spring, you insert a blunt needle and gently push until the rear cap just pops off internally. It is only held by two little nipples. It will now simply float inside the bag NOT disturbing the flow of ink into the printer when printing.

The PRO 3800 and 3880 have anti backflow lines anyway. Pressurized ink can enter but cannot black back into the carts.

Just so everyone knows. I have documented this whole process in 5 videos in youtube. Just search for
"Want to refill and reset your OEM PRO 3800 / 3880 Carts? "

And in case one poster is wondering, I 've been successfully printing on both of my PRO 3800s with these modified carts and have demonstrated superior ink flow, no problems whatsoever.

I refill my carts with OEM K3 inks harvested from large 110 / 220 and larger cart for Epson's K3 large format printers. 

It does work, and perfectly and I am loving it!
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steveclv
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« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 02:18:28 AM »
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Yes, it was your video sequences that I watched and which inspired me to investigate.

I like the idea of popping off the valve rather than drilling - I didn't want to imagine the problems of tiny pieces of swarf getting into the lines.

Where did you get the chip resetter? eBay is only selling the maintenance cartridge resetter.

Also, you used a little rubber piece on the end of the syringe which seems a lot safer than a needle - I watched one video of someone puncturing the mylar bag with a needle and destroying it.

And yes, harvesting the 220 K3 cartridges seems to be the most cost effective way forward.

Thanks for all you have done on this subject - it motivated me to look for ways to reduce the ridiculous ink costs.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2014, 10:48:57 AM »
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Verrrrrrry interesting.  Excellent instructional videos.  If this mod works without drilling the valve body, it's a far better solution.  One tiny bit of plastic drill swarf sucked into the printer would be a disaster.  (or might it just get trapped in the dampers?)

Regarding pressurized carts, my Epson 4800 relies on vacuum to suck air from the carts and it suffers the usual unrelenting clog problems.  It's so bad that I've just stopped using it, even though I've invested several hundred dollars in a new head and other repairs.

My 9800, on the other hand, uses pressurized carts - the first printer I've owned to do so.  It never, ever clogs, even with months-long periods of non-use.
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RHPS
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2014, 11:59:55 AM »
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There was also some talk of the pump in the 3800/3880 not being able to supply enough air for the larger 220ml sized tanks that stick out a bit and keep the cover from being closed.  Might be a concern too.


I've never been convinced about this. The pump doesn't have to supply any significant flow of air - it just has to provide the pressure. I've been using the "big" (120ml) cartridges for about three years and never once had a problem with ink flow, even when printing a 17" x 60" panorama. Even when the ink levels are low there's no problem. Topping up is very easy with these carts and you can see the levels pretty easily too.
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RawheaD
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« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 01:27:52 AM »
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Saw the video, very cool, thanks for the info.  So I guess now you're saying there is no need to drill that hole you show in the video?  That's good to know.

Also, roughly speaking, how much money can you save by going this route?  In terms of percentage.  Say, I buy a full 9 cartridge set for my 3880, which runs about $450US.

Depending on that, I will seriously consider this mod, as it looks easy enough Smiley

Ah, also, the Alibaba people apparently don't have stock of that resetter...

Very exciting stuff!

Actually there is not need to drill out the rear cap of the valve body which contains a little round piece of plastic to allow ink out but not in.
There is NO need for this little body which holds that little disk in. It's only function is to prevent you from injecting ink in.

After removing the front retaining ring, rubber seal, piston, and spring, you insert a blunt needle and gently push until the rear cap just pops off internally. It is only held by two little nipples. It will now simply float inside the bag NOT disturbing the flow of ink into the printer when printing.

The PRO 3800 and 3880 have anti backflow lines anyway. Pressurized ink can enter but cannot black back into the carts.

Just so everyone knows. I have documented this whole process in 5 videos in youtube. Just search for
"Want to refill and reset your OEM PRO 3800 / 3880 Carts? "

And in case one poster is wondering, I 've been successfully printing on both of my PRO 3800s with these modified carts and have demonstrated superior ink flow, no problems whatsoever.

I refill my carts with OEM K3 inks harvested from large 110 / 220 and larger cart for Epson's K3 large format printers. 

It does work, and perfectly and I am loving it!

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steveclv
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 04:12:24 AM »
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If we can get the chip resetter and the rubber piece for the end of the syringe then in terms of cost saving, a regular 3800 cartridge is $50 and a 220ml is $80 so if we refilled then that would be around $27 a cartridge - but bearing in mind that there are good eBay deals on 220ml for slightly out of date ones that would mean that you could end up at between $10 and $15 a cartridge and that's filled with genuine K3 inks - not turd party ones.

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RawheaD
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 12:36:43 PM »
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If we can get the chip resetter and the rubber piece for the end of the syringe then in terms of cost saving, a regular 3800 cartridge is $50 and a 220ml is $80 so if we refilled then that would be around $27 a cartridge - but bearing in mind that there are good eBay deals on 220ml for slightly out of date ones that would mean that you could end up at between $10 and $15 a cartridge and that's filled with genuine K3 inks - not turd party ones.



Alibaba wrote back said the resetter is $35 plus $10 shipping ($25 expedited).  That would be an amazing level of savings, by god....
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steveclv
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2014, 01:08:59 PM »
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If you get more than 1 I'd buy one off you when you knew they worked Smiley

I just got offered a complete color set of 220ml carts at $40 each - so that's the equivalent of $13 an 3800 cartridge Smiley
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RawheaD
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2014, 01:11:53 PM »
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If you get more than 1 I'd buy one off you when you knew they worked Smiley

I just got offered a complete color set of 220ml carts at $40 each - so that's the equivalent of $13 an 3800 cartridge Smiley

Great risk hedging :LOL:

Yeah, $40 for 220 ml sounds friggin' awesome.  Where was this deal?  I'm looking at Ebay and the prices are all over the place, and seems to be a bit of a hassle to pick and choose the best deals for all 9 cartridges Sad
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steveclv
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2014, 08:57:58 AM »
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They are on eBay all the time but you end up buying 1 here and 1 there - I just grab them when I can.

I have searched and searched and cannot find an ink cartridge resetter for the 3800 anywhere except for Alibaba - I might have to take a chance and get one from there.
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Dan Berg
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2014, 09:41:52 AM »
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What I am going to do is buy the refillable 3880 carts from Jon Cone and do the same as Some Guy. Refill them from my 9900 350ml and 700ml semi empty carts.
With the double chip It shows full all of the time with no resetter required.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 09:43:41 AM by Dan Berg » Logged

RachelleK
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« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2014, 02:20:10 PM »
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What I am going to do is buy the refillable 3880 carts from Jon Cone and do the same as Some Guy. Refill them from my 9900 350ml and 700ml semi empty carts.
With the double chip It shows full all of the time with no resetter required.


I could be wrong, but I think there are exactly the same cartridges much cheaper from other suppliers.
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Roger_Breton
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2014, 04:43:21 PM »
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I was so surprised to find the extent of refillable cartridges and what not out of alibaba.com. And the response I got, anytime I enquired about price and shipping, was courteous and prompt. The Chinese are experienced merchants.
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Some Guy
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2014, 06:32:36 PM »
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Ditto on the alibaba thing.   No issues so far.

I've ordered from China on several occasions and it is much faster than ordering New York to California by UPS Ground going to the west coast.  Even their shipping charges are cheaper and sometimes free.  I ordered a Odin Photixx flash tripper kit and it showed up in 3 days even through USA Customs since there was no USA distributor in place then.  Some blower fan I needed was only $4.50 including shipping and was an exact match of the one out of the unit that broke.

I've seen some dye sub transfer inks out of them for $1-$20 per liter bottle.  Far cheaper than the USA prices.  Don't know of quality though, but probably no different than what one can find at home.  Ink is sort of an odd duck on pricing (overpriced rip-off!).  The Epson refillable carts for the 3880 look exactly like the Cone ones for a third the price.

SG
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2014, 09:24:14 PM »
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"Constantly full" chips would be a good thing.  You'd never have to remove the carts again. 
Anybody have a link to known good refillable carts for the 3880?
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jtoolman
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« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2014, 09:00:59 PM »
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Resetter for both the Cart chip and Maintenance Cart chip!

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/Ink-cartridge-chip-resetter-for-Epson_713956255.html

There is a process which you must follow in order to reset the MC chip
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

OPTION 1 (TWO WASTE TANKS AVAILABLE) It'd better prepare two pcs of maintenace tanks  when using our chip resetter.

Because the 3800/3880 printer will record the data and the ink level status when using the maintenance tank. 

a) When the first maintenance tank's  ink level is low, use WASTE chip resetter to reset it, then the ink level will be reset to full status .
 b) Install the second maintenance tank in the 3800/3880 printer, the second maintenance tank data and ink level will be recorded by the  printer .Then the first maintenace tank data record has been removed.
 c)When the second maintenance tank 'ink level is low,  put the first maintenance tank  in the printer. Then the maintenance tank  is ready to work.

OPTION 2 (NO SECOND WASTE TANK AVAILABLE BUT DEAD EMPTY FACTORY CART CHIP IS AVAILABLE). Use the original cyan chip to do the reseting AND CHIP TAPE WE HAVE SUPPLIED.
 a) Take out the maintenance tank chip when the level is down,  then reset the maintenance tank chip.
 b) Install the "Cyan" original chip to the maintenance tank, then put it in the printer, the printer will  remark  error.
 c) Take out the maintenance tank and take out the "C" chip, install the reset maintenance chip ,
 d) Install  the reset maintenance tank to the printer, the reset maintenance tank will work .

E) RETAIN THE CYAN CHIP IN CASE YOU NEED TO RESET TANK AGAIN IN THE FUTURE.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

T58 cart chips must not ever be allowed to reach EMPTY or they will look like they reset but the printer will no longer accept them.
I weigh the carts and do not let them go below 90 grams. A bone dry cart weighs around the 60-62 grams. They will hold a total or 90 ml of ink. 80ml is the reported size and 10 ml is an included cushion volume.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here is my new video on the Easy method of modifying the carts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kCc5fwssVM

I just modified a complete set for a friend in about 30 minutes, totally taking my time to do it.

1: With a very small flat blade screw driver, detach each of the 4 tabs on the retaining ring that holds the rubber seal of the exit port. Once the tabs are loose the cap will fall off.
2: Carefully depress the WHITE Poppet Valve and then pry off the Rubber Seal. It also will pop right off.
3: remove the poppet valve, paying attention that the external end is flat and the internal end is rounded. It MUST be reinstalled in the same orientation or your will experience a total leak out. NOT AT ALL FUN!
4: Remove the retaining Poppet Valve Spring!
5: pop off the Rear Cap by inserting a thin blunt needle in the now empty valve body, locating the tip of the needle beyond the "X" body that holds the rear of the Poppet Valve Spring. Once you feel the tip of the needle finding any of the four corners beyond the "X" body, apply a bit of pressure and you will feel the rear cap pop off.
Insert the needles in all for corners to insure it is completely popped off. It is held to the rear of the valve body by two little dimples and it is very easy to pop off. MUCH better then drilling.
6: Re assemble everything making sure you insert the Poppet in the correct orientation and the retaining ring is tucked under the BLACK "O" Ring that keeps it in place. The Retaining Ring should be able to rotate slightly right and left. See end of video.

To fill, you need to be careful to not over fill the bag. Big mess.
Fill about half way and aspirate any air within the bag. Now that the valve is no longer ONE WAY, some air will enter In the bag after you have popped off the rear cap. So inject ink and then aspirate the air. Fill till it weighs about 150 grams.

Reset the chips either before or after filling. Wait till the Red light becomes green and goes out!!!! This insure the totality of the code has been written to the chip.

EBAY OEM K3 inks are the best way to go. It takes tons of patience to find the good deals. I've gotten 110ml of Magentas and Yellow for as cheap as $14. I once got four 110ml  Magentas for $9 each.
I have also been able to buy full sets of OEM T58s at $29 a piece.

I know have over a liter or each color including Vivid Magentas, and now I refill my PRO 2800s R2400 / R2880 printers with OEM K3 inks.


If you have any questions, feel free to message me.

Enjoy! 
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RawheaD
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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2014, 09:11:09 PM »
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Out of sheer chance, as I was waiting for the Alibaba chip resetter to arrive, someone in another forum was giving out free half empty 4800 inks (all colors) for free, which I was lucky enough to jump on before anyone else Cheesy  Can't wait to try this out (just exchanged all of my 3880 cartridges a month ago so still a while to go before ~15%.
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