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Epson - printing black only

by iancc / December 5, 2005 6:22 PM PST

Hi - bought and Epson CX3650 two months ago; have been printing only letters (ie black) which has run out, but so have all the other colours (can't understand why as I've printed next to nothing in colour). Ordered a new black cartridge but wouldn't print as other inks (which I don't need) have run out. Have looked for a "Black Only" option in the print dialog box but can't find it. Anyone know a quick fix that avoids buying 4 colour inks every time ? Running Mac System 10.3.9. Thanks ! Ian

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That's a problem
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 5, 2005 8:42 PM PST

with Epsons.
Even though you do not print anything in color, the clock is still ticking on the color carts.
Once any of the colors, real or black, have emptied out, the only way to restart printing is to purchase new carts.
I've tried to fool the device by removing the color cart and reinserting is as though it was new. Nope, it figured it out. Guess the smart chip on the cart works after all.
I did read of a device that would reset the chip but have not seen it around at all. Obviously the Refill merchants are using one.



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And then I found One
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 5, 2005 9:49 PM PST
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It is a rip-off!
by pirimoglu / December 11, 2005 11:51 PM PST

A few months ago I had bought the Epson CX3650 printer/scanner. It had high print and scanning quality. After not even printing much color prints, the driver warned me that the color cartridges were getting empty. I say to myself ''OK, but I hadn't printed many color pages. Anyway I will go on with the black, cause I print black pages mostly''. Well, after a few prints more, the driver refused to print anything, saying the cartridges were empty I had to replace them. With the Epson driver software, the color cartridges were showing empty but the black one wasn't empty. Strange I thought, why would it not allow me to print anyway, if I don't like the result because some colors don't print then it is my problem and decide to replace the cartridges? Then I found and checked a selection at the printer properties to use only ''black''. But still it refused to print anything saying cartridges were empty. But the black cartridge was showing not empty, and I had told it to print only in black! And also, why had the color cartridges had gone empty that quickly, I hadn't printed many color pages. Then I do a quick internet search and find out that Epson cartridges are equipped with some ''intelligent (yeah right) chips''. All these chips do is hold a counter on them, that is all their intelligence. They don't monitor the real ink level, and they can't because they don't have any sensors of sorts to measure ink level. Each time a page is printed, these counters are decreased by some ''estimate'', then eventually it decides counter is up, cartrigde is empty (which is not actually almost always in my case). And it doesn't allow printing anything anymore. Even if one color cartridge's stupid chip's counter is down to zero, printer doesn't print anything. I had the feeling I had made a bad choice by buying this printer but anywho, I go and by new color cartridges and continue using it. I usually print occasionally and a while later, black cartridge was signalled to be low and then empty, then I again be a good sport and go by a new black cartridge. A few days later, the printer first starts printing with white bands, then starts printing nothing. The head must have been clogged. I do a cleaning cycle, doesn't help. I do several more cleaning cycles and then the nozzles are back up again and printing nicely. BUT, as I was doing cleaning cycles, I also became aware that the cartridge chip counters (the phoney ink levels) were being decreased with lightning speed! The color cartridges were now less than 25% and black had been gotten low but above 50%. Well, at least I had the printer working again. Yeah right, I don't use the printer for a couple of weeks, and TODAY I try to do a black text print, first lines are with white stripes and then all white, head is clogged again. I do a few head cleaning cycles to get it working, it doesn't and then stops even doing a head cleaning BECAUSE thE color cartridges were now ''claimed to be empty'', because their stupid intelligent chip counters had gone to zero. OK, testing my patience but still being a good sport, I go buy new three color cartridges, replace them. As I remove the so claimed empty cartridges and hold them on my hand and compare to the brand new full cartridges, I don't feel any weight difference. Then I shake the new full cartridges, I hear the ink inside them splashing inside. I shake the so claimed empty cartridges also, I hear the same ink sound. The so claimed empty cartridges weren't empty at all. My guess from the shaking them, they were half full! I swear and kick myself for buying this printer, but I needed to get this print out job. So with the new color cartridges I then did some cleaning cycles, result: nothing. It still prints white, i.e. still clogged. I do some more cleaning cycles, nope. Then a few more, still head is clogged. BTW, the head is not part of the cartridges with this thing, my previous Canon had the heads on the cartridges, so they were throw away. If head used to get clogged didn't get cleaned up, I used to just get a new cartridge. Not with this thing! At the end of couple minutes of numerous head cleaning cycle attemps, the head is still clogged, but the brand new full color cartridges that I had just put in are now showing as only 15% ink left, and the black cartridge which was about 50% full showing is now 0% showing and the printer is now again refusing to do any print or any new cleaning cycles! What a rip off! Without printing a single page today, these levels are telling me that I spent 85% of all the color ink that I had just bought today and spent more than 50% of the black ink that was in there.

The total number of pages I had ever printed on this thing is probably around 100, and only a few of them were color pages. And yet, I spent 3 full color cartridge sets during this time, the first set that came with the printer and the last I almost wasted away in a few minutes today without printing anything but trying to get the head cleaned. All the cartridges that were ever installed to this thing, were original Epson cartridges, nothing else, no refilled ones or anything.

I won't request a replacement or warranty repair or anything with it. Within a few months I will have to spend money on two more cartridge sets which means I can buy a new printer with a cartridge set in it for the same money anyway. You can guess what I will be doing with this printer. (hint: Office Space movie) I feel like by buying and using this Epson printer I am in a monetary relationship with a loan shark or something to that extend. What a rip-off!

There appears to be some "Zapper" devices to reset the stupid chips, but I don't think there are "Zappers" for the clogged heads LOL.

My first and probably last Epson purchase.

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It's annoying
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / December 12, 2005 12:25 AM PST
In reply to: It is a rip-off!

Epson probably see this as a "feature" but it can be annoying if the only color you use is Black.
You will also find that most color printers now have the heads as part of the printer with the ink carts being just a supply of ink. Not printing anything for a while can cause the ink in the heads to dry up and clog the nozzles. The first set of carts in any printer are really on Demo carts and are good for very few sheets of paper.
Canon make a printer where all the color carts are separate which makes changing them out relatively inexpensive.
However, the original post was regarding a Zapper for the carts. If you had one, then your color cart can be set back to "full" and you can get on with printing. You will find may inkjet printers that have a nice price but whose first replacement carts cost more than the machine did! You are better off buying another printer and moving on


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I don't know any rip-off that is not annoying
by pirimoglu / December 12, 2005 3:25 AM PST
In reply to: It's annoying

All of the cartridges (four colors each have its own cartridge) that are marked as empty at their chips that I pulled out of the printer are at least half full, judging by their weight and the amount of fluid ink noise I hear by shaking them in comparison to the brand new bought full ones. That's just a rip-off. I don't see how this can be considered as a feature. Warning about a possible low ink condition is one thing, forcing you to throw away half full cartridges is another. My ''%0 empty'' cartridges are not empty, at least half full, all of them, and yet it doesn't print until I go and buy new ones. The existence of some third party zap tool is no excuse for Epson. I read some place that EU has or will have legislation against these chipped cartridges, which is right on spot. I posted my experience with the hope that others on the market for new printer will not experience my frustration.

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epson sx400
by kovo_one / November 2, 2010 11:58 PM PDT

can anyone tell me if is possible to print only black and white. all i am missing is cyan ink and that stupid printer won't let me do anything. it is driving me crazy.

can anyone help me with this?

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(NT) i couldnt agree MORE.
by cait206 / February 2, 2011 2:07 PM PST
In reply to: It is a rip-off!
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