Having trouble resetting desktop cartridges?

They are easy to reset because they reset automatically. But, often our customers try to make them reset at their time of choosing rather than the correct time. That always fails and for good reason.

The usual techsupport request we get is from a customer who decides to refill all their carts at once. One may need refilling. The printer has alerted the customer. But the customer removes all the cartridges and refills them all. They complain that the Epson Status Monitor will not update the ink levels other than on the one that they were alerted to.

The Epson Status Monitor

The reason why the Status Monitor will not update ink levels is because it does not know that a fresh cartridge has been installed in any slot other than the one which it alerted the user to.

Think about it from a different perspective – that of the printer. If you put a new cartridge in the printer and then pull it out after using 1/3 the ink, then reinsert it…the printer will not reset the ink level to full. If it did, the printer would have a cartridge at only 2/3 capacity reading as full. The cartridge would empty long before the printer alerted the owner that the cart was empty. The result would be disastrous on the print head which is not designed to print air.

Cartridges are often taken from printers before they are empty. Many of our customers run both ConeColor and Piezography inks in the same printer so they can produce great color and great black & white photographs. The carts cannot auto-reset to full every time they are removed. Sometimes customers will remove cartridges that are nearly spent in favor a full cartridge so they can send multiple pages to the printer while they’re doing something else. When they put the partially full cartridge back into the printer, they do not want it to reset to full.

The way auto-resetting occurs is dependent upon the Epson Status monitor. Epson cannot see or feel what is inside an ink cartridge. It has no idea if the cart is empty, full or partially full other than by counting ink droplets. A new cartridge may hold 13.8ml of ink and the Epson Status Monitor records it in droplets measured my picoliters. 12,800,000,000 picoliters of ink are then counted down. It writes this count back to the intellichip on the cartridge after every print. When you remove the cartridge, its remaining ink level is written to the intellichip.

When you reinsert the cartridge, the Epson Status monitor reads the intellichip and knows the remaining ink level. When the remaining ink level becomes so low to the recent print activity that it may not be able to complete a print, the Epson status monitor alerts the user. The low level is written to the chip and that is what triggers the autoreset response. The chips on our cartridges can not be forced to autoreset unless the low level (about 10% remaining) is first recorded to the chip by the Epson Status Monitor.

At this point if you remove the cartridge and reinsert the cartridge, it will reset the chip to full. This is the only time that you should refill the cartridge prior to resetting. You should fully refill the cartridge to insure that the Epson Status Monitor is able to keep count accurately.

For many users this is a terrible inconvenience because they believe that inserting a new read full cartridge triggers the autoclean process and often results in additional nearly empty cartridge suddenly reading empty. That certainly can be true, in a Murphy’s Law sort of way. Especially when one is on a tight deadline…

Typical development cartridges waiting for swapping out with others in the development printer.

I often use a desktop Epson for development work. I am developing Piezography Digital Film on an Epson 2880. I fill up 3-4 sets of refillable carts. As each cartridge registers empty I replace it with a full one. Later on, when I am not busy, I can refill those that needed refilling.

The picture above was taken this morning in the R&D lab at InkjetMall. This is very typical that this many cartridges are ready for use. If we are experimenting with a new ink formula, we have 2 or 3 of that position waiting and ready. This is why we sell refillable cartridges with refilling syringes and cartridges without. The cost of a spare set is not expensive. Most of our very busy desktop printmakers buy multiple sets of cartridges.

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