This seems to be my week for writing updates to previous blog posts. It’s not that I’m running out of ideas, just the opposite. As much as I would like to move on to other topics, I feel it is my duty to update my posts when there is new information to be shared. Such is the case with my blog post pertaining to the conversion of my Epson R2400 printer to third party inks.
Since my last post on this subject, I have had the opportunity to replace a few of the original Epson T059 cartridges with the aftermarket cartridges and inks purchased through Inkjet Mall (Vermont Inks) and Jon Cone (ConeColorPro).
One of the reasons I chose Inkjet Mall above its competitors was the quality and availability of online YouTube instructional videos. In fact, I watched all of them, regardless of which printer was being featured, just to make sure I was comfortable with both the company and the process involved in filling my own inkjet carts. As I mentioned in my previous blog post on this subject, I found the videos to be extremely helpful, that is, until I went to actually begin filling my cartridges. As is turns out, the cartridges that I received were very different from those discussed and shown online. Now to be fair, from what I understand, they are actually far superior to the ones previously sold. The problem is, this renders those “helpful” online videos useless. The way the cartridges are filled is completely different, which sucked the confidence right out of me.
Another small problem was the fact that not all of the included pieces were labeled or explained in the instructions, leaving me with a small bag of plastic “nipples” in the hand wondering how these come into play. They “looked” like they fit on the end of the 60ml syringes, and would be used when filling the cartridge with ink. I would soon find out that was not the case.
Now it’s not rocket science, and there are printed instructions included with the kit. Again, the instructions are not 100% up to date, and they reference those outdated online video tutorials as a source of additional information should the end user find the printed instructions inadequate. Regardless, I forged ahead, sure that my “preparation” would somehow get me over any hurdles I might encounter along the way.
The first cartridge, (light cyan) proved to be a little more difficult that I had imagined. Following the instructions, and trusting my instincts and “training”, I got started. First problem. The inks are delivered in a bottle with a funnel shaped top. This top needs to be carefully pried out from the bottle to gain access to the ink via the blunt tipped needle and syringe. I know it looks like you would be able to stick the needle straight down through the top, but it’s too tight. Removing the “funnel” the first time with a full bottle of ink is a bit tricky, but I got it done without spillage.
Next step, fill the syringe to the 20ml mark with the aid of the blunt tipped needle. That was easy enough. Now came the tricky, or better said, confusing part of the process. You have to remove the needle, and, after removing the plug, insert the syringe into the bottom of the cartridge where you’ll find the fill port.
Here is where I thought those little UN-identified plastic nipples would come into play.
So, as pictured here, I placed the nipple on the syringe and attempted to fill the cartridge using the vacuum method required during the first time filling of the new cartridge. I had seen this demonstrated many times in the above mentioned videos, and felt confident I was up to the task. The only problem was, those “nipples” were not meant to be used for this purpose, and as a result, light cyan ink began to leak on to my cardboard protected desk.
Remaining calm, I removed the appendage and began again. This time with the expected results, a fully filled and primed light cyan cartridge ready to be installed in its rightful place in my Epson R2400 printer.
Following the rest of the instructions, I was told to “tap the exit port of the cartridge on a folded paper towel 3-4 times. I assumed it was to break up air pockets or bubbles in the cart. But why over a paper towel? The exit port was sealed with what looked like a clear plastic tape, so how was ink to come out onto the paper towel? Or was I suppose to remove the “tape” first? I thought that seal got broken during the first insertion into the printer. Unsure of what to do, I gave a tentative tug at the tape to see if it was meant to be removed. It was tight as a drum. Now disregarding the remaining instructions, I inserted the cartridge into my printer. It went through its usual preparation as I watched the precious ink flow into my newly installed waste ink receptacle. It was time to run a nozzle check to see if the modifications I had made over the past week would actually work, or if this was just another pipe dream. As it turned out, the nozzle check worked fine.
The ConeColorPro ink flowed as expected! But in the back of my mind was still that burning question. “What were those “nipples for, and should I have used them in some way shape or form?” Did you ever assemble a toy, or heaven forbid, put an engine back together and have an extra nut or bolt? That was the feeling I had and couldn’t shake.
Because of the time, a call to the Customer Service Dept. at Inkjet Mall would have to wait until the next day. As it turns out those “nipples” are included in every package sent out by Inkjet Mall, regardless if they are needed or not. I mentioned to the customer service rep that it would have been nice if things were more clearly labeled, and it the directions/YouTube videos were updated too. In a very helpful and pleasant way, he agreed and thanked my for my business.
Despite these small inconveniences, I am still convinced I made the right decision in purchasing my inks and cartridges from Inkjet Mall. Stay Tuned for more information about the actual print qualities achieved using ConeColorPro inks.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comment section below.