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Inkjet Printers - 2 Tips for getting more pages out of your ink tanks
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June 3, 2010
8:56 PM
Grantwhy
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 I don’t know if this will help many people out there, but it’s an excuse for me to try and contribuite something to this site. (hopefully I’ve posted it in the right area)

 

I’ve got a couple of tips (that work for me) on how to get/print more pages out of a inktank.

Disclaimer: I know these work on a couple of (3+ year old) Canon Pixma inkjet printers and I suspect (hope) that they work on other printers.

 

the second (and easiest) tip is, when the printer gives you it’s “Out Of Ink” warning, don’t put in a new ink tank.  Read the pop-up warning (if there is one) and there should be a ‘push button X on the printer to keep printing’ option in there.

Using genuine ink tanks I have managed to do that 3 times and still have ink coming out.  (using non-genuine, usually I can only do it once before the ink runs out).

Warning: I believe there is a danger in this that if you run out of ink and do not replace the ink tank relatively soon (within a few days?) there could be a problem with the print head (drying up?).  When ever I have used this technique, I’ve been printing enough pages that I can see when the ink runs out, replace the ink tank and kept printing, so I’ve had no problems.

 

the first tip (moved the order around so the easiest is as the top of my post :-p), is to tell the printer to use less ink.

No, not setting the printer to Fast/Draft print quality.  While that does save ink, the quality of print sufferes to much for my liking.

This tip keeps the print quality and uses less ink.

On the printers I use, there is the option to manually adjust the Color/Intensity.  For the Pixmas (well the older ones, haven’t played with any new ones), it’s a sliding scale that goes from -50 (lighter = less ink) up to +50 (darker).

at -10, I find that there is very little difference between using the normal (0 intensity) setting.

at -20 it’s noticible that the printing is lighter, but still quite readable.

and a couple of times (depends on what you are printing) I’ve set it to -40 and, while faint compared to the standard setting, it was still readable.

 

How many ‘extra’ pages do you get by doing this?  I don’t know as I’ve never sat down to do a propper test, but…

…Once upon a time, I was printing out a large (300 pages or so, graphics & text) PDF file (using a -20 setting on intensity).  Because the pages were numbered, I was able to take notice of when the first “out of ink” warning appeared and when the ink actually ran out.

From memory, it was just over 100 ‘extra’ pages Surprised.

 

I honestly do believe this works for me, and hopefully if you try these tips they will work for you as well.

as a CareBear Anarchist I believe in the destruction and overthrow of the perils of society through random and senseless acts of consideration and kindness
June 3, 2010
9:39 PM
Locutus
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My printer (a Canon MP530) actually shows when it’s low and when it’s out. If you take out the ink when it’s out, you’ll actually see the cartridge has been sucked dry—so make sure your printer doesn’t tell you two times. (It’s been stuck on “low” yellow ink for about a month… so far I’ve only printed B&W for the last little while.)

However I didn’t know about the “brightness” setting. Great tips! Cool

Oh, the site that was :(
June 3, 2010
10:43 PM
Grantwhy
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hmmm …. out of ink or *really* out of ink? ;-)

 

Looking through the interwebs, your MP530 has the same ink tanks as the IP4200 I do these tips on at work.

 

When you say sucked dry, do you mean the ink in the clear bit at the front of the ink tank, or do you mean the sponge thingie the ink goes into and then goes into to the printer from?

The reason the ‘ignore out of ink warnings untill the printer stop printing‘ tip works (for me) is because those ink tanks have about a surprising amount of ink in the sponge bit and the printer (well, the IP4200 at least) is able to keep getting ink out of the sponge. 

Even when there is no ink left in the clear bit (and that’s about when the printer tells you to change the ink tank), you should be able to keep printing. (in the PGI-5BK ink tank our printers use, my guess there is about 20+ pages worth of ink)

 

if i can, tomorrow I’ll borrow a camera to take a picture of a magenta ink tank in the printer at work that is still printing long after the ink in the fron ran out, to show just how much extra ink can be sucked out of the ink tank.

 

as a CareBear Anarchist I believe in the destruction and overthrow of the perils of society through random and senseless acts of consideration and kindness
June 3, 2010
11:02 PM
Locutus
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Really? Surprised Great news! Cool

Oh, the site that was :(
June 3, 2010
11:17 PM
jumbi
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@ Grantwhy

The 2nd tip is very good :-)

June 4, 2010
1:51 AM
Grantwhy
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Grantwhy said:

if i can, tomorrow I’ll borrow a camera to take a picture of a magenta ink tank in the printer at work that is still printing long after the ink in the fron ran out, to show just how much extra ink can be sucked out of the ink tank.

 


 

errrr ….. scratch that

 

I forgot tomorrow is Saturday *facepalm*, and I won’t be back at work untill Monday Embarassed.

as a CareBear Anarchist I believe in the destruction and overthrow of the perils of society through random and senseless acts of consideration and kindness
June 4, 2010
5:18 AM
Mags
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My 2 cents worth.

Yes I agree that when your printer tells you that the cartridge is low, don’t change it immediately, you can still print a lot of pages before it really runs out of ink.

This is very true for HP printers, I’ve done a lot of printing with them when my HP kept telling me to change the cartridge. 

BTW, most of the higher end HP printers are worth the money you spend on them.  They do great printing and the ink lasts longer than most other printers.

The brand of printer you use does make a difference in saving ink.

When my old HP G85 Office Jet finally died I purchased a cheaper Brother printer to replace it.  (Big Mistake.)  While it does a great job of printing, it goes through ink like crazy.  The worst part is that when it cleans the printer heads (which it does more often than necessary) it uses up a lot of ink.  Therefore I have to replace the cartridges more often than really necessary.  It also refuses to print when only one cartridge is out.  So even if I only need the black ink to print, it won’t print if one of the colour cartridges is empty.

I’m going back to getting an HP printer!  Yes the cartridges do cost more, but in the end you do save since you don’t have to replace them as often.

 

 

 

 

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