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Ink Jet Cartridges' Chips.

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I'm told that cartridges have a chip inside. What information do these chips carry?

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I'm not sure that they carry anything of direct relevance to printing.  That takes some explaining!

 

The reason some companies put chips in the cartridges was to stop (or attempt to stop) the lucrative trade in "compatible" ink.  If you plan to use an ink-jet printer, the initial cost of that printer is pretty negligible compared to the money you will spend topping it up with VERY expensive ink, especially over its lifetime.  Company A are quite happy to sell you VERY cheap printers (£30 or so for example), but when the ink runs out, you find you are paying another £30 to refill it with Company A Ink.  The "cash cow" for the company is not the sale of the printer, it's the branded ink it keeps selling you.

 

Along comes Company B selling "compatible" ink jets that work for that A's printer, at a fraction of the price.  Even though Company A has patent rights over its own ink, B simply say its ink works with A's printers.

 

Company A then puts a chip in its ink cartridges that is read by its printers.  It is now much harder for B now to manufacture compatible cartridges.  Perhaps the chips carry some code that is deciphered by the printer.  I just know my ink jet tells me when I insert a "genuine" product, and also when I insert a "compatible" one.  I have had compatibles not work for me, but usually they do, and I am making savings.

 

Perhaps someone on the forum knows what is in the chip, but at least I've explained the real reason the chips are there!

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Yes, HP have started to do this with their latest printers, a trading  method which I would never give in to, even at the expense of junking the printer as a matter of principle. I seem to remember that there is a way round this though which I will post if I can find it. 

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See Reset HP Printer on this forum posts, page 2 by Waldo . Although this refers to the printer, not the cartridge, I did wonder whether my HP printer's refusal of a certain cartridge was because the printer needed resetting. There is also a method shown on page 1 for overcoming the printer's refusal of a cartridge.  I also wondered whether that works on the cartridge chip's stored information. Does anyone know how this cartridge refusal or acceptance works? What chip(s) make the decision, the printer's chips and/or software or the cartridge chip? If so where do they get their information from?  And how do they know when a cartridge is running out of ink?  In my experience they are often wrong about that, especially if the cartridge hasn't been used for a while. So what is the system and how does it work? 

Edited by woolyhead

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Most likely, there is some kind of ‘key’ or ID on the chip, the software in the printer itself will read this ‘key’ / ID and so the printer knows if the chip is genuine or not.

 

As far as I know, there are a few ways to circumvent this security measure:

 

1. Use compatible inks, that come pre-chipped.

2. Use compatible inks, with an original chip attached (as described in other thread).

3. Use an ink refill / continuous flow system.

 

As far as the printer knowing how full / empty the cartridge is, I image it simply keeps a track of how much ink from that cartridge has been printed, and so estimates how much remains in the cartridge itself.

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On 07/10/2020 at 19:05, silverglade5 said:

Yes, HP have started to do this with their latest printers, a trading  method which I would never give in to, even at the expense of junking the printer as a matter of principle. I seem to remember that there is a way round this though which I will post if I can find it. 

HP have done it for years, and were (honestly) the first, as when you replace a HP cartridge, you are replacing the ink, AND the print head... 

In lots of other printers, you are only replacing the INK, and NOT the whole head.... (Also why HP are quite a bit more expensive than others)

the 'chips' are there to identify the cartridge type, and ink colour, track ink levels, and also show if it's a "real" or "fake"

(fake inks can often be of a different formula to the normal 'official' ones, and can be extra runny or extra thick, and can cause all sorts of problems with your printer)

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59 minutes ago, Ghozer said:

HP have done it for years, and were (honestly) the first, as when you replace a HP cartridge, you are replacing the ink, AND the print head.

Not all HP printers, the one I have (a HP Photosmart, not sure which model) takes 364 ink cartridges, with the print head being a separate (removable) component inside the printer.

 

I’ve had printers (a Lexmark) before though, with the printer t head integrated with the ink cartridges, and would avoid that style of printer at all costs, found the cartridges super expensive at the time.

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1 hour ago, Waldo said:

Not all HP printers, the one I have (a HP Photosmart, not sure which model) takes 364 ink cartridges, with the print head being a separate (removable) component inside the printer.

 

I’ve had printers (a Lexmark) before though, with the printer t head integrated with the ink cartridges, and would avoid that style of printer at all costs, found the cartridges super expensive at the time.

Yeah, PhotoSmart ones don't...  but most other HP do (deskjet etc)

Lexmark are shocking, NEVER buy a Lexmark printer...

Might be more expensive inks, but it's worth it as replacing the head each time prevents clogs and problems...

never had a HP clog on me, had all others do so...

 

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19 hours ago, Ghozer said:

Yeah, PhotoSmart ones don't...  but most other HP do (deskjet etc)

Lexmark are shocking, NEVER buy a Lexmark printer...

Might be more expensive inks, but it's worth it as replacing the head each time prevents clogs and problems...

never had a HP clog on me, had all others do so...

 

Some good points. 

 

My printer has the print head on the cartridge so I do buy genuine. I'm not saying 'don't' buy refill kits or aftermarket ones, just be aware of the potential problems with some makes/types.

 

I do very little printing and just a test page once a month to keep things ticking over. If I ever decide to do a lot of printing, I'd be looking for a new printer with CIS.

Edited by zach

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I’d seriously consider a laser for my next printer. Anyone have experience with those, pitfalls?

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1 hour ago, Waldo said:

I’d seriously consider a laser for my next printer. Anyone have experience with those, pitfalls?

Toner is expensive, but after market stuff is available. Colour lasers are heavy and have a big footprint. If you want scanners etc it starts getting expensive. Mono lasers are cheap as chips.

 

If it was me, I’d look at a printer and then search for cheap toner before I bought it.

 

Going back to the original point, I remember buying a messy after market kit, where you took the chip out, scanned it, then refilled a refillable cartridge with ink. Awful, but this was about 2000.

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1 hour ago, tinfoilhat said:

Toner is expensive, but after market stuff is available. Colour lasers are heavy and have a big footprint. If you want scanners etc it starts getting expensive. Mono lasers are cheap as chips.

 

If it was me, I’d look at a printer and then search for cheap toner before I bought it.

 

Going back to the original point, I remember buying a messy after market kit, where you took the chip out, scanned it, then refilled a refillable cartridge with ink. Awful, but this was about 2000.

Yeah, probably makes more sense to get a laser if you do a lot of printing. Maybe that's not me, it's just that, I get a bit fed up dealing with inks; in my efforts to print on the cheap over the years, I've ended up with no end of ink over my fingers (and desk etc). I did have a cheap B&W laser printer once, was pretty good, fast, but the paper always came out warm and warped when printed on.

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