The IJM P400 carts lack an accessory chip resetter. When the printer thinks a cart is empty, it sends a kill signal to the chip. This will happen in the middle of printing. If you quickly pull the cart out and push it back in again (without doing anything else), the IJM chip is designed in such a way that it resets to “full.” This happens independently of how much ink is actually in the cartridge.
After discussing various strategies to deal with the lack of a chip resetter, I decided on the following strategy: I would top off my cartridges after a fixed number of prints – say ten – because allowing a cart to actually run out of ink will definitely ruin a print – and maybe your printer! So although a cart may in fact be almost full, it will get sent a kill signal from the printer when the chip reads empty. This will happen mid-print, so you have to babysit the printer whenever it’s printing.
Now let me describe my first experience with a mid-print chip reset.
Today, while printing a digital negative, the ink light on the front panel went on and printing paused. I pressed the ink button (causing the carriage to move over to the ink change position), opened the lid, and observed the light over the “Red” ink position. I pulled the red cart halfway out and immediately pushed it back in, closed the lid, and pressed the ink button on the front panel. The printer went through some gyrations and printing resumed! Total elapsed time: maybe 4 minutes, most of which consisted of the printer going through its gyrations. The sequence of events was exactly what I anticipated, and it couldn’t have gone more smoothly!
Unfortunately, the negative was ruined. There is a clearly-visible horizontal band running across the negative where the printing paused.
If I end up discarding a print every time there’s a chip reset, then I’m guessing 10% of my prints will wind up in the trash. Sometimes a cascade of chip resets will occur in quick succession. This is expensive: ink, paper, pictorico, etc. (did I mention “ink?”).
If I had known what I know now about the importance of a chip resetter, I would never have bought a P400.
IJM: Please make a chip resetter available for the P400.