My first experience resetting a P400 chip (not a good one)


#1

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.

 


#2

An afterthought on my OP. Assuming every chip reset goes as badly as the one described above, I expect seven more negatives to be ruined in the near future (the P400 has eight channels). Each ruined negative is worth a couple of dollars; it’s difficult to put a pricetag on it because I don’t know how much ink is wasted (negatives use a lot of ink). Let’s say the cost of a ruined negative is $4, or $32 for eight. Compare this with the cost of installing a NEW cartridge whenever the printer warns that the ink in a given channel is low, and you break even, since a set of eight cartridges is also $32. Any ink left over in the bottom of a “low ink” cartridge can be siphoned out and added to the new cartridge, so almost no ink is wasted. Throw the old IJM cartridge in the landfill, where it can join its non-refillable Epson brethren.

This strategy can be used until a chip resetter is available for the P400. Meanwhile, IJM should consider offering a deep discount on P400 cartridges, as they are effectively non-refillable.


#3

John,

Long answer to your short request for a chip resetter…

The printer you bought from Epson was sold with a disclaimer “SureColor P-Series printers are designed to work exclusively with specially formulated Epson inks, and not with other brands of cartridges or inks.” Whether legal or not, some printer OEMs such as Epson and HP are locking out USA consumers. EU and China have fully-staffed and vigilant consumer protection agencies that are proactively enforcing consumer protection laws. They both formed laws based on current USA law. It’s definitely a tough time for USA consumers at this moment.

My understanding is that the Federal Trade Commission has not yet been fully staffed, and there may not actually be more than skeletal staff at the Consumer Protection Bureau but if you do not like that your printer is designed to not work with non-Epson branded chips here is where you complain: File a Complaint at the Department of Consumer Protection

Having said that, these refillable cartridges act remarkably close to OEM cartridges. When they are empty, they must be removed just like the OEM cart but with the exception that you do not really need to throw them away. They are designed to be refilled, or if you prefer your strategy you can replace them prematurely with another full refillable cartridge. But at some point you will need to allow them to reset in order to use them again (and again).

Unfortunately there will be no chip resetter for USA region chips. This not for not trying. The USA region P printers have been heavily protected to not work with certain chips, and possibly with chips that have been forced to reset prior to the empty code being written to them. I have been informed that there are more than 500,000 extraneous lines of irrelevant code in an Epson chip. It’s amazing the chip people are able to produce one that has an auto-reset feature for the P400. They are unable to on all of the WorkForce class printers in USA, while they can for the EU versions and also the China versions.

The best you can hope for is a chip decoder board (about $400) or try the 2manuals.com chip disabler which they claim works on your P400. In both cases, the chips will no longer be read and it will be your responsibility to make sure they do not prematurely empty. Unfortunately, no decoder board is available yet.

We haven’t tried it ourselves and we are not associated with 2manuals.com in any way. But the link to this chip disabler is here. Perhaps it will solve your dilemma.

The P600 is designed to allow a refill cartridge to empty. So we offer double sized carts to prevent air from entering into the system (very bad for a P600). But it does offer a full 30ml which is 2.5 times more than what you are getting now. The P800 requires a $400 decoder board but you can get all the ink you need. So, those are also options for you to consider.

We are going to release for the P6000 through P9000 printers in about a month. Those will have 700ml chips! Gargantuan ink supplies… But they also offer width up to 24" or up to 44".

Whatever you do - NEVER UPDATE THE FIRMWARE ON ANY EPSON PRINTER IN NORTH AMERICA. If an update is pushed to you, it is likely that your printer will be disabled (permanently from using non-Epson brand chips).

best,

Jon (IJM)


#4

Do you mean there will be no chip resetter coming from IJM? Or that no chip resetter currently exists or ever will exist? If I look online, I find chip resetters for the P400 coming out of China, for example this one and this one. Are you saying that these will not work with USA chips? Sorry for my ignorance. This is my first printer and I am completely new to this.


#5

Ask the supplier if they will guarantee that their resetter will work on your “Epson P400 refillable cartridge with ARC”. If they say yes, then try it. Let us know.


#6

Would Inkjetmall be willing to sell ARC chips for P400 carts (chips only). I see you sell chips for other models. Replacing chips would be simpler (and hopefully cheaper) than replacing cartridges.


#7

We will place a new chip order soon, and I will see about getting in P400s at that time.


#8

Fantastic, thanks. I’ll be watching!


#9

Jon - I see this chipless firmware is available for the P600 and P800 also. Have you tested this solution at all or just not on the P400? I gather from their recommendation to download and install before buying the activation key that it may not work on some machines. My guess is that those would be ones on which the Epson firmware has already been updated. If this really works it could be an excellent solution for users of all 3 of these models.

I’m interested because I’ve gotten nowhere with my 3880, and though the 1430 is still doing well I’m starting to plan ahead for when it has to be replaced.


#10

The 2Manuals chipless firmware does indeed sound like an excellent (and inexpensive) solution. Who wants to be the first to try it?


#11

John,

I will try and bring our P400 chip resetter with me to Santa Fe - we can now buy them at a lower cost. Not so certain we can sell as low as the two companies on Alibaba. But at least you can see how it works in SF.

We haven’t tested any of the 2manuals chip disabling software. So we can’t say one way or the other if they work!

 


#12

Just a note about all this. It’s helpful to remember here what it would be like if you were using Epson carts in this situation. I did a long explanation on this at community.inkjetmall.com about half a year ago in response to basically the exact same point raised by Mr. Isner there.

Epson with either pause your print exactly the same way during printing or you will have to pre-maturely pull a cart that is low and put in a cartridge that is full. This cartridge that is full costs $. Because the printer does a cleaning each time you switch back from one cartridge to another, most likely you will never be able to use the old nearly empty cartridge again due to it emptying completely just by putting it back into the printer and then having the printer doing a cleaning.

So, please understand that while our system (ARC chips) is not particularly the best system for massive amounts of neg-only printing on a budget, a: we have other printer solutions available that do work for larger amounts of neg-only printing where pauses in the middle of the print shouldn’t happen frequently, and b: using Epson cartridges new carts to keep a print from pausing on the P400 is more expense than these other printer solutions that we sell and even more expensive than the current P400 solution that we sell.

Maintaining a contextual awareness is key in this discussion.

-Walker


#13

That would be great! If you bring the resetter, I will bring some IJM P-400 carts to try it on. I may even bring my P400 printer if I can fit it in my car.

Cost is no object! The cost of working without a chip resetter will be much higher in the long run (even in the short run).


#14

I don’t think that’s a fair comparison. I purchased the P400 in order to use IJM inks. So Epson carts were never an alternative. A better comparison would be P400 carts vs. Epson 1430 carts. One has a chip resetter and one does not.

I also don’t think it’s fair to compare a small desktop printers with big professional printers. Those are two completely different markets (amateur vs. pro).

Apples to apples, oranges to oranges.


#15

John, no need to bring the P400 or the carts. We will be focusing on the P400 at the workshop, and there are plenty of IJM carts there. Just bring yourself!


#16

I am really glad to hear that!


#17

In regards to the desktop vs pro - many more amateurs are using the Pro printers than are Pros - which is why the print for pay industry went into the toilet. having said that - very few Pro printer owners print with them enough to justify the maintenance issues that low production produces. the Pro printers were designed for full shift work each day… many of the amateurs who buy them to print one or two prints a day eventually have to deal with maintenance issues due to pigment settling… those who hammer on them day after day after day get their moneys worth out of the printer before having serious maintenance issues… I blame Epson for taking the Pro market and marketing it to non-professional print studios. I understand why they did it - but it’s also part of their loss of quality reputation because the last generation (x900) was not a printer to let sit around…

 


#18

I didn’t realize that!