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  1. #1
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Printer Ink Cartridges

    Well, here it is almost time to replace the ink cartridges in my HP printer again.
    It really burns me to see the prices that HP charges for it's cartridges. I know the old story; sell the printer dirt cheap and reap the huge profits on the Ink.

    I had been buying re-manufactured cartridges from Staples Office Supply. ( for those not familiar, Staples is a huge office supply super store ) results have been very good with the store brand. Now it appears that Staples and HP have agreed to no longer offer Staples brand and only sell the HP original ones. ( at much inflated prices ) Could it be because Staples features HP products? Naw!

    What I'm asking is what opinions other Loungers have about OEM and re-manufactured printer cartridges?
    Has anyone had good experiences with some other supplier of RM cartridges? If so, which ones?

    I did try refilling ONE time and that was a disaster. Never again.
    BOB
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  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    Thanks Stuart. I appreciate it.

    The quality has to be claimed for the ink not the cartridge itself though, I would think.
    Since the RMs are made from the original cartridges, as long as they aren't clogged or otherwise defective, then the ink is claimed to be of better quality?

    I don't do much printing of photos or such, mostly just text copies, I can live with a lesser quality of ink.
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    I recently read a review comparing vendor and OEM print cartridges, sadly I can't find it now - I think it was either in PC Pro or Which Magazine.

    The article compared print quality and price and said that the vendor cartridges had better quality than the OEM ones and that for some brands, including HP, this difference was sufficient to make them better value.

    I'll keep looking and post a pointer if I can find one.

    StuartR

    Edited by StuartR to add...
    I found the article, it is in the January 2008 edition of Which Magazine, this is the magazine of the Consumer Association, and reports independent testing of consumer products.

    The article is titled "Counting the cost of printing" and gives the following ratings for HP cartridges compatible with a Photosmart D2360
    <table border=1><td>Brand</td><td>Price</td><td>Documents</td><td>Photos</td><td>Black Text (p per page)</td><td>Photo ()</td><td>Three year cost ()</td><td>Overall Score</td><td>HP</td><td>30</td><td>****</td><td>****</td><td>9</td><td>2.14</td><td>548</td><td>64</td><td>INK2U</td><td>15</td><td>***</td><td>****</td><td>2</td><td>0.99</td><td>209</td><td>62</td><td>WHSMITH</td><td>37</td><td>****</td><td>**</td><td>5</td><td>2.74</td><td>548</td><td>59</td><td>CARTRIDGE WORLD</td><td>16</td><td>***</td><td>*</td><td>3</td><td>1.68</td><td>355</td><td>48</td><td>JET TEC</td><td>22</td><td>**</td><td>*</td><td>2</td><td>1.27</td><td>241</td><td>36</td></table>

    I have left out some data, and not quoted the text of the article, as I think this should keep the size of the quote down to "fair comment".

    StuartR

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    > The quality has to be claimed for the ink not the cartridge itself though, I would think.

    This depends on the particular printer. Many of the HP printers include the print head in the cartridge, so when the OEM refills the cartridges the print head gets run for longer than it's design intended.

    StuartR

  5. #5
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    <hr>I did try refilling ONE time and that was a disaster. Never again.<hr>

    Don't give up on refilling. It's a skill, but the savings can be worthwhile.

    One factor that makes a major difference is controlling the way that air can get into the cartridge as the ink gets used up. In the original cartridge design, the air access is a key factor in determining the performance of the cartridge. Since refilling using a syringe usually involves widening an existing airhole or creating a brand new hole in the top of the cartridge, you have to minimise the impact that the extra air intake has on the flow rate.

    This means making sure that if you have lifted a paper label before drilling, you make sure the paper label is stuck firmly down along all sides before you replace the cartridge. The instructions with the ink fill kit should give details of what needs to be done, but sometimes it doesn't give enough detail on the little points that make all the difference between success and a mess.

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    You may be right on this. It seems I might have rushed through the process and not given it the care it should have been given. It was quite some time ago when I attempted a refill. Perhaps another shot would be worthwhile.
    The prices on OEM cartridges are ridiculous.
    BOB
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  7. #7
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    Unless you want the very best 'photo realism' in your prints, my answer is simple. Give up any buy a laser printer! I have never regeted choosing this route.
    Peter M

  8. #8
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    I've been using HP printers for at least twelve years - different models, of course. There MO has always been the same: give 'em a printer, gouge 'em on the ink. A long while back, it used to void the warranty if an off-brand of ink was used, but someone put a stop to that rule!

    Now, I'm using an HP OfficeJet 5610. I can put a brand new HP cartridge in it, print four pages, and the display says "Ink Running Low, Press OK to Continue". This has got to be some rigged ploy to make the unsuspecting replace cartridges too quickly. It's like changing lightbulbs before they blow! I had read where the FTC or some consumer advocacy group was looking into the erroneous warning messages. We'll see.

    Anyway - I always use genuine HP cartridges, but I do get two uses out of each cartridge. I have mine refilled at Walgreen's for $5 (black). I only refill them once and then replace with a fresh cartridge. I do believe the cartridges have a limited useful age, like me. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    - Ricky

  9. #9
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    Not a bad idea but the nearest Walgreen's to me is probably 100 miles or more.

    Supposedly the method of determining when ink is low is based on age. ( when the cartridge was installed )
    If yours shows up after 4 pages, that sure shoots holes in that theory!
    BOB
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  10. #10
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    Depends on when you print those 4 pages. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15>

    Joe
    Joe

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    Tricky,

    Ink cartridges have a limited shelf life, and I suspect that someone sold you a really old box.
    Did you happen to check the date stamp on the box that the cartridge came in.

    StuartR

  12. #12
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    No, I never think to check the dates. But this must be a common problem because it happens more often than not.
    Really, my printer often displays the low ink message after very minimal use.
    I never really looked into what triggered the message. I just took it at "face value" and assumed that it somehow metered (or monitored) the amount of ink being dispensed from the cartridge. And. it was somewhat annoying that the trigger was being pulled way too soon.
    I've used a cartridge weeks after the "low ink message" first shows up (lots of printing)...

    Are you saying that a freshly unwrapped ink cartridge will give the "low ink" indicator if the cartridge has an older manufacture date?
    - Ricky

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    I don't know how the "low ink" message is generated, but a google search for "HP ink cartridge shelf-life" turned up this PDF file, which might be of interest.

    Since many people never see the problem you describe, I wonder if you could be buying your cartridges somewhere that has an old stock?

    StuartR

  14. #14
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    I do not have information on the current generation of HP cartridges, but if they are like the previous ones the low ink signal is triggered by three parameters: the cartridge id is read and tells the volume of ink, the number of drops dispensed ( volume used) and the algorithm which is: signal when 80% of cartridge ink is gone.

    Paul

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Printer Ink Cartridges

    How true, how true!

    The best way is to print away and ignore those messages until you can actually SEE a deterioration in print quality.
    I don't let it get too far though that I have to hold the paper up to the light to see if anything is printed on it! <img src=/S/hmmn.gif border=0 alt=hmmn width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/invisible.gif border=0 alt=invisible width=15 height=15> <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
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