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Author Topic: Ink waste tank question after reading Mike's borderless printing article  (Read 7084 times)
AndreRSA
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« on: July 07, 2010, 11:06:15 AM »

Hi Mike (or Fred or Terry  Cheesy),

I have read the article on borderless printing and one paragraph grabbed me and made me wonder.  It is written that the printer (or driver) keeps a count of how many prints are made in the borderless mode and then one fine day when the user wants to print a message or error will come up saying that maintenance is required (exchange waste tank or clean sponges etc...).  Delving into more detail, specifically on Epson printers (mine is a 3880) does the driver/printer count prints made in borderless mode or does it actually monitor the waste tank level or amount of ink sprayed past the printable surface area?

If I set the printer driver to print borderless and then in Qimage increase the margins all around the photo to something like 8mm for argument's sake, then obviously there will be a nice broad white border around the edge of the print and thus no ink will overspray into the waste tank or sponges even though the print head may still move past the edges of the paper.  Will this type of print still count to the printer or print driver as overspraying and filling up the waste tank or not?  If it does count as overspraying then the waste tank could be only 75% (just a thumb suck figure) full but then the maintenance message could display that it needs replacing.

Thanks
Regards,
Andre
« Last Edit: July 07, 2010, 12:38:45 PM by AndreRSA » Logged
Terry-M
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« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2010, 02:11:45 PM »

Quote
It is written that the printer (or driver) keeps a count of how many prints are made in the borderless mode and then one fine day when the user wants to print a message or error will come up saying that maintenance is required (exchange waste tank or clean sponges etc...).  Delving into more detail, specifically on Epson printers (mine is a 3880) does the driver/printer count prints made in borderless mode or does it actually monitor the waste tank level or amount of ink sprayed past the printable surface area?
Borderless printing is not the only process that creates waste ink, nozzle cleaning does too. Even if you don't initiate a cleaning cycle, the printer driver will initiate one after a period of time, especially if the printer has not been used and switched on again.
I would not think the waste ink tank is actually monitored directly, I suspect the maintenance warning is based  on the total quantity of ink used, for reasons given below The waste ink tank will probably have sponge in it to avoid spills.

There is some Russian software used for re-setting Epson cartridges that also gives a readout, from the driver I assume, of the number of "ink shots" per colour over time - it's in the '1000s. The software allows you to zero these numbers to eliminate the maintenance message, not that I'd recommend doing it!
If you use Qimage and disable expansion for borderless, then over-spray will be minimised.

Quote
If I set the printer driver to print borderless and then in Qimage increase the margins all around the photo to something like 8mm for argument's sake, then obviously there will be a nice broad white border around the edge of the print and thus no ink will overspray into the waste tank or sponges even though the print head may still move past the edges of the paper.
In that case, why use the borderless setting? In normal mode with 3mm page margins (say), make you print size 16mm smaller  then the paper size in both directions and use centre placement and you will still get your 8mm border.
Like most things with Qimage, there's more than one way of doing something: Using a 5mm image print border and Fit to Page will give the same result. This assumes the page margins are equal all round at 3mm.
NB. don't confuse page margins and image print borders, they are different!

Terry

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ed_k
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« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2010, 02:34:00 PM »

My 3800 monitors the amount of ink in its maintenance tank; the 3880 does the same. I'm reasonably certain that this is the measure used for triggering the message you mention and not any print count. An estimate of the maintenance cartridge service life is provided on the status monitor (when printing) directly below the ink level display. When the message you mention appears, it will tell you that the maintenance cartridge must be replaced. If you don't have a spare on hand - all stop!

Here's a link that discusses the Epson tank. Although it refers to a different printer model, the idea is the same for your 3880.
http://www.inkjetart.com/pro/7600_9600/ink_dump.html
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BrianPrice
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2010, 03:20:34 PM »

Hi
The 3800 and 3880 maintenance tanks last a long time and don't cost very much, so compared to ink the cost is negligible. You also get plenty of warning when its about to run out, so get one in as it won't print when it thinks it's full.
On the 7600 and 9600 you could refill the tank with tissues (or other things) and reset the counter from the printer console. On the 7800 and later printers Epson closed this loophole and you had to buy a new tank, although I believe it is possible to reset the chip in the tank.

Brian
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AndreRSA
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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2010, 03:28:51 PM »

Thanks guys for the feedback.  It's good to know the waste tank will last a long time.  Only thing that has me puzzled is that I'm on the original set of cartridges that came with the new printer and the waste ink is already down to 64%.  I remember when I initially installed the inks it was at 79% or something and this was due to the ink charging process for filling the head etc...
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