Any Epson Stylus Photo printer gurus? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 05:46 AM Thread Starter
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Any Epson Stylus Photo printer gurus?

Last weekend I picked up two Epson Stylus Photo printers at a garage sale. One is an R800, and the other is an R340. At $10 for the pair, I figured it was worth a chance!

Both seem to work, but will need new ink and thorough printhead cleaning before I can determine their true condition. For now, I'm focusing on restoring the R800, since it uses a pigment based ink suitable for high-quality art prints.

While I know a few things about photo printers, I'm a complete newbie when it comes to actually using and maintaining one. So:

1) Where can I get some relatively inexpensive, but acceptable quality R800 cartridges? I don't want to spend too much or get top quality to start with, since it's possible the printer may not be salvageable. Even if it is, I'll probably burn through a lot of ink initially on cleaning cycles and learning to tweak output. But I certainly don't want to get carts so poor, or likely to be defective, that they will falsely lead me into thinking the printer is unsalvageable.

2) I have no idea how long these printers have been sitting around. Should I initially replace all the cartridges, even if they're not empty?

3) I keep finding reference to a highly regarded, free DIY cleaning manual by Arthur Entlich, which he'll email upon request. I requested it at e-printerhelp(@)mvps(.)org (altered to avoid spam), but he didn't respond. Does anyone have a copy of this pdf, or a more current email address?

4) Can anyone recommend a particular forum, with experts on use and maintenance of this printer?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 06:09 AM
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here you go

Best place for info is the epson site.
I've dissect many epsons for parts. Once the print head is unrecoverable, that's all they're good for. Printers are so cheap these days, it's not worth buying new parts.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone else?

Sorry Mistergreen, but that's not what I asked.

If it wasn't clear from my original post, I'd prefer not to use the most expensive option of OEM ink for initial testing. Just decent third party ink.

I'm also looking for the non-manufacturer approved, manual cleaning procedures. They apparently exist for this printer, and have been used with great success when clicking "clean printhead" in the driver fails (which is all Epson will say).

I would rather try to perform those procedures if necessary, on the chance I can get a modest life of this printer (which is all I need or expect), than just send it to the landfill and buy a new one. Which, given the steady decline in consumer electronics quality and business models, will waste more ink, be less maintainable, and soon be on its way to a landfill itself. It's terribly wasteful.

Apparently the former owner of these printers (now deceased) treated them as highly disposable. There were TEN photo printers at this sale! I was told he'd frequently buy a new one for no other reason than the old one ran out of ink. I'm inclined to believe it, considering there was a lot of other electronics there that had been replaced for trivial reasons. I've already repaired three other items, purchased for $4 and worth $800 combined, with nothing wrong but a blown fuse, and a couple of failed fans; and there is more I have yet to examine. So both these printers may have little actual wear; needing only ink and a very thorough nozzle unclogging from being in storage.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 12:11 PM
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i got a free epson r420 or r820 or something with my canon 40d a few years back. some people think its better to just keep the ink and sell off the printer because the inks are so expensive. on ebay, there are some knock off bulk ink systems. basically its big bottles full of ink with a tube that goes into their cartridges which you install into the printer... the printer lid has to be kept open to allow for the tube to go back and forth while printing.

ive never actually tried it because i sold the printer/ink.. but it seemed more economical than replacing ink over and over again.

oh and keep the ink cartridges that still have some left. the heads are the important part which needs to be cleaned ..the menu system should have that option. once its cleaned the ink should start flowing again
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-08-2011, 02:25 PM
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My bad.
Here are cheap inks

My experiences with 3rd party inks are that they clog the printer head more often.

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 04-09-2011, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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@Mistergreen: The price on those is right for what is currently a gamble. I'll switch to OEM later if the printer works.

@Dodohead: Alright, I'll replace only the empty and near-empty carts to start. Those continuous ink systems are impressive, but way more than I'll need at least for now; I'll keep those in mind for the future.

Thanks to both of you!

I'm still looking for a photo printer forum recommendation if anyone has one.
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