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Old Jan 7, 2008, 12:40 AM   #1
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Since Epson introduced the latest printers with the nine pin smart chip cartridges, there have been many problems experienced by those who have used compatible cartridges instead of the Epson orginal. Basically the problem has been that about every three months Epson revises the firmware on its range of printers using the nine pin chips, with the result thatany compatible cartridges installed after the firmware revision will no longer be recognized, although the genuine cartridges are not effected. This has caused much grief for resellers, users and manufacturers of the compatible cartridges as the compatible chips have to be updated to accommodate the firmware revisions, and these constant upgrades by Epson is making this problematic for the aftermarket industry.

However, it appears that this situation has become worse and potentially disasterous for those who do not wish to use non genuine Epson cartridges. The problem is that some customers who have been using compatible cartridges with 9 pin chips without any problem, suddenly find that the printer starts to give erratic chip recognition problems. This happens with cartridges that had been recognized OK over several replacementsandoccurssuddenly, even if the cartridge ishalf empty and not requiring a replacement. Changing the cartridges for new ones does not solve the problem and the printer gives all kinds of erratic chip recognition errors when the new ones are installed. The possible explanation forthis sudden problem is that Epson may be quiety updating the printers firmware when connected to theinternet, which then causes the compatible cartridges to suddenlygive chip recognition errors. A check reveals that one of the Asian suppliers of the compatible 9 pin chips believes this is the case.

So far, the only way to overcome this problem is to replace the compatible cartridges with refillable cartridges (CIS) These cartridges have chips with different instructions on them and this may prevent them from being effected by any possible Epson firmware upgrades - although this does not mean that they may not be disabled in the future, the Espon nine pin chips are quite sophisticated and it is reported that only 10% of their memory is utilised at the present time, so there is plenty of room left for Epson to add more information on them.

It would be interesting to know if there are others who have experienced problems similar to above or who may be aware of any possible internet firmware upgrades that cause these problems.
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 11:27 PM   #2
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That's a horrid thought — but I doubt it's true.

For one thing, Epson would have to be able to identify their printers (brand, model, manufacture date, world zone, installed driver and all) when attached to computers on the Web, which ought to be impossible if a competent firewall is installed and would require full-time employment of quite a bit of bandwidth for a continuous world-wide search just to trap those few that don't have one in operation.

Further, think what would happen if a user innocently turned his/her printer off at the wall with a surreptitious firmware update in progress...

It's far more likely that Epson are updating the software available for download on a regular basis and users are running into trouble when they update drivers or, now that Epson have taken a leaf out of the movie DVD producers' book, users are trying to use cartridges made for another world zone.


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Old Jan 8, 2008, 11:04 PM   #3
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None of the customers who had this problem(6) updated their drivers, they are not computer literate in that regard. The problem happened with the T0731-T0734 and T0811-T0816 nine pin cartridges. The errors that arise are consistent with firmware that has been changed to no longer recognize non genuine Epson chips. When CIS cartridges with compatible chips that have a different set of instructions have been installed into these printers, in all cases they have been recognized OK



Anecdotal evidence is that this problem is happening more and more often, only with the Epsonprinters using the nine pin chips that have been working OK with the compatibles until they suddenly start giving problems- so something strange is happening. If not an internet update of the firmware, maybe the existing firmware is programmed to allow compatible cartridges to be recognized for a certain number of times and then reject them, with these 9 pin smartchips, these are definite possibilities
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Old Jan 10, 2008, 3:26 AM   #4
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Yes, programming the chips to allow a short period of operation before failure is certainly possible — it would also make life difficult for developers of third-party carts, which would probably be the main objective.

I'm dreading the day my (so far...) trusty R310 falls over and has to be binned.

Sorry, I should have said "programming the firmware to allow a short period of operation on unrecognised chips" is certainly possible.

My fingers tend to outrun my so-called brain nowadays.
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Old Aug 8, 2010, 7:44 PM   #5
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This happened to me yesterday (on DX8450).

Been using it with compatible cartridges for months with no problems. Yesterday, I printed an email successfully, then used the info from the email to complete a Word document.

Half an hour later (without touching the printer) I attempted to print the Word Document. For some reason, I got a message telling me the yellow cartridge was "incompatible".

I replaced it. Now the black cartridge came up as incompatible!

I replaced that one. Unfortunately, the ink recharging led the blue cartridge to empty, and I haven't a spare.

I could understand ONE cartridge throwing a sudden wobbler, but TWO???

I suspect interference from somewhere.....
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Old Aug 12, 2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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I always suggest to my clients to not update their printer drivers unless there is a problems with the printer, and also make sure the printer is not part of any internet updates.
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