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Old Nov 28, 2004, 10:52 PM   #1
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I'm looking at the Canon line of printers and see that the printheads dont get changed with the ink.

What prevents them from clogging? If you dont use the printer for a period of time, will they clog? Is it a good idea to print a page or so occasionally to prevent clogging? I saw one post that suggested soaking the printhead in hot water! Does this work?

I'm concerned that if I buy one of these that I'll have to replace the printheads which would increase the overall cost of ownership. I also saw on a site that said something like the printheads can be replaced when it is "determined by a servicer."

Canon IPXXXX owners - how have the printheads performed?
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 6:31 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what "keeps them from clogging" but I have had a Canon S900 for a couple of years with no printhead problems. I did use the printer nearly every day for at least a single printout, so maybe that has something to do with it. I also only used Canon OEM inks.

I just bought a Pixma 5000 on Saturday, so the S900 is retired! Hopefully, the smaller picoliter size on the iP5000 won't lend itself to printhead issues.

Beverly
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Old Nov 29, 2004, 7:13 PM   #3
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I have a small color image I print at low quality once a week if I haven't used the color. That seems to be sufficient to keep them from clogging and doesn't use enough ink to even consider.

It isn't that the HP heads are in the cartridge, but that they dock them against a pad moist with ink that keeps them from clogging. The pad uses a little ink, but it is pretty efficient.

Soaking in hot water is recommended by MIS. Here are some other recommendations: http://www.maxpatchink.com/canon-tips.shtml
http://www.atlascopy.com/knowledge/unclogging.htm
http://www.weink.com/ecom/support/technotes/tsg02.htm

Better to run a small color image through the printer occasionally than have to mess with soaking. It would be safest to use distilled water. Or ammonia.

I've has an S9000 for a couple of years and had to soak the heads only once. I used ammonia and just print my little plain paper graphic occasionally to avoid having to do it again. The print heads normally last the life of the printer unless you do a LOT of printing or get them so clogged they can't be cleared. That is unusual.

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Old Nov 30, 2004, 7:16 PM   #4
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Sounds like the trick is to print a little image once a week and for the extreme case, soak the printhead.

Does anyone have a graphic that has the primary colors all represented? Might be nice to have a simple test pattern that prints a little square (full height of the printhead) of each color in the printer(5, 6, or 8 color process).

Is there documentation on the datastream of the Canons? Might be nice to create a little file that does this and create a scheduled task that automatically prints once a week.

Also, what's a good source for replacement inks?
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Old Nov 30, 2004, 9:10 PM   #5
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The people over at the dpreview board were swearing by inkjetgoodies.com ink for Canons. MIS has always been reliable at inksupply.com. My guess is they both ship the same ink. I have read there is really only one manufacturer for good quality aftermarket ink.

Maybe it is because I have the printer defaulted to draft, but the nozzle check is perfect on my iP4000. It uses very little ink and makes a small image with all of the pure colors very light. It would also alert you to a problem. I'll use that instead of my little graphic.

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Old Nov 30, 2004, 9:33 PM   #6
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So there's a nozzle check feature in the utilities that come with the printer? Is this in the driver?

If there is, I'll bet you can print to file then use the command line to send this file to the printer from the scheduler. I like automated things.

Also, does the 8500 allow network attachment with a third party network adapter?
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Old Dec 2, 2004, 10:29 PM   #7
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I ordered an 8500 earlier in the week and it should be here by next Tuesday.

Can't wait!
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Old Dec 3, 2004, 10:47 PM   #8
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Pretty damn cool.

The 8500 rocks!

Now for some questions:

1. How do most people handle using the two trays. I kinda like the idea of having the 4x6 paper in the lower tray since it tucks away neatly. Is the bend it has to take too extreme in the long run? Is the top feeder better for 4x6?
2. How is the print on label media for CD/DVDs? Will I smear the print if I try to apply a label?
3. If I had a USB network printer adapter, can I put this on a home network?
4. When I print from the PictBridge interface, will something let me know if it's low on ink?
5. If I print a large batch of borderless 4x6 pictures are there any side effects? Where does the overspray go?

I'm sure I'll have more questions the more I use it. I've been printing 4x6 pictures like crazy all evening.

My only problem has been media. I went to Sams club and bought a bunch of Kodak 4x6 media that's actually 4x6.5 - I have to trim each printer. Kinda of a pain.

Back to printing...
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Old Dec 4, 2004, 1:50 AM   #9
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The nozzle check is in the driver. It is on the maintenance tab in properties.

1. My iP4000 is my general purpose printer. I keep plain paper in the top and 8.5 X 11 photo paper in the bottom. I wold think the 4 X 6 would fit nicely in the lower tray though since there is a nice flat place for it.
2. You probably won't smear if you let it dry – Canon recommends a day for photo prints and I would apply that to the labels. I buy Wal Mart's clear spray at a buck a can and spray it on a lot of printed stuff. Usually plain paper or index stock to protect and bring out the colors. It would probably not make a label look better, but I would spray it with the clear spray if I were doing it.
3. I thought any printer would do that – don't know as I'm not networked.
4. On the iP4000 the power light flashes orange in patterns of 4 flashes as a low ink warning. I couldn't imagine in my wildest dreams printing without cropping and tweaking in the computer first.
5. Canon has had borderless printers for several years now and I haven't read any comments about problems with accumulated overspray. I'm not any more likely to take it apart to find out where the overspray goes than to take the back off my refrigerator to make sure the light goes out. My S9000 does borderless and no problems with overspray after 2 years of use. Canon seems to have figured that out.

I use mostly Red River paper. They make 4 X 6 in several papers. I just print everything on 8.5 X 11 and trim it. You can get four 4.X 5.33, three 4 X 6 or two 5 X 7s from a sheet. 4 X 5.33 and 4.5 X 6 are a lot closer to a prosumer camera's 4:3 format. I like 5 X 7s, and they are cheaper than 4 X 6s if you trim them from an 8.5 X 11 sheet. My trick for accurate trimming is to put a high intensity light under the edge of the trimmer. You can see exactly where on the print it will cut by the shadow.



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Old Dec 8, 2004, 6:37 PM   #10
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There are sponges that catch the ink and absorb it during borderless printing(overspray). What happens to the ink after the sponge can't hold anymore? Simple! The channel that holds the sponge has holes that connect to the waste ink tank, so the excess will just go down.
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