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Old Mar 23, 2005, 8:27 AM   #1
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Is is possible to print using only the bci-6bk cartridge for a test print as i have just bought a 3rd party refill ink for this cartridge just for trial?

I tried printing a black only graphics and it turned out great but i am not sure whether the image is "contaminated" by the bci-3eBK pigment ink or not, so i tried printing without the bci-3ebk cartridge and the page (just a small test print) turned out with some thin stripes of lines and then there was no ink being laid on the paper quarter way through the print. So i am left wondering whether all along, the other test prints i did were printed with the bci-3ebk cartridge. (kinda stupid of me, i know but the printer driver didn't issue any warning like "cartridge not inserted" or similar warnings.)

Another question, i heard that canon printers or least pixma series of printers can print even with empty ink cartridges, however which ones? and can the empty cartridges be taken out or must they be left inserted?

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Old Mar 23, 2005, 10:33 AM   #2
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One of the things I miss from my HP is the ability to select a "Black Only" sub heading under Grayscale and know the printer is using only the pigmented black cartridge.

If the printer ran out of ink for your grayscale print with just the large pigmented black cartridge missing I would guess it must be using that. Not sure though.

It is a bad idea to run your printer with cartridges missing or empty. Thermal inkjets can burn out the heads without ink flowing through them – at least I have read that. I refill all of my cartridges when I get the empty warning on any of them. Canon printers just measure the ink in the tank, so there is plenty of ink left in the sponge when it shows empty.

If you didn't get your pigmented black from someone who sells ink specifically formulated for the printer you might have some problems with color photos on glossy photo paper. I used the WJ1010 ink I had been using in my HPs for years and the text improved. But the photos laid down too much black. I now keep two pigmented black cartridges. One with the Canon ink and one with the stronger WJ1010.

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Old Mar 23, 2005, 2:44 PM   #3
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The BCI-6BK ink isn't pigmented. AFAIK the BCI-3eBK that is pigmented is only used if you have plain papers selected. Try selecting one of the coated "Photo" papers.
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 6:04 PM   #4
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thanks for the tip, that's wat i just read on the dpreview forum. will giv it a try now.
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Old Mar 23, 2005, 10:52 PM   #5
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Paul_D wrote:
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The BCI-6BK ink isn't pigmented. AFAIK the BCI-3eBK that is pigmented is only used if you have plain papers selected. Try selecting one of the coated "Photo" papers.
My iP4000 uses the pigmented black on photo paper. If I install the 3eBK with WJ1010 ink it puts down too much black ink on Canon Photo Paper Pro. With the stock Canon cartridge with Canon pigmented ink it doesn't do that. I'm not about to pull the 6BK cartridge and run that dry to prove it, but I can see no other explanation for why it lays too much black down on photo paper with the wrong ink in the 3eBK cartridge.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 12:51 AM   #6
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That seems iffy to me. I have an i865 that should be similar to an iP4000. I have lifted the top cover and watched the ink being laid down on the paper for various settings. The ink head for the pigmented cart is much longer than the dye head and you can see when that head is working. When Photo papers are selected here it was obvious that the pigment head wasn't in use.
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Old Mar 24, 2005, 10:39 AM   #7
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WEll, i did some test prints today n i can confirm, visually, that using any kind of photo paper setting, the printer will use only the bci-6bk ink n when plain paper is selected, u can c that the bci-3ebk is used as it streaks ahead about an inch compared to other inks and it's extremely apparent if u stop the print job b4 it finishes.

I should have tot of that b4 however, having tried the 3rd party refill ink i got, i am quite impressed colour quality wise but still not sure bout longevity, will try to leave it out to sun and c how it goes....

btw, thanks everyone.
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Old Mar 25, 2005, 4:45 AM   #8
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well, it seems that my previous statement might have been partially correct. This above statement is correct when you're printing with borderless option turned off. Now i found out that if you're printing borderless, no matter the paper selected in the printer drver setting, the printer would only use the BCI-6bk cartridge even if plain paper is selected.

I was left scratching my head this morning when i decided to print some more test prints to compare them with those printed on canon oem inks and i found out that my statement on the previous post din hold true.
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Old Mar 25, 2005, 12:56 PM   #9
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I tried to duplicate your method. I can hold the switch down so I can print with the printer open to watch the printing. But the heads move back and forth very fast on the iP4000 and it is impossible to determine which cartridge is laying down the ink. The two black cartridges are next to each other on the 4000 and there is no way to get your eye level even with the heads. So you can't watch the ink actually laid down.

I still can see no reason why I get too much black laid down on photos with WJ1010 ink in my large black cartridge. The text isn't as dark with the Canon pigmented ink either, so my guess was that the pigmented black was a compromise. But the new black Canon cartridge is a lot darker than the one that came with the printer. Others reported the gray text in draft mode and I suspect they shipped some with weak ink in the big black cartridge. It still isn't as dark with the new cartridge, but it is now black rather than gray.

Another thing that makes me think the printer is using some of the pigmented black for photo prints on photo paper is that I have refilled my colors several times now but have used very little photo black. Most of my color printing is on glossy photo paper – I have it defaulted to grayscale for most plain paper printing. I actually had pools of black printing with the WJ1010 – even on Canon Photo Paper Pro.

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Old Mar 25, 2005, 2:50 PM   #10
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Yes the head does move quickly :-) I found the best way was to have a narrow image running down the middle of the page. On the i865 set for plain paper you could see the far end of the pigment head output hitting the paper before the colour caught up. It was like seeing a pencil sketch being coloured in. Set for PPPro and the black shadow ahead of the colour stops.

I don't understand why there's any problems with "grey" text on iP4000s. For text printing I only ever use draft. Maybe there was a weak batch of ink.
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