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Old Jun 12, 2006, 6:28 AM   #41
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iP4200
- All OEM cartridges refilledfor 1st time last week = nearly full
- cartridges have been removed (with power on) to re-fill
- Getting low ink warning on magenta cart
- printer left on auto-power off/on
- No empty / warranty warnings.. yet..
- still working

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Old Jun 13, 2006, 3:39 AM   #42
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Well just as a status check both printers are still running nicely despite being put through a major print job over the weekend..

I've also had a chance to think things through a bit more and I suspect I've refined my theory somewhat to explain the new wrinkle in this thread:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...541969#p541969


I've posted it here so you may want to cross reference:
http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/vie...pid=6838#p6838

but to quote the post I did there:
Martin wrote:
Quote:
Here's a hypothetical scenario (yep, another one )..

Printer has a set of OEM cartridges installed that haven't been refilled yet.. The user uses a fair bit of ink and through it's prism sensor (or the chip) the printer notices that it's becoming low on ink (ie: the spongeless part is empty or close to it).. The user decides at this point to top up the ink tank and pulls out the cartridges, refills them and replaces them in the printer. At this point the printer decides to lock up.

Here's where the logic check comes in... The printer may be programmed to poll the prism for its status and then compare with the chip and if the chip suddenly goes from low ink to "full" it figures there's a problem with the cartridge and halts printing.

This sort of logic "could" be used as an excuse that Canon are protecting the user from a "broken" cartridge but it would seem to be a rather clever way of stopping people from successfully refilling.. I'm just guessing here you understand but it might explain the report in the post referenced above.




So, thinking this through, it would then make sense to either: Keep the cartridges topped up constantly (through a CIS) so there's no sudden disparity (ie: low to full) or wait until the cartridge is completely empty before refilling.
So, just to reiterate the last point here... It may actually be that one of the few ways to keep an iP4200 working is to consider a well built CIS that does not allow the cartridges to ever trigger a low ink warning...

.. OR..

You can top up your cartridges every print run and ensure that they never reach a "low ink" level.

The jury is still out on whether you can refill, allow the cartridge to hit zero and then refill again to avoid the logic trap although that runs the risk of the printer deliberately allowing the cartridge to run dry causing the head to fry, etc..

I'm biased here but the CIS does now seem to be the best way to go although it's only ever going to be of use to enthusiasts because you need to be paying attention to ensure the system doesn't run dry or suffer a fault.



It's still a theory but you have to understand that someone has programmed these printers to follow a set series of if(X=Y) THEN DO Z type commands. The printer will react in a finite way to a finite set of circumstances so we just need to figure out what they are and then adapt our approach accordingly.

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Old Jun 13, 2006, 4:03 AM   #43
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Just to add that I just received a reply to my request for clarification from Canon and the response was simply this:

Quote:
Dear Customer,


We cannot guarantee that the machine will function properly unless you are using genuine, non-refilled Canon cartridges.
In short they are not confirming or denying that a deliberate block exists.. Doubtless their technical team have been instructed to avoid stating any facts in this regard to make it harder for a legal action to be pursued..


Anyway, this doesn't change anything, we can still work out what the different parameters are and find workarounds... and if Canon work to close those gaps we can then successfully argue that they are doing it deliberately to force people to use their products..

What a bunch of complete t***ers.
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 5:09 AM   #44
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I had a flash of inspiration about this blasted thing..

If the prism is the tattle tale that the chip uses to confirm that the ink level has risen or dropped what's stopping you using a little bit of tape to block the prism from actually being able to detect anything other than blackness (ie: ink)?

No idea if this would work or not but I'd suggest, based on what we already think may be happening that you don't actually tape over the sensor or cartridge base until the cartridge has logged the "empty - 3 warnings" routine or you do it right at the start when you put your cartridges in for the first time.

If you try to put it on after you've gotten a low ink warning (and before the "empty" message )then chances are you'll end up creating the error because the printer may (if the tape works this is) assume the prism is malfunctioning when it showed as low ink last time it checked (and now shows full).



Anyways in other news I pulled my CIS kit out of my ip4200 [low] (see earlier post for full description) after putting the printer in cartridge exchange position and pulling the power cord.. I then re-primed the CIS kit so the ink levels in the spongless part of the carts were higher (they were a little low for my liking) and replaced it before plugging the printer back in.

It's still working fine but I should note that non of the tanks were at the "low ink" level so all I've proved is that my theory re: refilling before low ink is reached could be right.. Not definitive proof but useful I'm sure...
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 6:02 AM   #45
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Hi Websnail.

As I recently bought an IP4200, I've been following your various posts with interest. But I have to admit, you're beginning to lose me.

My understanding is that the cartridges are chipped.And that the chip "remembers" how often the cart has been used, to determine when it is empty & needs replaced.

We can re-fill the carts, but the chip still thinks it's running out, so we will get a series of warnings - first low ink, then empty. You can continue printing following the empty warning, but you get a warranty void notice.

The latest threads suggest that once all 5 carts have been flagged as empty, the printer will refuse to print until one (or more?) OEM chipped carts have been fitted.

What does the prism have to do with all this?

Thanks
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 6:28 AM   #46
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speedy wrote:
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Hi Websnail.

As I recently bought an IP4200, I've been following your various posts with interest. But I'm have to admit, you're beginning to lose me.
LOL... if it's any consolation I think I got lost until I took a break over the weekend.. In truth my posts have been something akin to a stream of consciousness being transposed to page.. with no editing.. so it's a mess.


So, perhaps a recap is in order and as luck would have it I wrote one here:
http://www.continuousink.info/forum/...?p=33753#33753


Now, to answer your question re: the prism.

The older iP printers used a prism technology in the cartridge to indicate whether the cartridge was nearly empty or full.. These might help you understand what they do:
http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=140
http://www.nifty-stuff.com/forum/vie...pid=6826#p6826

The newer models have retained the prism whilst adding the chip and the prism seems to be included as a backup device to ensure the cartridge hasn't run dry or to indicate when the cartridge has been refilled.

It's this prism and the chip that are working in tandem that cause the "empty" message.. If you were ever to try and continue printing with an empty cartridge it will refuse.. but as soon as you refill that same cartridge and replace it, the printer will detect the new status (via the prism) and then display the nag screens..

Does that make things a little clearer?
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 6:40 AM   #47
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"Does that make things a little clearer?" :-)

Thanks Websnail.

So the theory is that my magenta cart, which is currently nagging me as running low (& showing only 10% in the registry entries) will never be flagged as empty (as long as I keep re-filling it ofcourse)??

I was actually hoping it would eventually decide it was empty & stop nagging me :G
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 7:23 AM   #48
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speedy wrote:
Quote:
"Does that make things a little clearer?" :-)

Thanks Websnail.

So the theory is that my magenta cart, which is currently nagging me as running low (& showing only 10% in the registry entries) will never be flagged as empty (as long as I keep re-filling it ofcourse)??

I was actually hoping it would eventually decide it was empty & stop nagging me :G
Actually I think you may have a problem if you refill it now... Your best bet is to let it run out (according to the chip) and accept the nag screens before you refill again... It seems that there's a problem window with these cartridges that might mean that the printer locks out that cartridge because it thinks the prism is "broken".

However for all that I've just spoken to someone else on the phone now who hit the low ink notice, refilled and carried on printing, no problem.. Damn this is getting hard to work-out.



Hmm.. ok random thought, so ignore if you want... It could be that you need to refill one cartridge at a time, restarting the printer between each, to let it deal with a single cartridge changing.. Perhaps the printer balks when somone tries refilling multiple carts in one go.
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Old Jun 13, 2006, 1:22 PM   #49
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Right... after getting another contradictory report from a contact I've decided to hold off on the theorising for a little while and see if instead we can collect detailed data from which we can then figure out what's going on.

Rather than add to this thread I'm going to start a new one here:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=40

... so if you could take heed of the report format and fill out your own details we can keep all the information in one place...


If anyone has any suggestions for improving that format please let me know here... but overall right now I think the smart thing for me to admit is that I don't know for sure what's actually happening with these chipped cartridges.. Trying to help people with theories isn't helping so collecting more information to inform an opinion would be in order..
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Old Jun 21, 2006, 8:31 AM   #50
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According to my sources in Asia who make compatible chips for cartridges, the chips on each of the cartridges in iP4200/iP5200 have 128bit ASIC encryption, and they and nobody else,and as far as they know, has cracked the code, and even if they do, there will be a problem finding a chip small enough to hold all the instructions that will fit on a compatible cartridge. They have been trying to crack them since they were released, and in their own words, they have never come across chips like them before.

As for discussions about fooling the chips etc, nothing works, when the chip registers ink out, that is it. Trying to refill before the cartridge is empty, swapping chips, covering chips etc.etc.nothing will work. The chips can be disabled, you lose the status monitor but the cartridges can be refilled OK. Even after the chips are disabled, covering them or removing them will prevent tne printer from working.

That is the bad news, the good news is that setting the printers up for continuous flow is easy, and once the chips are disabled, the printers just keep powering on without any more hassles, just keep the ink bottles topped up and the paper tray replenished. My own iP4200 is up to 15000 pages, most at least 50% coverage and no problems at all, in fact with the continuous flow, head cleans are dramatically decreased. I have done about 20 continuous flow systems and not one has had any problems.
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