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Old Apr 27, 2006, 11:16 PM   #1
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I have just run across two defective color cartridges in a row for my HP 720C. I had the first cartridge for several months before the previous one finally ran out of ink. (I use the printer only occasionally and almost always for photos; I have a separate laser printer for my text stuff.) The first replacement cartridge had an output consistent with not feeding any cyan ink to the image. A cartridge clean cycle, even the deep clean one, did nothing to clear the problem.

Figuring that age may have done something to the cartridge, I went and bought another cartridge from an entirely different store chain and in another city. That one printed no yellow but dumped cyan into areas requiring any color at all. I haven't figured out at all what the magenta ink is doing. To eliminate the possibility that the software had somehow changed since the last time I tried to print, I put the old cartridge back and printed out the same page, getting no cyan at all, consistent with the output I had previously gotten with that cartridge. Putting the new cartridge back in gave me the blue underwater look again. I also tried the clean cycle with the new cartridge, which didn't help the problem either.

I have sworn off HP's inkjet printers because of the poor quality control on its cartridges and am looking for a decent non-HP printer. So far, it appears that Epson and Canon are the most popular alternatives. I would like one with a reasonably small footprint but that can print bigger than 8-1/2 inches wide. Printing speed isn't critical and I don't need the latest model, but image permanence, color fidelity, and good resolution are of some importance. It would also be nice if I could print indefinite lengths of paper, since I sometimes want to print out my stitched panoramas. Low initial and operating cost and the ability to sit idle for a few weeks at a time without clogging would be nice too.
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Old Apr 27, 2006, 11:48 PM   #2
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scoundrel1728 wrote:
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I have just run across two defective color cartridges in a row for my HP 720C. I had the first cartridge for several months before the previous one finally ran out of ink. (I use the printer only occasionally and almost always for photos; I have a separate laser printer for my text stuff.) The first replacement cartridge had an output consistent with not feeding any cyan ink to the image. A cartridge clean cycle, even the deep clean one, did nothing to clear the problem.

Figuring that age may have done something to the cartridge, I went and bought another cartridge from an entirely different store chain and in another city. That one printed no yellow but dumped cyan into areas requiring any color at all. I haven't figured out at all what the magenta ink is doing. To eliminate the possibility that the software had somehow changed since the last time I tried to print, I put the old cartridge back and printed out the same page, getting no cyan at all, consistent with the output I had previously gotten with that cartridge. Putting the new cartridge back in gave me the blue underwater look again. I also tried the clean cycle with the new cartridge, which didn't help the problem either.

I have sworn off HP's inkjet printers because of the poor quality control on its cartridges and am looking for a decent non-HP printer. So far, it appears that Epson and Canon are the most popular alternatives. I would like one with a reasonably small footprint but that can print bigger than 8-1/2 inches wide. Printing speed isn't critical and I don't need the latest model, but image permanence, color fidelity, and good resolution are of some importance. It would also be nice if I could print indefinite lengths of paper, since I sometimes want to print out my stitched panoramas. Low initial and operating cost and the ability to sit idle for a few weeks at a time without clogging would be nice too.
I would think twice about swaring off HP. They do make decent printers even if you had some issues with the cartridges. But hey, it's your money and both Epson and Canon have good choices. And we are talking about cartridges which, in all fairness, may have been sitting on the shelf for a while. I remember 4 or 5 years ago I was shocked my new HP didn't take the 45a anymore.

-Length-
Canon - 23.9 inch max lengh. This was true of my ip3000 and is true of my ip5200.
Epson r200 - I think the max length was 44 inches, the r800 has a nifty roller attachment.

-Clogging-
Epson c86 - more prone to clogging due to pigment inks but prints last an age
Epson r2x0-r3x0 - clogs but can be resolved with windex.
Canon ip3000/mp760 - I needed to deep clean the mp760 once.

-foot print-
-width-
The r200 is a good solid 18 inches wide as I measure it
The Canon ip5200 is 17.5 inches, much to my shock, a good inch wider than the prior model.

-depth-
The ip5200 is 11 inches not including the lower tray
The r200 i'm too lazy to measure but it's not as deep, but the same amount of rear space is required for CD printing.


----

If you consider Epson, consider the Epson referb store. The r200 is $59 shipped, less than the cost of the ink it comes with. Even if you go with a more spiffy model like the r300, the r200 referb is cheaper than ink.
http://www.epson.com/cgi-bin/Store/index.jsp?ref=haa

The Canon ip4200/5200 are worth looking at, though i've not had enough time to really evaluate my ip5200, but it's clearly the better general purpose printer, where the epson r2x0 r3x0 is a very decent photo printer. The i6600D is purely a photo printer.

-vs hp-

The 720 was among many that took the 45A cartridge. It was 30 bucks for 833pages. Draft mode was quick and made you wonder if you ever needed to use "normal" mode. You won't see that on either the epson or the canon at all, draft mode is going to be grey.

For text printing, expect the canon to be on par with the old 45a, slightly less in fact though volume is only about 500p.

Expect the r2x0/3x0 to be onpar, or slightly higher than the old 45a, plus it's dye only not pigment. 450p or so

Expect the c84 to be on par/slightly more than the old 45a, but odds are the the cartridge should last longer. 950p or so.

I can't remember printing on my old 800 series well enough to judge... I just remember the 720 was better than what I had though it took the same ink.







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Old Apr 28, 2006, 1:05 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info, zakezuke.

The HP 720C may indeed be as good as you say for printing text, but I didn't get it to print text and have only used it for that purpose when my laser printer (also an HP) needed to go into the shop for a while.

I bought the 720C specifically for photos and have had it for several years already. The printer was a good deal when I bought it and produced good photos and I have had no fading problems with the images to speak of. Even a print on bond paper that had been left in a car window in direct sunlight for four months or so held up pretty well. There is a print on Hammermill's JetPrint that has faded rather badly, but I don't really count that because that isn't necessarily the fault of the ink or the printer alone but a combination of the ink and paper.

Although it is true that the first defective ink cartridge had been sitting around a while before being put into service and the other cartridge that was in the same package worked just fine, there was no reason to believe the other cartridge to be defective and this was a major store. If the cartridge had gone bad from sitting around too long, there is a good chance that the demand for these cartridges has dropped off to the point where defective cartridges would be rather common. I won't accept that.

Also, I had been thinking of getting another printer anyway because, although the color fidelity of the 720C was OK and the general print quality blew away the Lexmark printer that had been a gift, the prints were still noticeably grainy in appearance when compared to a wet process photo and the resolution wasn't quite there either. The 0.46 inch unprintable margin on the trailing edge was also problematic and he ink took a long time to dry when printed out on photo paper. This is as good an excuse as any to get something more suitable for photos.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 7:11 PM   #4
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i have the almost same problem. i was refilling the hp57 for a while but all of a sudden the yellow quit working . i chaned cart with differnt lot numbers and the same i have tryed sevarl cart with the same result. this was on a photo smart 7350.

i then went and bought a hp office jet 5610 all in one. it does the same thing. any commits.........................................

i think i am going to get a ip6000d if i can find one.
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Old Apr 28, 2006, 8:39 PM   #5
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The 720 is a very old general purpose printer. Photos are a secondary benefit, but it is primarily for text. I upgraded from a 722 to a 920 because I got it free for buying a stamp printing program back before the dot-com crash. The 920 did better photos, but they were still poor by the standards of current 6 color photo printers 6 years ago. They are really poor by today's standards.

If you are using your laser for text get a photo printer with 6+ colors. The 720 probably did you a favor by crapping out. It isn't a printer to waste ink and good quality photo paper on.

From what you posted you should stick with HP. I haven't looked into current HP printers because I have pretty much switched to Canon and my next wide format photo printer will probably be an Epson because of the 24 inch width limit on the Canons. But both of those brands require frequent printing or they will clog. With both my Canons I print a test pattern on plain paper every couple of weeks just to keep some ink flowing through them if they haven't been used for color.

When I gave my 722 away it had been sitting for a couple of years with the cartridges installed. It still worked perfectly with the old installed cartridges. The HPs with the heads in the cartridge park against a moist pad and they don't easily clog. With your use pattern you would have a lot of clogging problems with Canon or Epson IMO.

HP stopped making printers that took the 720 ink at least seven years ago. The 920 was out in 99 or maybe earlier and used a new ink formulation. I refill and you couldn't use color ink made for the 720 in the 920. The cartridges look the same and the black ink is the same, but the color ink was different. It might just be possible that HP stopped making the old ink and cartridges with that ink have become outdated in storage. But if you buy a current HP photo printer you will probably be amazed at the output and you won't have the clogging hassles.

HP seems to put their 9 ink system only in wide format printers, but you would see a great improvement over what you are getting in the inexpensive 6 ink 7850. I do think you get better photo printing in something like the Canon iP6600 or 6200 and the Canons are faster. The Epson R340 has a $30 rebate going on the R340 and it is probably better than the HP7850 also. But with Canon or Epson you are going to get clogging if you let the printer sit for long periods without printing anything.

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Old Apr 29, 2006, 1:13 AM   #6
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oldman1 wrote:
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i think i am going to get a ip6000d if i can find one.

ip6000D - $124.95 Amazon.com [/b][There is an additional charge of $19.96] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...e&n=172282

Not a bad price even taking shipping into account.
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Old Apr 29, 2006, 11:16 AM   #7
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FWIW, the printer itself works fine. At least, it works as well as it ever did. It's the color cartridges I'm having trouble with.
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Old Jun 2, 2006, 11:15 AM   #8
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ok it has been awhile about this subject. i thought i would ask. has any body out there ran across this problem...
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Old Jun 2, 2006, 2:59 PM   #9
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Update: I returned the cartridge that produced the undersea look to the dealer in exchange for another one. The printer works as it should with the new cartridge.
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