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Old Jan 3, 2007, 10:18 PM   #11
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Idle wrote:
I'm probably not the best person to give opinions on this, since my personal experience with inkjets has been mostly confined to Epsons with piezo heads -- apart from a very brief whirl in the 1980's with Siemens machines, of which the less said the better (you haven't experienced a real head clog unless you've used one of these...)

I'm currently on my third unit, having started with the original Epson Color in the early 1990's and yes, it did suffer from occasional clogs but trundled away for nearly a decade before finally wearing out.

Next was a Color 900 -- again suffering from clogs if neglected, but still doing duty in the workshop. From memory it's now six or seven years old and can still churn out a 100 page manual or a quite decent photo.

Current machine is an R310, now approaching two years old -- it has yet to suffer its first head clog.

All three were fed third-party inks after the original Epson carts ran dry -- the first two units by way of refilling Epson original carts (bought an extra set with each, never needed any more), the R310 has a CIS fitted.

Given its thirst for ink (which probably explains its freedom from clogging), the CIS seemed the sensible way to go and once the learning curve was past (bought the wrong unit originally, soon had to scrap it due to chip problems and leaks) it proved reasonably successful.

As to your not getting clogs with the HP, I assume it was/is a model with the print head in the cartridge, thus having the heads replaced regularly (some can be successfully refilled, but only until the head wears out, then the cart must be scrapped) whereas the Epson heads are lifetime units and only the ink tanks are changed (or refilled, if you have the know-how and courage...)

As I understand it, these and the similar Canon models use heat to vapourise the ink and spit it on the paper, so in effect they are steam-powered while Epsons (and later fixed-head Canons) use a mechanical pump action that remains cold.

My experience with Epsons has been that, provided you run good quality inks and (above all!) keep them clean and use them frequently, they'll be pretty trouble-free.

There is, however, a very noticeable difference between the manufacture quality of the first two units and the R310, which can only be described as flimsy -- I'm certainly not expecting ten years service from it (but of course it did cost a lot less, so I suppose that's relative.)
Hello Idle,

Thanks for your post. And you make a good point about the HP's. That the print head was probably in the cartridge. Which would lessen the possibly of clogging greatly. If not altogether. At least, with my intermittent useage, that's what I've found.

I could print a few pages one day. Leave the HP for weeks. Return and print a few more pages. Leave it for a month or two. And the prints would be spot on. The only thing that would happen was that the colors would slowly begin to fade as the ink wells started to empty.

That's the way I like it. So I guess I should stick with HP's or Canon's knowing the way I've used inkjets in the past.
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Old Feb 4, 2007, 1:31 AM   #12
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How is the new 3800? Does any one own one? Has it been reliable? Free of ink clogs?

I still haven't gotten around to picking up a new photo printer. Low on my priority list. But still on my list nonetheless. Being that the 3800 has a print head I was wondering how susceptible to clogging it is if you don't print regularly. Which is the kind of user I am as mentioned above in previous posts.

I suppose I could pickup an Epson (or Canon or HP) and wait till I have a load of pictures to print. Print till I use up the inks. Over the course of a few days. Eliminating the wait time between print jobs. Or greatly minimizing it.

Because if I use it the way I have been using inkjets in the past I might end up making most printers' print heads clog. Though, as I also said, it never happened for me when I was using a HP. Sometimes I would wait a few months before printing the next batch (before changing a cartridge). And there would be no problem. Colors would be close to what it should be. And the only thing that would happen was the colors on the printed pages would over time begin to fade as the ink suppl was depleted. I wonder if this is how it is for all HPs and Canon's today.

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