Chips" - What Are They and How Do I Re-use Them?
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Smart Chips, the bane of the do-it-yourself refiller.
Their sole purpose is to make refilling more difficult by fooling the
user into thinking that their cartridge can not be re-used. To
date no other useful purpose has been found for them.
Most smart chips are simply small E-PROM chips that
record and report droplet count data to the printer so that it can track
ink usage. In older printers, devices were a part of the print head and
were simply reset automatically when a cartridge was removed via a
simply pressure switch actuated by the removal of the cartridge. The
someone came up with idea of a disposable version that could put on the
cartridge instead. They could add unique ID numbers and brand name
electronic signatures to the chips and really put fear into the end-user
about using anything other than the printer manufacturer's cartridges.
Scary pop-up messages appear when you install other brands, as the
printer can now ID cartridges by brand. The ID numbers can be stored
internally prevent use of the cartridge a second time.
Fortunately, government involvement and market demand
put limits on how restrictive the smart chips could be. Most smart chips
are merely an inconvenience and there are methods that can be used to
reset and re-use smart chips used on both laser and inkjet cartridges.
Additionally, some printer manufacturer's built in re-use options for
some printers that permit the user to refill and re-use cartridges
without re-setting, with some limits.
Here are some typical inkjet smart chips types and
options available to the end-user to deal with the chips:
|Epson Desktop Printers
- The chip has a model ID, electronic signature, and droplet count
storage. The chip must be reset in order to re-use. Fortunately
there are many options of which two are presented here:|
SK-168II & SK188 External Universal Chip Reset Device:
A small box like device which is designed to reset almost all types of
Epson printer cartridges using smart chips. You simple position the
cartridge using the guides molded in the case and push the cartridge
against the contacts to reset the chip. Takes about 5 seconds to
perform a reset.
Auto-Reset Chips: Specially designed chips which automatically
reset when either of the following conditions are met: The printer is
powered off for 20-30 seconds (Desktop printers) or when the ink
levels reach 5% (Wide Format Printers).
SSC Smart Chip and
Utility for Epson Printers: A freeware program created by
SSC Localization Group located in Russia, as a protest against the
use of smart chip technology in Epson printers. This program does
NOT work with wide format printers (17" or wider carriage).
supports most Epson desktop printers and allows direct control of the E-PROM chip, whether it is on the
cartridge or in the printer itself. It can reset the chips for most
popular Epson printers and where it can't, it can just FREEZE the
droplet count and prevent the printer from locking your
cartridge out. Includes a report utility so that you can send
data about the chip operation of new printer models so that can
quickly design the reset protocol for new printers.
Works on Win 9x,
ME, XP and 2000 OS. You can download the most up to date version
here or visit the SSC Localization Group website.
Additional features unrelated to chip reset are also include such as
better print head cleaning controls. This software is recommended
for CRS users who do not want to spend the additional cost for
WeInk, LLC does not warranty or support the SCC software. There is no
charge to download and use the program.
|HP Desktop & Wide Format Printers
- Most models which use a smart chip are Business Printers such as
the 2000c, 2200c, 2250c, and 2500c, as well as popular DesignJet
models such as the 130. There is a chip on each inkjet
cartridge and each print head. Differing from the Epson cartridges in
that these chips also have a programmable expiration date. You can
generally re-use the cartridges without reset, but the ink level
status monitor will no longer be accessible. Once the expiration date
arrives the chip must be reset, as the printer will no longer use the
cartridge at all, so that a new expiration date can be programmed. Our
CamelFLO™ for HP
printers come with auto-reset chips that automatically reset the
chips when printer is powered off for at least 30 seconds and keeps an
open expiration date.|