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1200 ink cartridge questions and observations

Hi all,

Having just finished my second color cart on my new Epson 1200, and being
somewhat thrifty by nature, I decided to see if I could somehow build a big
ink system, since the folks in Europe don't seem to want to sell theirs (I
e-mailed them several times), and the MIS folks can't get their Cobra into
production.  I am an engineer (mechanical and electrical) and might be able
to devise something.

Anyway, I pried the top off the color and black cart, and discovered the
infamous sponge and microfilter at the bottom.  Since I'm sure this has been
covered before in some FAQ (I don't know where, however), these questions
might seem redundant.

Is the main problem with refilling getting the ink to the bottom of the
sponge so that it can come out the microfilter at the bottom?

I assume that once you get the ink to the bottom, as the printer prints, the
ink draws out by capillary action.  True?

Why is the sponge there in the first place?  To keep an even flow to the

If the above question is true, why can't the whole sponge be replaced with a
piece of sponge 1/2" high at the bottom of the cart just covering the
microfilter?  You could probably use a small amount of superglue to hold it
in place.  The rest of the chamber could be filled with ink, and if you
don't let the sponge run dry, you could keep putting ink in the chamber with
a syringe through one of the holes under the blue tape covering.  I suppose
the big ink systems do somewhat the same thing.  True?

I don't understand how the big ink systems get their tubes from the cart to
the ink reservoirs.  When you put the cart in the 1200, you close a purple
plastic cover over the cart and snap it in place.  There is no room for
tubes coming out of the cart, either on the top or side.  Does anyone know
how the feed tubes exit the cart?  Does the plastic cover have to be
modified, and if so, I suspect that would void the warranty.  True?

How does the printer know the ink cart is empty?  Is the quantity of ink
somehow measured at the printhead?  Wouldn't this affect the big ink system?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Steve Jacobson
stevej@dji.com <mailto:stevej@dji.com>

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