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Gray's (Ink Cart) Anatomy



At 02:38 PM 1/15/00 -0800, Ben Haskell wrote:

>In Rafe's parallel post, he thinks that the filter could impede bottom
>up refilling. First, Rafe sounds as if he says that the filter is above
>the outlet port. Rafe!, recheck this please. In other cartridges, the
>filter is offset from the outlet port, so that there is no direct danger
>of puncturing the filter by bottom filling. The filter is above a
>chamber which then leads to the outlet port.


This could be so, now that you mention it.
I understand now that if you inject ink
from the bottom (the outlet port) you'd
be depending on a tight seal to that black
o-ring.  I always thought you'd be pushing
the needle of the syringe through the filter,
and on into the foam.  From what you say,
that wouldn't even be possible.


>Rafe also mentions that the flow rate through the filter may be too slow
>to allow bottom filling. I think that John Mills mentioned that the very
>latest cartridges use a new filter material. With older cartdges (at
>least), the syringe supplies enough pressure to allow sufficiently fast
>filling via the outlet port.
>
>In regards to Rafe's question about the labyrinth above the sponge. Once
>the refill is done (after draining the excess out of the outlet port, if
>you use that technique), this labyrinth should contain air, not ink. The
>labyrinth assures that pressure is equalized over the entire sponge.


This I don't understand... the labyrinth leads to two vent
holes.  As I understand it, make-up air has to enter
through one of those two vent holes.  As the labyrinth
is on the outside of the cartridge, I still don't understand 
what purpose it could serve.  I do agree, it doesn't
have ink in it; it can only have air in it.

But there's no labyrinth (on the outside, anyway) 
of the WeInk carts supplied with their kit.

There is also a simpler "fin" arrangement on the bottom
(inside) of the top cover (of the Epson cart,) which would 
seem to serve the purpose you describe, Ben.  These ridges 
clearly don't allow the foam to expand between them, so they
would seem to exist so that make-up air can get to any 
place it wants to along the top surface of the foam.

At any rate, I wish I didn't know any of this...

I'm patiently waiting and hoping that tomorrow 
morning I'll be able to use my printer again.

I got "cheap" and tried to re-use the outlet 
port plugs.  Result:  a big flood of black ink.  
Wonder how many cc's I wasted on that mistake?

Unless I'm missing something here (and I'm sure
I am...) this refilling business is a major pain
in the butt.  TomCat says he can fill a black cart
in 75 seconds.  Maybe so.  But it took me well
over an hour just now to re-fill two black carts 
and two color carts on my 1160, what with the mixing 
of inks and alcohol, taping of ports, testing vacuum,
and rinsing all the parts after each cartridge
chamber is filled in turn.

Then I get to wait half a day, before my 
printer is ready to roll again.

And then, when it is, I get to waste another
page's worth of ink on a profile-test-pattern 
(one for each paper-type!) because this batch 
is using a slightly less-diluted ink than the 
last one...

I'd really love to see a show of hands to see
how many folks have been succesful with refilling.
I clearly have a few things to learn, yet.  The
"ultra-fill" concept seems clever, but has its
own share of problems.

Of course, the alternatives are not too 
appealing, either... if Epson ink is $8K
a gallon, I shudder at the equivalent costs
of, say, Generations or Lysonic inksets.


rafe b.


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