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Continuous inking system for Epson Printer

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Dear Friends
     I know there is often discussion about ink jet printers and saving
ink costs and I thought Iíd share my adventures with a continuous inking
system for my Epson 1520. With this kind of system, you replace the
Epson cartridges with permanent cartridges that are connected by tubes
to bottles of ink. There are several companies that sell them-
http://www.weink.com- I used this one. It was the only one that had one
specifically for the 1520.
And there may be more if you do a search.

     Iím using MIS inks. Since Iím buying them by the bottle they are
much cheaper- I paid $64.00 for 4 ounces each of the four colors. It
looks like you are turning your printer into something that belongs in a
mad scientistís lab. Put it another way, when you get the package in the
mail, it looks like someone assembled a collection of odd bits and
pieces, put them in a box, and sold them for around $120. My husband who
I depend on for helping me make things work was highly skeptical. He is
in charge of making large machines work at a production plant and
considered all this so Mickey Mouse, he couldnít work on it without
muttering under his breath. As my son described it, we took a printer
that was like an SUV- big and gas guzzling and turned it into an old
pickup that is fuel efficient.

    I have it working now and am pleased with it but it was a long time
getting there. I would say that this is something that is not for
everyone. It is for people who like to tinker and I am not one of them.
Because I wanted to use MIS inks (picked them because they are more
water resistant than some of the other inks and archival) I had to
charge the system myself. If I had used their inks, everything would
have been all set to go. There needs to be a vacuum in the system from
the replacement cartridge through the tubes to the bottle. I messed up
on that part. When I called for advice, they said they would do it for
me for $20. if I sent the parts back plus the ink and I was happy to
oblige. When I got it back and installed, it took a while to get the ink
flowing. I did some head cleanings and had no results. I let it sit
overnight and did a few more cleanings- better but still problems. I let
it sit overnight again and got all the ink flowing on the next day. It
seems that if you continuously do the head cleaning, it doesnít help;
you need to let it sit in between.

     There are other irritations. The cover wonít shut because the tubes
are in the way. The printer wonít print with the cover open. So you have
to wedge something in to trick the printer into thinking the cover is
closed. They sent a piece of foam- another groan from my husband. It
didnít seem to work and we ended up using a piece of popsicle stick.
Every once in a while the printer says itís out of ink. Apparently it
judges when ink is needed based on copies printed as well as amount of
ink. To make the printer think you have replaced the cartridge, you have
to lift it up and put it back, but then you have to have the cover open
to move the cartridges to lift them so out comes the popsicle stick, and
then in again. A few times the tubes have sagged and gotten in the way
of the head as it is moving which makes a dreadful noise and then for
some reason the printer thinks the cover is open even though the
popsicle stick is still there. Iíve found that if I turn the printer off
and then on, it will be okay.

   I have learned to not print last minute if at all possible just in
case any of these minor tics surface. I have also learned to take a deep
breath when one of these irritating things happens and say this is the
trade- off for saving money. I am getting the hang of it. If you donít
mind tinkering and fussing, I think it can be a worthwhile investment.

in good spirit

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Newburyport, MA


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