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Pc printers get worse and worse

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First post, by Nemo1985

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For some years I used a Brother all in one inkjet printer, I have chosen this brand (for the first time) because it was the last which didn't use the infamous cartridges with chips.
Then I decided I needed an automatic front-back printer, I do not print much and I mainly use black ink, sometimes I use the scanner.
One year ago I found for just €99 an Epson WF-2860, automatic front-back printing, adf, nice features that I won't need much but when I do they come handy.
I then bought ark chips from China and some bottles of ink, just to be ready when the original cartridge were empty (or the printer would have claimed so).
Well the cartridges finally were empty (spoiler: not true, the printer claimed so but there were still some ink inside and shaking them the sound of liquid was clear enough).
I started to use the arc cartridges, then Epson updated the firmware and guess what? They were not working anymore! So they are like stalker, the printer keept saying there was an updated firmware, update, update, update (the little monitor won't turn off), you do and you are forced to get into their shady business of cartridges with chip, claim the cartridge to be empty when they were not.
Well in the end, while switching the cartridge (I was able to downgrade the firmware), one of those pins which connect the chip, come off and the printer is now a brick, because the printer won't recognize the damn chips anymore and it claims there is no cartridge (actually it isn't able to recognize it).
I know there is a shady site which buying a key claims to be able to use the printer without chips, but I don't feel I trust it.
Is there any printer producer which doesn't force the user to buy expensive cartridges nowadays and let the customer to fill their cartridge without hassle?

Reply 2 of 69, by ratfink

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I eventually got sick of my Epson Stylus R300 inkjet, routinely getting blocked nozzles, wasting ink to clear them, and very expensive cartridges. Paper james from time to time. Cheap 3rd party cartridges from ebay worked for a few years but the printer also reached it's preset EOL (had to reset it twice over the years). Kept it going because we could always get it working in the end, and the crises were always short term when the kids had urgent homework. Seldom dared print photos, and gave up on that.

Then one day it borked something I needed so I finally chucked it and bought a Kyocera Ecosys laser printer. The Kyocera does colour and B&W (not photo quality, but I get photos done over the web). Never blocks, never needed refilling, no paper jams. Works over wifi with no hassle, and every device we have can print to it (Android, iOS, Windows...). Just wakes up and prints whatever, whenever, quickly and efficiently. It's pretty much my favourite computerish device ever because (so far) IT-JUST-WORKS.

Pretty sure it has refillable toner.

Reply 3 of 69, by cyclone3d

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I've only been using laser printers for the past 20 years.

3rd party and remanufactured toner is cheap and you can also get toner refill kits if you have a printer that has a drum or drums that last for more than the carts are intended to last.

I usually spend maybe $80-$100 per year for toner and that is with a family of 7.

You can also generally have a decent laser printer last for 200,000 prints or more. Last place I worked we retired the ancient HP LJ4 and LJ5 printers after they had about 250,000 prints each.

HP and Brother are the ones to get as they don't care about original carts though the HP ones tell you that the carts are not genuine every once in a while.

One of the first laser printers I had was a Dell/Lexmark that I picked up as a thrift store for a whopping $7 US.

I used it for around 5 years and once the fuser went bad I got rid of it because I figured it wasn't worth spending $50 to fix a printer I bought for $7.

It was only a B/W printer but the cost per page to print was almost nothing. I bought a couple bottles of refill toner and one drum over those 5 or so years and had a pretty much full bottle of toner left over when I got rid of it.

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Reply 4 of 69, by mR_Slug

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ratfink wrote on 2022-06-29, 17:44:

I eventually got sick of my Epson Stylus R300 inkjet, routinely getting blocked nozzles, wasting ink to clear them, and very expensive cartridges. Paper james from time to time. Cheap 3rd party cartridges from ebay worked for a few years but the printer also reached it's preset EOL (had to reset it twice over the years).

Have same printer and same story. I think the fake cartridges I get have even less ink in them. Got a newer Epson with a builtin scanner, WF-somthing. That thing makes all sorts of noises before it prints something out, and got blocked just like the R300. The R300 is a pain to take apart and clean the print head, but that other thing is a pain to just change a cartridge. So I'm back on the R300.

Have to check out the Kyocera Ecosys if IT-JUST-WORKS. Had a Samsung Laser once that was a POS. Minolta CF3102 was a great laser printer/copier that ran for ages, cheap toner. I would recommend except for, its computer for processing stuff from the network dies easily.

I too would like to know of success stories. Hassle free and cheap.

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Reply 5 of 69, by Errius

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I got rid of my inkjet at the beginning of the year and replaced it with an old HP Laserjet 1018. So far so good. I no longer have to fight with the printer each time I need to print something. It's black and white of course, but then I never used color. (If I ever need to print photographs I'll go to a professional print shop.)

It's about the same vintage as my HP Scanjet 5590 scanners, which still see regular use and have outlasted newer replacements.

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Reply 6 of 69, by BitWrangler

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Old laserjets for the win, 10,000 page reman refills for like $20 a pop.

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Reply 7 of 69, by clueless1

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We've been using the same HP Officejet Pro 8610 for almost 7 years now. The printhead died earlier this year (after 6 years of continuous service) and I bought a replacement for ~$120. Other than that, the only cost has been ink. It's been enrolled in HPs Instant Ink service that granted, is web connected, but the convenience of a flat monthly fee in exchange for them automatically sending oversized ink cartridges just before it runs out is well worth the price. Roughly $10 a month on average. In its lifetime it has printed over 20,000 pages. It's ethernet connected with a static IP. I've kept an eye on its traffic from my firewall and it's very quiet except for status updates for ink levels.

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Reply 8 of 69, by Nemo1985

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Thank you all for the inputs.
I have always been curious about laser printers but years ago I read about the microparticles released from the toner (and the weird smell you feel while they print) and that they should be used in a ventilated room.
Still i'm looking for a solution to this damn brick aka wf-2860, also while watching around I noticed that Epson released the very same model as wf-2880, the technical specs are the very same, but guess what? They changed their cartridge model to make people unable to use compatible cartridges or chipless firmware...

Reply 9 of 69, by zyzzle

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There's conflicting information here. Are there currently any (inkjet) printers which do not phone home and / or lie about ink levels and waste ink in "maitenance mode" intentionally, and are not chip-based?

I think there are not, and I'd say stick to an older HP or Brother laser printer if you can still find one for a decent price. Like everything else, I'm sure they've increased from $5 items five years ago to $100 items now, however. Possibly still worth it vs. the chip hell of modern printers.

Reply 10 of 69, by darry

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Laser printers FTW . Just got a 10$ HP Laserjet 1020 at a thrift store for a friend. Toner cart cost me maybe 15$ new at a local computer shop . It works perfectly .

My mother, mother in law, several friends and myself have HP Laserjet printers that use Q2612A toner cartridges (or generic equivalents that cost 20$ or less). Everyone is happy.

IMHO, it is hard to go wrong with one of those .

Reply 11 of 69, by Nemo1985

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zyzzle wrote on 2022-06-30, 04:35:

There's conflicting information here. Are there currently any (inkjet) printers which do not phone home and / or lie about ink levels and waste ink in "maitenance mode" intentionally, and are not chip-based?

I think there are not, and I'd say stick to an older HP or Brother laser printer if you can still find one for a decent price. Like everything else, I'm sure they've increased from $5 items five years ago to $100 items now, however. Possibly still worth it vs. the chip hell of modern printers.

That's the more important and sad information :\

Reply 12 of 69, by davidrg

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BitWrangler wrote on 2022-06-30, 00:34:

Old laserjets for the win, 10,000 page reman refills for like $20 a pop.

This is the way.

My LaserJet 4100N has printed over 380,000 pages since it was built in around 2001.

I think I bought it second-hand about a decade ago for something like $20 with nearly a full toner cartridge. At some point I added a duplexer to it so it can print on both sides. I replaced the toner cartridge for the first time about 3 years ago (around NZ$60 I think) so it will be about 9,000 pages before I need to do that again. While I was at it I bought a set of new rollers on ebay as they were getting a bit worn out and also added 32MB of RAM which I probably stole out of another LaserJet (I think I've got another 4100 and a 4050 in storage which someone was throwing out years ago).

And as a bonus most networkable operating systems released in the last 30-35 years can print to it over the LAN (in some cases, like DOS or Classic MacOS, with help from NetWare) thanks to it understanding PostScript. No weird intrusive drivers required.

Its not the fastest printer but I've had a decade of printing and it may well last another before something properly breaks. All for the price of a few ink-jet ink cartridges.

Reply 13 of 69, by gerwin

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-30, 03:36:

Still i'm looking for a solution to this damn brick aka wf-2860, also while watching around I noticed that Epson released the very same model as wf-2880, the technical specs are the very same, but guess what? They changed their cartridge model to make people unable to use compatible cartridges or chipless firmware...

I have used these Epson inkjets extensively in the past 20 years. First the lowly 740 at home, then later these Workforce series at the office. I was quite satisfied with them, until about 4 years ago. It is not that the printers ever refused to print with non-original ink cartridges (printer just gives a warning message, but allows you to continue), it is the clogging of the print head. Since about 4 years Epson has finer nozzles in their print head. In practice it means that I cannot risk using non-original ink again with these newer models. The hassle with a clogged print head is just not worth it. Only the Epson official service contractor can replace the print head. Within the 2+1 years warranty that is for free, though still a hassle.
I had a recent conflict about this with the supplier of non-original ink, and felt so cheated by their superficial warranty, that I kept nagging until they sent me a new Workforce printer for free. No way I am putting their ink in these newer models again.
I bet a lot of these new printers end up in the trash prematurely.

Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-29, 16:09:

So they are like stalker, the printer keept saying there was an updated firmware, update, update, update (the little monitor won't turn off)

You can disable firmware update notifications in the printer's configuration menu, and keep the current firmware indefinitely.

PS. current Epson 32-bit workforce drivers for printing and scanning are seemingly working on Windows XP still.

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Reply 14 of 69, by Nemo1985

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gerwin wrote on 2022-06-30, 16:16:
I have used these Epson inkjets extensively in the past 20 years. First the lowly 740 at home, then later these Workforce series […]
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Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-30, 03:36:

Still i'm looking for a solution to this damn brick aka wf-2860, also while watching around I noticed that Epson released the very same model as wf-2880, the technical specs are the very same, but guess what? They changed their cartridge model to make people unable to use compatible cartridges or chipless firmware...

I have used these Epson inkjets extensively in the past 20 years. First the lowly 740 at home, then later these Workforce series at the office. I was quite satisfied with them, until about 4 years ago. It is not that the printers ever refused to print with non-original ink cartridges (printer just gives a warning message, but allows you to continue), it is the clogging of the print head. Since about 4 years Epson has finer nozzles in their print head. In practice it means that I cannot risk using non-original ink again with these newer models. The hassle with a clogged print head is just not worth it. Only the Epson official service contractor can replace the print head. Within the 2+1 years warranty that is for free, though still a hassle.
I had a recent conflict about this with the supplier of non-original ink, and felt so cheated by their superficial warranty, that I kept nagging until they sent me a new Workforce printer for free. No way I am putting their ink in these newer models again.
I bet a lot of these new printers end up in the trash prematurely.

Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-29, 16:09:

So they are like stalker, the printer keept saying there was an updated firmware, update, update, update (the little monitor won't turn off)

You can disable firmware update notifications in the printer's configuration menu, and keep the current firmware indefinitely.

PS. current Epson 32-bit workforce drivers for printing and scanning are seemingly working on Windows XP still.

Which WF printer do you have? I agree on that, I think compatible cartridges usually lower quality ink. That's why my original plan has been to buy ARC cartridges and buy the ink my self. I just watched the price for the complete set of epson ink for the 2860 and it's almost €40 and it isn't the xl version.

Thank you for the tip, I found it unlucky after I already updated the firmware.

Reply 15 of 69, by gerwin

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-30, 17:34:

Which WF printer do you have?

Epson WF-4740 bought 02-2020. This is the one that had loads of severe nozzle clogging issues, mostly with non-original ink, but also once with original ink. Cyan is fatally clogged now.
Epson WF-4830 This was send as a replacement last week, quite similar to the above. OK for now.
Epson WF-7620 This is an A4+A3 printer from 2015 that is working well on non-original ink. But I have send it for an out-of-warranty nozzle replacement once.

Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-29, 16:09:

I think compatible cartridges usually lower quality ink.

AFAIK the pigment particle size is critical. Even very small amounts of larger pigment particles can cause a chain reaction (buildup) of clogging in the print head nozzles.

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Reply 16 of 69, by cyclone3d

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-06-30, 03:36:

Thank you all for the inputs.
I have always been curious about laser printers but years ago I read about the microparticles released from the toner (and the weird smell you feel while they print) and that they should be used in a ventilated room.
Still i'm looking for a solution to this damn brick aka wf-2860, also while watching around I noticed that Epson released the very same model as wf-2880, the technical specs are the very same, but guess what? They changed their cartridge model to make people unable to use compatible cartridges or chipless firmware...

The last laser printers that had the "weird smell" that I've used were the era of the HP LJ5.

The newer ones don't smell at all. Pretty sure the smell on the older ones was just from the fuser heating stuff up and maybe from the toner being fused to the paper.

You can probably get a tiny bit of smell from the paper being heated up, especially when you use cardstock because the fuser has to heat up to a higher temperature and the paper does come out warm.

I haven't had to deal with dried out ink or clogged or dead printheads for the past couple decades and I have saved thousands not having to buy ink.

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Reply 17 of 69, by darry

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I use a Laserjet 3050 ( https://support.hp.com/ca-en/drivers/selfserv … printer/1140783 ) along with a print server ( https://support.hp.com/ca-en/product/hp-jetdi … 9198?sku=J7942A ) .

The scanner and fax-from-PC functionality only worked up to Windows XP x86 (there might be a way around that if using x86 Vista or newer) and don't work through a print server anyway. Printing functionality works fine up to at least Windows 10 x64 (still current drivers available from HP) and current Linux versions .

The printer support Postscript level 3 and up to PCL5E and PCL6, so getting it to work with practically anything PC/MAC from the last few decades is possible . If printing directly is not feasible, then by simply spooling/printing to file and then outputting the data to the printer from a newer machine it should be possible to print from just about any software that speaks PCL or Postscript .

IMHO, this thing is the best of all worlds : reliable, cheap toner, toner lasts a long time (as opposed to inkjet ink's tendency to dry), parts availability, still supported in current OSes, workable with ancient software (if needed).

Reply 18 of 69, by Nemo1985

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I'm quite curious to try a laser printer then, I noticed that the one you buy now, guess what? They have a toner with chips...
Is anyone willing to help me find a good quality used one? I tried to look some of the models you mentioned but I had no luck finding them used on ebay.

Reply 19 of 69, by darry

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Nemo1985 wrote on 2022-07-01, 05:19:

I'm quite curious to try a laser printer then, I noticed that the one you buy now, guess what? They have a toner with chips...
Is anyone willing to help me find a good quality used one? I tried to look some of the models you mentioned but I had no luck finding them used on ebay.

I would try hunting in thrift stores or Craigslist, Kiji, etc for something like an HP Laserjet 1018, 1020 or other member of the family that use Q2612A toner cartridges or third party compatibles. Check driver support first because some of the older ones may no longer have drivers for current OSes (though Windows 7 drivers for these typically work fine under 10 in my experience).