Eddie's El-Cheapo CIS (Continuous
Inking System) Part-2
Epson Stylus 1160 version.
After playing with some old cartridges I bought some new set of Calidad "Hero" cartridges. The ink is useless to me and I wanted the seals to be in perfect condition so I did not use the ink. Used ones are probably OK but I didn't want to risk it. I managed to remove all the ink filled foam thru holes aprox 8mm across. The black one was very difficult because it is larger. After removing the foam I pierced the plastic over the ink ports and wash the remaining ink out with tap water because I didn't want it to dry on the metal filter which covers the inside of the ports (just visible in the photo). If I did it again I think I'd put the hole somewhere else where I don't need to insert a tube. I tried plugging the hole with epoxy putty and then drilling thru it. I ended up with lumps of putty inside that were hell to remove – a sharp drill might have helped. Second attempt I put putty around a tube poked it in the hole and removed tube leaving a hole in the putty – this worked.
I got some more practice in with my glass bending and made a bunch of right angle elbows. Half were short for the air extraction (priming) ports and half long for the ink supply tubes. To keep an air-tight seal on the extraction port silicone tube was attached and springs out of clothes pegs were modified as shown here. The tube and spring are glued in place. The hole for the feed tubes were enlarged to suit.
here it is fitted into the 1160 (last night). Priming was trivial
and after a few cleaning cycles and letting it rest for an hour I
was printing. This morning a few jets played up, it seems to take
a while for the air to works it's way out of the system after a
major change like this. Tonight it is fine working again. Another
thing to note is the micro switch in the bottom left. I cut the 3
wires which go to the cartridge sense switches and wired them to
this micro. Whenever the printer thinks it is out of ink I move
the head into the change position, push the micro and print some
more. Every time I push this I save $80 compared to buying OEM
cartridges. The switch has normally closed contacts and goes open
circuit when pushed.
This pretty much wraps it up. I have other projects to move on to
PS. It took a while (a week or two) for the things to settle down. The tubes seemed to out-gas for a week and some jets (particularly Magenta) play up a bit. It seems to be getting better.
July-2002, It didn't get better.
I have a leak in one color (cyan). I think I've ruled out just about everything except the seal where the cartridge plugs onto the head. For the moment I've been ignoring it and re-priming cyan whenever I'm asked for a cartridge change. This only takes a few minutes so I'm still better off. If I build a system for my next printer (probably 2100p) I will go back to the syringe method or something similar.
Sep-2002, I don't think it was a leak.
I ripped out the CIS and went back the a syringe version. This was another variation. It has some foam in the bottom as a crude crud filter and some foam in the air tube to slow down the air flow when you remove the sucker and your trying to plug the hole.
I still had cyan bubbles, then I removed the silicone tube and went back to plastic, no bubbles since then. I also had major clogging problems in the cyan head. Ultimately I pumped windex into the head and it is back to normal.
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