Refilling cli-8 ink cartridges questions, and why doesnt everyone do this?

Started Jul 8, 2011 | Discussions
NovemberSun
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Refilling cli-8 ink cartridges questions, and why doesnt everyone do this?
Jul 8, 2011

Hi everyone,

I purchased a 9000mk II recently and have quickly realized the stratospheric costs of replacing OEM ink tanks. I did some research, read some forum threads and watched some videos and I have decided to refill my own ink cartriges. After seeing a couple threads recommending, among others Precision Colors. I went ahead and purchased the 1oz kit that includes everything needed to start (syringe, 1oz of each color, instructions, tools and plugs for $27 shipped). at $27 its about $1.50 per refill of each tank.

Im looking for some advice or suggestions from people with experience using the cli 8 tanks and perhaps even the precision colors inks. (ill likely switch over to OCP if everything goes well for me as the cost is nearly half that of even precision colors. im using this kit as a starter/trial).

Ive seen people perform the refill procedure and it seems simple and straight forward enough. Are there hidden 'dangers' that im not aware of cause ive heard and read that some people have a hard time with this procedure? from what i can tell everyone should be doing this! again, im wondering if there is something im missing or perhaps not expecting.

Any help is appreciated, comments from experience, do's and dont's, suggestions.

Im aware that i should not profile anything untill about 3 or 4 refills in order to ensure there is no mixing of the ink unless i purge each tank of course.
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Wally 1
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Re: Refilling cli-8 ink cartridges questions, and why doesnt everyone do this?
In reply to NovemberSun, Jul 9, 2011

I have been refilling tanks for many years. For the CLI8 tanks you should get a chip resetter (around $35 in Australia) because without it you have to dissable the ink level checking on the printer and this can result in a burnt out head if one of the tanks become empty and yuou print for too long. The ink keeps the heaters in the head from burning out.

The refilling process can get get quite messy if you use the method of drilling a hole in the top, fill and then using a plug. Any air leak in the plug can result in leaks.

There is a far better way using the "German method". If you do a google search you will find it. You drill a small (about 1/16") hole in the END of the tank very low where the large exit hole is for the ink. Using a syringe push the needle through this hole along the bottom to the chamber that holds the ink (the one with no sponge). The end of the needle must go through the gap between the 2 chambers and into the empty chamber. Invert the tank and fill. If you leave it for a few minutes (in the normal upright position) the sponge may suck up some of the ink and a top up may be necessary. There is no need to plug the small hole as it WON'T LEAK.

You need a needle that is 2" long to reach the empty chamber. Mine was a 19G x 2" or 1.1 x 50mm. I got mine from a pet vet. I ordered a box as they didn't carry them. There was 100 in the box (I thought there would be only a dozen) but even then it only cost about $25 plus the syringe bodies.

I buy my inks in 250ml bottles and they last for a year or two with the amount of printing I do.

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Petruska
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Simple....
In reply to NovemberSun, Jul 9, 2011

Read parts 1 & 2 here....

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1003&message=34999867

Top filling is not messy once you do it a few times. I can refill the 8 cartridges in less than 10 minutes and not get any ink on my hands, if you do Lava soap removes it quickly and easily.

I have nothing against the German method but I prefer not to poke holes in my sponges. I have over 30 refillings in the same cartridge without any issues.

The real secret to success is squeezing those few drops out at the end of the refill workflow and you will never have a leaking cartridge due to over filling.

The bottom line is that you need custom profiles to get the max performance out of a 3rd party ink. The IS ink does match the OEM quite well for most people who aren't looking for perfection.

Good luck and yes buy the OCP ink (about $12-15 for 450ml (16 0z)) which costs less than the price of one OEM CLI-8 cart.

Bob P.

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sjwolfhope
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Re: Simple....
In reply to Petruska, Jul 9, 2011

I second what Bob says about top filling. I tried the German method, but also didn't like cutting holes through the sponges. Also found it no faster or less messy than top filling. I like to use squeeze bottles for refilling and the German method is less tolerant of squeeze bottles - too easy to get bubbles in the spongeless reservoir. Went back to top filling. I use a #8-32 flat head stainless steel machine screw to seal the fill hole (where the small plastic ball was removed). As Bob said, squeeze out a few drops of ink back into the filling bottle and there will be no leaks.

To prevent mixing of different makes of ink I purge the cartridges before refilling with a new brand ink. Allows you to make/buy profiles without hoping the new ink is the dominant one.

Steve W.

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jtoolman
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Re: Simple....
In reply to sjwolfhope, Jul 9, 2011

I just purchased my first Canon Pro9000 MKII. Been an Epson user for years. But foind such a great deal on the Canon, I just couln't pass it uip.

What 3rd party systems do you all reccomend, with ink quality being the 1st priority.

Do you all prefer to refill the OEM carts or purchase "Refillables" with ARC chips and then refill those?

Also has anyone tried the Vaccum fill method from the ink exit port. I've reading about this but it requires a rigged syringe with various bits tubing and rubber hose to get a good solid seal around the ink port. Apparently you must also seal the air vent hole. Then with the ink filled syringe attached to the port, you pull back to remove air as possible from the cart and as you let go of the plunger, ink will begin to flow into it. You repeat the process of sucking out the the air and allowing the ink to replacel the vaccum created till no more ink can get in and most of the air has been evacuated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxtu7ZhZDPc

Seems like this would work quite well. At least it seems to on the video.

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NovemberSun
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Re: Refilling cli-8 ink cartridges questions, and why doesnt everyone do this?
In reply to Wally 1, Jul 9, 2011

thanks for the info. i did forget to mention that i purchased a chip resetter from the same company for $25.

I was familiar with the german method and have seen the videos demonstrating this procedure as well. The only thing i was worried about was damaging the sponge inside the cartrige since I have heard the canon cartrige is well known for durabiltiy and consistency with ink usage due to the sponge materials and construction. Both methods seem pretty reliable as long as its done properly. I certainly give the german method a try if the top loading way doesnt work out for me.
thanks again!
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NovemberSun
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Re: Simple....
In reply to Petruska, Jul 9, 2011

Petruska wrote:

The real secret to success is squeezing those few drops out at the end of the refill workflow and you will never have a leaking cartridge due to over filling.

The bottom line is that you need custom profiles to get the max performance out of a 3rd party ink. The IS ink does match the OEM quite well for most people who aren't looking for perfection.

thanks for the info. what do you mean the secret is squeezing the last few drops out? Do you mean letting it drip naturally until it stops after plugging the hole again?

I did purchase a colormunki photo from ebay for $325 brand new and will use it after i run a few refills on the cartriges.
thanks again

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NovemberSun
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Re: Simple....
In reply to jtoolman, Jul 9, 2011

From the research i have done buying the OEM carts is the way to go. ive been looking around for empty cli 8 cartriges myself. you should have at least two at any given time. one in the printer and one ready to go so that the print head is not exposed for to long if you are purging the tanks as it can take two to three days to completly dry.

Again the OEM's are recommened because of the quality and construction of the patented sponge inside the ink tank. no other third party manufacturers can use it apparently.
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NovemberSun
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Re: Simple....
In reply to jtoolman, Jul 9, 2011

As a final note the OCP inks are well known and recommended on this and other forums. RjetTek.com is the US distributor
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irvweiner
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Re: Simple....
In reply to NovemberSun, Jul 9, 2011

Reopening the note making, I triple the comments of of Bob and Steve. Bob and I have been refilling our Canon 9xxx's for almost a decade from the top. The 9000 is an excellent dye printer, you will not be disappointed.

Now that you are familiar with Rjettek go to their online catalog and order some caps and plugs for your Canon Carts.

Dump the syringes and get some squeeze bottles (2 or 4 oz.) with short needles. Much safer and much more stable and steady in use. Feel free to play with various refilling methods, you will very quickly settle on one. I fill from the top with a squeeze bottle, if it gets knocked over, one or 2 drops come out, likewise if you fill with a syringe from an open bottle--close that bottle immediately--if it gets knocked over, you have a real mess!!

If you desire a good listing of acceptable ink-cart-plug-bottle sources do a search on my posts. I've answered this ? so many times I made a 'boiler plate' post, all the URL's are listed. The 3 major 'ink players' are most comparable to OCP and Canon, as you have noted the pricing varies 4:1 but the quality is the same.

Dont hesitate to use the Munki during the ink transitioning--it's good practice and your prints will thank you.

good luck irv weiner

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NovemberSun
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awesome printer indeed!
In reply to irvweiner, Jul 9, 2011

irvweiner wrote:

Reopening the note making, I triple the comments of of Bob and Steve. Bob and I have been refilling our Canon 9xxx's for almost a decade from the top. The 9000 is an excellent dye printer, you will not be disappointed.

Now that you are familiar with Rjettek go to their online catalog and order some caps and plugs for your Canon Carts.

Dump the syringes and get some squeeze bottles (2 or 4 oz.) with short needles. Much safer and much more stable and steady in use. Feel free to play with various refilling methods, you will very quickly settle on one. I fill from the top with a squeeze bottle, if it gets knocked over, one or 2 drops come out, likewise if you fill with a syringe from an open bottle--close that bottle immediately--if it gets knocked over, you have a real mess!!

If you desire a good listing of acceptable ink-cart-plug-bottle sources do a search on my posts. I've answered this ? so many times I made a 'boiler plate' post, all the URL's are listed. The 3 major 'ink players' are most comparable to OCP and Canon, as you have noted the pricing varies 4:1 but the quality is the same.

Dont hesitate to use the Munki during the ink transitioning--it's good practice and your prints will thank you.

good luck irv weiner

thanks for the comments. The set i ordered from precision colors comes with the plugs and a single syringe...shoulda ordered more but i think i can manage to pick some up somewhere. Ill likely switch to OCP inks after using the inks i ordered as a testing and trial period. Ill give the colormunki a go for the practice as you suggested.

As you said the 9000 is a great printer and i havent been disappointed one bit even with the little bit of printing i have done without a color calibrated system (colormunki hasnt arrived yet). the only thing that would make the printer better is if it had a light black or grey as the 9500 does for black and whites. but then who would buy the 9500? unless you absolutely had to have the pigment based ink with its longevity.

Bang for the buck its a knock-out printer and in the right hands i have no doubt it can certainly kick ass. just hoping i can get to that next level sooner rather than later with my limited expertise.
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NovemberSun
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Will let you know how it goes from here
In reply to NovemberSun, Jul 10, 2011

Thanks everyone. The colormunki arrived yesterday and i will start to profile the printer and calibrate the monitor. I still have a few canon ink cartriges left and ill let you know when i start to refill my own and how it goes for my first time. Ill end up having two genuine canon cartriges so ill be able to fill one and have it in waiting and take my time purging it.
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Wally 1
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Re: Refilling cli-8 ink cartridges questions, and why doesnt everyone do this?
In reply to NovemberSun, Jul 10, 2011

The big advantage of the german method is that it is much less messy than the other method. As you say if done properly the other method is ok but you often get leaks while you are filling.

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sjwolfhope
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Re: Refilling cli-8 ink cartridges questions, and why doesnt everyone do this?
In reply to Wally 1, Jul 11, 2011

Not in my experience. With both methods the outlet hole needs to be sealed tight. I have some clear holders that I got from inkjetsaver.com that hold the cartridges securely. The refilled cartridges are stored in these until needed. These won't work with the German method. Also, the German method prefers syringes. I find squeeze bottles easier to handle. Tried the German method but gave it up. No less messy than the top fill method if you know what to do properly. Yes, you need to squeeze out a few drops of ink to make sure the sponge isn't oversaturated, but that is no real difficult or messy task. Top fill cartridges are much easier to purge unless the German refillers also remove the plastic ball over the spongeless chamber. As usual, both methods have their fans.

Steve W.

Wally 1 wrote:

The big advantage of the german method is that it is much less messy than the other method. As you say if done properly the other method is ok but you often get leaks while you are filling.

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Petruska
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Re: Simple....
In reply to NovemberSun, Jul 11, 2011

The last step of success is to take the filled cartridge with the fill hole plugged and tape over the vent hole, and while holding the cartridge output port over the ink bottle squeeze the cartridge sides (sponge area) with two fingers and a few drops will come out.

If you send me your email address, I have a Word document that outlines the whole process with photos.

My email address is....

petruska@ptd.net

Bob P.

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RX8tasy
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Re: Simple....
In reply to Petruska, Jul 12, 2011

Thank you Bob for the awesome pictorial instruction! FYI, you may want to edit your email to read petruska AT ptd DOT net instead, to avoid spam bot.

Petruska wrote:

If you send me your email address, I have a Word document that outlines the whole process with photos.

My email address is....

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Petruska
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Re: Simple....
In reply to RX8tasy, Jul 12, 2011

Good point but unfortuantely DPR doesn't allow editing after the first 5 minutes.

I'll remember to do what you said next time, this is why a lot of us don't list are email address in the profile section here.

I was going to make a little YouTube video showing how quickly it is to top fill without getting ink on your hands, but I'm too lazy to do it right now.

Bob P.

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BrightGuy
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Re: Simple....
In reply to Petruska, Jul 12, 2011

Top filling is not messy once you do it a few times. I can refill the 8 cartridges in less than 10 minutes and not get any ink on my hands, if you do Lava soap removes it quickly and easily.

8 carts in less than 10 mins!? Oh, you are really really fast, man!! Congratulations, you won!

While you refering OCP inks, I'm still having problems with cyan (IJC-122). Waiting for a sample from a different batch that would come directly from Germany.

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Petruska
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Re: Simple....
In reply to BrightGuy, Jul 12, 2011

It is really that simple, I have 8 bottles of ink sitting in front of me, 8 syringes, all carts have their clips on them and had the chips reset, and all I do is inject the ink, cover the vent hole with tape, put the fill plug in, then remove the bottom clip, squeeze a few drops of ink out, reclip. That's it.

On your magental problem, what is the issue?

I hope that you custom profile the OCP ink with your papers, it is impossible to get a great color match without a custom profile.

OCP told me that there are two manufacturers of OCP ink, one in Germany and one in China. Do their inks match, I don't know. The OCP ink shipped from RJETTEK in the US is made only in Germany.

Bob P.

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BrightGuy
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Re: Simple....
In reply to Petruska, Jul 13, 2011

Petruska wrote:

It is really that simple, I have 8 bottles of ink sitting in front of me, 8 syringes, all carts have their clips on them and had the chips reset, and all I do is inject the ink, cover the vent hole with tape, put the fill plug in, then remove the bottom clip, squeeze a few drops of ink out, reclip. That's it.

Except for the vent hole thing, that's exactly what I do. But I usually take 12-15 minutes between removing cartridges, preparing everything for refilling and put them back to the printer. And they are not 8, but only 5 cartridges for my two IP4500 printers!! You're really fast, man!

On your magental problem, what is the issue?

The problem is that the cyan ink flow doesn't hold more than 3 fully painted pages. Sometimes even lesser. After that, it becomes to progressively fail, so I have to wait a minute or so before continuing to print. That's not normal and occurs only with OCP cyan ink. I already tested with different printer, another printhead, different cartridge (empty brand-new and flushed OEM) and ink brand. The only variable that fix the problem is changing the ink.

I hope that you custom profile the OCP ink with your papers, it is impossible to get a great color match without a custom profile.

Yes, I use an i1Pro with i1Profiler and this combination gives me great profiles. OCP inks give me even better definition and gamut size, specially at saturated red shadows. But as I usually print 20-200 pictures at once, this problem is not acceptable nor tolerable.

OCP told me that there are two manufacturers of OCP ink, one in Germany and one in China. Do their inks match, I don't know. The OCP ink shipped from RJETTEK in the US is made only in Germany.

I was told that the ink I purchased came from a batch made in Germany. The reseller sent me a new sample but I had the same failure, as it came from the same batch. I'm waiting for a new sample for a different manufacturing batch so I can definitely confirm my suspicion.

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