An amusing way to fix epson pro ink cartridge (chip) sensors

Started Sep 9, 2009 | Discussions thread
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xilvar Senior Member • Posts: 1,403
An amusing way to fix epson pro ink cartridge (chip) sensors

Dunno if anyone else cares, but I couldn't find documentation on a good way to do this when I searched before I did it so I figure I'll put it here. This should work ok on 4800, 7800, 9800, 4880, 7880, 9880, etc... Not sure what the cartridges look like for the others but probably would work on the other pro printers too.

So the LK cartridge chip reader for my 7800 has been flaky since I got it. Much messing around and trying to get the little fingers to read the chip more reliably just caused more problems and eventually I gave up and bought some new 'ink cartridge sensors' from compass micro.

I have a copy of the 7800/9800 field service manual but in there I found that the only way to even start replacing the sensors alone was to remove the entire left side cartridge bay. Presumably epson expects you to just replace the whole thing (god knows how much $$) rather than just the broken little sensor which they have inconveniently socketed in a connecter with no ejecting mechanism.

I REALLY didn't want to follow that procedure since it would require that I drain the ink lines entirely! losing tons of expensive ink. The problem is that you can't really REACH the ink cartridge sensor by hand, and the bay is too narrow to reach it with pliers or anything like that.

So I vaguely recalled hearing that if you accidentally insert a cartridge into the printer with NO chip on it that sometimes it will either bend the fingers OR even yank the chip module out! So I removed the chip from a cartridge inserted it, pulled it out and Voila! the sensor fell right out with it!

Now to put the new sensor in I used a ultra-high-tech-advanced tool... A CHOPSTICK. One of the types with the squared off wide ends (because you broke two of them apart) One of the higher quality ones I end up with from japanese places. a spiral of electrical tape holds the sensor lightly onto the end of the chopstick and more tape on the chopstick than the sensor ensures that the sensor can be broken out of the tape when it is in the right slot in the bay.

Next I gently insert the sensor PART WAY into the bay taped onto the chopstick. Far enough that it is a few mm into the correct slot, but not far enough to have clicked in or for the reverse side fingers to be depressed. Now I twist the chopstick to 'release' the sensor in the slot. The reason I don't push it all the way in is that I know from experience that the reverse side fingers dont like to go in without being predepressed and can be easily bent if you just force them in.

So NOW I remove the tape from the chopstick end and use its nicely squared off wide end to slip by the side of the sensor and to depress the reverse side fingers as much as possible! A second chopstick can then gently press the sensor in all the way and it CLICKs into place. If it is reluctant to go all the way in its probably because the reverse side fingers aren't pushed in far enough... so try harder

And the chip sensor has been repaired with no costly ink draining!!


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