• Firmware Question


    Ms. Bradley, I have a question on firmware. I recently purchased a HP printer and updated to the latest software. I understand that HP also added to the firmware that will not allow me to use anyone other than HP’s printer ink. At about $120.00 for a set of cartridges it is not affordable to me on a fixed income. Is there anyway to undue the present firmware? I thank you in advance. Dieter Bernhart


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    • #2281208

      In the past 15 years or so, printer manufacturers have put some kind of chip in their cartridges that identifies it as ‘genuine’ for that manufacturer.  I’ve been dealing with this since I bought my first Epson R380 printer the can print directly to CDs/DVDs as well as produce very high quality images.  Because of needing both features, I have stayed with the R380 since I bought mine about 2005, give or take.  I literally wear out the plastic gears inside from CD printing about once every 3 years.

      Paying the full retail price for the 6 cartridges they use is insanity.  So I started looking to ebay for cartidges.  I soon learned that if I wait until I ‘need’ a cartridge, I will pay whatever price they are asking.  So I started stockpiling about 3-6 of each color whenever I found a ‘good price’ such as $5-6 (vs $15-20!) for a genuine, non-refill Epson cartridge.  About 5-6 years ago, there was an ebay seller in China selling the real deal for $3.99 with free shipping!  I think I ran him dry over the course of a year or so.  These days, there’s two ebay sellers with ratings over 10,000 that every now and then sell the ’77’ model, eg, higher capacity than the ’78’s for $5-6 each.

      The ‘trick’ to finding the good prices is multiple times daily doing an ebay search with an extensive list of exclusions, so extensive, I bump into the maximum length of the search string.  I also look for ‘buy it now’ as well as have it sort the listings to ‘most recent first’.  That way, within a couple of hours of a new super-deal being posted, I grab it unhesitatingly.

      Here’s a couple of my ebay ‘saved’ searches that I created as bookmarks so I don’t have to rediscover what needs to be filtered out:

      epson (t077,t078,77,78) cartridge genuine

      epson (t077,77) -(lamp,mount,projector,bulb,for,refill,empty,used,stylus,replaces)

      and for specific colors:

      epson (t077,t078) ‘light cyan’ -(lamp,mount,projector,bulb,for,refill,empty,used,stylus)

      Hopefully, you can develop a specific search string for the cartridges your HP printer uses.  I’m fortunate to have Epson make both a large and ‘regular’ capacity version of my cartridges.

      As far as using ‘compatible’ or even ‘refill’ cartridges, my experience has been about 1/2 of them get immediately rejected by the printer so out they go.  They also seem to produce a slightly blurred image when I’m printing photos on glossy paper in ‘high quality’ mode.

      Lastly, I also have a saved search that brings up R380 printers.  If I can buy a new, unopened one for under $150, I’ll grab it instantly.  Used ones, I don’t want to pay over $100.  I use 2 printers so in case one ‘dies’, I can still meet scheduled completion dates.  These printers were last manufactured about 2006, and some of the sellers with NIB (new, in box) printers think they are made of gold and price them over $500 + shipping!  Unless both of my R380s become useless the same day and there are no used ones available, I will never pay over $200 including shipping for one!

      Also, for used ones, most of the time they come with the cartridges installed even when I send them a note to ‘please remove and discard all cartridges’.  Maybe 7-8 years ago, a used printer arrived with what must have been 3 cartridges emptied out all over the inside of the printer.  I can’t expect the seller to provide a refund as they don’t have any way of determining is it the same one they sent me.  I’ve never looked at the serial numbers on my printers.

      Here’s the printer search:

      epson r380 printer -(continuous,refill,bulk,pigment,for)

      Lastly, when deciding whether the price a seller is asking for a cartridge, or anything else on ebay, I ALWAYS take a look at the ‘sold’ items, sorted most recent first, to get an idea of what they’re going for most of the time.  (showing those lowest cost first may show purchases 6+ months prior!)  In the case of the diabetic strips I buy on ebay, I won’t pay more than $30/100 strips although many of them go for $35-50/100.  In my case, I always look at price per hundred strips which may be 2 bottles of 50, to determine if I am getting a ‘deal’ or not.  Sometimes, sellers may offer 300 strips for $120, for example.  $40/100 doesn’t cut it in my book.

      • This reply was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by bratkinson.
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2281239

      What model is the printer?

      cheers, Paul

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