Epson R800 Printer - 8 Separate Cartridges

  Peter 19:57 06 Jun 2005

I purchased an Epson Stylus Photo R800 printer in January this year and I am very pleased with the results, especially on photographs and greeting cards. The printer has eight separate cartridges and this is advertised as a money saving, less ink wasting feature.

Much to my surprise I noticed that the cyan ink was going down at the same rate as the matt black ink and much faster than the yellow and the magenta inks, which appear to be being used at exactly the same rate. Hey presto, when the ink low warning comes up, both cyan and matt black are shown. When the printer stops printing BOTH cyan and matt black have to be changed. It would appear that the ink levels are monitored in pairs.

Does anyone else have experience of this printer with respect to ink usage?

Perhaps it is time to invest in refillable ink cartridges (click here) and then I will only have to refill the ink I have actually used.


  trevpearson 20:26 06 Jun 2005

The millions of shades of colour that the printer produces does mean that some cartridges are used more than others. Hence certain ink being used up quicker than others.

I'm not convinced (yet) of using refillable Epson Cartridges, but I am convinced of using a good Continuous Ink System (do a GOOGLE search for PERMAJET) and quality ink (LYSON).


  Totally-braindead 20:42 06 Jun 2005

If the ink cartridges are monitored in pairs and I have no experience of this not having this particular printer, then it makes nonsense of the claim that having seperate ink tanks saves ink. I'll be watching this to see if others agree that this is the case.

  Ankermi31 21:17 06 Jun 2005

Hi I have an Epsom R200 with6 cartridges in it. I am very pleased also with reproduction but have experienced similar problems with two cartridges virtually running out at the same time.

I currently have low ink warnings on 4 but I have found that I can still get excellent prints out by ignoring it til the printer aborts so there is no wastage.

The cost of the original cartridges are high. Has anyone tried any substitutes?

With my previous Epson I used subs from The Ink Factory and they were excellent.

  Joe R 21:20 06 Jun 2005

click here
click here

Both of these are highly recommended by forum users.

  Peter 22:32 06 Jun 2005


I too have waited until the printer refuses to print, not just changed the cartridges when the printer warns they are running low.

The problem here is that apparently the colour cyan and the matt black ink are monitored together. I print more black-only documents than colour photographs and therefore believe that when the matt black runs out there is still plenty of cyan ink left. In fact shaking the cyan cartridge that I have removed from the printer indicates, by the sound it makes, that it is not empty, whereas the matt black sound empty. The gloss is monitored along with the blue ink and shows the same amount used although gloss is used very infrequently.

As to using compatible inks the replacement cartridges I am using are from XLShop and these appear okay, but it is difficult to say how good at the moment as they have only just been changed.

Whether I use Epson original cartridges or compatible ones does not get round the fact that monitoring cartridges in pairs inevitably means there will be unnecessary waste of ink.


  daba 22:41 06 Jun 2005

When you change your black cartridge for a new one, try putting the indicated empty Cyan cartridge back in.

Does it then say it is full again ?

I have a 6-cart RX620 (highly delighted with it), and the ink monitors all show different levels.

Is it possible that Epson have 'cheated' on the 8-cartridge machine, using the ink-monitoring functions already established for 6-cartridge machines ? That would mean that 2 of the 8 would appear to match 2 of the others, exactly as you describe.

You could try to get an 'expert' answer from Epson Tech Support.

  pj123 22:46 06 Jun 2005

Not advisable to use refills because the R800 uses chipped cartridges so you would also need to buy a chip resetter as well but apart from that it is not worth the hassle. Compatible Ink cartridges for the Epson R800 are £2.49 each including VAT and postage from Choice Stationery. click here

Ankermi, I have an Epson R200 and I get my compatible ink from Choice Stationery. No problems.

The link has been given by Joe R (the second one)

  Peter 23:15 06 Jun 2005

daba - I think if I try putting the part-used cyan cartridge back the printer would object as the chip stores the cartridge state information.

pj123 - the refill kit, shown in my link, has special refillable cartridges which are supposed to make refilling easy and clean. I have tried refilling, in the past, on another Epson printer and was put off as it was messy. Also the refill kit for the R800 contains a chip resetter. I have used Choice Stationery in the past, but when I checked their prices for the R800 they wanted about £4.60 each. Perhaps their prices have dropped recently. They have done so for some HP originals that I have ordered for my daughters printer.


  daba 23:27 06 Jun 2005

Exactly my point Peter, it could be that the printer is just reading the chip off your black cart, and 'assuming' the cyan cart has had similar usage. So putting a full black in would also say the cyan is full. At least if you did try it and the printer said 'black OK, cyan empty' you would then know that they are being monitored independantly. If it said 'black full, cyan full', then I would suspect the ink monitoring has not been implemented up to 8 carts.

Anyway, I googled this and there is ?some? useful info, but i forgot to copy the link.

It said "..the cleaning cycles are responsible for consuming ink in all cartridges, even though they may not be used...". Agreed, this would use up some ink in unused colour carts, but there should still be an imbalance in usage if you mainly do b&w printing, so I don't think that is a very good answer, which came from Epson themselves.

  daba 23:33 06 Jun 2005

Anyway, If anyone knows how to effectively un-block the nozzles of a Stylus Photo 830 I'd be interested to know.

I have this printer sitting there looking vary sad, it produces 'green-tinted' pictures, and the nozzle check is just diabolical.

Just goes to show what using 'cheaper' compatible cartridges can do.

For this reason, my new printer (the Rx620) will only be fed with genuine Epson ink, and printing on Epson paper the results are simply outstanding.

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