Friday, 5 December 2014


What printer cartridges are the most popular of them all?

Brother, Canon, HP, Xerox, Samsung, et al, would have you believe that their's is. 

Our sponsor ABC Print Supplies, has been marketing genuine, remanufactured, and compatible ink & toner cartridges for over 5 years, and have researched this information over that period of time, using Google Analytics, to determine which is the most popular printer cartridge.
They advise that they sell approx. 4,000 different cartridges of all the above types, through 24 brand names.
Of the 24 brands, there are 5 brands which stand out from their competitors, whether, genuine, remanufactured, or compatible.
These brands are: Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, and Xerox.
Of those brands, the following market share, consisting of both genuine and compatible/remanufactured printer cartridges,  indicates their popularity:

Xerox            6.94%
Epson           17.24%
Canon          19.64%
Brother         22.59%
HP               33.65%

As indicated, HP accounts for approx a third of sales of the 5 most popular brands over a five year period
The most popular cartridge offered by HP for ink is the HP920XL black and colour cartridges for the OFFICEJET 6000, OFFICEJET 6500, OFFICEJET 7000, OFFICEJET 7500A HP printers, and the HP# 78 (CE278A) Mono laser Cartridge for the LASERJET PRO M1536, LASERJET PRO P1566, LASERJET PRO P1606, LASERJET PRO M1530 printers

Remembering that this is for a five year period, and that more recent printers might be currently more popular than those mentioned above.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


fREQUENTLY you  hear commercial printer users state that they would never risk using a compatible or remanufactured cartridge. The reasons given include:
1) The printer service representative states that they will clog up my printer and you'll have to get another one
2) We can't afford to produce low quality print which will reflect on us from our customers
3) I tried some that I picked up on Ebay at a really low price and they didn't work, and when I tried to contact the seller I couldn't.
So these reasons are enough to give you nightmares. But what of the many businesses that do use them and continually reorder generic cartridges? They have to have something going for them.
If you do your purchasing through a reputable vendor, either on the internet or through a retail shop, then you are assured of good quality or your money back.
Its an interesting observation that many retailers such as Officeworks are stocking and selling more generic printer cartridges than ever before. Why? Because they work, and they work well.
This in turn is a reflection on the confidence people are expressing in the reliability from using them. It also demonstrates the savings they are making in their purchases.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Tuesday, 6 May 2014


Mono, or  black, cyan, magenta, yellow, and others. Confused? 

There are many types of printer cartridges. For a start there is Ink and Toner. The first is a liquid, the latter a powder, with the Toner also called a laser because of the process used in putting print to paper.
Then there are genuine, compatible (generic), and remanufactured printer cartridges. And refills.
And just when you think you know it all along comes 3D.

But today we are not concerned with types of cartridges, but with the different colours.

You will often see a printer or printer cartridge advertised as 'mono'. This simply means that there are no colours associated with that printer (cartridge). These printers are used for text printing, where no colour is normally required. Mono is more usually associated with Toner, where yield is higher and speed is faster (think commercial).

Then there is the more usual combination of four coloured cartridges - black, cyan, magenta, and yellow, although the purists will advise that black, as with white, is not a colour. But in printer cartridge jargon it is.
This combination of colours allows you to print in the complete kaleidoscope of colours like the rainbow.
The combination of cartridges is more commonly used where a business wants flexibility in printing. For instance their statements might be black text with a minus balance in red, but their logo is in say blue. In this case, black will normally  be used in a much greater quantity than the colours so it is in the users interest to order multiple blacks to individual colour cartridges. Home users also will have a preference for this type of printer, in that there is often a requirement to use colours, especially when children are involved.

But there is more. For the graphics specialist or the professional photographer, there is higher quality colour, particularly in regard to ink cartridges, which are recognized as having a higher vibrancy than toner colour.
For instance Epson with their Stylus Photo R3000 have a nine colour combination of ink cartridges:

Photo Black Ink Cartridge
Cyan Ink Cartridge
Magenta Ink Cartridge
Yellow Ink Cartridge
Light Cyan Ink Cartridge
Light Magenta Ink Cartridge
Light Black Ink Cartridge
Matte Black Ink Cartridge
Light Light Black Ink Cartridge

have you noticed that there are 4 different shades of black included in this selection.
Enough for the most fastidious of  colour printer users.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Monday, 16 December 2013


Have you asked yourself why so many offers of cheap printer cartridges advertised on eBay seem too good to be true? 

Unfortunately, if you go ahead with your order, and upon installing the cartridge, you disappointingly find that indeed it was too good to be true! It might be that the print quality is not quite good enough in that it doesn't truly reflect the colour but has a faded appearance, or the print is not sharp but has blurry edges. In photos the colours might run into each other.
Why should printer cartridges advertised on supplier web sites be of reasonable quality when those advertised on eBay be inferior?
This is no reflection on eBay. They are offering a marketing venue for merchants to sell their products, and are not responsible for the quality of those products.
What you, the purchaser, need to be aware of, are the following qualifications you should put on your purchase decision for printer cartridges:
  • that printer ink and toner are very expensive commodities to manufacture, more expensive than the most expensive champagnes per mille litre. So if a printer cartridge is very cheap then the vendor is not providing suitable quality
  • that the vendor does not offer any guarantees/warranties as to the quality of their product
  • they have not undertaken any research into the quality of the product they are selling
  • once you have outlayed your hard earned cash for their product, it is gone; there is no recourse such as a product review web page to complain as you didn't buy from a business where reputation is important
This does not mean to say you shouldn't buy compatible printer cartridges and enjoy the savings when compared to genuine cartridges.
As long as the supplier is established offering a range of choice on their web page, and is guaranteeing to refund/replace the product if you the consumer is not satisfied with the purchase, then go ahead with your purchase.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


How to buy your ink and toner cartridges through the internet? 

There are different ways of purchasing your printer cartridges, be they genuine brand, remanufactured genuine, or compatible ink or toner cartridges. Some purchasers are very happy with their chosen internet supplier, and will maintain their relationship with that supplier, going straight to their web page which they might have Bookmarked through Internet Explorer, Chrome, or Mozella.
Other printer cartridge users prefer to shop around for the best deal, whenever it is time to replace stock, or are buying for the first time.
So using a search page on Google, Yahoo, or Bing, they call up what they think is the best way to finding their ink or toner cartridge. Their query can be anything from " cheapest Brother toner cartridges" to "Brother TN240 toner cartridge", or just "TN-240". I have used these three particular examples, because they can all lead to the same web pages in internet searches
 They are then confronted with page after page of the best deals in the land - from individual suppliers, such as ABC Print Supplies, to E-commerce merchants like Get Price, or My Shopping, or Shop Mania, who in turn rely on data product feeds from the retailers to provide their stock. Pricing is readily available for shoppers to compare, and they can then go to the selected products web site to have a closer look at what that supplier is offering, including delivery times, courier charges, support, references etc.
And there is another path for enquiring purchasers after entering their product query on the Google, Yahoo, etc search page or going directly to this type of ECommerce merchant. I'm talking about eBay &/or Amazon.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


It's a tough question, but really it depends on what is important to you.

There are a lot of good reasons as to why you can benefit from selecting the compatible ink/toner cartridge rather than the genuine brand (Brother, Canon, HP Xerox etc.) But there is for many users, a very good reason why they will still buy the original brand, even after researching the reasons for choosing to use a compatible printer cartridge.

Let's examine the reasons why customers are happy to choose/use compatibles, and there are quite a few good reasons:

a) Quality Assurance. This was the bete noir for compatible printer cartridges a number of years ago. But today the reputable suppliers manufacture to the highest quality setting as per ISO (International Standard Organisation benchmark) set by the genuine OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) 

b) Suppliers of Compatible ink/toner printer cartridges offer technical support personnel to contact in the event you are not satisfied with your purchase. 

c) Additionally these suppliers will guarantee to replace the cartridge, or refund your money in the event that a compatible cartridge doesn't perform.

d) often the compatible cartridge will hold a larger quantity of ink/toner than the comparable genuine cartridge, thereby providing a higher printer yield (no. of pages printed), which means greater return for your $$.

e) The most significant reason why people choose compatible cartridges before genuine cartridges is PRICE.
Compatible cartridges that print to the same quality and with the same/greater yield than the OEM cartridge can do so at a much lower price (up to 80% less).

So with all these reasons for buying compatible ink/toner cartridges, why do so many people, and businesses in particular, choose to stay with genuine cartridges, knowing them to be much dearer.
The answer is the knowledge that you are getting the best for your money. The OEM product gives you assurance, and peace of mind. Even if its not necessarily true, many users believe that by using compatibles it will cause damage to their printer, and that eventually the quality of the print will diminish.
Many businesses are concerned of their image; and this is partly reflected in what their customers receive from them in printed matter.

So even thought they might buy generic blood pressure pills from their chemist rather than the genuine ones because they trust them, this logic doesn't necessarily apply to generic printer cartridges.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


The cost today for ink is more expensive than Moet champagne, so how do you get the most from your cartridge.

Ink printers today have many purposes. Not only are they used for text, but applications such as Photoshop and Coral or Windows Paint application allow for the use of graphics, and then there is always the camera photos, which thanks to mobile phones, are more popular than ever before.
So not only is the demand for black ink increasing, but so too are the colours.
The suppliers of genuine ink cartridges are looking to make their margins not from the printers themselves, but from the ink cartridges, which at times can cost almost as much as the printer itself. Indded there are stories of consumers buying a new printer when their cartridge runs out, because along with the cartridge that comes with the printer , it is cheaper than buying a genuine ink cartridge. 

So there are a number of ways to reduce the quantity of ink you use per print exercise, and thereby reduce the cost to you by not needing to purchase a replacement ink cartridge..

  • An important feature to take advantage of when your computer is in printing mode is to make sure that you use draft mode whenever possible, such as for recipes, invoices from suppliers, or a trial run for a graphic, etc. Sometimes the quality of print might not be acceptable. Then you can choose a low or medium quality of print, rather than the expensive high quality.
  • If you do not require colour, such as for text printing, then check that you are only using the black cartridge. Often users are not aware that upon printing black text or black & white notices with images, that the printer will call in the cyan, magenta, and yellow cartridges, or the tri colour-cartidge,  to create the black.On your computer, if using Microsoft Windows, you can call up grey scale under preferences. You can also make this the default mode, so that you will always use just the black cartridge unless you specifically require colour.
  • When you are printing from a web-page, there is often a lot of blurb, advertisements, pictures etc that you don't really need on the finished product. There are two ways to save on ink here. Firstly look for a 'print this' indicator somewhere on the page. It will usually show you what will be printed, eliminating a lot of the unnecessary stuff. Or secondly you can copy & past to Microsoft word or any similiar user software, and print just that instead.
  • Compare the yields between genuine and compatible cartridges for your printer. In spit of what the brand name cartridge suppliers tell you, compatible cartridges do not ruin your print heads, unless supplied by a very dodgy dealer. (refer previous article here). But if you buy directly from a web page supplier, who guarantees their product, you should'nt have those problems. The advantage can be, aside from a lower price, a higher yield from the compatible supplier.
So by applying any/all of the above suggestions, you will achieve savings that will make you happier when you do need to buy  that replacement cartridge.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Saturday, 11 May 2013


 Not long ago, I was asked the question, "Which Brother TN240BK lasts longer, the genuine or the compatible?"

It is understandable a purchaser desiring to get the maximum usage for their purchase. 
There could be the following answers such as it depends upon what you are printing, e.g. pictures use a lot more ink than text, or using more color than using black will lessen the usage of black. or even relating to the printer head, which in turn relates to the quality of the toner/ink used.
But the right answer  is none of the above!
It depends on the yields offered by the genuine and the compatible TN240BK toner cartridges.
And in each case the rated yield is 2,200 pages, meaning that the one type of TN240BK doesn't out perform the other. Be aware though that each cartridge type will  only print approximately 5% of stated yield as according to ISO9001 (International Standards).
If your question though, was "Which Brother TN2150 high yield cartridge runs the longest, the genuine or the compatible?" Then the answer would most definitely be the compatible one (TN2150X) as it has a yield of up to 4,500 pages, as compared to the genuine high yield TN2150 with a yield of 2,600 pages (both ISO ISO9001 Quality Standards).

So the answer is to look at the yield advertised with each printer, remembering that in most, but not all cases the yield for the genuine and the compatible will be the same.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Friday, 18 January 2013


When you go to purchase a toner printer for business usage, or for frequent printing from home (home/office), which toner cartridge yield size should  you really think about?

Your very first thought will probably be 'the bigger the yield, the extra pages I can print ahead of having to buy yet another toner cartridge'. And for the most part, that may be right. But big isn't necessarily beautiful.

Often,u pon looking in the printers that use greater yield cartridges, you'll discover that they also have quicker print speeds. "Even better" you might say. True, for those who have money to burn.

 Within the case of firms which have a high demand for printing, for example professional printers or mail out organizations, then you can surely get a return from your investment by printers that are high yield with quick throughput.

But what is you're a company that say only has a high demand for printing at the end of your month (statements for example), then you will have an highly-priced piece of equipment doing little to earn its preserve for the rest on the month. So what if the printer takes four hours rather than 1 hour to accomplish an end-of month run.

For instance you'll be able to acquire a Lexmark X854e MFP for ONLY $17,000 with a monthly duty cycle (maximum advisable monthly usage) of approx. 300,000 impressions. It has an output speed of 55 pages per minute and may srack up to 5,100 sheets. For several companies this could be like using an elephant gun for shooting rabbits. The Lexmark cartridge for this number cruncher is the X850 at an approx. expense of $200, although having a gigantic yield of 30,000 pages, or $0.06c every page -good value when you can afford the machine.

For a majority of customers, the Brother HL-4570CDW at $475 would prove eye-catching usage wise, with an output of 30 pages per minute, plus a monthly duty cycle of 60,000 pages, along with a holding capacity of 250 sheets. It reviews really highly. It can be the perfect printer when you want to print dozens of pages every day, printing at a rated speed of 28 pages per minute for both black & colour. The laser toner printer cartridge for your Brother HL-4570CDW would be the TN340BK using a 2,500 page yield, at approx. $80 per cartridge, or the TN3480BK compatible, using a 4,000 page yield at $64 per cartridge..

So as you'll be able to see from the two different printers, its really usage which in turn effects price (for both the printer and the cartridge), which is the deciiding factorr as to what you get.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Wednesday, 12 December 2012


Holidays are coming up, and that means small bored children saying, "What can I do? I'm bored". It's a universal cry from the little ones.

Today, we are changing from our normal printing supplies blog articles this once, but hey, it's holiday time incoming, and it always helps to be prepared with children.
If you have an Iphone or Ipad, and there's not too many that don't now days, then there is a great kids app that will while away the hours with silence except for little noises of glee - its called All Grown Up by Christopher Cotton.
Designed for children aged 3 -6 years, although children up to 9 will certainly get a buzz out of it, the (audio) story is based around the animals (animated) of the Australian bush. The central character is a frilly lizard wondering what he can be when he grows up. He then looks at what other animals do. For instance there is a platypus that is a life saver at the water's edge. There is lots of children's comedy to the story.
As an extra bonus, there are also games such as memory which shows the bush land creatures which you have to pair off - very cleaver. As you successfully complete a game you can go on to the next one with more cards.
The animated animals are cleverly portrayed, and really do give you a sense of the Australian bush.
For more details and how to get it, click here.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Friday, 19 October 2012


Are you confused with all those different expression describing printer cartridges, and how relevant are they? I know I was.

LATELY, you have bought your first printer and it is time to get another print cartridge so you research the internet, to be confused with a plethora of expressions about printer cartridges that confuse you.  It can make it hard for you to make the correct decision about to what to get.
We will define some of the expressions used here to help you understand what they mean:

Compatible/Genuine/Refill/Remanufactured: You can have all of these types of alternative cartridges even though they apply to the one printer.For a fuller description of these types of cartridges, click here.

Drum Cartridge: The drum cartridge can also be called the drum unit or drum roller.
They are used with toner cartridges - the latter generally fit inside the drum cartridge. Whereas the toner (laser) cartridge holds the toner powder. The purpose of the drum cartridge is to distribute the powder in image /text form via electrode charging onto the paper. When the quality of your printing is deteriorating it is usually the drum cartridge that needs replacing, normally after every 3 to 4 toner cartridges have been used. 

Laser Cartridge:  A laser cartridge is really a cartridge that uses toner powder. It is not the cartridge itself that is laser but the printer that uses a laser ray to focus a beam of magnetic charged light to transfer images and text onto the paper. The expression laser cartridge really means a toner cartridge that disperses powder onto the electronical charged paper as dictated by the laser beam.

Mono: This type of printer only uses black cartridges - it does not have colours. More often used in an office environment for text printing, usually at higher speeds.

OEM Cartridge: Means Original Equipment Manufacturer, and refers to the model code for the cartridge as supplied by the original manufacturer. For example Brother TN2150....TN2150 is the OEM cartridge as supplied by Brother.

Toner Cartridge: refer to Laser Cartridge above.

Yield: This is the amount of available toner or ink that determines what quantity of print you will achieve. It will normally be measured in millilitres or pages that can be printed. The term is often not a good measure in that there are many variables that effect yield, including the efficiency of any particular printer, the density of print (image/text) to the page, the mix of black, cyan, magenta, & yellow etc. There is now an International standards organisation accepted measurement that determines a page as approx. 5% of an A4 size sheet in text printing. So when a user sees yield 5,000 pages, in fact it might be more like. 1,000 pages achieved, or if images, less again.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Sunday, 9 September 2012


For most people, this really is a perplexing query as you will discover a lot of selections are available to you.

The solution to resolving this query will be to do some significant thinking as to what you are going to need the printer for, and after that to analysis the market place for all those type of printers by going to the diverse printer review evaluation internet pages. You may even look at technically inclined forums including PCreview or Whirlpool.

But for now, lets go back to the essential uses you could have for your printer.

 A single technique to make the determination of what is the proper printer for you personally will be to set out your specifications for the printer, and these can be broken down as follows, assuming that the minimal requirement is met in every situation:
1. Speed of printing pages ? (a) not vital, (b) at times essential, (c) crucial
2. Quality of print ? (a) not critical, (b) a necessary level (c) essential
3. Colour print ? (a) no requirement (b) occasional colour (c) photo top quality
4. Usage ? (a) printing only (b) copying, faxing, and scanning
5. No of 'printer users ? (a) just your personal computer system (b) some computers inside a home or perhaps a compact workplace (c) many computers

When determining  the above selection criteria, keep in mind the saying "champagne tastes - beer prices".
 In other words, deciding on the ideal of every option to make a decision can be way above what it is possible to afford. What's the point in saying you wish for a good quality print with colour when you really only require a printer to sustain recipes and household account records.
Apart from figuring out the above variables, it is best to also place the 5 above specifications into a priority. For instance, if you are a photographer just beginning out using a restricted spending budget, your priority would most likely be along the lines of three, two, one, four, and five. The usual residence requirement may be two, three, four, five and one.
 It's very much a matter of personal perception,as to what printer you wish to obtain, but what undertaking this exercise does is enable you to establish what your hot points are. As an example, in the event you run a business enterprise that creates substantial volumes of documents for example a legal firm, then your requirement will be as follows:
1 - crucial
 5 - a lot of printer users
 4 - quick copying is usually a high requirement
 2 - occasionally significant
 3 -  no requirement

Essentially the decision making in this case is revolving around the fact that we do quite a bit of printing and we've five solicitors and three clerical staff all with printing needs, that good quality, so long as it's acceptable will not be a high priority, and that you simply don't use colour.

if you apply the above criteria to your own needs, this should help you in determining what type of printer you need.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Samsung have recently released an article putting down remanufactured cartridges.

The article by Samsung, linked here, states how the remanufactured cartridges 'can' result in printouts marred by streaks, splotches etc, and that they 'may potentially' shorten the life of the printer.
That reads to me like 'if your aunt didn't have breasts she 'may/can be your uncle'. The paragraph is designed to create fear.
What they fail to add is that if a 'fake', as Samsung calls them, does produce inferior results, their manufacturing won't last long, market forces will see to that!
As for potentially shortening the printer's life, the money saved from using remanufactured cartridges will more than compensate for a replacement printer, preferably with a brand that doesn't go out of its way as much as Samsung to eliminate remanufactured printer cartridges and thereby help create an environment unfriendly to sustainability.
The article by Samsung then goes on to state that a remanufactured cartridge “usually shows signs of physical damage on the outer plastic case...........” That's not my understanding of remanufactured cartridges, refills possibly. The international remanufactured cartridge suppliers I'm aware of look in new condition, because they are quality checked before reprocessing, and where possible components that have signs of wearing are replaced.
Samsung, along with other brand Original Equipment Manufacturers, should realise that if they hadn't used the printer cartridge to maximise prices in the first place, then entry of replica products would have been more difficult.
Yesterday morning I received my monthly newsagent invoice wrapped around my delivered newspaper.
There was a request on the invoice for me to agree to receiving the statement notice via email in future. I wonder if the CEO for Samsung might also have received a similar request from his newsagent? And if so, would it occur to him that high printing costs, as well as the environmental message which appeared on my invoice, might be partially his responsibility?

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Friday, 24 August 2012


How important is it to you for your grandchildren to see all the details in the photographs you print today?

We all know how important photos are to us and our family. If someone’s house is on fire in the middle of the night, and they only have moments to rescue their most important items, what gets saved – the family photo album of course. After all, it is an extension of our lives.
Although many of our images are stalled digitally (and make sure you have adequate back up in the form of memory sticks or removable hard disk drives which you update frequently), we print our best photos because they are easier to get (more accessible) when dear old aunty Nellie comes visiting. It can also get a bit crowded around a computer when there are also her 6 children with her (her hubby has gone fishing).
First thing to do to improve photo lifetime is to get the most suitable printer.
For the part time camera enthusiast, who often use their mobile phone for photography, then the ink-jet printer is probably the best way to go.
Printers that use additional printer cartridges beyond the Black, Cyan, Magenta, & Yellow, such as photo black, light cyan light ,magenta light etc are designed to provide more detail to the photo.
Canon printers such as the MP750, 760, IP3000 IP5000, etc that use the Canon BCI6 inkjets . or the Canon MP500, 510, IP3300, 4200, etc which use the PGI5, CLI8 colours are photo orientated.
HP also manufacture the very highly reviewed Photosmart C310A, which use the HP 564XL cartridges.
If high photo printing quality is a serious portion of your print requirement then buy a Dye Sublimation Printer . They are printers that are used for photographic applications & graphic arts that are excellent at printing the finer detail. You should also get high quality paper which allows multiple layers of dye to fuse to the paper, making the prints resistant to water and dirt.
Second thing to get is high quality print paper of a glossy nature. Manufacturers will advise of recommended paper or provide gloss paper of a high standard such as  “HP “ Q8008A Advanced Glossy Photo Paper 60Sheets - 10X15cm borderless.
Two other important considerations for longevity of photos:
Maintain your printer such as vacuuming the internal areas for dust & regularly running it.
Keep you albums in a protected area such as the wine cellar, but don’t look at photos whilst imbibing – photos & red wine don’t go well together 

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Wednesday, 15 August 2012


It won't always work, but when your print quality is effected by the ageing of the drum roller (see previous article), you might try cleaning it.

But drum units are very sensitive, so clean at your own risk.
Like all of us, our drum unit has a definite life expectancy period. Ours is approx .70 to 80 years approx. A drum cartridge is usually 3 to 4 printer cartridges lives. Simply, it wears out.
Because they are expensive to replace, relative to the cost of the toner cartridge, you might want to attempt to clean the drum, remembering that toner powder is a toxic substance (as in poison), until it is transferred to paper, and should be handled with care.
If your drum is suffering from any of the following symptoms, then either replace it or clean it:
·         Smudges or marks on paper
·         Faded text
·         Paper jam
·         Blank spaces in image (text or picture)

·         Lumps of powder on the drum roller.

Remember, don’t attempt to clean it unless you accept that you might damage it i.e. it is unacceptable.
Before you start, check to see if your user guide advises you of the correct procedure, and follow that if so. Otherwise do the following procedure.
Use a pair of throw away rubber gloves; surgical or washing gloves are fine. Place a large sheet of plastic onto a flat surface, or newspaper, as this can be a messy job.
Open the printer and remove the toner cartridge. Inspect the drum for obvious damage. If it's damaged, don't try to clean it; replace it. Place the drum roller on the plastic/newspaper. Remove any large spots of toner on the drum with tweezers or pliers. Be careful not to scratch the surface. Dip a cotton swab in a rubbing alcohol. Gently swipe any visible soiling.
If the entire drum looks dirty, then put a couple of drops of alcohol on a soft, lint-free cloth and carefully wipe the drum. Check the other parts for toner residue while you have the cartridge out. Carefully clean them.
Reinstall the cartridge and print a couple of test pages. If the problem persists, then go back to the first alternative: a new drum, or a new printer if drum replacement is becoming too frequent..

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support


 When the other OEM printer cartridge suppliers (Brother, Canon, Epson, Xerox et al) are remaining constant with their prices, HP's are climbing. Why?\

We have noticed an increase, often substantial, in the price of HP printer cartridges. One wholesaler has increased the price of all HP printer cartridges by placing an $8 levy on any cartridge order of less than $50.00.  Cartridges such as the C312A, Q5949X, CC530AA, CE250X, CE320A, and the C9730A but to name a few, have increased from 14% to 16% since the end of 2011. 
Why would HP choose to factor in these price increases when their competitors are holding steady on prices, particularly with the increase in demand from compatible and re-manufactured printer cartridges?
HP has recently announced 27,000 job cuts (8% of its international workforce) and are taking a US$8 billion charge. This will certainly be a factor in increasing prices, to increase revenues.
What does this mean to HP printer cartridge users?
I can't see how HP would advantage from this. Possibly in the short term users are stuck with their printer, so therefore improved short term profits; but surely it can't help them when users go to replace their printers, or relate the price rises to their friends/collegues, who are about to buy a printer. Adverse publicity is certainly something HP doesn't need at present.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Thursday, 9 August 2012


Everyone is familiar with printer cartridges (well, nearly everyone), but what about drum units?

You are happily printing out a mass of statements. You have had the new printer for 8 months now, with no problems. 
Just  yesterday you replaced the toner cartridge with a new one, the fourth one now, when suddenly the statements are becoming faded, But how could it be so? You've only just replaced the cartridge, so that has to be the problem! You take it out, check that you've removed the seal properly, shake it for a possible blockage, and try again-  same problem. So you get the reserve cartridge out, install it..... and aghhh... still no success. Has it occurred to you that your drum unit has worn out.

Before describing a drum printer cartridge or unit, it is important to know that you should normally replace it approximately on a ratio of every 3 to 4 toner cartridges.

What is a drum printer cartridge and what does it do? 

A printer drum is a rolling pin inside of a laser/toner printer. To create image patterns, a laser beam shines on the drum in the shape of the required image (text, pictorial), to place what are called "electrostatic images." The drum is then rolled through a reservoir of toner, the powdered substance that creates printed images on the paper (for both black and coloured prints), on those previously invisible electrostatic patterns. The magnetically paper rolls through the drum, where the toner is applied, and then finally goes through what is called a fuser which is a heat source to melt the powder, to create your printout.
The drum is different to the toner cartridges, the sole purpose of which is to hold the toner powder. For a number of printers, the drum and toner cartridge are the one unit, known as a toner cartridge. But a number of popular printers have the drum roller separate from the printer cartridge, as follows:
For the Brother brand, there are the Brother DCP7040, and HL2140, HL2142, HL2150N etc. printers that use the DR2125 drum unit, as we well as the DCP7055, HL2130, 7460DN and others that use the DR2225 drum unit. There are 6 other drum rollers from Brother including the DR3000, DR3115, DR3215, DR6000, DR8000, & DR150CL with their related printer ranges.
The HP brand uses the CB384-7A drums for black,cyan, magenta, and yellow. each colour having its own drum roller. The related HP printers include the LaserJet CP6015dn, CP6015n, CP6015x, CP6015xh, LaserJet CM6030, CM6030f, and CM6040 .
Dell has the 592-10544 laser drum unit for their 1700, 1710, 1710n range of printers; Epson the C13S051055 mono laser drum unit with the  C13S050010 mono laser cartridge for the EP L 5700, 5700L, 5800 range of printers; & Xerox the CT350150 colour copier drum unit for the DocuCentre C240, C320, C400 range of printers

 The drum is the unit that can clip onto the back of the toner cartridge, or surround the toner cartridge; and it holds the image and  is extremely important to the laser printer functioning properly. When it starts to wear, you will have problems with print quality and you may experience frequent paper jams.
Signs of drum deterioration:
  • Smudges or marks on paper
  • Faded print
  • Blank areas in print
  • Paper jam
Although some printers will give you a warning that you should replace your drum unit, it is a good idea to have a spare in the storage room.
Our next article will be on how you can clean a drum unit, for the brave hearted!

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Tuesday, 7 August 2012


When did the InkJet printer first come into existence?

The Inkjet printer produces a digital image by spraying droplets on demand onto paper, and are the most commonly used printer today, largely due to their low entry cost which has found favour with the home and small office user.

The first  recording device, using electrostatic forces, was invented by William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin, in 1858. This was the Siphon recorder. The apparatus was used for automatic recordings of telegraph messages and was patented in 1867

The first practical continuous  Inkjet printing device was patented by Elmqvist of Siemens in 1951,  with the rapid development of inkjet technology starting off around the late fifties. But not much happened until 1977 when Siemens introduced the PT-80 serial character printer. This printer ejected ink droplets on as it was needed to print, as opposed to continuous inkjet technology that IBM had developed earlier in the 1970’s., which was far more complex , and far more expensive.

Also about then Canon introduced bubble jet printer technology, a drop on demand inkjet printing method where ink drops were ejected from the nozzle by the fast growth of an ink vapour bubble on the top surface of a small heater. HP did likewise and coined the name ‘thermal inkjet’.

The invention of thermal inkjet (TIJ) fundamentally changed inkjet research. By
the replacement of the piezoelectric by a thermal transducer, the main bottleneck
concerning miniaturization was resolved. The thermal transducer became a
simple, small, and cheap resistor

Today, the technology used for inkjet & bubblejet printers is the serial printing process, where the printer uses print heads with nozzles arranged in vertical columns – a process which is the same as is used in dot matrix printers.

The dot matrix printers  ( both serial & line dot matrix printers are the most popular today owing to the fact that they are the least cost per page for print usage when compared to other inkjet printers.

So don’t just sit there -  go and use your inkjet printer to print this out.

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Wednesday, 1 August 2012


Why should you buy a toner printer, now that it is time to replace your faithful old inkjet?

Well there are a number of reasons to look at the toner/laser option.
Up until recently, toner printers were too expensive for the small business and home user, by a big margin, so they wern't in the race. But things have changed. For example the HP LaserJet Pro P1102 is selling at around A$130 to $150. Sure, it's only a mono (black) printer, but there are colour lasers, as per this review. There is the Dell 2150cdn. at approx. $350. 
You might say though that Inkjet printers are so much cheaper, some brand models selling at $50 to $85 each. This is because the manufacturers profits are made from the sale of the ink cartridges

And then there is the improved printer speeds that laser printers give you. The former prints at a rated speed of 19 pages per minute (ppm), & the colour at 23ppm. These speeds are very fast when compared to inkjet printers which are at around 12 ppm , according to a review of Inkjet printers by PCWorld . Although there is the Brother DCP-J525W Inkjet Multifunction at 26ppm for colour & 33ppm for black - but it's output print quality does not rate well.
And print quality, particularly for text, is where toner usually lauds it over ink. However, there are exceptions such as photo prints. Inkjets still do a superior job than tonerss of blending colours smoothly. Some have special photo inks that help create subtler shadings and contours, and of course, special photo paper garners the best results. You don't have to be a photo enthusiast or a snap-happy family to want this level of quality. Visually oriented businesses such as real estate and design, or any business that wants to create photo-heavy promotional materials, should also consider an inkjet. But look carefully at inkjet printers that specialize in this area.
Aside from speed and text print quality, probably the  most significant benefit from buying a laser printer is the cost of printing. The cost per page of black toner is between 3 cents and 7 cents per page, whereas the cost of inkjet is between 7 cents and 16 cents per page. Internationally, the cost of bulk ink is increasing, which doesn't auger well for inkjet cartridge prices into the future.
And finally, toner cartidges have a much better storage life, often as long or longer than the life of the printer, wheras inkjets, if in ideal conditions, cn be a problem within two years with the ink congealing. 

If your budget is low in being able to afford the initial capital cost of a printer, and your printing demands are low, but regular, or you require high quality photo prints, then certainly buy an inkjet printer, otherwise I'd recommend a laser printer for either your house or small business.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Monday, 30 July 2012


Do you make sure you’re getting the correct cartridge when you place your order.

It seems people ordering printer cartridges get it wrong more often than you’d think.
The main reason this occurs lies largely at the feet of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer). They often produce a cartridge with a model number that will be close to identical to a printer model number, but that is not designed to be used by that printer.
Brother is one manufacturer that does this. Many users of the Brother HL2130 (a popular printer from the Brother stable), especially when they are first ordering a replacement printer, see the TN2130 printer cartridge and understandably think that’s the cartridge to buy. But no, the TN2130 is used in the Brother HL2140 (not the HL2130).
The TN2130 is actually the cartridge supplied by Brother for the HL2140 and other printers which is included in the price. It is approx 40% volume yield to the TN2150 (standard-2,600 pages), and the TN2150X, the high yield cartridge. The latter two are the ones you should be ordering for the Brother HL2140.
Oh, the HL2130 in fact uses the Brother TN2030 printer cartridge.
Another example of confusing printer cartridges with different printers, is by Kyocera. Their printer the FS-C5100DN is only a single character different to the Kyocera FS-C5200DN. That alone can create confusion when ordering printer cartridges, but there’s more.
The FS-C5100DN uses the TK-544 black, cyan, magenta, & yellow cartridges, as opposed to the TK-554 black, cyan, magenta, & yellow cartridges used by the FS-C5200DN printer.
This creates problems; especially when the cartridges are so similar in shape that you don’t really notice the difference when you go to install them. But the printer certainly does!
Once you have opened the printer cartridge wrapping, your opportunity to claim a refund/replacement has flown out the window, and that can be expensive.
How do you eliminate the problem? When ordering your printer cartridge, ALWAYS carefully check that the ‘used with printers’ section contains the printer you use. Or order the cartridge by the printer model. If you see alternative cartridges, then it is for genuine, compatible or remanufactured cartridges; or  for different yield capacities or marketing e.g. twin packs. But at least you know one thing – they will all work for your printer.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Who remembers the millennium bug? 

There was world wide spread fear in 1999 that because computer systems in the 1900’s hadn’t allowed for a change in the millennium, whereby  a shortened  date of say  28.04.86 (04.28.86) was for April 1986, whereas after 31.12.99 (12.31.99), the next date was 01.01.00, and that computers around the world would go into freefall.
Hardly anybody caught an aeroplane during  that time of millennium change-over for fear the planes’ computers would send it into free fall. Well the planes kept flying, and businesses kept operating.
What’s this got to do with the paperless society you say? Well, a lot.
The single major barrier against a paperless office is the fear of something going wrong with your computer system, and the business losing vital data. But there’s back-up to protect against that, you say. Sure, but everyone knows of a story where XYZ’s backup failed to work when it was desperately needed, for whatever reason.
Printed paper also offers advantages in other areas that I believe make a mockery of the term “paperless office”.
For example, you have a major presentation you are putting to a committee you need to convince. It is highly unlikely you are going to provide everyone with an electronic tablet to go through the benefits your system can provide them. You want something they can scribble notes onto, that they can put into their briefcase providing easy access to it when they wish to refer to it again (portability).
Paperless offices do run the risk of viruses, hackers, identity theft, and convenience issues (do you always carry a computer?).
And then there is the expression... “please sign on  the dotted line” – show me a computer that can do that.
The future will see less reliance on printed paper, but not an obsolescence of it. Printers and printer cartridges are here to stay.
But there is good news for the environmentalists. There will be less demand on forest trees for paper (also tree plantations are increasing in volume today), and  printer cartridge users are returning spent cartridges to recycling bins, placing less demand on land fills.
Have your say in the comments section below as to where you see the future of paper usage going.

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support

Tuesday, 24 July 2012


Beware of dubious compatible printer cartridge offers on the Internet

Fortunately, most Internet suppliers of printer cartridges offer reasonable quality inkjets and toners to the public. Physically looking at a cartridge, or looking at an (web page) image of one will not help you in determining if you are getting a reliable product.
There are a number of ways to minimize the risk of buying a dud cartridge:

  1.             Be wary of buying compatible cartridges on Ebay or Amazon or similar marketing sites, especially if the prices are too good to be true; they usually are. You don’t know it your purchases are legit until you receive them.
    2.    Look for a guarantee with the purchase
    3.    Sites that also sell genuine cartridges as well as compatible ones will normally prove reliable.
    4.    Look up the ‘about’ section of a supplier, and see if they also offer an address.
    5.    If a supplier offers a large range of product, it usually means that they have researched the quality of their stock.
    6.    Check to see if the supplier offers back-up support. If they are dodgy then why would they want to support their product.
    7.    Do a Google/Yahoo etc. search of the business you are considering buying from. This will give you a feel for their reliability.
There are brands of compatible cartridges, though acceptable, are not as good a quality as the genuine. If you find this situation occurring to you, ask the supplier what brand it is, and when you need to order next time, contact an alternative supplier and ask what brand (s) they use; because there are also brands that are of good quality.Two highly regarded brands of compatible printers are G&G™ and Focus®.

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Compatible cartridges might not always be compatible with other compatible cartridges.

Confused? What we are advising you to be careful of, is using different brands of compatilbe cartridges together at the same time.
Any compatible brand manufacturer, such as G & G, is making different size printer cartridges from the genuine cartridges for two reasons. First, copyright laws are obliging them to be 35% different to genuine cartridges in shape, by 35%+. The second reason is that they are making them with more yield capacity making them more attractive to the consumer.
They will make certain that the compatible cartridge(s) will fit in with the genuine one, think for example colour & black combination.
But if you have a compatible black cartridge from say Printrite, it won't necessarily work with a G & G coloured cartridge. Why not? Because they can have a shape that wants to take up the same space as the other compatible, i.e. their bulge might be designed to use the same vacant place in the printer cartridge storage area as the other brand.
The solution is to stick to the one brand of compatibles.  

We thank our sponsor, ABC Print Supplies, for their support.