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!

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

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