[rescue] Phaser ink

Curious George jorge234q at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 19 14:58:02 CDT 2008

--- On Tue, 8/19/08, Mr Ian Primus <ian_primus at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --- On Tue, 8/19/08, Curious George
> <jorge234q at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > Does anyone know what, if *any*, differences there are
> > between the ink sticks for the various (incompatible)
> > Phaser printers?  (the solid ink printers, that is)
> > 
> > I figure the prohibition on using sticks for model X
> > in model Y must be one or more of:
> > - they want to sell you more/expensive ink
> > - the melting point, flow or drying properties of the
> >   ink is different
> > - the *colors* are slightl different which would result
> >   in color distortion in the resulting images
> You're right on most counts. They definitely like to
> sell you ink.

Yeah.  At OUTRAGEOUS prices!  :<

> From what I have been able to tell, the ink
> actually _is_ different. It's not much different though.
> First, there is the earliest Phaser ink, that worked in the
> old 300 series Phasers. This is much waxier, and seems to
> have a lower melting point. It _will_ work, when forced into
> 800 series priners, but you won't like the output, and
> it tends to smear and stick to adjacent pages.

Ah. I hadn't ever considered that problem!  I've never used
one of the 3XX's.
> With the 840, the ink was reformulated. It's better,
> slightly harder, and has better color. 
> The 850 ink, is, as far as I can tell, exactly the same as
> 840 ink, only in different shapes. The 840/850 share almost
> all of the same parts too, and it's possible to
> interchange almost all the parts of an 850 into an 840. My
> "850" at home is a weird hybrid, built on the
> remains of an 840. It uses the original 840 head and power
> supply, but with an upgraded 850 logic board and some random
> replacement clutches from other machines in the line, and an
> 850 ink loader, 850 tray guides and release gates.

OK, so the reason for this "difference" is just that they
want you to buy more *new* ink instead of using any OLD ink
you had on hand.  Though I am sure that if you aasked *them*,
they would claim "<mumble mumble> image quality <mumble mumble>
void warranty <mumble mumble>..."
> The 860 ink is also pretty much the same. I think the cyan
> got a little brighter, but it might just be me.

OK, so same as above.
> The 8200 ink is harder still, and seems shinier. It's
> more resiliant to remelting once it's on the pages, and
> the printouts hold up better in hot cars. It works in the

Ouch!  I hadn't thought of that (though it makes sense).
I've never left anything printed sitting in the car.
Would probably be worth trying with something disposable...

> older machines, and vice versa. I haven't seen any
> problems, but don't work with these machines much.
> The 8500 introduced new shapes and sizes to the ink.
> It's possible to break the older ink sticks up and make
> them fit, but there are extra sensors in the bottom of the
> ink loader in these new machines, so it's tricky to make
> it work. Also, the older ink doesn't seem to work very
> well in these machines, even if you can get it to melt in.
> It'll be kinda uneven, and seems to discolor. Best not
> to use the old ink in 8500 and newer.
> > E.g., why is 840 black different from 8200 black?
> Because the 840/850/860 black ink is free. The 8200 black
> you have to buy. The free black ink for life program went
> away after Xerox bought Tektronix, and doesn't apply to
> these newer printers. The black ink for the old machines is
> still free, and still available though.

Ah, OK.
> > [as an aside, I think it would be hilarious to meet
> > the guy who comes up with the various shapes of these
> > sticks at a dinner party:  "What do you do for a
> > living, Joe?"  "Oh, I make sure square pegs won't fit
> > in round holes..."]
> Yeah, and he also made sure that the square pegs now only
> fit _one direction_ into the proper holes. The new ink is
> keyed on all four sides and the bottom, and can only be

Bastards.  Sort of like Medeco locks...  :<

> inerted one direction. The old ink was only keyed on the
> long sides, and could fit either direction.

Yes.  And, you could easily remove the keyed portion of
the ink holder/feeder and swap it with one of a different
shape to accomodate other ink sticks.
> As expensive as the ink is, resist the urge to buy the
> third party ink. It can destroy the print head. I've
> seen it happen. Even though I've swapped ink between
> models in the Phaser line, I have never had it damage the
> machine, although with the 8200/8500 and newer machines,

I have an 840, 860 and an 8200 (also a 560 but that's a
different beast entirely).  Stocking ink for *each* machine
is outrageously expensive.  So, I either have to pick
one machine and let the others run out *or* find ways
of sharing ink (e.g., I just inherited a batch of 850 blacks)

> I've done it very little. Your mileage may vary, and
> I'm not responsible if you screw up your printer. The
> print heads in these things are pretty sensitive, so take
> good care of them.

Yeah, the quality of the resulting pages is absolutely

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