Tips and Tricks 4 – Installation Best Practice

Ok – so I have talked about the consequences of memory conflicts and recognition faults. So how are they to be avoided? Easy, just follow these simple rules:

1. Don’t mix inks from different manufacturers. They will almost always have different capacities and this will confuse the printer. Colours are also formulated to work in sets so if you mix colours from different factories you can get strange results.

2. Ideally you want to start from scratch when you change suppliers. The best way to do this is to follow these steps:

a)  Remove all the old cartridges from the printer (quickly turn them upside down so they do not drip and be careful not to spill the ink)
b) Switch off the printer at the power switch and then unplug it for 2 minutes (no more).
c) Restart your computer.
d) Making sure the cartridge bay door is shut, plug the printer back in and switch it on.
e) Install a completely fresh set of Ink Squid cartridges.

This will start you off with a clean slate, the ink levels will be correct and you will avoid any conflicts that can cause recognition faults.

Happy printing – The Ink Squid

Tips and Tricks 3 – Memory Conflicts

By far the greatest number of calls we get from customers relates to chip or memory conflicts. They don’t happen all that often but when they do occur, they can cause real problems. So what is a memory conflict?

This is where the printer ‘remembers’ the previous type of cartridge that was installed and is confused by the change. This can cause recognition faults, which as it happens are easily rectified. But in some circumstances, the printer can assume the wrong ink levels and this has a couple of possible consequences:

1. If the printer thinks a cartridge holds less ink than it does, then you will be told it is empty when it is still 2/3 full. This is obviously annoying and a waste of ink. Since our cartridges always hold more than the originals (and in some cases 3 or 4 times as much) you want to avoid this.

2. The flip side is that if you continue printing out of sync then you eventually get to a point where the printer thinks there is more left in the cartridge then there actually is. In this case, the printer will keep trying to print after the cartridge is empty. When a printer tells you to replace a cartridge, there should be a little bit of ink left in the bottom so that the flow of ink is maintained. If the printer continues printing when a cartridge is bone-dry, then air is sucked into the ink line and creates a blockage. This is easily recognised: when a cartridge needs replacing, the first you should know about it is the message from the printer. If during a print-run you see a deterioration in quality first then the cartridge has completely run out of ink and the printer is starting to suck on air. And once you get an air bubble in the ink line it can be a pain to get rid of so you really want to avoid doing this.

So how do you avoid this?  See “Tips and Tricks 4″ for the best practice.

The Ink Squid

Tips and Tricks 2 – Epson printers

Compatible ink cartridges often get a bad name for reasons that have nothing to do with the ink or cartridges, especially when it comes to Epson printers.

Here is a common scenario: a customer who is using original Epson ink orders compatibles from us but, before ours have arrived, contacts us to cancel the order because his/her printer has died.

In their eyes, this is just one of those things. Electronic goods don’t last for ever so they go out and buy a new one. But if this had happened just after installing our inks, then “it is obviously the compatibles that have caused it”!

Of course, there are bad compatibles out there. I have come across some shocking-quality ink cartridges over the years. But in my opinion most problems we come across have nothing to do with the cartridges.

So, over the next few days/weeks/months I will be publishing a list of do’s and don’ts – these will help you avoid the pitfalls that can lead you to throw that printer out of the window.

So keep reading – and if you have any questions please feel free to ask ;)

The Ink Squid

HP 364 XL Inks now in stock

We now have the new HP 364 XL Cartridges in stock. When comparing prices please remember to compare the capacities. HP ink is one of the most expensive liquids in the world – over £9000 per gallon! And the original ink cartridges have almost no ink in them! It is the equivalent of buying a box of cornflakes only to get home and find they are 80% empty. Here are the comparisons:

HP Original regular size 364 cartridges

Black - 6ml, around £9 in the shops
Colours – 3ml (!), around £6 each in the shops
So a set of originals will cost about £25-£30 and hold just 15ml of ink

HP Original XL size 364 cartridges

Black – 18ml, around £15 in the shops
Colours – 6ml, around £12 each in the shops
So a set of XL originals will cost about £50 and hold 36ml of ink

Ink Squid 364 XL cartridges

Black – 22ml, £7.50 including VAT
Colours – 12ml, £6.50 including VAT
So a set of Ink Squid 364 XL cartridges holds 58ml of ink (more than 50% more than the HP original XLs) and we sell a full set for £24.95 including VAT and 1st Class postage.

Remember, if you are buying the brand, you are being scammed!

Tips and Tricks 1 – blocked print-heads

This is one we come across every day and the most common cause is taking cartridges out of the printer.

At least once a week someone walks into the shop with a bag of ink cartridges asking if we supply them. They have taken them out of the printer and exposed the ink-soaked print-heads to air. Since ink is designed to dry almost instantly, as soon as the head is exposed to air, it starts to dry out.

This is bad news for most printers but particularly so for Epsons. Within a few hours, the heads will be blocked and will need cleaning. If the printer is left like this, the printer will almost always be a write-off within a few days.

The golden rules…?
1. Never ever take the cartridges out of the printer for more than a couple of minutes
2. When a cartridge runs out, replace it straight away

BIBA’s E-Commerce Business of the Year!!

We are proud to announce that we have just won the coveted e-commerce business of the year in the Lancashire Chamber of Commerce BIBA awards!

The BIBAs were held this year in a huge marquee in Avenham Park and coincided with the Preston Guild Week. Hundreds of businesses entered and over 2,000 people attended the £140-per-seat event. The opera singer Russell Watson provided the entertainment and the  evening was hosted by the X-Factor voice-over man with extra announcements made by The National Lottery’s own Alan Dedicoat – “the voice of the balls”.

We are incredibly proud of this award, not least because we ended up beating some multi-million pound turnover companies in the process. The judges recognised that we had started up in the height of the recession and still managed to grow rapidly across multiple platforms and grow a large customer base that spans the globe.

Here is some of the coverage in the Lancashire Evening Post