3880 Not Recognizing Cartridges

My Cone Color refillable cartridges were working fine for a while, then a color anomaly suggested to me one of cartridges might be empty or not feeding properly. (All cartridges were more than half full, as it turned out.) I topped off ink levels. Now printer fails to recognize all cartridges. Error Message: No ink cartridge; Install ink cartridge. I’ve pressed cartridges further in, pressed them to the various sides, removed and reinserted. I confirmed contacts were clean on cartridges. I lifted chips out of cartridge and reinserted them back. I’ve turned off and unplugged the printer. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Side issue: What is the appropriate battery for the Epson Chip Resetter? Mine stopped working, I replaced with same-size 1.55v watch battery. The resetter light sometimes flickers red upon contact with cartridge contact, but then extinguishes. Not sure if resetter faulty, or if not right battery.


Dear Ricardo. As documented in the instructions for these cartridges that came with your box, these carts use control chips and not a chip resetter. The resetter is only for the Maintenance Tank. Did you try to reset the chips with your maintenance tank resetter?

If not, it could be that your control chips are a bit raised in the back (where you see the soldering dots). Taping this part of the control chip down a bit usually fixed the issue.


Hi Walker,

No, I only have a ‘standard’ chip resetter. I didn’t realize I needed a maintenance tank resetter. Do you recommend I purchase one and apply it to the cartridges? Or is that a moot point because, as you say, these cartridges use control chips.

My control chips are indeed raised at the back, making inserting and removing them from the printer difficult. I taped the back edge, covering only the three soldering dots on the chip, with the complement of the tape on the plastic cartridge.This does make the cartridges easier to insert and remove, but it still does not allow them to be recognized by the printer. (I was careful to confirm the click upon full insertion of the cartridges. Also, once again I did press the installed cartridges further into their respective slots to promote good contact between the cartridge chips and the printer.)

My problem persists. The printer still does not recognize any cartridge.


There is not 3880 chip reseter sold. Can you tell me what the back of your resetter says?
Again, if you used these on your 3880 chips then they have been fried.


Ratso! Fried chips, sunny side up. Do I replace the control chips, the Epson chips beneath, or both?

The back of my chip resetter only says “Tested to comply with FCC standards. For home and office use.” Picture attached.

For what it’s worth, on YouTube I saw a video of some expert using a chip resetter very much like mine to reset the 3880 maintenance tank. Even though the array of 4 and 3 pins is inverted 180 degrees from the orientation used to reset my 9880 carts, he simply rotated the chip resetter accordingly.

Yeah. It’s for maintenance tank only.

You’ll need the set of control chips. I doubt the OEMs are fried, probably just the control chips (I hope as we are out of VLM OEM chip here).

They are on InkjetMall. Just search for 3880 chips

Sorry to be barer of bad news here.


Be careful of what “experts” advise you follow, especially if they are not there to support you when you try it.

Sometimes, if not quite often, somebody discovers something that happens once or twice and for whatever reasons they are not aware of all the variables that permitted the discovery in the first place, but they announce it to everyone else to follow, without fully vetting it first, or discovering the variables that permit it, the ones that do not, they set it out on the internet…

Being an “expert” means cutting one’s chops, discovering the success and failures, and as a result possessing an innate knowledge to fall inwards on in the course of further discovery, so that the advise finely given and followed is both insightful and solid.

There are tons of “experts” on YouTube and it is impossible to know which are real and which are the armchair quarterbacks… :frowning: But, in the discovery of one that has failed you, go back and try and determine where their advise failed you. Part of that discovery will begin building your own knowledge base! :slight_smile:

Rather than curse myself for having fallen down a well, I am grateful that someone lowered a ladder. Thank you.