3880 says No Ink Cartridge again!

I turned my 3880 on today and the LCD said NO INK CARTRIDGE - INSTALL INK CARTRIDGE with all 9 ink positions flashing. In the past I fixed this by putting a piece of cardboard under the MK cart. Now nothing works. I put cardboards under all the carts, jiggled them, etc. So I decided to find out if it was a problem with the printer or the carts/chips. I removed the MK and PK Cone carts and replaced them with the original Epson carts by removing the Epson chips from the Cone carts and putting them back into the Epson carts. Now everything is fine. It seems that both Cone PK and MK carts and/or reset chips have a problem. The reset chips have either gone bad, or they aren’t making proper contact with the Epson chips below them. The problem is only with the Cone MK and PK carts. All the others are OK. I installed and reinstalled the Cone chips/carts for MK and PK several times, pressed down on the reset chips to make better contact with the Epson chips below. Nothing works. But installing the Epson chips back into their original carts and installing those carts always works. Any other suggestions? I may have to buy new PK and MK reset chips to see if that works (or maybe both the chips and the carts – maybe the reset chips haven’t gone bad but are just not making proper contact because of the cart?)

P.S. After reading another post about this issue, as suggested in the post, I applied several layers of gaffers tape to the indent hole just behind the reset chip to make the cart have better contact. It didn’t work.

P.P.S. From URLSWO’s post: “I could not get the Magenta cart to seat/be recognized after using several variations of tape. What I did was take the Magenta cart’s two chips and installed them in the Matte Black cart I had not filled and it was recognized with no additional adjustments.” This implies that there was a problem with the Magenta cart itself. Putting both chips into another cart solved the problem.


I see from your order history that you purchased both the MK & PK carts. Once you receive these 2 new cartridges, please put the other 2 in the mail to be sent back to our office for testing, I will issue an RMA for them, which you will receive off the forum via email. Let us know how these 2 carts work, if you can get one to recognize then the other may still be good to use. Either way, we would like to refund your account for the 2 your already purchased.

Thanks, Kelly. I’ll try one first, then the other to see if only one is bad or both. What I would like to know is if the chip is bad, or the chip is OK but just not making proper contact as it sits on the cart. I’ll put the new chips on the old carts. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll remove the ink from the old carts and put it in the replacement carts. I should get these replacements tomorrow (Friday), so I’ll be able to figure this out over the weekend.

I received your RMA today, did the new cartridge work for you? I tested yours and it appears that the MK cartridge wasn’t fitting properly from front to back, meaning it wasn’t snapping into place well enough to make a good contact. It’s not ideal, but if you run into this with other cartridges, you can add tape to the indent on the top of the cartridge, directly behind the Control chip. This will give the cartridge a snugger fit from front to back and create a better contact with the chip read sensor. Sometimes you may have to add 2 or 3 layers of tape to make a good, snug fit.

Let me know how the replacements are working for you,
Thank you kindly-Kelly

Same thing happening to me – now I can’t even use the printer and I have so much work to do tomorrow – god, I hope there’s a fix. Because I’m not figuring it out.

The fix is listed in the comment above and several threads on this forum. It’s a function of the cart being essentially three pieces (cartridge, OEM chip, and control chip) + old printers No way around.


What does that mean? I’m not following. I never had this issue before. I purchased two brand new refill cartridges, filled them up with UV ink, transferred the chips from the original cartridges, and installed them. Now the printer says “no ink cartridge” and all nine cartridges are blinking. Replaced the cartridges with the originals again – still same error. I would have never ordered these refill cartridges if I knew it was going to mess up my printer. Yes, it’s an old machine, but it’s very well taken care of and I have never had this issue.

Dear @BobbyPickles did you make sure that all the OEM chips were placed in order in the refill carts? They are not interchangeable (OEM Cyan does not work in Light Magenta, etc).

That they don’t work back on the OEM carts tells me that this is the case.


Of course! Im going to have to buy a new ink jet printer. Which would you recommend for printing out film positives for screen printing?

All you need is a defunct set of carts w/ the OEM chips. So if you know of anyone with a dead 3880 (with a set of carts) this will work. Most likely it’s only 2 positions that are crossed.