What does "priming" the cartridge do? Why is it necessary? What function do the exit chambers have?
This is to keep air from blocking the ink from exiting the exit valve. It's also to keep air from entering your print-head. There is a small amount of air that needs to be primed out of the cartridge before first insertion.
How is it that ink does not leak outside of the air intake hole when the cart is depressurized by the printer?
The carts are shaped in such a way so that ink will not get to the air intake pressure hole.
Because the ink is not secured inside a mylar bladder (unlike Epson OEM carts), should I worry about trapped air degrading and oxidizing the ink or trapping air bubbles inside assembly tubes?
No, it pressurizes from top. This printer and ink system can have air exposure without problems.
What events cause the controller chip to reset the cart's LCD panel displayed ink level to full status? Turning on/off the power button? Doing a MK to PK black ink swap? Doing a nozzle check, etc.?
3880 control chips sit above epson OEM chips on these carts. The will always read full (as written in the instructions). You must periodically check the level on semi-translucent cart and top off.
If I use both OEM carts and refillable carts together, will the LCD-displayed ink level of the OEM carts always report the correct ink level, or do all carts reset to full when any one cart is reset?
These carts do not need "reseting" due to always reading full. The OEM cartridge will show the amount of ink though. All others will read full as described in the instructions.
The instructions say not to drain a OEM cart below 15% full before harvesting its computer chip. Because the printer always leaves 15% of ink inside the OEM cart, even when the LCD display reads empty 0%, does that mean I may harvest the chip when the LCD panel reads 0%, or must it show greater than 15%?
No. 15% of the cartridge chip level (not actual ink in cartridge). That said, you can get away with having OEM chips in there that are under 15%.
The instructions say to run three power clean cycles when using a refillable cart for the first time. Does this rule apply if i use OEM ink inside the refillable carts instead of third-party ink?
It does not apply if using OEM ink.
Why is priming the refillable cart not necessary after topping off the cart with ink? Doesnt topping off the cart introduce air that must then be sucked out by priming?
Priming is only on first fill to get the air out of the outlet stem. It is then filled with ink ever after.
Shouĺd i remove the air intake hole plug before or after I fill the cart with ink for the first time? Before or after I prime the cart? Before or after I top off the cart after its been used.
Follow the instructions. They can be viewed in the Instructions tab at the bottom of every inkjetmall product.
Can I see how full the cart is from the cart's label side without removing the cart from the cart bay?
Generally you can see how full it is from the back if you hold an iPhone flashlight up to it.