Chips for 3880



I am setting up to print piezography and have a set of flush carts and a set of piezography carts. In your demo for converting these cart for use in the 3880 you are shown detaching a chip from Epson carts (described as empty) and putting it under the refillable cart.

I dont have empty carts. I would like in the future to use the flush and print in color using the carts that came with the printer. If I remove the chips will it be possible for me to replace them on the original epson carts and use them as they were originally designed.


Hi Frank~

The chips are color position specific, so you must take care to notate which color position they’re for when removing/attaching to a refill or OEM cart. If you are mindful of the color position each chip goes to, you can use them on both refill carts and OEM carts. It’s important that chips are attached to the correct position carts, in the correct orientation, and flat/flush on the cart (secure to an OEM cart with double sided tape to prevent shifting or falling off).

With that said, we do NOT recommend using one Pro model printer, with internal ink lines and dampers, such as the 3800/3880, for both color and Piezography. Changing between color and Piezography inks in a Pro model printer is hard on the machine, wasteful of inks, and you will experience color staining after installing Piezography inks each time, requiring some extra cleaning cycles to purge stubborn color from the dampers. If you wish to print both color and Piezography, we recommend having two pro model printers, each designated with an ink, or using a desktop model printer where the carts install directly onto the print head (no ink lines or dampers), such as the R2880.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have further questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.

Best regards~ Dana



Thank you for your reply. I’ve decided to dedicate the printer to piezography as you suggest. Because of that I went ahead and filled the reusable carts with piezography inks and put in the OEM chips I bought from you. I downloaded the printer driver and the firmware from the epson website. I put in the inks and turned on the printer. Two of the inks were not recognized. I removed one to see if I could seat it better. When I pushed it back into place the display flashed in all the ink positions and showed an error message that said “No inks cartridges” I don’t think there was an int initial fill as there was never any extended sound in the printer.

At this point I’m not sure about anything. I’m not even sure that the printer drivers and firmware are properly installed.
I’ve been at this a week so far and am feeling pretty stupid. If you could give me a step by step approach to getting this up and running it will relieve me greatly.



Hi Frank~

I’m glad to hear you decided to dedicate your 3880 for Piezography, this will give you the best results, and longest life from your printer.

The printer will not do anything until it correctly recognizes all carts, so if your printer is displaying a cartridge error after fist installing carts,then I suspect it hasn’t done the initial fill cycle yet.
Did you make sure to use the correct color position Epson chip on the matching color position cartridge, and secure the large reset chip that came on the refill cart, over the Epson chip? D
Did you make sure the Epson chips were positioned correctly with gold contacts facing the front of the carts, as per our instructions?
Which color position carts aren’t being correctly read by your printer?
Did you reset the printer by going thru the process as described in the troubleshooting section of the 3800/3880 refillable cartridge instructions?

A general outline of what you need to do:

  1. Attach chips, fill carts with ink, and install carts into the printer as per our instructions
  2. Install the Epson print driver, then install QuadTone RIP as per our Piezography manual. If you don’t already have it, you can find the Piezography manual here: Instructions for installing QuadTone RIP start on page 7 for Mac, or page 10 for Windows.
  3. Print a nozzle check to make sure all channels are fully printing, then make a test print thru QuadTone RIP, and continue happily printing.

I hope this helps, please respond to this post to let me know your results, or any questions you may have.
Best regards~ Dana



Thanks for your reply and for the step by step. I’ll refer to these once I get my initial fill done. I rechecked the chips in all the carts. The #6 position and the #9 position vm and yellow are blinking. The #1 position shows is not blinking but has no dark line which I take to mean there is no ink in that position. Earlier when I put the chips in my flush carts the #6 was the only one was blinking.

I’ve read the post on issues with the carts not seating well. I’ve nudged them to the left but have had not change.



I followed the technique of opening the waste tank and shutting down the printer. When I turned it back on only the vm position was blinking. the #1 position still showed that it had no ink in it (if that is what the squiggly line that doesn’t blink indicates). The vm was the position that I asked cathy to send me a new Om chip for originally. Later tonight I will try putting a piece of cardboard under and to the left of it. I’ll let you know how that goes in the morning. Don’t have a clue on what is happening with the mat black cart.


Hi Frank~

Thanks for the additional information, and for checking the forum for possible solutions. The left nudging trick is specific to the 7890/9890 and 7900/9900 cartridges, though sometimes customers have added a small wedge of paper under the 3800/3880 carts to get a good connection between the cart chip and printer’ chip sensor. I have added info for that below:
Occasionally one cart can not have a tight connection between the chip and printer’s chip sensor, which can cause all carts to read “no cart”. In my experience, this one cartridge position is often the yellow for some reason (I don’t know how the chip sensors are programmed/configured, so the Y may somehow be tied in with the other differently?).

Please unlock all 9 carts, then push them all back in snugly, while watching the printer’s LCD panel. When the LCD says “cartridge door open, close door” is when it sees all the cartridge chips, and it’s ok to close the door (but, if it says “no cart” or a similar message, then it’s not time to close the door). On a rare occurrence, when one cartridge chip doesn’t have a tight connection with the chip sensor, adding a thin wedge of paper under the cart makes a good connection for consistent/good read. To do this, take a piece of regular typing paper, about 3x4", and fold it in 1/2 twice so you have a 3x1" folded strip. tape the paper wedge to the bottom of the cart, and insert the cartridge into the printer so it locks into place.

So, your VM and Y cartridge positions are blinking on the LCD panel, and the error displayed is “NO cartridge” or a different message?
It’s normal for only one black to be displayed, and the other grayed out- this is the same when using Epson carts, and shows which black ink is being used (referred to as the black ink mode).

Please let me know, thanks~ Dana



I did the open/closing of the maintenance tank door. What the display shows now is the vm flashing and the matt black with what I’ll describe as a candy strip but not flashing. The yellow cart now registers. (I’m feeling I’m making progress) The error message says replace cartridge. I took out the om chip on both of these, cleaned them with alcohol and replaced them. No change.

AS BACKGROUND: When I first started this process, I had a printer with epson inks which was working fine. I put the om chips which I got from you in flush carts to prepare for the use of the piezography inks I purchased. The vm ink showed flashing. When I got the empty carts for the piezography inks I put the om chip in the empty vm cart to see if that made a difference. I showed flashing. At that point, I wrote to Cathy to get a replacement for what I thought was a defective om chip for the vm cart. She told me to join the forum and get your advice. In the meantime the printer developed other problems and was replaced by epson.

I hope all this makes sense. When I got the new printer I entered the forum and asked about simply starting with the piezography inks. And so this were we are now. The vm cart is not registering (I tried your folded paper approach to no effect) and the mat black is a candy strip gray. My thought again is that the om chip is defective and have considered cutting one off a epson cart to see whether that might solve the problem. I am uncertain why the mat black is looking the way it does. It might be that when I checked to see if the printer driver software was loaded properly I set up to print and the print required photo black.



What are your thoughts on the vm cart not being recognized (or rather being recognized as empty). I haven’t heard from you since Monday and I realize you are very busy with other probably more pressing issues but I want very much to get up and running before another week goes by




Thanks for the additional information Frank.

If you tried the Epson VM chip on two different refill VM carts and reset chips, then I agree it sounds like the OEM chip isn’t working right for some reason. I will check our inventory of individual chips, and see if I can find one to send you.

Please check your printer manual about the black ink mode section. The grayed out or “candy strip gray” black is not being used, and other black that IS shown is the black that is used. Only one black is used at a time, depending on what black ink mode your printer is in.

I’ll be in touch tomorrow after checking our Epson VM chip inventory.
Best~ Dana



Thank you so much. I can’t wait to get to printing.



I found one and am sending it to you today (after quickly testing it in our 3880 printer to make sure it works correctly)!! :slight_smile: