Epson 3880 Woes - Ink not recognized, bad chips?

I’m a long time happy customer starting with the Epson R3000. I upgraded my printer to the R3880 and bought a whole new set of inks and cartridges. Because the 3880 needs the original chip and the printer came fully equipped, it took a long time of printing before I needed to replace the originals.

When I first attempted to do the chip transplant, the printer did not like the results, I thought I may have damaged one of the chips when removing, so I bought a used set of cartridges off the eBay . . and then printed with those for some time.

Now a year and a half later, I have attempted to replace all the inks, but I have four cartridges that cause the printer to error out. I have followed all the forum tips (confirming the proper installation . . . note that I got most of them working). And when I put in older non-InkJet Mall cartridges in those slots, then the printer works.

QUESTION: Could it be the InkJet Mall chips that need replacing? If so should I just order the PK, C, LLK, and LK? This seems to be the last of the troubleshooting steps.


Most likely it’s only one control chip and you can probably get around it entirely by doing the following:

Make sure the wire contacts (bottom of control chip) are not stuck up.
Tape down the control chip (one the back solder points) to the cartridge body.
Wedge a small bit of folded paper under the cart to hold it 1mm in further inside the ink bay.

Every 38xx printer is has slightly different dimensions and the 3 piece (cart,oemchip,controlchip) requirements for this particular model create a loose fit . .


I believe that I have checked the chips (and compared them with the working cartridges).

I prefer not to “tape” or use folded paper.

Should I just go ahead and order four new control chips and see if that solves the problem?

It’s always good to have backup control chips. But there is an inherent design issue with these carts (that won’t ever be resolved) due to the lock-out mechanisms on the printer itself sadly.

Every 38xx printer has slightly different dimensions (and every cartridge). Most of the time it just works on all the carts, but some printers are more problematic than others.

I looked up your warranty and it is past the 1 yr mark on these carts. You’ll need to get backup control chips. I just want to set your expectations though. You still may need to wedge the carts (even with the new control chips) if your ink bay is loose.


Walker, I know that I am past the warranty (that was my mistake to take so long). And I recognize that getting the replacement chips may not fix the issue, but it will eliminate one more element.

If that does not work, I may need to resort to your other tricks.


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Good News & Bad News

I received the new chips and the good news is that once installed, all the cartridges were recognized (BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT)!!!

Now when printing, I find my outputs have a strong magenta tinge . . . Do I have the right ink for my Epson 3880? (I’m quite familiar with the Lightroom settings of stopping the printer from controlling the colors.)

ICC Profiles:


I tried the profile but I think I have a bigger problem. Either the Vivid Magenta or Vivid Light Magenta is wrong . . . bad /wrong ink or more likely a user error (me).

See this link for a “before and after.” The smaller photo on top is the bad print. (the little dots on photos are the magnets holding up the prints)

I’m anxious to get this back up and running quickly . . . should I just reorder a new (clean) cartridge and ink bundle and if so, for both the Vivid Magenta and Vivid Light Magenta?

Yep. I think you have Vivid Magenta in your Light Magenta. You’ll need to empty the LM cart, fill with distilled water, empty that, and then put LM in.


The Happy End to the Story.

Problem One of cartridges not be recognized was fixed by purchasing the new needed chips for just four of them.

Second Problem: Then the issue of the bad magenta was correctly identified by Walker. Got that all cleaned up and verified it was a User Error (Me!).

Thanks everyone. I’m now all set and the printer is humming along nicely as I type.

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