Thanks for the detailed information, and I'm sorry to hear you're having trouble having your printer consistently read the yellow refillable cartridge.
Please check the chips by following the instructions below:
38XX “80ml” refill cart reset chip check:
The plastic base of every 3880 reset chip should have three small plastic tabs around the side that hold it onto the cartridge. If any of these tabs are broken or bent inward, the chip will not stay secured to the cartridge, therefore not have a good connection with the Epson chip underneath, which will cause an error. Also, on the back of every reset chip, there should be three metal pins that stick out and touch the Epson chip- the three pins should be equal length for proper contact with the Epson chip. Please check the plastic base to make sure there are three plastic tabs, and if they are all in place, gently bend them outward slightly to ensure they catch and hold onto the cartridge. Also check to make sure the three metal pins are present and equal length. On the front of the chips, please check the gold contacts to make sure nothing is on the contacts that would interfere with the printer's ability to read it- if you see anything on the gold contacts, gently clean them with either an alcohol pad or pencil eraser. After checking all these things, push the reset chips back onto their corresponding cartridges and make sure they are pushed all the way onto the cart for a good connection with the Epson chip, then reinsert the cartridges into your printer and see how the printer responds.
In my experience with the 3800/3880 refillable carts over the years, I have never installed them in any special way- just pushed the back of the cart straight into the cartridge chamber until it clicks, and have good results with proper fit/recognition. On a very rare occasion, I have installed a new cartridge and the printer doesn't read it correctly. In this case, I remove and reinstall the cartridge. If the error remains, I carefully check the chip, then reinstall the cartridge by watching the printer's LCD screen while gently moving the cartridge to see how the printer responds. Out of all the carts I've used/tested, there has only been one that didn't have a good fit in the printer and I had to put a piece of folded paper under the cart to raise it up slightly, but it worked well after that. Other cartridges have continued working well after checking the chip and reinstalling into the printer. As long as your chips are positioned correctly and have good connection, then I expect you'll have good results with this cartridge.
Please let me know your results after checking the chip, or if there's anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana