Just won't work



Hello all,

This is my first post.

I must admit I am getting more frustrated and angry by the minute. I just installed a complete set of Cone Ink Pro in my 2880. I was just tired of paying Epson prices, although they did work well with no problems. The new inks so far have been a complete disaster. First they weren’t recognized, it would not recognize one, then it would and then not recognize another, then it would and then not recognize another. All the way down the line. Then there were giant ink blobs in each color on different prints. I have actually run through over half of my inks so far - two complete refills - with all the attempts to clean the heads. Which according to the print outs are totally clogged. Then I run the clean head procedure only to be told that a certain cart is not recognized again. Every time it does this it runs another cycle and uses more ink and comes up with a different clogged head than from the last time. Each subsequent print out is worse than the previous but with a different color that was perfect the printout before.

I have literally spent the entire day trying to clean heads. I have used up almost over half of my ink supply doing only cleaning.

I have now missed a deadline and in serious jeopardy of losing a client. I am also on my way out to buy Epson Inks to see if I can finish this job.

Any Ideas ?



Hi vollick~

I’m sorry to hear about your frustration, but please know your experience is not normal, and we are here to help!
In the future, don’t waste an entire day and a quantity of your ink fighting with problems like this- contact us before you get to that point! Also, I see you just purchased the R2880 carts and ConeColor ink, and received them last Friday afternoon. Although you should not be dealing with these issues, and should be happily printing (like the hundreds of other customers using these carts/inks), it’s not good practice to change something in the middle of a print job, or start with a new system when you are up against a tight deadline.

Did you fill the cartridges using the vacuum or injection method?
Did you tap the cartridges exit valve down on a folded paper towel a few times after filling, to force ink down and air up?
Did you remove air vent plugs from all the refillable cartridges (and have fill hole plugs in place)?
Did you wait 10-15 minutes after installing cartridges, before attempting to do nozzle checks, cleaning cycles or make prints?
Have you installed cartridges so they snap snugly into place, for a good connection between the cartridge chip and printer’s chip sensor?
Have you cleaned your printer’s internal parts, such as the capping station, wiper blade and/or bottom of the print head? If not, I recommend you clean your printer by following our instructions, here: http://www.inkjetmall.com/tech/content.php?133-Printer-Cleaning-and-Preventative-Maintenance

Please let me know so I can help you past this and back to happily printing.
Best regards~ Dana



Thanks for the reply. I would loved to have contacted you with the problem. However, I am in Los Angeles and you in Vermont and you close at 4:00 your time and all my problems started after 1:00 my time, all I got was the machine. I have had clogged heads before - I work mostly in the movie business and sometimes am gone for months - so I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. A cleaning cycle usually fixed it right away. But it did get progressively worse in so many levels. I got the ink set on Friday, but didn’t return until Sunday. I installed them on Sunday, everything seemed fine. I ran few Kodak test color patterns and they looked the same as the Epson inks. I thought I was good to go. I spent the rest of Sunday downloading files and working in PhotoShop. It was a long day and I decided to wait until Monday to do all the printing. That’s when the problems started. The first indication was all the faces were VERY Magenta. I tried to run a head cleaning cycle and it said it didn’t recognize the Mag. cart I re-installed the cart a few times and finally got it to work, it then told me I was low on ink on the Mag. ink - it was a brand new cart ! I refilled it and it told me it didn’t recognize another color - cyan, it ran another cycle. The patterns were getting really bad, the “Head Cleaning” patterns were so weak you could hardly see them. The other patterns were so blocked up only half of the pattern was there. It then told me it didn’t recognize another color - another cycle - then it wouldn’t run the cycle because another color was low. I refilled it and was told it didn’t recognize yet another color. Now it told me that it couldn’t clean the clogged heads and I would have to do it manually. There was even a button the said “Clean Heads Manually” I clicked on it, but all it did was run the auto cycle again. I tried to print another Kodak test pattern, but it would’t print it said 2 more inks were low. And so it went.

The real reason I decided to try your inks was not only the high prices of Epson inks, but the store I shopped at went out of business - Calumet Photo - now I have to drive down to downtown Hollywood to get ink - 20 miles. It just didn’t seem worth it any more. But now, my printer is completely ruined and I am stuck. I can’t take it to Epson, they will just blow me off and say I brought it on myself for not using Epson Ink. Which I must say worked perfectly, I never had a problem.

I still think your inks are fine. I think your problem is with the carts. I was reading in the forum and noticed a lot of people were having problems with carts not being recognized and leakage. In my printer there is a lot of Cyan and Magenta ink all over the bottom of the printer. The printer won’t print at all now. I have watched your video on cleaning the heads and wiper blade, I guess I am forced to buy the flush kit.

In answer to your questions. I had to use both the vacuum and injection method, I received 2 different types of bottles. Carts were indeed tapped. Air plugs were removed. Waited 15 minutes. Carts installed with the snap properly. I have not cleaned the capping station or the other internal parts yet, never really needed to. I don’t have the flush kit. Is there something else I can clean it with right now ?

All in all the installation and filling of the carts was pretty straight forward and simple with no problems. It was when I actually started to print the problem arose and continued.

What now ?



Thanks for the additional information vollick.

What you report about cartridge recognition you’ve experienced is very strange. Yes, occasionally a cartridge isn’t recognized by the printer, and removing/reinserting it corrects the issue, but I’ve never heard of or experienced (we use multiple sets of these carts with different inks and PiezoFlush in our R2880 printers every day for testing/quality control in our R&D lab) multiple carts being unrecognized as you report.

Manual printer cleaning is important to keep your printer clean, working well, and lasting a long time (no matter what inks you’re using). You can clean the capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head without purchasing the print head cleaning kit (the cleaning kit is only necessary to flush the internal micro-channels of the print head, when you’re dealing with a stubborn clog or mis-firing nozzles).
I’ve never heard of a “Manual cleaning cycle” thru the Epson utility, thought know Epson doesn’t provide instructions or support for manually cleaning their machines like we do.

Are the physical ink levels of the cyan and magenta (and/or LC/LM, as they look very similar) cartridges going down faster than the others?
Does ink drip from these cartridges when removed from the printer?
Is there ink puddled inside the cartridge chamber, around the nipples that pierce the bottom of the cartridges?
Why did you “have to use both the vacuum and injection method” for filling carts? The cartridges you received do not need to be vacuum filled. Do you recall which carts were vacuum filled vs. injection filled?
What do you mean you received “2 different types of bottles”? We’ve been using the same type of bottles for the past two years…
What do you mean the printer won’t print- you get an error and it won’t physically print, or it attempts to print but nothing actually goes onto the paper?

Please let me know so I can help you resolve these strange issues and get back to happily printing.
Best regards~ Dana


BTW- we actually close at 5pm, and I am available via email/forum until 6pm Mon, Tues, Thurs + Fri every week.


I’m waiting for your response, and Wells just gave me a message saying me you called to say something like your cartridge carriage won’t move into position, and your capping station is moving up and down (?)
Please send photos so I can see where your cartridge carriage is positioned, the inside of your printer, and if you can easily move the cartridge carriage to the ink change position, the top of the carts in the cartridge carriage.

Now, I’m worried about what you’re doing and the status of your printer, in addition to questions I had in my last email… please respond to my questions clearly and don’t continue messing with your printer. I am not here on Wednesdays, so would like to wrap this up today before I leave at 6pm if possible.

Best regards~ Dana



I’m having trouble with this forum, it keeps throwing me off and I have to start all over again.

Yes, the ink levels in Cyan and Magenta go down faster. Ink does not drip from carts. A small puddle is seen by the nipples, not so much in the carts. The Vacuum and injection method was not used to fill the carts, it was used to fill the syringes - as in the video -

I received two (2) different style of bottles for the ink. Some were with a pointed type of tip cap, the bottle had a very small hole just big enough for the needle and was very hard to draw ink. So as in the video I pushed air into the bottle and let the vacuum draw it into the syringe. The other type of bottle had a flat round cap with a foil seal, and was very easy to draw ink into the syringe.

The printer won’t print because it thinks it is out of ink in several carts and can’t recognize others.

I just talked to Wells with my latest problem. I tried to do the maintenance you suggested. However I couldn’t get the print head to go into the “Replace Cart” position it wanted to go to the EXTREME right and park itself under the lip. After unplugging and plugging it a couple of times it would move to the left of the capping thing which would go up and down up and down repeatedly. It was completely saturated in Magenta and Cyan inks, running over the edge. It then told me that 2 carts were empty, but I couldn’t replace them because I couldn’t lift the lid.

I just got an Apple update of the Epson Driver ver 2.17 it has a new printer utility ver. 4. After a cleaning cycle it would say it couldn’t clean the clogged head and said to do it manually. There are two button to select and one say “Clean Heads Manually” it is blue if I click on it all it does is run the auto cycle again. Nowhere in the manual does it say how to clean anything manually. So, at this point I have not done a manual clean.

I was going to go down and buy Epson ink and then I thought “What’s the point” I will just use all that ink to try and clean the heads again.

I am in no way blaming anyone or anything about this. But 5 minutes before I installed your inks and carts it was working perfectly. I have had this printer for about 3 years and have never had a single problem with it. I prints about 70-100 prints a week.

as I said I ran a Kodak test image just before I install the ink and ran the same just after installing the inks. They were practically identical. I let it sit over night and tried to print the next day and that’s when all the problems started.




Thanks for your response and additional information.

Now I understand what you meant about the two different types of bottles. Please note, we provide instructions for using the square bottles on the instruction tab of the product pages. The silicone nipple in some of the bottles you received is for a tight seal, and is intended to be removed for drawing ink out of the bottle using the syringe and blunt tip needle.

By pushing the ink change button once, the cartridge carriage should move to the ink change position, then push the button again to move the carriage back to the “home” position on the far right. If you hold the ink change button for a few seconds, the printer will do a cleaning cycle.

I will have a replacement set of R2880 carts sent to you, as it sounds like the C + M carts may not be providing proper ink flow, but the capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head should be carefully cleaned with Bounty paper towels and distilled water (since you don’t have PiezoFlush), as per our instructions- to clean off excess ink, as well as open ink flow and clean the parts (which should be done on a regular basis to keep your printer healthy).

Please keep me posted, and let me know if you have further questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana


I hope this works.

Here are some scans. This is the last “Nozzle Check” I was able to do The others are the Kodak test prints Test 2 is the Epson inks, test 3 is the Cone Pro inks - done on Sunday - test 4 is the last time I was able to print anything.





Here are the shots you asked for. I have not done anything to the printer.




From your prints, it looks like the yellow and possibly also light cyan inks aren’t printing at all, also there are magenta or light magenta drips on the paper.

It is normal to experience cartridge “ink out” lights/messages when the printer estimates a cartridge is empty, which may be accurate based on the number of prints and cleaning cycles you’ve done, though a set of replacement cartridges are on the way, in case you are experiencing a possible ink flow issue that is in fact a cartridge failure. Please follow our instructions to carefully clean your printer’s capping station, wiper blade and bottom of the print head, as waste ink build up can cause issues, especially when a printer sits unused for several months.

Please send me a photo showing the top of carts installed in the cartridge carriage. Is there a chance you possibly filled carts thru the air hole, and/or have the fill hole plug removed and air vent sealed? I realize our video is older, and demonstrates filling an older/different style cartridge, which needed to be vacuum filled, and had the fill hole in a different place than the current carts. We have removed the video link from our website to avoid confusion, and want people to follow the written instructions for the current cartridge design. We plan to remake this video for the new cartridge design, and make MANY others as soon as we have time.

Keep me posted, and let me know if you have further questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana



Again, thanks for the response. I apologize for the delayed response. I was out of the studio most of the day and not near a computer and you said you were out on Wednesday’s, so I didn’t expect a response from you until Thursday. I have just read it.

I can assure you there is no chance I used the Air Hole to fill the carts and all plugs are where they should be. But I do appreciate your diligence and thoroughness in helping me with this situation. I am also a detail person - some may say too much- I was Navy EOD ( Bomb Disposal ) and am quite used to following instructions. So being very careful in doing things properly is pretty much second nature to me.

Wells advised me against getting the “Flush Kit” right now and to wait for the new carts and then, do proper cleaning cycle. He also said the running too many nozzle checks and cleaning cycles could do more harm than good. I think it would be wise for both you and Epson to inform their customers of this, as the natural reaction would be to run as many cycles until it is clear. It should be said doing too many cycles is harmful to the print head. In the past few days I have indeed run more than few cycles. I hope I have not damaged the head. I have heard many stories on how much Epson wants to charge to replace a print head, almost as much as a new printer.

I will run a cleaning as per the video. Is distilled water all that is required ? weak alcohol perhaps. I was also curious as to why in filling the carts for the first is done with the vacuum method, while all subsequent refills are done with the injection ( as per the video)

Thanks again,


PS Why am I always denied permission to post after I have spent a while typing all the is out ? is there a time limit ? It says I am not logged in after I have logged on. It says to refresh the page, but I see no refresh option, it cleats all the ext and I must start over. I now save it to the clip board and paste it back, seems like a clumsy procedure.


Thanks for the additional information and photos. I appreciate that you pay close attention to detail and carefully follow instructions. Please understand, I work with a wide range of people using our products, so need to be thorough with the questions I ask and information I gather to trouble shoot issues via email, since I’m not at the customer’s printer and don’t know everything that’s been done (and believe me, I have heard of and seen all sorts of crazy things being done).

As I said earlier, the video showing the initial fill of cartridges being done via vacuum method, and refilling done by injection was specific to the older cartridge design, and does NOT apply to the new model carts. The current cartridge design does not need to be vacuum filled, and can be injection filled/refilled.

Yes, distilled water, and if you want a [U]weak[/U] alcohol solution is good for cleaning. We recommend [U]not[/U] using ammonia or strong alcohol on the print head, because fast drying is bad for the print head.

The nozzle check you posted only shows 4 of the 8 channels. From that nozzle check, it looks like the LLK channel was consistently printing good, and the LM, LC and LK look like they got better, but then experienced some flooding from the capping station after doing too many cleaning cycles. On page 37 of the Epson R2880 User’s Guide (under the Checking and Cleaning the print Head section), it does say “If you don’t see any improvement after cleaning the print head four times, turn off your printer and wait at least six hours”, and “If you don’t use your R2880 often, it is a good idea to print a few pages at least once a month to maintain good print quality”.

Yes, if it takes you a long time to type your post, you may get timed out. I’ve had this happen to me a few times (very annoying), because I typically have several tabs open at once, and am working with several customers at the same time, so I now make sure to copy what I typed before pushing “post”, so if I get timed out, I can just paste and not have to retype everything again…

Please keep me posted, and let me know if you have further questions or there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana



Thanks again. I just read my 2880 manuals and it does state what you quoted. I have done that, I just wish it would say that you could possibly damage a printed head with repeated cleaning. I am awaiting the new cart, I will have done the cleaning procedure by then. I hope it works. I really don’t want to send it to Epson - $$$$$$$ - all they will say is I brought it on myself for using third party inks. If I do have to confront the 300 lb. gorilla What do you think of the Epson 3000 ?




Hopefully I will get the replacement carts soon. After I have run the cleaning maintenance, on the Capper station, the Blade and the Head. After I have refilled and reinstalled the carts. What is the proper sequential procedure to getting it back on line ? Nozzle check, head clean, alignment, or do I just try to do start printing ?





OK, I have done a complete cleaning. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated The capping station was the worst, the blade wasn’t bad and the head wasn’t dirty at all. There were some little ink from the head but hardly any residual ink markings. One I did think was odd, was after talking out all the old carts EVERY ONE WAS COMPLETELY EMPTY, although only the LLK light was indicating low ink. Where did all the ink go ?? there was no evidence of leakage, could it have been all from the cycles.

I will not attempt to refill and reinstall the carts until I hear back from you. Just being anal retentive about the procedure.





I haven’t heard back from you for a few days. I had to go ahead and try to do this. I meticulously followed the instructions on refilling and installing the carts. Both were without instance and went smoothly. All carts were recognized ( I guess that in itself is a minor victory ) Now to printing,… nothing worked. I have attached the prints as you can see only half the carts are printing. The ink levels are going down, so it is going somewhere, certainly NOT on the paper. What I don’t understand is why all the colors print - albeit poorly - in the “Clean” cycle but don’t print in the "Nozzle Check " cycle. The test prints also show not all colors are printing and those that, do are printing poorly. This is completely unacceptable .

The “Fun” and the “Learning something new” phase is now over. It has now become a very expensive, irritating and frustrating experience. I am now faced with the decision of either taking it to Epson for repair or the purchase of a new printer. Every day this printer is down I am out of business. As I have stated before the printer was working perfectly before the installation of your carts and inks, you are the only variable. This is not rocket science - or maybe it is - fill the carts, install the carts, … simple. Or at least it should be.

What do I do now ? Would your “Flush Kit” be an answer ? or am I just “Pushing a rope” also, I have practically used up almost ALL of the ink. So I don’t know if I have enough to run further tests, al least extensive ones.

If you like you can call me 213 819-0804 if I can be of more help. I am in L.A. so there is a 3 hour difference, so please not too early.





It only allows 5 attachments. Here a 2 screen shots. You said you never heard of “Manually Clean Heads” in the Epson utility, here it is. It say to fleck on it to manually lean the heads but all it actually y does id run the automatic clean cycle again. The other screen shot “yellow” being used up faster than most, however it doesn’t print .

I uploaded these in order, but they don’t show up that way, I numbered them as I printed them. the 2 test prints were done between nozzle checks and cleaning cycles, do different, same problem.




This is an additional screen shot. It is of the ink levels about 45 minutes from the last reading. There have been NO additional prints and NO additional cycles performed. You can see the drop in the levels, …why ? where is it going ? there is no evidence of leaking.



Hi vollick~

Although I did respond on my day off last week (Wed), I am not on email during the weekends, so just received your latest messages.

The auto nozzle check/cleaning cycle (the blocky pattern showing LLK, LM, LC + LK) only prints four channels at a time, then the printer “reads” the print output, and if it detects a missing nozzle/block, it does an auto cleaning cycle, then prints the pattern again (so for the “first print” showing four rows of auto nozzle check patterns of four channels, it did three auto cleaning cycles). It will not print the other four channels until the first four are perfect. We never use the auto nozzle check/cleaning cycle, and always use the manual nozzle check (which you included below the auto nozzle check prints, and shows all 8 channels in a line). Your manual nozzle checks (labeled 2nd-4th prints) shows all 8 channels are printing, and you have a few nozzles missing in the LK channel, but the the channels look great form what I can see. You continued cleaning and printed more auto nozzle checks, then in the nozzle check labeled “6th print” I see most of the black channel dropped out (starvation from doing too many cleaning cycles in a row, or low ink level in the cart?), which is why prints labeled 7 + 9 show missing black. From what you have posted and labeled, 13 cleaning cycles had been done between print 1-10, which is excessive and explains why your ink levels are going down. The printer tracks cartridge ink levels by reading the cartridge chips, and estimates ink used during cleaning cycles, nozzle checks and printing to determine the ink levels shown on your status monitor.

I do see the same one nozzle missing in the LC channel, and same seven nozzles missing in the LK channel, which indicates those nozzles are blocked in the print head. I do think either another bottom of the print head cleaning, or cleaning the internal channels using our print head cleaning kit (followed by a bottom of the head wipe) will bring them back and give you a clean nozzle check.

Have you printed a nozzle check this morning? If not, please print a manual nozzle check to see how things look, and if it looks like your nozzle checks labeled 2nd-4th prints, go ahead and make a test print. If it looks like your nozzle check labeled 6th print, please remove and check the physical ink level of the black cart (based on the last status monitor screen capture you posted, the cartridge ink level should be around 1/2 full, provided it was fully filled to start with).

Please let me know how things look. I’ll be on and off email today, so will be keeping my eye out for your response/update.
Best regards~ Dana