Light Cyan Cart not recognized in 3880; suspect faulty reset chip

I’m installing my IJM cartridges & Cone inks as the Epson carts become near empty. Last December I had a bad VLM reset chip that kept the cart from being recognized by my 3880 (IJM replaced it which fixed the problem). Now I have the same non-recognition issue with the Light Cyan cartridge, and like last time, I put the OEM chip back in the factory cartridge and verified that the Epson chip is fine (but I’m very nearly out of Epson ink). Like last time, one of the 3 pins on the reset chip is significantly higher than the other 2 and appears to be too high to make contact with the Epson chip.

I went ahead and examined the 4 remaining cartridges I’ve haven’t installed yet and am fairly certain that two of the four have faulty reset chips too (LLK and Y, plus the LC which I’m sure is defective).

Please let me know if you need me to run any diagnostics–if it’s safe I can put a volt/ohm meter on the chip to verify that it’s not making contact–but I want to be sure I won’t fry anything. This ink is fantastic and the cartridges are very well made but the reset chips seems to be a weak link.

I’ll be glad to do more experimenting if necessary, but I’m requesting replacement of the LC, LLK and Y reset chips. If you are able to ship the reset chip(s), I just placed an order for HD PK ink and a new cartridge for it–the order number ends 479580 and you’re welcome to ship the chips with that order if you’d like.

Please advise.

Thanks again,

Dear @sglickster, these chips are not meant to “reset” per-say, as they are actually meant to control the OEM chip to show full at all times. Can you confirm that you have not tried to reset them with the maintenance tank resetter we sell for this printer?

Regarding chip fit, YES, this is the weak link with this printer. The small metal solder points at the back of the control chip can lead to the chip not making proper contact with the internal sensors in the printer.

One thing I suggest to do before anything else: tape down the control chip to the cartridge over the solder points at the back of the chip. This will do two things, it will align the chip better and it will make better contact between the poles and OEM chip.

Every Epson printer has different ink bay dimensions. I’ve had some 38xx printers that are a total beast to fit chips into and others that are perfect (with the same carts).


I’m sorry for the late reply–I thought I’d sent this already but discovered tonight that I hadn’t sent it and can’t find the message I wrote–oh well.

Thanks for the extra information about how the control chips do their job–I think I have terms straight now.

To answer your questions:

  1. I don’t own a maintenance tank resetter and keep a new Epson maintenance cartridge her (but haven’t needed it yet). So no, I’ve never tried to reset this in any manner.

  2. I did tape the control chip as you suggested but it made no difference. I did have difficulty with the fit on one of the black carts, but this one fits very well. This LC control chip (and the LLK and Y, which I’ve examined but haven’t tried installing yet) look very much like the VLM control chip you replaced for me in December–one of the 3 pins is just too short to make contact with the OEM chip.

I’ll offer again that if you can tell me what electrical readings I should get when reading the control chip’s contacts with a volt/ohm meter (or an oscilloscope) I’ll be happy to test the chip electrically for contact or continuity. That said I’m pretty sure these 3 control chips aren’t going to work and I know the LC doesn’t work.

Please let me know what to try next. I’m very nearly out of ink in the Epson LC ink in the original cartridge, which I had to put back in with its OEM chip in order to print at all.

Lastly, would you rather I test the Y and LLK carts/chips now or when I’m ready to replace them? If now, should I put ink in them for the test even though I won’t need them for 1-3 months (I still have ample Epson ink in the OEM carts). Or can I install them empty and find out if the chips communicate with the printer?


I went ahead and ordered a LC control chip and will report the result. Meanwhile I installed a new cartridge I’d bought with HD PK ink (which I read you created–I’m really looking forward to seeing the result when the ink gets to the print head. But . . .

I moved the OEM chip to the new cartridge and popped the new control chip in place. When I installed the cart I got another *INK CARTRIDGE ERROR message on the printer. I moved the old control chip from the original PK cartridge, installed it and it’s worked fine ever since. Another bad control chip assembly?

I have to wonder if there’s been a batch of bad control chips or if I’m doing something wrong (I can’t escape that replacing a control chip with one with pins all the same length so far works every time. What are my next steps? I’ll report whether the new LC chip fixes my LC problem.

Thanks again,

So far we have not seen any batch issues with these control chips (of late). We monitor all of these though so if another PK or LC control chip crop up I’m doing a stock pull and QC.

We’ll get a replacement PK chip out pronto.


Many thanks–

I replaced the control chip and had the cartridge in service in 30 seconds–it’s definitely the control chip. If Wells hasn’t talked to you I think he’s on to a root cause.

Also please forgive my addressing you as Walter–I realize who you are and wanted to tell you that now that I’ve seen some of my images printed with your HD PK ink, I am extremely impressed by the most incredible gloss and deepest blacks I’ve ever seen on anyone’s prints. I expect to order an MK cartridge and a bottle of HD MK ink today, too–from reading about it I’m in for a treat.

I have a question about profiles but will post that in the appropriate forum.

Thanks again,

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