LLK not recognizing

I have had a fairly common problem and have read the FAQ’s to try to figure this out but I am still stuck. I am gradually switching over to your inks and replaced the LLK about a week ago. It has worked fine but then I get the ink cartridge failure message. I have tried resetting the chip, replacing and wiggling, pushing to one side or the other, I see nothing on the chip - nothing works. I am in my last bit of my Xmas rush and have gotten a second set of cartridges for flushing in the off season so may take the second cartridge and put ink in it to see if that cartridge will run. Does this sound like a faulty chip?

Ken Frazer

Hi Ken~

Sorry to hear you’re experiencing an error with your LLK refill cart.
After reviewing your order history, I see you purchased refill carts for both a 4900 and 7900/9900- I assume you’re referring to the 7900/9900?
What is the exact message displayed on your printer’s LCD panel?
What other refill carts do you currently have installed?

Occasionally the 350ml bag model carts need to be pushed or wedged towards the left of the cartridge bay (all carts in both bays) for a good connection between the cartridge chip and printer’s chip sensor, but if you continue having errors after wedging the refill carts towards the left, then it may be the LLK chip has died. Since you have another set of carts, you can simply use the chip from your other LLK cart onto the one you have ink in (no need to transfer ink into the second cart- just transfer the chip to the ink cart). If the error goes away after replacing the chip, then it confirms the chip was the culprit, and you can resume printing. Chips occasionally go bad and need to be replaced. We recommend everyone have a set of spare chips on hand to be prepared if a chip needs to be replaced, which is very quick and easy to do. The cartridges themselves are very robust and will likely last the life of your printer.

Please let me know if you have furtger questions, your results with the second chip, or if there’s anything else I can help you with.
Best regards~ Dana :slight_smile:

Thanks Dana. Just put some in the new empty cart and it worked. I will order a new set of chips. Do you know approx. how many uses they might normally be good for?

I’m glad to hear the second chip is correctly read/accepted by your printer, and that you’re ordering a set of spare chips to have on hand.

The length of time a chip will work, or number of times it can be reset varies widely. Chips are sensitive to static, and can be shorted out from static/electric shock, but a scratch or oils from your hands can also cause issues. Some people experience a higher failure rate than others, and I’m not exactly sure why, but believe it’s somehow related to their environment or setup. In our studio, we have wood floors (no carpet), and maintain proper humidity levels for optimal results and function of all our printers. I use all our printers regularly, refill and reset carts when needed, and keep our machines (and printing environment) clean. I find it easier and quicker to agitate ink in carts by rocking the printers back and forth, plus this can possibly reduce wear and tear on the exit valves, chips, and printer’s chip sensors (more friction can cause things to wear out faster), and reduce the possibility of air getting into the ink lines. Since we have so many printers, and print so much, I will often “shake” a printer before each day of printing, to ensure in-suspension pigment and consistent results. Daily agitation isn’t necessary (but doesn’t hurt), and we recommend agitating ink cartridges every 1-2 weeks to maintain in-suspension pigment.
In our studio, with six 7880/9880’s, a 7900, 9900, and a 9800- all using our refillable carts and inks, I’ve had to replace I’d say less than 5 individual chips over the past 6 years with all these printers combined. I’ve also had a few Epson chips either arrive dead or wear out over that time (we’re always testing). A few customers have reported frequent/regular chip failure with different model carts/chips, and have to frequently replace chips to resume printing, but I am not sure what’s causing their frequent reoccurring issue. Some people have suggested wearing an anti-static band while working with carts, chips or other electrical components- which sounds like a good idea for people who experience a high chip failure rate, but I don’t feel like I need it.

I know this is not a clear answer, but I hope gives you a better understanding of the factors and variables.
Please let me know if you have further questions, or there’s anything else I can help you with.

Best regards and happy printing~ Dana :slight_smile:

I am having the same problem with LLK on Epson 7900. After not having much luck troubleshooting the cartage I decided to buy and new chip which still didn’t fix the problem. The only think I noticed is the new chip is for the 350ml cartage and I have 700ml cartage.
Please advice,
Thank you!

Hi Sammy~

I just reviewed your order history, and see you purchased the older 700ml size refill carts in 2011.
If the carts have been working well till recently, then I suspect the LLK chip has died and needs to be replaced.
What is the exact message displayed on the printer’s LCD screen?
I believe all chips for the 7900/9900 and 7890/9890 cartridges are programmed to read 350ml in the printer, though they work on 350-700ml size carts. The chips may look slightly different as far as the gold contacts, but should still work well on your older 700ml size cart. Did you attach the bare chip onto your refill cart using double sided tape, or using the plastic chip base?

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

[QUOTE=Dana-IJM;5517]If the carts have been working well till recently, then I suspect the LLK chip has died and needs to be replaced.
What is the exact message displayed on the printer’s LCD screen?
Best regards~ Dana :)[/QUOTE]

Thank you Dana for your respond,
That is exactly what I suspected and ordered the replacement chip, but now I am worry about the actual printer since the new chip gave me the same error.I am not next to the printer right now, but I believe it said " Ink Cartridge Error, replace cartridge" and red X on where the ink should be on the LCD.
Another thing, when I pull any other cartridge out I see the printer reading the LLK just fine and giving me an error on the other color I have out. Does this mean anything?

The new chip snapped right in place with no tape needed.

Thank you!

Thanks for the additional information Sam.

From my experience, if one of the printer’s chip sensors is damaged, then the printer will display a “NO cartridge” error.
Have you pushed all carts towards the left in the cartridge bay, before closing the doors?

Please let me know, thanks~ Dana

Hi Dana,
We have a 9900, a hair over a year old an our matt black is acting up - Ink cartridge error, replace ink cartridge with the red X. We had Wells send us a new cartridge so we could get prints out before the holidays, didn’t get to install it until this morning and we still have the error. We’ve pushed the cartridges to the left and it hasn’t worked. The cartridges (both the old and new) reset fine to give a green light.

I talked with epson tech support and they said if indeed it was the sensor, the message would say no ink cartridge installed. So I’m stuck now with prints needing to be sent out. Epson suggested another cartridge from another batch which I have requested Wells to send out.

Any other ideas of what to try?


Dear Mark, sorry to hear of the continued trouble. I’m assuming this new cartridge is a 350ml one?

There a few ways to get it working to determine if it’s one of four or five things: a malformed cartridge (unlikely), bad (second) chip (unlikely), old sensor springs (often happens), or a bad lower spring lock-lever. The fifth issue could be a miss-aligned cartridge bay caused from banging cartridges in and out too hard but that is a worst-case problem (this happened to me in my youthful days). Hopefully it’s not a combo.

  1. take all the carts out on that side of the printer, turn it off, and gently gently put them all back in. Turn the printer on. If the cart is blinking on startup, open the ink bays and close them without doing anything else. See if this resets the internals and get’s it working.

  2. (if it still is annoyingly blinking)
    Pull all the carts out on that side and with a flashlight look at the back of the ink bay top and bottom.
    On the bottom you will see a lock lever that is gray/silver. This spring-loaded lever should be exactly the same height and angle as all of its twins in the ink-bay. If it’s not, it can cause issues with the cartridge chip properly connecting with the sensor.

still blinking? . . .

  1. Look at the top-back of the ink bay. Make sure there is no malformed sensor there. If you see gunk up there it can cause various warning/blinkings/etc. If you notice that the height/depth of the sensor coper parts are not exactly the same to each-other or to their peers, this could be the issue.

  2. Look at your cartridge carefully and see if there is strange malformed angles. Back in the day with the 700MLs the front top-left of the cartridge could be slightly higher that the chip itself or there could be excess plastic at the front of the cart. In my desperate days as a printmaker I would carefully shave these excess pieces of cartridge off with a sharp razor to get the cart to fit properly so I could just keep printing. I would never have a single issue with those modified carts after. That said, so far I haven’t had this issue with any of over 70 individual 350ml 79/99 carts in my printmaking practice.

  3. Take the old chip and refit it to the new cart and see if that works. Do the same with the new chip on the old cart.

  4. Sometimes I would find that the chip/cart I had was just not connecting correctly to the sensor because of an old defunct sensor or a combination of issues that weren’t chip related. If I had to get printing right away and I had no other choice I would devise a way to increase the height of the chip where it sits on the cartridge so it could contact the sensor better. That is a very dangerous procedure only to be done as a last measure when you know that that is the only thing that can help because you sensor is set too high (sensors do this often). If the chip is not raised and secured properly it could utterly mess your chip sensor on the printer.

If none of this works, it could very well be a bad ink-bay alignment. If you still have an Epson MK around, put that cart in and see if it reads ok.

New cart sensors can be gotten quite quickly from CompassMicro in Vancouver. There’s a reason why these are a regularly stocked item there :wink: I suggest getting that sensor first before trying anything mentioned in step 6. And as a precaution, I suggest getting 5 or 6 of those sensors to keep on hand, a wiper blade, and an extra set of chips from IJM for each cartridge (chips on any cartridge can die from static, liquid, or a host of other environmental issues).

I personally stock these items as default with any new printer I get running just so I know that I’ll be ok if this happens. With epson carts I used to have to stock an entirely new cart and sensors just in-case an error happened, but now we just have to stock chips/sensors (much more cost effective).

Walker Blackwell

Thanks Walker for the detailed reply.

  1. No help, still blinking

  2. all look the same - the cyan lever looks a hair lower than the others, but not having a problem with the cyan. I can send a pic if needed

  3. Looks good to me, nice and clean. Again can send a pic if needed.

  4. Looks like the chip is a hair lower in the front, but nothing super different than the others, just a hair lower. And see response after 6.

  5. See response after 6, but if both cartridges are giving me the same message and both chips are resetting to green fine, will switching chips help?

  6. Not comfortable with this.

I put the original mk back in and it’s not reading that cartridge either unfortunately.

So it sounds like it could be the cartridge sensor? And if that goes out, the printer will return the red x cartridge error? The reason I ask this, is Epson tech support said that if the printer is returning a replace cartridge error, that’s the only thing it could be. If it was a sensor error, the printer would return a missing cartridge message.

Again, I don’t know as I’m not a tech person, but I’m feeling in between 2 companies and all I want to do of course is get back to printing to get my client jobs out as soon as possible.

Since the printer is under warranty, I’d rather have epson be the one that works on it if I have to replace a part on it for hopefully obvious reasons. But they won’t come out for a replace cartridge error. They offered to send me a new cartridge, which I suppose I can have them do to proof that their new cartridge won’t read either?

Which leads me to my next question. If I put in a new matt black cartridge and lets just say for some reason the printer does accept it (although I’m doubtful it will at this point), will the printer then suck through epsons matt black into the printer and I’ll have to start the flush cycle again?

Just want to be prepared…

Thanks again,

Dear Mark.

From our conversation it looks like the same issue happens with the Epson MK cartridge that you put in, so it’s certainly an epson hardware issue. I’ve had all sorts of errors crop up when the connection is loose/weak.

I will confirm with our team here and research what has happened in the past in these situations (I apologize as I’m new here at the moment). My experience with this came as an end-user like yourself, and usually I had to replace the sensor myself when out of warranty or if I was pressed for time.

Switching chips may still help FYI. (Indeed sometimes bad sensors read Cone chips better than Epson ones I’ve found).

I would still get them to send you a new MK cart though to tick off one more variable. I know this all takes time and I really understand where you are at right now. I’ve been there but I’ve always gone the DIY route.


Also, Epson is required by law to honor your maintenance contract. It’s hard to get them to do this but here is some very important information you may find useful in your negotiations with the big honcho.

Sure, i’ve read all of the information regarding how I’m allowed to use a 3rd party ink in my epson branded machine. The problem is Epson is denying me coverage for a simple cartridge sensor replacement because I’m using 3rd party inks which leaves me having to pay a minimum of $375.00 + parts for when they come out. Again, I’ll try talking to the technician when he comes out to see if he can get it covered, but the Epson tech I spoke with, and he verified with his supervisor, that they will not warranty the printer when it’s used with 3rd party inks.

And directly from their extended warranty booklet, under the services are limited section:
“Any damage caused by using Non-Epson inks or ink cartridges, or any ink delivery system other than the system built into the printer…”

And their perspective is this problem is caused by the non-Epson ink and cartridge use. Who’s to say it was the cartridge? or the ink? who gets to be the judge? Certainly they aren’t letting me be.

Which leaves me SOL for the extended warranty that I purchased for this machine. Even if it was in the first year warranty, they’re telling me they won’t cover it.