This may just be paranoia, but… I noticed that the VLM channel on my 9900 is reading considerably lower levels than the other live channels in my Pro-K4 ink set. Like half. Now I have definitely printed a fair amount of paper in the past week, so at first I wrote this off as just using more of the Warm Medium ink. But wait, I realized that the big prints that I made were all done with Cool, so that sounded a bit suspicious.
Investigating, I pulled the cartridge. All of the non-dead channels were filled to the top, accurately so since these are 350ml carts and the source bottles were also 350ml. And lo and behold, the VLM/Warm Medium channel is down “one block” on the cartridge. As a comparison, the Cyan/Cool Dark channel reads much higher on the “levels” displays … and it too is right about “one block” down. In other words, a very comparable amount of ink draw down.
Just to be sure I wasn’t nuts, I pulled the LLK cart, which is one of the dead channels. It has a Piezoflush cart in it, and it is left over from both initial fills. That is to say, I loaded it with Piezoflush, along with all of the others in the set, then did an initial flush to purge the color ink. Then I replaced all but the Green and LLK channels with actual Pro-K4 ink carts, and then did another initial fill. (This is exactly what the directions say, isn’t it?) The G and LLK are much lower than the other channels, as one would expect from this scenario.
So why is the VLM/Warm Medium indicating much lower than its actual level? On the ink level display on the front panel, it is visually lower than all of the others, including the G/LLK which have done an additional initial fill cycle.
I guess this is not the end of the world, because I suppose I can reset the cart and then watch it like a hawk to be sure I don’t run out and inject air into the lines. Or reset it and actually fill it with what I guess would be about a quarter of 350ml, so it would actually be full. Probably the safest route.
But why is that channel reading low?
To be entirely clear, here’s the front panel display:
You can see that channel 11 (VLM) is indicating far lower than channel 7 (VM). But the cartridges look like this:
The levels aren’t exact, but I think it’s pretty obvious that VLM and VM are pretty close to the same level, while G (in the background) is much lower. But compare these levels to the display photo above…