Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Replaced my i950 with a i960

Last week I mentioned that my canon i950 had gone on the fritz and was cross-contaminating ink cartridges. After some additional testing and troubleshooting, I decided the only reasonable explanation left was an internal crack in the print head. Looking on ebay, print heads were going for $50 + shipping. That would hopefully fix the problem, but there was a chance that the problem might be somewhere else in the printer and that the $50 was wasted. After contemplating upgrading to a 13x19 printer but deciding I can't afford it just yet, I started thinking about what to get for an inexpensive printer until I can justify a more expensive one.

I looked into some of the newer canon iPixma printers, but the 6 color models were still over $200. Then, someone posted a suggestion on a message board that factory refurbished printers can be had quite cheap, and they come with new ink cartridges and a factory sealed print head.

I did some digging around on various sites trying to find a good deal on a refurbished i950 or i960. The best deal turned up on pricegrabber.com, where a reputable dealer was selling an i960 for $85 ($70 + $15 S&H). I thought about it for a few days. In the end, I figured I normally pay about $50 (shipped) for a set of ink cartridges, so this left the effective price for a new printer at $35. Cheaper than the print head, it guarantees that any other hidden problem is eliminated, and gives me a 90 day warranty. It seemed like a no brainer, so I ordered it.

The printer arrived Monday, so I set it up. I had some trouble at first. All the cartridges except Cyan primed and printed right away. I remember when I bought my original i950 I had the same problem with either the Cyan or Magenta not printing at all. In that case, not even a deep cleaning fixed it, so I ended up having to exchange it. I was afraid that was the case again, but after 3 normal cleaning cycles it was almost printing fine...the 4th cleaning cycle was the charm. The next problem was in running the print head alignment process...it kept failing on the second page, but switching to a manual alignment worked flawlessly.

So now I have a nice new working printer, plus it gives me a few upgrades. Hi Speed USB (not that it makes much difference to performance), a port to print direct from camera (doubt I 'll use it), and a holder for 4x6 photo paper (might use it). In addition, I haven't read through the book yet, but it looks like there is a door on the back for feeding in thicker stock....that's a feature that might come in handy.

So, I'm happy for now. I can get back to printing photos.

1 comment:

Ozwitch said...

Your yellow tank looks exactly like mine - and I couldn't figure out what the problem was until I read what you had experienced.

I think we will consider replacing the printer - there's no guarantee it won't happen again and the printer is a few years old anyway. But it's a shame - it was a great little printer until it started printing dirty khaki instead of yellow.

Thanks very much for putting up your problem - it certainly shed a lot of light on to mine!

Amanda