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Q: InkRepublic 3800 / 3880 i-Refill Installation & Operation Tips

1. 3800 / 3880 i-Refill Installation.
2. How to refill ink in 3800 / 3880 i-Refill Cartridge System?
3. How to reset Ink Level (Cartridges) and Waste Ink Maintenance Tank?
4. Modify 3800 / 3880 Waste Ink Maintenance Tank.
5. Error Message of "NO MAINTENANCE CART"?
6. Some cartridges are not being recognized?
External Resources & Articles

1. 3800 / 3880 i-Refill Installation.

Step 1: ATTENTION !!!
A. Never insert any i-Refill cartridges or OEM cartridges to the printer if it has no chip on it. This may damage your printer's chip reader.
B. Whenever you power cycling your 3800 printer, please wait 20 seconds before powering it back on
C. For the fisrt time installation, air might be pumped into 3800's built-in tubing system if you print it immediately. To prevent this "trapped air" issue, we suggest you to prime the iRefill cartirdges after pouring the ink into the cartridges and let the ink rest for a couple hours to get rid off the trapped air which will rise to the surface eventually.
D. Please read the instructions carefully before installing i-Refill!
E. Estimated Installation Time: 18 - 25 minutes.

Step 2: TEST YOUR PRINTER
Before you install the 3800 i-Refill ink system, you should set up the Epson 3800 printer with Epson supplied inks and driver. Conduct a nozzle check to make sure that the printer is working properly. If the Nozzle pattern has any gaps whatsoever, run the clean cycle until it prints perfectly. DO NOT INSTALL THE INK SYSTEM IF YOUR PRINTER IS NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY!

Step 3: I-REFILL COMPONENTS
Check to ensure you have all components shown in the picture:

A. 9x i-Refill cartridges and 2x control chips.
B. 9x Ink bottles.
C. 1x Switch key.

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Step 4: POWER OFF YOUR 3800
Turn off 3800 printer from the control panel– Gray Button.
Unplug the power cord from the back of the printer.
Open the INK COVER and remove all 9x original cartridges from 3800 printer.

Step 5: INSTALL CHIPS
By default, your i-Refill comes with 2 control chips (could be any two color cartridges), you will need to remove 7 chips from the removed original cartridges and attach to i-Refill cartridges.
(* You will only need to use 7 chips from your OEM cartridges, InkRepublic provides 2 chips to control the other 7 chips and waste ink maintenance chip.)

Use a small flathead screwdriver or a thin knife blade to gently pry up the chip from original cartridge.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Locate the right color of i-Refill cartridge that matches the chip you just removed.
Peel off the tape cover on the chip slot and attach the chip to the tape.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Locate the 4th pin on the chip and tape it off. DO NOT ATTACH THE CHIP UPSIDE DOWN.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Repeat and remove the rest of 6 chips from original cartridges and attach them to i-Refill cartridges which have no chip yet. Remember to tape off the 4th pins on all chips.

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Step 6: MODIFY WASTE INK MAINTENANCE TANK
Carefully remove the maintenance tank from 3800 printer in case it's getting full.
Tape off the 4th pin on the maintenance tank chip.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Put the maintenance tank back to the printer.

Step 7: FILL INK TO THE CARTRIDGE
Install all the i-Refill cartridges and maintenance tank to the printer while it is still powered off.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Unscrew the ink bottle cap, and use a thin knife blade to gently poke the thin protected film sealed on top of the bottle.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Unscrew and remove the sealed cap on yellow cartridge.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Grab the yellow ink bottle and cut the tip off.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Fill ink to the yellow cartridge. (Each i-Refill catridge can hold up to 150ml inks.)
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Put the sealed cap back.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Using the small cap to close the bottle tightly, and store the ink bottle in a safe area or original shipping package.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Repeat and fill all the rest 8 colors.

Step 8: FINAL CHECKS & SWITCH KEY
You are now in a position to perform the final checks before powering your printer on.
Please check that all cartridge caps are securely tightened. Check all the cartridges are firmly seated in the cartridge housing.
Once everything's been double checked, close the waste ink cover (Maintenance cart cover).
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Plug the main power cord back to the printer and then it power ON.
Once you have powered your 3800 printer up, the printer will show the error message "INK COVER OPEN." This is overridden by installing the Switch Key, please see the following images and ensure that the solid flat side should be to the LEFT and the indented side to the RIGHT.

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Push the switch key into the available slot right beside MK cartridge as shown in the following picture and ensure that the bottom LUG rests at a slight angle on the silver edge casing of the printer.

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Step 9: TEST & PRINT
Ensure the printer is powered on and have your graphics program (e.g. Adobe Photoshop) open and ready to use. The printer should come on and perform a clean cycle. When it stops, the green light should be on. If you see a red light at this point, it indicates that one of the chip has not been recognized or seated correctly. If this is the case, please push firmly on the cartridge that is not being recognized. If this does not solve the problem then remove the cartridge from the printer, then carefully check the chip that is not being recognized by wiping the contacts with a soft cloth and insert this i-Refill cartridge back to the 3800 printer.

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Now open a testing picture and print it! ENJOY!

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system




2. How to refill ink in 3800 i-Refill Cartridge System?

When ink level is down to 5% to 10% in i-Refill cartridge, you are suggested to fill more inks to it.
Since both i-Refill cartridge and Epson 3800's cartridges are pressurized ink cartridges that deliver ink more quickly to the 3800's print head and allow the 3800 to print faster, you need to release air pressure gradually by opening the air-releasing valve (the sealed cap). If released suddenly there will be a little upward flow of ink through the refilling hole.

Step 1: UNSCREW & REMOVE THE SEALED CAP
Turn off the printer.
WAIT 3 to 5 MINUTES.
Carefully unscrew the little sealed cap on top of the i-Refill cartridge but dont release it yet for 1 minute.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Carefully unscrew and take off the little sealed cap on top of the i-Refill cartridge.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink systemInkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

If released too fast, ink will spurt out with the air.

Step 2: FILL INK TO THE CARTRIDGE
Grab the color ink bottle for the corresponding cartridge. You may need to poke the protected film and cut the tip off if you are using a brand new bottle.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Proceed to fill the ink cartridge. (Each i-Refill cartridge can hold up to 150ml inks.)
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Put the sealed cap back.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Use the small cap to close the bottle tightly, and store the ink bottle in a safe area out of the reach of children and out of direct sunlight. We highly suggest you not to print immediately after refilling. If you do so there is a chance that the microscopic air bubbles will coagulate later to larger ones and you may encounter the missing nozzles temporarily and makes you think the ink is clogging your printhead, which is not the case. You can refill the iRefill cartridges at the end of the day and let the ink stand overnight for the trapped air bubbles to escape to the surface. (suggested by one of our InkRepublic 3800 iRefill system users, refillmaster in Belgium)
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Step 3: POWER ON THE 3800
And enjoy printing!!!


3. How to reset Ink Level (Cartridges) and Waste Ink Maintenance Tank?

When any of the ink levels goes down to empty or waste ink tank reaches full, you will need to reset them by following steps below:

1) Keep printer power ON (The LCD panel should show maintenance tank full or cartridges empty).
2) Remove Switch Key from the printer.
3) Release all cartridges from 1 to 9 (left to right) so cartridge chips and chip sensors in the printer do not connect each other.
4) Open the maintenance tank door and pull out the waste ink maintenance tank.
5) Reinsert the waste tank and close the waste tank door.
6) Reinsert the switch key.
7) Wait until the printer monitor shows: Insert the Maintenance cartridge.
8) Remove the switch key and pull out the waste ink maintenance tank again.
9) Reinsert the waste tank and close the waste tank door.
10) Insert cartridges from 1 to 9 (left to right)
11) Insert the switch key back into the printer.

Now all cartridges should show full and the waste ink tank should show empty.
If this does not reset them and you get some error messages from the LCD panel, please power cycle your 3800 and this should take care of the resetting and clear the error messages.

Note: Waste ink maintenance tank will only be reset when it gets full. Since you keep resetting and using the same maintenance tank, you need to modify this tank as shown following.



4. Modify 3800 Waste Ink Maintenance Tank.

Since you can reset Waste Ink Maintenance chip, you can convert it to a reuse waste in tank. Below are instructions on how to modify and reuse your waste tank or you can simply replace it when full (you need to buy this waste ink tank from Epson if you do not want to modify it).

1) Remove waste ink tank from 3800.

2) Use a small flathead screwdriver, pry top off the waste ink tank.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

3) Remove top from the waste ink maintenance tank and throw away the old ink-soaked pads.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

4) Fold several paper towels or some cotton balls to fit in the bottom of the tank filling the tank about 1/2 way (shown below). Then fold a paper towel on top of others.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

5) Put plastic grid top back on the waste ink tank and insert the tank into the printer as normal.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system

Note: You may pay closer attention to the level of waste ink in the maintenance tank so it doesn’t overflow and excess ink leaking.
When you are prompted with the message “MAINTENANCE TANK FULL” from 3800's LCD menu, remove modified waste ink tank, dump and dispose waste ink properly then add new cutton balls or paper towels to it.
You will need to reset maintenance tank chip afterward. (You must refer to 3. How to reset Ink Level (Cartridges) and Waste Ink Maintenance Tank?)



5. Error Message of "NO MAINTENANCE CART"?

If you see this error message from the LCD panel, please make sure you did install the maintenance cartridge and close the cover. If this does not help, try to clean up the maintenance cartridge chip. Wipe the chip clean with a soft cloth or paper tower and a little bit water. Make sure that the chip is completely dry before putting the maintenance cart back. The problem still exists, please try the following:

1) Turn off printer.
2) Replace two cartridges which have InkRepublic's control chips on them to Epson's original cartridges. For example, replace InkRepublic's PK and LK i-Refill cartridges (which have control chips) to Epson's PK and LK cartridges.
3) Remove the the rest 7x i-Refill cartridges and maintenance cartridge and remove the tape from the 4th pins.
4) Install all the cartridges and waste ink maintenance cartridge back to printer.
5) Power on printer. If your 3800 can recognize all the cartridges and waste ink maintenance cart, keep working on step 6.
6) Power off printer.
7) Remove all 9x cartridges, maintenance cartridges, and switch key.
8) Tape off the 4th pins on all the 7x i-Refill cartridges and maintenance cart.
9) Replace 2x Epson cartridges with i-Refill cartridges which have control chips. Do not insert the cartridges yet.
10) Power on printer.
11) Wait till printer shows no cartridge installed.
12) Install all the ink cartridges back to printer, then install switch key.
13) Wait for LCD shows "NO MAINTENANCE CART" then install maintenance cart back to printer and close the maintenance cart cover.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system


6. Some cartridges are not being recognized?

If you see cartridges 2, 4, 6 8 or 1, 3, 5, 7 are not being registered, please try and make sure teh followings:

1) Make sure you did install the right chip to the right cartridge and to the right slot in 3800 printer.
2) You can clean the chips that have not been recognized. Wipe the chip clean with a soft cloth or paper tower and a little bit water. Make sure that the chip is completely dry before putting cartridges back.
3) Re-tape off the 4th pins.
3) You may also want to clean the control chips and use tape to fix the chip's top and bottom parts just in case if they are not well attached to the i-Refill cartridge.
InkRepublic epson 3800 i-Refill ink system


External Resources & Articles
Epson 3800: Printer Notes and Resources by Eric Chan
FAQ for the Epson 3800 by Eric Chan
Epson 3800 review diary by Giorgio Trucco

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