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   Partners - Review of InkRepublic R260 i-INK2 System

Jeff Naatz
Cresco, IA 52136

I thought that buying the Epson r260 cartridges online would prove to be the most cost effective and safest method to keep my new printer running at its best but after going through 3 complete sets in hardly no time at all with not much really printed, I decided to look for a more cost effective way to keep the paper flowing (so to speak) and save on the consumables. The r260 eats ink a lot more than the printer it replaced but the quality of the print makes up for it. (install the waste ink tube and you will see where the ink does go) I read, read and re-read online posts all about CIS system. There were a lot of complaints about cheaply made systems from china sold on ebay that had high failure rates and seemed to be a real crap-shoot to get one that would not fail and cause not only loss of your printer but a mess!!! Ink republic's completion seemed to have a lot of problems with dampers not sealing properly and a very complex installation and a tad bit unforgiving. I rarely saw an actual bad word about the ink republic systems and never read negativity from anyone that actually owned one. So I took the dive and bought the inkrepublic system. Not long after installation my printer head failed but I think that it was bad to begin with (nothing to do with the cis) it had been refurbished the head itself had an ink port fail and would not fire. I got a replacement free from Epson and cause I was very careful about removing the ink cartridge cover (without breaking it) I was able to replace it so there was no visible cosmetic damage.

The inkrepublic Dampers install very easily just press until they kind of clunk onto the ink ports...the new o-rings seal perfectly and has spent the time to improve this feature from previous models made years ago when they first started doing CIS so that people will not have problems removing the damper again. The little damper removal tool is very handy and I would suggest to tape it under the printer lid so that it will never get lost. That way you apply the force to remove a damper, if need be, where it is least likely to not damage the printer ink inlets.

Filing the dampers is easy. The tool they provide works great but I suggest you do this near a sink with newspapers down so that if you accidentally suck ink into the dropper you can rinse it out well and keep it from contaminating the other inks. The bottle has a removable "nipple" so that it can be fully cleaned. The things that took the longest in installation was my triple checking that I was installing the correct damper to the correct ink bottle and that all connections were perfect. Once they were all full It was no problem to install them into the ink head. Just take your time and be gentle the damper will slide into place and kind-of "clunk" not really "click" into place. I was able, like I mentioned before, to remove the lid without damaging the clip retainer. You have to pry up on the right hand corner of the clip nearest you and just use slight pressure don't force it... a small took like a mini flat head screw driver inserted in the slot near the upper left-hand side will help also. You may chip off a piece of plastic and the thing may fly into the printer housing but if you have no ink carts installed then it's not too hard to shake out. I used the replacement lid supplied as a template for the original Epson lid so that all I needed to do is cut away a slot for the ink dampers lines to pass through. Dremel's are wonderful tools. Now I didn't have to mess with taping that lid in place.

Chips installed... dampers in place.. oh remember to install the waste tube. To remove the side panel it is not just slide it off after removal of a screw. Take a very skinny flat head and insert into the seam where the panel meets the front of the printer panel and press into the seam a bit (might want to do before you install dampers) the clip that holds the side panel on needs to be disengaged a bit before it will slide off and the biggest problem clip is on the same line horizontally as the honeycomb accent panel.. just trace up to the front of the panel from there... I drilled a small hole for the tub to pass through under the printer (since the feet keep it off the desk). I was afraid it would be crimped too much by the panel otherwise. That will pry void the warranty of the make sure the printer is in good working order before mod'n it.

Well it's been a couple of weeks since I installed this system and I would never go back to cartridges. It does tend to make slapping noises when the ink head moves all the way to the left and it did take some time to find the best location for the retention clips for the ink tubes. I did a lot of sliding of the printer head to find the place where the ink tubes would never get crimped into other moving parts.

The colors are almost dead on with the original Epson's... I used the profiles provided by ink republic but did not like the results. For my printing needs it works good enough set to OEM. If you do the math you are paying about 3.50 to 4.00 a cartridge for the price of this total ink system at the current 169.00 price tag. I estimate about 8 carts worth of ink.. maybe more (8 is conservative) even if the printer dies after that ink is gone I'm still ahead in the cost of running the system. Normal Epson ink from their site would cost over 750.00 usd. I would recommend this to anyone that uses more than 4 sets of cartridges of ink a year or someone that does not print cause they fear the cost.

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