May 212013

I have had my Xerox Colorqube 8570DN printer for a year now and it is still performing very well for our needs. In that time we have printed 2,379 pages and have just added our first set of colour wax solid ink blocks to the printer.  As each wax block is 2,500 pages, I would say that the printer usage is spot on.

Never, ever turn off your printer!

It is the most wasteful thing you can do. You see the Xerox maintians a reservoir of molten wax even in standby mode which means a fast startup to first print.  If you turn the printer off, the wax cools and contracts.  When you turn the printer on, the wax expands and is expelled into the waste tray during the very long warmup process.

How much wax is lost in the warmup process? Approximately an 8th of a cube from each of the colours and black.  That 312 pages or £25 of wasted ink just by turning it on.  Do that every day for a week and you have just emptied your printer of the initial ink supplied with your nice new purchase.

At current ink prices a colour solid ink block is £50 and a black one is £30 which works out at 8.1 pence per colour print assuming average coverage on the paper.  My costs are running at 1.8 pence per colour print and I will soon have that down to 1.12 pence.  I’ll explain later on but I must warn you it will probably (most likely) invalidate the warranty.

Now that a year has passed, Xerox kindly emailed me a warranty extension document.  In fact it arrived by fax first (on my Canon Pixma using VOIP SipGate), then email and finally by snail mail all within a day of each other. 36 pages of paper. At £163 for a warranty extension, I couldnt quite make the numbers tally. I mean why would I extend the warranty when the original printer can still be purchased on cashback with a whole new set of inks and a free sat nav device for £180?  Plus I would just move my old inks across to the new printer. Crazy!

Printer manfacturers are beginning to chip their toner cartridges to stop you buying cheaper in another country.  Xerox is no different with their solid ink printers. Each solid ink block is identified by a lug on the left edge to designate the colour and a possible combination of 4 holes on the underside to designate continent of origin or specialist ink block.

Never, ever use ink blocks that do not belong to your country of origin

As I live in the UK my ink blocks are for the European market.  If I purchase from ebay, ink blocks for the USA or Asian market and insert them into my printer, the printer will stop with a contact your engineer code on the LCD.  The printer is now unusable. There are two other ink blocks that you will find for sale on ebay.  The starter (factory) pack and metered ink.  The starter pack can be inserted twice in your printer before it will complain about them but metered ink cannot be used.

How do you know which blocks are which? As I mentoned earlier there is a combination of holes or notches on the underside of the ink block that designates what continent (region) it can be used in.

Pictured above is a metered yellow solid ink block. You can see that the notches A, B and D are filled.  The table below shows the different combinations of the notches for 8570 inks:

North America A C
Europe A B C
Developing Markets such as Asia and South America A B
Metered A B D
Factory Pack A D


So lets assume you purchased the wrong ink blocks from ebay. Don’t throw them away. With a little bit of adjustment you can still use them.

Warning! Don’t expect your warranty to be of any use after these adjustments.

There are three possible methods you can use to make ink blocks from other regions fit your printer.

  1. The ink block notches are checked at the point of insertion into the printer. Find a way to block or fool the check into thinking the correct block is inserted.
  2. Melt the blocks down and recast into the correct shape
  3. Cut the correct notches into the ink block

There are problems with all three methods above. The first really will invalidate the warranty as I didn’t want to chop bits off of the sensors.  The second method assumes you have taken moulds of ink blocks for your region.  In the third method the blocks are very fragile and can shatter very easily when cutting the notches. Blood in the ink is not good.

But it can be done…

IMG_5836 IMG_5838 IMG_5840 IMG_5843-001

The block on the left is set to metered and was purchased from ebay. The block on the right is the adjusted one set to European region.  Very carefully with a sharp blade such as a stanley knife you can cut most of the D notch away and it will shatter on you so do it on a clean sheet of paper. Then using a low termperature soldering iron (no hotter than 110 degrees C) you can hold it in the C position and weld it in place.

If I bought original OEM ink for my printer. 4 blocks of each colour and 4 black, the bill would have been £800.  Buying the same amount of metered ink from ebay only cost me £160 or 1.8 pence per print.  Just like my inkjets, I never purchase third party inks so the above is the only way to keep printing costs low yet still use the correct ink.

I mentioned earlier that it’s possible to lower the printing price per page to 1.1 pence.  Yes it is but that’s a method which I will not be using until I use up my curent batch of meter adjusted inks.  At the rate I print, it will be another year before I am ready to buy another set but this time it will not be metered ink.

Just remember that messing with your printer and ink blocks invalidates the warranty.

Will I buy another Xerox?  Oh yes!  It’s a brilliant work horse.

  69 Responses to “Printers – Beating the greedy manufacturer”

  1. Hi, I am thinking of doing this myself with the 8870 blocks, but do you know if ink from the 8700,8900 or 9200 series colorqubes would work if melted and recast?

    • The 8870 will happily work in the 8570 when cut down. It is advisable to keep the blocks to the same series of printers as the wax composition and melting point has been known to change between printer series.

      The 8870 and 8570 are the same printer with different block sizes and different price points.

      The 8700, 8900 and 9200 have completely different block shapes so if the wax was compatible, you would have to recast the entire block into a new shape to fit the 8570 and 8870.

      I’m currently testing a nichrome wire jig for cutting the blocks to size. Much less mess than a stanley knife.

      • Dude, your site was a great find, just managed to fix my metered cube to fit a UK machine, with a pen knife and a lighter.
        You rock, thanks!

  2. hello mate i just want to know how did you melt your ink? please reply thanks

    • Once I have cut away the notches, I take the largest lump on the paper and place it into the space that needs filling.
      I use a soldering iron that is temperature adjustable. The lowest temp I can get it down to is 150 degrees C which is more than enough to melt the wax.
      Then I just tack it into place using the tip of the iron. So long as the hole is roughly filled, it will fool the sensor when the wax block is checked by the printer upon insertion.

  3. I have an 8550 older model and I used to have the original Xerox / Teltronix 380 – Obv. those color sticks are as different as day and night. I wondered if you had any experience with the 8550 color sticks – There appears to be non-xerox brands out there. But reading about regionalized versions of the same product makes me mad as hell!!! We live in a global economy as long as it is a deal winner for the big corporation. Meanwhile the little guy has no competitive advantage. I was aware that student books, the same content is way cheaper in asian countries. I can’t understand regionalized DVDs. And now I learn that color sticks are also regionalized…

    • Hi Simon.

      I do not have enough experience to advise on what you can do with your 8550 sticks. It seems that each generation of these printers adds more checks to protect against using the wrong sticks. It annoys me that putting metered ink into a 8570 printer places the printer into a fault mode that requires an engineer visit to clear. That’s bad. Why can’t they just tell you to remove the ink? If you add ink whilst the printer is powered off (you have to trip a solenoid to unlock the loading tray slots). When the printer is turned on it will be aware of the change in ink level and ask you to remove the additional sticks.

      Having just stripped down two 8570 printers to repair one, I am amazed at the circuit board in place behind the ink loader. Apart from measuring the ink supply it seems rather over engineered to identify incorrect inks. I wonder how much cheaper these printers could be without this additional and wasted circuitry?

      A few points I would raise about ink sticks for different printers is this:
      1. Each printer generation has a different formulation of ink which melts at different temperatures. Melting cheaper ink for a different model to fit your printer may not work.
      2. Unbranded ink is not necessarily up to the same quality. It’s possible it could creat more blockages or the colours not be matched to produce the same output you are used too.
      3. It may well be that older printers do not check for regional or metered inks.

      I agree with you that regionalised DVD and video games are a pain. However in this day and age of online piracy, I believe that the piracy forces the content owner to release much sooner to DVD after cinema release otherwise they lose to many sales. Consider also the way consumers spend more time using download over physical disc ownership. We seem to have less need to want to own the disc in physical format. Our consumption habits are changing.

      Pretty much all printer manufacturers are regionalising their ink supplies. I thought it was bad enough when buying a printer that it only came with half filled toner cartridges.

      • Ahhh – Half filled initial supply – That is way bad.
        I’ve just bought a HP M401dne laser printer for home use. My expectation is that it will run forever… It replaces two HP 4000N printers I was given 7 years ago complete with cartridges. They started to fail to grab sheets due to worn/poor rubber pinch wheels. Plus they have been abused a bit. So I shouldn’t complain that I had to buy a printer for black and white! Ink jet desk printers have never worked for me. Occasional use and the cost of getting cartridges is annoying.
        I was also give an HP2500 Design Jet – I got it going because one of the diodes on a stepper motor output had failed. Replaced that and it worked. Unfortunately it is not working because the power supply failed – That cost $90 to replace and I’m not done because the hard disk is corrupt and it should have all the post script drivers etc in it – Have to figure all that out and then I can print full size schematics again!!!

        So the xerox machine I purchased in 2008 to provide decent color pictures at home – Never worked out and has sat on the shelf for about 3 years. Finally attempted to get it working last week and trying to get past errors such as the LCD display not coming up. It also wants a yellow stick – So a scramble to get a genuine yellow stick at a reasonable price…. Maybe I can get one at a global price since the 8500 series is not globalized?

      • Having “played around” with both a C2424 and an 8550 as regards differences in wax I have come to the following theory.
        Ink level in the print head is measured with a sensor this sensor is literally a piece of metal fabricated to represent the correct depth of ink with a single wire connection.
        So the sensor is not a thermocouple it is not apparently resistive as when measured to ground with the head well full the resistance is in the order of 100”s of meg ohms as it is when the head is empty. From this I deduce that the amount of ink in the head is measured by capacitance ( a technique widely used in tank fluid measurement in aircraft and other areas). That is to say that the sensor is effectively a capacitor where one electrode is the sensor wire and the other electrode is ground (head structure).
        The value of capacitance will be a function of the distance between the two electrodes and the dielectric constant. In this case the dielectric constant will be a mixture of the dielectric constant of air and the wax when not to level, and just the wax when the wax level is at full.

        Now what does this mean as far as different waxes are concerned? well basically I suspect that not only may different waxes have different melting points but it is possible that the dielectric constant can be modified as well, which may explain why ink for a 9302 when re-cast and put into an 8550 melts fine, remains liquid in the head but the metering system allows the bucket to overfill, an overfull bucket will cause printing problems irrespective of anything else.

        I can’t prove any of this as I do not have the required equipment to hand to prove it (and life is getting short !) but I put it out here for for consideration.

        C2424 ink recast works fine in an 8550 93XX series ink in an 8550 will give you grief. 8500 8550 8560 C2424 all believed to use same ink composition though blocks may be physically different.

        8570 believed to be different, results when recast and used in an 8550 inconclusive, yellow only tried printed o.k most of the time but many light stripes most ink used trying to resolve light stripes.:-(

        Now if anybody knows what to link out on the “factory only” socket to achieve bypass mode would be very interested also what the signals are on the service socket, known to be a flavour of RS232 but that is as much knowledge as I have.

        • A lot of fine information here.

          • Here’s some more info found out the hard way. The 500 sheet extra paper trays changed at the 8570 model.

            i.e the trays I have from an 8550 do not mechanically fit on my 8870 (one spigot slightly too big) and when modified to fit, the printer doesn’t really recognize them and won’t drive them. I suspect that because there was a print speed increase on the 8570 /8870 timing changes were required on the paper trays.

            Anybody need a 500 sheet paper tray or two :for models up to an 8550 🙁

      • Hello Cachaciero, I have an 8550 that I had an enormous amount of left over ink when I bought the 8650MFP and I decided to go for broke and did some shaving of the 8550 Ink Stix to fit 1 of each into the Ink loader to see if they would work in the 8560MFP. To my delight it worked to the point that I took the top shaped ink board from the 8550 and adapted it onto the top of the 8560MFP Ink Loader so that it now takes the 8550 shaped Ink Stix and it has been printing for over 1.5 years on 8550 Ink Stix. The way that I see it is as long as you are working with the same type of Printer engine all will be fine. As we all know that Xerox has been yanking our chains like Bob Marley rattled his only to make us yell and scream about the price for vegetable safe oil and Wax. I have come to the conclusion that Xerox has been using all of the different part numbers and Ink Stix shapes to tell where their inventory has been going and to what printer has the most ink being used. I only will use OEM Xerox Ink Stix because the compatible do and will clog ink jets in the Printheads. The way that I save on the ink cost is that I look on eBay for “Pulls from bad or dead Printers that come up in lots” that ink can be as low as $10 to $15 per Block and Much cheaper then $250 for 3 Ink Stix.
        The next thing is that I reoil my Maintenance Kit/Cleaning Kit instead of buying a new OEM Kit. Where the normal Kit gets 30K out of 1 use I can get 60K to 80K before the white wiper blade has turned a dark yellow and the edge is all rounded where it does not clean the Print Drum properly by leaving to much oil on it to the point that I have to replace the whole Kit with a new one. But think of the savings in not having to buy 2.5 New Kits over the course of the life of the printer. The only thing that a bad wiper blade does is just the same thing that a set of wiper blades do for your car’s windshield. They do not wipe all of the water off of the Wind shield just as the wiper will leave a larger amount of oil on the drum and a smear on the paper.
        Try any of these items out to see if they work for you as well as they have for me.
        Best wishes for the Holiday Session;

        • I like the way you think. I have figured that Xerox has been yanking our chains about the ink. Any idea how difficult it is to shave down 8560 metered ink to fit the 8560 non-metered? More importantly, how do you re-oil a Maintenance Kit? Do you have to clean the wiper blade at the same time? My current extended (30,000 page maintenance kit) is at about 26,000 pages and I am starting to get quite a bit of smearing, requiring the wiper blade to be cleaned almost daily, if not 2x/day.

          • I’m not sure i would want to re-oil a maintenance kit. The felt roller does get pretty dirty so I don’t know how you could get that clean. One way I did it was to buy a broken printer on eBay and move the Maintenance Kit over.

  4. Since you seem to be very familiar with the colorqube ink can you tell me if the ink for the colorqube 8900 will work in the 8700. I have seen starter packs with one of each color that listed both printers on the packing but other than the starter(rainbow pack as listed on ebay) I haven’t had much luck in figuring out if they are interchangable. I found a really good deal on the 8900 ink but don’t want to buy if it won’t work. Thank you

    • Consider that the internal replacement parts such as a maintenance kit for both the 87xx and 89xx printers are the same part number. There seems to be no information on the Internet saying that the ink is different in compound other than it is longer in shape and will require chopping shorter or melting into moulds to insert into the 87xx printers.

      My personal guess and it is a guess is that the ink is the same.

  5. Brilliant – Just perfect! Owe you a pint for the amount this saves me!

  6. Hiya,

    I have a Phaser 8560DN bought Jan. 2009 and other then that my RAM has been gone faulty last year, replaced for free by Crucial, over the years I was lucky not to have big issues. I thought that my printer was using a lot of wax, but only just after reading your article I understand why. In my search for cheaper ink blocks I came accross these metered blocks for the 8560, and your website. Looking at your ink block pictures I see that these metered blocks have codes, mine have none [Original Xerox ones]

    Do you think I would run into issues with using these metered ink blocks?

    Any advise?

    Thanks for putting up your findings.

    • You are right that those metered inks do not have codes but the ink loading slot for an 8560 metered printer is different than the consumer model. If you were to purchase the metered inks then you would have to chop a bit of the plastic out of your ink slots to allow them to fit. Most people use a Dremel tool for cutting away the plastic.

      Other than the slight difference in shape the inks are the same.

  7. You can replace the ink block holder metered/unmetered between machines.

    I have been sorting out both 8570/8870 and 8560 units since our one (8570) died with a psu fail and, well, things just got out of hamd and I have found out a lot!

    I really can not find much mechanical difference between these units and even the MFP version of the 60. What with common parts I really can’t see a reason to change the ink melt points because it would need a lot of different software changes. The temp settings seem the same on the differnt units but I would like to re-check that again on my woring machines!

    I would sugeest that one only uses Xerox or Kauma blocks since all others I have purchased on eBay are very much smaller in size and it is a pain to get the machine to accept them.

    I also have the solution to fix a dead 8570’s PSU now as well; likewise I have a few broken machines for spares if of help to readers here.

  8. “I mentioned earlier that it’s possible to lower the printing price per page to 1.1 pence. Yes it is but that’s a method which I will not be using until I use up my curent batch of meter adjusted inks. “

    Did I miss this part? I’ve also read the post where you’d finished up the metered inks but I haven’t seen an explanation as to how you got your cost down below 1.8 (I’m assuming you’re down to 1.8 from 8.1 because of a lower-than-average coverage rate).

    I just picked up 2 8570’s for $20 each 🙂 I’m told one of them should be an easy fix. They came with a number of inks installed, and I’m debating whether to attempt to repair them or just sell the inks since they’re going to consume 1/8th a block each power cycle. Quite a find, but fortuitous as well since I just learned of these a couple weeks ago and spent a solid week studying them. More than anything I wanted to examine their guts. I wasn’t even looking for them, they came up after a search for used Epsons turned up a lot of 2 unidentified “Ricoh’s” and a stylus 1400.

    BTW, I’ve read of a number of ways to fool or bypass the gate, the easiest of which seemed to be to just use brute force to pull up the guards on top about 1/4 inch to let the cube slip over the little retractable bit. The gate apparently doesn’t need to have been successfully activated in order for the printer to see the added ink level. Despite all that extra circuitry it doesn’t seem a little nonvolatile memory to keep track of ink was included. Presumably that’s because it would require accurate ink accounting ‘algorithms’ or something.

    For this reason, if you’re no longer under warranty you may as well just cut an opening with a dremel or rip one open with pliers and plop whatever ink you like in there. Just don’t let any plastic dust fall in the chute.

    Then there is this

    • Hi Boxcutter,

      Brute forcing the gate to insert inks does not work. When you close the ink enclosure the printer measures the amount of ink in each bin and will alarm if the ink bin has more ink than it thinks it has. Inserting an ink stick that gets registered also updates the ink levels in the bin.

      If the bin contains unknown ink then the printer will ask you to remove it before continuing. You can get around this by only inserting used ink sticks that are less then one third in length. That seems to work but anything thick enough to make the printer think it has a whole new stick will fail.

      Yes you are right I have not written up on how to get down to 1.1p per print. I must update the post.

  9. I have a colorqube 8570 and have been using 8870 metered ink by chopping off one end to fit. Works great. Did anyone ever find out if the 8900 ink blocks can be used with the 8570 or 8870?


  10. You don’t even need to chop bits out of them or glue any to the wax blocks. If you have a stick in the printer you can just slide it to the exit like when you want to take it out of the printer and when the security pin opens to let you remove it, with a swift move, simultaneously slide the old one back in and also insert the new one in behind the old one. You can be quick enough and do it before the security bit rises to lock the path. This is what we do and we maintain over 10 8570 printers at the moment. We used to chop the D of the Metered ones but not anymore. Practice and you’ll see how easy it is.

  11. Hi,
    Can anyone confirm if 8900 ink works in a 8570?
    Not the shape but the actual melting point etc. Is the actual wax make up compatible?

    Thank you


    • Hi Paul,

      I’m sorry but I personally cannot confirm it is the same. Anyone else have a view on this?

    • @PB

      It would seem so, I have purchased 5 black ink metered sticks for an 8900 and fitted one into an 8870 ( un-metered ).

      The blocks are physically identical to 8870 metered sticks with the exception of the number 4 which is rotated 90 degrees (probably because of the way they will be seen in an 8900.

      So far all is good, obviously the ink bucket will have had some of the old ink in it however I ran 10 black filled A4 sheets through it double sided then head cleaner routine (that hurt to see all the wax in the waste tray 🙁 couple of quality prints and all is good.

      My conclusion is that 8900 ink sticks work just fine in an 8870.

      The method I use to get the un-metered printer to accept metered ink blocks is as follow :

      Long slim “podger” in left hand ink block handy to right hand.

      Rub fingers around the block sensors on the RH side of ink tray (looking from front).
      after a few seconds of doing this by chance the sensors will decide that a valid block has been presented and drop the blocking latch. Using the “podger” hold the latch down and drop the new (metered ) block into the tray remove “podger” while at the same time sliding the block down.

      Guess this would work in reverse as it were.

  12. So if I have a 8570 I can use 8870 ink but the ends need to be chopped off? Is this correct???? If so can someone email me some info on where the 8870 blocks need to be cut?


  13. I’ve done the “CUT TABS – MOVE THEM AROUND” thing and then figured out this easier solution: HOLDING A LEGITIMATE INK CUBE BY THE TOP – set it into the correct ink feed ramp. The Gate solenoid will CLICK and drop the arm allowing it to pass. Take the erasure end of a PENCIL – and hold the lever down, then REMOVE YOUR LEGITIMATE INK STICK and DROP IN your ‘OTHER COUNTRY’, or other ‘METERED ONLY’ ink cube with the wrong tabs. It will slide down the ramp and melt like any other ink.

    **NOTE** I still only use XEROX inks – this just saves from buying the really expensive ones.

    • There’s a YouTube video of this – done by yours truly 😉

      • Actually the video’s about your remanufactured inksticks. What Fred wanted to share is how to trick the printer to use metered inksticks that are much cheaper on a non-metered 8570. Good for him to find the trick but something I already found a long time ago and posted on my blog to share.

        Remember to buy the small metered inksticks, not the big 8870 inksticks that you need to chop. Good luck!

        • There is one reason for buying the longer (higher capacity) 8870 ink sticks and that is the price.

          The 8570 single colour ink pack which is labelled as 4,400 sheets capacity costs £63 in the UK. That’s two sticks.

          The 8870 single colour ink pack which gives 17,600 sheets capacity costs £93 in the UK. That’s six sticks of ink.

          I may have to cut the ink stick down but it is a huge saving in costs.

          If you check prices on ebay, the metered ink version of the 8570 ink is now at a similar price to unmetered. So I may as well buy the 8870 inks but not the blacks which are terribly expensive.

          • Ben: Regardless if you’re sending my Remanufactured bricks down (at ~20-25 USD /brick, these are as cheap as you’re going to find, of any type), or metered ones – it’s the same process. Actually, I’ve got the remanufacturing to the point where the primer isn’t needed any more – just drop-and-go

            Admin: multiple problems with using the 88’s on the 85
            1) The ink slot isn’t nearly big enough to send down the chute, so you have to cut the 88 brick (which has several issues on its own)
            2) If the cut isn’t perfectly flat, it will contact the melt-plate unevenly, causing all kinds of grief with errors and having to remove the ink, all kinds of trial & error

            Certainly not wrong in trying to find solutions other than Xerox-direct gouging – but there are good ways to do it (such as my Remanufactureds, which are now tried & tested, 3+ years and 1000’s of bricks) – but cutting/altering existing factory bricks isn’t even close to the best way (aside from the notch-changing, which can be ok).

          • Thanks for the info. I’ve not had problems with errors due to uneven contact but I use a nichrome hot wire to cut the blocks as straight as possible. Like a hot knife through butter.

            However, forewarned is forearmed.

          • Actually, I started using 8870 metered ink sticks after a while without any issue. How? I cut out and widened the ink drop hole instead of ink sticks. I did use nichrome wires initially, but it got quite messy. Just wanted to share you have another option. Also when you use nichrome wire, I can confirm there’s almost no complication if the cut is clean and if you put the cut parts in together, back to back.

  14. @Daniel

    Don’t have access to an 8570 but if the access slot (where you drop the ink in) in the ink loader is long enough to take a 8870 block then I would have thought that you could use a 8870 block as is. Failing that take one unused 8570 block and measure it from the front to back edge this will give you the length that you will need to “cut ” an 8870 block to measuring it from the from the edge.

  15. hi,
    please is it possible to convert a metered xerox wc 5330 printer into a non metered one.

  16. One more note, the ink gets checked again at the bottom of the chute, so with the (cheaper) Starters, it’s not just a matter of ramming it down the chute and then all’s fine – it will get tagged again, and then you have to deal with a major hassle of getting it out.

    • What makes you think the ink gets checked again at the bottom of the chute? I haven’t seen any service manuals that suggest a second set of SKU sensors at the bottom of the chute.

      • I have had it apart and there are no sensors at the bottom of the chute.

        • Thanks for confirmation – I checked too. Basically, the guys who try and tell us that there’s another set of sensors are the guys who want you to buy >>their<< remoulded wax. 😉

          If you think about it, a second set of sensors down the bottom of the chute would be difficult to implement from an engineering point of view. When you drop in a stick at the top of the loader, the wax stick's position is well defined to within a few mm, so it's easy for the SKU sensors to work. But as the stuff at the bottom gets melted, the sticks move down by almost imperceptible amounts. So, essentially you'd need a completely different kind of sensor which knows when to "fire". I've figured out how this might work, but I don't want to give Xerox ideas. I'm happy with the present system. Lol…..

  17. Thought that it would be useful to share the modifications I made on a 8570 Colorqube, so here they are:

    First I removed the ink stoppers from the ink loader.
    You can see the procedure on youtube by searching for “Xerox Colorqube 8570 & 8580 Shell & Ink-Stop Removal”.
    After that, using a fine small wire cutter and a retractable razor blade I lengthen the ink holes giving them a rectangular shape so that the 8870 inks can pass through and removed the protrusions that allow only the correct ink color to fit in the appropriate hole.
    Tested different kind (EU, metered) and sizes (8570, 8870) of cubes and it works without problems. The printer accepts any kind of 8570 or 8870 cubes and adjusts the estimated ink levels accordingly.

    Three points of attention:

    1. Disassemble and remove the ink loader from the printer to modify it. Take care not to damage the melting plates.
    2. Be very careful and remove ALL the little plastic pieces that will come out from the modification procedure so they won’t go into the printer head afterwards.
    3. From now and on there will be no restriction for which ink goes into which hole, so take care not to mix up the ink cubes.

  18. I only use 8570 starter inks in my two printers. A semi stiff, thin piece of paper about 4 to 5 inches long and 7mm wide in your right hand. Ink block in your left.

    Pop the piece of paper down the right hand side of the ink channel where the ink goes and wiggle it about until you hear the gate unlock. Slide the ink into the slot if the gate is still open. If not wiggle the paper until the gate opens and drop the ink in.

  19. I had a Phaser 8560 that stop working, so I replaced it with a ColorQube 8580. However, I have tons of ink left over from the Phaser 8560, if I recast the ink to the ColorQube 8580 mold, do you think it will work? Or are the inks different?

  20. Just a note, the factory notches work on euro printers, easier to configure to factory sometimes depending on the zone you buy your ink from

  21. Factory (region neutral) is A&D, BC are missing (8570/8580 models)

    • PS you can only use 2 sets of starter (factory) ink before it rejects them. See elsewhere for tricks to use non-conforming (to your printer) but genuine Xerox ink. Web search for “starter key”. This will vary based on which code your machine needs and which inks you have due to the different pattern on the bottom of the ink sticks.

  22. I don’t know whether this has been asked before, but does anyone know whether an 8880 ink loader will fit and work in an 8580?

    • Hi David,

      Looking at the pictures of the sticks, I don’t believe it does. The best test would be to have the ink stick in my hand though and at the moment I do not have any.

  23. […] There’s a sensor in the printer that determines if there is or is not a notch at the locations “A”, “B”, “C” and “D”. The chap at PyroBrit spent some time working what the various combinations mean: […]

  24. Thank you, but this relates to whether a particular ink stick will fit in an 8880 or 8580 due to the model or zone. I know that they are not interchangeable. I have my 8580 stripped down at the moment to get at the waste tray sensor and the ink loader is removed from the machine. I was wondering if I could replace it with an 8880 ink loader, i.e. whether to only difference between the loaders is the shape of the apertures for the ink sticks. Thanks, Dave.

    • The only difference I know about is just in the ink loaders but, I wonder if the main circuit board in the printer will sense a difference in the loaders?

    • have you come to any conclusion? It seems I have the same problem:
      -lots of 8860 ink ( plenty on ebay too)
      -broken 8860 ( printhead broken)
      -8560’s available more often then 8860
      -I compared the ink loaders, and they look very similar and not very intelligent

      • I see the opposite right now. 8860s available, and I have 8560 ink. My 8560 died, so i am thinking of getting a 8860 for $40 and installing my 8560 ink loader. Anyone try that? Any reason anyone thinks that will NOT work?

  25. Hi. I bought 2 ColorQube 8900/XM. The first installed ok, not asking any activation code. Took the courtesy ink, and then swallowed the metered ink bought on eBay and is working fine.
    The second unit took the courtesy ink, and is constantly asking for supplies program activation code. Even says it will stop after the 500 copies of the trial ink.
    Any suggestion? Any code breaker or keygen to solve this request and allow me to go ahead with metered onk from eBay with no contact with Xerox???

  26. I Work as a Xerox Engineer fixing these printers.

    I can confirm the ink formulation is the same across all 8700/8900 and 8570/8870/8580/8880 printers, these all use the same printhead.

    Anything ending with a 60, 8560/8860 and MFP variants all use the same ink, wouldn’t advice using this ink in the newer Qube’s as the printheads are different.

    I have an 8570 at home, and to cheat the ink loader I keep a set of XE Sold inks, when it’s time to load up new inks I install these blocks, then power down the printer and swap them out for metered blocks, the ink level hasn’t changed so the printer doesn’t bitch about incorrect ink sticks.

    To swap the blocks power down printer and remove remove the left and right covers (one screw in each at the back, need front cover open and exit cover open to remove) lift the back of the ink loader, there are spring loaded solenoids underneath controlling the ink gates, just slide these back and the plastic bit that blocks the ink will drop down allowing you to remove and replace ink sticks)

    If you do this quickly enough when powered down, when you power back on the machine will skip it’s head purge cycle because the ink temperature hasn’t dipped too much, this saves a good portion of ink.

    • Thank You!!!!! That information is a life saver for me, have an 8700 and the prices keep skyrocketing, modified it for metered, and now metered are no longer *cheap*, I’ll be recasting some 8500 series ink now!

  27. I had a 8860 and tons of inks for it.. I managed to fix the printer twice before, it is always the same problem:
    The yellow overflows the head, flows down on the shaft and then it locks the shaft in the square bearing…Unfortunately last time I was not successful fixing it..
    I’ve got an 8560 for parts, however it seems that the head is not move it to the 8860..
    I looked at both ink loaders and I see the following:
    -one switch for the door open
    -one switch that detects if any of the inks on any of the 4 colors is the wrong type ( I assume this is to detect the metered ink?)
    -one switch for each color to detect if is out of ink ( this might be used to count if the number of pages on a color is higher then it should be)

    My question: has anybody tried to use the 8860 ink loader assy on a 8560?

  28. Hi there. This is a great article. I was just wondering if there is a similar approach for a Xerox 7800 toner? I have just discovered that the printer I purchased near new here in Australia has been imported, and so local genuine Xerox toner keeps giving the region error and the machine is not usable.

    These toners don’t have visible notches that I can see.

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