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:
|Developing Markets such as Asia and South America||A||B|
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.
- 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.
- Melt the blocks down and recast into the correct shape
- 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…
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.