Best printer @ $300-400?

I am looking for a disc printer in the price of $400 or less.

Automated or single disc does not matter. Speed is also not a concern, but it must have GREAT image, and I would like to be able to refill the ink. Smaller is somewhat a plus but not a necessity.

Obviously it does not have to be $400, $100 printer works too.

I was interested in the Dymo discpainter but see it was discontinued several years back, but have found a few on ebay, just not sure if ink can be refilled and if this is worth it.

–I may only print 100 discs give or take total, but the quality is what I need…

I had an offer lingering and just got the dymo… Anyone know how to refill these? :stuck_out_tongue:

If this does not pan out, or my demads grow, I would still like to know of a good printer that I can refill cartridges.

Epson Stylus Photo R-200, R-220, R-260, R-300, there are a few more in that era I just don’t know oll the model numbers. 6 color ink systems and beautiful prints. Epson’s Print CD software is pretty easy to use and intuitive and you can download it free for use with any of their CD capable printers. No refilling either, but a continuous ink system. (CIS) I suggest you find an outfit called SuperToBuy on eBay and get your supplies from them. They have a website too, but their prices are quite a bit higher there.

This solutions is head and shoulders above the Dymo deal.

[QUOTE=alexender;2743170]I would still like to know of a good printer that I can refill cartridges.[/QUOTE]

My answer is still the same. I have 7 or 8 Epsons that I rotate when one needs service. I run CISS from SuperToBuy as found on eBay with fantastic results. Don’t try to run more than two printers per hub though. They freeze up intermittently if you do.

I usually run 4 Epson R200’s-220’s-300’s. (Mix and match as I choose) When printing most jobs from Epson Print CD I set the printer number to the printer I’m tossing the print job to, then set the number of copies, click “Manual Print,” and run print settings of “Text & Image” & “Photo Quality Inkjet Paper.” This yields print quality that’s totally acceptable for most jobs. (These printers will print to resolutions of something like 4800x4800 or 4800x2400, something like that, but are slow as hell and it’s no-where NEAR required)

Once you learn to load these things like a machine, you can hit 240 discs per hour, or 60 discs per hour with a single printer. WAY faster than any $1,000 auto-loader out there. What’s best is if you shop these, you can find used printers in the $30-$50 range all the time. Do a little research about cleaning print heads and you can snap them up even cheaper because people leave them sit for a year or two with empty or no carts and the nozzles clog. Cleaning them is a snap if you just do some reading. You’ll also want to research and download the, “Epson SSC Utility.”

Now, look, you can go with an Epson PP-100AP auto printer that will do runs up to 100 discs. A single unit can print unattended at 720x720 dpi and give you about 95 discs per hour, or 75 discs per hour at 1440x720, or at 1440x1440 dpi you can expect about 50 discs per hour. That printer can be had for about $2k, and a set of carts that yields about 1000 discs are roughly $230. I have found one company that makes a CISS for these printers, and they want about $700 per with NO INK.

The truth is, you asked the same question over a year ago, and the answer is still the same. If you only need a single printer, finding that 40-60 discs per hour is enough, (depending on your resolutions), get an Epson 200, 220, or 300 for starters, which should run you about $50 or less, then get a CISS for it from SuperToBuy on eBay, which runs $30 shipped in the US and for less than a C note you’re printing like a pro. That or just keep asking the same question over and over and never do anything. You can also get refillable carts for these printers, but I find them to be a pain.

There are several, “more modern,” Epsons out there that print discs too, but they use the exact same print head technology and are not as robust. Further, most of them (if not all) are all-in-ones that, if you don’t need those features, you will quickly discover just take up a lot more room.

I’ve also used an Epson R220 for years and have been very pleased with it, both for photo and DVD printing. I only use it for low volume domestic stuff so I refill the cartridges myself using Jettec ink.

Just recently I’ve had a problem with DVD printing in that the printer no longer recognises that a DVD and tray is in place, so won’t print. It’s not the common problems reported on the internet of tray positioning, dirty rollers or objects too close to the rear tray exit point. I think it is probably some fault with the sensors that pick up when the tray door is open and a tray is in place. If Joe Dirt or anyone else knows an easy fix for this - I’d be really grateful.

If I could buy the same or a similar model new today, I’d do so in the blink of an eye. But, as Joe Dirt says, there’s nothing that’s really comparable.

I bought a R220 last year when the heads clogged bad and I broke the ribbon cable trying to fix my 200, think I paid all of 20 bucks for it and then I could continue to use my refillable carts for it.
We’re now using a R260 we were given that even had new ink carts as the 220 also plugged the heads though I think it happens because they kept getting turned off then the ink drys up.
I found the 220 on Craigs list and there were lots of older and newer Epson on there cheap, I was just trying to find one that could use my carts.
I did find that if you leave them on sometimes the heads will clear so may try that with the 220 when the ink in the 260 runs out and see if it decides to work again.
You can get clot buster kits for them too that supposedly work but haven’t tried one yet and more then likely it’s just solvent and a syringe with the right sized hose hooked to it to fit over the ports that the ink drops to the heads from the carts.
For my everyday printing I use a old HP 990, prints nicely on any paper and does double sided automatically, just getting hard to find carts for cheap that actually work well.

@ SteveJC - On the print tray issue, I would try a new tray. They can be had on eBay for pretty cheap if you don’t mind waiting for it to come from China. Incidentally, I should note that when you get a new tray, there are two types that are designed for these printers, but they do not perform equally. The “new” type has a very small and thin clear plastic strip alonmg the edge that feeds into the disc printing bay deal. These trays suck a$$. The older style trays that do not have this clear plastic lip function far better, and at present I have not found them shipping from a US location, although the last time I bought trays was maybe 18 months or two years ago.

Also, you might want to carefully examine the hinge mechanism area as somewhere in there I believe there is either a small switch or a push-rod that leads to a switch that lets the printer know the bay is opened. If you open the bay door and THEN turn the printer on, the lights should go nuts once the printer is booted up if this is working properly. Let me know what you find out and I’ll help you sleuth the problem. I have all of the Epson repair docs for these machines. :wink:

@ Dartman - The heads on the R200’s and R220’s are identical and can be switched out. If you’re going to jack around with them, I’d suggest getting the hang of the latch mechanism on the machine with the broken ribbon, obviously. They’re even more of a PITA to properly re-insert and latch than they are to get out in the first place, but patience, persistence and a lot of luck are your saving graces! lol

Regarding head cleaning, don’t even waste your time with all that crap on the market. Here’s what you do:

[B][U]A[/U][/B] If you want to see if you can make it easy on yourself first . . .

1.) plug the printer in. (it does not need a data connection)

2.) Fire it up and let it boot all the way up and park the heads.

3.) Push the button to move the heads into the “Cartridge Change,” position.

4.) Pull the power cord, and pull the cartridges.

The print carriage will now move easily back and forth by hand.

5.) Soak a paper towel or a Q-Tip in Windex and clean the spikes VERY WELL. Try to avoid any cross contamination. You can even spray the spikes a little and mop up the liquid with towels or Q-Tips.

6.) Take a paper towel, (the “select-A-Size ones work best) and fold it so you have a full length strip about 1-1/2” tall, and soak the middle 1/3 - 1/2 with window cleaner. (Windex or similar)

7.) Slide the carriage all the way to the right, then place the right hand side of the towel strip into the gap by where the ink pad thing is, and lay the rest of the strip out over the area where the soft foam stuff is that the heads travel back and forth across.

8.) Slide the print carriage back to the left slowly, assuring the towel doesn’t wad up under the heads.

9.) Once the heads are over the saturated part of the towel, gently grasp both sides of the towel and kind of saw it back and forth across the heads pulling up just slightly to get a good scrubbing action going on the heads.

10.) Take a break and drink some beers or something. You can add Windex to the towel with a syringe if you have one, which you might just want to get anyway because you’ll need it if you have to get more “hands-on” with the heads anyway.

11.) The more beers you drink, the better your chances of success! :slight_smile: (Ok ok, the longer you let the heads soak is the real factor in this. You can even let them soak for a day or so) Every once in a while, add just a little Windex and run the towel back and forth 20-50 times or whatever. If it starts to get REAL nasty, start over with a fresh towel and Windex.

12.) When you’re satisfied that your patience may have paid off, get a fresh DRY towel strip under the head, and even two if you can get them to fit, positioning the carriage as far to the left as you can and still be able to get the towel in your fingers.

13.) Fill a syringe with Windex. No needle is needed for this next step. Whether a slip-tip or Luer Lock type syringe, the syringes tip will fit the spikes quite nicely.

14.) With the dry paper towel in place underneath, place the hole in the syringe tip nice and squarely over the tip of the spike pressing down firmly, but no harder than needed to keep the Windex from leaking out when you begin to apply pressure. Apply pressure to the plunger slowly and steadily to blast the old thick ink out, and clead the head nozzles further.

Too much pressure will blow out the plastic wall between colors, so take you time! It should take you a good 5-8 minutes to empty a 3ml syringe. Any faster and you risk blowing you head out.

Clean the syringe well between each spike to avoid cross-contamination. Move the towel to the left after and/or during each spike cleaning. As the towel becomes fully saturated, obviously, trash it and get a fresh towel under there before continuing.

Once you’ve carefully run 3 3ml or so of Windex through each color spike, 95% of all jams will be completely eradicated. I’d suggest blowing air into each spike at the end so that when you start getting ink again, it’ll be straight ink and no Windex. Just blow a little air through each one, then put a fresh towel under the head again, and blow a little air through each again. When you’re towel comes out clean, you’re ready to load carts again and see what you’ve got.

Remember, as ink nears two years of age, it’s no so hot anymore and is more prone to clogging.

The only thing to do beyond all of this to revitalize clogged heads is, well, repeat the whole process, but this time you can work Windex into the spike side first too, which can be a big help, or,

[B][U]B[/U][/B] pull the heads right out of the machine and soak them for 1-? days in a saucer full of Windex, which is a major pain, but very do-able. The biggest advantage to doing this, however, is when your injecting Windex into the spikes, you can actually SEE under the head and determine which nozzles are clogged, giving you the ability to scrub that area with a Windex-soaked Q-Tip.

The reason I don’t like to shoot the old ink out of the heads on the fist cycle before soaking them from the underside with the towels is because if there is ink dried not only IN, but JUST INSIDE of the nozzles as well, you can much more easily blow the head out. for one, and secondly, I believe we may just be jamming dried or semi-dried ink down INTO the nozzles, which is only going to make it harder to get them completely cleared.

What I’ve posted here about cleaning these heads applies to ANY AND ALL PRINTERS with Piezoelectric heads, which, to the best of my knowledge, includes the entire Epson inkjet line-up.

Thanks, was going to eventually try something and think I read a bit about how to clean the heads but that pretty much covers it. The 220 started getting very blocky and faded blacks just like the 200 did and they both had dirty heads and we got the 260 with new ink so just using it now till it runs out.
The 260 is on my sisters computer in the front room and rarely gets used till she decides she needs to do and print something so that doesn’t help.
I’ll have to give that a shot when I feel like it on the 220 and see how it does as I still have the carts and a ton of quality ink for it.
I have a refurbed R800 I bought cheap too but the carts ran out and the non OEM ones ran out too so it’s just sat for a long time so probably have to do the same with it if I ever get some good carts for it again.
It printed photos better then anything I own but was very picky and needed cleaning a lot, plus the disk printing with full pigment ink just didn’t look as nice even if it did have 8 colors.

Joe Dirt - many thanks for the advice.

I’m pretty sure my tray is OK. It is the old style one you describe without the clear plastic strip. It’s not visibly bent damaged or worn and I’ve kept it clean. Also the problem started suddenly as if something had broken or stopped functioning, rather than gradual wear.

I’ll look carefully around the hinge area as you suggest. It seems very likely to be a problem with a switch or sensor mechanism there which is failing to tell the printer that the print door is open.

Thanks again for your kind help.

I took the pictures awhile ago, when I really didn’t have time to be taking a ton of pictures, and so now that I still don’t really have time post them, I will do so.

So, here we go. I’ll notate if I feel like it can’t be avoided, but I’m going to try to refrain from doing that as really kids, I honestly do NOT have time. Now THAT’S LOVE! Okay. Here we go.

(Oh for heaven’s sake, I can see I’m going to be making a lot of notes.) {Sigh}

Oh, no wonder these discs aren’t looking right . . .

Not cool. I could actually straighten this right out quite simply, but it’s good to give the heads a REAL cleaning from time to time anyhow, and since the subject has come up. . . .

Ok, the first thing we need to do is move the print head into the “Cartridge Change,” position.

Then we’ll pull the power. In this case I’m working on an R300, so the cord doesn’t unplug from the printer.

Now the print carriage moves very easily back and forth. Here I am moving it with just two fingers.

Sliding the carriage all the way to the right . . .

Will create a nice gap by the print carriage as seen here.

Here we have a piece of paper towel. I like to use the "Select-A-Size type. Note that the towel is folded against the sort side, so as to keep it nice and long after having been folded to double it’s thickness, and again folded to create four layers in total. I am using generic window cleaner here, and can only hope it works in the grease under my nails from earlier. lol

We’ll get the paper towel in position,

And tucked into that gap on the right so we can move the print carriage over it without it catching underneath.

Gently grasping both ends, we’ll move it back . . .

. . . and forth several times. Pull up a little on the ends so it gives the heads a good scrubbing. You’ll note that I pulled the cartridges here. You don’t have to do that if you’re giving them a quick once-over, but if you’re going to park the heads over the wet towel for an extended period of time, it WILL suck the ink out of your carts! You’ve been warned! Parking the heads over the towel overnight is often a great way to to clear stubborn clogs without pulling the head out. (You want to avoid this if you can) Do note, however, that if you’re going to leave it sit, you probably want to use a whole sheet of paper towel rather than the, “half sheet,” size, because if the towel is not touching the nozzles underneath, it’s not going to do any good. It’s harder to get the carriage to go over without catching, and once it DOES get over the top, you sort of WANT it to catch so it will bunch the towel up and make good contact with the nozzles. Just make sure you get all the towel out of it shreds some in the process.

On the far right with the print carriage out of the way, you can see the sponge where the waste ink is drawn from the nozzles during cleaning operations. It never hurts to soak a bunch of this stuff up either. You can even use a syringe to suck a bunch of it up first should you choose. Inkjets are NASTY little beasts.

Now I’m getting a dry piece of paper towel in there for some even MORE powerful cleaning.

Now, before I show you my next trick, I have to say that it is VERY important to clean the spikes. The spikes are those pointed pieces that stick up into the port on the underside for each cartridge. Avoid cross contamination too. At the tip of these spikes there are a bunch of very tiny holes. Inside of them is an even finer screen to keep contaminants that will plug the nozzles out. The following picture was VERY difficult for me to get, so I hope you appriciate it a LOT!

If you’d like, once you’ve cleaned each of the spikes with paper towel or a Q-tip, using a clean piece or end for each one, you can just drip window cleaner on them and let it pool in the well below. Then just soak it up with paper towel, and finish be cleaning up the corners and crevices with a Q-Tip.

Now you can use a syringe to inject window cleaner into each of the spikes, being sure to clean the tip between each spike. Do NOT use a lot of force! If you have to press then plunger hard to get fluid in there, you have a BAD clog, and what will happen is you will blow out the thin plastic between the adjacent chambers! If it is clogged than badly and you have tried 2-3 times per day, parking the nozzles over really wet paper towel in between, you are going to have to pull the print head and soak it in window cleaner on something like a saucer. If you have an ultrasonic cleaner, that will speed the process considerably.

I’m not going to go as far as to provide instructions for removing the print heads here, as this isn’t even a thread about cleaning printers. I will, however, make a better thread and include those instructions if I get requests for it. That not withstanding, I will post some head pictures here too.

Here you can see the data cable ports. These are ribbon cables, and they do NOT have any locking mechanism. They must be pulled straight out, and must be carefully inserted nice and straight too. If you bent the ribbon up, you’re not likely to get it in after having done so. You can see the tips of the spikes sticking up on top. This is looking at the side of the print head that faces the BACK of the printer. Also note that the cable connectors have their contacts on opposite sides. One faces up, and the other faces down. The ribbons naturally want to go to the right port, but I like the fact that you can really know for sure which one goes where because of the opposing contacts.

A pretty nice picture of what the nozzles really look like. Each row has 90 nozzles!

If you shoot window cleaner through the nozzles like this with the head out, it’s really very cool, and totally amazing! I tried for about an hour to get a god picture of what it looks like, but it was no use. IF you have to pull a head though, first, you kind of owe it to yourself to check it out. Secondly though, if you’re passing any fluid at all on the color you are working on, when you inject it, you can EASILY see which nozzles are clogged. Sometimes you can soak a Q-Tip with window cleaner, (you can even use old stuff because it’s all on the outside) and scrub that area directly. Don’t get crazy and apply TOO much force, but, you CAN apply a pretty good bit.

I really enjoy helping people get the most out of what they have, and I HATE seeing ANYONE pay too much for ANYTHING! (Even if I don’t particularly care for them! lol) If you have enjoyed this little writeup, drop a note here or in PMs and let me know. If you’d like to see a real full blown writeup and maintaining these great little printers, let me know that too.

Thanks, very useful info and pics there. My 200 was so tight I got the cables out just fine but could never get the second one back in straight up and it bent one of the copper traces off so it was done and no extra cable around to replace it with and try again so I figured cheap used printer with same carts and that worked fine for a while and I guess I sorta have spare parts now.
I’d love a writeup separately on it for when I get the ambition to try it :clap::iagree:

Printing this one out with my WORKING HP 990:cool: That does double sided:bigsmile:

If the trace isn’t busted right off, you can try a TINY drop of superglue applied to the ribbon itself with a toothpick, then clamp the loose trace with a clothes pin or similar. Make SURE that head is super clean first though, because IF you manage to get that ribbon in again, it will probably be the LAST time that’s ever going to happen!

Id you don’t have any luck with that, don’t worry about it too much. Start shopping Craigslist for another R200 or R220. That head will fit either, and I gather it’s 100% clean and clear. This is a REAL hood thing to have on hand!

Yeah, that’s why I bought the 220 for 20 bucks, faster then trying to repair the 200 at that point and I can use those nice refillable carts and ink I got for it and have spare parts but the 220 clogged and we were given the 260 with new ink so she’ll use that till the ink runs out and I’ll play with the 220 and get it cleaned up and working again.
Might even play with the 200 if I feel like it as it’s still out in the shed and I never thought about trying to reglue the trace, pretty sure it’s still there. Of course maybe the cables interchange between the two but not going to risk braking the good one unless it clogs to the point of tearing it down.
Wish the 260 used the same carts as it works well and it can manually do double sided and print CD’s which is why I bought the 200 to begin with.

You do NOT want to try to move the ribbons from the R220 to the R200. You want to move the clean R200 head to the R220. First off, pulling the one cable you did get in on the R200 head is easy, AND you have to do that whether swapping the heads OR the ribbons. Secondly, having pulled the cables on both, you are only two Philips head screws away from having each of the heads out and you are ready to swap them. Third, from Windows, all things are pretty equal, but should you choose to load a Linux distro and use the gimp/cups print drivers, that R220 will spit really GREAT looking discs in 30 seconds flat using 60% LESS ink, which also means WAY faster dry times and way less sticking together on the spindles after they’ve been printed. For whatever reason, no-one ever built a gimp/cups driver that will print that fast with the R200’s.

So, you know, be a little more patient with the cables this time. I KNOW they are a pain in the elbow given where they are, especially if you have big hands like I do. You just have to resolve yourself to the fact that it’s going to be painful to get in there and get each of those cables in the perfect position before carefully sliding them into place. The [U]tiniest[/U] little wiggle helps too, but really, it has to be an almost imperceptible arc type movement, Once you’re actually fully engaged into the socket across the front edge of the ribbon, you can still apply gentle force in that, “corner to corner,” fashion, but first off, that cable had BETTER keep going STRAIGHT, and secondly, you really SHOULD be trying to achieve a position in the socket where the cable will finally just push straight in just as pretty as you please.

Another way of phrasing this whole things is, just think of your lovely wife, and the fact that no-one wants to get, “bent in half,” all in the name of getting a, “full and proper contact,” and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble at all! Any MAN that’s a DARTMAN will have no trouble at all with this analogy as, there’s a lot of power there and it goes like hell in a straight line, but if you want to go play around in twists and turns with THAT kind of power, you’d better KNOW how to DRIVE, or EVERYONE’S gonna get hurt!

Once you have the head you KNOW is good, in the R220 that IS in fact the better printer, then you can:

1.) Take the clogged head & CLEAN THOSE SPIKES REALLY WELL

2.) Slowly shoot some Windex through the chambers you can. See if you can get some of them cleared and flowing clean. Remember, catching some of the Windex on a Q-tip and giving a good scrub from the bottom too helps much of the time too

3.) The chambers that don’t seem to be so cooperative, you just take a syringe, say 3ml for example, with about 2ml of Windex in it. Get a good seal on the spike for the chamber giving you trouble. Now, draw [U]back[/U] on the plunger a TINY BIT. (Not even 1/10th of a ml), then push in a tiny little bit. You HAVE to be VERY patient with this process or you WILL rupture the wall of the chamber inside! Keep doing this over and over, real slowly, to try to work some Windex into the chamber leading to the nozzles. If you can get some in there and let it sit and work, you’ll be moving forward a LOT faster than it seems like you are.

If when you pull back on the plunger, you KNOW you have a perfect seal, AND you see a few tiny little bubbles rising in the fluid in the syringe, you are getting EXACTLY what you want! Keep going until you’re tired of screwing with getting 1/100th of a ml of Windex in there

4.) Whether you think you’re getting any fluid in there of not, let it sit after you’ve been working at it for 5 - 10 minutes. Give it 5 minutes or so, and then cover the spikes with folded up paper towel. Holding the head in your hand, whip it HARD like you’re shaking down the mercury in a thermometer in such a way as to whip any fluid out of the spikes. (You might want to do this in the garage or something, even WITH the paper towel.) Under those little holes at the tips of the spikes are VERY fine filters that can become clogged with dried ink just like the nozzles can. You may get a lot more ink out doing this that you’d expected. Whether you do or not, go back to step 3 and get as much Windex in there as you can before continuing to step 5. If you’re making progress, or even if you’re not, you can repeat steps 3 & 4 as many times as you’d like, JUST AS LONG AS YOU DON’T GET IMPATIENT AND START TRYING TO REALLY FORCE WINDEX IN THERE! Again, on your LAST cycle, skip this 4th step and go right to step 5.

5.) When you’re ready to walk away for awhile, put the head on a small foam plate, large foam plate, foam bowl, Gladware container, ANYTHING, with about 1/8" to 3/16" of Windex so the nozzles are soaking. I use generic Windex refill stuff from Dollar General or similar, so I actually put a LOT in a foam bowl. It’s cheap. I HAVE gotten it on the contacts plenty of times, but I try to clean them out with distilled water and compressed air if I do because the window cleaner has ammonia in it, and if you run electricity through metal with ammonia on it, bad things happen to the metal. (Think, instant oxidation) If I have a head soaking in like, 3/4" of window cleaner, I just pick it up and swish a little and set it right back down daily until I think it’s about time to try clearing the clog again.

Remember, as things start to break free, you want the fluid to move from the spikes TO the nozzles if at all possible. Sucking a freed clog back INTO the nozzle isn’t real smart. NEVER apply too much pressure or you’ll blow the dividers between the colors right out. It’s REAL easy to do. If you can get even 2 or 3 of those 90 nozzles cleared, and you can be VERY PATIENT and keep fluid going through until it’s coming out looking pretty clean, then it’s only a matter of letting the Windex work form the inside AND the outside by soaking the bottom of the head too. It might take a few days, and if it’s not cleared in a few days, then just let it sit a couple weeks at a crack, making sure you’re full of Windex on the inside every week or so, and checking the level of the Windex it’s soaking in ever few days to make sure that doesn’t go dry. As I said, I like to give it a little swish every day.

Thanks for the heads up and warnings. I’ve ran into that trying to manually prime refilled carts for my old standby HP 990 old school tank printer. Poke the wrong spot and break the deviders between the colors, then the carts junk, same with putting to much pressure on the fill port.
I’ll leave the 220 alone and just clean the heck out a it when it goes back into service.
As far as my Dart it has factory 340 torsion bars and rear springs, 16 to 1 fast ratio manual steering, and I added a factory front sway bar, and a rear sway bar out a 75 Valiant police package car, very rare piece.
The Dart will out corner any other late 60’s Dart you’ll ever drive, and it handles flat and rides a bit harsh and takes some muscle to steer.
I also added a positraction/sure grip 3.23 powerlock 8 3/4 so yes I had to re learn how to drive it again and once I did it can do some wicked stuff in the corners or kill you if your not paying attention.
I also have all the parts to put big bolt disk and drum brakes but it’s retired:sad: and I drive a 95 Neon coupe that’s good on gas, disposable, and fun to drive for what it is.

I wouldn’t let that head sit dirty. Give it power. Move the carriage to the cart change position. Pull the power. Remove the head. Put the two screws back in the holes they came out of. Put the other plastic piece that comes out when you pull the head inside the printer and put the printer up. But then, at least poke around with that head a little but from time to time to start softening that ink up. I’m just sayin’.

I absolutely love Mopars of this era. When people say, “You can’t get them to turn!” I say, “YOU can’t get them to turn! Besides, it’s tricky to get ANY bullt to turn once it’s left the barrel!” Did it come with 8 3/4 rear end from the factory, or did you have to replace the whole thing?

Joe - thanks for all the valuable information here. It will be a very useful resource for owners of these printers.

I still haven’t solved my problem with the CD tray not being recognised - but, with the help of the manual and diagrams you provided, I have made some progress diagnosing the issue.

The problem got worse in that the printer started to think the CD drawer was open when it wasn’t and all the warning lights would blink. Opening and closing the draw would make no difference. However, I found that wedging the drawer slightly open with a bit of folded paper at the point where the Star Wheel Sensor is located (see photo) would allow the printer to work normally with paper. However the slightest movement of the drawer either towards being open or closed would cause the printing to stop and all the lights to blink again.

From this I now believe it is very likely something to do with the Star Wheel Sensor, or less likely the CD Tray Sensor. I have removed the under side of the CD drawer to expose the sensors and everything looked OK visually. The springs and plastic actuators were in place and appeared to move properly and they seemed to trigger the micro switches when they ought to.

I’d be really grateful for any suggestions about what I might try next.

Kind Regards


You know, often times I type and type and type, providing all sorts of information, and it seems no-one really finds it useful, as I get no feedback. (Not just here, I participate in a lot of different forums.) How often I wonder if it’s useless info, or if it’s good enough that people don’t have any questions about the information I’ve disseminated. It’s nice to see a few people are getting something from all of this.

Steve, it’s definitely looking like there is some trouble with the Star Wheel Sensor to be sure. I want to back up to your previous post, however. You said if you could buy the same printer today new, you would. Well, you can. They can be had as NOS on eBay for around $270. However, really, if you take the time to flush out the head on the R220 you’re working on right now to protect it from clogging, you HAVE a good head, and this is the most common problem you will find is printers with clogged heads. People run out of ink, and they leave empty carts, or worse yet, REMOVE the carts, and leave them that way for a year or two. Even a few months will cause all sorts of clogging, and most people don’t know hoe easy it really is to clean them up.

So, really, get a 3-5ml syringe (preferred, but you can use a 60ml if you need to. Whatever), power up the printer and move the carriage to the “Replace Ink Cart” position, and pull the power on it in that position. Pull your carts and tape the ink port on each one really well. By really well I mean, apply the tape so there’s a good inch on the flat side on one side of the port, then wrap the tape VERY STRAIGHT around and over the round ink port part, and continue around and up at least 1" up the other flat side you you get a real nice seal.

Once you have the carts out and protected, give the spikes a good cleaning. Dry paper towel followed by wet (with window cleaner OR distilled water) paper towel does a nice job. Never use tap water as the dissolved solids in even the softest of tap water can cause trouble.

Next, close the cover that goes over the ink carts so the carriage can move freely, and get 4-8 layers of dry paper towel under the print head. Now fill your syringe with distilled water or window cleaner. (No needle is required [U]or desired[/U]) With the print heads over the paper towel, you may need to open the cartridge cove part way, or even ALL the way if you’re near the cart change position, so that you can get a good seal when pressing the opening in the Luer Lock or slip-tip of the syringe firmly, and very SQUARE down on the tip of the spike.

Slowly push the water or window cleaner thought that color’s spike until it appears to be coming out pretty clean, having displaced ALL of the ink. Do this with all 6 spikes, and then replace you paper towel pad with a clean one, sending just a bit more fluid though each one to assure the color is gone. Then, just slowly shoot air into each one to get the majority of the liquid out.

Having done that, you can move forward with your repair knowing that if it is 100% successful, you’re not going to be disenchanted by all sorts of clogs when you return it to service. If it is NOT successful, you can buy a USED printer off of eBay or Craigslist for between $15 and $30 (TOPS), and if it’s a printer with a clogged print head, EOS shutdown or both, you have everything you need to slap a nice clean head in it, AND reset the waste pad counter too. (I did give you the SSC Utility, right?)

I’m just stressing this because I know you’ve been down at least a few weeks, and you’re going to run into trouble if you don’t flush those heads. Ok, maybe strike all of this, as I just looked and I think you’re using the printer for regular paper docs. Ok, well, I’m leaving all this in here because, well, I typed it all! lol

Ok, now, I have a couple questions:

1.) When you open the tray for disc printing, it arcs down about 90º. Before you even get to the 45º mark, you should feel it touch a lever inside, giving a little more resistance as you move the tray downward further. Do you feel that happening?

2.) As you open the tray further, (please do this very slowly and deliberately), as you near the bottom of it’s travel, which is to say, the disc print tray is nearly fully opened, you should hear a mechanism inside the printer flick into place, AND lowering the tray that last few degrees of it’s travel should suddenly require nearly zero force. Does this appear to be happening as I’ve described?

3.) When attempting to print a disc and the tray does not try to feed at all, what is the message in the Epson Status Monitor 3 window?

You may find this hard to believe, but I think that the 4 people that DON’T work for Epson, who have actually PRINTED discs using an R200, R220 or R300 have been accounted for here! lol Ever single used R200, 220 or 300 I have EVER bought that the previous owner still had the tray, had the tray just like brand new in the plastic with the 3" mini-disc adapter taped in position, just like the day it came from the factory. As such, I’m fairly confident in saying that, if you buy a used R220, chances are the tractor for the disc tray will essentially be unused.

Ok, here’s a couple of pictures. This is from the R300 I have in the house. I just really do NOT want to go out to the studio and dig out an R220 right now. In fact, they may even all be in my Dad’s building a few miles away. In any case, I’m fairly certain these photos should VERY closely depict what you’re looking at in your R200, if it’s not even an exact match. The part we are looking at is part 539 on page 4 of your exploded view diagram when working with an R220 or R230.

In the fist picture the door is closed. In the second picture it is opened, and you can see that grey bar has drawn backward. This starts happening where the door has swung down maybe 30º in it’s 90º arc, which is also where I’d noted that you should feel in increase in resistance when opening the tray. It pulls back slowly as the tray is lowered, and then snaps into place near the end of the tray’s travel.

Note the tray is now opened, and:

That metal piece has moved backward. Also, if you watch that bar move as you open the tray, you should see that it starts to move backward, and then the back side of the bar rises slightly, increasing the gap underneath it to accommodate the tray, rather than a thin sheet of paper.

If all of that is not happening, then we have some work to do there. If it IS all functioning properly, then yes, we are probably looking at a sensor. For what it’s worth, as long as you’re into this think like this, I strongly recommend doing a bit it LIGHT lubrication of parts that rotate or slide against one another. I have YET to find anything that works as well as the Epson blessed and sanctified lubricants, but, the closest I have come is white lithium grease, and for heaven’s sake, DON’T USE A LOT! lol Apply it with a toothpick if you have to.

Now, on the sensors:

Again, I’m quizzical about the Epson Status Monitor 3 message when you try to print a disc. I HAVE in fact seen instances where there IS no message, but the printer tried to print the job using the paper tray. Is this what is happening?

In the photo you provided, (AND THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! For providing an ACTUAL PHOTO!) Your paper is wedged in the region of the Star Wheel Sensor, but is in no way engaging it at all. I’m not sure if you’re aware of that or not, but the sensor is HERE:

And is actuated when closed by this plastic piece here:

If you open the tray even just slightly, the printer SHOULD go into CD print mode as far is it’s logic is concerned. If you open the tray just a little, and try to send a print job to the paper tray, the printer should freak out. THEN, if you use a small screw driver or something, (anything really), and manually move that little triangle shaped lever in, it should take right off and start printing your document. If this is not responding as it should, that switch may be at fault. If you can get it to work manually, then there’s a good chance that it’s just misaligned a little, and maybe something as simple as several layers of scotch tape on that plastic blade-type protrusion where it makes contact with the triangular shaped leaver will build it up enough to make it function well again.

Here you can see what Epson points at as the possible issues:

I believe that if there’s a crack in the tray and the piece is gone, it might be easy to miss. I also might suggest you try manually moving that switch, maybe a little further than the try does, and see if the problem resolves.

The Star Wheel Switch attaches to the main board at CN14, and the CDR Tray Sensor connects at CN11, both on the main board. If you think you can get some INTO the switch, (Which you probably can in the location where the switch actuator passes through the switch housing), you may want to try a little contact cleaner while operating the switch WILDLY, as getting to the main board is a terrible pain.

If it’s just plain wear on plastic parts, man, I’m telling you that careful application of a few layers of scotch tape goes a LONG WAY! :wink: Don’t use cheap stuff, because when it comes off in a machine you could be in for a lot of hair pulling. Use 3M Scotch brand tape, AND, use the shiny stuff, not the frosted, “Magic disappearing,” kind.

Last but not least, I will say, really, start looking for a used R220 that’s been sitting. No-one’s putting “broken” ones on eBay anymore, but you can buy one ready to run for $50-70 there, and if you search Craigslist, and maybe even put a “Want” ad on there, you’ll probably find a few to choose from.

By “Broken,” I mean, the heads are clogged because they let them sit forever with no or very OLD ink in them, so you just swap your head into their machine and you’re up and running again, having another head that you can take your time soaking and giving some love to


They got the fateful, “This device has reached the end of it’s service life,” message, which is a bunch of BS to sell new printers, and you can reset that counter with the SSC utility.

Don’t forget to ask if they have the disc tray! :slight_smile:

If you can get a viable used R220 on the cheap, and kind of like these little projects, then the first thing you do is clean your new find up.

Sure, she’s been treated like a floozy, but that’s ok. We know she’s not really that way. Get out the paper towels and Windex and treat her to a nice massage and a good bath.

Power her up and hit that cart change button, then pull the power cord so her carriage moves oh so freely side to side.

Soak a folded paper towel in Windex and get it under her print heads, pushing up firmly to soften all that crusty ink that’s held back her tears for oh so long.

Clean her pointy, um, yeah, spikes, so that they glisten in the sun before feeding some fresh Windex down into them gently with a syringe.

Push her tabs and pull her holder unit that covers her print head, then removing with such loving care the two number 1 Philips head screws that hold her print head in place.

As you slowly withdraw her print head ever so slightly, she will allow you to pull the ribbon cables from the back of it. She knows you are a gentle soul, and allows you to remove her head entirely, knowing deep down inside that you are going to provider her a head that has been well used, but well well loved too.

Ohhhhh inserting those two ribbons into the new head will be no easy task, but you know it will be well worth the effort. What those have gone before did not know, it that, this is a LADY, but she’s a lady that will outwork most any other without ever breaking a sweat. And now, she is yours and yours alone. So don’t you fret, or be unkind. Take your time and get those ribbons in just the way they are meant to go. Walk away for a while if you must. She’ll wait, patiently. After all, she says to herself, she waited in that attic for almost two YEARS for you. She’d long begun to wonder if there really was nobody who knew her worth. She’d even begun to DOUBT her own worth, as silly as that may seem.

Yes, she may be sitting on a bench out in the garage waiting, but she can look around her and KNOW that every tool, paper towel, bottle of distilled water and/or window cleaner there, indeed, EVERYTHING, was put there with only her in mind. {sigh} “I’m loved again,” she says, and she’ll gladly wait there all night, and all the next day too. She knows that when she sees you again, you’ll be there to love her the way an R200 should be.