HardwarePrinters

 

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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  ALL
42872.1 
Hello Teh,

My dad has a HP ColorSmart C5180 printer/scanner, which broke.

It still scans and copies, and can print from memory card, but via USB it'd only print partial pages - on investigation it seemed to randomly disconnect and reconnect. Tested different cables and computers, and came to the conclusion it's a faulty USB port/controller on the printer end.

It also has a network port so part of me wonders if I could extend its life by ordering whatever the cable is that allows direct 1-1 networking, assuming that would even work? (Could be a waste of time if the disconnect/reconnect issue is not actually at USB level.)

Anyhow, probably need a new device, and that's the main reason for this thread: I've got no idea and the research he's tried doing left him no closer to knowing what to get.

Primary uses are printing/copying documents and family photos.

So needs to...
* be reliable and straight-forward to use.
* be able to scan/copy/print (unless there's a compelling reason to get two distinct devices).
* work with Debian - which I think just means IPP support, and most/all have that these days?

The ability to print from SD card would be a nice feature (but seems to be one that's disappearing).

He had a recommendation of a Epson EcoTank (I forget the specific model) - can anyone backup or refute that?

Alternatively, any other thoughts on good/bad brands/models etc?

Thanks.

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)     
42872.2 In reply to 42872.1 
Since he already has a working scanner/copier, just get a printer, a monochrome laser printer. Way more robust, reliable and economical than any inkjet you would care to name -- it's a technology, rather than a brand/model issue.

I have an older Brother model (2170w) that works fine with ipp.
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  milko  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.3 In reply to 42872.2 
mono laser might not be much cop for the family photo usage. Unless this network idea saves the original one, or sticking to sd card use. I agree a mono laser would be the most reliable thing to get.

I dunno, I use a HP as well, pretty bog standard cheap one. It's "fine" I guess. Haven't even tried the USB as we connect on wifi to it. It's not really old enough to say if I can recommend it longterm. All printers are devil's peripherals anyway, hate the things.
milko
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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  milko     
42872.4 In reply to 42872.3 
Yeah I've run inkjets photo printers for a number of years, both cheap 'office' models and high-end 'pro (both Epson and Canon), and they need a lot of upkeep. Maybe better to take/send out the photos, probably cheaper in the long run than the uber-expensive inks, and constant hassles to get them to work. Unless you are printing photos like every week, the colors will dry out and ruin the print heads. For document printing they straight-up suck. Don't even get me started on so-called multi-functions.
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  ALL
42872.5 
I should clarify, I didn't test scanning but it's going to fail because the entire printer connection was dropping, so it'll not have time to receive the data.

I have previously raised the idea of getting photos done remotely, given how cheap and relatively fast the turnaround is, but I think he just wants to be able to do it then and there.

Anyhow, he's just emailed me with the following:

Epsons are good for Photos But whilst photos are important i need it to be good and cheap at documents too. Ink and running cost. Speed . All are important

I guess Wireless is the new way but USB as well would be good.

Are you able to let me know about compatibility with the ThinkPad as some rely on Apps etc HP seems to be quality but tends to be expensive , i've been looking at what Argos are supplying.

I agree on still preferring a physical connection, at least as an option, and definitely anything needing a mobile app to manage basic printer functionality is out.

I'm less fussed about up-front price - would rather pay a bit more for something that'll work better, but obviously don't want to be wasting money.

Also I'm guessing he didn't notice the third one being A3 - that's not needed, and possibly even wont fit.

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 From:  milko  
 To:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)     
42872.6 In reply to 42872.5 
Try these guys
https://www.rtings.com/printer

I don't think you'll get much out of regular people, because who buys many printers to compare them?
milko
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  milko     
42872.7 In reply to 42872.6 
Yeah, mainly wanted to confirm there were no "avoid X like the plague" type responses.

Also, thanks, that's an interesting review site - not just for printers.

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  ALL
42872.8 In reply to 42872.7 
I'll just repeat that inkjet anything is something to avoid like the plague that it is, unless you are producing high quality photo prints in quantity, and have the income(!) and technical chops(!) to do that. Obviously a multi-function device is not up to scratch in this case.

I'm as guilty as anyone of ignoring sound technical advice for ... reasons. In a support role, I also tend to cave to users' cherished but non-optimal solutions, where I have no stake in the outcome -- with the caveat: if this goes tits-up, again, you're on your own.

I'm just curious what the user has been doing with the device. Is the appeal based on familiarity, he already knows how to use it? Would a different, possibly better solution be too challenging? What's with the need to scan and copy -- does he have a small business, is he having to produce physical documentation for some legal reason, that he can't take to a post office or corner store photocopier? Could he instead (eg) make the copies with and print them directly from his phone? Pretty sure hp has an app for that.
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  Matt  
 To:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)     
42872.9 In reply to 42872.1 
1-1 networking may work if you can set a static IP on the printer and use a cross-over cable to connect it to your Dad's PC, but it doesn't look like it's officially supported and you also need a separate installation CD (I'm sure you download it from HP or some archive somewhere) to configure it for network access instead of USB.

Alternatively, a pair of Homeplug adapters to get it connected to router via mains wiring, assuming your Dad has Internet access and said Internet access includes a router of some sort?
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.10 In reply to 42872.8 
The preference is a single device that does printing and scanning. Two devices are acceptable if they can fit in approximately the same amount of space.

* It MUST function when connected to a Debian-powered computer.
* Being able to print from SD card and/or USB drive is a bonus.
* It does not need to be usable from a mobile phone, and MUST NOT require one.

If there's a laser that can do colour documents and adequate quality photos, I'll happily look into it, but now that tank-based inkjets are becoming mainstream, lasers no longer appear to win on the economical front.

For £330, the Epson EcoTank ET-3850 has an estimated 7,885 black prints and 4,681 colour prints before needing refilling, at a cost of ~£63 for a full set of bottles.

For £535, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is the "Best Color Laser Printer", but can only produce 2,412 black and 2,169 color, with a full set of toners costing ~£352.

(The "Best High-Yield Laser Printer" can do 9,577 black prints per toner cartridge, which only equals the 0.003 US$/print of the ET-3850.)

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)     
42872.11 In reply to 42872.10 
In a nutshell: "Since it's an inkjet printer, it requires consistent maintenance to stop the printheads from clogging."

(in my experience: "consistent maintenance" [pumping stupid amounts of ink through the printheads into a drain] will not stop the heads from clogging -- and unless they are replaceable, your investment is toast).
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  Matt     
42872.12 In reply to 42872.9 
Thanks, there is a router but I don't think there's an available plug socket by it, and I'm fairly sure he would be wary of something like Homeplug anyway.
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 From:  Peter (BOUGHTONP)  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.13 In reply to 42872.11 
New heads appear to cost under £100, so even if half the ink in every 127/70ml bottle were wasted on cleaning AND a new set of heads was needed with every ink refill, it would still end up being cheaper.

But again, I'm just trying to narrow down options, I'm not pro-ink nor anti-laser.

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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.14 In reply to 42872.11 
All the printers I used at work were laser printers and all of those at home were/are inkjet. It was certainly true that inkjets were a pain in the backside a few years ago, with printheads clogging up regularly if the printer wasn't used every day. The internet was full of "useful home remedies" for how to remove printheads on various models and whether to use water or alcohol or whatever to soak them.

For the last 5 years, I've been using a Canon MG5750 and in all that time, I think I've run a cleaning cycle twice. I know it runs its own cleaning cycle as well at start up, but I never buy Canon ink as this is about four times more expensive than the 3rd party alternative I've been buying for ages. Never really had a problem with it.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42872.15 In reply to 42872.14 
(YMMV)

https://www.google.com/search?q=mg5750%20clog
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.16 In reply to 42872.15 
I actually laughed out loud. 

How to clean the print head, video. Film of some bloke holding print head under a tap.

In the past I've had Canon and Epson printers that resisted all and any cleaning. Maybe I've been lucky with the current one, or maybe the 3rd party ink doesn't clog as much.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42872.17 In reply to 42872.16 
The stuff of nightmares. I ran large format, 6-colour photo inkjet printers for ~10-years. When working they produced beautiful prints.
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.18 In reply to 42872.17 
Most of the big commercial photo printers use very high quality inkjet or die-sublimation printers these days. Send your holiday snaps off in the post, or online, and that's where they'll end up. I strongly suspect that throwing away is a feature of these as opposed to cleaning.

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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 From:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)  
 To:  william (WILLIAMA)     
42872.19 In reply to 42872.18 
I suspect in the low end, clogging is a feature not a bug.
"International student-turned-YouTube star has advice for others coming to Canada"
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 From:  william (WILLIAMA)  
 To:  CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)     
42872.20 In reply to 42872.19 
At the very low end it's practically a free printer with every year's worth of ink. My printer isn't far off the bottom of the price range. I think I paid about £65 (100 CAD) for it, but a full set of inks from Canon is around £76 (for the large size). The printer gets quite a lot of use and I change the cartridges about 4 times a year, more for the black cartridges (it has 2) so if I was daft enough to stick with Canon ink I'd be spending maybe £350/year on ink. Which is why companies like HP have free starter subscriptions to their ink supply service. I'll be interested to see how the new "tank" models work out long term and how prone to clogging the print heads are.

So yeah, if the heads clog and I can't clean them, that's money in the bank for Canon/Epson/HP/Brother or whoever. 

He May Be Your Dog But He's Wearing My Collar

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