Did you ever sit down and try to figure out how much you spend each month to keep your computer up and running smoothly? Well, I haven't either. Afraid to actually. Do not even want to know as it will scare me.
One thing I spend lots of dollars on is print cartridges. I threw away a bunch before I found out I could return them and get rebuilt ones, or get cash for them. How many I threw away I don't know, nor do I remember when I started saving them. I have a drawer full of empties, 15 at present, to prove I go through a lot. One day, if I ever get around to it I plan to return them.
Last year at a Silver Stringers meeting, Russ Priestley said something about buying a cartridge refill kit. I got curious, went by his house and read the material he had. Sounded pretty good, but I hesitated to buy a kit myself and asked him to let me know how it worked after he refilled one of his.
Every few weeks I would ask him, but he had not refilled any yet. I went through a couple and the print quality began to get poor. I finally broke down and ordered a refill kit for Black ink. I go through one about every six weeks or so. The HP51645A cost $29.99 each. This gets expensive over time.
In a Sunday paper I found a coupon from the same company Russ had bought his from. They also run an ad on TV all the time. Dream Products, Inc is the distributor for OnTel Products, maker of the kits. The Black kit cost $16.97 and consists of 3 -25ml bottles of Black ink, tools to refill and instructions. On August 1, 2000 I ordered the Black Refill kit. It said to allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. The price is up to $19.99 now plus S&H if you buy only one. Free Shipping if you buy more than one. Still cheaper than buying a new cartridge.
Unfortunately my cartridge gave out and I had to buy one. Again I made out as they had the Twin Pack on sale for $49.90 with an HP Idea Kit. This included Photo Paper, An Idea Kit, Photo Editing program, and Templates, which I bought. The expiration date is Sept 2002, so they would last awhile in case the refill didn't work. Put the new one in and went to work.
The refill kit arrived on August 24, 2000. The new cartridge was just past half full, so I didn't worry. Just sat down and read all the instructions. Sounded simple enough, so I forgot it until my print copy began to weaken. The instructions said it would be best not to wait until it was completely empty.
Pulled the kit out and read the instructions again and refilled the cartridge as soon as I understood what I had to do. Put it in and printed a test page. The message came up A New Cartridge had been installed and I should calibrate the printer. The test page was okay, but I calibrated it as instructed. Man, it was beautiful!
Everything went fine and in about 6 weeks I refilled it again. Ran into a problem though. With the kit there is only one ball to plug the filler hole after opening it. What to do? I happened to have a BB gun and a packet of BB's. Got them out and pushed one in the hole. Beautiful, it fit. Let it sit awhile to make sure it did not leak, then installed. Put a few BB's in the kit box, ready for the next refill. Refilled again in December and had a little bit of ink left in the bottle. Good for maybe a week or 10 days. Late February I refilled and emptied the three bottles. Time to buy more. This time I did not buy the kit. I went to their web site and bought a 60ml bottle of black ink for $9.99. It arrived in one week. Buying online using credit cards speeded things up.
I am set now, and saving big bucks by using refills. Most of my printing is done in Grayscale, and I only use Color on special occasions. Unfortunately, this can cause problems, as I found out. The HP890 printer Color cartridge HP C1823A-D cost $38.99. My color began to get reddish, and I ordered the color kit. This was $24.95 and good for two or three refills. Got it in about a week. Refilled the color cartridge, but apparently I waited too long, as it did not improve any. Dried out was what I was told. I bought a new Color Cartridge $39.99, and this time I will not wait too long before refilling it
The OnTel Website.
Click here if you want to save some money, or just check them out.
Addendum: PRICE LIST HAS CHANGED
As of May 23, 2001
Black Kit is $19.99
Color Kit is $24.99
Black 60 ml bottle is still $9.99
Color, 60 ml bottles, Cyan, Magenta & Yellow are $11.99 each.
Still cheaper than buying one cartridge.
June 1, 2001