Couldn't a printer company sell more printers if they were known for inexpensive cartridges? oh "brother!"

Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
19
I am but beside myself. I bought a Brother a while back. Although maybe 2 years ago it's barely used. I was able to buy replacement cartridges and get by. Now, for some reason, it starts up "CANNOT DETECT INK" ... I have put new (remanufacture in which it alwasy accepted) but now it refuses. And I refuse to go out and buy their inks just to make it work!!! It's like buying a car and them telling you what gas you have to use for the life of the vehicle. It's just not good sense. The printers aren't worth the money we pay for them anyway. Just a hunk of plastic and a bit of metal just packaged different every year. They make a hefty dime on those sales. So they want to rob us with inks too. smh Does anyone have a suggestion for a reasonable printer that is not fussy about who's cartridges are there?
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
65
I can understand what you mean, absolutely. Yet, the more I learn about machines design, the more I understand why printers fail... turns out these are not simple devices and have to overcome some engineering challenges, even to this day. I don't disagree with what you say, I agree, it's just over the years as a printing fanatic I moved more and more to how things are build, and oh boy it's painful to see things make sense.

Turns out... printers, just like cars, are meant to be used for their own purpose, and if we don't do this, they both fail, both cars, the tires, the battery, the cartridges, the print head, etc. I learned more and more via repairing and understanding the principles behind it.

But enough of that, you want solutions!
Does anyone have a suggestion for a reasonable printer that is not fussy about who's cartridges are there?
Laser printers. The main advantage is... there is no ink to dry, toner doesn't clog anything, and you can use any printer that has been unused for a long time and get it to work with no problem. However they are very different, and once the drum fails, you better buy a new one.

Other than that, there are good videos on how to get your Brother printer going again on Youtube. I've had several, all it takes is patience and time. And from there, any printer WILL require you to print at least once per month (or more) at least one page to get the ink flowing.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
19
Thank you so much for your very kind and insightful answer. I wonder with the Laser Printers you say once the drum head fails get a new one I have to read it again I don't know whether you mean get a new printer or get a new drum head. But I guess if I'm only using it a little bit each month then it should last a very very long time it's not like the drum head would get worked every day multiple times. thank you again. Also in response to my Brother printer I think the only way it's going to be corrected is by their inks so I have to decide whether I want to shout out all their money for their inks and then hope that when I do buy their inks and put them in the printer that it works.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
65
Thank you so much for your very kind and insightful answer. I wonder with the Laser Printers you say once the drum head fails get a new one I have to read it again I don't know whether you mean get a new printer or get a new drum head. But I guess if I'm only using it a little bit each month then it should last a very very long time it's not like the drum head would get worked every day multiple times. thank you again. Also in response to my Brother printer I think the only way it's going to be corrected is by their inks so I have to decide whether I want to shout out all their money for their inks and then hope that when I do buy their inks and put them in the printer that it works.
I'll explain. Inkjets use print heads printing directly to paper, and these can get clogged, damaged, etc, sometimes it's easy to replace this part or to do some maintenance. Laser printers use a series or rollers pressed one to the other, the image is created on one of those and then transferred to another one exposing it to the toner, and finally this, or another roller is pressed against the paper. These printers have a lot of benefits, but sometimes the rollers get damaged due to particles or get scratches causing prints to come out wrong, the usual part to fail is the drum, the commonly larger roller, and these are not made of rubber, making them expensive to replace. On some models you can buy the part, on others it's a full kit, and most times it's not cheap, that's what I meant regarding sometimes being cheaper to get another printer. But sure laser printers can last.

As for your Brother printer, if you are patient and have the time, you can try to unclog the nozzles. Check this video:

Ink should flow freely and be absolutely liquid, NO AIR should be on the system; sometimes things fail due to solidification of pigments. You can try pushing some water (pure, no minerals) gently on the system (on each color). Also, the cartridges should have balanced pressure, refilling sometimes ends up on positive pressure (ink comes out pushing), other times it's negative pressure, meaning the cartridge sucks the ink from the printer system. Remember, when pushing ink: be gentle, or the nozzles get damaged.

Most times, it helps placing some cloth on the "I don't know the name of that part", you know where the paper moves below the print head... and use warm water on such cloth, then gently moving the printhead on top, so the warm water gets some contact with the print head. The problem is... Brother printers are built in a way this becomes difficult to do, while HP, Epson and Canon usually are easier due to how they are built.

I know it sucks, but if you decide to try you might end up learning the technique and recover your printer, unless it's permanently damaged.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
19
I'll explain. Inkjets use print heads printing directly to paper, and these can get clogged, damaged, etc, sometimes it's easy to replace this part or to do some maintenance. Laser printers use a series or rollers pressed one to the other, the image is created on one of those and then transferred to another one exposing it to the toner, and finally this, or another roller is pressed against the paper. These printers have a lot of benefits, but sometimes the rollers get damaged due to particles or get scratches causing prints to come out wrong, the usual part to fail is the drum, the commonly larger roller, and these are not made of rubber, making them expensive to replace. On some models you can buy the part, on others it's a full kit, and most times it's not cheap, that's what I meant regarding sometimes being cheaper to get another printer. But sure laser printers can last.

As for your Brother printer, if you are patient and have the time, you can try to unclog the nozzles. Check this video:

Ink should flow freely and be absolutely liquid, NO AIR should be on the system; sometimes things fail due to solidification of pigments. You can try pushing some water (pure, no minerals) gently on the system (on each color). Also, the cartridges should have balanced pressure, refilling sometimes ends up on positive pressure (ink comes out pushing), other times it's negative pressure, meaning the cartridge sucks the ink from the printer system. Remember, when pushing ink: be gentle, or the nozzles get damaged.

Most times, it helps placing some cloth on the "I don't know the name of that part", you know where the paper moves below the print head... and use warm water on such cloth, then gently moving the printhead on top, so the warm water gets some contact with the print head. The problem is... Brother printers are built in a way this becomes difficult to do, while HP, Epson and Canon usually are easier due to how they are built.

I know it sucks, but if you decide to try you might end up learning the technique and recover your printer, unless it's permanently damaged.
You have been so very helpful. I do not think I have explained enough. I do not suspect that there is clogging or anything of that nature. I have read and it says that this condition, CANNOT DETECT INK, is Brother's way of saying "You are not using our cartridges! So we are not going to allow you to proceed!" I believe the only solution is to go buy Brother cartridges and then I'm sure the printer will coperate. I guess I'll go to Best Buy unless there is a suggestion of a less expensive place to buy genuine Brother ink cartridges online. Thank you so very much. I understand your information and apprecieate it greatly! jack ":-Dx
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
65
You have been so very helpful. I do not think I have explained enough. I do not suspect that there is clogging or anything of that nature. I have read and it says that this condition, CANNOT DETECT INK, is Brother's way of saying "You are not using our cartridges!
Sorry I totally missed that detail. I do not for sure if the following is the explanation to your problem or not, but it's worth being informed.

Brother cartridges have a moving (sort of floating) part inside, this changes as the ink is consumed and will change back once the cartridge is refilled. The function of this "lever", is to block the light in one part of the cartridge. So, a something (light? infrared? I don't know) is emitted and a sensor on the other side of the cartridge gets this signal. IF the transmission is physically blocked: there is still ink on the cartridge. And if there is no blocking, then the signal passes to the other side meaning there is no link inside the cartridge.

You can probably see this moving part here:

In case of refilling, or experiencing issues with this, you should shake the cartridge trying to see if the lever goes back to the blocking state. You can extract your cartridge to check it out.

Other than that (yeah I hate this part)
- Check if the printer cartridge CHIP is present, well positioned, not moved, absolutely clean, not damaged, wet, or dirty.
- Check you have the right cartridge for the printer, otherwise your printer will not recognize the chip.
- If possible try another cartridge, perhaps yours are damaged.
- Try cleaning the contacts for the chip inside the printer, perhaps these are dirty, wet, damaged, etc. Use a flashlight.

It's worth keeping all your used cartridges, with Brother printers you can always refill them and even get a chip reseter to report the right ink levels. Or at least you could try in these cases diff ones without buying.
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Top