It wastes too much ink!
August 20, 2009 5:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way to tinker with this Brother printer/fax to disable the ink head auto-clean function? It wastes too much ink!

After a lot of research, I am thinking of purchasing the Brother MFC 490. It's an all-in-one type unit, decent user reviews, etc. etc.

One frequent complaint which will drive me crazy is an auto-clean function that drains the thing of ink. In my experience, all of these printer/fax machines have serious issues and design flaws, including ink issues. For my uses, the MFC 490 is the best of a bad lot.

I'm interested to hear from other Brother all-in-one users on this issue. Do you live with it, or is there another way around this flaw?

If there is some way to alter the programming on the unit, I would love to know. I would also consider keeping the machine unplugged when not in use.

Your input and ideas are appreciated.... Thanks!
posted by jbenben to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There's way more than $90 worth of parts in that machine. Their business model relies on you buying lots of ink for it even if it's just pissed into the cleaning sponge reservoir. And make no mistake, that reservoir is huge, taking up at least half of the bottom of the printer. The cheap printer/expensive ink model has proven effective enough in the marketplace that the printing divisions of most of these manufacturers are typically the profit leaders across the entire company.

I hate it with a thousand hates. And so does almost everyone else -- there's been an arms race between ink refillers and the printer manufacturers for over twenty years leading to encrypted microchips on the ink refills and basically hack-proof printer firmware.

FWIW, I bought a lexmark MFC for $50 and never put the ink in it. It faxes and scans admirably. For printing, I use a fairly expensive colour laser from HP, and buy third party toner (with included third party toner encrypted chips) to refill it, at exceptional cost savings.

I wish I had a happy answer for you, but basically you're looking for an end-run around a business model these manufacturers have spent decades refining.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:41 PM on August 20, 2009

We. Will. Never. Surrender.

(Thanks for your kind words and explanation, seanmpuckett!)
posted by jbenben at 7:46 PM on August 20, 2009

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