ImagePrograf Pro-1000 FAQ
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Question: I just bought a Pro-1000 how do I go about refilling it?
Answer:  There are two methods of refilling the tanks and there are two choices for ink performance and and another two choices for determining WHEN to refill again.
Question: OK, I want the simplest method of refilling the Pro-1000.
Answer: The simplest method of refilling the Pro-1000 is to not modify the tanks but refill it using a negative pressure method as shown in this video.
Prior to refilling, you will also change the chip that is also “empty” and cannot be reused so a new chip is required each time you refill. Each chip costs $12.
Question: So I have to spend $12 for a chip plus the cost of ink each time I refill if I want the simplest and most straightforward method of refilling. This new chip will display ink levels and indicate when the tank is empty and needs refilling again. That means each time, I refill it costs $144 in chips for all 12 tanks. Is there an alternative?
Answer: YES, recognizing that one use chips can end up costing a lot money, there is a documented way by Canon as to how to bypass the chip and continue to use the printer. This allows normal use of the printer but there is one catch. When bypassing the chip function, you will no longer be able to see estimated ink levels BUT more importantly not know when to refill.  You can remove all 12 tanks periodically and weight them to see which ones need more ink.  At that time you can place more ink in the ones that are low in level. This means that various amounts of ink will be required to be dispensed. In order to do that, the pressure method that does not require modifications cannot be used. Also you will need to have a scale to weight all 12.
Precision Colors are wary of doing this because some tanks may take many months to empty and users will eventually forget how much printing or keep track of how much ink is left, will get neglectful and possibly operate the printer when the printer is empty of ink. Doing so can permanently damage an expensive printhead. So it can be done but the user must understand that this is entirely possible especially over a period of many months.
Additionally, when using chips, the printer is able to determine when the tanks are truly empty. Without the chips, you will never be able to reliably determine exactly when the tank is empty. As a result you will refill tanks that have varying amounts of ink remaining amongst different colors. The most straightforward way of doing this is to refill using special squeeze bottles with needles attached to the covers so that ink is dispensed directly into a bottle using just one hand as the other hand will be used to keep the tank upright.
Question: I like the idea and saving money by not using new chips. Is there a superior method that will automatically tell me when I need to refill without me removing and weighing all 12 tanks periodically?  I tend to forget to do things and that could cause an issue.
Answer: Yes, Precision Colors has put effort to design and manufacture an electronic system that physically detects when the tanks are 75% empty. This system will light up a display board that indicates which color needs to be refilled.  With 25% of ink remaining, it allows time to print multiple more prints as well as time to order more inks.  It acts like a guardian continually monitoring the ink levels.
Question:  That sounds like a complicated electronic system. Do I have to install and program the printer?
Answer:  The system uses high tech circuitry to detect ink inside the tanks WITHOUT ever touching the ink. It can detect the ink THROUGH the walls of the tanks. Surprisingly, Precision Colors makes the system STICK, PLUG and PLAY. NO PROGRAMMING or adjustments are required.
Installation is simply removing the backing of sticky adhesive tape,  sticking two control boards to the front of the printer and then plugging in each connector and sticking the sensors to the front of each tank.
It should be noted that the system does NOT interact whatsoever with the programming, drivers or any electronic interactions with the printer. It is free of Canon trying to blocks its useage like special chips etc. It is essentially an electronic window into the ink tanks.
Question: So with this system what is the simplest procedure to install it.
Answer: When you first get your Pro-1000, you will use it normally. When the tanks indicate a LOW ink condition, YELLOW warning, you can order the system.
When the tank is EMPTY, RED warning,, you will remove the tank, drill it with the proper drill bit and create a refill hole that the rubber plugs will reseal after refilling.
Question: Drilling into plastic and into the tanks. That sounds scary and the debris from drilling might end up blocking up my printer. Isn’t that dangerous?
Answer: No because Precision Colors has taken this into account. Here is why.
First: We recommend using a special true drill bit meant for plastic that cuts a clean precise hole that fits the plugs. With these drill bits there is little chance of debris falling into the tank.
Second: After drilling you will fill the tank with water and then with the hole pointing down, you will depress the valve on the exit of the tank and this will allow water to come out of the tank rapidly. This will FLUSH away and potential debris inside the tank. You can do this as many times as you like until you are comfortable.
Third, the density of the plastic of the tank is less than ink. So ANY debris will always FLOAT on the top of the ink in the tank. So if you are using the system, you will never run a tank empty and debris always remains floating inside and never makes it into the printer internal tank. After the second step the likelihood of having debris left over is nil.
Question: What about the ink choices? What kind of saving can I expect and what am I sacrificing?
Answer: This is an excellent question and the level of saving will depend on the output quality you desire. Let me explain:
If you desire to save money but are unwilling to give up the best and want to stay with 100% OEM inks then you can acquire the OEM inkset which is 100% Canon OEM ink for the Pro-1000. You sacrifice NOTHING in retaining the original print quality and you still save greater than 40%. With this savings the first round, you will save enough to more than afford the INK WARNING SYSTEM.
If you decide that you want to save even more, then consider the  Signature Edition Hybrid Inkset. Here we have matched the colors very precisely and retained the most critical colors to maintain near identical performance to the OEM inkset.  The OEM Chroma optimizer is selected in this inkset to maintain the top gloss output of ANY pigment ink printer far exceeding the output of Epson even with OEM inks. This is the sweet spot.
Question: I see some resellers are offering all 12 aftermarket colors. Why did you decide to retain 4 Canon OEM ink colors out of 12.
Answer: Again this is an excellent question and you will come to appreciate why we did this. Firstly, the Pro-1000 is still the best printer to produce pigment glossy images. We found that Canon produces an excellent gloss optimizer and it is not easily duplicated. Canon is able to get the glossy ingredients into their optimizer right at the cloud point and retain stability. Aftermarket chemists are very wary of trying to duplicate this and could not vouch for reliability if they did. So essentially it is a printhead saving issue. As for the yellow, Canon has a very intense yellow hue that is not available in aftermarket pigment stocks. The Red has a long history starting in the Pro-10 where it was shown it was a very specific unique Red that is vital to the print engine performance and profiling does not fix the missing red if Non OEM is used. Finally the blue is also very intense and aftermarket attempts to get the same intensity led to a point where the ink jetting aspects were becoming compromised and could not maintain linearity. What this shows is the very high performance colors Canon is taking advantage of.
Finally recognizing that this could be one of the last printers that is easily refillable and also recognizing the aspect that we are trying to refill one of the  best printers, it would not do justice to simply throw 12 inks into the print and say "Hey Look" it prints. We at Precision Colors desired to maintain the key aspects of the Pro-1000 and yet have savings. So we elected to MAKE SURE that the inks we offer will provide excellent prints, matching the potential of the Pro-1000. It would be such a shame to purchase a high performance vehicle and not put decent tires on it to harness the potential. Well like tires, low performance inks on a Pro-1000 simply would not make sense to a sane person.