Canon MP560 printer - two black ink cartridges?

  br1anstorm 01:19 AM 31 Oct 11
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My Canon MP560 - and I believe most other similar Canon printer/scanner devices - has three colour cartridges (C,M,Y) and a matching-size 521 BK black one. It also has a second, larger 520 PGBK black ink tank.

I print mostly text documents (black text with occasional limited colour elements). So the small black tank is used much more quickly than the colour ones - and when it is empty the printer shows dire warnings about not continuing until a new tank is fitted (even though the large black tank and the three colour ones are still full).

Why won't the printer switch to using black ink from the larger PGBK tank? How can I control, or manage, which black ink cartridge is used and when? Are the black inks different? I have heard it said that the small black ink, like the colour cartridges, is 'photo quality' while the larger PGBK ink is intended for text. If that is so, why is my text-printing using up the small "photo-ink" black cartridge?

I realise that one route may be to switch to "grayscale" printing. I presume - but cannot easily verify - that this would draw ink from the larger black tank. But to do this would prevent the very few coloured bits (eg in the letterheading) from appearing as they should, in colour.

Any advice or explanation would be appreciated.

  morddwyd 07:21 AM 31 Oct 11

I understand the PGBK tank has a different pigment and is only used for photo printing.

  br1anstorm 12:03 PM 31 Oct 11

Thanks for that comment Morddwyd. But I wonder, can anyone confirm what you say? I had always understood that it was the other way round: that the small 521 BK tank, which is the same size and code as the coloured inks, was the one for photo printing, and the larger 520 PGBK tank was the ink for text-printing.

  anniesboy 12:16 PM 31 Oct 11

I think it is the other way round. I have a new Canon MG5200,I dont do any photo printing ,I have just replaced the large black,the small black is unused.

  morddwyd 19:51 PM 31 Oct 11

That would be the more logical solution, of course.

Perhaps I misunderstood.

  br1anstorm 21:01 PM 31 Oct 11

Hmm... OK, so the smaller black tank seems more likely to be the photo-ink one. But if so, why does it empty when I'm printing off text documents?

The wider question remains: how does the machine "decide" which black ink to use? Or perhaps more relevant, how can I, as user, select which black ink tank should be used?

  br1anstorm 23:20 PM 01 Nov 11

Richard - that figures. The MP540 and MP560 are virtually the same, and that quote makes sense makes sense.

FWIW, I have the printer set on "standard" printing, which is the default (and obviously I can choose colour or 'greyscale'). I'm using plain A4, not glossy photo-quality paper.

I have this nagging recollection that I have read somewhere that there are two ways of controlling and adjusting printer-settings: either via your computer (whose drivers control the printer) or somehow more directly on the printer itself. But I'm not now sure if that is indeed possible.

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