printer hack, anyone ??

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printer hack, anyone ??

Postby dusper4 » January 12th, 2013, 4:45 pm

So I have an epson nx330 and it has those chipped ink cartridges with 9 electrodes. and i bought one of those commercial chip resetters and it worked for the black but it made the colors unrecognizable. Yea i can buy new ink its not all that much but i wanna get in the back door of this printer and force it to read these chips correctly. anyone help me with that??
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Re: printer hack, anyone ??

Postby st2000 » January 13th, 2013, 9:44 pm

Ug, no, can't really help. All I can do is describe what I would do If I were Epson. Afterwards you can figure out if you want to go to the trouble of breaking the code. That is, if this is what they do...

I would go to and enter in my company's / product's secret key and order up a bunch of chips. It's tricky how does this, but it is suppose to be such that no one except you will know what the entire secret key is. Once done I would put these chips into my ink cartridges and inside my printers. Now, the printer's processor generates a pseudo random key that is passed to the chip in the printer as well as to the chip on the ink cartridge. Both chips return a hashed value which is dependent on the secret key inside the chips. If they match, the ink cartridge is authentic. If they don't the printer does not work.

Now, to save money, I might skip the 2nd chip and do the hash with the secret key inside the printer's processor. This does run the risk of exposing the secret key as it must be somewhere the processor can access it.

Also, to save money, I don't use a true random number generator. I create pseudo random number using software. Sooner or later I'll run out of numbers. If a pattern of numbers can be found, that weakness can be exploited. That is, the response for a particular number may be learned with out knowing what the secret key value is.
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Re: printer hack, anyone ??

Postby dusper4 » January 14th, 2013, 7:42 am

Well that sounds like a pain in the a$$!Which is prolly why I couldn't find any info. i was hoping you could just get into the code and change a few parameters around. Thx for the reply tho.
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Re: printer hack, anyone ??

Postby UAirLtd » January 14th, 2013, 3:53 pm

Printer makers go to great lengths to prevent reuse of ink cartridges or 3rd party ink cartridges, because their money comes from selling ink (which is a consumable that people would buy on a regular basis) rather than printers (which is a commodity that people might only buy a few of in a lifetime). So it's unlikely that they can be reset using a simple method.

Printer ink is something like 3 times more expensive per unit volume than fine champagne.

I had my own struggles with printer ink on my printers (I won't mention brands), I had been using 3rd party ink tanks, which are cheaper than "official" ink, but they actually turned out to be recycled "official" cartridges (since it's easier I guess to just refill an official cartridge and resell that instead of trying to reverse engineer the cartridge authentication system which is probably protected by various legal systems that would get any 3rd party manufacturer sued). These ink cartridges often had damaged print heads, producing bad quality print.

So then I tried using ink refill kits that involves drilling a hole in the cartridge and injecting ink into the tank. This works great (albeit fiddly and messy), UNTIL I discovered that after a few refills, the printer starts rejecting the ink cartridge, and the cartridge wouldn't work on my other printer either (different model, but took the same ink cartridges). It seems like the cartridge authentication chip has an additional layer of protection that probably records the number of insertion/removals from the printer, and the printer will reject any cartridge that's been inserted/removed too many times while the ink status is low. Sneaky.

Finally, I use a CISS now, which feeds the ink cartridges directly via tubes to an external ink tank. This works well and is a good investment on the long run (costing about the same as two "official" ink cartridges")

I hope any day now someone makes an "open source" printer that would totally destroy this super-expensive "official ink" thing.
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Re: printer hack, anyone ??

Postby AlexPizza » April 5th, 2013, 12:33 am

I thin Uair has given a nice solution.Have you tried that?

replacement ink
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