Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Printer Ressurection

Having had pretty good luck on our Goodwill run a last month, Tara and I decided check out the various stores on the last 50% Saturday. We had a couple things we were looking for. Tara wanted to find a used fax machine instead of being reliant on the local Kinko's. I kinda wanted to look for a waffle iron. Yeah, I dream big.

In one of our first stores, we found a really nice Brother i770 fax machine for $6.50, after the discount. She spent $3 alone just faxing a page or two, so this seemed like a good deal.

We hit several other locations nearby and found a pair of jeans and a book I liked. Most of the waffle irons were either beat up or of questionable electrical standards.

At the Dunlap/7th Street location, we noticed that they seemed to have a ton of late-model HP printers. In looking them over, I noticed one that seemed to be Wi-Fi-enabled, a Deskjet 6840. I did a search of the model on my trusty BlackBerry, and it was indeed a wi-fi printer. There was no power supply, but for $7.50, it was too good for geeky me to pass up.

We ended up going from Happy Valley in N. Phoenix to checking out a few stores we hadn't been to before in Scottsdale and Mesa/Tempe. Tara found a desk she loved for $10, but we had no way to transport it, so she had to pass. Our final tally was the fax, printer, Lonesome Dove novel, two pair of shorts for me and a pair or two of jeans for her.

After we got home, I was able to go online and found a used power supply for $19 including shipping. It arrived on Thursday or Friday. I plugged it in and it came to life immediately. One hurdle down. Now we just had to get some ink cartridges for it. This past Saturday we went around to the various electrionics and office supply stores looking for refilled ink. New cartridges run from $25-$34 and since we weren't sure if the printer worked, I didn't want to spend that much only to find there was a problem. Even the few refills we found were over $20.

On a whim, we stopped into Big Lots and found a refilled color cartridge for only $8. We snagged that and proceeded to look at other Big Lots to see if they have the black one. No luck. We started our search too late to go to the local Cartridge World. They were closed by the time we got there. (They turned out to be nearly as expensive as the big stores) We went to K-Mart and they had a few refills, but no black. I installed the color cartridge when we got home, but all that came out was red ink. So now I didn't know if it was the printer or the cheap cartridge. The next morning I tried again, and it did all three colors for one test sheet, and then only red and yellow. So the printer seemed to work, but the ink seemed bad.

Sunday we tried some stores further away and had no luck either. On a random suggestion from Tara, we stopped into a Walgreens near where we were in Mesa. They actually had cartridges for the best prices so far: $12 for black and $15 for color. I grabbed a black one and we headed home.

I went to install the new cartridge and it didn't fit. Upon close inspection, it was a color cartridge that was in the box of a black one. Since the other color wasn't working right, I put the new one in and got all three colors. It worked great.

Monday I picked up a black cartridge at Walgreens (I checked before I bought it to make sure) and it worked too. After some trial and error, I was able to get the printer to be recognized on our wireless home network and now we can print from anywhere in the house. And for about half the price of a new printer. Not too bad in the current economy.

Oh, and the fax machine worked great from the moment we plugged it in.


Friend Mouse said...

Lonesome Dove novel - the original or one of the sequels? I love the original novel and the television miniseries they oh so faithfully made of it remains one of my all-time favorites. (Oh yeah, good shopping on the tech stuff too!)

Yankee1969 said...

It's a copy of Lonesome Dove with a copyright of 1985, so it predates the miniseries by a couple years. I love the miniseries. I haven't seen any of the sequels or tv series, though, and don't want to. The first was perfect.