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Epson EcoTank ET-8550 printer setup

  |   Article, Articles and reviews, Epson Printer, Printer reviews, Printing   |   5 Comments

Setup: Epson EcoTank ET-8550 printer

A3+ multifunction printer setup


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Keith Cooper looks at the initial out of the box setup for the Epson ET-8550 EcoTank printer.

The 13″ width A3+ printer is the first ‘cartridge free’ or tank based printer Keith has looked at for a detailed review.

There will be a comprehensive review of the printer in due course, with a particular emphasis on colour and B&W print quality on different media types used with the printer.

The review will be complemented with a range of short YouTube videos exploring aspects of using the printer.

Keith has a video (25m) covering the setup process >

8550-set-of-inks

Setting up the ET-8550

The ET-8550 is a 6 ink A3+ (13″ width) multifunction printer. What sets it apart is that you fill internal ink tanks with ink from bottles rather than use the usual cartridges. I’ll be looking at its performance and picture quality in other articles – this one just covers initial setup.

There is a printed guide and instructions are displayed on the screen.

The web based setup guide is a good one and I’d generally recommend following it through.

This is accessed via epson.sn

You can use it to install just a driver, by skipping through sections

web-setup

The physical setup is shown too.

initial-setup

Out of the box

It is well packed – as well as the usual instruction sheet, there is a (Win only) CD installer, and a large plastic bag.

This is, it seems for, shipping. I’ll come back to moving the printer later.

opened-box

There is a large amount of blue tape to remove.

The six ink bottles open easily for loading.

ready-to-set-up

The first black is a pigment black, used for text printing and with the others on some media.

The other five inks are dye based, giving the usual CMYK range with a grey ink for more even tonality and light colours

set-of-inks

Note the wired ports USB/Ethernet at the back.

Do not connect up either of these at this stage.

wired-ports

Lifting the lid (that’s both the scanner and main top cover) shows a cover over where the inks are to be installed.

ink-port-cover

Powering up and ink fill

Once it’s all unpacked, you can plug in the printer and fire it up.

The screen will guide you through steps needed.

Under the grey panel are the covers for each ink tank

ink-fill-ports

These flip up to allow filling.

filling-point

Loading ink

There are warnings to make sure you use the right inks.

use-correct-ink

Fortunately, the bottles are also physically ‘keyed’ to only fit in the right position.

bottle-keying

First up is the black. You can actually hear a quiet ‘glugging’ noise as the ink flows.

DO NOT squeeze the bottle

You can see the ink level below, just before showing as full (the top mark).

black-filled

There is some ink left over after the fill – I’ll come back to this later. At the moment, just replace the lid and carry on filling all carts.

yellow-ink-left

Here’s the last one – grey.

grey-ink-fill-1

Initialisation

Once all the inks are loaded, the printer needs to fill the ink lines and the print head.

initialising

This takes a few minutes and is accompanied by assorted noises from the printer.

initialise-complete

There is a maintenance cart already fitted to the printer for waste ink. It’s unlikely to need replacing until you’ve done quite a lot of prints.

maintenance-box

The printer will want to do a test print, which will need some plain paper loading in the main tray.

load-paper

A nozzle check shows all is well.

nozzle-check

You could also run the alignment check at this point, but it needs several sheets of paper. I left this until after I’d set up the printer.

Setting up networking and software

The next step is to connect the printer up to a computer some way, in order to print.  There is the option earlier of downloading a remote control panel to a phone, so you could set up the printer that way. However I want to test photo printing quality, and that isn’t going to happen with mobile devices…

The setup web page I’ve connected to earlier offers to download the Epson install software – it’s similar for Win PCs but we don’t have any of them here.

download-software

A double check about the ink.

finished-filling

The software checks to see what’s currently connected.

check-network

The printer is found via its WiFi connection.

use-wireless

I could at this point decide to use ethernet or USB, but wireless will suffice.

There’s quite a range of software available – I pick everything since it won’t duplicate what you already might have installed.

software-to-install

At this point I’d note that the Epson Print Layout software is not included here. This is actually very useful software which I’ll be using during some of my testing. I’ve used it with the Epson P700, P900 and XP-15000 recently – see the reviews and articles for more.

It can be downloaded here: Epson Print Layout

Note that this is the US link – the link on the UK site has had dead links on it several times

download-driver

The driver will install and ask if you want to add the printer to the printers list.

Once this is completed, there is the option of printing a test page – always worthwhile checking.

test-page

Firmware updates?

During setup, you may be asked to download a firmware update – this is definitely worth doing, especially with a newly released printer, where there may well have been minor changes/updates since the printer left the factory.

The printer will download, install and restart itself. Just be sure not to power off the printer during the process.

Macs and the AirPrint driver problem

It’s possible to install a simplified ‘AirPrint’ driver on Macs, which usually shows up when people wonder why half the control settings have vanished from their printer dialogs.

The newer Epson installers are better at avoiding this but I did just check the system prefs to be sure. All is well.

not-airprint

Filling the ink tanks back to full

After setting up the printer, the levels in each tank have fallen, however I have some spare ink left.

This is visible in the printer and via the printer driver info.

ink-levels-after-charge

The ink bottle is just re-applied to the printer to use the remaining ink (grey in this case).

Once again – do not squeeze the bottle – it will just flow as needed.

grey-ink-top-up

The levels are not particularly clear to photograph, but a flashlight off to one side helps.

after-top-up

Now, if you check levels in the driver, it won’t show a change. You need to go to the refilling section in the printer maintenance section of the menu.

select-colour-re-filled

I’m just doing the grey at this point.

is-it-fullgrey-reset

It now shows up in the driver.

ink-topped-up

This disconnect from direct monitoring of levels is a significant change in how you think about ink use and is something I’ll come back to in the main review.

Moving the printer

The ink tanks need an air opening to allow for falling levels and changes in atmospheric pressure. This means that the printer will not take kindly to being tipped up much during shipping, and that there is a serious danger of the ink siphoning out.

It’s for this reason that it is very important to lock the print head when shipping. It’s also why there are several labels pointing this out.

There is a blue latch shown here in the normal operating position.

head-unlocked

This is lifted up

locking

and locks down to prevent head movement

locked

There is also a large plastic bag provided, to wrap the printer in when shipping – just in case.

Specifications

Technology
  • Printing Method: 6-colour inkjet printer
  • Nozzle Configuration: 360 Nozzles Black, 180 Nozzles per Color
  • Minimum Droplet Size: 1.5 pl, With Variable-Sized Droplet Technology
  • Printing Resolution: 5,760 x 1,440 DPI
  • Category: Home, Photo
  • All-in-One Functions: Print, Scan, Copy
Print
  • Printing Speed ISO/IEC 24734: 16 pages/min Monochrome, 12 pages/min Colour
  • Printing Speed: 32 pages/min Monochrome (plain paper 75 g/m²), 32 pages/min Colour (plain paper 75 g/m²), 25 Seconds per 10 x 15 cm photo (Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper)
  • Colours: Black, Photo Black, Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Grey
Scan
  • Optical Resolution: 1,200 DPI x 4,800 DPI (Horizontal x Vertical)
  • Output formats: BMP, JPEG, TIFF, multi-TIFF, PDF, searchable PDF, PNG
  • Scanner type: Contact image sensor (CIS)
Paper/Media handling
  • Number of paper trays: 3
  • Paper Formats: A3+, A3 (29.7×42.0 cm), A4 (21.0×29.7 cm), A5 (14.8×21.0 cm), A6 (10.5×14.8 cm), B5 (17.6×25.7 cm), B6 (12.5×17.6 cm), C6 (Envelope), DL (Envelope), No. 10 (Envelope), Letter, 10 x 15 cm, 13 x 18 cm, 100 x 148 mm, User defined, B4 (25.7×36.4 cm), Legal, Executive
  • Duplex: Yes (A4, plain paper)
  • Rear paper path (special media): Yes
  • Media Handling: Automatic duplex (A4, plain paper), Borderless print, CD/DVD print, Fine Art Paper Path, Rear specialty media feed, Thick Media Support
General
  • Energy Use: 17 Watt (standalone copying, ISO/IEC 24712 pattern), 0.8 Watt (sleep mode), 7.5 Watt (Ready), 0.3 Watt (Power off), TEC 0.16 kWh/week
  • Supply Voltage: AC 220 V – 240 V, 50 Hz – 60 Hz
  • Product dimensions: 523‎ x 379 x 169 mm (Width x Depth x Height)
  • Product weight: 11.1 kg
  • Noise Level: 5 B (A) with Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper / Photo RPM mode – 37 dB (A) with Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper / Photo RPM mode
  • Compatible Operating Systems: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Windows 10 (32/64 bit), Windows 7 (32/64 bit), Windows 8 (32/64 bit), Windows 8.1 (32/64 bit), Windows Vista, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2 or later, Windows XP SP3 or later (32-bit),
  • Included Software: Epson Photo+, Epson ScanSmart, EpsonNet Config
  • Interfaces: USB, Ethernet, Wireless LAN IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, USB host, SD Card Slot
  • Mobile and Cloud printing services: Apple AirPrint
  • What’s in the box: AC cable, Ink set, Quick Start Guide, Warranty document
  • Colour: Black
Other Features
  • Panel: Type: Color, Touchscreen, Diagonal: 10.9 cm
  • Memory Cards: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MicroSD*, MicroSDHC*, MicroSDXC*, MiniSD*, MiniSDHC*, Mini SDXC* (* Adaptor required, not supplied in box)
  • Features: Touchscreen, PictBridge, Direct Print, Direct print from USB

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5 Comments
  • Keith | Jun 16, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks!

  • Sergio Tovar | Jun 14, 2021 at 4:01 pm

    I’ve recently ordered the ET8550 to try my hand at printing my photos, and your video reviews were awesome sources of information! Looking forward to seeing the full review and get the full scoop on paper selection and profiles.

    Regards,

    Sergio

  • kasra | Jun 10, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Thank you very much!
    Looking forward to reading your full review.

    Kind regards,
    Kasra

  • Keith | Jun 9, 2021 at 11:24 am

    Yes – I’ll have B&W info when I finish the written review – see also the YT video. You just need to be careful in choosing papers

  • kasra yousefi | Jun 8, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Keith,

    Thank you very much for your informative reviews and advice about printing and photography. I’ve learnt a lot about choices of paper and printer from your YouTube channel. In particular, I enjoyed your recent ET-8550 review and black and white photography video.

    I’m planning to purchase ET-8550 to practice black and white printing and “viewing my work” without worrying about the cost of cartridges.

    While I plan to use it primarily for personal projects and gifts to friends, do you think it can produce black and white prints for sale or exhibitions?

    Kind regards,
    Kasra

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