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Old 08-01-2007, 12:11   #1
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Advice on Mobile Printers/Scanners

Hi fellow crusiers,

A good friend, my brother and I are embarking on a 3-year circumnavigation starting in only 6 short months. EEK! We have had a tonne of good advice regarding the value of having a nice compact printer/scanner on board. In a perfect world we would need one that is robust, small, black and white, with a refillable ink cartridge. I have searched the internet (ad nauseum) and am still unable to find the perfect model.

Does anyone out there have any advice/reviews on printer/scanner models to pass on!?

Thanks in advance,
Ryan
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Old 08-01-2007, 13:18   #2
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We have an HP 1200 all in one color scanner, printer, copier. That model is now obsolete, but there are newer versions. It is straight forward, simple cube envelope, easy paper feed. We paid about $100 and you can still get something similar at that. Check out the F380 at staples Staples.comŽ. that was easyŽ.

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Old 08-01-2007, 17:20   #3
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Pardon my ignorance,

but why would you need a scanner/printer on a boat. I barely need one at home. In the office I only need a printer. Please enlighten me.
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Old 08-01-2007, 17:44   #4
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I'll bite. You need all that stuff because when you live aboard, life can get tricky with mail, paperwork, etc... Many companies put weird "security" restrictions on you that force you to get things via fax or whatever. You need to be able to scan/print lots of things out so you can still manage your affairs while at sea.
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Old 08-01-2007, 18:59   #5
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Ryan-
"refillable ink cartridge. " Forget about that. Ink refills are available for anything, but often result in a mess, or in clogging the print head (major expense to replace on some models), or in images that are very much off-color if you plan to print photos from them. (Probably not your concern.)
Exploring ink refills is something you don't want to confuse with any other issue. Most of the combo machines will also be fax machines, which you may not need, so a cheaper inkjet plus a separate compact LED-type scanner (i.e. Canonscan) might do better for you, WHEN one of htem breaks you still have the other.<G>
Beware that all the inks have shelf lives, typically 2 years from the date on the box while sealed, and only six months after opening, whichever comes first. So you buy some spares and go...and the big names like HP, Canon, Epson, probably will be available around the world, along with ink refill kits if you must. I don't know anyone who has stuck to refill kits for any length of time...after the first spill, leak, or printhead replacement. Some of the magazine reviews will show you the cost per page, some of the inkjets are more economical than others.

Laser toner is cheaper still, about 10x cheaper. Yes, it takes more power but even color lasers are down to $400 now. If you plan to set up a printing press aboard, that might be worth looking at too. Not sure how the continual damp will agree with them though.<G>
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Old 09-01-2007, 19:16   #6
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Cheers for the advice and chat!

I have been looking into a bunch of different options, and have concluded that super compact (although attractive) is not worth the price. I like the idea of having the separate printing and scanning option....
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Old 10-01-2007, 07:11   #7
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Why scanner, etc. When I check in with immigration or customs, I am able to hand them a copy of every document that they can keep. They love that. They're happy = my entry goes easier. You need a copy of your cruising permit to give customs to get that replacement part duty free?

Boat cards. There has been another thread here about that and it is great to print your own.

Someone else got a nice picture of your boat underway and you want a copy? Scan it. You borrow a detail chart of a harbor you want to enter, scan it and/or copy it.

I could go on.

Laser is nice, but if you want color you are out of the compact size. Ink cartridges last a long time, are small and easy to store, and in your circumnavigation, you will get to the occaisional large city where they are readily available.

As cruising budgets go, they are very small item.

Compact size and multi-function are be my priorities.
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Old 30-01-2008, 09:02   #8
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I'd like to bring this back up.
At home, I've had 2 printers stop printing because they sat for a while. I bought new cartridges and that didn't help. Seems the printer nozzle can jam up.
Any suggestions on a good printer that can sit for 3 months and still work fine?
Scanner would be nice. Small is good too.
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Old 30-01-2008, 09:39   #9
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"Any suggestions on a good printer that can sit for 3 months and still work fine?"
Dot matrix or laser, inkjet won't work. If you must go inkjet, look for one with the ink nozzles in the cartridge instead of "permanent" in the machine, that way whenthey clog--as they will--you can easily replace them with a new cart.
In clogs, it has been that way since quill pens. Pretty much every inkjet maker says the same thing, you must print a page every week or so to keep the ink unclogged. And, the carts will expire two years from date of manufacture EVEN SEALED AND UNUSED and within six months from the time you open them up--even if you don't use them at all. Anything more than that is just called "better luck".
If you seal the ink cartridges (stored vertically as they are used) in an airtight container with some moisture (and antifungal) they may keep longer. If they clog, letting them soak in glycol(?) overnight may unclog them, this is supplied as a cleaning fluid in many refill kits.
And no matter what you do, refilling the carts will make a mess.

If you get a laser printer, seal the cartridge airtight with dessicant to keep it from clotting up. They have the opposite problem, they don't like humidity.

Overall? The dot matrix printer is still the most robust.<G> Old, slow, ugly...but robust.
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Old 30-01-2008, 09:53   #10
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We have a separate printer and scanner. We don't have an "All-in-One" unit as all the ones we've seen are way too big!

Printer: We've have a Canon i-80 for over 3 years. Works great. I believe that the nozzle is replaced with the cartridge and we've not had problems with it sitting for months without use. The current model, I think, is the IP90v

Scanner: We have a Visioneer scanner it also works great. Check their website for current "mobile" models Visioneer scanner, paperport, photo scanner

Both are mobile units designed for the "road warrior". They're easy to store and set up. Great performance too.

We've found the scanner extremely valuable to be able to scan and store important documents:
Passports
Temporary Import Permit
Vessel Documentation
Radio Licenses
Insurance Certificate
Marriage Certificate (my wife didn't change her last name so we're occasionally asked for it)
etc.

We can then print a supply of copies for checking in and out of ports/marinas and upload the image files to a safe repository off the boat as backup.

We've also emailed updated documents (insurance, vessel documentation) to our Marina when the old ones expired and new ones were issued while we were away.

Very handy gadgets.
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Old 30-01-2008, 10:08   #11
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Thanks guys
Is there an easy way to tell if the printer has the nozzle in the machine or in the cartridge?
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Old 30-01-2008, 12:33   #12
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Quote:
Is there an easy way to tell if the printer has the nozzle in the machine or in the cartridge?
I'm not aware of any cartridge machine that does not contain the nozzle in the cartridge.
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Old 30-01-2008, 12:34   #13
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Ask the manufacturer. Each tends to stick to one technology. HP, in the cart. Epson, in the printer. And so on. And when a model gets to be maybe five years old--finding new carts can get real hard, unless it was very very popular.
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Old 30-01-2008, 15:20   #14
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I have a canon IP90 Ive only had it about 2 months, but so far I love it. I up-dated from an old HP 660CSe I got to where I hated that thing.
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Old 30-01-2008, 16:07   #15
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Refill Ink

I have an "old" Canon S800 that has separate tanks for each colour.

The original ink worked well until it ran out then I ordered a refill kits from
Printer Refills Cartridge Toner Inkjet Bubblejet Printer Ink Australia - Easyrefills.com.au

Their ink seemed to work at least as well as the original. The only problem is that they like you to buy a lot of ink each time. Each batch lasts me a few years.

I tried printer ink from my local megastore. The printer clogged up quite quickly.

There is a clean function in the software that seems to "fix" the problem.
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