By Frank Kendrick

Originally published in EUG #13

About three years ago I managed to get a couple of printers cheap for parts, motors, etc. One was a Diablo 630 daisy-wheel and the other was an Amstrad MP-165+. After cleaning etc, they both self-tested OK.

So far I have been unabel to get a new ribbon cartridge for the Amstrad, so what I did was soak the inserts from six felt-tipped pens in a little hot water. This produces enough ink to fill a coffee jar. I leave my cartridge in this overnight, remove, drain well, dry, clean, replace in the printer and it prints! I have used this idea for colouring Fancy Dress costumes in the past and I thought why not printer ribbons. (Nothing ventured, nothing gained.)

Frank Kendrick
Walsall, West Midlands

At the risk of turning this into a non-computer related chat over the garden fence, I have to say that in my younger days I used to make excellent drawing inks by soaking crepe paper in hot water. One pack of paper made pints of ink which were far cheaper than the tiny bottles available in Art-supply shops - but buy, was it a messy process?! It is best done about 500 miles from civilisation in a disposable container whilst wearing a wet-suit. [Sorry I turned your bath pink, mum! - Will] When the fabric of your ribbon does finally wear through, you could try getting a replacement by contacting:-

      "Ribbons & Things"
      8C Treefields,
      Tel: 01280 817217

We recently sent a cheque for £9.00 to them as payment for three (Yes, three!) ribbons for our Panasonic KX-P1081. They were sent by return of post with a full invoice plus a penny stamp because the exact price including VAT was £8.99! Excellent service - thoroughly recommended!

Will Watts, EUG #13