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Dating of Canon inkjet cartridges

Thanks to responses to inquiries of eBay sellers, as well as my own
past purchases, I have been able to decode the date of manufacture of
Canon inkjet cartridges, at least for the BC-20 (large black
cartridge), the BC-21 (color cartridge), and the BCI-21 ink tanks that
go into the BC-21.

I believe that the 7-character batch number stamped on the botton of
the cardboard box contains the date of manufacture in the 2nd, 3rd, and
4th characters.  The 2nd character is the month, starting with 1 for
January, running to 9 for September.  October, November, and December
are O, N, and D.  The 3rd and 4th characters represent the year.  I
don't know what the other characters mean.  The BC-20 comes sealed in
an inner tub with a plastic-foil cover seal.  The edge of this seal
also has the batch number.

I haven't asked anyone at Canon to verify this scheme, but it has been
confirmed in several ways to my satisfaction.  For example, in February
2005 Canon replaced two bad cartridges for me with fresh stock from
Canon's warehouse.  Those three characters on these replacement boxes
were D04, which I think means they were made in December 2004.  Another
example: someone recently offered a BC-20 on eBay.  The photo shows a
very old-style box, printed in black only.  Its batch number is 1796D15
-- i.e., made in July 1996.

The style of the BC-20 boxes has changed at least five times and gives
a clue to the age of the cartridge within.  As Canon brought out new
printers that accepted this cartridge, they would add additional lines
to the list of printers on the face of the box.  The all-black box I
mentioned just above (as well as I can make out from the fuzzy photo)
has two lines listing the printers that accept the cartridge.  The
earliest red and black boxes that I have seen list 5 printers, and a
date I deduced from such a box was 7/98.  Some boxes that show 6 lines
on the face have a date of 5/99.  Other eBay sellers show photos of
boxes with 7 lines; the dates I deduced from their batch numbers were
5/00 and 7/00.  Later, Canon started listing 11 lines of printers on
the face of the box; two of these boxes have batch numbers including
N/03 and D/04.

Of course, the date of manufacture does not necessarily reveal the
useful life of a cartridge.  I have found some six- and seven-year-old
sealed cartridges that worked fine, while a few that were only three or
four years old never worked.  A thread on Google groups in Sept. 2001
contains a note by a retailer that 2 to 5% of brand new cartridges from
all manufacturers are faulty.  But aside from such rare occurrences,
the information above has helped me decide whether to buy an old
cartridge.

0
halbertm
6/6/2005 12:18:59 AM
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Thank you.  I refill but occasionally need a new start.  Was always puzzled 
by the date code.

-- 
Remove -NOSPAM- to contact me. 


0
John
6/8/2005 2:19:59 AM
Supplement to my previously-posted observations:

A few days ago I bought a Canon BC-20 cartridge via eBay.  Its box
design is different from the ones I described before in three respects.
 (1). The box is printed in English plus four or five Asian languages,
instead of the usual English, French, and Spanish.  (2). Unlike any
boxes I have seen before, printed on the bottom of the box are the
words "Install before" in English and five Asian languages; close by is
a date, namely "2005.01", stamped just above the batch number.  (3).
The face of the box lists only four lines of printers, not 11, even
though the batch number includes D03 (indicating by my rule that the
date of manufacture was Dec. 2003), a recently-made package.

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emelvy
6/11/2005 4:39:11 PM
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emelvy wrote:

>Supplement to my previously-posted observations:
>
>A few days ago I bought a Canon BC-20 cartridge via eBay.  
>
*
WELCOME TO EBAY* :-(

>Its box
>design is different from the ones I described before in three respects.
> (1). The box is printed in English plus four or five Asian languages,
>instead of the usual English, French, and Spanish.  (2). Unlike any
>boxes I have seen before, printed on the bottom of the box are the
>words "Install before" in English and five Asian languages; close by is
>a date, namely "2005.01", stamped just above the batch number.  (3).
>The face of the box lists only four lines of printers, not 11, even
>though the batch number includes D03 (indicating by my rule that the
>date of manufacture was Dec. 2003), a recently-made package.
>
>  
>

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emelvy wrote:<br>
<blockquote
 cite="mid1118507951.469729.251770@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com"
 type="cite">
  <pre wrap="">Supplement to my previously-posted observations:

A few days ago I bought a Canon BC-20 cartridge via eBay.  </pre>
</blockquote>
<big><big><big><big><b><br>
WELCOME TO EBAY</b></big></big></big></big><span class="moz-smiley-s2"><span>
:-( </span></span><br>
<blockquote
 cite="mid1118507951.469729.251770@g43g2000cwa.googlegroups.com"
 type="cite">
  <pre wrap="">Its box
design is different from the ones I described before in three respects.
 (1). The box is printed in English plus four or five Asian languages,
instead of the usual English, French, and Spanish.  (2). Unlike any
boxes I have seen before, printed on the bottom of the box are the
words "Install before" in English and five Asian languages; close by is
a date, namely "2005.01", stamped just above the batch number.  (3).
The face of the box lists only four lines of printers, not 11, even
though the batch number includes D03 (indicating by my rule that the
date of manufacture was Dec. 2003), a recently-made package.

  </pre>
</blockquote>
</body>
</html>

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0
measekite
6/11/2005 7:22:57 PM
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