DeskJet 500C

Inkjet Selection:

Name: DeskJet 500C
Product Number: C2114A
Introduced: 1991
Division: Vancouver
Ad: Click to see
Original Price: $1095
Catalog Reference: 1994, page 34


The DeskJet 500C was HP's first 300 dpi colour printer. It was truly a marvel of chemistry, fluids and mechanics. Its only major drawback was that it produced a "process black" rather than a true black colour. The 500C shipped with only a single, tri-chamber colour cartridge (with cyan, magenta and yellow inks). To make the colour black, it mixed the three primary colours (which actually produced a grayish-greenish colour). But nevermind, other than the process balck, the colour output from the machine compared very well to other colour printers of the time costing ten times as much. The 500C was also fast. And, when users only needed to print black output, they could replace the colour cartridge with the standard black DeskJet cartridge and get near laser-quality output.

The DeskWriter C (C2113A) was introduced in August of 1991 and priced at $1,095. The DeskWriter C had the same specifications as the DeskJet 500C, but included an AppleTalk interface for connection to Macintosh computers.

Collector's Notes:

The early DeskJet printers are still very reliable as of 2014. These printers have external power supplies, built in to the power cord. The museum has more than two dozen of these power supplies, and they all work fine. In the last ten years, we have seen over fifteen of these printers. All except one was fully functional. The biggest challenge with the old DeskJets is in the print cartridge. If you use the printer every week, you probably won't have any problems. But, if the printer is idle for a month or more, you will likely get clogged print nozzles. Sometimes, this can be fixed by swiping the nozzles with a lint-free isopropyl alcohol cloth. If the print cartridge hasn't been used for many months, you can often get it working again by wrapping it in a flame-proof cloth and heating it in an oven. We don't recommend this process unless you really know what you are doing.


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