How to Identify Epson DX5 Printhead is Locked or Unlocked?

Over time, the Epson DX5 has been the most common-used type for wide format printer, especially works more beautifully on UV printers. But that doesn’t mean as far as you buy Epson DX5 printhead, there are no troubles at all. Because there are locked and unlocked Epson DX5 head existing in the market. And those unlocked are divided into 1st encrypted and 2nd encrypted.

Why lock Epson DX5 printhead

In fact, Epson head on the domestic market is mostly removed from Epson desktop printers or bought from Epson’s dealers. And in the year of 2012, To protect Epson own printer sales, Epson added an encryption code into the DX5 memory board to prevent it from being used by domestic printer brands and models. But locked printheads cause printing errors frequently, failing to print at all. Still, these unusable printheads are sold by unscrupulous manufacturers on the market.

Unlocked Epson DX5 printhead

Several months later, an enterprising engineer developed a memory card that removed the code and unlocked the printhead, making it usable again. They are referring to as ‘first time locked’ heads.

However, Epson found ways to lock Epson DX5 printhead again, and that is ‘second time locked’.
That is the reason for both locked and unlocked DX5 printheads on the market.

Knowing which is the right Printhead

Buying a locked printhead can be an expensive mistake, so how can we identify the locked and unlocked DX5?
There is an easy way to spot unlocked DX5 when purchasing, that is through the connector layout for the print head.

A locked printhead has contacts at each edge while the unlocked has contacts at the middle.
The gap between them is also different.

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