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  1. #1
    Full Member kindergartenchats's Avatar
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    Default Pen Plotters with Autocad

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    Hi, New to the group. Our office is currently using Autocad 2006 with Windows XP. We would like to purchase a pen plotter (thinking about an HP7475A) to plot presentation drawings on mylar or vellum. In reading through previous posts it looks like there are drivers available (Roland DXY980 plotter Driver for one) that will work with Autocad (using a special Null Modem Cable) . I was wondering if anyone has used a pen plotter with Autocad 2006 and if they could share any tips & tricks to help get us started. Many thanks!

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    Just curious. Why a pen plotter? Why not an inkjet? I'm sure you could find one "slightly used" for a good price given the economy. Is this a used pen plotter? If so, how old is it and are pens still available?
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    I think Acad 2006 is too new for pen plotter drivers. The plotters tend to only work on Operating Systems up to Win 98. That being the last year that pen text worked OK.

    If you can get a ADI 4.2 driver to work, tell us how then.

    Wm.

  4. #4
    Full Member kindergartenchats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReMark View Post
    Just curious. Why a pen plotter? Why not an inkjet? I'm sure you could find one "slightly used" for a good price given the economy. Is this a used pen plotter? If so, how old is it and are pens still available?
    Hi ReMark, we have an HP Designjet for our large format/daily printing. Using a pen plotter is more of a left-field idea as we were thinking to plot presentation/archival quality drawings using one of these. The quality of line using a pen plotter can't be beat. From what I've read you can still purchase new old stock pens and/or can adapt old pens to be refillable.

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    Full Member kindergartenchats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coosbaylumber View Post
    I think Acad 2006 is too new for pen plotter drivers. The plotters tend to only work on Operating Systems up to Win 98. That being the last year that pen text worked OK.

    If you can get a ADI 4.2 driver to work, tell us how then.

    Wm.

    Hi Wm. Thank you for the intel - would you happen to know which version of Autocad worked with Win 98?

  6. #6
    Forum Deity Jack_O'neill's Avatar
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    There is a bit of software called Winline that claims to be able to run about any of the old serial plotters and printers and through the software you can even set these up as Windows system printers and use them with any program (word, excel, even paint). I've never used it myself, but it looks interesting. You can download a trial version from their website.

    A bit of cautionary advice...most of the older plotters were serial devices. Some of them used the parallel printer port. If your computer is new enough to not have these, you may have add one, or try a USB adapter. As I told someone in another thread, some of the brands of plotters like Ioline had proprietary cabling schemes as well. If you happen to pick one of those, you'll have to make your own cable as a standard serial cable won't work on those. The information on how to do that is available in most cases on the internet. I'm not familiar with the HP plotter you mentioned, but I don't think they were silly enough to do that. Some of the others would know better than I on those.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kindergartenchats View Post
    Hi Wm. Thank you for the intel - would you happen to know which version of Autocad worked with Win 98?

    Back in 1997, we had R-14 loaded up, and had ADI 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3 loaded on. The boss when and bought an H-P 650c, and we then used it mostly. Calcomp pen plotters work best under the 4 series of ADI drivers, but we had to load up some secondary software in order to get the H-P working. Then rearrange the Autoexec.bat file, make a special selection and it took off.

    We upgraded from Win95 to Win 98 and ME and never had any problems, but had to remember as to which computer was hooked up to what plotter. All data went to one server, and everyone worked their various way changing line types and colors as they wished the plot to come out, which caused much confusion. We went to a later version of ACAD, like 2000 or 2002 and the boss kept the H-P and I got the Calcomp then.

    Wm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_O'neill View Post
    There is a bit of software called Winline that claims to be able to run about any of the old serial plotters and printers and through the software you can even set these up as Windows system printers and use them with any program (word, excel, even paint). I've never used it myself, but it looks interesting. You can download a trial version from their website.
    I have used the WinLine plotter driver. It will work on only "Certain" plotters, and those plotters have to be configured a certain way too. It will not work on just any plotter they have in their extensive list. 'course you do not find this out until you buy the driver and go through their trouble shooting guide. You can get into the software a certain distance in configuring, but once you "press the button" nothing then happens.


    Wm.

  9. #9
    Full Member kindergartenchats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_O'neill View Post
    There is a bit of software called Winline that claims to be able to run about any of the old serial plotters and printers and through the software you can even set these up as Windows system printers and use them with any program (word, excel, even paint). I've never used it myself, but it looks interesting. You can download a trial version from their website.

    A bit of cautionary advice...most of the older plotters were serial devices. Some of them used the parallel printer port. If your computer is new enough to not have these, you may have add one, or try a USB adapter. As I told someone in another thread, some of the brands of plotters like Ioline had proprietary cabling schemes as well. If you happen to pick one of those, you'll have to make your own cable as a standard serial cable won't work on those. The information on how to do that is available in most cases on the internet. I'm not familiar with the HP plotter you mentioned, but I don't think they were silly enough to do that. Some of the others would know better than I on those.
    Hi Jack, Thank you for the info on this. I believe (though I haven't purchased one yet) that the HP7475A 6-pen plotter uses an HP_IB interface. Any thoughts on how to connect this fella to a newer computer (we don't have serial ports - only USB ports). Many thanks!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kindergartenchats View Post
    Hi Jack, Thank you for the info on this. I believe (though I haven't purchased one yet) that the HP7475A 6-pen plotter uses an HP_IB interface. Any thoughts on how to connect this fella to a newer computer (we don't have serial ports - only USB ports). Many thanks!
    I went to a local electronic swap meet and got one of the common $1 special Serial port adapter boards made by SIIG. Plug it into a slot on mother board, the BIOS says wat is new? and then it recognised as a new add-on.

    Have a couple here, all with gold colored painting for serial, parallele, and USB ports. $1 each and SIIG still has information on how to configure and install them at their web-site. You need to know waht was "last Used" number of serial port. The board will assume the next number in routine, and Autocad will then ask as to which cord out the backside of your computer goes to what.

    Wm.

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