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kindergartenchats

Pen Plotters with Autocad

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kindergartenchats
As mentioned earlier, you do know that even if you get it running, it will not be working any text other than some default type.

 

 

Wm.

 

 

Hi Wm. Thank you for the note. Do I have it right that I will need to run Autocad R14 with Windows 98 to get this type of HP pen plotter to work? (The earliest version of Autocad that we have is 2002.) Is it the newer Windows platforms that are of issue here or Autocad - or both?

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Coosbaylumber

You know, I do not know just who is at fault here. I do know that went we bought the H-P 650c plotter, we all had to reinstall Autocad. I think that once you "choose" a plotter it then automatically chooses permitted text fonts then too.

 

If you use a raster or thermal plotter/printer, then is goes to Windows and say , Here Is...

 

If you choose a pen plotter, then it goes to the Acad directory and says Here Is...

 

Per my old book it says Windows recognises only one pen font. It will alter things inside during installation time, and convert text so that the plotter/ptinter will understand. It does not say if this is automatic or not. Windows looks for files using Post Script, Dot matrix, Autocad Plotter, and something called HP PCL. I am supposed to look for font files using a (TrueType) .ttf or plotter languages using a FON type. Thre is some setting within the Windows Config function that converts everything, but how I don't know. I would assume that if you got several fonts being used it will only allow one then.

 

 

I do know that H-P does not understand pen languages without conversions, during that era.

 

Wm.

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kindergartenchats
You know, I do not know just who is at fault here. I do know that went we bought the H-P 650c plotter, we all had to reinstall Autocad. I think that once you "choose" a plotter it then automatically chooses permitted text fonts then too.

 

If you use a raster or thermal plotter/printer, then is goes to Windows and say , Here Is...

 

If you choose a pen plotter, then it goes to the Acad directory and says Here Is...

 

Per my old book it says Windows recognises only one pen font. It will alter things inside during installation time, and convert text so that the plotter/ptinter will understand. It does not say if this is automatic or not. Windows looks for files using Post Script, Dot matrix, Autocad Plotter, and something called HP PCL. I am supposed to look for font files using a (TrueType) .ttf or plotter languages using a FON type. Thre is some setting within the Windows Config function that converts everything, but how I don't know. I would assume that if you got several fonts being used it will only allow one then.

 

 

I do know that H-P does not understand pen languages without conversions, during that era.

 

Wm.

 

Hi Wm. If we don't have any text on the drawing file - only lines - would there be an issue with using more current versions of Windows/Autocad. We are planning on using this pen plotter for presentation line drawings only - no text. Thx!

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Jack_O'neill
Hi Jack, I purchased the HP 7475A (with an RS232 interface) that was listed on eBay. I figure it's worth a shot. I also sent an email to Vermes Technik to inquire about ink pens for this plotter (I found their contact info on the HP Museum web site, which notes that they still manufacture pens for all HP pen plotters - thank you for the link). I guess the next step is to purchase a USB to serial adaptor (I'm thinking about one from USB Gear) and to see if I can get this fella up and running using Autocad '06 and Windows XP. Many thanks again for your help!

 

Rapidograph (spelling?) also makes plotter pens in several styles. Good luck with it! Hope it works out for you.

 

This discussion has re-ignited my interest in getting that old Ioline working if I can. Wife's been after me to make her some big posters for her classroom. If I can make that thing work, sure would be easier.

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kindergartenchats
Rapidograph (spelling?) also makes plotter pens in several styles. Good luck with it! Hope it works out for you.

 

This discussion has re-ignited my interest in getting that old Ioline working if I can. Wife's been after me to make her some big posters for her classroom. If I can make that thing work' date=' sure would be easier.[/quote']

 

 

Thanks Jack. Would you happen to have a source for finding Rapidograph pens for these plotters? Ideally, I guess a refillable style would be best as you would then be able to keep things going without having to find a stash of disposable pens. Good deal on renewing the interest on your pen plotter. I've always been a fan of the quality of line this type of plotter gives - ink on mylar - it's a good thing!

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Coosbaylumber

I have used the converted Rapygraph on my Calcomp equipment. The adapters being sold tend to boost the pen too high in the holder, and then it whacks the clear cover from the bottom. I don't know how this works on the small H-P types.

 

I think is better and simplier to go to purpose made pens like as made by Rapygraph. Only thing is to watch out and make sure the ink will flow when you need it. The refillable type of cartridges are long gone. Also, as before, you have to set forth a 16 color code, stick with it, as those colors determine as to which pen is chosen. I have a system here for my Calcomps. You just cannot go from one type of plotter to the other and expect same results. Got to plan ahead.

 

I use the Calcomp pen plotter for working up lines on paper, the USGS quadrant maps to be exact. I can lay on a few ink pen lines and explanitory test fast and exactly. Can't do that with an inkjet plotter.

 

 

Wm.

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Jack_O'neill
Thanks Jack. Would you happen to have a source for finding Rapidograph pens for these plotters? Ideally, I guess a refillable style would be best as you would then be able to keep things going without having to find a stash of disposable pens. Good deal on renewing the interest on your pen plotter. I've always been a fan of the quality of line this type of plotter gives - ink on mylar - it's a good thing!

 

Not right off the top of my head, but if you google "rapidograph" you'll find several suppliers.

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kindergartenchats
I have used the converted Rapygraph on my Calcomp equipment. The adapters being sold tend to boost the pen too high in the holder, and then it whacks the clear cover from the bottom. I don't know how this works on the small H-P types.

 

I think is better and simplier to go to purpose made pens like as made by Rapygraph. Only thing is to watch out and make sure the ink will flow when you need it. The refillable type of cartridges are long gone. Also, as before, you have to set forth a 16 color code, stick with it, as those colors determine as to which pen is chosen. I have a system here for my Calcomps. You just cannot go from one type of plotter to the other and expect same results. Got to plan ahead.

 

I use the Calcomp pen plotter for working up lines on paper, the USGS quadrant maps to be exact. I can lay on a few ink pen lines and explanitory test fast and exactly. Can't do that with an inkjet plotter.

 

 

Wm.

 

Hi Wm. Thank you for the info on pens. Could you please describe in a bit more in detail how to go about setting up a 16 color code for a pen plotter? The HP (7475A) we are going to be working with has a 6-pen carousel. Thx!

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Coosbaylumber

I think 16 pen is the normal default in earlier Acad. They do not tell you this either, as it is in some early edition of a manual. I use a 4 and 8 pen holder for my Calcomp equipment, and they simply repeat the numbers over and over again, based upon beginning at 1. Thus I can use a line type ten, and it will equate to pen hole three. When plotter stops and asks if OK to continue, That is time to insert what I had anticipated for pen ten. Usually a rather thick one, like a #5. Draws the border, and then twenty seconds later it will then ask about pen One, and I know the drawing is finished. Pen one never gets really gets installed. Just hit the button to continue and within two seconds says PLOT FINISHED. Now is removal, clean up and inspection time.

 

So I used an H-P 8575 (?) back when, and it repeated same routine via it's LED lens on the right. It was a eight pen carosel, and repeated until all called for numbers on original drawing were finished. Then went back to table and corrected all the mis drawn lines and wrong calculations. Do another plot late in day or wait until tomorrow.

 

 

 

Wm.

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kindergartenchats
I think 16 pen is the normal default in earlier Acad. They do not tell you this either, as it is in some early edition of a manual. I use a 4 and 8 pen holder for my Calcomp equipment, and they simply repeat the numbers over and over again, based upon beginning at 1. Thus I can use a line type ten, and it will equate to pen hole three. When plotter stops and asks if OK to continue, That is time to insert what I had anticipated for pen ten. Usually a rather thick one, like a #5. Draws the border, and then twenty seconds later it will then ask about pen One, and I know the drawing is finished. Pen one never gets really gets installed. Just hit the button to continue and within two seconds says PLOT FINISHED. Now is removal, clean up and inspection time.

 

So I used an H-P 8575 (?) back when, and it repeated same routine via it's LED lens on the right. It was a eight pen carosel, and repeated until all called for numbers on original drawing were finished. Then went back to table and corrected all the mis drawn lines and wrong calculations. Do another plot late in day or wait until tomorrow.

 

 

 

Wm.

 

Hi Wm. I see, so with Autocad R12 & R14 - are the pens then set up (in the plot file) based on the available 16 colors (in these older versions of Autocad) - each of which is assigned to a specific # in the carousel? On a side note, can Autocad R12 and/or R14 be used with Windows (98?) or are these only DOS based? Thx!

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Coosbaylumber

There used to be a web-site that mentioned how autocad looks at ink (and felt tip) pens. It is gone now.

 

But basically, in the older pen plotters, the line color, which equated to a number of from 1-16 or 1-256, was what determined the pen hole number. Normal default for layer zero is black lines on white background or white lines on a black background. They used to referr to pen 7 and being color Neutral. Pen one ought to red, two in yellow, three is green etc. Just type in pen color for comparison (one time) is the colors look off, or type up LIST and hit the line with the cursor.

 

Back when, many of the firms I worked for had a "cheat Sheet" taped on to the plotter front. It basically said Insert pen "1" in to hole two, pen "2" in to hole three, etc. You look on the autocad drawing as to what colors (NOT layers) are being used for certain lines, and that eventially connects up inside the software and activates the appropriate pen then. If unsure, run a felt tip plot, all lines will be the same width, but you have to imagine they are to black and to proper width. Our county will NOT accept any line thinner than XXX" as they micro reduce it, and anything thinner tends to drop off via film. A good reason in my thought. It may look better full size using a centerline of XX" wide, but if upon reduction the line goes blank, then what have you? From here I call out layers in the 0-10 range, and then it automatically gives the proper color, which relates to proper pen hole too.

 

The rotation of pens is simple. Just take the number of holes in your turret or pen holder (if a square block like mine is), and keep repeating until you get to 16 pens. Round and round. Once you insert the plotter type in the set-up menu, usually is nothing more as Autocad knows the basics then. It will automatically go round and round in pen hole count up. A few older plotters HAD to have something in the hole before the plot would initialize or begin, and thus if the ink went dry before call up time, well then.... that was a problem. I had to create an AutoExec.bat file just for the tablet and the plotter's benefit. You may have to also. Windows will look for one, and if there use it. Otherwise it ignors and goes on in the boot process. It says look to file xxx.xx over here for plotter instructions, not at basic Windows directory. You loose maybe two seconds in the boot up process, but Autocad knows the difference.

 

Autocad for DOS used to be "exclusely" in versions R-11 and earlier. In R-12 they had a seldom used version for Windows. It is sort of hard to find anymore. Autocad R-14 was designed for Win 95, and Win 98. Again, there is a seldom found version that will work in DOS but they too are hard to find. If you load up Autocad via disk or CD-ROM, it will either bounce you out or go right on ahead. So, whatever version you have is OK then. After the Welcome to Autocad, you may think you are done, but they ask you then for a host of set-up parameters. And you had better know about your intended system. Everything from what Monitor, what mouse (or tablet), what printer, what plotter and as you metioned a need for a motherboard card, it will ask you for the configuration as how to get that on line too. If you do not know it will stop, and wait or bomb out. Then you have to start all over again. There is no such of an answer as "I don't know, it works OK for ____ right now" on the menu. Figure on blowing about one hour in installation.

 

 

Wm.

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RickAstoria

Let's keep in mind that the issues of drivers not working is mainly an issue of how Windows NT / XP operating system kernel does not provide a direct and clean access to Serial & parallel port. It is blocked by direct access. The code has to be written to comply with XP/NT kernel's 'protection' feature. Microsoft in there mighty wisdom when writing NT kernel (the basis of Windows XP kernel), basically put a digital 'condom' at the kernel level to those ports and requires a different approach to accessing those ports.

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RickAstoria

Interesting topic but the pens for pen plotters use to be nothing more then a glorified ball point pen or felt tip pen or marker depending on line thickness.

 

Here I am, modifying an old NEC Pinwriter P7 dot matrix into a pen plotter.

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Coosbaylumber
Interesting topic but the pens for pen plotters use to be nothing more then a glorified ball point pen or felt tip pen or marker depending on line thickness.

 

 

I do not necessarily agree with that. For with the purchase of each new plotter back when, the owner then got a host of goodies to plot and adjust the heads. I have a few Calcomp here, they issued an "Over Night" sized case of stuff that had substantially more items inside it than has been mentioned here already. They were not stupid back then and looked for any way to out-do a compeditor.

 

If the current or past purchaser of the plotter tossed out the Suitcase, then may be you do not have full story then.

 

 

Wm.

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RickAstoria
I do not necessarily agree with that. For with the purchase of each new plotter back when, the owner then got a host of goodies to plot and adjust the heads. I have a few Calcomp here, they issued an "Over Night" sized case of stuff that had substantially more items inside it than has been mentioned here already. They were not stupid back then and looked for any way to out-do a compeditor.

 

If the current or past purchaser of the plotter tossed out the Suitcase, then may be you do not have full story then.

 

 

Wm.

 

Disassemble the pen and you'll find that those "ball point plotter pens" were basically the insides of a ball point pen. The quality of ink and the quality of the ball point tip will make some difference but also the stepper motors precision.

 

Generally, there was basically a couple types (one using a nylon tip / similar to a marker) But they were basically just a pen inside. The writing tips were basically the same as a regular pen.

 

Quality of plotting can be decent even with an ordinary pen.

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Coosbaylumber

You are either wrong, poorly informed, or were mislead back when.

 

In "my" kit, I have several types of ball point pens. Big and little Pen-Tel, pressurized and not pens which were made by Schaefer and Fisher, felt tips by three differnt firms that all look different but no name on sides (only patent numbers). Got four types of pencils, lead and plastic. Got three types of wet ink pens made by K&E, Rappygraph (and Koh-i-noor) and some unmarked brand.

 

Now, not being familiar with the minor differences in each, the respective manufacturers could tell you of such. To them one ball point pen is not like another. They got issued patents to back up their claims.

 

Wm.

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RickAstoria
You are either wrong, poorly informed, or were mislead back when.

 

In "my" kit, I have several types of ball point pens. Big and little Pen-Tel, pressurized and not pens which were made by Schaefer and Fisher, felt tips by three differnt firms that all look different but no name on sides (only patent numbers). Got four types of pencils, lead and plastic. Got three types of wet ink pens made by K&E, Rappygraph (and Koh-i-noor) and some unmarked brand.

 

Now, not being familiar with the minor differences in each, the respective manufacturers could tell you of such. To them one ball point pen is not like another. They got issued patents to back up their claims.

 

Wm.

 

Yeah, but for the real practicality - the difference isn't that much. It draws the lines and circles and other pattern.

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RickAstoria

The internals are basically the same or similar but nothing of importance. The ink cartridge / pen tip isn't too much different to make a major difference. Ok, line quality and how it glides along the paper but not really enough.

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kindergartenchats
Interesting topic but the pens for pen plotters use to be nothing more then a glorified ball point pen or felt tip pen or marker depending on line thickness.

 

Here I am, modifying an old NEC Pinwriter P7 dot matrix into a pen plotter.

 

Hi RickAstoria,

 

Technical pen nibs (Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph) are still available.

 

Check out these links for more info:

 

http://www.westnc.com/hp-plotter-pens.html

 

http://www.westnc.com/plotter%20pen%20helpful%20hints.pdf

 

Pen plotters offer a wide variety of options - rollerball, fiber tip and archival pens - for use with paper, vellum and mylar film.

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RickAstoria

Yeah, it is no different then me making a housing mechanism for holding the internal pen cartridge of a pen, marker (whatever I choose) with whatever tip of choice. The housing mechanism that locks the pen in place that would be mounted on the print head carriage of the original dot-matrix print head would be slid forward or back (into contact and from contact of paper) by a solenoid and springs.

 

All the manufacturers did mostly is making different housings to lock it into the carriage. Making it different so they can make money on the pens in addition to the printer.

 

I'm using a different approach to achieving the same goal but with less proprietary tactics. The internal is still a pen.

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