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Pen Plotters with Autocad


kindergartenchats
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Hi Jerry,

 

Many thanks for taking the time to write.

 

I've tried just about everything to get Autocad 2006 to work and you're right it just doesn't go.

 

We have a Designjet 100 that we use for daily office use but we were hoping to use our 7475A for pen on mylar plots. Really this would be more for the novelty of having the option to make presentation plots using this method.

 

If we do want to get the 7475A up and running - am I correct in understanding we would need to find a vintage computer and load up R12?

 

Our earliest version of Autocad here is 2002 so I guess we'd need to head over to eBay to see about finding a copy of R12. Do you know what version of Windows we should also be looking for to run this?

 

It could be that our pen plotter quest is an albatross but if there is a reasonable option to purchase and outdated computer and load up R12 we are willing to give it a go.

 

Thanks again for your help!

 

Best,

 

Jon

 

 

Jon,

 

Rick is correct in that the problem in running the programs has nothing to do with the 16, or 32 bit programs or operating system. You might just try one of the drivers he cites with your operating system and Autocad 2006.

 

I should note that I can run R12win with Win2000, and XP, but plot to a penplotter through them with the drivers I had, nada.

 

However, in my experience it is more of a matter of the communications between the computer and the pen plotter, I think the problems are with speed and memory, too fast and not enough memory.

 

You have to remember that pen plotters were designed to be used with relatively low speed computers with minimal memory. I first used my 7475a with an XT. Then I graduated to a Turbo AT with a 66mhz speed, 64meg memory and thought I was hot stuff. :) You are probably too young to remember but some of the old computers had a two speed button on them, for what would be considered now, slow and slower.

 

What I think happens when you try to use a pen plotter with a fast computer is that no matter how you try to slow things down with the spooling, you are just feeding the pen plotter too fast and it doesn't have enougn memory to buffer it. The plot will start out OK and then go bananas in a short time.

 

The other thing to consider is that a pen plotter only draws lines and vectors, no raster. If you have a drawing done in post Autocad 2000 and save the the drawing back to a previous version, any fancy fonts, fills, hatches will be gone and it won't look like the same drawing.

 

Even these new drivers if you find one that works, will probably do the same thing to your drawings, that is, break it down to lines and vectors. It is just the nature of pen plotters.

 

I can see your desire to use a penplotter in the office to plot on mylar as a novelty. I used to plot my City's map, a 1.2 meg file, on the 7596a with Autocad r12win under Windows 98, on a 200 mhz (or there abouts) 486. I was always mesmerized and entertained for about 45 minutes, seeing that little pen go around and then switching pens. But if one pen screwed up, you had to do it all over.:(

 

So if you really want to get the penplotter going, look for an Autocad before 2000, (R12win was my very favorite for many years), put it on a 486 with windows 98 or below, and have the older serial ports on the computer.

 

But if you want to archive your firm's drawings, the way to go is to scan (the hand drawn ones) or plot to pdf, then anyone can plot them out on an inkjet. If you use the right ctb's, pen widths, and linetype scales in plotting, they even look better than the penplotted one's on mylar. I'm presently archiving some 30 years of my drawings as City Engineer for my small City.

 

Regards,

 

Jerry Fuccillo

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Jon,

 

Rick is correct in that the problem in running the programs has nothing to do with the 16, or 32 bit programs or operating system. You might just try one of the drivers he cites with your operating system and Autocad 2006.

 

I should note that I can run R12win with Win2000, and XP, but plot to a penplotter through them with the drivers I had, nada.

 

However, in my experience it is more of a matter of the communications between the computer and the pen plotter, I think the problems are with speed and memory, too fast and not enough memory.

(-- SNIPPED --)

 

Speed has nothing to do with it. RS-232 is asynchronous. It is PURELY the NT protective features that require I/O communication to be done through operating system "System Calls" and not through direct I/O communication method common in DOS. The kernal / API will terminate the process. You might get a few commands out before the process is terminated completely. Giving the effects given.

 

It is a communication methodology that Windows NT Operating Systems (includes Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7) does not allow.

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  • 13 years later...

I was saddened to see that pen plotters are no longer available.  As a small business owner in the 1980's I used an HP flat bed plotter and Leroy type ink pens to make etch resistant plots on copper clad circuit boards.  As time went on I moved on to other interests and eventually to using ink jet printers that in my opinion are only money makers for the printer and ink industry.  Now as a retiree I find there are home hobbyists that have an interest in plotting circuit boards again.  If anyone knows of or has an older pen plotter, (DOS) PC and ACAD program I wold be interested in procuring it.

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2 problems older pen plotters mostly had serial interface so need a pc not laptop as have to add a card for output, similar with parallel port plotters.

 

The older drivers are harder to get, HP I think still has some for pen plotters using HPGL.  Same subject I think there is dxf to HP-GL out there.

 

Wow purchase Pens no idea.

Edited by BIGAL
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