OT - Pen Plotters?

Anyone out there still using pen plotters? I ask because I have a very
nice HP7550 6 or 8 (can't recall)pen plotter. It does up to 11X17,
self-loads paper, and worked perfectly last time I used it. That was
maybe 7 or 8 years ago, it has been stored since. It is likely a bit
dusty, and the pens are probably not good, but I expect it works fine. I
used to use this plotter almost daily, doing CAD stuff. I love watching
these things run. I don't need this thing anymore and don't have space
for it in any event. I need to make space.
I am wondering if this thing has any value at all. I would rather not
toss this in the trash. Anyone here interested in this?
Any ideas? Anyone wanna make a deal?
Thanks,
Al A.
PS - I'm in NE Massachusetts, if that helps.
Reply to
Al A.
Loading thread data ...
That thing's so old that HP has even recycled the part number and uses it for one of their photo printers now. I'd love to have it to play with, but I have no idea what I'd do with it. Maybe if absolutely nobody else wants it we could work something out, since I've already got tons of projects I don't have time to work on and shouldn't be adding one more to the list. I think the 7550 was an HPGL capable device, so if I could find something that would convert PostScript to HPGL I'd definitely want to play with it and maybe try turning it into something new.
Keep me in mind in case you can't find a better home for it. If nothing else, I could put it into one of my closets so that you can get it out of yours.
Reply to
The Hurdy Gurdy Man
Yes, it is old. It was apparently introduced in 1984 and was sold for 10 years or so. There is interesting brief info here:
formatting link
It was an HPGL device. I don't really expect it to be worth much of anything, I just hate to trash a cool working thing. I'll keep you in mind if there is no other interest.
-AL A.
Reply to
Al A.
It could be the basis for a CNC router - it has HPGL in firmware, stepper motors, drivers....parralel or RS232 interfacing to your PC.......I have the Roland equivalent as well, , the DXY-100 which is a true X-Y machine rather than the slidy paper for one axis that HP used.
It would need to be beefed up - bigger stepper motors with bigger driver transistors, lots of mechanical stuffing around, etc etc....
One day......................
Andrew VK3BFA.
Reply to
Andrew VK3BFA
Al, several years ago I owned a flat bed plotter of this ilk, and sadly couldn't even give it away, so I eventually had to put it out for the trash. Even the trash rejected it for several weeks until I cut it apart into small pieces.
Technology changes.
Harry C.
Al A. wrote:
Reply to
hhc314
They are not just junk, they are OLD junk but they have lots of interesting parts. I just "salvaged" the servos, platens and some nice ground and hardened rod out of a 48" HP pen plotter that I got tired of looking at in the warehouse. I am about to do the same to a couple of 36" inkjet plotters next.
The newer plotters are so much faster, easier to use and cheaper to operate.
Reply to
Glenn Ashmore
these old plotters, of the flat bed variety, make an excellent CNC type engraver - add an inexpensive 200,000 RPM drill with a carbide tip in lieu of the pen - ought to be worth a try.
Reply to
Bill
There's a lot of old electronics that we tend to toss that still have semi-discrete components. Good on ya for mining yours before discarding.
Wes S
Reply to
clutch
I think this plotter was also sold as an AT&T model for a while... I forget the model number, but I worked for an AT&T equipment reclamation site for a while and we "saved" about 2 dozen of these from the scrap heap back in the days of GeneriCAD.
My family has a "D" size HP pen plotter sitting at home... Same basic technology, much smaller "you want it" market. :)
If I could find a windows driver, I might actually try it to make cheap birthday banners or something.
Regards, Joe Agro, Jr. (800) 871-5022 01.908.542.0244 Automatic / Pneumatic Drills:
formatting link
Spindle Drills:
formatting link
V8013-R
Reply to
Joe AutoDrill
Win XP has an HP GL/2 driver built in. I haven't tried it but that sounds functional for all the old HP pen jobs. BTW, I just found 4 HP 7475A's in the wherehouse, just in case anyone wants to try the engraver thing. Respectfully, Ron Moore
Reply to
Ron Moore
Joe,
I am using the WinLINE Classic driver, available from the very helpful people at
formatting link
It is not cheap but is drastically better than the Windows XP native driver.
No relationship, just a very happy customer using it to drive a DGI cutter. Even cutting METAL foil and tape, making this on-topic!
I also have an HP 7550 Plus with a cutting blade but since it lacks cutting force control it usually just gets used to draw etching patterns. To etch METAL, even.
Joe AutoDrill wrote:
Reply to
Fred R
Interesting but how much is it, a quick look on the site didn't reveal that info. Regarding the inbuilt windows plotter driver which covers most if not all HPGL plotters, my experience is its a POS exhibiting the problems mentioned on that site. For the PCB program I was using at the time and had ported from another platform I wrote my own plotter code to get usable PCB plots as the windows plotter module couldn't produce usable plots. The plotter I have is a Roland DPX 3300 which is compatible with a HP 7580 IIRC.
Fred R wrote:
Reply to
David Billington
The price is $199, for functionality look at
formatting link
previous link is a US distributor who provided great support.
Reply to
Fred R
Keywords:
We're dumping the plotters we have at work because we use them so infrequently the pens are always dried up. There is a $125 USB to GPIB adapter card that you can get, and a Ham radio guy has written a freebie program to import plots to Windows:
formatting link
Doug White
Reply to
Doug White
HP makes a line of what they now call "plotters" that are really large inkjet printers - you can get a 1 meter wide carriage, there is no limit to the length except for the size of the roll of paper you can afford
Reply to
Bill
My take is that pen plotters are far less flexible than inkjets, but cost about the same to make, so inkjet wins. The various inkjet scams are properties of companies, not technologies.
Joe Gwinn
Reply to
Joseph Gwinn

Site Timeline

PolyTech Forum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.