retrointerfacing

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Getting a HP7585B plotter to work

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r0013747 I recently got an abandoned HP7585B plotter. Probably over 30 years old. However, perhaps fast and accurate enough to do some serious fabrication? Why not add a cutter wheel and cut foil, or fabric?

Anyway, first hurdle to take is to get the think working. Searching for drivers on internet resulted in two options: 1: winline (http://winline.com) or 2: autocad/autodesk built in..

I tried to connect it using a normal serial 1:1 cable. No result. Self test of the plotter worked. Searching HP’s sites, some old re-converted pages came up showing a different cable mark-up. Why didn’t anyone just used one type of serial cable in those days? Oh wel.. HP gave a pinout on their site Unfortunately, the conversion to modern web-site instead of 15years-ago-ascii in courier had crippled the ascii cable pinout.. Browsing on a different site showed why the pipes were included (this is how it looked: (unfortunately the spaces get crippled)

hpcable

Now after this connection has been made, the printer can be controlled using HPGL. On the HP site the following string is used to test the plotter connection:

IN;SP1;PA0,0;PD1000,1000;SP0;PG;

which will draw a diagonal line from 0,0 to 1000,1000. After making a connection using hyperterm (9600bd, 8 bits, 1 stopbit, no parity, hardware handshaking) and copying this string the machine worked! Next up: hpgl control from processing.

Written by edwin

February 12th, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Posted in fablab, fabrication

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