1998' Robotron plotter renovation

Equipping the old-made (but not used) plotter with Bluetooth COM-port. Then making the first PCB and case's backplate with it.

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Equipping the old-made (but not used) plotter with Bluetooth COM-port. Then making the first PCB and case's backplate with it.

What for? Why not ordinary printers? It is possible to draw PCB on this plotter, face panel of a case, to mount a laser/mechanical cutter and a mechanical engraver. Drawing area of this plotter is 370х270 mm (3700x2700 steps with 0.1 mm resolution).

This plotter was made in DDR, but didn't work even once since 1989, and was kept in its original package.

Some bulged capacitors were on PCBs. All electrolytic capacitors were replaced with new one.

This plotter is very heavy (16 kg), requires a lot of space, smells like warm oil, especially while working. No chance to place it on a table near a regular home computer, the best idea is to place it in the "far corner". But in this case, some wireless interface is needed.

Here for this plotter was added Bluetooth interface.

The subset of HP-GL this plotter can execute. The bad side is a very small buffer of the plotter - 512 bytes. Was written this very simple Node.js script, it only sends bytes one by one to the COM port once per 0.1 second, and waits for the "free buffer" flag from the plotter, if the "full buffer" flag has received from it.

The HP-GL file can be produced with a dozen programs, such as CAD/CAM, vectorizers, vector graphics editors, etc. First of all - within Inkscape.

The first things made with this renovated plotter were a PCB for the audio amplifier's AC/DC adapter and the backplate for the case of this amplifier.

See "Diary" for details.

Upd. Feb.2020: As this article was published, folks are reminding that UV EPROMs (five M2716 type chips installed in this plotter) have the limited guarantee time for storage of data (25 years for best consumer versions of UV EPROMs). In the next article, the prophylactic replacement of EPROMs had described.

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    See "Diary" for details.

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iot4c wrote 11/25/2019 at 18:12 point

Yes, new in a box

Yes, will draws PCB on a copper-clad board directly. The first experiment was with special marker for PCB. But this marker with too width stylus, of course. With ink possible to draw lines less than 0.2 mm width.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Dan Maloney wrote 11/25/2019 at 16:22 point

So it sat new-in-box for thirty years? That's quite a find! Hard to tell from the pictures in the diary - are you plotting directly on the copper-clad board?

  Are you sure? yes | no

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