1998' Robotron Plotter Renovation

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Introduction: 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.

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).

Step 1: Renovation

This plotter was made in DDR, but didn't work even once since 1989, and was kept in its original package. In 2019 he was powered for the first time and works without any problems.

Some bulged capacitors were on PCBs. All electrolytic capacitors were replaced with new one. No other elements of the plotter looks requiring a repair.

Step 2: New Interface

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 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.

Step 3: Script for Interconnect Modern Computer

Only the subset of HP-GL this plotter can execute. Another bad side is the 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 was a PCB for the audio amplifier's AC/DC adapter and the backplate for the case of this amplifier.

See "Diary" for details.

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    Comments

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    Alex in NZ
    Alex in NZ

    1 year ago

    Impressive! Well done, and good luck with using it :-)