1998' Robotron Plotter Renovation

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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 printer? 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).

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Step 1: Renovation

This plotter had produced in DDR and was not working since 1989. In 2019 he was powered on first time and works without any problems.

Was found some bulged capacitors on PCBs.

All electrolytic capacitors was replaced new one.

Step 2: New Interface

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

Here for this plotter was added Bluetooth interface.

Step 3: Script for Interconnect Modern Computer

The subset of HP-GL this plotter can execute. The bad side is very small buffer of the plotter - 512 bytes.

Was written this very simpe Node.js script, it only send bytes one by one to the COM port once per 0.1 second, and wait 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 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 PCB for audio amplifier's AC/DC adapter and and the backplate for case of this amplifier.

See "Diary" for details.

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    Alex in NZ

    17 days ago

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