[time-nuts] OT: Need HP 7475A Drivers for XP or Linux

Joseph Gray jgray at zianet.com
Sun Oct 21 06:41:22 EDT 2007

Until he fixes that URL, just paste the filename into the page URL after 
"Misc/". It worked for me.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Eric Fort" <eric.fort at gmail.com>
To: "Discussion of precise time and frequency measurement" 
<time-nuts at febo.com>
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2007 3:41 AM
Subject: Re: [time-nuts] OT: Need HP 7475A Drivers for XP or Linux

>I really appreciate the Detailed reply, Thanks.  Your web page has an error
> though that prevents downloading the roland drivers.  the link to them is
> file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/neonjohn/My%20Documents/My%20Webs/Neon_John/Neon/Misc/Roland_RWD-
> 028.zip
> since I'm not on your local machine I have no access to files on your C:
> drive, atleast referenced this way.  Could the link be updated or could 
> you
> just email the drivers.
> Thanks,
> I'll let you know how it goes.
> Eric
> On 10/20/07, Neon John <jgd at johngsbbq.com> wrote:
>> On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 18:57:27 -0700, "Eric Fort" <eric.fort at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >There seems to be a wealth of knowlege here about keeping older HP
>> hardware
>> >running.  Would anyone in this group have experience using a 7475A
>> plotter
>> >under XP or Linux to plot test data or drawings.  I'd like to get mine
>> >running again.
>> No problem.  I use an E-size HP engineering plotter to make neon patterns
>> and to plot
>> schematics.  I have it working quite well under XP.
>> These old plotters are HPGL or HPGL-1 - same thing.  They are NOT
>> compatible with
>> HPGL-2.  An additional complication that arises with some software
>> packages is that
>> there are two common implementations of HPGL.  The HP standard one has 
>> the
>> origin at
>> the corner of the paper and all movement instructions are positive
>> intergers.  The
>> other one has the origin in the center of the page and movement
>> instructions involve
>> positive and negative intergers.  They are not compatible.  If you get a
>> plot but
>> it's only about a quarter of the drawing then the driver is outputting a
>> center-zero
>> file to a corner-zero plotter.
>> Microsoft dropped HPGL support, what little there was, from XP.  No
>> problem.  Sign
>> vinyl cutters almost all use HPGL and are still in
>> production.  Unfortunately many
>> use center-page-origin HPGL.  Fortunately Roland does not.  Therefore
>> Roland drivers
>> will work with HP plotters.
>> Unfortunately, Roland apparently has taken down their windows plotter
>> drivers.
>> Fortunately I haven't :-)  You can get the drivers from my site here:
>> http://www.neon-john.com/Neon/Misc/misc_home.htm
>> Bottom of the page.  ( a google click or two would be appreciated :-)
>> You'll have to
>> experiment a bit to find out which Roland plotter most closely
>> approximates your
>> plotter.
>> This is a universal solution that will let just about any program send
>> vector images
>> to the plotter via windows printing.  Just for kicks sometime, print a
>> text file from
>> WordPad and watch what happens.  The plotter carefully draws each and
>> every letter.
>> If, for some reason, this doesn't work, there is another method that I 
>> use
>> with
>> CorelDraw and any other package that can export the drawing in HPGL
>> format.
>> Simply choose "export", select "HPGL" and select a place to store the
>> file.  Then use
>> Hyperterm or any other terminal package capable of sending out an ASCII
>> file and copy
>> the HPGL file to the COM port that the plotter is connected to.  This 
>> will
>> be generic
>> HPGL and won't have any plotter setup info in it.  OTOH, usually none is
>> needed.
>> My HP plotter and/or Hyperterm (can't remember which is the culprit) does
>> NOT use
>> Xon/Xoff handshaking.  Therefore hardware handshaking MUST be enabled and
>> wired in
>> the interface.  Additionally, several pins must be jumpered together to
>> make things
>> work.  When you get that far, drop me a note and I'll go dig out my
>> adapter and give
>> you the wiring.  This handshaking requirement applies to the XP drivers
>> too.
>> A few notes about using a pen plotter with Windows and Corel in
>> particular.  Set ALL
>> lines to "hairline".  Use the ^A key to "select all" and then set the 
>> line
>> width to
>> "hairline".  The reason is that Corel and/or the driver is so dumb that
>> instead of
>> making a wide line by making several long strokes with the pen offset a
>> little each
>> time, it scribbles it in like a first grader coloring.  That is, if the
>> line is to be
>> 24 points wide, the pin is driven to scribble back and forth on 24 point
>> strokes.  It
>> draws effectively about an inch a minute like that, if it doesn't wear a
>> hole in the
>> paper.
>> Set your actual line widths by using various width pens.  Set, say, a 4
>> point wide
>> line to pen 1, an 8 point line to pen 2, etc.
>> Also, convert all the colors to black.  For some reason the translation
>> from color to
>> pen number doesn't work too well.  If you need the output to be in color
>> then move
>> each color in the drawing to a different layer and then assign the
>> appropriate pen to
>> each layer.
>> Sometimes text comes out looking better if you "convert to curves" before
>> plotting.
>> Rots o Ruck finding pens.  They're available but hard to find and very
>> expensive. I'm
>> fortunate to have acquired several Rapidograph drafting pen to HP pen
>> adapters so
>> that I can use india ink to draw with.  India ink on mylar is still THE
>> kick-ass way
>> to make PCB masks if you don't have a photo-plotter handy.  I bought out
>> the entire
>> remaining stock so there are no more anywhere in the country according to
>> the
>> factory.
>> When I don't feel like messing with liquid ink, I use felt tip pens. 
>> I've
>> hacked up
>> an HP pen to accept a shortened ordinary writing felt tip.  I've also
>> tried roller
>> ball and gel pens.  Both work but the plotting speed has to be kept down
>> to 1" per
>> second.
>> BTW, I found this painful-to-retrieve programming manual for your plotter
>> while
>> googling around.
>> http://www.luberth.com/help/HP_7475_Graphics_Plotter_interfacing_and_programming_manual/
>> BTW2, Several years ago I experimented with photo-plotting by making up a
>> pen adapter
>> that held an optical fiber instead of a pen.  I tapped the pen up/down
>> solenoid to
>> turn the light source on and off.  Plotting in a dark room directly to
>> film worked
>> fairly well.  Now that green laser modules are available so cheaply, I'm
>> going to
>> revisit the concept, only this time with the module mounted directly in a
>> pen body.
>> So as not to waste so much film on my fixed-width plotter, I'd set up an
>> E-size page
>> in Corel.  I draw a box in the center of the page the size of the film. 
>> to
>> be used. I
>> plot this to a carrier sheet of mylar in the plotter using a pencil
>> mounted in a pen
>> body.  This lets me erase the lines later and reuse the mylar.
>> In Corel, I then turn on the layer with the PCB artwork, tape the film to
>> the square
>> on the paper and plot only the artwork layer.  Works great.  I use this
>> same
>> technique when plotting to mylar so as not to waste a large sheet on 
>> small
>> artwork.
>> Adhering the film to the mylar with 3M spray adhesive greatly improves 
>> the
>> dimensional accuracy.
>> John
>> --
>> John De Armond
>> See my website for my current email address
>> http://www.neon-john.com
>> http://www.johndearmond.com <-- best little blog on the net!
>> Tellico Plains, Occupied TN
>> Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms should be a convenience store, not a
>> government agency.
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