Author Topic: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter  (Read 15097 times)

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Offline rolandpenplotter

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Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« on: January 12, 2014, 04:07:58 am »
Hello :)

Well, since my username is rather obscure, I thought I'd better get on and show you all what it means, and what I got from "Freecycle" here in England. The gentleman who donated it is an ex-engineer (not sure what kind) I think... and he even asked his wife TO DELIVER it to me; how's that for kind!







Does anyone have any UK sources for Roland/HP plotter pens, or know the best kind of readily available "human held" pens (IE: Normal pens :D) that I can modify to fit it, and which have a strong nib and a good ink flow?

I *love* *love* *love* this thing! It's the best Freecycle find in AGES, and provides me HOURS of entertainment. I want to, eventually, use it for my schematics. Sadly, it only supports up to Windows XP... ah well - no problem :)

 

Offline rexxar

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2014, 05:10:59 am »
Why is it drawing elements of that schematic in seemingly random order? Seems somewhat inefficient.
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2014, 05:19:25 am »
I have absolutely no use for this whatsoever and yet I want one. ;D

Why is it drawing elements of that schematic in seemingly random order? Seems somewhat inefficient.

It's probably drawing them in the order in which the software listed them, which is probably related to the order in which they were placed.
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Offline steve30

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2014, 05:21:40 am »
That circuit diagram looks nice :). I wouldn't mind a plotter like that.

Can it draw directly onto PCBs?
 

Offline c4757p

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2014, 05:22:26 am »
Can it draw directly onto PCBs?

Now I want one.
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Offline Stonent

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 05:23:02 am »
This floppy drive / AVR based plotter somewhat does that as well.



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Offline rolandpenplotter

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 05:38:38 am »
So glad you like it :)

I may sell it at some point; not sure yet.
 

Offline baljemmett

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2014, 01:31:41 pm »
Does anyone have any UK sources for Roland/HP plotter pens, or know the best kind of readily available "human held" pens (IE: Normal pens :D) that I can modify to fit it, and which have a strong nib and a good ink flow?

My DXY-1100 is currently loaded with a set of 8 pens that I grabbed on eBay, where they were sold as a package under the 'American Greetings CreataCard' brand.  Last time I checked (admittedly a while ago) the sets still popped up occasionally; they work well enough, but being nylon-tipped they're quite broad and broaden out after prolonged use!

I've been on the lookout for some steel-tipped pens, but they're few and far between these days; the best bet seems to be US graphics supply specialists, but since they list prices to match their rarity I haven't yet taken the plunge and ordered any.  I'll take a look through my bookmarks later and see if I have any promising leads saved away.

Quote
Sadly, it only supports up to Windows XP... ah well - no problem :)

I wouldn't worry about that, as it's just an HP-GL plotter as far as most software is concerned; your CAD package may well be able to drive it directly, instead of through the Windows drivers.  For instance, I use EAGLE on Vista/7/OS X, and its CAM Processor can emit HP-GL which can just be sent to the plotter (either by outputting to LPT1: or sending the file to a network queue).  I struggled to get gEDA to emit usable HP-GL though, so it does depend on the package.

That said, I'm pretty sure I have it set up on my Vista laptop as a printer with the proper Roland drivers, so I'll try and check that out for you later too if it might be useful...
 

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2014, 02:11:06 pm »
Why is it drawing elements of that schematic in seemingly random order? Seems somewhat inefficient.

I've never seen a plotter that doesn't shoot off all over the place in a seemingly random fashion.
 

Offline G7PSK

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2014, 03:32:16 pm »
I knew someone who designed hydraulic access equipment that used one ( mid 90's) I asked him when I saw it working why it went all over the place, he said it was so as not to smudge the ink as moving from one side of the page to the other gave it enough time to dry, not sure if this was the real reason or he gave that answer as he did not know.
 

Offline SeanB

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2014, 04:07:08 pm »
Really depends on the driver, as it will follow a set of HPGL pen moves in order. Could be the generator simply moving through the print file and getting the characters out of a font table or line list in sequence, or some algorithm that does it as the code spaghetti came from the output file.
 

Offline Rufus

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2014, 04:09:35 pm »
he said it was so as not to smudge the ink as moving from one side of the page to the other gave it enough time to dry, not sure if this was the real reason or he gave that answer as he did not know.

Pen plotters do whatever the stream of HPGL instructions tell them to.

I gave away an A1 flat bed pen potter years ago. Apart from the possibility of using special inks like plotting resist directly on PCB material inkjets made them obsolete years ago.
 

Offline rexxar

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 02:32:19 am »
I have absolutely no use for this whatsoever and yet I want one. ;D

I had the opportunity to grab one my school was throwing out years ago, and I've regretted not taking it home ever since.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2014, 07:54:50 am »
Anybody in EEVbog land using a plotter for PCB etch resist artwork?
Any homebrew solutions?
What pens that can be acquired these days are used?
Any problems interfacing with DXP?

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Offline tautech

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 09:17:38 am »
Me too, the Sharpie Industrial versions seems to have the "right" ink.
Just scouring the forums collective wisdom as to going down the plotter path.
Been using toner transfer for years (though not a large number) and lately with quite reasonable results (SOT23/6 with tracks to middle pins from each side).
But always thinking how it might be easier though. The etching is the easy and fast bit.
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Offline poida_pie

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2014, 09:42:13 am »
try this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/HP-17848P-Paper-Plots-Fiber-Tip-Plotter-Pens-7mm-New-Sealed-/111280577549
or
http://www.draftingsteals.com/catalog-plotters---plotter-supplies-plotter-pens-fiber-tip-plotter-pens.html

I have both the Roland DXG-1100 and an HP 7475A plotter.
info on the HP7475A here
http://www.hpmuseum.net/display_item.php?hw=74

I can watch them work for hours at a time. I use them for real work from time to time.
 

Offline cybermaus

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2014, 09:49:32 am »

Interesting. I have the SAME plotter.

I took the empty dried out pens that came with it, cut of their nose so they were hollow and I could use them as holders for 'standard' felt pens. Worked quite well.

I used it once or twice to draw PCB layout in etch-resist ink on a PCB, but to be honest, I have not used it for a while, usually I use stipboard (like that better then single islands) and it is in storage as I had to 'cleanup' up my house to put it for sale. Once I get it back out, we should exchange programs and ideas to use it.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2014, 10:23:54 am »
Thanks for the replies and links.
Not wanting to hijack "rolandpenplotter's" thread but are you or anyone using plotters for PCB artwork?
Can a moving paper plotter be used for PCB work? Can PCB be fixed to a medium that the plotter can manage or should we only consider x-y machines?
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Offline GeoffS

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2014, 10:33:38 am »
Feel free to hijack ( the OP is no longer a member) although you might be better off creating a new thread so you can make the subject more descriptive of what you are looking for.
 

Offline cybermaus

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2014, 10:40:14 am »
No longer a member? He got kicked out or something?
Or maybe he just switched handle? rolandpenplotter is a bit 'specific' as user handle.

Thanks for the replies and links.
Not wanting to hijack "rolandpenplotter's" thread but are you or anyone using plotters for PCB artwork?
Can a moving paper plotter be used for PCB work? Can PCB be fixed to a medium that the plotter can manage or should we only consider x-y machines?

I did use it for PCB artwork. With some success, it was why I bought the thing (2nd hand, for peanuts).

I have also been thinking of converting an inkjet printer for this. Especially one of the ones that can print on CD's and have a 'slot' for the CD must be convertible. After all, a CD is about the thickness and stiffness of PCB. But I did not do anything with that idea though, already have the plotter now.
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2014, 10:41:16 am »
Thanks GeoffS.
We will see who's "listening" first and then probably do that.
Any suggestion as to the best board to post on for this hijack?
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Offline anachrocomputer

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2014, 02:09:01 pm »
To go back to the original question, about Roland plotters and pens, I have modified old dried-up HP plotter pens for use in my Roland DXY-990. I also got the plotter from FreeCycle, in Bristol. My photos of drilling and modifying pens are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/sets/72157624783555539/

I use rollerball pens for fine lines (Pilot V-Ball) and felt pens for wider lines (Staedtler Triplus). I get them from Cult Pens: http://www.cultpens.com/

I've taken the DXY-990 to a few UK Maker Faires (Bristol, Derby, Brighton, Newcastle), where it was a popular exhibit. At Bristol Hackspace, we also have a much bigger Roland DPX-3300. The DPX-3300 is A1 size, whereas the DXY-990 is A3. As for manuals, Roland UK have been very helpful and e-mailed me PDF copies once I'd sent them the serial number of the plotters. Not bad for a 25-year-old product! Photos of the big plotter are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/anachrocomputer/sets/72157633082493407
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 05:11:09 pm »
Many years ago I used a Roland A3 plotter do to 2x PCB artwork, in the days when PCB manufacturers would accept film artwork.
I was using PCB software I'd written, and this used a few tricks to optimise the speed. Basically it boiled down to "When the pen goes up, go to the nearest point which you've not drawn yet". And of course draw everything with one pen before changing to another.
It ought to be feasible to to a generic HPGL optimiser to do this - all you need is enough memory to hold enough commands to have a good chance of finding nearby items to do next. Just fill the buffer, throw stuff out as it's drawn and keep it full to give the mest search space for nearby objects.
You probably could do some super-clever travelling-Salesman type optimisation, but the difference between no optimisiation and a simple scheme is so big that any addiitonal cleverness will be diminishing returns.
 
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Offline JoeyP

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2014, 05:40:00 pm »
A few decades ago, I used a Roland DXY-990 to plot artwork directly onto PCBs with great success. Even did a small production run of a commercial product that way. Here's a few things I learned:

Sharpies of that era worked well for etchant resist, but it seems they've changed their formula since then. Not sure if newer ones will work as well, because the newer ink seems much less durable. It's now easily washed off with simple alcohol, but it took something stronger back in those days.

I found that certain brands, and interestingly, certain colors of stock plotter pens worked better than Sharpies. The best were Staedtler fiber-tip. The red ink was the most durable resist, but left a broader stroke. The black ink did a finer stroke, but I had to be very careful during the etching process because it was much less durable.

I found that it's best to "rough up" the bare copper. I used fine steel-wool for that, but of course it left oil behind, so had to clean the copper thoroughly with acetone or alcohol before plotting.

In case you didn't notice it, the height of the plotter pens is adjustable. Loosen the screws of the holder and adjust up to give more clearance for PCB.
 

Offline flolic

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 09:16:04 am »
I have this beast collecting dust. Maybe I will try to direct print some PCBs...



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Offline sbrito

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2014, 01:24:16 pm »
hello, can someone help me in finding the drivers for my HP7475A (actually is a SEKONIC SPL450)?

Thank You
 

Offline dm9876

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2015, 01:09:50 am »
Hi all, only reviving this old thread in case some people were following it.

Anyway, I have an  old Roland DXY-1200 A3 size flat bed pen plotter which I need to get rid of. (downsizing the house).

1200 is the same as this 1100 (there was also a 1300 I think) they only differ by the amount of buffer  memory, which was important back when driving these things from a single tasking dos computer and you wanted to download the plot and then use the computer to keep working on something else.

I had planned to do the same thing mentioned here about plotting onto copper clad board with a marker pen as an etch resist. I never got around to it.

It could also make a good xy bed for a quick conversion to low power laser engraver.

Happy to let it go for a nominal amount (~$20 Australian) if someone is prepared to pick it up. (I'm at Berowra Heights in the north of Sydney)

Dean
 

Offline tautech

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2015, 01:19:59 am »
Welcome to the forum.

About your location...... :rant:  :rant:  :rant:
I'd grab in an instant if I was near you. Bugger  :'(
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2015, 08:53:46 am »
I have a DXY-1100 if anyone in the UK is interested - collection only (Loughton, Essex)
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Offline Delta

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2015, 11:56:46 am »
That is incredibly cool!

Never mind new pens, stick a Dremmel in there and engrave your own boards!
 

Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: Roland "DXG-1100" pen plotter
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2015, 12:05:36 pm »
That is incredibly cool!

Never mind new pens, stick a Dremmel in there and engrave your own boards!

Not a hope - nowhere near enough rigidity
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