Calcomp model 30
Ok about 5 years ago I bought a calcomp model 30, brought it home and played with it, as I was playing it did a test print, right on the board......
I ran and got some paper but could not get it to do it again, I dont know what I had pressed.
I put it in the attic one day saying I will use that to draw PCB's with an etch resist pen.
Well that day arrived last week, can I get a test print, no.
Can I get a plot from the PC no.
It all seems fine, it does a 'self test' and 'walks' the pen corner to corner, and flashes error if you block its path, so it seems to be fine.
I cant seem to get it to communicate with the PC, I've been at it for 4 days now!
It has switches for baud/parity etc, set to 300/none, pc set to 300n1.
I tried a 3 wire cable, nothing, I tried a dongle with leds, the leds lit up, but showed that both devices were driving the same data line, I had it wired 2-3 and 3-2, it needed 2-2 and 3-3, fixed that, no change.
It needs a CPGL file, not HPGL, CPGL, but has a switch for CCGL
If I cant get it going in next ferw days, I can see a terminal acceleration project coming on......
PC and Plotters
I used to be techsupport for Roland plotters and always found Calcomps odd!
It seems that CPGL is not too far from HPGL and PCs do not like outputing data without DSR and CTS so.....
Assuming 25 pin connectors strap pins 4 & 5 together, and separately 6,8 and 20 together.
Then make a file with Notepad:
And send this file .... copy <file> com1:
If all is well you should get a Circle. The website I just visited says that CPGL is 70% compatible with HPGL whatever that means.
I have tried various cable combinations, and today even through the wire away and started again with fresh wire I'm getting so paranoid about where the fault is!
The above didnt draw anything though.
Think I'll take it to a friends just in case I have a broken comport, even thought the RS232 diagnostic dongle has lights that flash when I press send.......
If its easy its not usually worth it, and when I find who invented that phrase or the one like it, I'll hit him with this plotter!
Small bloody world! I thought I had the last surviving Calcomps; a 3024 and a 3036. If it's a 3036 you have, maybe you've got a lemon to begin with, I always though so regarding the one I have. The 3024 ran well day after day, the 3036 was in need of service frequently.
Neither unit is running; they're where they belong, in the attic. I've kept them in the hope that someday a project will come up where the step motors, rails, etc. will be of some use. So, I can't simply look up the settings I used, the computer I ran them from is also kaputski. I do have the manuals, drivers, and misc. stuff such as pens; if any of this can be of use to you, let me know.
Good luck with that pig.
Which of the Calcomp 30 seires plotters are working with? Some can be set to emulate Hpgl/2. I have 3036 users guide. I can probably Email you the cable pinout if you want.
Oh please do, maybe they kept the same design of cable, I have made so many cables this week I'm having dreams about being tied up in wire, and the most scary thing is none of them involve s e x
I hope this helps, I will get you some more resoreses later. You do know that the Calcomp drivers only work in windows 98 or earlier, right? the HP emulation works in XP but not well. there are third party drivers.
SERIAL PORT INTERFACE CABLE
DTE Host DeE Plotter
Term Pin Signal Direction Pin
GND 01 ---- 01
TxD 02 ----> 02
RxD 03 <---- 03
RTS 04 ----> 04
CTS 05 <---- 05
DSR 06 <---- 06
Sig Gnd 07 ---- 07
DCD 08 <--- 08
DTR 20 ----> 20
21 ---- 21
RI 22 <--- 22
23 ---- 23
24 ---- 24
25 ----- 25
All 25 pins are wired through, although not all 25 pins are used.
RS-232C (SERIAL PORT) CABLES
RS-232C interface cable for IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2 or equivalent (25-pin male to 25-pin female). May require 9-pin
to 25-pin adapter.
Same as above.
RS-232C interface cable for Apple Macintosh II. Macintosh 8-pin male to CalComp 25-pin male.
10 ft/3.05 m
25 ft/7.62 m
12 ft/3.66 m
CENTRONICS (PARALLEL PORT) CABLES
Centronics interface cable for IBM PC, XT, AT, PS/2 or equivalent (25-pin male to 36-pin male).
Same as above.
10 ft/3.05 m
25 ft/7.62 m
* This data cable is supplied with DesignMate Model 3036.
Last edited by skypilot; 11-14-2006 at 09:22 AM.
I just noticed the what looks like a 7 in the pinout chart is actually a > as in ----> It looks like a standard serial cable with all of the pins wired straight through.
Ok I'l give that a go!
its down to its last chance before its off in the attic again......
Do you have a source for etch resist pens? I may try making boards with my HP plotter.
I was going to use a standard etch resist pen and some duct tape......
I did find a site, (pos up easy on google) of someoe who has done just that with a hp , but I dont think it was a true flatbed, I think the 'paper' is moved for the Y direction and the pen is moved for the X, but even so its a working model on his site.
If you give it a go, report back with a picture or two!
Well it went back in the attic and I bought a HP 7475, got that working, then I decieded to try the HP cable on the calcomp, nothing, sat their looking dead, as I turned the machine over to unplug it the thing started working!
What had I done, I had pressed something, I guessed.
Well after some more presssing I found that when you power it up, it defaults to 'offline' so it does not suddenly plot and rip off any body parts in its way, fingers etc...
To start the plot you have to press chart and view in that order........
Could have been ok from day one for all I know, hope this info helps anyone who finds this thread.
Edit, Only just noticed in first post I called it a model 30 and its really a model 83......
Also its so damn accurate!, you can plot a pcb, park it up, then restart the plot and it retraces it steps so accuratly I cant see the 2nd trace, why dont they build machines this good today, too much plastic and weight saving imho
dtr/dsr signalling is essential, xon/xoff etc does not work with it.
Last edited by lez; 11-26-2006 at 01:56 PM.