HP Draftmaster RX pen plotter needs love

Michael Newton michael.newton at gmail.com
Thu Dec 1 01:45:09 CST 2016

If I power it up with the cover off, i can hear that several of the motors
are making unhealthy noises and not moving (although the pen carousel moves
very slightly before giving up and just howling). The paper drive motor and
also the little motor for the paper feed/takeup spindle are making the
weird noise and not turning.

Seems like the motors are being commanded to do the startup routine but are
acting weird. From what I remember of the brief period when this device
worked, when it's first powered up, it spins the pen carousel and checks
for pens, and also rapidly rolls the paper in and out a bit.


On Wed, Nov 30, 2016 at 5:48 PM, Michael Newton <michael.newton at gmail.com>

> You were correct, I was looking for the -12v in the wrong place. I did
> find -12v on the anode of CR2. So all voltages are correct at the test
> points.
> So the LCD shows nothing and the device does not seem to respond to keypad
> presses.
> The other symptom is that I can hear some feeble and irregular clicky
> noises from the paper drive motor. So it isn't purely just that the display
> failed.
> thanks
> M.
> On Sun, Nov 27, 2016 at 1:02 PM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca> wrote:
>> (Getting back to this after a couple days..)
>> The board photos help although not detailed enough for certainty in
>> tracing.
>> I see the power supply test points on the photos and on the diagram 12-14
>> (page 12-28) of the manual.
>> Something to confirm: the -12V label is ambiguous in it's position on the
>> board, do you know for sure you measured the right spot for -12V?
>> It looks like it would be the nice solder button to the left of the minus
>> sign but from what I can discern it seems more likely to be the anode lead
>> of the diode (CR2), right above the "2" in the "-12V" label.
>> The diagram 12-14 indicates the test point as the cathode (banded lead)
>> of CR2, this is likely incorrect, if CR2 is the -12V rectifier the DC
>> output would be the anode end. It looks likes the draftsman just copied the
>> pattern for the +15V diode.
>> As you suggest, detailed assistance from a distance may be difficult, but
>> you might check the above and see where things stand.
>> I'm not all that far away (Victoria area) but far enough to nonetheless
>> be awkward for transport or trip.
>> On 2016-Nov-22, at 1:16 PM, Michael Newton wrote:
>> > I appreciate the guidance so far, thanks very much.
>> >
>> > I found another power supply/motor driver board ("analog board") of the
>> same part number, hooked it up to the plotter and tested it. The -12v test
>> point on the new board read zero, and the other voltages were present just
>> like the original board.
>> >
>> > I don't suppose that proves anything, but at least now I have 2 power
>> supplies.
>> >
>> > I don't have an electronics background other than hobby-level
>> tinkering. I don't know how likely it is I'll be able to diagnose and fix
>> this solely on remote guidance, and in any case that seems like too much
>> for me to ask.
>> >
>> > If there is someone within driving distance of Seattle who could get
>> this thing working I will pay them what their time and effort is worth (I'm
>> trying to avoid shipping this monster or buying anyone plane tickets).
>> >
>> > thanks
>> > M.
>> >
>> >
>> > On Fri, Nov 18, 2016 at 3:17 PM, Michael Newton <
>> michael.newton at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On Thu, Nov 17, 2016 at 12:10 AM, Brent Hilpert <hilpert at cs.ubc.ca>
>> wrote:
>> > On 2016-Nov-16, at 11:34 PM, Michael Newton wrote:
>> >
>> > > That's right, there is a -5v test point that reads zero.
>> >
>> > From the previous discussion, presumably you mean -12V.
>> >
>> > Yes -12v, sorry
>> >
>> > > Any guidance? Like if I need to pull parts off and test them, which
>> ones
>> > > might I go for? I'm a caveman with electronics.
>> >
>> > Looking at:
>> >         7595-7596_HardwareSupportManual_07595-90025_168pages_Feb90.pdf
>> > from hpmuseum.net via the link you supplied, the document seems to be
>> truncated.
>> > The document simply ends part way through the schematics pages, and of
>> course the power supply schematic is missing.
>> > (Aside, where did you find that document link? I didn't find it ref'd
>> on the hpmuseum pages.)
>> >
>> > It's linked from http://www.hpmuseum.net/collection_document.php -
>> search the page for "DraftMaster"
>> >
>> > The document does appear to be missing the full schematic of the analog
>> board. I haven't been able to find them anywhere.
>> >
>> > There is a minimal diagram for the power supply on page 5-4 (pdf.30),
>> which shows the -12V supply as an independent (not part of the control
>> loop) secondary out of the switching supply. That's good as it limits the
>> likely problem region. There will be more components involved than shown
>> there, but the diode seen there on the -12V supply will lead to a filter
>> cap and possibly a 3-terminal linear regulator such as a 7912 or LM320-12,
>> or even a zener
>> > regulator. There may be current limiting or overvoltage circuitry
>> between there and the actual -12 output of the supply.
>> >
>> >         - identify the -12V componentry in the power supply.
>> >         - if there is a 3-terminal -12V regulator check for input to
>> the reg vs output.
>> >         - confirm that it's not the load side of the -12 causing the
>> problem.
>> >         - pic(s) of the power supply board might help us identify the
>> area or get a better idea of what we're dealing with.
>> >
>> >
>> > I took photos: https://goo.gl/photos/tRWV3ATTqx2R3eDz6

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