Archive for January 10th, 2020

HP 7475A Plotter: Ceramic Pen Tip Wear

An upcoming show-n-tell prompted me to make sure the HP 7475A plotter still worked and verify the pen stash. One of the ceramic pens expired during the first test plot and a refill didn’t improve its disposition, so I pulled a new-old-stock pen from its wrapper.

As expected, the defunct pen’s ink supply core had worn down to the surrounding ceramic nib:

HP 7475A Ceramic-tip pen - worn core
HP 7475A Ceramic-tip pen – worn core

The new pen looks like it has a brush sticking out:

HP 7475A Ceramic-tip pen - fresh core
HP 7475A Ceramic-tip pen – fresh core

The new pen’s core looks slightly larger and, in fact, it’s labeled as 0.4 mm rather than 0.3 mm. The new-old-stock pen stash includes a few 0.2 mm ceramic pens; I should think of something requiring hairline detail.

It passed the manual scribble test and promptly ran out of ink during its first plot. I injected some blue ink and it’s now plotting happily for the first time in its life.

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