Browse Prior Art Database

Method and Hardware Implementation for Determining the Color and Type of Pens Loaded Into a Carousel-Type Plotter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000035967D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-28
Document File: 4 page(s) / 123K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Piazza, WJ: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article describes a method and hardware implementation which allows applications software to select carousel-type plotter pens directly by color, thus increasing system usability.

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Method and Hardware Implementation for Determining the Color and Type of Pens Loaded Into a Carousel-Type Plotter

This article describes a method and hardware implementation which allows applications software to select carousel-type plotter pens directly by color, thus increasing system usability.

A typical plotter presently in use is the "pen carousel" type. The plotter holds a number of different pens on a rotating carousel and can select a pen by number under software control. The pens may be of various colors, may have different tip sizes, and may be intended for various media (e.g., transparencies vs. paper), etc. This type of plotter does not have a feedback mechanism which allows the plotter or a computer (microprocessor) controlling the plotter to know what types of pens are available in the carousel. Ideally, a user would be able to select a pen by color, thickness, media, etc. However, the plotter can only allow selection of a pen by number. It is the user's responsibility to load the carousel in a manner consistent

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with what the graphics program running on the controlling computer expects. In this disclosure the problem of identifying pens in a carousel plotter is solved by using a combination of plotter firmware and electro-optical sensing.

Referring to the drawings, Fig. 1 shows a view of the carousel area of a typical carousel plotter from above and shows where the light sources and sensors could be placed to implement this disclosure. Fig. 2 is a partial view from the side of the plotter, showing the arrangement of sensors and a pen in the carousel. The source of illumination is not shown. Fig. 3 illustrates a sample- marking scheme for pens which allows the plotter to tell the difference between paper/transparency pens, pens of various colors, and pen tip thicknesses. 0 and 1 refer to lack of or presence of reflective bands.

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The basic concept disclosed herein is that a light source of infrared or visible light-emitting diodes (LEDs) or incandescent bulbs and optical sensors can be built into the sidewall of the carousel compartment and the signals made available through a readable register port to the microprocessor in the plotter. Depending upon...