Fubarino Contest: A Really, Really Old Plotter

DCF 1.0

Decades ago, [Vegipete] found an old drum plotter at a university used equipment sale. This plotter was old in the 80s, so like any great tinkerer, [Vegi] reverse engineered the plotter’s circuitry and got it working with his Apple ][.

The years went by, dust accumulated, and in 2010 [Vegipete] found himself doing some work with linear acceleration on a PIC microcontroller. Remembering his old plotter, [Vegi] realized he could build an embedded version of his old Apple ][ circuit. He built a circuit that turned the plotter into something that can be controlled with an FTDI adapter. A small update to the code added the an Easter egg. When the Konami code is entered on the plotter’s buttons it responds in the spirit of our Fubarino contest.


This is an entry in the Fubarino Contest for a chance at one of the 20 Fubarino SD boards which Microchip has put up as prizes!

9 thoughts on “Fubarino Contest: A Really, Really Old Plotter

  1. I used to work for a company that did engineering for the oil industry a couple of decades ago. We had a couple industrial sized plotters and I used to take breaks and just watch them work.

    Large format printers are better in almost every way, but they aren’t nearly as fun to watch.

  2. I see a very nice counterfeit signature machibe here.

    1- Change the pen with something more suitable.

    2- Scan the signature that you want to fake and create the “plotter movements file” for it.

    3- (optional) Use a (taken when signing a paper, to see the real movements, preferably zoomed in) video of the person you want to imitate for step 2

    4- Put the paper that you want to sign in this plotter

    5- ??????

    6- PROFIT

    1. 5- Screw up badly because your plotter can’t replicate real movements. Proper handwriting capture has not only the position of a pen but also angle it’s being held at – in all 3 planes. Your plotter can only replicate the position, most likely not even at the correct speed. You might as well be using a printer.

        1. They have the Autopen, an electric pen that’s pretty much an X-Y plotter. Legally the President of the USA can, and has, signed bills into law remotely, using it. Dunno if it’s cheque-forging quality, but it’s good enough for him.

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