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HP Pen Plotters - Common Questions on AutoCAD's HP-GL Driver

Issue:
Error message: "INVALID HARD CLIP LIMITS RETURNED FROM PLOTTER. PLOTTER MAY STILL BE IN LOCAL MODE."
Cause
Before the plot is sent to the plotter, AutoCAD tries to query the plotter and gets either no response or garbage information.
One of the following could be the root problem:
The COM port assigned to the plotter is already being used by another device - usually this means another device is already configured for the same port as the plotter. AutoCAD only recognizes COM1 and COM2; any other port is ignored and produces the above error message.
  • Bad cabling or connection
  • Cable is wired incorrectly
  • The plotter may actually be turned off
  • Plotter is set up incorrectly
  • Plotter may actually be in local mode
SOLUTION: Verify communication from DOS or another software package (if possible). For HP First documents related to communication problems, refer to the last page of this document.
ISSUE: Why the question: "PLOTTING AREA EXCEEDS ACTUAL PAPER SIZE. DO YOU WANT TO PLOT ANYWAY? Y/N?" appears.
CAUSE: This message appears in AutoCAD when the actual physical plotting area is smaller than the specified drawing size. The HPGL driver queries the plotter for the plottable area and displays this message if the area the plotter returns is smaller than the plot size specified in the AutoCAD Plot menu option.
ISSUE: Why is the error message "PLOTTER NOT RESPONDING?" displayed.
SOLUTION: This is an AutoCAD message indicating the plotter is either disconnected, not turned on, not configured properly, or connected with a bad or improperly wired cable.
Plots are Clipped
ISSUE: Why is part of the drawing clipped.
SOLUTION: AutoCAD arbitrarily assigns page sizes for the most common media sizes (A, B, C). These arbitrary sizes do not reflect the actual physical plotting area for any HP plotter. This means that a User Defined page size, adjusted for the margins on the plotter, must be set when asked: Enter the Size or Width, Height (in inches) <MAX>:
Refer to the plotter's User's Guide for margin information or to the HP First document Using AutoCAD with HP Large Format Plotters. See last page for HP First information.
Pen Drags on Text
ISSUE: Why do the pen drags between text characters.
SOLUTION: Pen widths have been incorrectly set. If drawing units are defined in inches, pen width must also be defined in inches. HP stamps their pens in millimeters. This problem most commonly occurs when pen width values have been entered in millimeters rather than converting to inches. A .30 mm pen requires the pen width units entered into AutoCAD to be 0.01 inches, the .70 mm pen to be 0.05 inches.
 note:
If the AutoCAD pen widths have been set correctly, do the following to troubleshoot the problem:
  1. Run the plotter's internal demo. If this runs successfully, it is definitely an AutoCAD pen setting causing the problem. In this case, call AutoDesk for support or see the AutoCAD users documentation. If the demo produces the same pen-dragging results the plotter will need to be serviced.
  2. Check the media surface. If it is bubbled, the wrong weight, or the wrong thickness, the pen dragging problems can occur. Try HP manufactured media to determine if this is the problem.
  3. Check the pen speed and force for the pen type being used. Use the correct carousel for the type of pen being used if the plotter has different carousels. Incorrect settings can also cause this problem.
Other questions
ISSUE: How to select the pen speed and color in AutoCAD.
SOLUTION: Assign color and speed to entity colors by selecting the AutoCAD Plot option, and then responding "Y"es to the question, "Do you want to change anything?" AutoCAD will display a list of entity colors, corresponding pen colors, plotter line types, and pen speeds. When asked, Do you want to change Color, Line Type, or Pen Speeds, select "Yes".
 note:
Whatever pen color, linetype, and speeds are assigned to an entity color, all entities with the same color exhibit the same pen characteristics.

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