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HP Designjet 650C Printer - Questions and Answers

Issue:
Plotting times for the HP Designjet 650C Printer.
Solution
The actual plotting time for virtually any final-quality, E-size plot using bond, translucent, or vellum in monochrome mode is about 7 minutes; for color it is under 9 minutes. Draft modes are slightly more than half as fast; enhanced mode takes about twice as long. Film plotting takes slightly longer than enhanced mode on paper. But plotting time is only one component of throughput.
Transmission speed, rasterization speed, and ink drying times must also be considered. Because the HP Designjet 650C printer rasterizes as it plots, transmission time is a function of the type of data accepted. Transmission speed is the main variable in determining total throughput.
Plots Per Day/Duty Cycle
ISSUE: The number of plots per day that may be produced with the HP Designjet 650C printer.
Solution
The HP Designjet 650C printer is designed for the user who averages 20 to 40 plots per day; however, the HP Designjet 650C printer can handle up to 100 plots per day for occasional or unexpected project deadlines.
ISSUE: The part that would wear out first if running the HP Designjet 650C printer 24 hours a day.
Solution
The first part(s) to wear on the HP Designjet 650C printer will most likely be the belts, followed by motors. Overall design of the HP Designjet 650C printer is very robust.
Questions about RAM
RAM Capacity
ISSUE: The maximum amount of total RAM that will fit in the HP Designjet 650C printer.
Solution
The Total RAM capacity is 68 MB. Four megabytes come standard, and the printer has two slots for additional memory. The amount of RAM can always be verified via the statistics menus in the front panel or by plotting the config plot.
Memory Expansion
ISSUE: Purchasing HP Designjet 650C printer expansion memory from HP.
Solution
At this time, HP supports only the D3578A (32 MB), D2297A (16 MB), C3133A (8 MB), and C3132A (4 MB) SIMMs for use in the HP Designjet 650C printer. HP's 16 MB and 32 MB SIMMs are supplied by Samsung, but HP only uses memory which meets HP standards of quality and reliability. HP does not recommend or support the use of memory from other vendors. If customers use other vendors' memory boards and there is a problem, HP will only support the printer if the memory is removed or the customer replaces the memory with HP certified memory.
RAM Installation
ISSUE: There are two RAM SIMM slots. Does it matter which slot the RAM SIMM is installed in?
Solution
Yes. If only one RAM SIMM module is installed, it must be installed in the bottom slot. If two memory modules are installed, it is recommended that the first board be installed in the top slot. The second board can then immediately be installed in the lower slot (product design requires that if the two boards are installed, the top one goes first).
Number of Vectors
ISSUE: The number of vectors that may be stored in the 4 MB provided with the HP Designjet 650C printer.
Solution
Approximately 900K vectors, after file processing.
Out of Memory Message
ISSUE: What happens when trying to download a file that is too big to fit in memory.
Solution
The front panel will display the message 'out of memory/data was lost.' This indicates that additional memory must be installed to plot this drawing.
Raster and Vector File Memory
ISSUE: Is the memory capacity the same for vector and raster files?
Solution
The HP Designjet 650C will download as much raster-only data as will fit in the memory before beginning to plot (3.5 MB using the printer's standard 4MB memory). There is no need for a complete raster file to be downloaded to memory before plotting because raster data is plotted without a vector to raster conversion. The advantage to adding memory for raster files is to free up the computer more quickly.
Resolution and Print Modes
ISSUE: The differences between the draft, final, and enhanced plot modes.
Solution
Draft mode provides an ink savings of 50 percent in both monochrome and color, depending on the CYMK or RGB mix of the color plot. In addition, draft plotting speeds are faster (see question on Plot Times in previous section). Final mode provides high quality plots at 300 x 300 dpi (dots per inch) (see resolution chart below) in both monochrome and color. The final monochrome plot mode double dots (2 drops of ink per pixel) in order to provide a darker image-essential for reproduction. The enhanced plot mode for monochrome uses a 600 dpi vector-to-raster converter to map dots onto a 600 dpi grid. Because this process requires two print cartridge carriage passes, this plot mode takes twice as long. Enhanced mode in color is still 300 x 300 dpi but requires two passes of the pen carriage in order to control such aspects as color-to-color banding.
Print Mode
Color
Monochrome
Draft
300 x 300
300 x 300
addressable
addressable
Final
300 x 300
300 x 300
Enhanced
300 x 300
600 x 600 addressable
ISSUE: Addressable color on the HP Designjet 650C.
Solution
There is no addressable color. There is an enhanced mode for color, but it is not a 600-dpi-quality mode.
ISSUE: How the enhanced plot mode works in color.
Solution
The color plot mode is a uni-directional two pass mode. This means that the ink cartridge carriage crosses the media four times, but it only plots (fires ink) in one direction (left to right) and merely re-traces in the other (right to left). In enhanced mode, the printer advances the media half the distance it would in final mode. So the first pass of the carriage (where ink is fired) only plots approximately 50 percent of the information contained in that particular pass or swath, while the second pass plots the remaining 50 percent of the information. This 'interlacing' of data reduces the risk that swaths plotted in one pass (with a full swath advance) will not meet to form a continuous image. This reduces banding. Enhanced mode also improves color bleed, because the media has less ink to absorb at one time.
Scatter Halftone Dithering Pattern (C285XB Models Only)
ISSUE: How the new scatter halftone dither pattern works, and how it is superior to the pattern used in the original HP Designjet 650C.
Solution
The original HP Designjet 650C (C2858A/C2859A) used "pattern" halftone which used an 8 x 8 dither cell. The enhanced HP Designjet 650C (C2858B/C2859B) uses a new halftone pattern known as "scatter" halftone which uses a 128 x 128 dither cell. Scatter halftone results in area fills that are much smoother, and sharper colored lines and text.
 note:
The enhanced models still support the original "pattern" halftone to ensure compatibility of software and drivers. Changing from one halftone pattern to the other from the front panel is possible, or via some drivers, such as the new Windows and AutoCAD drivers which ship with the printer.
ISSUE: How scatter halftone interacts with HP RTL. If a file sending down "dumb raster," will the printer's internal dither matrix affect the quality of the output?
Solution
In the case of 3-bit and 4-bit color, the information has already been halftoned before it is sent to the printer, so the scatter halftone dither does not interact with the data coming in. In the case of 8-bit and 24-bit color, the scatter halftone pattern of the printer does affect the data, and these plots are dithered by the scatter halftone algorithm.
Connecting To A Network
ISSUE: How to connect an HP Designjet 650C to a network.
Solution
There are two main methods to connect a printer to a network: using the HP Jetdirect (or third-party) modular interface (MIO) cards which plug into the slot on the back of the printer and connect the printer directly to the network, or to connect the printer to a network via a file server.
ISSUE: The benefits of using an HP Jetdirect card and connecting directly to the network.
Solution
The benefits of direct network connection via HP Jetdirect cards include:
  1. Increased throughout
    • Particularly for HP RTL files. The MIO offers faster data transfer rates than the parallel or serial interface.
  2. Location flexibility
    • With HP Jetdirect cards, the HP Designjet 650C can be placed anywhere on the network. It does not have to be located near to a server--it can be placed wherever it can be best utilized.
  3. Ease of use.
    • HP offers two utilities, JetPrint and Jetadmin to make network printing and administration easier. For users of MS Windows and Novell, these utilities are included on your MIO card.
  4. Automatic network switching.
    • The latest multi-protocol HP Jetdirect cards (listed below) offer automatic switching from one network to another. Users can send files from multiple networks and the printer will automatically switch protocols.
Modular Interface (MIO) Questions
ISSUE: Are all of the HP Jetdirect cards for the HP Designjet 650C compatible with the HP Designjet 600?
Solution
No. The HP Designjet 600 does not support the LocalTalk Jetdirect card nor the EtherTalk protocol on the multi-protocol Ethernet cards.
ISSUE: Support for using an HP Designjet 650C with LANtastic for a network operating system.
Solution
The printer may be used with LANtastic by connecting it to a server.
ISSUE: The level of MIO implementation used in the HP Designjet 650C.
Solution
5.0, the same as the HP LaserJet 4.
Maximum Interface Cable Lengths
ISSUE: The maximum cable length that can be used for the parallel or serial interfaces.
Solution
10 ft. (3 m) for Centronics parallel, and 50.0 ft (15.2) for RS-232-C serial. If a non-HP Centronics cable is being used data may be lost during transmission.
Queuing
ISSUE: Can the HP Designjet 650C printer queue or spool plots?
Solution
Yes, the HP Designjet 650C supports the same functions and menu settings as the HP Designjet 600, including Move To Top, Copies (up to 99), and Delete a Plot. The queue only holds four previously plotted files, so in order to perform any of the above functions (except delete), retrieve the plot before it is flushed from the queue. The printer cannot queue PostScript files and other plots with raster data.
Multiple Copy Capability
ISSUE: Replotting or making multiple copies of a file.
Solution
This is possible. From the Plot Management menu select Queue Mgmt and move the desired plot to top of queue. Select the number of copies desired (copies=nn).
Expanded Margins Capability
ISSUE: When to use expanded margins.
Solution
Expanded margins allow plotting closer to the leading and trailing edges of the media. Expanded front and back margins are 10 mm, versus 17 mm for normal margins. Side margins are always 5 mm. Note that the Expanded Margins setting is available on roll media only, and the printer will not cut the plot until the next plot is sent.
Raster Files Cannot Be Rotated or Nested
ISSUE: Why a user is unable to rotate or nest a plot file that includes raster data.
Solution
Files containing only raster or mixed raster and vector data cannot be rotated. Raster data must be received as a continuous stream; it is not sorted and re-mapped as vector data is.
Media Bypass Feature
ISSUE: When to use Media Bypass.
Solution
Media bypass is used only in those situations where a customer has poorly cut single sheet media which fails during a media loading. Media Bypass=On allows a single sheet with up to 1.0 cm of edge skew to be loaded. Those using the Media Bypassmust accept the risk of plotting off the edge of the media and re-adjust their software margins accordingly. Media bypass also increases the risk of paper jams. HP recommends HP media for those who cannot purchase quality media in their region.
Logic Seeking Feature
ISSUE: What is logic seeking?
Solution
Logic seeking is a feature that allows the printer to move the ink cartridges and carriage over only those areas where the image will plot. Since, the carriage does not need to make the entire trip across the media width and length, the logic seeking feature helps speed up overall plotting time.
Thinnest Line Thickness
ISSUE: The thickness of the narrowest line on the HP Designjet 650C.
Solution
The HP Designjet 650C can plot lines as fine as 0.08mm (1 pixel). This line width can be selected from the front panel by using the printer pen palette and selecting 0.13mm line widths. Front-panel line widths are expressed in terms of ISO standard line widths, actual line widths vary slightly, especially in color dot on dot plotting.
Common AutoCAD Driver Disk Questions
ISSUE: The difference between the drivers shipped with the HP Designjet 650C and the ones a computer's software already has.
Solution
HP recommends using the HP-GL/2 driver for AutoCAD shipped with the HP Designjet 650C.The drivers shipped with the printer have customized documentation files that explain the proper HP Designjet 650C setup and usage, and they list the HP Designjet 650C as a supported device.
ISSUE: What driver should be used with the AutoCAD LT?
Solution
AutoCAD LT is essentially AutoCAD Release 12 for Windows with reduced functionality. The user should use the HP Printer driver HP-GL/2 and RTL for Windows.
Pause Button
ISSUE: Using the Pause button.
Solution
Pause is used to interrupt the queue to allow the user to make changes to the printer (menu settings, media type, new pens, etc.). Once Pause is pressed, the printer will complete the current drawing but will not begin the next plot. To resume plotting, simply press the Pause button again.
Color/Mono Button
ISSUE: When to use the 'Color/Mono' button.
Solution
The Color/Mono button switches between monochrome, or grayscale, mode and color mode. When the color LED is lit, the printer plots any portions of the plot defined in color as the color defined. When the mono LED is lit, any portion of the plot defined in color is plotted in grayscale at monochrome plotting speeds. This feature allows a user to plot and check a color drawing in monochrome mode, using less time and less color ink, before plotting the final drawing in color.
This setting affects data as it is received by the printer. To change a specific drawing from monochrome to color or vice versa, switch the Color/Mono setting and re-transmit the file.
No Switching Between Print Modes
ISSUE: Changing between print modes without re-transmitting the plot file.
Solution
It is not possible to switch between draft, final and enhanced modes during plotting; each print mode uses a unique print algorithm for the black pen. The printer will wait until the current plot is completed before switching into the selected mode.
Once the print mode is changed, the print mode LED will flash. If queuing is turned on, retrieving the previously plotted file from the negative queue and replotting it is possible using the newly selected print mode.
Difference Between Full and Short Menus
ISSUE: The difference between Full and Short Menus.
Solution
The short menu is a factory defined, abridged version of the printer's menu selections. The short menu was designed to reduce the amount of user intervention required by providing quicker access to the most commonly used functions.
ISSUE: Defining a new Short Menu.
Solution
This is not possible. The Short Menu is defined at the factory. It is possible to change to the Full Menu via the Utilities sub-menu in the front panel.
Installing the HP Designjet 650C printer with Postscript on the Macintosh
ISSUE: What is needed to install and configure the PostScript solution for use with the Macintosh?
Solution
Here are the steps necessary to begin plotting on the Macintosh using the HP Designjet 650C printer:
  1. Install the PostScript ROM SIMM as described in the installation instructions. The PostScript ROM SIMM goes in the second slot from the top.
  2. At this time, also install any memory that you need (HP recommends a minimum of 16MB additional memory when using PostScript).
  3. Install the Jetdirect card following the instructions that come with the card.
  4. Connect the printer to the Macintosh using the LocalTalk cable (sometimes called an AppleTalk) or the Ethernet cable used with your Ethernet system. The LocalTalk cable which runs from Macintosh should have 8 pins with a round connector and a LocalTalk splitter on the other end which has two connectors.
  5. Next, connect a cable from the splitter to the printer, which also requires a 8 pin circular connector. Be sure that the printer connection cable does not have a 3 pin circular connector.
  6. Install the driver using the built-in installer that comes on the Macintosh driver disk. This installer will load the Macintosh driver and allow you to name the printer as desired (for example, Marketing Department Printer).
This should be all that is necessary to run the printer from the Macintosh. This procedure is similar if not identical to connecting a Paintjet XL300 or Deskjet 1200C to the Macintosh.
ISSUE: Support for the ColorSync on the Macintosh driver.
Solution
The Macintosh driver does not support ColorSync, Apple’s new system for color matching.
Installation
ISSUE: Does the HP Designjet 650C come with an installation and set up contract?
Solution
No. HP believes users prefer to save money and install their own product. The ease of set-up of the HP Designjet 650C is similar to that of a pen printer and does not require an engineer.
Transporting the Product
ISSUE: Once the HP Designjet 650C is assembled, how can it best be safely transported to the customer site?
Solution
The HP Designjet Series printers have been rigorously tested and are designed to be rugged. However, if the product is to be transported after assembly for any distance (more than 1 city block or over rough cement terrain), certain precautions need to be observed. The media bin legs, casters, and topcase are susceptible to damage. Types of damage include the following:
  1. Weld points of the media bin can be bent or broken if hit hard Casters can be broken if the product is dropped any distance on cement or if it is pushed across very rough terrain for any distance. Legs and plastic casing may potentially be scratched or marred. Carriage may be dislodged and damaged Bail Star rollers can get bent if carriage is not stabilized Feet can break loose from the leg welds
  2. To reduce the likelihood of damage to the printer, HP recommends that certain pieces of the original packaging materials be used to stabilize and protect the product. The original cardboard packing inside the machine should be kept in place. The product legs, casters, media bin and topcase are especially susceptible to damage during transit: legs should be wrapped with a bubble-wrap type of packaging.

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