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Julia Williams

hp designjet 120nr

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I am creating a new post, as wivc and I (and cacamote) are apparently being ignored! I recently bought an hp designjet 120nr. I have installed the hp driver 2.2, under Mac OSX 10.2.6. My computer is not networked, the printer is connected to my computer via the USB port. I am using Vectorworks 10.1.2.

VW quits without warning after printing (or even on a couple of occasions after simply sending for a print preview). It also sometimes (not always) corrupts the files. The message I get is "-39 end of file reached during read -FSREAD" and Vectorworks quits attempting to open the file. Obviously, I am now saving files to a separate back-up folder, and making copies of files before printing.

Although less serious than corrupting files, the fact that VW keeps quitting all the time is costing much valuable time. [Mad]

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quote:

Originally posted by Julia Williams:

I am creating a new post, as wivc and I (and cacamote) are apparently being ignored! I recently bought an hp designjet 120nr. I have installed the hp driver 2.2, under Mac OSX 10.2.6. My computer is not networked, the printer is connected to my computer via the USB port. I am using Vectorworks 10.1.2.

VW quits without warning after printing (or even on a couple of occasions after simply sending for a print preview). It also sometimes (not always) corrupts the files. The message I get is "-39 end of file reached during read -FSREAD" and Vectorworks quits attempting to open the file. Obviously, I am now saving files to a separate back-up folder, and making copies of files before printing.

Although less serious than corrupting files, the fact that VW keeps quitting all the time is costing much valuable time.
[Mad]

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Sorry for that last post....this message board interface is a bit unintuitive, imho.

Anyway, what I want to say is that HP released a recent version of the 120 driver (v 2.3), dated 7?17?03. I have tried plotting a few times with it and so far the quit/corrupt problem has not happened......I am not letting down my guard, though.

In the Read Me notes, they mention some application?specific fixes, but none involving VW. Maybe that is to be expected, since I suppose it is a relatively specialized program.

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No, the gimp-print does not list the plotter under supported plotters. As soon as they do, I'll give it a try and post the results. For now we're stuck with waiting for new updates from hp.

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In VW10.5, we fixed a crashing bug that affected the HP120 and it's effects were exactly like what you have described. Please download the free upgrade before printing with VW to the HP120.

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Durring a single session of VW, about how many times are you acessing the Page Setup and Print menus?

The corrupted file problem may be linked to an Apple/printer driver issue .. the way I understand it.

There are certain printers, mainly HP and Lexmark printers that open a leak in the OS. When the print menu is acessed, a file is opened in the background and is essentially left open. If you are accessing the print and page setup menu's alot in a single session of VW, it could lead to a lack of resources available at print time, resulting in an incomplete write of the file (after VW hands it over to the OS to do it's job) and corrupting the file.

Apple is aware of this issue and they've been working hard to address this issue for a future release of the OS.

If you really want to avoid the corrupt file ordeal, save your VW document after going to File Page Setup or Print every time or every other time .. or whatever works for you.

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i am using the same printer, rather not using it. Though it is working fine in all other respects, i am printing on it from both vectoworks 9.5 and 10.5. But it is unable to print good black on plain paper in normal mode. The HP tech support told me that this printer is incapable of printing black on plain paper. They say that this priter is not for CAD but for graphics use and is recommended to be used with on;y coated paper. Is someone else experiencing the same thing?

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Hi guys

I?m seriously considering purchasing the HP DJ 120 or the DJ 100, so I wanted to know if these problems have been solved or are you guys still suffering? which one of the two models you recomend?(printing time, quality output, etc.)

dhruv:

Are you saying that the DJ 120 can?t produce decent plain simple black CAD lines???

thanks

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Yes thats exactly what i am saying. You cannot print black on plain paper in normal mode. Normal HP printers are print great black even in draft mode, but you don't even get a good balck in the best mode. Printing on coated paper is execellent. The designjet 100 should not have that problem. You should check with HP tech support before purchasing. in any case the Designjet 120 does not support tracing paper.

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Thanks for the reply dhruv, have the crashing and file corrupting problems been exorcised? what OS are you using?

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The crashing associated with the DJ 120 and OS 10 have been resolved in VW 10.5.

File corruption should be resolved as of VW 10.1.2 as long as the user takes action to save the document when prompted. There is a dialog that appears once VW has detected an instability in the OS knowing it will not be able to properly save the file. THis dialog box prompts the user to save the file and restart VW. As long as the user does this, file corruption wtih OS 10 should not be a problem as it has been.

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I have a DJ120 and print on vellum (tracing paper) in either normal or best mode as plain paper. The best mode is definitely better quality.

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I'm wondering if anyone has some tips for how to get better quality results using the hp120nr with vectorworks 10. If I use the 300 dpi setting the results are not very sharp and if I try to up the dpi it automatically tiles my drawings into smaller pages, not allowing the arch D size. Any suggestions?

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You should set the DPi to 600 and see if that makes a difference.

Also, the tiling problem - go to the Page menu, Set Print Area (after you set the page to use 600 dpi).

Make sure this is set to ONE PAGE. if it's set to Other or anything else, the tiling will result.

The 120 should give you a pretty good output. If you are still having problems, I suggest contacting Tech Support and they can assist you further in optimizing your VW setup.

tech@nemetschek.net

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I am going to buy a hp 120nr and I don't understand yet if it is possible to print in a good quality, black lines (a normal cad drawing) in normal paper. I read a lot of different opinions about print quality.

And how long it takes to print an A1 format drawing?

thanx

nevoz

VW 10.5.1b Arch

MacosX 10.3.1

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For other reasons entirely, which I have noted on another thread (not going to look for it now), I have been printing to a 120nr from VW10 Viewer in Classic mode to get the best possible black on plain paper.

Note though, that unless you set the document preferences to "Black & White", gray scale will be interpreted excatly as that (although the print dialogue does allow you to adjust how gray -- this is still too gray if you have any light colored hair lines to print).

I've had the 120nr up and runnning for about 1 month and while it has not seen a lot of use yet, it has been mostly a good choice.

Caveats: it is ugly as sin and the fan runs constantly (when the printer is on of course). At best quality, it is also slow.

Interesting to note: HP tech support for the Mac is very speedy due to our smaller numbers -- I have never waited on hold to speak to a technician. (I had a set-up glitch. My own fault -- or maybe I should blame the poor documentation. ;-)

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Anybody have additional info regarding 120nr print quality? I've read that its not intended to be a "cad" plotter, thus the poor quality prints in B&W on vellum. However, when I talked to a distributor yesterday, he said that while the 120 is marketed as a multi-media printer, it does very well as a line-drawing plotter. I don't think he's ever plotted anything on vellum and just wants to make a sale.

Comments? TIA

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Mark,

After working out the kinks, I have found the quality of prints from the 120 to be as good as any, better than some.

That may not sound like a ringing endorsement but it has been some years since I've seen the output from large format printers to compare.

I was able to see a plot from my PowerBook before buying though. Any chance you can do the same? I've not printed on vellum -- I do have a poor man's vellum which was recommended to me for final prints. (Don't know if you could get a blue line from it; does anyone actually run those anymore?)

Where are you located?

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Thanks for the reply, Richard.

I'm not sure I'll be able to see the output prior to purchasing as I'm in a more remote part of Northern California. I also want to take advantage of the current rebate offer that expires at the end of December.

I've used bluelines exclusively for years as does everybody in my area. I was actually surprised to hear (via this board and elsewhere) how uncommon that is now. After a quick call to my copyhouse, they have just recently been offering a more competitive price on large format xerox. Still, in quantity its about 50% more expensive than blueline. However, between the better image quality on coated paper (are you and others plotting to bond or coated paper or ?) the elimination of vellum($), the ability to recycle, and no stink--I think I'm heading that way.

BTW I noticed specs on the 120nr say USB 1.1 compatible with various Windows OS flavors. Nothing about a mac or USB 1.0 which is what I think my older G4 tower uses. For now I'll be printing from one station so was intending to go USB rather than ethernet. Anybody having problems with these issues?

Thanks again.

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Mark,

If you're buying the network model you should just go ahead and hook up to ethernet even if working from one Mac. Ethernet is faster than USB and you won't need to learn two ways of printing.

On bluelines, the last bunch of prints I requested were actually bluelines. I have been surprised to see photocopies though at every job site I've visited of late. (Photocopies do have many advantages on a job site.)

What surprised me most was that even the little print shop in Hagerstown, MD where I made those prints (not exactly a major metro area :-) prefers making photocopies.

Why? Becuase the photocopying machine scans the originals the first time through. Any subsequent prints are then delivered through a series of button pressing. No handling of originals required. I was pretty impressed but opted for blue lines to save a few pennies.

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I have just purchased a HP 120nr for plotting. I have found no problems printing different size sheets (18"x24" & 24"x36") from the roll feeder. The color and line weights are excellent, clean and crisp. Line weights of 1 show up, where as before on the HP 488, I had to use 6. The paper I use is Dietzgen 20 lb. inkjet bond, 24?x150? rolls, model number 730 (730245U). For vellums to create blue lines, I use the 772 (772245U). I have also used this printer for a photographic poster that printed very life like.

I use Mac OS 10.2.8, VectorWorks 9.5.2 and 10.1. I have hooked up the printer via USB. The wait time for the printer to respond after the print button is pressed is 1 minute 34 seconds. A typical residential floor plan printed on 18"x24" roll feed sheets takes about 2 minutes 18 seconds. I will try and use the ethernet connection to see if that increases the throughput speed to the printer.

The fan noise is no louder than the fan on the back of my Mac. I have found that it does generate quite a bit of heat if left on all day.

The appearance is more modern than the old HP488 that it replaced. The size is quite bulky. I have a 24"x48" table dedicated just for the printer.

I have also had success refilling the ink cartridges myself (all six) using IMS inks purchased from Cost-Co for around 15 bucks. Quite a savings over the $240 replacement cost for original HP cartridges. The trick is not to over fill and use pressure on the pumps when sealing to create the negative pressure inside the well.

Summery: The HP120nr at around $1600 is a good plotter with no problems so far.

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