I decided to use Inktober to work on a new plotter. I am getting a little head start, so I can actually do some plotting in October.
I decided to try to convert an old Atari 1020 plotter to use Grbl_ESP32 as the controller. It would give the plotter Bluetooth and Wifi support and use gcode to plot. I could talk to the existing controller via the Atari 1020 serial protocol or I could completely replace the controller with the ESP32.
I decided it would be more fun, challenging and great opportunity to learn some things by replacing the controller. I set the following goals.
Do no harm. I want to avoid damaging any parts. Cut no plastic and cut no wires.
Change only the controller. I will use the existing, unmodified switches, stepper motors, etc.
Clean implementation. Try to make it look original. Use the existing mounting holes. Use existing holes for connectors, etc.
There are four posts so far going through reverse engineering and engineering a new controller board.
Do you like reverse engineering or just an Inktober fan? Let us know in the comments below.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.