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Converting a vintage Atari 1020 plotter to use Grbl_ESP32 #Inktober #Atari #ReverseEngineering @buildlog

Bart writes on buildlog.net:

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.

See the progress on the blog here.

Do you like reverse engineering or just an Inktober fan? Let us know in the comments below.


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