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Acquired old Gerber sign making machines

Discussion in 'Gerber' started by Juice, Jan 21, 2006.

  1. Juice

    Juice New Member

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    Jan 21, 2006
    Hello,

    I would like to cut small custom graphics on vinyl. My mother, who used to be in the signmaking business, collected old Gerber equipment for me from her colleagues.

    This is what I have...

    - GSP Sprint (working).
    - GSP Sprint monitor (not working).
    - GSP Sprint 15" plotter (working).
    - 9-Pin serial cable connected to card plugged into ACC2 slot.
    - Graphicx Advantage LMK Program Module plugged into PGM slot.
    - 7 assorted font modules plugged into slots 1 to 7.

    - Omega 1.56 software (Installed, working, but not plotting).
    - Parallel port key for Omega software.

    You can see pictures of all my newly acquired equipment in my photo gallery.

    Becuase the Sprint monitor is not working, it's hard to know what I'm doing. The plotter will move when I press the arrow keys. I've installed the Omega software and hooked everything up. I've tried to plot some simple graphics, but it won't work. I've tried installing the "Sprnt-15" and "Sprnt-15GS" devices on COM1 and COM3. It still won't plot.

    Is anyone out there still using these machines? Can anyone help me to get this stuff working again?

    Thanks,
    Josh
     
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  2. South End Signs

    South End Signs Member

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    May 28, 2005
    Can't help you on the software side of the old Gerbers but as for a monitor I used two old second-hand monitors over the 5 years I had the sprint unit. I just bought them from the city and school surplus sales, old green display types (SVGA??) for $5 each at the time.

    I miss the reliability and tracking of the old Gerber stuff but at the time the prices for font cards and repairs were unreal considering you could buy new equipment for a fraction of what Mr. Gerber wanted.

    Jean-Claude
     
  3. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    I run a Sprint set of plotters (15" and 30" on an A-B switch) from Omega. You do not need a monitor for the Sprint unless you want to run from the Sprint. This is not the usual case these days. With the LMK card you can receive data from Omega on the PC. The Sprint console must be powered up and set to "online". If you are not familiar with how to send a job from Omega Composer to GSPPlot and then onto the Sprint, now would be a good time to mention that.

    Between the PC and the Sprint console, there should be a cable from a serial comm port on the PC and the LMK card. The installed plotter for Omega should be Sprint15-GS and it must be set for the correct comm port to match your hard wiring.

    All those things happening, it should work.
     
  4. Shovelhead

    Shovelhead Major Contributor

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    Dec 5, 2003
    That was some.......

    big bucks equipment back in the day!
     
  5. Juice

    Juice New Member

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    Jan 21, 2006
    It works.

    Thanks for your help guys. The key points was to select the "Sprnt-15GS" device on COM1 and to press the on-line key before sending the job to the plotter. It's so simple that I feel embarassed that I couldn't figure it out myself.

    As for the monitor... Is there any reason why I should replace it? I'm just going to chuck it and use the link to the computer/software.

    Thanks again,
    Josh
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    Glad it worked out.

    As to the monitor, it is unneeded unless you wish to setup jobs using the old, original Sprint fonts and interface. I do not keep a monitor on my Sprint console and haven't for some time. All setups are done in Omega Composer and then the Sprint is simply put online and the job sent to it from GSPPlot.
     
  7. Raymond Edwards

    Raymond Edwards New Member

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    Dec 5, 2018
    usa
    I have an old Gerber Sprint II 15" plotter cutter. Works like a champ with monitor and with a Thermazon interface board that allows you to use a PC or a Mac instead of the sprint monitor. I've kept this plotter for home use for 10 yrs but am using it very little. Is there a demand for such a plotter? I'm thinking of selling it. Also have an additional interface board from Thermazone
     
  8. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Olympia, WA
    It's primary value is with monument shops for cutting sandblast rubber. The older Gerber plotters are about the best for that task.
     
  9. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

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    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    You Bet! Think of them as a work horse that poops dollar bills...


    JB
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Those Gerber plotters are workhorses. They will cut regular vinyl (punched, of course), and they are great at thick stencils. If you are cutting monument stencils or making sandblasted signs, it might be worth getting them to work.

    Because of environmental regulations (and cost), I now out-source sandblasted signs. The monument companies I used to work with are now using their own equipment or out-sourcing. If you are just cutting vinyl, I would consider getting a more modern cutter. A US Cutter MH series can be had for a few hundred dollars. You can get them in different widths, and you won't need punched vinyl.

    I'm not sure about the Omega software. I put interface boards in my Gerbers in the early '90s, and do all my design in Adobe Illustrator (those Gerber fonts cost over $200.00 each, so if you wanted Helvetica and Helvetica Bold, you had to shell out close to $500.00). SignGo can be had for about $120.00, and I am sure US Cutter has something along the same lines.

    I use a Graphic CE series, which came bundled with an Illustrator plug-in.

    Our original 15" Gerber 4a cost over $10,000.00. Soldering in that interface board and programming it to work was a harrowing experience, but when we finally got it going, we could cut anything we produced in Illustrator (we used Typestyler to convert the postscript fonts to vectors, there was no "outline fonts" command back in the day).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
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