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Gerber 4B

Discussion in 'Gerber' started by CP Signs, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

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    Sep 15, 2012
    Stittsville
    Wow. Cleaning my storage and found this. Just curious, how many here started with a Gerber 4B? That thing is soooo heavy. Lol.

    sign_maker_gerber_4b_350_central_tucson_10681913.jpg
     
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  2. idsignsil

    idsignsil Member

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    Springfield, IL
    I have heard stories of this ancient beast from the old guy that works out back in our shop, but have never seen one until now.
     
  3. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Mars Florida
    My very first machine was the Gerber Signmaker 3. I had it upgraded to a 4a and then again to a 4b. It served me well for a few years and then I sold it to buy an Anagraph system running off a 286 pc with a separate monochrome monitor and black and white scanner. I was dreaming back then of the technology we have today.
     
  4. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

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    Stittsville
    Nice. I used the 4B as it was meant for about 4 years, buying font cartridges, then I bought the Cadlink system to put in it to use through my pc and used it another 4 years after that. The thing I loved the most was the tracking,,,,,,would go straight forever!
     
  5. letterman7

    letterman7 Very Active Member

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    Pennsylvania
    Same thing here for almost the same amount of time. Amazing the things we started with! Nothing like typing out a line of text to cut on a 1/2" x 3" screen!
     
  6. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

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    Butler, PA
    After painting signs for 12 years I bought a used 4B in 1998, with an LMK module and a PC/Graphix Advantage for $15K.
    When that 4B needed a $2500 repair I snagged a 4E off a local gal for $400.
    I used that until 2 years ago (designing in GA and later, Corel)
    Tony Q's kid is looking to buy fonts for his.
    http://www.signs101.com/forums/showthread.php?t=98523
    Love....Jill
     
  7. lexsigns

    lexsigns Member

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    Dec 24, 2007
    Burlington ma
    Bought my 4b in 1993 for 5k!
    upgraded to cadlink in 1995 and ran it until 2001! I sold it a few years back for 800!

    I did love that it ran forever with out babysitting it. I used to let it run all night sometimes :)
     
  8. CP Signs

    CP Signs Member

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    Stittsville
    After buying the Cadlink Fastboard, I sold the fonts. That 4B still run strongs,,,,I should see what I can get for it,,,lol. I have an old pc running windows 98 and SignLab 3.1 that I used it with,,,,,,I really have to start getting rid of things!
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Olympia, WA
    We started with a SM 3 in 1983. Like Signmaniac, we upgraded to a SM 4 and then to 4B. We had three of them running before we upgraded the lot to SuperSprints which were five times faster. We were fortunate in that we had a customer in Australia (where SM 4Bs were selling for $20K each) who was willing to buy our used machines for more than we paid for them new.
     
  10. Marlene

    Marlene Major Contributor

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    Vermont
    I started on one of those! I used to have to do by hand all the graphics for signs with a pounce table, (loved getting zapped if I leaned on it) and an overhead projector. for fonts, we didn't have many as they cost about $300 or so if I remember right and that was a lot back in 1986. I remember my first 'puter with a screen so I could see what I was doing. it was an Anagraph. after that, we went with Gerber programs and have every since.
     
  11. emile

    emile New Member

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    Jan 4, 2013
    Hi there from Holland!

    Hi, I still have as well a Graphix 4b... It's my first plotter (1980...) I'm trying to fix it up, to use it when I need to remember the good old days..... If anyone sell his Graphix, please let me know!!! Thanks!! Emile B.
     
  12. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    New England
    When I was working at Morgan Signs in the early 80s we bought the SM3, I think it was $10k. That thing paid for itself in a few months.
    I still use my SuperSprint plotter.
     
  13. CrabbyOldGuy

    CrabbyOldGuy Member

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    Dec 14, 2005
    out behind the barn
    Times change

    We started with the Signmaker 3 then moved up to the 4B and eventually to a Sprint. After that we moved up to a Sign-Tronic unit with a Wild flatbed. That was a world of change. Still kept the Sprint for vinyl work but shifted all of our other work to the new system. Abandoned the Sign-Tronic software in favor of Flexi and Illustrator. Still use the Wild flatbed though. Sprint was replaced years ago as well. Good machines just took too much time to make them do what we needed.
     
  14. Cross Signs

    Cross Signs Active Member

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    Largo fl
    I too started with a 4B.
     
  15. Stanton

    Stanton Member

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    Me too.

    And you could input X,Y coordinates to cut custom shapes!
     
  16. beckys

    beckys Member

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    still using my 4B for my edge prints...
    It's slow but does the job!!
     
  17. SignManiac

    SignManiac Major Contributor

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    Mars Florida
    I upgraded mine with the font extender when that became available so I could have 21 fonts online and not have to plug or unplug font modules as necessary. I also added the inline/outline module along with the special effects module. I had about $20k in my box before I sold it to a guy in Florida for $10k. It made a ton of money that's for sure. Especially since I was the only shop around for three years that had one. All my competitors were at six weeks for delivery while I was at two weeks. Customers were willing to pay a premium price for service. Most could not believe I could get their signs done in such a short time. Those were the good old days. Unfortunately now, everyone wants instant gratification and think we only push a button and out pops instant sign. Oh the times they are a changin'.
     
  18. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    I can't believe some of you paid so much for those tiny little plotters

    But our first computer/vinyl setup was in I am guessing 90'

    ...A brand spanking new 48" (can't remember exactly the width) Ioline plotter converted to a cutter, a 386 PC with a whopping 2 megs of ram, a scanner and printer, I believe our new owner leased the equipment for something like $20,000 LOL,

    Oh and he also got a brand spanking new copy of Corel Draw 3

    Just think what that would cost today in a equivalent system,
    a decent Plotter $5000
    Corel Draw $500???
    PC with an All-In-One $1000 at the most?
     
  19. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Olympia, WA
    It's called a barrier to entry. It worked out very well for those who jumped in early. At one point in the mid 1980's we had five people working and three 4B's turning out an average of $30K a month in sales.
     
  20. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

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    Pacific NW
    Fred, I realize that...that is why I mentioned what equipment we had, the plotter was a piece of junk, but it might have been because
    we were not trained on how to use it, something I wonder about still today...also how much in general, the hardware has gotten so much better
    and the cost in comparison of today.
     
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