Accessories for the IBM 1627 Plotter


At long last, I found the plotter accessories for the IBM 1627 plotter.

Let me make this perfectly clear: I donated my IBM 1627 plotter and all accessories to MARCH
(the NJ Computer museum at the InfoAge Science Center)
where it has been reunited with the IBM system 1130.
I'm selling only the paper (inventory on bottom of page).
The Calcomp model 565 (also known as the IBM 1627 model 1, or Bendix PA-3 X-Y plotter)
uses pin-fed paper rolls, or one sheet could be taped directly to the drum.
Plotting area was 11" wide by the paper length (up to 120 feet) at 300 steps per second.

The Calcomp 563 model plotter (also known as the IBM 1627 model 2) was wider
with a plotting area of 29.5" wide by the paper length (up to 120 feet) at 200 steps per second.

David Gesswein explains here how various models had different precision
(0.01 inch, 0.005 inch, 0.1 mm) and machine specific controllers.

The wood boxes are quite beautiful.
The plastic case of pressurized cartridges is on top.
The thin box is for the small ball point pens,
the large box for all the other parts.
inside the thin case
felt lined compartments. There are 2 tops for using the small pens
The empty holes are for the alignment reticules ("periscopes"), which are in the other box.
pressurized ballpoint pens assure drawing starts instantly
from the point where the pen is dropped to the paper.
inside the large case
Across the top: alignment reticules, high top for pressurized pens, the solenoid, the hollow top for drafting pens and felt tip pens, drafting pen nibs, and the container of Rapid-O-Eze pen cleaner. I believe a small spool of cellophane tape fits where I put the swabs.

center: the drafting-pen liquid ink and boxes of spare drafting tips

bottom: the felt tip pen adapter, ballpoint pen adapter, drafting pen barrels


The smaller reticule fits in the carriage's small hole X-axis one inch over the pen
the larger reticule fits in the solenoid carriage, for paper alignment
solenoid and all caps
solenoid with all caps and barrels (felt tip, ballpoint, liquid ink drafting pen)
small ball point pen, assembled
small ball point pen, exploded view
pressurized pen, assembled
pressurized pen, exploded view
felt tip pen, assembled
felt tip pen, exploded view
drafting pen, assembled
drafting pen, exploded view. The right most small knurled grip adjusts the pen depth.
the drafting pen points, in various line widths
inside the point: there's a spring inside, unlike hand-held technical pens

And a second accessory kit!

This one is a gift to MARCH from the Thomas J. Kirk estate
with the Calcomp model 565 plotter

This plotter accessory box contains
  • a different style solenoid
  • felt tip barrel adapter
  • non-adjustable gold colored hollow top for drafting pens & felt tip pen
  • alignment reticules
  • drafting nips, ink, nib tool
  • a tube of short ball point pens

Closeup of the solenoid,
felt tip barrel
and a NON-adjustable cap
for liquid ink drafting pens and felt tip pen.

All 3 together!

MARCH now boasts all 3 versions of the Calcomp 565 plotter:
the IBM 1627 and Bendix PA-3
(and David Gesswein's PDP8/e runs his Calcomp 563)
The Bendix PA-3, gift of Claude A. R. Kagan
as part of the PDP/8
The IBM 1627 model 1, gift of Jeffrey Jonas.
The Calcomp 565, gift of the Thomas Kirk estate.

Looking inside the Bendix PA-3, we see the Calcomp name on the PCB

other resources

David Gesswein's Calcomp 563 interfaced to his PDP8/e
Herb Johnson's restoration of the plotter
German site of Calcomp 563 with all the accessories. It looks like they have smaller felt tip pens in the holder (left side of ink pen box), both pressurized and plain ball point pens in the thin box.
1130.net info
1130.org info

IBM 1627 illustrated parts catalog
A historical timeline of computer graphics & animation (photo of Calcomp 565 plotter)

The Bendix PA-3 X-Y plotter was often used with the Bendix G-15 computer:
awesome photos of 70s, 80s CAD/CAM workstations with HUGE plotters and digitizers
Wikipedia notes that the IBM 1627 plotter was originally used with the IBM 1620 computer system,
and later with the the IBM system 1130 / 1800.
The standard size 1627 Model 1 was a Calcomp model 565 plotter and used 12-inch-wide paper (305 mm) with a plotting area of 11 inches (280 mm) … operating at 18,000 steps per minute. Model 2 was a Calcomp 563 and used 31-inch-wide paper (787 mm) with a plotting area of 29-1/2 inches (750 mm) … operating at 12,000 steps per minute.

Youtube video of Calcomp 565 Plotter working by Philipp Hachtmann
who has other videos of neat vintage equipment running, such as a PDP8/e, LGP-30

a labelled photo of the Calcomp 565 drum plotter (near the bottom) and other historical graphical devices including The Mother Of All Demos
In 1963, Douglas Englebart was working at the Stanford Research Institute. He set up his own research lab, which he called the Augmentation Research Center. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s his lab developed an elaborate hypermedia groupware system called NLS (oNLine System) … On December 9, 1968, Douglas C. Engelbart and the group of 17 researchers working with him in the Augmentation Research Center at Stanford Research Institute presented a 90-minute live public demonstration of the online system, NLS, they had been working on since 1962. … This was the public debut of the computer mouse. But the mouse was only one of many innovations demonstrated that day, including hypertext, object addressing and dynamic file linking, as well as shared-screen collaboration involving two persons at different sites communicating over a network with audio and video interface. This demonstration has become known as "the mother of all demos" at the 1968 Spring Joint Computer Conference.



Here's my inventory for original Calcomp paper
11" wide 120 foot rolls new in box, sealed in plastic.
Sepia (brown) lithographed graph paper.

type # rolls short length along the roll
09 8 10 div/inch 1 cycle log per 7.5"
10A 3 1 cycle log 12 div/inch
20 0 2 cycle log 10 div/inch
30 4 3 cycle log 10 div/inch
17 8 10 div/inch 12 div/inch


and 1 spool of K&E (Keuffel & Esser) drafting film:
pre-printed with 1 mm grid,
pre-perforated to 25 x 38 cm

and 4 empty cores