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Thread: DEC pc325SL and Facit 4550 plotter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Westchester County, NY

    Default DEC pc325SL and Facit 4550 plotter

    Way back when I went to undergrad, I used this very DEC pc325SL (pictured here: I wrote lots of papers on it, and ran the student version of AutoCAD V9. I had an HP 7475 plotter and so could make very nice drawings for lab reports.

    Some years back, I saved from the trash a Facit 4550 plotter. It was a Japanese-made plotter that emulates a 7475. I found it in the box, with packing materials and a pen holder and a set of ballpoint pens. Last weekend I finally cleaned the whole thing up and to my surprise it works. Since the old DEC pc325SL still had my AutoCAD on it from 25 years ago (time goes by too fast!), it was the convenient machine to use to send some HPGL to the plotter. Hopefully this part about the DEC laptop is sufficient to make this an acceptable post to the DEC forum. My real interest in posting this thread is about the plotter ...

    Glamour shots : [yeah, it says 4556, but the roms inside had 4550 written on them]

    To my surprise, the pens still worked. These pens are pressurized ink and even carry the US patent number for the Fisher Space Pen design. However, the pens are marked "Mitsubishi Pencil Co. LTD" ( which we know today as Uniball. The Fisher pens supposedly have a shelf life of 100 years, so I shouldn't be surprised these 30 something year old pens still work. (

    So this is all well and good, but there was no manual in the box with the plotter, and these pens seem to be unobtanium. I have scoured the internet looking for a manual for this plotter. I know Facit was a popular Swedish typewriter manufacturer (I like Selectrics myself) however this plotter was made in Japan. The pens are exactly 2" long, but Fisher doesn't sell any plotter pens this small. I can't seem to find the pens anywhere either (however currently all the pens still work!!)

    Does anyone have possible thoughts on where to find a manual or pens?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    NorthWest England (East Pondia)
    Blog Entries


    The pens show up from time to time on e-bay. I think a couple of other plotters used the same pens. I don't have the same confidence as you do in the life of such pens. The Calcomp ones I have don't all work.
    Probably a good idea to re-post the request for a manual in a "general" are as some folks may not read DEC forums.

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Lou - N2MIY View Post
    I know Facit was a popular Swedish typewriter manufacturer
    Actually Facit started of as mechanical calculator manufacturer. Then they merged with various other office equipment companies during mid 1900, including Halda which made typewriters. Facit was partly involved in the first swedish computer BESK and sold their own transistorised version as Facit EDB. Unfortunatley they too late recognized that the electronic calculators were coming and their main business collapsed in the beginning of the seventies. In 1972 the crisis was accute and they were bought by Electrolux. In 1983 Ericsson took over and they manufactured VT100 compatible terminals, like the Facit Twist, and clones of the Luxor/DIAB ABC800 (Facit DTC and DTC2) Then it all became Nokia in the ninties when Ericsson gave up making office equipment.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilmette, IL (north of Chicago)
    Blog Entries

  5. #5


    Here are some other FACIT products:

    You could twist the screen of the Facit Twist terminal to get 72 lines of display. Steady black letters on white background. Used it as a summer intern at Ericsson. It was VT100 compatible.

    But then in the 80ies Facit branded all sorts of printers and plotters and incorporated them in their product line. Like the plotter Lou is talking writing about.


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