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I recently acquired a secondhand HP DesignJet 1050c large format plotter. It runs well and is in great shape. However, while I could print text and images to it in B&W or grayscale just fine (from my Windows 10 laptop), it would not print any images at all in color. Or rather, all images were printed entirely as a black block. I tried every combination of settings in the print dialog possible, as well as trying the 5055 printer driver; but none of that worked. I was ready to scrap the plotter (because large format color maps was what I primarily wanted it for), when I saw a suggestion about printing from a Raspberry Pi. Since I happen to own several RPis and am fairly familiar with that device / OS, it was quick test... and holy cow it worked.

 

If you're not familiar with the Raspberry Pi but need a solution for printing color images to a legacy HP DesignJet 1050c, it may very well be your only option at this point. RPis are ridiculously inexpensive, and not that complicated to set up and maintain for basic use - especially if all you need it for is to print color images to the 1050c.

 

Since I spent many hours trying to find a solution before discovering this, I wanted to share my success for anyone else out there who might still be trying to make an 1050c work. They're great machines, that unfortunately just don't want to run on Windows 10 or newer PCs.

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This is great info.  Thanks for sharing.

 

Are you able to elaborate on the RPi you used so someone could source the parts  and software needed to make this work for them? 

 

I had this same issue with a 1055C a few computers ago and never did solve it.  The computer I was using at the time was on Win7 64 Ultimate.  I had other printers I could use for images if needed and only used the 1055 for line drawings.  But was always curious why it couldn't handle images.  Recently, I took that same printer and did a refurbish on it, then connected it to my laptop running windows 10 and it worked fine, printed pictures as it should.  So I'm thinking it was something with the driver I was using on my old computer that caused the problem.

 

Thanks again for posting up the solve!

I don't work for HP....I just repair their printers.
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Happy to share particulars for the Raspberry Pi (aka RPi). I have a few, but the one I used to test my solution with is the latest version RPi 4 Model B 4GB, running the latest OS (currently known as "Bullseye"). There are a number of vendors for RPis (including Amazon), but the list of dedicated vendors can be found at the bottom of this page: https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-4-model-b/

 

2GB boards are currently going for about $45, 4GB boards for $55, and 8GB boards for $75. If all a person is using it for is this specific purpose, a 2GB board should be sufficient; but a 4GB is only $10 more. Since you'll probably want a case, and definitely need a power cable, micro SD card, and HMDI cable, it'll likely be easiest to buy a "kit". Some vendors even sell these kits with everything pre-installed, such as this one from Vilros: https://vilros.com/products/vilros-raspberry-pi-4-pre-assembled-complete-starter-kit?variant=3970701... - which is currently out of stock, but looks like it goes for about $160 for the 4GB version.

 

Whether you buy a kit (unassembled or pre-assembled), I recommend looking for one that includes heat sinks and a cooling fan if you work in a warm climate, and/or the device will get regularly and continually used (i.e. multiple print jobs back to back).

 

As for the software / operating system, the best "getting started with Raspberry Pi" resource I know of is this: https://school.raspberrytips.com/master-your-raspberry-pi?  It's how I got started, and is more than enough to get the average person up and running on how to set up, use and maintain an RPi.The books says "30 days" - but this is just to make the content approachable and easy to digest; in reality you can knock out every task in the book in a day or two if you're motivated.

 

The other info / education resource I use all the time is https://pimylifeup.com/ . They have excellent tutorials on all kinds of projects and things you can do with an RPi, but this will only be interesting / valuable for those that are curious beyond using the device to enable printing to the 1050c. That is the really neat and fun thing about this platform... you can do so many different things with it, and printing to the 1050c is just the latest use I discovered for it.

 

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You may have better success consulting with some of the Linux communities.

If you find the information provided useful or solves your problems, help other users find the solution easier by giving kudos and marking my post as an accepted solution.
I am a volunteer, offering my knowledge to support fellow users, I do not work for HP nor speak for HP.



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