Signature 5000 / LP5000 Support

Signature 5000 / LP5000 Cutter Support

Ioline Signature 5000 Pen Plotter

Legacy Product · No Longer Active

Tech Bulletins

Signature 5000-Blue Logic Board Reset
File: Signature_5000-Blue_Logic_Board_Reset.pdf
Signature 5000-Carriage Voltage Adjustment
File: Signature_5000-Carriage_Voltage_Adjustment.pdf
Signature 5000-Charthold Jam Error
File: Signature_5000-Charthold_Jam_Error.pdf
Signature 5000-Custom Page Setup
File: Signature_5000-Custom_Page_Setup.pdf
Signature 5000-Green Logic Board Reset
File: Signature_5000-Green_Logic_Board_Reset.pdf
Signature 5000-Inconsistent Cutting Force
File: Signature_5000-Inconsistent_Cutting_Force.pdf
Signature 5000-Menu Map
File: Signature_5000-Menu_Map.pdf
Signature 5000-Plotter Port Test
File: Signature_5000-Plotter_Port_Test.pdf
Signature 5000-Plot Quality
File: Signature_5000-Plot_Quality.pdf
Signature 5000-Tracking Problems
File: Signature_5000-Tracking_Problems.pdf
Signature 5000-Y-Axis Mis-Registration
File: Signature_5000-Y-Axis_Mis-Registration.pdf


Adobe Acrobat is required to view PDF documents.

Signature 5000 User Guide
File: Signature 5000 User Guide
Revision: 0
Posted: August 23, 2001
Size: 5.17 Mb
Signature 5000 Service Manual
File: Signature 5000 Service Manual
Revision: 1
Posted: September 23, 2002
Size: 4 Mb


DOS Utility
Production and queue management software for Signature 5000 cutters.
Download: Signature 5000 DOS Utility
Latest Version: 0
Posted: May 10, 1999
Size: 119 Kb
Legacy Drivers
Software drivers for unsupported Ioline equipment are in the Legacy Software section of the support website under AutoCAD Drivers and Generic Windows Drivers.


How to clear the plotter memory
  1. Unplug the plotter plotter.
  2. Remove the 4 screws in the front and underneath the plotter.
  3. Open the plotter by tilting the unit back and exposing its internal electronics. Notice the plotter has a hinged back. You can open it and tilt it back like you are opening the hood of your car.
  4. On the lower right hand side of the logic board is a NiCad battery about the size of a coin. It is flat, round and silver in color. Remove the battery by slightly lifting the tab holding it in place and slide it to the right.
  5. Once the battery is removed, press the tab that held the battery in place until the tab touches the surface below it. This is what resets the memory.
  6. Replace / reinsert the battery. Close up the plotter and reinstall the screws. Your plotter memory is now back to factory specifications and will be easier to troubleshoot.
Custom Page Set Up

From the main menu press:

    1. F4 (arrow).
    2. F1 (set up).
    3. F1 (media).
    4. F2 (low left).
    5. F3 (custom).
    6. The screen will show X SIZE (mils). From the key pad enter 162000 (for (162 inches in width) and press ENTER.
    7. The next screen will show Y SIZE (mils). From the key pad enter 35000 (35 inches long). Press ENTER. At this point, the gritshaft will start moving forward and then back.
    8. Press EXIT until the main menu shows up
    9. Press NEW PLOT
    10. Press ENTER to plot

Now the plotter is set to plot 35 by 162 inches.

The blade picks up media on small letters
  1. The blade tip is broken. Try inserting a new blade before going on to more complex solutions.
  2. Does the cutter foot have a small amount of vinyl stuck to it? Is the cutter foot smooth? Clean the cutter foot with alcohol to remove any adhesive that may be on it.
  3. Reduce the down-force. The default setting is 24 grams. A few users have corrected the problem by increasing the down-force and decreasing the blade depth, but this is the exception. To change the Force, see page 7 – 11 of your User Guide.
  4. Change your blade to a 60-degree angle blade.
Y-axis Jam

If the LCD readout says you have a jam, it indicates the actual position of the carriage differs from the commanded position. This may be caused by a media jam, a servo motor problem, or a blown logic board. Perform these steps to troubleshoot and identify the problem:

  1. Turn off the plotter and unplug it.
  2. Open the dust cover, Inspect the traverse rods. Clear away any debris. If the carriage or traverse rods have dirt build-up, perform the cleaning procedures shown in Chapter 10 of your User Guide. Attempt to plot again. If the jam occurs again, continue to Step 3.
  3. Clear the plotter memory by removing the battery located on the logic board. If you don’t know how to do this, see the section on clearing memory.
  4. If these steps did not solve the jam problem, you may have a problem with either the servo motor (that moves the carriage left to right) or with the logic board.
Media is not tracking straight
  1. Look to assure the chart wheels do not have flat spots on them. The rubber chart wheels wear out with time and flat spots allow the media to slip.
  2. With an Allen wrench, assure that all 4 set screws on the grit shaft (the shaft that moves the media back and forth) are tight.
  3. Assure that the square shaft (shaft where the wheels are mounted to) does not have any side play, if it has, remove one of the end covers and tighten the screw that holds the shaft.
  4. Try slowing the speed of the plot and decreasing the acceleration. Some materials, especially metallic vinyl, will not track well at 24 inches per second. The factory defaults for your plotter are 24 inches per second and 2 G’s of acceleration. Cut these in half. A step-by-step procedure on how to change the speed and acceleration is shown on page 7 – 9 of your User Guide.
  5. The gritshaft is a rough rod underneath your media. It can become filled with dirt. Every three months, take a tooth brush and scrub it. When it is clean, you can look on the underside of your completed plot and see two visible grit tracks. The grit tracks should be identical. The pressure of the chart wheels against the grit shaft make these marks. If you only see one track, or if the tracks are not even, the chart wheel needs to be replaced.
  6. If you are very mechanical and wish to try and adjustment inside the plotter, there is one last adjustment you can try. Remove the cover on the left side of the plotter. You will see a motor with a cam that activates an arm. This arm puts pressure on the square shaft. You can move the motor left or right slightly. When you move the motor, move the switch located to the left of the motor the same distance as you moved the motor. This will put more pressure on the chart wheels. If you move the motor or switch too far, the chart wheels will stay in the down position. You can’t hurt the chart wheels or the plotter if you try this procedure but only attempt if you are comfortable working around electronic machinery.
The plotter doesn’t communicate with the computer
  1. Verify the cable configuration. (This information is located on page 8 – 3 of your User Guide.
  2. The baud rate should be 9699, N, 8, 1, P.
  3. Verify that the communications cable is correctly connected to the plotter and to the proper communications serial port on the computer.
  4. Verify the plotter is set for Off-Line.
  5. Check to see that the computer COM port that you are using is configured to match the plotter serial COM port settings and that the COM port is available and not being shared by another serial device.
  6. Make sure the that the plot file and the plotter are set to the same language (HP/GL or DM/PL).
  7. If you are doing a diagnostics test using the plotter utility program, verify that the CTS, DCD and DSR lines are left on.
  8. If possible try a different computer and/or COM port.
Plotter COM port test

If you do not have the loop-back diagnostic module, complete the following steps:

  1. Turn off the the plotter and remove the serial cable from the back of the plotter.
  2. Using paper clips or short lengths of wire, jumper pin 2 to 3 and pin 4 to 5. Make sure you get the wires in far enough to make a good connection. The pin holes are labeled on the COM port. The right side row is 1 through 13, from bottom to top.
  3. Turn on the the plotter. From the Main Menu, get into the Serial Test Mode by selecting the following commands on the keypad: Arrow, Action, Test, Arrow, Arrow, Serial.
  4. Press the F1 key and verify that the character transmitted equals the character received. Press the F3 key and verify that the handshake lines toggle.
  5. When the test completes, turn off the the plotter. This will take the plotter out of the diagnostic mode.
  6. Remove the jumpers from the serial port.

If this test passes, then the serial port of the plotter is communicating properly and the problem may be with your serial cable or a configuration on the COM port of your computer.

Down-force or another setting does not stay in memory.

It is possible that your battery is dead. The the plotter has a battery that powers the memory when the power is turned off. You can check this battery with an OHM meter. The NiCad battery is rated at 3 volts.

To find the battery, remove the 4 screws located underneath and on the front of the plotter. Tilt the plotter back like you were opening the hood of your car. The plotter is hinged on the back. You should have the internal electronics exposed. The battery is located in the lower right corner of your printed circuit board.

To remove the battery, slightly lift the tab holding it secure. Slide the battery to the right and pop it out, Put your OHM meter leads on each side of the battery to measure the voltage. If it is less than 3 volts, you need a new battery.

Carriage makes “jerky” movements
  1. The carriage rides on round, stainless steel, traverse rods. if the rod becomes dirty, the carriage will not ride smoothly. Clean the traverse rods quarterly with alcohol and then lubricate them with silicone spray.
  2. Check the tightness of the Y-axis belt. If this belt slips, the carriage will slip with it.
  3. Check the Y-axis transmission to assure the gears are meshing properly.
Lack of force with knife or pen plots

Open the plotter and make sure the all the cables are properly connected to the logic board. Next, check the ribbon cable going into the carriage. It may need to be removed and reinstalled for better contact. Last, check the voltage on the carriage. Connect the positive lead to the lower lead post on the circuit board and the ground. Lead to the top post, press down the carriage as if you had full down force. You should show 4 volts on the meter. If not, take a screwdriver and turn the screw on the variable resistor located on the circuit board until you receive 4 volts in the carriage down position.

If none of these solutions fix the problem, the logic board may need to be replaced.

Plot quality is poor

Sometimes, finding the exact combination of down-force, pen delays, speed and acceleration is difficult. Different thicknesses of paper or vinyl may require modifying the factory settings. While Ioline sets the the plotter to work with most materials, you will eventually find a media that does not cut well or plot well. Try these solutions to improve plot quality:

UNEVEN OR SKIPPING PLOTS: Excessive play in the pen/blade jaw mounting plate can cause skipping or uneven line quality. There is a mounting screw that tightens the mounting plate. Tighten this screw if loose or if you feel “play” in the jaw. The screw is located on the lower left side of the mounting plate. If the skipping only occurs when you are plotting with pens, check to assure there is ink in the pen.

TORN MEDIA: If your media tears when you plot or if your cutting blade randomly cuts too deep, this may be an indication to lower the force setting. From the keypad perform these procedures:

  • Display Main menu on your LCD
  • Press F4 (arrow)
  • Press F1 (set up)
  • Press F3 (pens)
  • Press F3 (force)
  • Using the keypad, enter a lower number than the displayed value. The factory default is 24 grams. Enter a lower number until the media does not tear.
  • Press ENTER.
  • Press EXIT/CANCEL three times to display the Main Menu.

CUTS ARE NOT COMPLETE: The pen delay settings on your plotter control the amount of time, in milliseconds, the pen pauses before lifting or lowering the pen/blade. If the pen-down delay is too long or if the pen-up is too fast, your plot will not be complete.

The correct setting for pen-down should be between 50 and 100 milliseconds. The correct pen-up should be between 10 and 50 milliseconds. If you change to thicker material the delays should be changed. Thicker material tolerate slower pen-down delays because the pen or blade does not go as far to contact the media.

To change pen delays, perform these procedures:

    • Display Main menu on your LCD
    • Press F4 (arrow).
    • Press F1 (set-up).
    • Press F3 (pens).
    • Press F4 (arrow).
    • Press F1 (pen delay).

The first displayed value will be the pen-up setting. Using the keypad, enter a higher number that the one displayed. The factory default is 16. Try entering 20.

    • Press F1 (pen delay).

The second displayed value will be the pen-down setting. enter a higher number than the first value if you get skipping; enter a lower number if your cuts are not complete. The factory default is 70.

  • Press ENTER
  • Press EXIT/CANCEL four times to return to the main menu.

DECREASE CUT DEPTH: The depth of your blade cut can be decreased by turning the foot on the cutting head. Turning this foot clock-wise will give you a shallower cut.

CHANGING PLOT SPEED AND ACCELERATION: Changing speed and acceleration will improve the quality of your plot. The default setting is 24 inches per second and some materials do not perform well at those speeds. To change the speed:

  • Press F4 (arrow).
  • Press F1 (set up).
  • Press F3 (pens).
  • Press F1 (speed).
  • Using the keypad, enter a number less than 24 inches per second
  • Press ENTER.
  • Press F2 (accel), enter a number less than 2. (Try 1.0).
  • Press ENTER
  • Press EXIT/CANCEL three times to return to main menu.
Pen changer jams

Two procedures solve this problem. Clearing the memory and re-enabling the pen changer.

Clear the memory by following the Clear Plotter Memory procedure (above).

After clearing the memory follow these procedures:

  1. Make certain you are in the Main menu on the keypad LCD.
  2. Press F4 (arrow).
  3. Press F1 (set up).
  4. Press F3 (pens).
  5. Press F4 (arrow).
  6. Press F2 (changer off). This will toggle the accessory selection to Changer ON.
  7. Press EXIT/CANCEL three times to go back to the Main Menu.

If you continue to experience this problem, there may also be a problem with the pen changer motor.

Chart wheels keep going up and down
  1. Remove the left end plate and verify that the charthold arm is making contact with the charthold switch.
  2. Verify that all the wires are plugged correctly to the main logic board.
Plotter to Computer Interface

The plotter default communication setting is 9600 baud, no parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and either software (XON/XOFF) or hardware handshake (RTS) protocol. The plotter is a DTE device, and requires null-modem cabling, with a DB25P (male) connector at the plotter end.

The following is recommended:

25 to 25 pin

25 to 9 pin