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reverse Parallel-USB cables?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Oct 20, 2006.

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  1. Guest

    I've seen many USB cables that claim to allow one to connect an older
    parallel port printer to one's USB port.

    However, does the reverse exist? Does a cable exist that allows one to
    connect new USB stuff (digital cameras, etc.) to an older machine
    (which has no USB ports) via its parallel port?

    No luck finding anything so far.

  2. Jeff Findley

    Jeff Findley Guest

    I've got one of the above at home, but don't expect it to work with older
    software that expects to talk to the PC's parallel port directly. It does
    work for old printers using Windows sofware which goes through the Windows
    printer drivers.
    I don't think that such a thing exists. How in the world would such a thing
    work anyway?

    What is it you're trying to do?

  3. Guest

    Hmm... doesn't exist yet, you say? Maybe I should make a mad dash for
    the patent office... (grin)

    Connect a new USB anything (digital camera, scanner, printer, etc.) to
    an ancient laptop, with only a parallel port. Sure data transfer will
    be slow... but better than nothing.

    The market demand for such a beast would probably be pretty small

  4. How would that driver work? Many of those on the old 8 bit computer lists
    would like such a device, but so far no one has come up with a design,
    although there are chips that seem to have potential.

  5. Where are you going to find drivers for its OS if the computer is
    that old ?

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  6. Guest

    That would be the deal killer.

    I do have an ancient 486 laptop though that runs Win95. (Slowly.)
    Floppy drive and hard disk only. Doesn't seem to take the newer PCMCIA
    cards. (My PCMCIA wifi card doesn't work with it.)

    I had envisioned the Parallel/USB adapter for my PII-366 mhz laptop,
    but then I remembered it DOES have a USB port, but only a USB 1.1 port.
    Might be more practical just to try getting a USB 2.0 PCMCIA card for

    Might make an interesting senior / Master's EE project though...?

    Michael Darrett
    Northern California
  7. Guest

    File transfer only...? The device might have a linux of some sort on
    it. (Fedora Core 4 had no trouble downloading pictures from my Canon
    digital camera.)

    But, for older computers, (before ECP and EPP), is the parallel port
    data path one-way only? In that case, nevermind...

  8. Guest

    However, does the reverse exist? Does a cable exist that allows one to
    Proberbly like those parallel port attached network interfaces back in the
    days.. Should not be a huge voodo to make a similar usb variant.

    I think this can be accomplished with some usb-phy + fpga and hacker power
    supply setup. Some standard developer board could possible do this almost out
    of the box, minus the size ;)
    But too small market..

  9. The only Win 95 that supported USB was the final release, and I've
    never found a Win 95 USB driver for anything that I've owned.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  10. Guest

    Isn't there supposed to be some sort of third-party add-on to get USB
    support in Win95?

    The Win98 drivers wouldn't work then, eh?

  11. I've tried them but I always got that rude message, "This driver only
    works on Win 98". Some demanded 98 SE. Adding the extras to make it
    Win 98 will really slow down an old computer, as well. Then you'll
    probably need to update I.E. several levels, too. I had a friend over
    the other day who needed IE5.01 or higher to install street mapping
    software in a laptop. After Win 98 was installed and the I.E. was
    updated, the thing was so slow it wouldn't run the software.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  12. Guest

    Could he have used Firefox...?
  13. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Guest

    At least 8 bit out , 5 bit in, thats what a laplink
    cable used for datatransfer.
    If you have a bios choice: choose SPP (Standard Par. Port.)
    Also when you fiddle with those bits, write zero to
    port 0, 1 and 2,to disable the hardware interrupt.
    If you do it from XP, disable the lp port in hardware, or
    XP will peek at the port every few seconds.
    And use to get port access.

  14. The program refused to install if anything older than IE5.01 was on
    the hard drive. The microsoft website refused to allow him to download
    any updates because the I.E. wasn't new enough, but i dug around and
    found a copy if IE5.50 on a Earthlink CDROM. It installed, then the
    first CDROM of his program installed, then wouldn't install the actual
    maps. I told him that he needs to install all the MS updates for Win 98
    SE, but he wouldn't listen. All he wants to use it for is plotting
    antenna radiation patterns for a half dozen AM broadcast stations. He
    is convinced that he doesn't need the updates, because he isn't going to
    use it online.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  15. I have never seen one, and I doubt one exists. There's just no market.
    A USB capable computer on Ebay probably costs less than the adapter
    would cost.

    In theory, you could connect the two USB data lines directly to the
    parallel port (both are TTL levels) and bit-bang the whole USB
    protocol. A programming job from hell, but when you're done, you'll
    have learned a lot about USB.
  16. Jim Thompson

    Jim Thompson Guest

    Can't you just buy a USB card for the old PC?

    ...Jim Thompson
  17. jasen

    jasen Guest

    X-Face: ?)Aw4rXwN5u0~$nqKj`xPz>xHCwgi^q+^?Ri*+R(&uv2=E1Q0Zk(>[email protected]{uf8s;a+M[5[U[QT7xFN%^gR"=tuJw%TXXR'Fp~W;(T"1(739R%m0Yyyv*gkGoPA.$b,D.w:z+<'"=-lVT?6{T?=R^:W5g|E2#EhjKCa+nt":4b}dU7GYB*HBxn&[email protected]%.kl^:7X8rQWd[NTc"P"u6nkisze/Q;8"9Z{peQF,w)7UjV$c|RO/mQW/NMgWfr5*$-Z%u46"/00mx-,\R'fLPe.)^
    User-Agent: slrn/ (Debian)

    all PC parallel ports have atleast 5 input lines.

    modern ones have bidirectional data lines.
  18. Iwo Mergler

    Iwo Mergler Guest

    There are different classes of USB 'stuff'. The most common
    are the "mass storage" devices. Many digital cameras, all
    external harddrives and USB keys use it.

    There is a IDE over parallel port protocol which has been
    used in the pre-USB days to connect external harddrives
    or CD-ROMS.

    It would be technically possible to create a device which
    maps the IDE-parallel protocol to USB mass storage. It would
    consist of a USB capable computer with the appropriate USB
    stack - one of the ARM-based Linux devices for instance.

    Kind regards,

  19. Guest

    USB is a master/slave port with power management.
    So, only a device with power available can be a USB master (and
    parallel ports don't have power available, generally).

    Adding a USB port to an old computer is possible, and sometimes
    My elderly Macintosh'es with USB are more useful by far than those
    without... but there's some gotchas. In the Mac world, it's the USB 2
    that only works with Macs "with PCI 2.0", i.e. only with Macintosh
    that already have USB. All the USB 1.1 addons, which DO work, seem to
    out of production. I was fortunate that PC Recycle had a bin I could
    rummage through.
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