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USB to parallel port converter

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by john, Jan 3, 2007.

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  1. john

    john Guest


    I have a FPGA board that can be programmed via parallel port. But I
    have no parallel port on my laptop. Can I use a USB to parallel port
    converter to program the board? If yes, then does the converter come
    with some software or driver. Please advice also for parallel to usb
    converter too!
  2. No, a USB-to-parallel port converter won't work. These converters simply
    emulate the parallel port and are designed for use with printers. They
    do not provide the low-level hardware access necessary for programmers,
    dongles, etc. There are PCMCIA cards that provide a true parallel port
    (with a proper physical address on the PC bus). Check this out:

    I've been using their PCMCIA-to-parallel card on my laptop with no
    problems. My PIC programmer works fine with it. There may be other
    brands too, try Google, but always look for PCMCIA, *not* USB.

    Costas Vlachos Email:
    SPAM-TRAPPED: Please remove "-X-" before replying
  3. Vince

    Vince Guest

    Hi John,

    like Costas told you; use a PCMCIA card and not an USB to
    serial/parallel convertor (from FTDICHIP -->

    I have tried to use those and it gave a lot of problems over here for

    Best Regards,
  4. You need to get a proper PCMCIA parallel port card. Just about the best,
    is the Quatech unit.
    Unforunately, the USB adapters, are not really USB-parallel adapters, but
    USB-printer adapters. The difference is that the 'printer', only needs
    basic 'printer' transfers and handshaking. The actual parallel port, can
    be directly programmed to do a whole lot of other things, but these
    emulators can't do any of these...

    Best Wishes
  5. As others already mentioned USB to Parallel Converters don't emulate a printer
    Connecting such a converter, the computer will see a printer with USB
    I bought two of them to get aware of this!

    However I found a webpage for DIY converter for USB to IEEE1284 printer port,
    but haven't time to build one yet.

    the URL is: um den PC/
    click on USB2LPT it opens the page in German.
    on top left there is a link to the English translation

  6. jasen

    jasen Guest

    maybe (probably not)
    usually, if your operating system doesn't and isn't too ancient.
    parallel port has no 5V output, that makes it kind of hard.

    with a 5V supply from elsewhere and the right software it may be possible to
    bit-bang USB at a low rate. (I don't know for sure)

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