parallel ports

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thanksbastards
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parallel ports

Postby thanksbastards » Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:49 am UTC

Am I hunting for wild dodos? Iam thinking about building a shop pc, mostly to operate my mill which requires a parallel port. And apparently in windows (I will probably go linuxCNC, but I don't want to limit myself) a pci based parallel port WILL NOT work with Mach3, so it needs to be on the mobo. Does anyone make a mobo w/ a parallel port? surprisingly that is not a filter available on newegg...

Carnildo
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Re: parallel ports

Postby Carnildo » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:03 am UTC

They do exist, at least in Atom, LGA-775, and LGA-1155 flavors. The easiest way to find them on Newegg is to go to a mainboard category (eg. Intel mainboards ordered by price) and scroll down the list looking for pictures with a bit of magenta in the rear-panel area.

thanksbastards
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Re: parallel ports

Postby thanksbastards » Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:39 am UTC

your monitor or eyes are deffinatly better than mine! thanks a lot, now to decide if it is worth it or not.

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Jorpho
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Re: parallel ports

Postby Jorpho » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:37 am UTC

thanksbastards wrote:And apparently in windows (I will probably go linuxCNC, but I don't want to limit myself) a pci based parallel port WILL NOT work with Mach3, so it needs to be on the mobo.
Really? How troubling. I know USB-to-parallel adapters can be kind of dodgy, but I always figured PCI-based parallel ports would be at least as compatible as a standard port on the motherboard (i.e. both would require finagling with the permissions in Windows).

thanksbastards
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Re: parallel ports

Postby thanksbastards » Sat Sep 21, 2013 8:39 pm UTC

I think I may have misread, but I can't find the original bit where I saw that. The terms and naming conventions are not super consistent across all mfrs descpritions and software vendors descriptions, and computer hardware terms are a weak second language to me, so I am quickly confused and need a brief wiki check quite often, so I may be completly wrong on that point.

I also learened latency is not really tied to the power of the hardware. I was going to get a PCIEX card for my modern laptop so I could drive my CNCs with it and have (another) cheap logic sniffer to boot (yes I would buffer it) but it turns out the latency on my 2 year old laptop is 100X worse than the latency on the P4 currently employed to do the job...

time to revive one of my dinosaurs and hear it roar! I have heard of raspi's doing this job, but that woudl be a few more boards I don't wanna buy if I already have a pc, although it would b e cool to fit the whole setup inside the box that currently holds the driver board and PSU (it is like 80% ope nspace right now)

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sparkyb
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Re: parallel ports

Postby sparkyb » Sun Sep 22, 2013 6:50 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:I know USB-to-parallel adapters can be kind of dodgy, but I always figured PCI-based parallel ports would be at least as compatible as a standard port on the motherboard (i.e. both would require finagling with the permissions in Windows).

I've never seen a USB-to-parallel adapter, and I've looked. Are you sure such a thing exists? Unless you're talking about a USB parallel printer adapter. I've seen lots of those, but unfortunately those don't act as USB parallel ports, they act as USB printers and can only be used for printing and not any generic parallel port use. Often they don't even give you a normal parallel DB25 connector, just a Centronics-style printer connector. I too would expect a PCI parallel port to work just fine, though.

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Jorpho
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Re: parallel ports

Postby Jorpho » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:43 pm UTC

sparkyb wrote:Unless you're talking about a USB parallel printer adapter. I've seen lots of those, but unfortunately those don't act as USB parallel ports, they act as USB printers and can only be used for printing and not any generic parallel port use.
Well, yes, exactly – though I've never quite understood why exactly they work for printers specifically while being entirely unsuitable for anything else you might use a parallel port for. Doesn't Windows still report them as being parallel ports when you plug them in?

thanksbastards
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Re: parallel ports

Postby thanksbastards » Mon Sep 23, 2013 2:19 pm UTC

there are several differnt communication standards available over parallel, some simpler than others, so that is likely how they are limited. Or they could just be a serial port in a DB25 connector possibly

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sparkyb
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Re: parallel ports

Postby sparkyb » Tue Sep 24, 2013 1:00 am UTC

Jorpho wrote:Doesn't Windows still report them as being parallel ports when you plug them in?


No, that's the problem. Windows reports it as a printer. Basically it takes the work of converting printer commands to the pulsing of pins in a parallel port and pushes that from the Windows driver software down into the hardware of the dongle. I'm not sure exactly why they do this. Maybe they think it will be simpler for people who just want to use an old printer if it shows up as a printer and not as a parallel port that they don't understand and have to install another printer driver on top of. Or maybe because they're already passing the data over a serial connection (USB) it is easier to pass high level messages across that and convert to parallel in hardware than to have to serialize all the individual bit twiddling and timing for all 25 parallel port pins over that serial ink.

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Jorpho
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Re: parallel ports

Postby Jorpho » Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:08 am UTC

sparkyb wrote:Basically it takes the work of converting printer commands to the pulsing of pins in a parallel port and pushes that from the Windows driver software down into the hardware of the dongle.
It sounds like something that would sharply limit the compatibility of such a doodad. But then, I've never used one and probably never will.

I'm not sure exactly why they do this.
As I alluded to above, access to parallel ports in XP/Vista/7 can be a tricky thing involving security permissions. See for instance http://retired.beyondlogic.org/porttalk/porttalk.htm . Presumably something that does not identify itself as a port is much less problematic.


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