Serial /Parallel

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by crobRob, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. crobRob

    Thread Starter New Member

    Mar 4, 2015
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    Hello,

    is it possible to use a Shift Register to convert Serial Data to Parallel?
    I'd like to control my DB25 Mill (Parallel) via USB. Most PC's don't have Parallel Db25 ports any more, is this possible?

    Thanks,

    Rob
     
  2. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Maybe. While USB is serial, it is not simple serial. They do make, however, modules to translate from USB to RS232 and, probably, to Centronics parallel. But getting things that are timing critical to work is tricky because USB does not make it easy to exercise fine timing control. Also, Centronics is a bi-directional interface whose use tended to be very application specific. So it could end up being pretty challenging. Do you have all of the necessary documentation and understanding to know exactly what signals need to be sent and received from the BD25 connector in order to do everything that you want/need to do?
     
  3. MikeML

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 2, 2009
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    You should be able to go buy a parallel-port interface card and plug it into the computer.

    Maybe Win 7/8 doesn't support the drivers????
     
  4. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    It might even be easier to just get an old computer (for free or probably $10 to $20) and use that.
     
  5. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    It would be better if you could describe in detail how the parallel port is transmitting information to the Mill's controller. Is it through the use of 8-bit characters? is it bidirectional? Are you using the port to send individual commands, or an entire program? Can the PC's software be tweaked? Do you have the source code? How about the mill controller's manuals?
     
  6. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    The easiest way is to simply go buy a Parallel Port Card and shove it in the PC. There are also various devices like an old Belkin USB to Parallel Port and Serial Port converter I have laying around. While the devices work fine the problem is most of the software written around the parallel port won't run on the newer operating systems. Like trying to find drivers for that old HP Printer that uses a parallel port. Even if you manage to connect the printer to the PC HP quit making drivers with Windows 2K. :)

    Ron
     
  7. cmartinez

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Most old CNC equipment won't work with those converters, since the USB to PP converters were designed primarily for old printers, and some converters won't even allow bi-directional communication. Some converters can't even be configured as SPP EPP or ECP which might be a requirement for some controllers.
     
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