Serial -> Parallel connection?

Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

Hi -

I hope this isn't a stupid question, but ....

I have an aged but perfectly functioning HP Laserjet 5P. It has parallel
and Local Talk ports. Problem is that I have just bought a laptop which
has only serial and USB ports.

Is there any way to connect it to the Laserjet? I wondered if there was
such a thing as a parallel -> serial adaptor.

Thanks,

Tony
18 answers Last reply
More about serial parallel connection
  1. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    FYI: printer ports are being ditched on laptops even on higher end
    ones with widescreen. Generally speaking they are not needed much
    anymore as anyone who needs one can get away with a usb to parallel
    port connection.

    I tried responding earlier with options but seems the message got
    lost.... perhaps someone out there is flagging messages that have urls
    to compgeeks dot com or compusa as spam, hell if I know.

    Anyhow... while I feel that wifi is the cheap solution one might also
    consider bluetooth. It costs more than a wifi adapter for a
    centronics... but compgeeks had the trueblue HP bluetooth adapters for
    $130. A little less hassle than WiFi but costs more and sort of
    depends on whether you have bluetooth on your laptop for it to be worth
    wile. WiFi does have greater range, and is more common than bluetooth
    oddly enough.

    Also... While you could get a nice spiffy $50ish centronics to wifi
    adapter for a printer... i'm starting to see hubs with parellel ports
    onboard on closeout.
  2. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    >If both have RJ45 ethernet ports an RJ45 cross-over cable might get
    >you started and try things out.

    This is a very valid point... if you must go wired than ethernet is the
    way to go. The distance is limited to about 100m where usb is limited
    to well... I don't know... much less. The cable cost is typicaly less
    than USB. The thickness of the cable is almost as small as USB, is
    much more in the way of hot swapable than usb, as in the PC doesn't
    react when you disconnect the device. The only downside is you gotta
    set the IP address on the printer or enable a DHCP on your PC, which
    basicly means turning on internet connection sharing if running win98se
    (IIRC), win2k pro, winxp home/pro.
  3. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Many thanks for the helpful reply. I thought it was a stupid question
    because USB is a serial device, while parallel gives eight bits on 8
    separate lines. Does the device you suggest 'collect' 8 serial bits and
    then transmit down 8 lines, so to speak?

    Does anyone know if HP's 5P parallel driver will actually recognise a
    USB/parallel converter? HP's drivers usually fail to install if they
    don't recognise the appropriate port.

    I haven't yet taken delivery of the laptop. It's a Dell running Windows
    XP. It has an Intel ProWireless 802 11b/g mini PCI card in it. Now, I
    have an old desktop machine running Wndows 98 which does have a parallel
    port. Is there a dongle I can get to hang on its USB port to network to
    the Dell, thus allowing me to print to the HP via the network.

    I don't know much about this kind of thing, and wonder if I would need
    XP on the desktop to do that.

    Many thanks for the advice.

    Tony

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005,13:44:28, Eric P. wrote

    >Maybe something like USB to Parallel Cable shown here
    >http://www.sweex.nl/product.asp?pid=301
  4. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Maybe something like USB to Parallel Cable shown here
    http://www.sweex.nl/product.asp?pid=301

    Specifications
    Supports: IEEE1284 standard
    Interface: USB 1.1
    Maximum parallel data speed: 1.2 Mbps ECP Mode
    Cable length: 1.5 metres
    Bus powered
    Supports: Windows 98se, ME, 2000 and XP

    Every large computershop has products like above

    Tony Stanford wrote:
    >
    > Hi -
    >
    > I hope this isn't a stupid question, but ....
    >
    > I have an aged but perfectly functioning HP Laserjet 5P. It has parallel
    > and Local Talk ports. Problem is that I have just bought a laptop which
    > has only serial and USB ports.
    >
    > Is there any way to connect it to the Laserjet? I wondered if there was
    > such a thing as a parallel -> serial adaptor.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Tony
  5. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005,15:31:19, Eric P. wrote

    >
    >Indeed there are networkadapters you can connect to USB, I have some of
    >them in my collection.

    Thanks very much for the info.

    Presumably I don't need a router to connect two machines or more peer to
    peer machines, just usb 802.11 dongles on each?

    Regards

    Tony
  6. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    > Could someone please answer one more simple question? Do I just need a
    > USB 802.11 dongle, to network 2 or more machines, or *must* I have a
    > wireless access point, too? I just want to network 2 machines by
    > 802.11, one of which will have the printer attached. So I can access
    > files and printer from any machine

    You want to network three machines, where the printer = a machine.

    You "could" setup an Ad-hoc that is isn't dependent on an access point.
    This would require if i'm remembering correct (something I haven't
    done) all wireless devices manualy set to the same SSID and the same
    channel, as well as a series of IP address such as 192.168.0.x where
    the last value = 1-254.

    Or you can pickup an access point, that auto assigns this info to each
    client.

    One keypoint to an access point is you can buy one with a hub and
    router onboard where all machines on your network can access a
    broadband connection. Not so useful if you are on dialup, dialup
    requires just an access point with one PC with internet connection
    sharing on. Also access points with routers and hubs are typicaly the
    things on sale... and if your pc already has a network adapter you can
    just jack into it with a cable and reserve the wireless for devices
    that move or devices you don't want a huge wire on.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On 14-Aug-2005, Tony Stanford <tonystanford@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

    > Presumably I don't need a router to connect two machines or more peer to
    > peer machines, just usb 802.11 dongles on each?

    If both have RJ45 ethernet ports an RJ45 cross-over cable might get
    you started and try things out. Ethernet cards (and cables) are cheap,
    if there isn't an RJ45 ethernet port on old desktops. Most cards are
    plug and pray. Once you've got a simple setup working and sorted
    out the basic network configuration, you can look at other options, like
    wireless, if needed. There are quite a few online resources on
    setting up a basic network.
    Years ago we used BNC and co-ax ethernet cards, you could
    daisy chain without any additional hardware like hubs or routers.
    You didn't even have to worry about crossover cables.
  8. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    You can't do much with the serial port on the laptop, apart from
    connecting an external dialup modem.
    So maybe you could look for a laptop with a better hardware configuration.

    I don't doubt the HP Laserjet 5P will work with the parallel/USB
    conversion but never tried it myself.

    I'm using 5 computers in a small network, using a Draytek Vigor 2600We
    ADSL Router/Wireless LAN.
    All computers, four desktops and a laptop, run Windows 98SE.
    One desktop can in addition run Windows XP Home from an extra harddisk
    instead.
    Two computers are connected wireless 802 11b, one of them is a 5 year
    old Toshiba laptop running Windows 98SE.

    I have an HP Laserjet 4100N connected to the parallel port of a desktop
    running Windows 98SE as a local printer and use this one to print from
    the other computers in the network.

    Indeed there are networkadapters you can connect to USB, I have some of
    them in my collection.
    But using a regular NIC connected to PCI is just as simple.

    Tony Stanford wrote:
    >
    > Many thanks for the helpful reply. I thought it was a stupid question
    > because USB is a serial device, while parallel gives eight bits on 8
    > separate lines. Does the device you suggest 'collect' 8 serial bits and
    > then transmit down 8 lines, so to speak?
    >
    > Does anyone know if HP's 5P parallel driver will actually recognise a
    > USB/parallel converter? HP's drivers usually fail to install if they
    > don't recognise the appropriate port.
    >
    > I haven't yet taken delivery of the laptop. It's a Dell running Windows
    > XP. It has an Intel ProWireless 802 11b/g mini PCI card in it. Now, I
    > have an old desktop machine running Wndows 98 which does have a parallel
    > port. Is there a dongle I can get to hang on its USB port to network to
    > the Dell, thus allowing me to print to the HP via the network.
    >
    > I don't know much about this kind of thing, and wonder if I would need
    > XP on the desktop to do that.
    >
    > Many thanks for the advice.
    >
    > Tony
    >
    > On Sun, 14 Aug 2005,13:44:28, Eric P. wrote
    >
    >> Maybe something like USB to Parallel Cable shown here
    >> http://www.sweex.nl/product.asp?pid=301
    >
    >
  9. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Many thanks for all the helpful responses. Given my setup at home, and
    the fact that the new laptop comes equipped with a 802.22b/g card, that
    is the way I'm going to go.

    Could someone please answer one more simple question? Do I just need a
    USB 802.11 dongle, to network 2 or more machines, or *must* I have a
    wireless access point, too? I just want to network 2 machines by
    802.11, one of which will have the printer attached. So I can access
    files and printer from any machine.

    So, do I need a wireless access point, or will a 802.11 card on each
    machine suffice?

    Many thanks

    Tony
  10. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    In article <3bP$6aAqsz$CFw9f@BTOpenworld.com>, tonystanford@hotmail.co.uk wrote:
    >
    >Many thanks for the helpful reply. I thought it was a stupid question
    >because USB is a serial device, while parallel gives eight bits on 8
    >separate lines. Does the device you suggest 'collect' 8 serial bits and
    >then transmit down 8 lines, so to speak?
    >
    >Does anyone know if HP's 5P parallel driver will actually recognise a
    >USB/parallel converter? HP's drivers usually fail to install if they
    >don't recognise the appropriate port.
    >

    Sure, i run an old HP Laserjet 5 on a Belkin brand USB to Parallel adapter

    >I haven't yet taken delivery of the laptop. It's a Dell running Windows
    >XP. It has an Intel ProWireless 802 11b/g mini PCI card in it. Now, I
    >have an old desktop machine running Wndows 98 which does have a parallel
    >port. Is there a dongle I can get to hang on its USB port to network to
    >the Dell, thus allowing me to print to the HP via the network.
    >
    >I don't know much about this kind of thing, and wonder if I would need
    >XP on the desktop to do that.

    Just hook the printer to the Win98 machine and share the printer on the
    network. Yes you could get a USB Wireless b/g adapter and network the two
    machines.The only drawback to this setup is that you'll have to have the win98
    machine on if you want to print.


    >
    >Many thanks for the advice.
    >
    >Tony
    >
    >On Sun, 14 Aug 2005,13:44:28, Eric P. wrote
    >
    >>Maybe something like USB to Parallel Cable shown here
    >>http://www.sweex.nl/product.asp?pid=301
    >
  11. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    That's right, Ad-Hoc network connection.
    You can choose wireless or wired.

    Tony Stanford wrote:
    > peer machines, just usb 802.11 dongles on each?
  12. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005 11:04:33 +0000 (UTC), Tony Stanford
    <tonystanford@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

    >I have an aged but perfectly functioning HP Laserjet 5P. It has parallel
    >and Local Talk ports. Problem is that I have just bought a laptop which
    >has only serial and USB ports.
    >
    >Is there any way to connect it to the Laserjet? I wondered if there was
    >such a thing as a parallel -> serial adaptor.

    The 5P also has an IrDA infrared port. This might be your best bet,
    saving some cabling.
    Some laptops come with IrDA ports, (maybe they didn't mention it)
    otherwise you can get a USB-IrDA dongle for about $20.
  13. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Sun, 14 Aug 2005,14:40:10, zakezuke wrote

    >and if your pc already has a network adapter you can
    >just jack into it with a cable and reserve the wireless for devices
    >that move or devices you don't want a huge wire on.

    Thanks for the detailed reply.

    I have a 802.11 card in a laptop to be delivered next week. I have a
    desktop with no network card, but am buying a 802.11 usb 'dongle'. The
    printers are connected to the desktop.

    Your suggestion of an access point (and I will be moving to broadband
    shortly), seems the way to go. Does that mean the printers plug into the
    access point? Or still into the machine, which must therefore be on when
    I want to print from the laptop? By the way, the laptop is in another
    room, hence I want the radio link.

    I'm afraid I don't know the first thing about networking. Does anyone
    know some good links on how to set up an 802.11 network?

    Thanks again,

    Tony
  14. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    > Your suggestion of an access point (and I will be moving to broadband
    > shortly), seems the way to go. Does that mean the printers plug into the
    > access point? Or still into the machine, which must therefore be on when
    > I want to print from the laptop? By the way, the laptop is in another
    > room, hence I want the radio link

    You can (considering you already are getting wifi adapter for the
    laptop)

    -by access point I'm refering to a wifi router.

    1. Buy the dongle for your PC, Buy dongle (centronics wifi print
    server). Attach modem to WAN port on the access point and have a
    network.

    -or-

    2. Buy an access point that has a jack for the printer. If your pc
    has a network adapter (i.e. a jack that looks bigger than a phone
    jack). Attach PC and Printer to the access point, attach modem to the
    [wan] port on the access point.

    1 requires more hardware but assures that you can place your stuff
    anywhere.
    2.requires you spend more on your access point unless you find one that
    supports older printers on closeout. Your cable modem and your access
    point must be near your PC as they are attached to it with a wire.


    Something that resembles a guide

    http://www.wifi411.com/wifi_guide/wi-fi_setup_guide.php

    Keep in mind also that anything you buy retail typicaly offer free
    technical support. Use them esp for a trivial little question on "how
    do I setup encryption so any joker can't see what i'm doing".
  15. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On 15-Aug-2005, Tony Stanford <tonystanford@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

    > Your suggestion of an access point (and I will be moving to broadband
    > shortly), seems the way to go. Does that mean the printers plug into the
    > access point? Or still into the machine,

    Some printers come with the network option, with others it's an
    optional extra. It's sometimes referred to as network enabled.
  16. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Mon, 15 Aug 2005,13:44:23, zakezuke wrote
    >
    >You can (considering you already are getting wifi adapter for the
    >laptop)
    >
    >-by access point I'm refering to a wifi router.
    [snip]

    Many thanks for your helpful advice.

    Tony
  17. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    Thanks very much for the info. I did receive your detailed response and
    thought I'd posted a note saying thanks. Apologies if it didn't get
    through. For various reasons, I'm going for the wifi solution.
    Thanks
    Tony


    On Wed, 17 Aug 2005,16:43:36, Alan wrote

    >On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 14:21:25 +0000 (UTC), Tony Stanford
    ><tonystanford@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:
    >
    >>On Mon, 15 Aug 2005,13:44:23, zakezuke wrote
    >>>
    >>>You can (considering you already are getting wifi adapter for the
    >>>laptop)
    >>>
    >>>-by access point I'm refering to a wifi router.
    >>[snip]
    >>
    >>Many thanks for your helpful advice.
    >>
    >>Tony
    >
    >I posted this earlier, but the lack of any response suggests it may
    >not have got through. Though maybe you just thought it irrelevant. So,
    >one more time:
    >The 5P also has an IrDA infrared port. This might be your best bet,
    >saving some cabling.
    >Some laptops come with IrDA ports, (maybe they didn't mention it)
    >otherwise you can get a USB-IrDA dongle for about $20.
    >
    >This sounds rather cheaper than a WiFi solution, though you might have
    >line- of-sight issues.
  18. Archived from groups: comp.periphs.printers (More info?)

    On Tue, 16 Aug 2005 14:21:25 +0000 (UTC), Tony Stanford
    <tonystanford@hotmail.co.uk> wrote:

    >On Mon, 15 Aug 2005,13:44:23, zakezuke wrote
    >>
    >>You can (considering you already are getting wifi adapter for the
    >>laptop)
    >>
    >>-by access point I'm refering to a wifi router.
    >[snip]
    >
    >Many thanks for your helpful advice.
    >
    >Tony

    I posted this earlier, but the lack of any response suggests it may
    not have got through. Though maybe you just thought it irrelevant. So,
    one more time:
    The 5P also has an IrDA infrared port. This might be your best bet,
    saving some cabling.
    Some laptops come with IrDA ports, (maybe they didn't mention it)
    otherwise you can get a USB-IrDA dongle for about $20.

    This sounds rather cheaper than a WiFi solution, though you might have
    line- of-sight issues.
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