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IndustryArena Forum > Community Club House > International / Regional Forums > Australia, New Zealand Club House > parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel port?
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  1. #1
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    parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel port?

    Hey G'day folks,

    Well the last of my pc boxes with a parallel port has finally gone to heaven, its poetic after having resolved an issue I had with the g540 this is an annoyance.

    Question is there an inexpensive solution to go from pc usb/ethernet to parallel port?

    I used to have a UC100 (I should have kept it but gave it away with an old cnc router) did a great job but I really don't want to spend $170/$200 for a usb to parallel port card. I know I'm being cheap.

    I've had a good look at whats available in smooth steppers, they all must be ok I guess but my humble opinion they are overpriced. I never had an issue with parallel port things always worked as intended.

    I would just like to not have to go find another OLD motherboard with P/P and spend time making it all work. Cost of a motherboard probably $20 - $50 at a flea market or flea bay..

    The other solution I can dust of one of my older laptops and just buy a PCMCIA card they are relatively cheap $5/$15...

    But being old miserable and grumpy and wanting to be difficult I would like to buy something similar to the UC100 simple plug and play so I can keep my G540.

    The smoothsteppers I've seen todate just seem so expensive - virtually not viable to buy if I need to spend that type of money I'd rather shelve the G540 and buy a control board with USB/ethernet already built in.

    Is there anything available under the $100 mark - I don't need it to be clever just functional.


    Cheers and avagreatday all,

    Steve

    I'm just wondering if I should step outside to make sure the roof doesn't cave in.
    I'm still breathing and living to disappoint..

  2. #2
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po


  3. #3
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    USB converters (for printers etc) do not work.

    Laptops are not suitable due to high latency, partly due to power management features. They can work ok if you have hardware step generation like the UC100 or smoothstepper.

    PCI parallel port cards are available for cheap. You should be able to pick up an old pc for bugger all from many places.

    I use LinuxCNC and a mesanet 7i43 for hardware step generation. Works great.
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  4. #4
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Hey G'day,

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I take it the HP DC7900 has a parallel port built in or need to buy a pci card? What are you using Paul if I may ask please?
    Of all the ones up for sale you'd think I'd luck on to a photo of one from behind lol.. Dam that's a throw away price.

    Pippin I've never had issues using a laptop, mind you I've always had access to decent notebooks, I agree some laptops/notebooks would have latency issues. I grew up with Free BsD you would think I wouldn't have an issue with Linux but I do. I've had a windows chip inserted somewhere.. mesanet 7i43 I will have a closer look at that.. Google seems to have a lot of info, just need to sit down and find some pricing on the card.

    Many thanks,

    Steve

  5. #5
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    When my built in parallel port died, I went to Newegg and bought a PCI parallel port card. I recall it was around $19 with free shipping. Made by SIIG. Worked just fine.

    I did do a lathe conversion for a friend who wanted to use a laptop only. Made him buy a UC100. It was $119 on eBay. Worked rather nice, better than using a standard parallel port.

  6. #6
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Quote Originally Posted by jfong View Post
    When my built in parallel port died, I went to Newegg and bought a PCI parallel port card. I recall it was around $19 with free shipping. Made by SIIG. Worked just fine.

    I did do a lathe conversion for a friend who wanted to use a laptop only. Made him buy a UC100. It was $119 on eBay. Worked rather nice, better than using a standard parallel port.
    Hey G'day,

    Thank you for your reply,

    Pci card will have to do.. I was just thinking about using some of the less old equipment I had. The first thing I thought about was the UC100 but they are now about $180 AU to buy so getting to be quite pricey.

    I thought about upgrading to Mach4 I was informed by CNCdrive - motion controls that there is no support for Mach4 and nothing coming soon either..

    Cheers and thanks for your suggestions.


    Regards,

    Steve

  7. #7
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    The mesanet cards are not supported by Mach (no physical reason they can't be), they are really for use with linuxcnc. The 7i43 is older and communicates with the PC by parallel port (I was just stating what I use). The 5i25 is a PCI card and quite popular. There are newer boards that use Ethernet also.
    7xCNC.com - CNC info for the minilathe (7x10, 7x12, 7x14, 7x16)

  8. #8
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Quote Originally Posted by pippin88 View Post
    The mesanet cards are not supported by Mach (no physical reason they can't be), they are really for use with linuxcnc. The 7i43 is older and communicates with the PC by parallel port (I was just stating what I use). The 5i25 is a PCI card and quite popular. There are newer boards that use Ethernet also.
    Pippin cheers and thanks for the clarification..

    Steve

  9. #9
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Face it: the PP is dead.
    Lots of us are very happy with the Ethernet Smooth Stepper, and you get THREE parallel ports out of one ESS. Pins galore!

    Cheers
    Roger

  10. #10
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    Face it: the PP is dead.
    Lots of us are very happy with the Ethernet Smooth Stepper, and you get THREE parallel ports out of one ESS. Pins galore!

    Cheers
    Roger
    Roger g'day good sir,

    P/P died many many years ago but the cnc control aficionados all insisted on being 10 years behind the times and forced the issue of using parallel port continuing to manufacture product requiring those now defunct db connectors. Now of course those that are selling USB controllers are gouging price and are selling mutton at lamb pricing.

    Where are we at now usb3/4.. gecko g540 is what $350 odd AU plus add $250 plus for smoothstepper makes one expensive controller.

    I'm going to go visit and purchase in moorabbin and pick up a HP 7800 instead of the 7900 it has the parallel port already built in 80 gig hard drive 4 gig ram $69 one x 19" monitor $50 pffffffft I don't care if the crows pick at the box..

    But that's what you get when you have dinosaurs and DoDo's manufacturing for the 21st century.

    cheers Steve

  11. #11
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Hi Steve

    Well, I understand what you are saying, and partly agree, but:
    to get a mass market with lower prices, you have to have an interface everyone can standardise around. That's what created the PC after all. And the PP has the advantage that it was there at the start. Using it did not favour any one mfr.

    Yes, you can get an older model PC with ONE parallel port. But ONE PP is very restrictive. As I mentioned, with the ESS you get three PPs. I find I have quite a few spare pins now, and full galvanic isolation between PC and CNC too.

    'mutton at lamb pricing'? Have you costed out the development of the FPGA used? Plus all the rest of the SW needed? The ESS works.

    Cheers
    Roger

  12. #12
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    Re: parallel port dead with pc-suggestions for purchasing usb/ethernet to parallel po

    Quote Originally Posted by RCaffin View Post
    Hi Steve

    Well, I understand what you are saying, and partly agree, but:
    to get a mass market with lower prices, you have to have an interface everyone can standardise around. That's what created the PC after all. And the PP has the advantage that it was there at the start. Using it did not favour any one mfr.

    Yes, you can get an older model PC with ONE parallel port. But ONE PP is very restrictive. As I mentioned, with the ESS you get three PPs. I find I have quite a few spare pins now, and full galvanic isolation between PC and CNC too.

    'mutton at lamb pricing'? Have you costed out the development of the FPGA used? Plus all the rest of the SW needed? The ESS works.

    Cheers
    Roger
    Roger hey G'day,

    Its not easy to cost these things out but I'm coming at it from a a view having been in the IT/T industry for most of my life I look at the technology available on the other side of the fence.. Its cheap dirt dirt cheap, unfortunately cnc 3d printers etc are still slightly behind the 8 ball. It will catch up eventually. I have three notebooks at home plus 2 windows 8 tablets all of which are super seeded now - would have loved to have used them instead.

    I hear what your saying and agree no argument from me. One parallel port is all I need for this current project. For the time being I just need it to work. One vicious row at a time ..

    Avagoodone mate.

    Steve

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