How can I use a Smith Corona SD250 as printer

November 29, 2010 at 16:23:08
Specs: Windows (I can run VM if I have to), Way more than enough [3GHz]
I have a Smith Corona - SD 250 Electric typewriter/printer with a RS232 interface (or something similar, whatever was out in the mid-80s). And I was wondering if there was perhaps a way that I could hook it up to a computer (doesnt matter which OS, sure i could work around it) and use it as a printer. Please help.

See More: How can I use a Smith Corona SD250 as printer

Report •

#1
November 29, 2010 at 17:13:10
Wow,that's a stretch. Yes there may be a way with custom drivers and such but honestly after you have spent the time, effort, blood sweat & tears it would be way cheaper and much less of a headache to just buy a new printer.

Seriously, I really doubt you would find drivers that would support this.


Report •

#2
November 29, 2010 at 18:36:12
Probably don't need any drivers. Printer probably understands ASCII. RS232 interface is serial. Does you present computer have a serial port?

Report •

#3
November 29, 2010 at 18:58:58
or something similar, whatever was out in the mid-80s

You need to know exactly what it is. Either RS232 serial or Centronics Parallel, both which were common in the 1980s. The RS232 is 24 pins. Centronics parallel was 36 pins with an edge connector on the printer.

A Generic, Text Only driver that is available in Windows XP should be all the drivers you need.

Even if you do get it to work I think you are going to have problems getting ribbons for it although you might try here.

http://www.ribbonsunlimited.com/typ...

Stuart


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
November 30, 2010 at 06:07:35
Besides all that, the level of what is acceptable quality has been raised. If the documents produced are to be used for anything more than personal archiving they won't cut it.

Report •

#5
November 30, 2010 at 08:09:43
I don't think quality is going to be an issue. This will be either a daisy wheel or golf-ball printer, either which can produce printouts comparable with a modern laser or ink jet, albeit a lot slower. The problem with those kinds of printer is the noise they make. Working in an office with the constant clatter of daisy wheel printer is not a pleasant experience.

They come under the collective name of impact printers and the impacts can be quite severe.

Stuart


Report •

#6
November 30, 2010 at 17:22:51
The quality of fully formed impact printers is quite good (letter quality) with quality ribbons and good platens. At home the noise level is quite high for longer print jobs. Your SCM probably won't make as much noise as a IBM Selectric or Xerox Diablo Hytype mechanisms.

Report •

#7
December 17, 2010 at 14:48:09
I dont care how slow it would be. All I want to know is how to use it as a printer. Any links would be helpful...

Report •

#8
December 17, 2010 at 15:12:32
Just plug it in, install the driver and use it like any other printer.

Stuart


Report •

#9
December 17, 2010 at 18:18:47
the strange thing is, you could plug a null-modem cable right into it and have it fit perfectly so i don't think this is either of those

Report •

#10
December 17, 2010 at 18:19:33
yes, my current computer has a serial port

Report •

#11
December 17, 2010 at 20:07:07
You don't need a Null modem cable. An ordinary serial cable should do it providing the printer has a serial port..

When you install the Plain Text Driver from Windows you will get the opportunity to link it to Com1 or Com2. Com1 if you computer only has one serial port which most do these days.

Stuart


Report •

#12
December 20, 2010 at 13:01:51
the only problem I have with this is that there are several types of serial cables. and if it is modem (NOT null) then the answer is NO. Last time I tried a modem cable it sent my Power Supply up in flames, literally. Please specify which kind of serial cable is required.

Report •

#13
December 20, 2010 at 14:24:08
Unfortunately db-25 connectors are used for serial. parallel, scsi, video. and other purposes. For a serial connection as little as two wires to nearly all 25 may be used. Your cable probably had pins jumpered (shorted) together for hardware handshaking, Unless you know how it is connected you will have to test the cable. Unfortunately every manufacturer modified the standard connections. I use to have cables for certain printers from certain computers.

Report •

#14
December 20, 2010 at 15:27:18
Yes, just because it has a DB25, or a DB9, even plug on the end doesn't mean it is an RS232 serial cable.

If the printer doesn't conform the the RS232 standard then you will probably need to make your own cable.

Stuart


Report •

#15
December 20, 2010 at 17:58:58
how do i know if it doesn't? The port coming out of the printer is a female 9-pin serial connection. It froze up and occasionally printed strange characters when i used the null modem. I tried printing to it from dos 622 when that happened.

Report •

#16
December 20, 2010 at 18:06:18
This was purely experimental because I saw on the second page of the instruction manual that it could be used as a printer with "other computers" I guess they were a little ahead of their time since nothing that functioned similar to today's computers was out back then. This doesn't mean I am not going to try to get this working. (Unless I have to go haul an IBM 5200 out of the toxic waste yard, then I'll just say "NO")

Report •

#17
December 20, 2010 at 18:16:31
There were RS232 serial connections back then, are no different then they are now and RS232 has it origins way back in 1962.

Get yourself a proper serial cable wired to RS232 specifications an it will probably work. A Null modem cable is the RS232 equivalent of an Ethernet crossover cable.

http://airborn.com.au/serial/rs232....

Stuart


Report •

#18
December 20, 2010 at 20:42:24

Report •

#19
December 28, 2010 at 17:34:13
Why do I have a nagging feeling about that RS-232C connector on the back? Is it because it was designed to plug in an external CRT monitor for word-processing? Maybe. Or was it because you needed some other interface called the "Smith Corona Messenger Module" to interface to a computer? Maybe

If it is the latter, then I know you need the messenger module to print to it from a computer. And, of course, if it's just for a monitor, you can't print to it.


Report •

#20
December 28, 2010 at 21:08:46
Many early CRT terminals (ex. Televideo 950) had a RS-232 port to provide hard copy output.

Report •

Ask Question