Parallel Port Data Capture

February 13, 2009 at 06:09:48
Specs: Windows XP, 512MB

I have a piece of hardware (not a computer) that has a parallel printer port for printing reports directly to a DOS printer.

The printout is plain text and what I would like to do is connect the hardware, using a parallel printer cable to a PC (Windows XP SP2).
When the hardware outputs to the printer, I need the data to be captured and stored in a file on the PC.

There is no control over the output from the hardware or any way to capture the data before it is output.

Can anyone tell me what I require to do this

Thanks


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#1
February 13, 2009 at 13:57:06
Been a long time for that sort of question.

Might set mode lpt to comm on survey computer. Set terminal app or other app to read input.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10


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#2
February 13, 2009 at 15:48:09
You are going to need some specialised software and a modified cable.

The printer port on a computer is an output port. You are connecting two output ports together and are going to need a specially modified cable to do it.

Lap-Link for DOS used the parallel ports to transfer data between two computer but that was DOS based that communicated directly with the hardware. It also needed a special Lap-Link parallel cable to communicate.

http://www.nullmodem.com/LapLink.htm

Compare that to the standard printer cable.

http://www.nullmodem.com/Centronics...

Stuart


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#3
February 13, 2009 at 21:26:52
Back in the old days there were external cdrom's, scanners and various storage devices that connected through the parallel port. All you needed were the right drivers. Did you check to see if there are XP drivers for whatever that 'piece of hardware' is?

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Related Solutions

#4
February 14, 2009 at 02:58:17
>> All you needed were the right drivers.<<

i.e. Specialist software and a device designed to be plugged into a PCs parallel port with the necessary alterations to the cable.

This device is designed to be plugged into a printer. Why should there be a driver to allow it to be plugged into a PC. It can't do both with the same cable.

Stuart


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#5
February 14, 2009 at 03:30:09
Many thanks for taking the time to reply to my question.

I hoped there would be more simple solution.

My simple view was that surely a modern Windows XP computer would be able to read and capture the data that was output to a 20 year old printer!

clipper


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#6
February 14, 2009 at 21:33:25
The parallel port devices all used standard parallel cables. Why should there be XP drivers? Gee, I don't know but maybe we should find out what this mysterious 'piece of hardware' is before we discount what may be the easiest solution.

I'm sure XP would be able to read the incoming data if it has the drivers for the device. Otherwise the data is meaningless.

There are ways to redirect data to a file instead of a printer but that's done on a PC that's sending the data to the printer, not with data coming into the PC.

There might be a software solution but I don't know what it might be. Google returns for any word combinations I can think of are all for PC-to-printer redirection. Of course, if we knew what the hardware was and added that to the google search. . .


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#7
February 15, 2009 at 04:44:25
Thanks DAVEINCAPS

The mystery kit is a timing device which records certain events as they happen.

The device is no longer made and I can't find any info anywhere for it.

There is a simple LCD menu display and after pressing a button on the device, a report is printed to a DOS printer.

That's it!

clipper


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#8
February 15, 2009 at 06:32:34
Any chance of some more info regarding what this thing is called and who made it, and maybe a model number ?
Would seem to me that there is a way with an old print buffer and a custom cable to do this.
Looking forward as to how this one gets solved.

Keep the old stuff running


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#9
February 15, 2009 at 16:07:21
See old dos commands for little used

Set mode comm

Set mode lpt

Use terminal to capture.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10


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#10
February 15, 2009 at 16:27:06
A long shot here. Connect the device to the PC. (Make sure the parallel port is configured in a bidirectional mode--probably EPP.) Turn on the PC and see if XP can detect that something is there. If not, go to 'add hardware' in control panel and choose to manually select the hardware to install. Look through the list and see if anything even remotely resembles your device. It's possible setting it up as something close to what you've got will work.

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#11
February 18, 2009 at 14:36:15
Just have to wonder why the OP will not pop back in here, if something worked or did not would be a good thing for anyone that could be following this, now or in the future....

Keep the old stuff running


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#12
March 16, 2009 at 22:59:47
Clipper,
I had a similar problem at work and found a solution. It's called SilentHawk and is produced by JadTech. They have several different models that operate different way. The one we use, the XE, allows us to hook up several different sources and the device captures the data from an LPT source and retransmits it over the network to a terminal. Works very nicely. Check out the web site --> http://www.imeg.com/jadtech/hawk.htm
BigWillyCo

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