Trying to connect old printer that does not have 2-wqy communicattion

I would like to connect a Canon BJ-10sx to a Windows 8.1 64bit laptop. The printer has a parallel input, for which I have a USB to parallel converter. The converter works fine for another printer which declares
its name.
There is no 64bit driver for the Canon, but I have installed a driver for another printer which should work with the Canon. But as the Canon can't send back data to the computer, the computer can't recognise it to match with the substitute driver, the parallel port LPT1: does not appear in Control Panel, and "No printer attached" appears under Universal Serial Bus Controllers when the adapter is plugged in.
Is it therefore impossible to connect this Canon?
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Dave W

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I have had mixed success with usb to // converters.
At a school I worked at I bought one and it worked a treat.
So my boss bought 20. But she bought another (cheaper) brand that didn? ??t.
Many years later a friend ha a LJ III with a // port and upgraded to a lapt op with no //.
I tried the printer with a usb to // on my desktop and it worked a treat.
Took it to hers (same flavour of Windows). And it wouldn’t play.
Fortunately we had some HP network ports in the “never going to use that again” box at work, so I slipped one of them in the printer a nd put a crossover between it and the laptop.
Hmm..... there is a thought. You could get a second hand parallel print se rver for next to nothing if eBay I would think and see if that works.
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Depends very much on the driver design. Brian
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wrote:

Dunno if this is any help but, disregarding the serial-parallel issue for the moment, I have a printer that is an absolute sod to connect to Win 8.1 but when I slip a Linux live boot disk in the machine, Linux just finds the driver it wants on-line and gets on with it. Worth a try?
Nick
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Dave W wrote:

USB to printer connector converters are not USB to parallel port converters.
The difference is, the USB Class driver only runs the converter in one mode, suitable for printers. The other three parallel port modes are not accessible through that driver.
I have a "real" parallel port, and it's on a PCI Express card, and I operated a JTAG scanner off it. The driver in that case supports all four modes. There aer PCI versions of cards like that too. What I lack, is a sample of the USB to printer converter (unidirectional driver).
This means that a printer connected to one of those converters, must be happy to be run unidirectionally.
In Windows, there is an additional ceremony, that involves a relatively large download, containing old drivers for a variety of printers. Using that option, you might just find the correct driver for the job.
https://www.windowscentral.com/how-install-older-printer-windows-10
"Open Settings. Click on Devices. Click on Printers & scanners.
Click the "Add a printer or scanner" button.
Wait a few moments. Click "The printer that I want isn't listed" option.
Select the "My printer is a little older. Help me find it" option.
Select your printer from the list. Click the Next button.
Type a name for the printer. Click the Next button.
Select the Do not share this printer option. Click the Next button.
Click the "Print a test page"
Click the Finish button. "
I've not tested this, but multiple people have referred to this method in the past, and they tell me "there is a large download when the old printers come in", so perhaps there will be a delay before one of those steps proceeds.
For one old printer, a dot matrix, if you know the name equivalent, some other dot matrix driver functions as a "generic" and can make your crusty dot matrix work. There's really no limit to the ingenuity people put into this stuff.
If you don't put nose to grindstone, there'll be no result.
There are also universal drivers, one created for PostScript, one created more recently for PCL. Which is another way to get older devices working. I've used one of those for a "Print to File" driver, but the results were less than stellar, as the damn driver used "bitmaps" for the prints. And that's a sucky way to do it (only good for printing, no good for document re-purposement).
It's a DIY group - if someone here can't make it work, then by definition it must be impossible.
Paul
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Sounds like USB to Serial. Some work, some don't (for the use I need). Seems to depend on the chipset inside them.
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*Pentium wise, pen and paper foolish *

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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On Wednesday, 20 May 2020 03:47:31 UTC+1, Paul wrote:

I'd be surprised if an inkjet that old still works. They don't last well.

Last time I ran dot matrices, not recently, many had banks of switches that enabled them to present more than one mode of computer interface.
I can't imagine wanting to go back to dm. Currently listening to 1920s technology, but 1980s printers no thanks.
NT
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On Wed, 20 May 2020 08:05:17 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I've got two of them and they work perfectly, although slow. They are only 4cm high off the table. I was hoping to use one to print out my gps track on tracing paper after a country walk, to give to interested parties to superimpose on their OS map to see where we'd been.
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wrote:

Paul, thanks for your input.
My USB converter is sold as a USB to parallel port converter - I have to plug it into my Centronics cable to feed the printer. I can't find any unidirectional converters online.
However perhaps my converter is only configured as a printer driver, as why else would it display "no printer attached" if the port is for general use? I have a USB to serial converter which shows as a COM: port when plugged in, but my USB to parallel converter doesn't show as an LPT: port.
My laptop has no facility for plug-in cards.
I didn't notice the Windows Update for more printers, so thanks for mentioning it. I've tried it now but my printer isn't on the list. Neither is the AGFA printer that would be accepted by my Canon.
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Dave W wrote:

I tried a few generic searches, and Google was its usual helpful self.
I tried tracing a hardware example, and I got a bit more traction that way. The Prolific PL2305 is apparently a chip used in these USB cables.
https://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/Parallel/USB-to-Parallel-Adapter-Cable-DB25~ICUSB1284D25
"When this cable is installed correctly in Windows 10, it will appear as USB printer support in the device manager, not a standard LPT port."
And Windows would use a generic "USB Class" driver. I've been trying to figure out what the class number is for that, without success.
Now, I'll grab a manual for theirs. It uses a Prolific PL2305.
https://sgcdn.startech.com/005329/media/sets/ICUSB1284D25_Manual/ICUSB1284D25_NewManual.pdf
Using the chip number, this manual has a few pictures of what Device Manager should show. This is a bit more useful to your situation. There's still a gap though, as to whether Device Manager knew right away (from a PNP perspective), what was on the cable.
https://prolificusa.com/app/uploads/2018/02/PL2305-Windows-8-Installation-Guide.pdf
USB Root Hub USB Printing Support EPSON LQ-300+ /II ESC/P 2
When the EPSON driver is installed, there is an "Enable Bidirectional Support" on what they call a Virtual Printer Port, but that won't be exposed for you to tick right away.
I mean, if PNP is to work here, the interface pretty well has to be flipped to Bidirectional by Windows.
And what I've read on this topic in the past, the claim was that the driver "only supported one of four operating modes". I've never seen a more detailed analysis than that, such as someone checking with an oscilloscope, what modes or pulse patterns it might be using. I think the reference to the driver being "only a Printer driver", was to stop people from trying to run their little hardware projects from that cable. Not every hardware feature needed is exposed that way.
Paul
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wrote:

I searched online this morning for a USB to parallel port adaptor that doesn't mention printer, but no luck. I also found some blog reply from 2007 that said there is no such thing as a USB adaptor that shows as a parallel port when plugged in - all adaptors are for printers and show up as USB Printer Support in Device Manager. See https://forum.parallels.com/threads/usb-parallel-port-25-pin.6936/
I came back and saw your posting. Your last link describes exactly what I'm getting. I had also found the Startech cable, but the UK distributor no longer sells it. I notice on your first link there are two reviews. The first says that their HP Laserjet 1100 worked OK. So does my Laserjet 1200! But if your printer isn't in the Windows list then it won't work, like the second review.
Perhaps an interface coud be constructed to look like a parallel port when plugged in. I saw a few interfaces for applications that used the parallel port for things other than printers.
Dave W
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On 20/05/2020 23:04, Dave W wrote:

Shame: Th threw away my network box with an ethernet and two centronics ports on it as never going to be used again..
Would have suited you mightily
Google ebay HP JetDirect...there's a few sub £20
--
Any fool can believe in principles - and most of them do!



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On Wednesday, 20 May 2020 23:04:44 UTC+1, Dave W wrote:

I've run many printers on any old driver from the same era & type, and when poss same brand.
NT
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On Thu, 21 May 2020 05:25:06 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Care to share how?
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Dave W

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On Thursday, 21 May 2020 21:20:45 UTC+1, Dave W wrote:

hen poss same brand.

When I ran windows I stuck with 98, which may make a large difference. Just select model from list when it asks what printer you have. I'm hoping some one knows how to do that in 8.1, perhaps with some little 3rd party app. If there's no way to I don't know if you could run virtual 98 & send the data to that. Very clunky I know. Or you could get all sensible & try linux :) I can tell this linux machine my printer is anything - solves the great maj ority of print driver problems.
NT
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On Thu, 21 May 2020 23:39:45 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Windows 98 is the last operating system that allows direct access to the pins of hardware ports. At one of my employments I made use of this to drive test equipment, and they put a big notice on the PC "Not to be updated" to XP.
I wrote my gps printer program to suit Windows 98, and that's what I still use at home. On modern windows, even a virtual Win98 machine can't drive the ports directly - all communication has to go through the modern Windows host.
I have succeeded in using DOSbox to get the serial input from my gps via COM2: created by a USB to serial converter. To drive my printer I need to access LPT1:, but USB to parallel converters don't provide that port. They just use Windows USB printer facility.
As I implied, only Win98 has my old printer in its list. There are no drivers for it on modern machines. There are drivers for an old Agfa printer that would be acceptable to my Canon, but the computer won't connect it unless my printer replies that it's Agfa. My printer can't reply anything anyway, as I said in my original posting.
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Dave W

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On Friday, 22 May 2020 22:45:43 UTC+1, Dave W wrote:

d when poss same brand.

ust select model from list when it asks what printer you have. I'm hoping s omeone knows how to do that in 8.1, perhaps with some little 3rd party app. If there's no way to I don't know if you could run virtual 98 & send the d ata to that. Very clunky I know. Or you could get all sensible & try linux :) I can tell this linux machine my printer is anything - solves the great majority of print driver problems.

I wonder if you know your options but don't want to accept them.
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On Sat, 23 May 2020 01:07:58 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I have a new option now - construct a USB to parallel port inside a Centronics plug housing, using an FT245BL chip.
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Dave W

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Dave W wrote:

Here is a summary, as to things your adapter could do. This file is a PDF, and when it arrives, may need ".pdf" added to the end of the filename.
http://www.prolific.com.tw/ShowProductPDF.aspx?p_id=6
(PL2305 http://www.prolific.com.tw/US/ShowProduct.aspx?p_id=6&pcidA )
"The PL2305 is default to negotiate with the printer into
Nibble mode for upstream data and
Compatible mode for downstream data transfer."
Whatever that means.
Does every printer do it that way ???
Paul
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wrote:

I don't know what it means either, but the words "USB Printer Class specification" seem to indicate that the chip is similar to all USB to printer adapters, which use the Windows USB Printer service but do not create a port like LPT1.
The printer service demands that the printer declares its name when interrogated, and if it doesn't respond with a name in Windows' list, then we get "Printer not connected" as one of the USB devices in Device Manager.
If I have LPT1; I can send it print data for my printer from my BASIC programme irrespective of whether it's the right printer.
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