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
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?
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?
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
On Wed, 20 May 2020 08:05:17 -0700 (PDT), firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.
"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,
Now, I'll grab a manual for theirs. It uses a Prolific PL2305.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On Thu, 21 May 2020 23:39:45 -0700 (PDT), email@example.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.
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.
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.
(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 ???
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
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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