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  • Printer port acessibility

    Many years ago, I wrote a qbasic program to count laps(via magnetic reed switches) and activate a signal to control a relay(on/off, start/stop), all via the line printer(lpt) parallel port. Today the computers do not have this serial data port. I have used a USB cable to interface with an old printer from my “newer” computer, but wasn’t sure if something similar could work with my apparently antiquated software program?
    Anything to get me up to speed would be appreciated!
    a usb interface?
    an RS-232 port driver?
    or something else....
    Last edited by keven; 07-19-2021, 11:48 AM.

  • #2
    Did you look for a RS-232 to USB adapter? Have you tried it?

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    • #3
      Yes, but the drivers are defined for a line printer application.
      not sure it would hurt any thing if I tried to run my lap counting program to the track instead of to the dot matrix printer?

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      • #4
        It won't hurt. Might not work, but it's worth a try, for sure.

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        • #5
          No it won’t work,

          BUT... I found a basic compiler named “FreeBasic” that is capable of compiling my qbasic code and interfacing with the USB port under a windows operating system!

          oh, I’ll share the code if any one else is interested in dabbling with a lapcounting application..

          I actually patched it together using coding examples on the internet.
          made a 4-lane and a 6-lane version with either a magnetic reed switch/dead strip counter or optical counter.
          also has a practice or a timed race mode.

          putting together the hardware is maybe harder than writing the program!

          Time to ‘monkey’ around with re-compiling the old qbasic code with the FreeBasic compiler.

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          • #6
            Hello Keven,
            Does your software work with an RS-232 port (9 pin) or an LPT Parallel port (25 pin)?

            Leo

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            • #7
              I thought that printer ports were parallel and were different from serial ports. I have an older red Trackmate interface unit with a RS-232 9 pin serial output. My track computer is a laptop with just USB inputs, so when I ordered the Trackmate unit I also ordered a serial to USB adapter. The adapter includes some electronics and a software driver needed to be installed for the computer to see it. With most USB devices the driver is hardwired in and installs automatically the first time that you plug it in. The latest black Trackmate units have a USB output, but the driver still needs to be installed.
              It has been reported that parallel to USB adapters rarely work properly.

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              • #8
                Whoops , meant the parallel printer port, NOT the RS-232 port, sorry... still working on figuring out how to access my usb cable to parallel printer port using FreeBasic. The answer should be out there somewhere...

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                • #9
                  I wonder if there is an Arduino driver for free basic? Or you could switch to using "C"

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                  • #10
                    Many people have tried using Parallel Port to USB adaptors for use with the Race Coordinator system but only a few have succeeded. Those adaptors seem to be purely limited to use with printers and do not have the full two-way functionality of a true parallel port. Race Coordinator now uses an Arduino module link to provide the digital I/O facilities for sensors and start lights.
                    Software for an Arduino interface may be more simple than raw coding to USB.

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                    • #11
                      Going to try a custom designed inpout32.dll to emulate parallel port connection to my lap counter interface.
                      ill see what happens next....

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