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  #1  
Old 11-16-2007, 11:13 PM
sixto's Avatar
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how to connect parallel port printer to USB PC

What are my options for attaching an older printer with parallel port cable to a newer PC with only USB ports? Is there a cheap way to connect the printer to a home network router? I don't need the printer on the network, but if that's a cheap way to do it...

Thanks,
Sixto
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  #2  
Old 11-16-2007, 11:15 PM
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I see there are parallel-to-USB cables for $20. Good enough for me.

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  #3  
Old 11-16-2007, 11:37 PM
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I tried that, but it only seems to work about 1 day out of 4.

Documentation was kinda marginal (It said to put the CD into the floppy drive).

I have been told that it might have a better chance of working if I use a powered USB hub, but I haven't actually tried that yet.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2007, 01:57 AM
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2007, 05:33 AM
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I'm not sure about hooking to your PC, but it should be easy to hook it up to your network. Buy a Hawkings Print Server. It plugs onto the parallel port of the printer, and a Cat5 network cable connects it to your router.
We still use Dot Matrix printers & 3 part forms for invoicing, and all our printers use these things.
http://www.amazon.com/Hawking-HPS1P-Parallel-Print-Server/dp/B0000DIESK
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2007, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoneseller View Post
I'm not sure about hooking to your PC, but it should be easy to hook it up to your network. Buy a Hawkings Print Server. It plugs onto the parallel port of the printer, and a Cat5 network cable connects it to your router.
We still use Dot Matrix printers & 3 part forms for invoicing, and all our printers use these things.
http://www.amazon.com/Hawking-HPS1P-Parallel-Print-Server/dp/B0000DIESK
Customer reviews on that puppy are certainly not encouraging....

Edit: HP used to make a print server that was widely used. I think it was called a JetDirect, or something like that.
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Last edited by Palangi; 11-17-2007 at 06:29 PM.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2007, 06:20 PM
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Don't know what the purpose of your printer is exactly (in other words, why you are saving it), but you can buy a color inkjet cheap, not too much more than the cost of some sort of adapter cable of other piece of hardware. If you have an older, hi speed laser, it would be worth keeping.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2007, 06:26 PM
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Well, in my case, I would like to save it because it has 11x17 and duplex capability. Buying a new one with those features would be mucho dinero. This one was free and has free supplies.
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  #9  
Old 11-18-2007, 12:29 AM
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You can probably also locate Parrellel port addin cards.

Worse comes to worse, if the old computer still works. Set it up on the network and share the printer out.
Thats a print server.
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  #10  
Old 11-18-2007, 01:44 AM
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Can you use a serial cable on it? Does your PC have that?
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  #11  
Old 11-18-2007, 02:15 AM
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PC doesn't have a serial port either.

I prefer this laser to inkjets because it has a record of printing perfectly after sitting idle for months at a time. I've yet to see the inkjet that doesn't need its cartridges cleaned or replaced after sitting.

The PC this printer used to be hooked up to is going to the someone else.

Parallel-to-ethernet is inviting but I don't see solid feedback, as Palangi mentioned. Parallel-to-USB seems to be the most bulletproof.

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  #12  
Old 11-18-2007, 05:14 AM
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kknudsen's idea to get a parallel interface card is the best suggestion presuming the new PC is not a laptop. Those cards are cheap and simple. I haven't seen them advertised in a while. If you can't find one in the store you might search eBay.
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Last edited by speace; 11-18-2007 at 05:15 AM. Reason: spelling
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  #13  
Old 11-18-2007, 07:21 AM
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Pick up a Jetdirect card on Ebay and then network the printer.

If you don't have your computer on a home network, then you can use a Cat5 crossover cable and hook it up (I'm assuming that the computer does have a network interface). Search Ebay for J2552-60003. Lots listed for $5 and under.

Your HP LJ4 Plus is a great printer. Will last forever.
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2007, 10:13 PM
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Let's be careful, I think sixto's printer is a LaserJet 4P and not a 4Plus.
I don't believe the 4P has the Jet Direct card slot.

An external Parallel to Ethernet converter box will work, but is "cluttersome" with the box, 2 cables and a power transformer. The external devices are also tricky to configure. Thus I would recommend adding a parallel interface card to the PC, or trying the USB/Parallal cable. (I've never used the USB/Parallel cable.)

If it IS a LaserJet "4 Plus" I would first recommend the J2556 10/100 card.
For a less expensive 10meg card I would recommend the J2550-60003.

The J2552-60003 should work, but has an Appletalk plug and a BNC Ethernet conector in addition to the Ethernet Twisted Pair RJ45 jack.

Stay away from the J2555 cards. They are TOKEN RING and NOT Ethernet. Some sellers on eBay are calling them Ethernet because they have the RJ45 connectors. There is nothing "Ethernet" about a J2555 card!
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  #15  
Old 11-19-2007, 12:27 AM
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speace, I would NOT recommend adding a card to the printer.

They tend to be proprietary to the printer. Therefore once it dies, the card goes with it.

The external Parallel to Ethernet converter box may be cluttersome. But it has future value in that it will work with whatever printer he gets in the future.

Although integrated LAN functionality on printers is becoming very common, even on mid level consumer type printers.

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