Parallel port control with USB->Parallel converter

Discussion in 'Python' started by Soren, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Soren

    Soren Guest

    Hi,

    I want to control some motors using the parallel port.. however, my
    laptop does not have any parallel ports (very few do). What I do have
    is a USB->Parallel converter... I thought about using PyParallel, but
    the USB->Parallel converter doesn't actually map to the LPT port ..
    and PyParallel only looks for LPT ports?

    Has anyone tried doing this? What are my options for controlling
    parallel connections on a laptop with no parallel port?

    I also thought about controlling the USB natively.. but since I dont
    have any instructions on how to do this with my Velleman USB->Parallel
    port converter... i guess I would be totally blind.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    Soren
     
    Soren, Feb 14, 2008
    #1
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  2. Soren wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I want to control some motors using the parallel port.. however, my
    > laptop does not have any parallel ports (very few do). What I do have
    > is a USB->Parallel converter... I thought about using PyParallel, but
    > the USB->Parallel converter doesn't actually map to the LPT port ..
    > and PyParallel only looks for LPT ports?
    >
    > Has anyone tried doing this? What are my options for controlling
    > parallel connections on a laptop with no parallel port?
    >
    > I also thought about controlling the USB natively.. but since I dont
    > have any instructions on how to do this with my Velleman USB->Parallel
    > port converter... i guess I would be totally blind.


    You could try and see how far you get with pyusb, the wrapping for libusb.
    However, any decent usb2<somewhat>-adapter should register itself as device
    of the mapped kind. For example, usb2serial-converters appear as
    COMx:ports.

    So I *guess* you are having driver-problems if the converter doesn't show up
    as parallel port.

    Apart from that, you might consider using products like atmel's USB-Key or
    similar to attach a microcontroller to the USB-port that then will use it's
    own ports to control the motors.


    Diez
     
    Diez B. Roggisch, Feb 14, 2008
    #2
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  3. Soren

    Soren Guest

    Hey Diez, thanks for your answer!

    > You could try and see how far you get with pyusb, the wrapping for libusb.
    > However, any decent usb2<somewhat>-adapter should register itself as device
    > of the mapped kind. For example, usb2serial-converters appear as
    > COMx:ports.


    That was my thought too, and that's why I bought one (actually I
    bought two), but it turns out that people only use these to interface
    with old printers.. and so the converter is listed as a USB printer
    port, and does not directly map itself to the LPT port.. Of course,
    there must be some way of controlling the USB2PAR the way I want, but
    without something like PyParallel or an API for this converter.. im
    pretty much in the blind.. :/

    > Apart from that, you might consider using products like atmel's USB-Key or
    > similar to attach a microcontroller to the USB-port that then will use it's
    > own ports to control the motors.


    I thought about it.. this would be my last option however... mostly
    because it would take too much time to get acquainted with it. I need
    the thing running before the beginning of March among other
    things.. :) I do have a LabJack USB DAQ, which is really nice... but
    unfortunately it's too slow for running 5+ motors in parallel by
    sending pulses. I also thought about extending the labjack with faster
    pulse generators that could be triggered from the labjack.

    Using the parallel port or USB2PARALLEL on the pc would just be so
    much simpler, cheaper and faster... So if anyone know how to hack an
    USB-Parallel converter to let me send bytes to it.. I'm all ears!! :)

    Soren
     
    Soren, Feb 14, 2008
    #3
  4. Soren

    c d saunter Guest

    Soren,
    I don't know about the USB parallel port converters but there are
    variousways you can add USB connectivity yourself.

    A simple way are the USB devices from FTDI
    (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTProducts.htm)

    Either the FT232R or the FT245R. These are both single chip solutions
    that provide a USB interface on one side and an 8 bit bi-directional fifo
    on other. The 232 is mapped as a serial port at the system level, whilst
    the 245 is higher bandwidth and accessed through an API (use ctypes etc.)
    Windows, Linux & Mac OS X are supported.

    FTDI provide evaluation modules (tiny, USB powered) that you can be up and
    running with in no time:

    http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/FT245RModules.htm

    Good luck!

    regards
    cds

    Soren () wrote:
    : Hi,

    : I want to control some motors using the parallel port.. however, my
    : laptop does not have any parallel ports (very few do). What I do have
    : is a USB->Parallel converter... I thought about using PyParallel, but
    : the USB->Parallel converter doesn't actually map to the LPT port ..
    : and PyParallel only looks for LPT ports?

    : Has anyone tried doing this? What are my options for controlling
    : parallel connections on a laptop with no parallel port?

    : I also thought about controlling the USB natively.. but since I dont
    : have any instructions on how to do this with my Velleman USB->Parallel
    : port converter... i guess I would be totally blind.

    : Any help would be appreciated!

    : Soren
     
    c d saunter, Feb 14, 2008
    #4
  5. Soren

    c d saunter Guest

    Doh!

    It's been a while since I used these.

    I was slightly wrong; actually both the 232 and 245 devices can be
    accessed either via a serial port interface (COMx on windows, /dev/??? on
    linux etc.) or via a direct API.

    The 245 provides a parallel FIFO and the 232 a serial data link, so you'd
    want the 245.

    regards
    cds

    c d saunter () wrote:
    : Soren,
    : I don't know about the USB parallel port converters but there are
    : variousways you can add USB connectivity yourself.

    : A simple way are the USB devices from FTDI
    : (http://www.ftdichip.com/FTProducts.htm)

    : Either the FT232R or the FT245R. These are both single chip solutions
    : that provide a USB interface on one side and an 8 bit bi-directional fifo
    : on other. The 232 is mapped as a serial port at the system level, whilst
    : the 245 is higher bandwidth and accessed through an API (use ctypes etc.)
    : Windows, Linux & Mac OS X are supported.

    : FTDI provide evaluation modules (tiny, USB powered) that you can be up and
    : running with in no time:

    : http://www.ftdichip.com/Products/EvaluationKits/FT245RModules.htm

    : Good luck!

    : regards
    : cds

    : Soren () wrote:
    : : Hi,

    : : I want to control some motors using the parallel port.. however, my
    : : laptop does not have any parallel ports (very few do). What I do have
    : : is a USB->Parallel converter... I thought about using PyParallel, but
    : : the USB->Parallel converter doesn't actually map to the LPT port ..
    : : and PyParallel only looks for LPT ports?

    : : Has anyone tried doing this? What are my options for controlling
    : : parallel connections on a laptop with no parallel port?

    : : I also thought about controlling the USB natively.. but since I dont
    : : have any instructions on how to do this with my Velleman USB->Parallel
    : : port converter... i guess I would be totally blind.

    : : Any help would be appreciated!

    : : Soren
     
    c d saunter, Feb 14, 2008
    #5
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