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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Help with old printer interface

    I have an old programming device for programming obsolete toshiba PLCs. It would be really handy to crank this thing up and print a copy of the programs it contains.

    Ultimately I'd like to capture the print job using some sort of sniffer, so I then have a soft copy of the print job that can then be searched etc.

    The printer connection on the programmer is Centronics 24 pin female ("current" printer standard is 36 pin female for a parallel connection).
    I don't know if the printer port is serial or parallel.
    The programmer is roughly DOS based (but not MS-dos).
    The programmer does have a standard serial port, so it is likely the printer conforms to some useful standard.
    The PLC platform went obsolete in 1988.
    There is no printer
    No printer cable
    And no documentation.

    The files are stored on floppy disks, but these are not formatted MSDOS and I don't believe I can read the disk directly. The programming device has no hard disk.

    Does anyone know what Centronics 24F was used for?
    Any ideas or suggestions on how to work out what sort of printer this thing expects and then how to emulate it are most welcome..
    Feel free to also redirect me anywhere that sounds useful.


    Thanks in advance,
    Marty

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  3. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Help with old printer interface

    There was an ancient (1987) and tiny (1408 bytes) MS-DOS utility called PRN2FILE.COM, which trapped output sent to LPT1 and wrote it to a text file.

    Whether it would work on your box would depend on whether you could get it there, and whether the DOS-like operating system supports all the MS-DOS operating system calls it used. Personally I would be very sceptical of this, but it might be worth considering if there is no better method?

    John
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Help with old printer interface

    Handy little file that, but I don't believe I can get such a utility into the system due to the disk format issue.
    I now also suspect the centronics 24 pin interface was used by IEEE-484 printers?

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