Connecting the Palmtop via the serial port to PCs, Printers and Modems
Connecting the Palmtop via the serial port to PCs, Printers and Modems
Here is a summary of how to make the three most frequently used Palmtop
serial port connections: To a PC or Mac computer for backing up and loading
software; to a printer for printing out a hard copy; to a modem for sending
and receiving messages and other communications.
Connecting to a PC Directly Via Cables
The current HP Connectivity Cables work with either Palmtop. They fit
directly into the 100LX serial port and HP supplies a small 10-pin-to-4-pin
adapter to connect to the HP 95LX. The cable is available in:
Software needed for file transfer
HP PC Connectivity Cable (HP F1015A) or
HP Mac Connectivity Cable (HP F1016A) or
HP Connectivity Pack (100LX -HP F1021A)
DataComm is the communications program built into the HP Palmtops. Like
any PC "communications" program, DataComm can "talk" with another computer
in order to transfer files between them. Communications programs use standard
file transfer protocols, (such as Text (ASCII), Kermit, Xmodem) to send
and receive files.
If you need a communications program on your PC or more capabilities
than the Palmtop's BUILT-IN DataComm offers, the following communications
programs, which can also transfer files, may be useful:
In addition, there are many programs that are designed specifically to
make moving files between PCs and Palmtops easier. You may find one of
the following 'file transfer' programs helpful:
COMMO.ZIP <ON DISK ICON> -for the 100LX or desktop PC;
FastCOMM! -$59.00; for the 95LX and 100LX;
KERM2.ZIP <ON DISK ICON> -for the 95LX, 100LX or desktop PC;
KERMIT.ZIP <ON DISK ICON> -for the Macintosh computer.
Designed for laptops and DOS PCs, but reported to work with HP Palmtops
HP Connectivity Pack (95LX -HP F1001A) -$119.49; runs on the PC, includes
4-pin 95LX serial cable and 9-pin-to-25-pin adapter
HP Connectivity Pack (100LX -HP F1021A) -$119.49; runs on the PC, includes
10-pin 100LX serial cable, modem, printer and 9 to-25-pin adapters
IntelliLink for Windows -$99.95; runs on Windows PCs, with file translation
for both HP Palmtops
MacLink Plus HP Palmtop -$129; runs on the Mac, connects both HP Palmtops,
with file translation
Mac Data Exchange -$89.95; runs on the Mac connects to 95LX only PC Data
Exchange -$69.95; runs on the PC, comes with many of Sparcom's docking
ZIP.COM <ON DISK ICON> runs on PCs and both Palmtops
FastLynx -$169.99; DOS file transfer
LapLink V -$169.95; DOS file transfer
LapLink Pro -$169.95; DOS file transfer
Norton Commander 3.0 -$149; file manager for PCs
1. Connect Palmtop's serial port to the PC's or Mac's serial port using
the appropriate HP connectivity cable. PCs with 25-pin serial port will
need the 9-pin-to-25 pin adapter from the HP Adapter Kit (HP F1023A).
2. Run the necessary file transfer or communications software on the Palmtop
and on the attached desktop PC. For example: run ZIP.COM on both the Palmtop
and the desktop PC; or run DataComm on the Palmtop and Kermit on the PC.
3. Make sure Baud rate and other settings match the settings on the PC's
program and the Palmtop's interface is set to Com1. You can change the
settings in FILER, DataComm or the file transfer program you are using:
In FILER: on the 100LX, press (MENU) Communications Remote Settings; on
the 95LX press (MENU) Remote-Set.
In DataComm: on the 100LX, press (MENU) Connect Settings; on the 95LX,
press (MENU) Settings.
For other programs: Refer to their documentation.
Connecting via an external modem
4. Make sure the PC is set to the correct COM port.
5. Initiate the connection. (The instructions for connecting vary depending
on the communications software and protocol used (Kermit, Xmodem, Text).
For the Palmtops refer to the detailed instructions for each protocol in
the HP 95LX User's Guide, pages 31-13 to 31-17 or in the HP 100LX User's
Guide, pages 35-18 to 35-22.)
You must correctly connect your modem and the HP Palmtop before you
can determine whether or not it will work.
Since most modems have a female 25-pin connector, a typical connection
requires the following parts:
1. HP Palmtop and another computer with a modem or a fax machine.
2. Modem compatible with the HP Palmtop. Most external modems will work
with the 100LX. Fewer external modems will work with the 95LX. For the
95LX, verify with the manufacturer (Macronix, Telebit, US Robotics, etc.)
that the modem supports software handshaking and can get power from its
own batteries or an external power supply.
3. HP PC Connectivity Cable (see above) and Modem Adapter:
HP Adapter Kit (HP F1023A) (for modem adapter) or
Custom cables, from Shier Systems & Software and ACE Technologies
4. RJ-11 cable to connect modem to phone line or an acoustic coupler to
connect modem to phone handset:
RJ-11 cable Radio Shack
TeleCouplerII -$139.95, from CP+
Konexx Koupler Model 112 or 204 -$129, 112 -modem to phone interface; 204
-acoustic coupler; from Ace Technologies
For communications you can use the BUILT-IN DataComm or COMMO.ZIP<ON
DISK ICON>, FastCOMM!, or KERM2.ZIP<ON DISK ICON> (communications software
mentioned in the previous section). With a modem and the proper software
you can send Faxes, access and control remote computers, or access online
SSFAXER.ZIP <ON DISK ICON> -for sending faxes via your modem
PcANYWHERE ($179) -to control another computer via modem
acCIS <ON DISK , TAPCIS <ON DISK ICON> or MESSAGE <ON DISK
ICON> -to access on-line systems like CompuServe.
Connecting to a Printer
1. Connect the HP Palmtop to the Connectivity Cable; Connect the 9pin end
of the cable to the 9-pin-to-25-pin modem adapter; connect that to the
modem; connect the modem to the phone line using RJ-11 cable or an acoustic
2. Run the desired communications software on the Palmtop.
3. Make sure the communications settings (baud rate, parity, data bits,
stop bits) on the Palmtop and modem are the same as those on computer and
modem to which you're connecting.
4. Make sure the other system is turned on and running the appropriate
software. After connecting, the software will determine what commands and
capabilities are available to you.
The procedure for connecting an HP Palmtop to a printer is relatively
straight-forward, and discussed in the documentation (beginning on page
C-1 in the HP 95LX User's Guide and page 36-3 in the HP 100LX User's Guide.)
A few other points are worth mentioning:
Printers with Serial Ports
There are few serial port printers available, the portable Kodak Diconix
180si, and the desktop HP LaserJet series. For these use HP's Serial Interface
Cable (HP F1015A) with the 9-to-25-pin Printer Adapter from the HP Connector/Adapter
kit (HP F1023A) to connect the serial cable to the printer's 25-pin serial
Printers with Parallel Ports
Most printers do not have serial ports. To connect the Palmtop to a
parallel port printer you need a serial-to-parallel adapter:
BSE Serial/Parallel Adapter -$79.95, Ace Technologies
Convertor Cable -$125, Imaging Supplies Express
GA 935 -$79.95, Greenwich Instruments
Paralink 3 -$79.95, WIDGET Software
Sparcom Print Station -$varies, with serial/parallel adapter
1. Connect the Centronix end of the adapter to the printer's parallel port.
Connect the Palmtop to the connectivity cable. Connect the 9pin end of
the cable to the serial-to-parallel adapters.
2. We used this procedure to print to a Canon Bubble Jet printer. We had
to use an additional Centronix to 25pin-adapter to connect the serial-to-parallel
adapter to the Citizen PN48 Printer's non-standard parallel port.
3. Select the proper printer driver for the printer you are using, Epson
FX-80, HP LaserJet, or IBM ProPrinter. Most printers will emulate one of
these three. They can be selected in Setup on either Palmtop: on the 95LX
press (<Shift>)-(FILER) Printer Config Name; on the 100LX press (CTRL)-(FILER)
(MENU) Options Printer (<Tab>) (<Tab>); then use the arrow keys to
select the printer.
Notice about Palmtop.net
Palmtop Network with its S.U.P.E.R. (Simply
Unbeatable Palmtop Essentials Repository) software is now
available under the domain name of
|We buy used palmtops,
working or broken: HP 200LX, HP 100LX and 1000CX.