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Serial-to-Parallel Adapters, Cables, and other Adapters

Serial-to-Parallel Adapters, Cables, and other Adapters Graphic

The HP 95LX comes with serial and infrared data interface ports. Most printers come with parallel interfaces. In order to connect the 95LX to a parallel printer, a device called a Serial-to-Parallel Adapter must be used. These adapters must draw power from some source to operate. The 95LX has precious little energy to spare and does not furnish external devices power through its serial port. Many (but not all) printers can furnish serial-to-parallel adapters enough power to operate. Unfortunately, portable battery-powered printers don't have a lot of energy to spare either, and tend not to be able to power these adapters. This is the case with the Citizen PN48, the Canon Bubble Jet and its clones.

The serial-to-parallel adapters listed here come with an internal battery to provide the power needed to run the adapter. They were designed with the 95LX in mind. They connect between the 95LX and the printer. You may need additional adapters to change gender or to go from 9-pin to 25-pin connectors. Before connecting the 95LX to a printer, make sure both units are switched off. A typical connection might look something like this:

PLEASE NOTE: You may need additional adapters, depending on the printer and serial-to-parallel adapter you use. The Paralink 3 needs the 9-to-25 pin adapter that came with the HP Connectivity Kit (HP F1001A) to connect to the 95LX serial cable. The PN48 printer needs a special adapter to connect its proprietary cable to any of the serial-to-parallel adapters (Citizen Part# KB48). The serial printers don't need a serial-to-parallel adapter, but the Diconix does need a 9-to-25 pin printer adapter (HP Serial Cable Adapter Kit, # HP 82224A), and the Seiko needs the 9-to-25 pin adapter that came with the Connectivity Kit.

 ORDER INFORMATION We know of four battery powered serial-to-parallel adapters available for use with the 95LX:

GA 935 Serial-to-Parallel Adapter. . . . .$99

Uses a 9 volt replaceable battery to give you up to 250 hrs of service. (Manufacturer's estimate, you can use a rechargeable battery but must recharge it outside the unit using your own recharger.) Connects directly to the 9-pin end of the HP Serial Cable on one end and a standard Centronics printer port on the other.

Greenwich Instruments, 3401 Monroe Road, Charlotte, NC 20205, USA; Phone: 800-476-4070 or 704-376-1021, Fax: 704-335-8707.

Palmprint Serial-to-Parallel Adapter (available Nov 92). . .$159

Comes with an internal battery that can be recharged in 6 hrs by connecting the Palmprint to the 95LX's AC adapter. Fully charged battery gives you 45-60 hrs of use (manufacturer's estimate). Connects directly to the 9-pin end of the HP Serial Cable on one end and a standard Centronics printer port on the other.

Palmtree Products, 145 Washington Street, Norwell, MA 02061, USA; Phone: 617-871-7050; Fax: 617-871-6018.

Paralink3 Serial-to-Parallel Adapter. . . . .59.95

(Approx. $115 U.S.) Comes with a replaceable 5.4 volt battery that will give you about 36 hours of printing connected to the Citizen PN48 (user review) and 100 hours when connected to the Canon Bubble Jet (manufacturer's estimate). Leave unconnected to printer when not in use or you will drain the battery. Connects to the 95LX serial cable via the 9-to-25 adapter that came with HP Connectivity Pack. Other end connects directly to a standard Centronics printer port.

Widget Software, 121 London Road, Knebworth, Herts SG3 6EX, UNITED KINGDOM; Phone: 44-438-815444, Fax: 44-438-815222.

Smart Converter Serial-to-Parallel Adapter. . . . .160,000 Lira

(Approx. $135 U.S.) Uses a standard 9 volt battery (manufacturer does not recommend using rechargeables). Comes with software so it can also be used with the HP 48SX Calculator. One end of the adapter connects directly to the 9-pin end of the HP Serial Cable. The other end terminates in a 25-pin female port that fits into the 25-pin male end of a standard Centronics printer cable.

Distributors in Europe and South Africa. Contact ForCALC below for information.

ForCALC, Via Varese 67, 41100 Modena, ITALY; Phone: 059/440404, Fax: 059/304490.


HP Connectivity Pack (serial cable, software, adapter). . .$99.95

Part # HP F1001A. Includes serial cable, connectivity software, and one 9-to-25 pin adapter for connection to PC. Available through HP dealers and other vendors. Contact information below.

HP Serial Interface Cable. . . . .$35

Part # HP82222A. Serial cable only for the HP 95LX. Contact information below.

HP Serial Cable Adapter Kit. . . . .$15

Part # HP82224A. Printer and modem adapters for the serial cable of the 95LX. Contact information below.

Hewlett-Packard Company, 3000 Hanover Street, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA; for location of nearest dealer in U.S., call 800-443-1254. International: Contact your local HP sales office.

Modifying the Bubble Jet to Power a Serial-to-Parallel Adapter

(The HP Palmtop Paper has not verified this procedure. This job is better suited for the technically inclined. Modifications like this can void the manufacturer's warranty, so proceed at YOUR OWN RISK -- Rich.)

You need a battery-powered serial-to-parallel adapter with the Canon BJ-10 because the printer does not supply energy to the external converter. This is not because the voltage requirements are too high, but because Canon didn't design the Bubble Jet to do so.

I checked the connections inside the Paralink 3 and discovered that the 5 volts necessary to power Paralink can be supplied from the outside (pin 18 of the parallel connector of the printer). In fact, this pin was not connected in the Cannon BJ10.

I opened the case of the Bubble Jet printer and connected the 5 volt lead from the pin connected to the Voltage regulator to pin 18 of the Parallel port. Now, I leave the converter inserted in the printer and use the power from the printer; the battery is preserved for other uses outside my office.

Sergio Casanova

iPhone Life magazine

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