Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have performed a product search for USB-to-parallel and ExpressCard-to-parallel adapters but when I read the reviews everyone complains that only work with printers.

Where can I get an adapter that can give me a parallel port to work with my device?

share|improve this question

migrated from Jan 1 '12 at 1:11

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers. claims to be fully bi-directional – Martin Beckett Dec 31 '11 at 19:15
It's probably not because they don't work with other devices, but because 99% of people buy them to use with printers. You can't always trust the advertising. Even modern printers require bi-directional communications. – Cody Gray Dec 31 '11 at 19:15
Some software protection dongles are attached via the paralell port. These I wouldn't expect to work with a paralell-USB adapter (or at least the drivers usually provided). – LawrenceC Jan 1 '12 at 2:10

In my opinion, a USB-To-Parallel cable is exactly that. Especially those that simply state they are for printers. If you think about it, in the past -- all parallel ports were the same. There's no reason for that fact to change.

Why am I putting it this way? Simple!!! :) When I had to use a Windows laptop to create a program for RFID, it naturally didn't have a parallel port, and the RFID's cable was.. Yeah, you guessed it -- an out-to-parallel cable.

The catch, though, was that I had to make sure that the COM ports were all available (except for port 1 and 7, I think -- they were reserved by the system for some reason) and that I had to test with the device. In the end, I got it all working, considering that I used a cheap cable that was said to be for printers only! :)

So... If you can, get a cheap one to test with your device first.. Mainly if you already have an SDK with working project code to test with. That's what I did and it worked for me, so there's a chance it will work for you.

As for suggesting where to buy -- I'll skip on that part since I'm not sure where you are from; I merely purchased a generic usb-to-parallel cable (ones made in china).

share|improve this answer

Depending on the make/model of your laptop there may be a docking station available for it that has a true paralell port.

The Dell E65xx series, for example, have docking stations available that have legacy paralell, serial, and the legacy PS/2 keyboard/mouse connectors as well.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.