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Fidelius
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Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:31 am

Hello fellow Pi users,

Before I buy such an adapter cable for my Pi, I'd be interested if somebody already managed to print with his Pi to a HP Deskjet 5xx (black-white in my case) via such an adapter cable.

The adapter cable is needed because the Deskjet has a parallel port only, and the Pi has an USB port only.
If it works, which adapter cable is this in detail, please?

I am asking because several years ago I tried an USB to parallel centronics cable to print with a Windows desktop PC to a HP Deskjet 5xx, and it didn't work. Well, the OS managed to initialise the printer, so there was some connection, but the actual print job never worked.
If I remember correctly, I read back then that the HP Deskjets (5xx series or others, too?) were more "picky" with such USB to parallel adapters than other printer brands.
Maybe there's better adapter cables today, and maybe Debian Linux does better work also in this concern compared to Windows, but I don't know unfortunately.

SonOfAMotherlessGoat
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:54 pm

It does look like HPLIP has support for that series of printers, so that's one hurdle success. http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/mo ... t_500.html Now for the USB->Parallel, it's going to be a matter of searching out specific parts and then looking to see what kind of support there is available on the platform.

Is there a reason for wanting to use such an aged device, or is it just an exercise in seeing what is possible?
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rpdom
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:02 pm

Another option may be to try and find an old HP JetDirect interface that connects to a parallel port printer and gives it network capabilities via an RJ45 socket. I used to have one of these and used it with an old HP laserjet printer.

It looks like there might be some suitable ones on ebay for around a tenner.

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Fidelius
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Fri Jul 22, 2016 3:32 pm

Thanks for your answers.

Indeed the software side is good, since Debian Linux with its pre-installed HPLIP supports most if not all HP printers very well. I use a networked HP printer for my desktop Ubuntu PCs and for my hand-full of Pi's, and they all print fine, and the printer installation was a five-click task, even easier than on Windos. Yes, HPLIP is great.

Now concerning the hardware side aka the HP Deskjet 5xx, it's a real-world case where I try to help out a friend whose old Win PC recently broke which used to print via parallel port to a good old Deskjet 5xx – these old Deskjets are virtually indestructible, isn't it?
Since I have some spare Pi's, I try to replace the friend's PC with the nice Pi.

I'll have to search a little bit more to find out if an adapter cable would work, or a HP JetDirect interface (never heard before). Of course, since a new HP Deskjet is about 50 € or so, and since an adapter of interface would cost 10 € or so, I'm not sure if the old hardware is worth the trouble. It would be, if a working adapter costed a few €'s only. :-)
Last edited by Fidelius on Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

pksato
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:07 pm

Only way to know of work, is testing.

On my x86 debiank, have a
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 067b:2305 Prolific Technology, Inc. PL2305 Parallel Port
Connected to HP Laserjet 5L, and working.

HP Deskjet 5xx is the vintage printer (no chip on cartridge)?

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rpdom
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Sat Jul 23, 2016 12:14 pm

pksato wrote:HP Deskjet 5xx is the vintage printer (no chip on cartridge)?
It's one of the very early inkjets. No chip.

I used to use on one Windows 3.1 and MS-DOS

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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:43 pm

Almost all of the USB→Parallel cables use the Prolific chip listed above, so its should work.

The DeskJet 500 is essential indestructable, and uses a simple PCL3 driver. CUPS/hplip might be overkill. Ghostscript, the RIP that almost all CUPs drivers use, supports the printer directly with its hpdj500 driver. It's limited to 300 dpi mono.
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Fidelius
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:17 am

Thank you fellow Pi-users for your valuable informations.

I'll definitely buy and try such a cable to see if I can make the good old Deskjet to work with the Pi. Also good to know that basically HPLIP isn't even needed for the Deskjet 5xx series.

Have a good week.

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Fidelius
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:03 am

Unfortunately it didn't function successfully. I used this cable here at Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0013F5MAO

When I connected the Deskjet to the Pi via this cable, the nice system-config-printer GUI tool showed the printer and I could select the Deskjet 500 driver.
First I tried the default HPLIP driver, but the printer only printed some random dots on the left then. Then I tried the other driver, the Gutenberg one, and it didn't work either.
After some reboots and on-and-off-switching of the Pi and/or the Deskjet, I once got a correctly printed document, but it only worked once. When I tried to print a document again, it gave random dots again.

Maybe some Linux printer expert could solve this case, but not me.

Now I'm going to connect a Cannon (MP...) USB printer to the Pi and hopefully it will work. I know Cannon doesn't like Linux very much which is why I replaced my own Cannon printer with a HP one, but maybe it will work good enough for the casual computer user whom I'm trying to help. :-)

In any case, thank you all for your help!

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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:45 am

Fidelius wrote:Unfortunately it didn't function successfully. I used this cable here at Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0013F5MAO

When I connected the Deskjet to the Pi via this cable, the nice system-config-printer GUI tool showed the printer and I could select the Deskjet 500 driver.
First I tried the default HPLIP driver, but the printer only printed some random dots on the left then. Then I tried the other driver, the Gutenberg one, and it didn't work either.
After some reboots and on-and-off-switching of the Pi and/or the Deskjet, I once got a correctly printed document, but it only worked once. When I tried to print a document again, it gave random dots again.

Maybe some Linux printer expert could solve this case, but not me.

Now I'm going to connect a Cannon (MP...) USB printer to the Pi and hopefully it will work. I know Cannon doesn't like Linux very much which is why I replaced my own Cannon printer with a HP one, but maybe it will work good enough for the casual computer user whom I'm trying to help. :-)

In any case, thank you all for your help!
No idea what a Gutenburg Driver is, but GutenPrint supports a considerable variety of Canon Printers ;)

http://gimp-print.sourceforge.net/p_Sup ... inters.php

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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Thu Aug 04, 2016 8:49 am

try the cable on the PC debian - and see if it works that way - it could be all sorts of things but if it fails using the PC then that may be easier to debug
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Fidelius
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Re: Pi → USB to parallel (centronics) cable → HP Deskjet ?

Tue Aug 16, 2016 11:47 am

fruitoftheloom wrote:
Fidelius wrote:First I tried the default HPLIP driver, but the printer only printed some random dots on the left then. Then I tried the other driver, the Gutenberg one, and it didn't work either. [..]
No idea what a Gutenburg Driver is, but GutenPrint supports a considerable variety of Canon Printers ;)
Indeed, the name is Gutenprint, in reference to my compatriot Mr. Gutenberg's nice invention of printing. :-)

In any case, connecting my good old Canon MP190 printer (a printer+scanner) to the Pi2 (running up-to-date Raspbian) with an USB cable worked fine so far.
RaTTuS wrote:try the cable on the PC debian - and see if it works that way - it could be all sorts of things but if it fails using the PC then that may be easier to debug
The HP printer is at the friend's place who hasn't any PC anymore, and since it was old, too, I now decided to try the Canon-printer route for the nice Pi.

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