Printer?

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Steve M
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Printer?

Post by Steve M »

I was talking to the owner of FGC/HGC who asked me a question I couldn't really answer: -
Are there any modern printers that will work with the Oric ?
Any ideas?
The last new printer I remember working was the old Canon BJ10. My HP 950 should have worked but I couldn't get it to print with an Oric.
These days I'm not sure if anything has a Centronics connection ?

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iss
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Re: Printer?

Post by iss »

IMO any printer (old or new) which has Centronics interface should work with Oric - you need only proper cable with the specific connectors.

BUT, if we assume that 'all modern printers' have ONLY USB then you need such device - LPT2USB and short cable to convert the DB25 to IDC20 connectors. The prices are high (~$100) and I don't know if it's worth :? There are also DIY solutions like THIS ONE.

For me, quick solutions can be made relatively easy with Arduino+PC+printer or RPi+printer.

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Re: Printer?

Post by mikeb »

Steve M wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:39 pm
My HP 950 should have worked but I couldn't get it to print with an Oric.
Might be just HP's idea of Centronics is still different to others!

At one point, we had an HP82906A dot-matrix with Centronics connected to Oric, but initially it didn't want to work. Details are getting fuzzy now, but it was something to do with the Printer centronics interface not liking the "STROBE and ACK" that Oric does. I think printer didn't provide an "ACK" for each character, but would raise "BUSY" when you'd said too much :)

This required a little bodge box building which took Oric's "STROBE" and fed it to the printer, but looped it right back to Oric as a fake "ACK" *unless* BUSY was raised by the printer, in which case Oric was left waiting for the ACK until BUSY was dropped. I think that "PAPER OUT" also got mixed into things, so that Oric would stop sending when there was no paper too!

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Steve M
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Re: Printer?

Post by Steve M »

IIRC the problem with modern printer with the true type fonts was that they didn't necessarily recognise ASCII codes.
My HP printer was supposed to have the ASCII character set, but nothing happened when I tried to print

I'm not aware if any inkjet printers have Centronics ports. Most seem to be wifi, which I don't like - I'd rather have a cable!

The adapters look interesting but aren't the Centronics type connector I remember. Even then you need a modern printer with this type of connection - and what has that???

I still have a dot matrix.

I guess the question then is , is there a way to extract text from an Oric ?

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Steve M
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Re: Printer?

Post by Steve M »

iss wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:08 am
For me, quick solutions can be made relatively easy with Arduino+PC+printer or RPi+printer.
How does that work for Orics?

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Re: Printer?

Post by iss »

Steve M wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:12 pm
iss wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:08 am
For me, quick solutions can be made relatively easy with Arduino+PC+printer or RPi+printer.
How does that work for Orics?
It's really simple. Here is how I connect Arduino Uno to Oric's parallel port:

Code: Select all

Oric		Arduino pin
STB		2
D0		3
D1		4
D2		5
D3		6
D4		7
D5		8
D6		9
D7		10
ACK		11
Any other micro controller board will work too, important is to be with 5V compatible I/O pins :!:

Attached is the source file as Arduino sketch (LGPL), it logs to serial port all received bytes from Oric in HEX format.
On PC should be started a terminal program (PuTTY, HyperTerminal, etc) which receives the bytes, so you can copy/paste the HEX-dump in text editor and save the file. Later you can convert this HEX-dump back to binary file or ASCII text and print it.

I used this setup to successfully transfer sectors from some Sedoric disks using my custom disc reading program.
I think that NIBBLE can be used for such task too (i.e. it support dump to printer). Actually this was one possible idea how to transfer your BD-500 disks ;).
Attachments
oric-printer.zip
(1.62 KiB) Downloaded 70 times

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Steve M
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Re: Printer?

Post by Steve M »

I'll have to look into this. I haven't played with any Arduinos yet. There seem to be a lot of different types now and I don't know which would be good to go for.

Did you get the other BD pages? There's some DOS6 pages in the Dropbox.

I need to check the cables from the BD500 unit to the drive. There isn't a good cable. I have some that might be OK but I need to check the wiring before I turn it on.
I'm having trouble with my 3" drives. I'm going to try and get a Microdisc working and see whether it'll read the BD disks.

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Re: Printer?

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Re: Printer?

Post by mikeb »

Steve M wrote:
Thu Oct 01, 2020 6:09 pm
IIRC the problem with modern printer with the true type fonts was that they didn't necessarily recognise ASCII codes.
Oh, I'd forgotten, some printers are such a designed-down cheaped-out piece of trash that they are barely a couple of motors, a pencil and a power-supply, everything being done in software. (WinPrinters, like WinModems). Ugh. They are beyond useless! I wouldn't expect them to be much use with Oric.

I was thinking that anything with a Centronics port would at least maintain that back-compatibility to print raw ASCII (and maybe an EPSON or HP compatible dot-graphics mode, or understand HPGL if you are lucky!) -- once you are "USB only" or "Wifi Only" they can legitimately give up on all that and drop the legacy stuff, sadly.

If it's just a question of getting text out of the ORIC, then the parallel port is the obvious fastest answer, and the easiest recipient for the 8 data/2 handshake lines would be something like an Arduino/PIC/Raspberry PI, noting the 5V signalling to/from Oric may need buffering for 3V3 purposes on the PI at least.

Then it's up to you how you get the data out of the Arduiono/PIC/Pi :)

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