Micro controller and printer


how people have connected a printer to micro controller?

On my quest to learn PICs (mostly the 32-bit). I have only used included basic in the BV513 to learn how to connect external circuitry to uC.

I tested with PicKIT III and was able to read the BV513. Then it must be possible to program it also. Anyway I came to idea of connecting printer to BV513 and can not figure out how to directly connect a serial printer to it, because the COM-interface signal levels are not that of serial printer - right?

Could some MAX IC implement this?

Then I suggested Jim at Byvac whether there would be market for a I2C and SPI interface supported printer. He did not turn down the idea right away and told that then one must find the mechanical and basic electronics printer module.

Is the idea I2C and SPI interfaced little printer dead idea? Do you know any manufacturers who provide such small modules?

Thanks for any comments. Kari

PIC - ARM - Microcontrollers - I2C - SPI
Keypads - USB-RS232 - USB-I2C - Accessories
 Click to see the full signature
Reply to
Kari Laine
Loading thread data ...

True, but serial printers (EIA232) are rare and for good reasons. Modern 'serial' printers are USB or Ethernet, neither being especially friendly to the casual implementation in a small system-on-a-chip.

Those interfaces are rarely extended outside a shielded enclosure (no standard external cable system exists, that I know of). You might expect to find I2C print mechanisms for something like a cash-register tape, though.

Another possibility is IRDA; this optical send/receive interface was compatible with serial port mechanisms and was built into a lot of printers (my old LaserJet 5 for instance).

Reply to

Yep, the PIC's UART, a level shifter (MAX232 and so on) and a couple of lines to do DTR/DSR or do XON/XOFF if you must save the IO lines.

Why go with such a strange interface for a printer, when there are plenty of RS-232 units out there for POS and so on.

I don't know that 'I' would ever need one. Especially with all the RS-232 and "Centronics" printers out there.

If you want to be current with your technology, USB is what is *now*.

Reply to

A lot depends on what capabilities you are expecting from the printer. There are some options if you look around a bit. For example, this

formatting link
seems to be okay for a direct serial connection, although one may need to dig some more to get either the cable or its specifications.

I've also occasionally seen bare impact printer mechanisms at some of the usual surplus sites. Some assembly required ...

Your easiest route may be to emulate the original PC parallel port printer interface, as this is (probably) still available on many printers today. A little digging may uncover the specs for more advanced operations, but they may produce usable output with just an ASCII data stream.

Rich Webb     Norfolk, VA
Reply to
Rich Webb

"Kari Laine" schreef in bericht news: snipped-for-privacy@giganews.com...

I2C and SPI interfaces are never meant to be used to control peripherals. They are meant for communication between chips. Never saw a printer with that type of interface.

There have been several printerinterfaces in the old days but once the PC became dominant, only serial (RS232) and parallel (so called Centronics) interfaces remained. Often both the electrical - and the software interface of a printer were documented in the printer manual. As for the electrical interfaces you can find them on

formatting link
Both are relatively easy to connect to a micro, though for the serial interface you'll have to add a MAX232 or similar level adapter.

Over time more PC-periperals appeared like scanners, cameras and so on. The old printerinterfaces did not met the requirements of that stuff so that's why the USB (Universal Serial Bus) was developed. Now modern printers too have USB interfaces and the serial- and parallel printer interfaces disappear from the PCs. Doubt you can find a new notebook or laptop with one of them.

Unfortunately the USB-interface, although easy to use most of the times, is much more complicated then the old ones. It's not only the hardware it's also the protocol (usually in software) that makes it difficult to implement. You can find a lot of information on the beyondlogic site I mentioned before. These days chips and micros are available meant for the peripheral side of the communication line. Chips for the host side (so a PC most of the times) are less common. They have PCIUSB interfaces for instance and require quite some processing power. Nevertheless a 32 bit micro may be good enough. Seem to remember some ARM processors are prepared to implement a USB host controller.

As time flies, there may be newer developments I'm still not aware of. So use Google to find out more.

petrus bitbyter

Reply to
petrus bitbyter

ElectronDepot website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.