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  1. #1
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    computer parallel port external relay control

    I’m a retired ham radio hobbyist - 10 years ago I developed a computer controlled
    application to control a bank of relays for radio antenna selection and matching
    operations. The hobbyist developed parallel port drivers I used no longer works in
    the microsoft windows 10 environment and the original developer has given up support
    due to cumbersome microsoft restrictions on small developers.

    This is the first forum that seemed to be a fit for my needs.
    My project is purely personal - nothing commercial about it.
    Am I in the right forum?
    Thank you
    Frank Brady

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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    You're close enough, Frank. Fire away. What's your question?

    I'm not really sure what you mean about Microsoft "restrictions". You're free to write whatever drivers you want, or develop whatever hardware you want that can plug into the PCIe bus, or whatever. You must be thinking about Apple.



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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Hi,

    The only question of post#1 is
    Am I in the right forum?
    Klaus
    Please don´t contact me via PM, because there is no time to respond to them. No friend requests. Thank you.



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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Quote Originally Posted by barry View Post
    You're close enough, Frank. Fire away. What's your question?

    I'm not really sure what you mean about Microsoft "restrictions". You're free to write whatever drivers you want, or develop whatever hardware you want that can plug into the PCIe bus, or whatever. You must be thinking about Apple.
    tx barry
    on the "restrictions" I'm only going by what the "logix4u" guy has on his site as the reason he is no longer supporting his device driver (inpout32.dll). All of my software and his driver were working with windows 10 until power supply failure and hard disk crash knocked me off the air early this month. After rebuilding, my program could no longer access the parallel port. Essentially I'm looking for a driver that allow me to resume use of the port to drive some relays that control my antennas. The relay control board is called "Robokit" and it is driven by 8 bit outputs from the parallel port. If parallel port drivers are available, I sure haven't been able to find them. I'll be glad to answer any questions to get help finding a driver that working in windows 10 home edition.
    frank brady



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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    The real problem is finding a parallel port on a PC these days. When one does physically exist you have to jump through hoops to bypass the vitualization so you can talk to real hardware.

    A more practical solution is a USB device with parallel outputs or something like an ESP8266 or ESP32 which has lots of pins and talks though WiFi. They are quite easy to interface if you use something like MQTT or Blynk protocols.

    Brian.
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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Just do a search for "USB relays" or something like that, and you'll find lots of stuff, like this: https://www.online-devices.com/produ...puts,_USB.aspx



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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Thanks Brian
    The signaling goal is so simple but, as you said, the parallel port seems to be going the way of the floppy disk and cassette - I have no clue about the chips or the languages you mentioned, but a USB solution sounds great. I'm looking for shelf products, not boards building or driver development. I will do some searching for info on what you mentioned. In the meantime, please let me know if my "off the shelf" hopes are possible.
    frank brady

    - - - Updated - - -

    tx barry
    interesting devices - they are about the same thing as my "robokit board but usb driven instead parallel port. Pretty pricey, but you have me on the right path now.
    Thanks for everything
    frank



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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Progress means we gain something but something may be lost too.

    With parallel ports gone, we wonder how to send control signals from modern computers? I have thought photosensors could be mounted at the edge of the screen, placed where each detects a patch beneath it.

    The patch is light or dark, controlled by us via a program. Just tap keys to change its color. User-adjustable settings tailor size & spacing of the patches to accommodate screen size.

    The screen saver can be disabled. Windows need to be arranged around the screen, so the patches remain visible to the photosensors.



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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Frank, it would be helpful to know how you control the parallel port at the moment. Obviously some software is involved and it probably writes directly to the ports hardware address. You would have to emulate or re-write the code to accommodate a USB or other new interface.

    USB parallel ports are available but they need specific driver software. Generally they are provided with a Windows driver program (or many, for each different version of Windows!) but the port number will be re-mapped to something your present program will not recognize. For example "LPT1" might now be called "LPT2345" and may even get a different number each time you boot up.

    My preference would be to use an ESP device with a relay extender board (or build your own) and talk to it using USB using plain language "Relay1=OFF" for example or if you have a spare computer (I use an old Raspberry Pi) use WiFi and MQTT. It takes a while to grasp the MQTT principle but coding is VERY easy and it means your relays don't even need a physical connection to the computer. I have several devices, including relays, lighting, temperature sensors and even big water pumps talking to each other across several thousand square feet of land.

    Brian.
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    Re: computer parallel port external relay control

    Did the steps carried in installing the inpout32.dll in the restored
    windows10 m/c after the failure gave any error message?



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