BBC printer port (ever used for anything else?)

From: Jules Richardson <>
Date: Sun Sep 19 05:32:59 2004


On Sat, 2004-09-18 at 00:56 +0100, Tony Duell wrote:
> If the printer port was only ever used to link to printers, then I can
> make a cable from the 24 pin Blue Ribbon to a 36 pin Blue Ribbon (to fit
> a Centronics printer socket). But if someone used the printer port for
> something else (say as a set of outputs to control something, since it's
> buffered the data lines are output-only), I suppose I'd better make an
> adapter back to a 26 pin header.
> So has anyone ever heard of the Beeb printer port being used for
> something other than a parallel printer?

The docs for the Timestep weather satellite decoder which I have in
front of me say that the unit uses the printer port. It appears to feed
the 2 or 4Hz clock output from the decoder into the printer port; the
user port is tied up handling the digital representation of the analogue
satellite signal.

Incidentally, the docs actually contain full schematics (it's not a
complicated circuit) so hopefully I'll find time to build one sometime.
I was given as Astrid satellite receiver a few weeks ago which works
with UoSAT-1 (long dead) and UoSAT-2 (still running on a 50% cycle).
Being able to display satellite images on 80's hardware would be quite
cool :-) (funny how all this turned up at once via two seperate people -
I wasn't particularly looking for satellite stuff)

The Timestep decoder also works with NOAA, METEOSAT, and FAX (WEFAX)
apparently - I have no idea which (if any) of those are still
operational, but given a suitable receiver they could also be used in
place of a UoSAT-2 signal.


Received on Sun Sep 19 2004 - 05:32:59 BST

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