This tutorial is based on information provided by the talented
Creativision fan/technician Thomas Gutmeier, also author and seller of the great Datassette Interface.
Thomas took a deep look into his newly bought
Parallel I/O Interface and guessed how to use it.
He got particularly interested into getting a parallel printer
to work with the BASIC Interpreter development system. The BASIC
Interpreter Reference Manual reports that listings and video output can
be printed to paper through the I/O Interface and a Centronics Standard
printer, via the LLIST and LPRINT commands.
But there's a major problem: tno connection cables are included
in the Interface package, so Thomas had to build one on his own.
The Parallel I/O Interface has two connectors: the left one
(2x7 pins) is the parallel port, and the right one (2x17 pins) is meant for
use with unreleased hardware such as the Floppy Disk Drive and the Telephone
Thomas has succeeded in reverse-engineering the interface and
has then learnt the correct pinout for cable and connectors. He has finally
shared his discoveries with all other users by posting details and pictures
onto the Forum.
I thought it was a good idea to collect the information here and
enrich it with diagrams. Here they are (seen from the front of the plugs).
What you'll need to build the cable is:
- Printer side: 36-pin "Centronics" connector
- CreatiVision side: 14-pin "ISA type" slot
- multi-conductor cable (11 wires needed)
You can use either of the marked "Signal Ground" pins (16 or 33)
on the Centronics connector.
Don't forget to visit Thomas Gutmeier's website: 8Bit-Homecomputermuseum.