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Using old parallel cable on modern PCs without parallel port

 
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Mog



Joined: 02 Jun 2004
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:04 am    Post subject: Using old parallel cable on modern PCs without parallel port Reply with quote

I have recently had to replace my DVD player, and hence am revisiting my Kameleon remote JP1 programming.

I am staggered to see that the last time I posted here is nearly 10 years ago!
My issue is that I now have a PC with no parallel port, so I simply went out and bought a PCIE serial/parallel addon card, thinking I would be good to go.

However, of course it's not that simple - IR doesn't see it, and I'm guessing that this might be an I/O address issue.

I'm using Windows 7, and the card in question is a 'Sienoc' - Windows reports that the driver is 'WinChipHead' ( 11/3/14 v1.3.2014.3 ), using the driver file 'parport.sys' and that the address range is E100-E103

What are my options, in order to continue to use my old cable, if any?
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John Oseman
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just in case you are unable to get your add-on port working, your next option would be to get an FTDI cable, which is what all the current JP1.x remotes use, and a JP1 adapter.

The cable can be had for under $9 on ebay:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/312234679584

And the adapter is $10 from diygadget.com:
https://www.diygadget.com/remote-control-accessories/jp1-2-1-3-to-jp1-adapter
{updated link}
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Last edited by The Robman on Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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StephenR0



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 87
Location: Iowa, US

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob, do you have any insight about whether the 3.3 voltage of the FTDI cable would ever cause him trouble with his old 5 volt remote? Just curious.

Also, I just tried the diygadget link and it doesn't seem to work anymore. Sad

Edit: I guess this must be it.

https://www.diygadget.com/remote-control-accessories/jp1-2-1-3-to-jp1-adapter
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have any insight on that, hopefully folks who know about this sort of thing can chime in.
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Mog



Joined: 02 Jun 2004
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being in the UK, the adapter is a bit of a problem, but equivalent cables are easily available.

I think I'm looking for some help from an IR expert - I had a peek at the sources, and it appears that the 378 default port address can be patched up by setting a registry value - 'PortAddress'.
I have created a DWORD entry in the same location as 'SpecialHardware', and set it to Hex E100, but this doesn't seem to have helped.
I have confirmed by using another tool ( LPTTest ) that the parallel port is actually present at that address...
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gfb107
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IR is obsolete. Use RMIR.

RMIR allows you to set the parallel port number.

In the menus, Remote > Interface > JP1 Parallel...
Select "Other" and type in the starting port number.
Then try to download.
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mdavej
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mog wrote:
Being in the UK, the adapter is a bit of a problem
As far as I can tell, diygadget ships worldwide.
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Mog



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, so I have tried RMIR, and I have good and bad news.

I have a URC-8910, and that is recognized OK and I can upload the data from it.

Unfortunately, I have had no luck reading the Kameleon URC-8060.

RMIR reports that there might be some sort of bug, so asks me to do a raw download - when I try to do this, it fails and aborts the download due to not recognizing the signature of the remote.

So I am unable to provide any data file...

My daily remote is the Kameleon, which I use due to the fully illuminated display ( I have four of them! ), so I would really like to get this working.
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gfb107
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, you could upload your rmaster.err file to the diagnosis area, and maybe mathdon will have time to look at it.
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the days of the old JP1 parallel cables, when they didn't work, we always had to ask the following questions:

1. have you tried it WITH the batteries in the remote?
2. have you tried it WITHOUT the batteries in the remote?
3. have you tried brand new batteries?
4. have you tried old batteries?

You can probably tell that the common denominator was the batteries. The beauty of the parallel cable was it's simplicity, but it took a lot of shortcuts to be that simple, and we always had problems with the batteries. Some remotes liked them in, some didn't. Sometimes brand new batteries with full voltage was the answer, sometimes older batteries with dropping voltage was the answer.

The fact that you now have the URC-8910 working tells me that the cable works, now you just have to tweak it.
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Mog



Joined: 02 Jun 2004
Posts: 48

PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to my comment about having taken a peek at the IR 8.04 sources, I realised that I had not actually run v8.04, but was running v8.03.

The v8.04 release has the following comment:
'IR 8.04 is a minor release of IR.exe that includes a new driver for direct Parallel Port access under 64-bit Windows Systems.'

So I downloaded v8.04, and I was now able to see the parallel port setup dialog, which was correctly set at E100 as I had already edited the registry manually.

Anyway, everything works fine with IR v8.04, and I can work with the Kameleon without any problems ( No need to fit the batteries ) Very Happy

With RMIR, at no point was I able to download from the Kameleon Sad
I tried various combinations of batteries and both of my parallel cables.

So it would seem that the parallel port is handled slightly differently in IR and RMIR...
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see the rmaster.err file (in the RMIR installation folder) after a failed attempt at a Raw Download from the Kameleon, as Greg suggested above, in case there actually is a bug in RMIR. The Kameleon remotes are unique in certain ways so it is possible that there is a bug that does not show up with other remotes.
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Graham
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Mog



Joined: 02 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have uploaded a zip file containing two files, one each for raw download, which exits cleanly, presumably as the remote signature is not seen, and one for normal download which does produce an exception.
It's odd, the same physical setup reads the signature bytes OK from the URC-8910, but reads all FF bytes from the URC-8060.

Anything else I can do, let me know - I am a retired software engineer, so am reasonably well tuned in Wink
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mathdon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, John, for the files. They show that the problem lies in the jp1parallel.dll library rather than in RMIR itself. This library is used by RMIR to interface the Java code of RMIR to the InpOut32 and InpOutx64 dlls from www.highrez.co.uk that provide the actual access to the parallel port. IR.exe v8.04 (but not v8.03) uses these same InpOut dlls but interfaces to them directly as it is a native Windows program rather than a Java one.

As IR.exe v8.04 works with your Kameleon, it shows that these InpOut dlls work with it, so I presume the problem lies in the code of jp1parallel.dll itself. The rmaster.err file cannot show diagnostics from the dll, but the dll does include some diagnostics that can be read by the free Microsoft program DebugView. As you are a retired software engineer you may already have this, but if not then please download it. You simply need to have it open when you do a download from RMIR and it will display the debug output from jp1parallel. There is a "Clear Display" item on the Edit menu of DebugView which I suggest you press before doing a download, as the Microsoft system writes its own debug messages to DebugView, too.

I don't have either a Kameleon or a parallel port, so I'm afraid you will have to do all the testing if we are to find out what is happening with this rather intriguing problem of yours. If you are willing to continue, please post the DebugView messages from a Raw Download of the Kameleon. It might also help if you post a download file made with IR.exe v8.04 so I can see what it is that RMIR cannot read. The DebugView messages may well still not be enough to locate the problem but it should provide some useful information. I may then need to create a custom version of jp1parallel with further diagnostics, so please bear in mind that you may be starting on a long task with no guaranteed success at the end.
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The Robman
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mog wrote:
I have uploaded a zip file containing two files

I found John's file here, for anyone else interested:
http://www.hifi-remote.com/forums/dload.php?action=file&file_id=25643
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