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View Full Version : Xircom Parallel to Ethernet + Panasonic Sr. Partner = FAIL



Raven
April 4th, 2010, 04:39 PM
I thought my Xircom adapter was fried before, because it wouldn't power up no matter what - I had only attached it to my Sr. Partner in the past though. I hooked it up to my Tandy today and it had no issues turning on - it didn't work with the software, but the thing lit up and detected when I gave it a live cable. I figured the Tandy was somehow incompatible so I got my Sr. Partner back out and rigged up the nutty cables required to get the Centronix port it gives you into a proper parallel, and the thing won't light up for anything. Has anyone else used this with a Sr. Partner? Do you need to add a different parallel port on a card or something?

Edit: Running with the assumption that the parallel port on the Sr. Partner, being a Centronix and who knows what else different, I'm going to try hooking up a parallel/serial combo card and test the thing on that.

Edit: Won't detect it with two different Parallel port cards.

Edit: The Xircom won't even light up on my T6600C.

Edit: Hooked it up to PS/Valuepoint desktop and it lit up, tried the driver, not detected.

Is this thing broken, or what?

modem7
April 4th, 2010, 07:10 PM
The fact that the Xircom powers up on your Tandy certainly suggests that the issue described at http://www.epanorama.net/circuits/lptpower.html is in play.

modem7
April 4th, 2010, 07:13 PM
Edit: Hooked it up to PS/Valuepoint desktop and it lit up, tried the driver, not detected.
Might be able to get enough current to at least light the LED, but not enough current to fully function.

Raven
April 4th, 2010, 07:19 PM
But it's powered by an external adapter - all that the parallel port has to do is kick it in the ass to get it turned on.. :/

I figured that as soon as the lights are on the wall power can take over from there.

modem7
April 4th, 2010, 08:15 PM
You wrote that you got the Tandy/Xircom setup working only after applying external power ("when I gave it a live cable"). But then you wrote, "I figured the Tandy was somehow incompatible." It just suggested to me that you were then trying to get the Xircom working without external power (which I believe it can do in some circumstances).

So for all subsequest tests/trials, you are applying external DC power.

Do you know if you have the correct power adapter? I an see some Xircom power specifications at the bottom of http://www.ibmmuseum.com/OhlandL/Xircom/Xircom_Pocket_Adapters.html#PS_Requirements

Seems odd then that the power LED on the Xircom isn't lighting at all when the Xircom is connected to the T6600C and the Xircom is being fed with external DC power.


I figured that as soon as the lights are on the wall power can take over from there.
Does that mean that you wait for the power light on the Xircom to turn on, and only then do you apply external DC power to the Xircom?

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 08:20 AM
The Xircom is incapable of functioning without external power. There are two adapters, either a wall one or a PS/2 leech one. I have niether, so I use a random power brick that happens to fall in the same specifications and have the right polarity. It's 12V and I think 2000mA, the adapter requires at least 500mA iirc, so it's covered. When I said "gave it a live cable" I was referring to a network cable. The Xircom refuses to power on unless it has a live ethernet cable plugged into it, and it is plugged into a live parallel port, AND has a DC adapter, AND likes the parallel port it's plugged into. :P

It requires the parallel port to shoot some power into the Xircom so that it knows it's hooked up and then activates it's circuitry. When this happens the lights come on, but only if DC power is also plugged in. I am an electronics noob, so excuse me if I'm really bad at explaining this.

mbbrutman
April 5th, 2010, 08:46 AM
This is starting to bring up a slightly painful memory for me. On an XT that I use for testing I had problems with my PE310BT. That XT has a monochrome adapter, and it was the parallel port on the MDA card that was problematic. I think I was able to get it to run, but I had to specify an option like NOEPP on the command line when I loaded the PE3 packet driver.

I'll try to recreate it tonight. Another good option to keep in mind is the IRQ option - the PE3 packet driver can run without an IRQ. (It hooks the timer interrupt and polls if it does not have an interrupt, which is convenient but a little slower than using the interrupt.)


Mike

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 09:02 AM
The parallel card I put in is set to LPT2 on the jumpering, and when I tell the pe3pd to explicitly use lpt2 it says it's not available. If I tell it to use LPT1, it also says it's not available, which makes no sense since that one is built into the motherboard of the unit, and as an XT, it doesn't really have a BIOS setup afaik.

I've tried like every option, even NON which is unidirectional support. Nothing detects it.

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2010, 09:20 AM
Not a BIOS setup issue, but many programs rely on the information that the BIOS reports to determine printer card presence. In particular, 6 bytes at location 40:8 report the addresses of LPT1-3. The two high order bits (14 and 15) of the configuration word at 40:10 (hex) reports the number of printer adapters installed. If these locations aren't initialized correctly, many drivers and programs will bomb.

Tidbit You can swap the definition of LP1-3 simply by exchanging words at 40:8. You can even make the same card serve for LPT1-3 by duplicating its address in those locations (be sure to adjust the count in 40:10 also). You can also configure generic printer cards to operate with non-standard addresses and plug these into the table.

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 10:28 AM
I am a debug noob and am trying to use it for this. I tpe d 40:00 and get a listing. Since the next line starts :10, I look on the first line toward the end. The whole second half of that side says "78 03 00 00 00 00 00 00". The last 6 bytes are all zeroes.. If I use my vague comprehension of the storage of hex numbers and endian and whatnot, I gather that there IS the number 78 and 03, which could mean 378h, which is a natural IO for lpt - am I right? Does this mean it's set up for LPT1 properly?

6d42 is at 40:10, which translates into binary as 0110110101000010. If I count to 14-15 bits, it's 01. This machine does have one parallel port - so set up properly it is, yes?

What now, it still doesn't detect the Xircom adapter.. :/

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2010, 10:44 AM
40:08 says your printer port (one) is at 378, which sounds about right. 426d says 1 printer port, 1 serial port, 2 floppy drives, 80x25 CGA, pointing device, and floppy drive available for boot.

It could be that the 1000 parallel port adapter doesn't quite conform with the PC one. For example, can you read back from port 378 what you just wrote to port 378? Some "compatibles" left out the "feedback" feature.

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 10:46 AM
The machine I just did the debug on is a Zenith Z-140. I don't know how to send and receive date over the parallel port by hand except to try to echo it, which just gives errors everywhere I've tried it.

Halp? Lol..

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2010, 01:01 PM
I assume that you mean that your display at 40:10 looks like

0040:0010 6D 42 ...

Which is really the number 426D and it's as I noted above.

Try this under debug:

o 378 12
i 378

You should get 12 back.

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 05:29 PM
I assume that you mean that your display at 40:10 looks like

0040:0010 6D 42 ...

Which is really the number 426D and it's as I noted above.

Yes.



Try this under debug:

o 378 12
i 378

You should get 12 back.
Yep. I assume that I just wrote a 12 out the 378.. buffer or something.. and then read it back? That worked anywho.

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2010, 06:23 PM
Then it appears that your parallel port is known by the BIOS and appears to be functioning. Just out of curiosity, what OS are you running this on?

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 06:26 PM
I did most of the testing with MS-DOS 5.0, I also tried 2.11, and I think I'll try 6.22 now.

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2010, 06:48 PM
While we're at it, which model of the Xircom PE do you have?

Raven
April 5th, 2010, 07:31 PM
PE3-10BT. I'm beginning to think it's broken, but the lighting up and link detection is throwing off that assessment. :/

By the way, 6.22 didn't help.

Chuck(G)
April 5th, 2010, 08:16 PM
So if you apply power to the adapte (attached to your first printer port)r, then boot your system up and run PE3TEST NON NOEPP, what happens?

kb2syd
April 6th, 2010, 07:02 AM
One thing I found handy in situations like this is a little utility called "PortFinder". Was very useful on the "semi-compatibles" such as the Tandy and maybe the Zenith. With older versions of Guest, it was the only way to get a Zip drive working on a secondary LPT port in a Tandy 1000a. It can be found at:
http://www.simtel.com/free/System-Utilities-IO-Utilities/portfindzip/47141.html

Raven
April 6th, 2010, 06:25 PM
So if you apply power to the adapte (attached to your first printer port)r, then boot your system up and run PE3TEST NON NOEPP, what happens?

No Pocket Ethernet Adapter Found. The same exact error message as if I run the packet driver or pe3test in any situation on any of my machines, whether it's lighting up or not on an added or built-in parallel port, no matter what settings.


One thing I found handy in situations like this is a little utility called "PortFinder". Was very useful on the "semi-compatibles" such as the Tandy and maybe the Zenith. With older versions of Guest, it was the only way to get a Zip drive working on a secondary LPT port in a Tandy 1000a. It can be found at:
http://www.simtel.com/free/System-Utilities-IO-Utilities/portfindzip/47141.html

Thanks I'll try that next time I go a few rounds with the Xircom adapter.