View Full Version : Terminal and printers for computers

Randy McLaughlin
July 21st, 2016, 12:00 PM
I needed a data logger and bought a Raspberry Pi.

It should be able to be a decent Terminal - I haven't checked on how well it could do 80x24 or better but it should.

It uses USB keyboard and composite/HDMI (or DVI with adapter) for $35.00.

It can handle 2.5A @ 5v but that is almost all USB power, a much smaller power supply could be used if wanted.

It runs several OS's which already handles everything (display, keyboard/mice/other USB devices.

And most USB devices could be attached to slave to a host computer (S100).

This means USB printers and all sorts of USB drives.

It could be mounted on a S100 card for parallel communication or via serial port using either a USB to serial adapter or using it's 40 pin GPIO.

Quick and dirty terminal with just a USB dongle, or full blown by hooking up to parallel interface (or high speed serial).


July 21st, 2016, 12:39 PM
Why would you go to all that trouble, and money to reinvent the dumb terminal?

You could probably buy a working terminal and printer for less than $50.

Randy McLaughlin
July 21st, 2016, 01:08 PM
Not everyone has a terminal for sale next door, the cost to ship could more than double the cost and give you a broken terminal.

A Pi can bring a lot to the table.

Take it or leave it it's there, Wifi could give you remote login, access to USB disks, printers that just work.

It is a valid option for people to think about.


July 21st, 2016, 03:02 PM
I go cheap with an Orange Pi. Still more power than you need for less money.

Randy McLaughlin
July 21st, 2016, 03:47 PM
One way of looking at a Pi is a tablet with no screen (yes that's stupid but close anyway).

When I bought one for a data logger I wasn't very familiar with them.

I went whole hog and bought the Cadillac version with all the bells and whistles $35.00, stop laughing it's true.

After I got it I realized what it was - a very powerful computer with several USB ports, and ready to do so much more than I was planning.

I just needed a small micro-controller to log some water flow and I wanted net access. This was the cheapest pre-made board I saw.

It is a credit card sized PC type computer. So yes terminal is easy, hook up USB only printer - easy, USB disk - why not.


July 21st, 2016, 04:10 PM
For $5 more I got a 7" tablet (with a screen). :-)

Randy McLaughlin
July 21st, 2016, 04:30 PM
If you have a screen does that mean you have too much?

Any old left over PC could do what I'm talking about but this thing is tiny and can be taped to back of the monitor or S100 chassis.

My first thought was just as a cheap and easy terminal for old computers. After that what else can we do.

I am setting up an old NorthStar Horizon for my nephew and now I'm thinking of including a Pi for a terminal.


July 21st, 2016, 04:50 PM
If you have a screen does that mean you have too much?Nope, just enough.