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Can't get File Maven null modem program to work via parallel port

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    Can't get File Maven null modem program to work via parallel port

    File Maven is a very good modern DOS program for null modem file transfers. I've successfully connected several of my computers to each other (no more than 2 at a time) for file transfer. All have been by serial port, though, because I have yet to get File Maven to connect any two computers by parallel null modem. I am using DB25 cables, and a DB25 null modem adaptor.

    It's not necessary that I use parallel, but after trying between 4 different vintage PCs, and none of them will connect that way, I am wanting to find out why. Maybe I can even "fix" it so it will work.

    Does anyone have any success in using File Maven in parallel connections?
    Sattinger's Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.”
    "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
    "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

    #2
    Null modem is serial. You will not be able to use a serial cable to connect two parallel ports.

    I’ve never heard of file maven, but most programs will use a laplink parallel cable. I’ve got a Symantec pcanywhere cable that works too.

    Comment


      #3
      From the FAQ:

      I am unable to get the PARALLEL connection to work. What should I do?
      Make sure you have a true parallel transfer cable and not a plain parallel cable. Transfer cables have their transmit/receive and handshaking wires crossed. They are sometimes referred to a "LapLink" cables. This can be checked with a multimeter device against the parallel pinout chart.

      Next, try connecting in 4-bit mode by unchecking the 8-bit setting on both PCs under Configure/Link/Parallel. Many modern PCs use advanced ECP/EPP parallel ports that will not support 8-bit transfers. You can use an 8-bit cable in 4-bit mode but you cannot use a 4-bit cable in 8-bit mode. Also check under Configure/Link/Parallel/Port on both PCs to make sure the correct LPT ports are selected.
      Got it? LapLink parallel cable. Also works with MS Interlink, Norton and other transfer programs.
      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

      Comment


        #4
        Right, I now remember the pinout diagram. Thank you for the reminder. I checked the pinout diagram versus the 25-pin null modem adaptor I have (continuity via multimeter), and they do not match.


        I'll either find a DB25 Laplink cable on eBay, or I'll get a project box, small breadboard and some wires, and DB25 connectors, and make my own. I think I'll make my own transfer box that way; it would be a great experience.

        So, the DB25 null modem adaptors that I have are for 25-pin serial ports, not parallel ports?
        Last edited by Bill-kun; November 18, 2021, 01:36 PM.
        Sattinger's Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.”
        "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
        "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Bill-kun View Post
          I'll either find a DB25 Laplink cable on eBay, or I'll get a project box, small breadboard and some wires, and DB25 connectors, and make my own. I think I'll make my own transfer box that way; it would be a great experience.
          See [here]. I made those up donkeys years ago; parallel Laplink on the left, serial Laplink on the right. Plug into one of the computers, then extend using a 25-wire DB25 ribbon cable.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Bill-kun View Post
            So, the DB25 null modem adaptors that I have are for 25-pin serial ports, not parallel ports?
            Yes, as such adapters do not even exist for the parallel port and the parallel port is no "null modem" anyway.

            Comment


              #7
              I may still have a couple of parallel Laplink cables left (I've been giving them away). Drop me a line if interested in one.
              Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Chuck(G) View Post
                I may still have a couple of parallel Laplink cables left (I've been giving them away). Drop me a line if interested in one.
                Did my PM go through?
                Sattinger's Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.”
                "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
                "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

                Comment


                  #9
                  Yup, got it--it's on my to-do list for this weekend.
                  Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The LapLink cable arrived in the mail today. It works great in 4-bit mode in File Maven. Using it in 8-bit mode almost works; the host computer appears to have all of drives A-Z active plus more ASCII characters after Z. Trying to select any of the drives results in an error.
                    Sattinger's Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.”
                    "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
                    "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Generic parallel Laplink cables are 4-bit beasts. They also work with Microsoft Interlink and Norton's (whatever it was called). Few early PC-compatibles had EPP or ECP capability. One first saw it in the PS/2 line.
                      Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So—cut of curiosity—what would an 8-bit LapLink cable be? I see the 8-bit parallel wire mapping table on File Maven’s help site. I tried making my own using a breadboard, 2 breakout connectors, and a lot of short wire pieces. Something must not have been connected properly, though, because there was never acknowledgment of a connection. Or the computers I was using it with (a KLH 195/286 and a JPL 386) were not advanced enough to recognize it?
                        Sattinger's Law: “It works better if you plug it in.” Corollary: “It works even better if you plug it in correctly.”
                        "The simplest solution is the most likely solution." --My paraphrase of Occam's Razor
                        "You can get [a computer] like yours at a garage sale for, like, fifteen dollars," --Strong Sad, sbemail #33

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It's a big maybe. Your system has to support it. You can get a clue in the BIOS setup. If there's a choice in there of "Legacy/EPP/ECP", then 8 bit transfers are supported. File Maven's 8 bit cable is detailed here. AFAIK, there was no standard common 8-bit cable connection--and even when supported, was a bit twitchy. If you want to get deep into the ECP/EPP technical end, check out the Wikipedia page on IEEE 1284.
                          Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

                          Comment

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