View Full Version : Installing 4th parrallel port

Catholic Lad
17-04-2003, 12:47 PM

I am looking at installing a 4th parallel port in an NT based machine using a PCI single parallel port card. Can anyone see any real problems with this? With the PCI bus I figure that should solve any conflicts with IRQs? I know back in the old days more than three was a no no, but should this be okay?


17-04-2003, 12:53 PM
Why do you need 4 Parallel ports?

There could be a problem with not enough IRQ's to go around although I believe those were solved in Win2k/XP. What Operating System is it?

Instead of 4 Parallel ports you should probably look at other solutions for what you are wanting to accomplish, maybe a auto-switch parallel 5 port hub (don't know the correct term)

Catholic Lad
17-04-2003, 01:01 PM
Currently running three printers (inkjet, laser and a small thermal) and want to add an old DM to print stock lists. Currently running NT4. I have been told that 4 ports are possible as stated but am looking for reassurance I guess.


17-04-2003, 01:20 PM
Probably not relevant, but at our company we used to use a switch box to have four different printers on one PC, and this worked, as long as the operator remembered to switch it over before starting the print job. Often we had gibberish coming out of the wrong printer because they forgot to switch it. Bear that in mind if you go for one of these.

A cheaper and easier solution is to utilise an old PC as a print server for the two lower usage printers - if you have the spare machine and a network.

Not relevant, and not helpful I'm sure! Apologies.

17-04-2003, 03:48 PM
Memory addresses - not IRQs - are the main factor

Three options

1. Install the dot matrix on another print server (or continuously accessible machine),

2. upgrade the current print server to Windows 2000 and use USB (dependent on USB printer connections and computer specifications), or

3. forget the dot matrix and print using an existing printer.

Optional reading here (http://www.beyondlogic.org/spp/parallel.htm)

Graham L
17-04-2003, 03:56 PM
A printer server would be the ideal. They're quite cheap now.

Catholic Lad
17-04-2003, 04:12 PM
Thanks guys. I guess it can't be done. Oh well..

Thanks again,

Catholic Lad
18-04-2003, 12:52 AM
Said to myself "stuff it" and went and picked up a card. Happy to report all four ports and printers are running great. Thanks for the link Merlin - this is what convinced me this would work.