Capturing Serial and Parallel Data

Require paperless printing?
Need to rescue print data off a legacy system?
Require backup records for FDA 21 CFR Part 11?

Our hardware interface devices allow you to store the data stream directly to a PC or flash memory card.

Capture printer data from all sorts of legacy printer cables with unusual  or exotic connectors. For minicomputers such
as Digital Equipment Corp., Data General, IBM RS6000, MAI, Prime, McDonnell Douglas, Unisys.  Collect data going
to system printers such as Dataproducts, Hitachi, Printronics, Tally, Genicom, Hewlett-Packard and others. Label printers
may include Zebra, Datamax, Fargo, Intermec or Unimark.. Even embosser printers may be included. Here is a method that directs the data to a PC for storage. You use a terminal emulator on the PC such as Windows Hyperterminal.
Use hardware flow control on the PC COM Port, and you will be able to transfer data at 115.2K Baud.
The kit is shipped all ready to work. Just plug in the cables. You require a Serial COM port on the PC/Laptop, or use a USB/Serial COM Adapter.
If you wish to record data with using a PC, you may connect a serial data recorder which will record about 2.5 million text print lines (@ 100 characters per line). The data stored is the exact print stream, and no formatting is applied. If the data is "Generic" text, then it is
usually easily viewable on the PC in a wordprocessor such as Word, or even notepad. If the data being recorded contains formatting and driver
escape codes to support rich text, graphics, and photos, then conversion software can be applied to the data at the PC. For example if the
data stream is PCL Emulation for a HP LaserJet or inkjet printer, then specific conversion software on the PC could perhaps convert the data to
.PDF or .DOC Internet search reveals various suppliers of such specific software.
It is possible to or collect parallel data while still printing if the printer can be set to serial interface. A serial tap device enables recording in the
background. The tap device does not interfere with the printer flow control handshaking or print speed. However the baud rate should be set to
9600 so the recorder can keep up with the flow.
Here, a PC logs the data rather than the stand alone recorder. The PC COM port should be set not to enable flow control so that it does not
interfere with the printer handshaking. The parallel input may be from a variety of Centronics styles, such as Unix parallel, Windows PC classic
parallel, original Centronics, or modern high speed Centronics using IEEE-1284 standard.
Replacing a serial printer (below) is much simpler. The recorder creates one file named RECORD.TXT. Hardware handshaking is used
to support baud rates up to 115.2K. The RECORD.TXT data is and exact image of the print data, and thus it could be dumped back to
the same printer with a PC for a reprint. Also conversion software could be used to display the data on a Windows screen (eg. in Word, Excel, or other application). Some user sites create thier own softwrae to parse, split, and adapt it for databases, or viewing.
Below is an example of backing up print data that may apply to FDA 21 CFR Part 11 "record keeping" requirements.
The non-interfering tap feeds the recorder while the printer operates as normal. Such printers may include label
printers such as Datamax, Zebra, Intermec, Fargo or Unimark. Instruments such as scales and instruments which use a serial interface may also be included.

The Model SDXREM below stores the serial print stream, and enables the user to access the flash memory contents remotely as required.
This method completley eliminates the printer. Such printers could be "alarm printers" which may only print a few lines every few minutes.
In that case the flash memory card could store data for days and weeks before being collected by a remote computer.
The Model SDXREM only uses 4 basic commands to control and dump data from the recorder: XP, XR, XD and XS (eg, have a PC send
ASCII character string: XP to the Model SDXREM to have it return the flash memory card contents.)

It is possible to add a Device Server to Model SDXREM such as Lantronix Model UDS, that will ethernet enable the recorder:



It is possible to add a parallel interface front end called Model CS-ZN. Other front ends are also possible that support legacy
printer system interfaces, such as Dataproducts interface, (short line and long line). That may include lineprinters that have DB50
female connectors (50 pin, 3 rows of pins) or M50 connectors (50 pin, 4 rows of pins). Such printers may include Printronix,
Hitachi, Dataproducts, Genicom, Tally, C.Itoh. Systems may include DEC, DG, HP, IBM (ASCII Lineprinters), Prime, MAI, NCR, and Unisys.




Model PDX
Recording Parallel Data with single stand alone box:
The Model PDX is a self contained unit that allows pass through of data to the printer while recording in the background.
MODEL PDX Print Recorder

Model PDX records printer parallel interface data stream. Use to:
- Archive printer data for quality assurance or record keeping,
(eg. FDA 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance).
- Record while printer is printing.
- Totally eliminate the printer.
- Capture databases from retiring legacy systems.

FOR PRINTING SYSTEMS:
- High Speed Lineprinters (eg, 1,000 Lines/Minute)
- Desktop Dot Matrix printers (eg. Okidata, Fujitsu, Epson)
- Alarm Printers
- Inkjet Printers (Non GDI/Winprint style)
- Thermal Barcode Label Printers (eg. Datamax, Zebra)
- POS Printers (eg. Epson)
- Laser Printers (Non GDI/Winprint style)


FEATURES:
- Uses popular and inexpensive flash memory card.
- Record 2.5 million print lines @ 100 characters/line. (256 Mb Card)
- Minimum operator knowledge required, -simple front panel.
- No software or any setup is required.
- Front panel LEDs blink as heartbeat to confirm operation even at a distance.
- Stored data is retained after a power outage.
- After power outage, operation resumes where it left off recording.

RECORDED FILE:
Use an SD Memory Card reader on the PC. The memory card is present on the PC as a disk drive,
eg. D drive, E drive, F drive, etc.
The recorded data on the Memory Card is a file named RECORD.TXT
Generic text data can then be immediately viewed in any application that willopen a .TXT file.
In many cases no formating has to be performed on the
data to view it. This is especially true if the data is generic text,
or "lineprinter" data from impact dot matrix printers or high speed lineprinters.
Sometimes, the data will even open in Microsoft Excel.

If the data is not plain text, and needs to be formated for viewing,
(eg. graphics, photos, rich text), then converting software may be applied to
the RECORD.TXT file. A wide assortment of converting software is available
from other suppliers: Example: PCL printer emulation to .pdf
The user may also be able to write a program to parse information from the
RECORD.TXT file in a precise way.
The recording capacity of 2.5 million print lines at 100 charcaters/line means
that many applications will record for days and weeks. For example, alarm printer
data which may print just a few lines occaisionally, could be recorded for several
weeks without the operator unmounting the memory card.

No operator controls or settings are on the back panel:

 

___________________________________________________________

Model PDX-R

Model PDX-R is similar to Model PDX above, except:
- Compact size
- More automatic operation
- Lower price: $465.00 USD


Model PDX-R description: pdxr1.pdf

Serial and parallel printer replacement