If You Don't Have a Parallel Port...

Most computers do not provide a parallel port anymore. A common proposal is to use a USB parallel port (sometimes called a "USB-parallel adapter"). These normally only work with printers because they capture printing output within the operating system. This won't work with the Data Logger CVF2 and Analyse-Plus because they don't use the Windows print services. "Universal docking stations" usually use a USB port for the connection to the PC too.

Used laptops and business laptops are also a possible solution.

The solutions that will work are:
1) If you have a laptop with an Express Card slot, the best solution is to purchase an Express Card. We have purchased and tested a 34 mm B+B SmartWorx / Advantech (formerly Quatech) SPPXP-100 EPP Parallel Port Express Card. We highly recommend this product. The product has been discontinued but may be available from resellers. You may also purchase it from us if you are purchasing a Data Logger CVF2 at the same time. See the application note below. Another Express card we have successfully tested is the StarTech EC1PECPS EPP Parallel Port Express Card. It is still available for purchase from StarTech or you may purchase one from us if you are purchasing a Data Logger CVF2 at the same time.

2) If you have a laptop with a PCMCIA slot, another solution is to purchase a PCMCIA card. The same company (B+B SmartWorx, formerly Quatech) used to manufacture one. There were other manufacturers too. These may be difficult to find. We have a very limited stock but you may also purchase it from us if you are purchasing a Data Logger CVF2 at the same time. See the application note below.

3) Purchase a docking station that connects to the laptop PC's bus (not a USB port). This normally means you must purchase it from the laptop manufacturer. Dell has a small docking station that connects to the bottom of their laptops. It is compatible with a very large selection of laptops. Call Dell to get an up-to-date list of compatible laptops. The docking station is available from Dell at a very low cost.

4) If you have a desktop with an open PCI slot, the best solution is to purchase a PCI parallel port card. There are many suppliers and the cost is very low. You may purchase one from us if you are purchasing a Data Logger CVF2 at the same time.

If you purchase the card through us, we will test it prior to shipping.

Please note that we do not have any affiliation, agreements, partnerships or arrangements with any of the above companies. We are merely recommending a product that works with our product. There may be other suitable products available but they must work with direct "port i/o" (to port 378H for example) and the 3 I/O addresses of the standard parallel port must fully comply with the parallel port standard. The product does not need to support EPP or bi-directional standards. A standard parallel port is recommended. Interrupts (IRQ) are not used by Analyse-Plus and are not required.

If you have any problems using or installing these cards for use with a Data Logger CVF2 or if you purchased the Quatech Express Card SPPXP-100, Quatech PCMCIA SPP-100 card or StarTech Express Card EC1PECPS, email technical support at: support@givenscontrol.com
The Express cards use a non-standard i/o port address such as 3000 or 2CF8 and requires a non-standard method of setting this in Analyse-Plus. The next version will allow direct entry of this value.

Application Note for Express Cards:
When you plug in the Express card, Windows or the driver seems to do some checking into what is connected. If you have the Data Logger (DL) connected to the Express Card via the included cable when you plug the Express card into your computer, the PT LED will flash on and off approx every 5 sec. During this time, if you click "Connect" in Analyse-Plus, it will attempt communication but Windows or the driver will disrupt communication with its "checking". Depending on what you were doing and especially if you were doing a standalone collection, this can cause some problems and loss of data. To avoid this, wait until the PT LED stops flashing before clicking on "Connect". This is typically 20-30 sec. You can instead leave the DL unconnected during this time but the same thing happens - you just don't have the PT LED as an indicator of when the "checking" is done. In this case, merely verify that the PT LED is not flashing before clicking on "Connect" in Analyse-Plus. This is a problem specific to the Express Cards. The PCMCIA cardx and true (built-in) parallel ports don't exhibit this behaviour.


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