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smileforkyle
11-12-2009, 11:40 AM
i have a small lenova laptop without a parallel port....is it possible to use a usb to parallel port adapter to controll the grinch? please help!!:confused:

dirknerkle
11-12-2009, 11:45 AM
A usb parallel adapter won't give you the voltage you need to control the Grinch so no, it won't work for you.

However, you could still use the Grinch by using a Ren-C converter, which uses a serial output from the computer. The Ren-C would plug into the Grinch (the computer into the Ren-C, the Ren-C into the Grinch) and it would also add the capability for dimming all of the Grinch's channels... so all is not lost!

The Ren-C can work with a USB serial adapter or the straight serial output from the computer if the laptop has a serial port.

A Ren-C is inexpensive to build -- there might even be folks who have an extra that they might sell. wjohn has the circuitboards for it.

smileforkyle
11-12-2009, 01:14 PM
thanks so much for the reply! but isnt the power provided in the 5VDC connector on the board provide the power needed for the board? i will check into the Ren-C...dimmable would be a huge improvement!

dirknerkle
11-12-2009, 01:21 PM
thanks so much for the reply! but isnt the power provided in the 5VDC connector on the board provide the power needed for the board? i will check into the Ren-C...dimmable would be a huge improvement!

USB adapters don't deliver quite enough "oomph." Yes, there may be 5vdc but not enough current to drive the board. You need both voltage and current to make all the gear work.

The Ren-C is a wonderful addition to a Grinch and extends its capability quite a bit. Be sure to check some of the postings in the Grinch forum about the two working together as there is a lot of available help for both.

P. Short
11-12-2009, 01:59 PM
The other problem with USB-parallel adapters is that they do not allow software to individually control the 'control' signals of the parallel port. These adapters have the hardware and drivers necessary for controlling standard parallel port devices (printers, scanners, etc). They are not capable of directly controlling devices such as the Grinch, where the software must bit-bang the control/status lines and the data lines.

smileforkyle
11-12-2009, 04:56 PM
okk i see...hmmm. well can you think of any way to control a grinch board with my mini laptop? i only have ethernet jack and usb jacks. Maybe i could program the included usb-parallel adapter to work with grinch? i hope to utilize a Ren-C between the computer and grinch as Dirk suggested. thanks for all the help. (im an exchange student in Sweden bringing the light shows to europe!)