how to connect a DECprinter I (LA180) ?
ethan.dicks at usap.gov
Fri Dec 28 09:44:33 CST 2007
On Fri, Dec 28, 2007 at 04:05:37PM +0100, Henk Gooijen wrote:
> The seasonal holidays give me time to play around a bit ...
> I wanted to connect my DECprinter I (that's an LA180) but
> I could not find any documentation here at home, neither
> on the web!
If you can't find the LA-180 manual, perhaps one of the
interface manuals is on bitsavers?
> Can somebody who knows or has an LA180
> connected tell me how it is hooked to a serial line?
> Or point me to an LA180 user's manual on the web?
It's not hooked to a serial line. It's an 8-bit parallel
printer with handshaking.
> >From my guess, the BERG header is "standard" as on M7800
> DL11's or M7856 DL11-W, SLU's (with the appropriate lugs
> either RS-232 or 20 mA current loop), but I would rather be
> assured than destroying a very nice printer!
Just because DEC used the 40-pin BERG on PDP-8 and PDP-11
console interfaces does not make the same connector in the
LA-180 a serial interface. The same connector is used on
the RL11, RLV11, RLV12, and the RL8A, and is certainly
does _not_ carry EIA or 20mA signals on it. It's just
a very, very common connector in the DEC world after, say,
The LA-180 can be attached directly to an LP-11, an LPV-11,
an LP8E, or a DKC8AA (PDP-8/a multi-I/O board, which inverts
some signals and does not have the same IOTs as an LP8E, so
uses a different OS/8 driver).
I recall a simple circuit with one or two handshake signals
inverted to hook a LA-180 to a Centronics-type printer
interface, but you'd probably want to find the LA-180
manual for that.
I did get a manual with mine, 20 years ago, the size of a
small-town phone book. If it's been scanned, it's going to
be a large file.
It's a great printer. I hope someone can help you find a
manual for it. You'll certainly want to be on the lookout
for either an LP-11 (quad height) or an LPV-11, depending
on what kind of PDP-11 or VAX you have. IIRC, you _can_
stuff an LP interface into a VAX and the VMS LPDRIVER
will work (giving you LPA0:)
Ethan Dicks, A-333-S Current South Pole Weather at 28-Dec-2007 at 15:30 Z
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Ethan.Dicks at usap.gov http://penguincentral.com/penguincentral.html
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