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USB to LPT Adaptors


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I just received my FPGA board from Digilent and besides the fact that it looks nice I noticed something that I don't like at all - it came with LPT programming cable. Well LPT is a dying standard as we can all see - new PCs or laptops don't even have one anymore and this is my case, as well. The USB programming cable is $40+ with the shipping and I don't think that this is reasonable at all given the fact the board was about $100. So my question is: Would a USB to LPT adaptor work well in this sort of aplication or not, and which one would you recommend? I quick glance over google showed me average prices of $10 to $12 which is obviously way cheaper than the cable offered by Digilent; not to mention that USB-to-LPT can be used for many devices in case one ever needs support for other LPT devices...

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Ok, it seems nobody knows anything about it at this point. I checked things myself and it comes down to the point that USB to LPT can be used only for specific purpose of printing and it is not guaranteed to work with all printers either. In other words if one needs to expand a newer PC with LPT he will need PCI-to-LPT card or PCMCIA-to-LPT since they are supporting the full achitecture of LPT and it's functionality. While PCI cards are cheap (11-20USD) I cannot say the same for PCMCIA - about 90USD before shipping and tax... In other words if you have a new PC or plan to buy one and have no access to one with LPT, just stay away from LPT and you will save yourself the headache...

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I would spend my 10 to 12 dollars on an LPT card for the computer. USB adapters are ok, but they rely on a virtual port built in the software on the PC. These ports do not come on inexpensive computers because computer manufacturers think we only use this port for printers. It is a cost cutting effort. Since everyone now has gone to USB printers, there is a misconception in the Industry that the LPT ports are no longer used, and thus, a waste of hardware to add them. I would never own a computer without serial and parallel ports. I would always factor in the few extra bucks to purchase an additional PCI buss card to activate these ports.


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