Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Any discussions related to the creation of new hardware or software for the ZX80 or ZX81
RWAP
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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by RWAP » Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:32 pm

Marcel may also be persuaded to part with the source code of his QPCPrint solution (which runs under Windows and works well for use with emulators on the PC, but is written in C as far as I remember)

http://www.kilgus.net/qpcprint/

sascha2000
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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by sascha2000 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:47 am

Hello,

just to inform all interrested persons, I started yesterday working on this topic.

I already know the GPIO setup of the raspi and printing on a network printer via cups-->samba works fine.
Just the HW interface from gpio to centronics is missing for a simple ascii printout. I hope I can present the same within 2 weeks.

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Sascha

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by sascha2000 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:31 pm

Hello,

here the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywi9rU6A ... e=youtu.be

I have uploaded it 5 minutes ago, youtube says it is available within 65 minutes. So it may be available at the 20th January ......

Regards
Sascha

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by RWAP » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:03 am

That is a real step forward. :)

Don't forget that as well as a timeout, the raspberryPi program can look for a FF character, and/or a End of File character (CTRL Z I think)....

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by Mike3 » Tue Aug 05, 2014 5:00 pm

So how has this project come along,,, I am defiantly interested in an interface..

Mike

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by RWAP » Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:30 pm

It is slowly progressing - the main problem is getting the C code to translate the Epson control codes to PDF for printing - there are a few solutions out there, but they do not handle graphics!

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by sascha2000 » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:38 am

Hello,

I worked a bit on the printer emulator. SW is now working with some bugs concerning scaling, but I think I will get it stable soon.
SW now supports ASCII + Graphics printout. Seems to be compatible with a lot printers (ESC/P) .... ;-)

>It is slowly progressing - the main problem is getting the C code to translate the Epson control codes to PDF for printing -
> there are a few solutions out there, but they do not handle graphics!
Graphics part I finished mainly. Just scaling when printing from a Linux PC works not well. However printing under DOS with DPaint works perfect.
When I solved the Linux issue, I will test the same with an Atari ST and a ZX81 with a parallell interface, and a Spectrum .....

Concerning the PCB I am at the last steps to have a protoype for parallel. Here the pictures:
pcb-back-v001.png
pcb-back-v001.png (24.52 KiB) Viewed 2295 times
pcb-v001.png
pcb-v001.png (15.98 KiB) Viewed 2295 times

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Sascha

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by RWAP » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:10 pm

That is just fantastic progress - this project has such a potentially wide appeal that it will offer a life line to many retro computers and industrial equipment (and should be cheaper than using a £400 dot matrix printer!) :D :D :D :D

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by RWAP » Tue May 02, 2017 10:53 am

Just for an update on this project. I have been using the knowledge I learnt writing the enhanced ESC/P2 colour drivers for LineDesign on the Sinclair QL (yes, it really was my first attempt at C programming :D ); and updating the software for this project to handle ESC/P2 codes - a lot of other printer capture software only implements either the ESC/P codes used on 9 pin dot matrix printers, or only has a sub-set of ESC/P2.

The project also has a name - The Retro-Printer and we have released the sources for the conversion software as a new project on Github - Printer To PDF - Epson printer capture software

There is still more work needed on the software side but a new PCB layout is currently with the factory and expected back in the next few days.

One thing we are short of, is fonts compatible with the various Epson printer character tables as it would be nice to emulate all of the variations.

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Re: Possible Project - slightly off-topic!

Post by siggi » Tue May 23, 2017 4:46 pm

What do you think of making a version having a "Sinclair-Bus-Printer-Interface" instead of Centronics?
So all users of "naked" Zeddies or Speccies (having no additional Centronics interface) could use it instead of Sinclair- or Seikosha-printers?

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