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Using Parallel Port for Switch Input

I'm trying to read switch input from the parallel port and am having trouble getting the input.  I've opened the port using FILE streams on "PRN", and also tried to read from the port with _inp(), but I don't seem to be able to read any changes on the port when I activate the switch.  I also havn't been able to verify that I've actually read the port since the uninitialized data in the buffer was not overwritten by the call to the read functions.  This also might not be a programming problem, but a hardware problem.  Right now, I'm just making connection between pins 2-9 and pin 25 trying to see a change on the port, but I'm not seeing it.  Any suggestions on how to do this.  Thanks.
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mustang070597Author Commented:
P.S. I forgot to mention that I'm working in Windows 95/98, and using Visual C++ 4.2.
musty -

Parallel ports come in ''standard'', ''bidirectional'', and ''EPP/ECP'' flavours.  You can only count on any particular PC meeting the ''standard''.. uh.. standard.

This has the data lines on p2..p9 as *output only*, so that's why you're not getting any joy there.

Opening a FILE * to PRN is a loser too.... think about it... what consititutes a ''character'' if you are hoping to detect one bit changing at a time?

Instead, you should wire your switch to pin10, pin11, pin12, pin13 or pin15.  You can pick up the states of these lines on _inp(wBaseAds+1), where wBaseAds is 0x378 or 0x278 for LPT1 or 2 (see http://warmcat.com/parallel for a better way to get base addresses and more detail).

The readback information:

b7 is ~pin11  (~ indicates inverted logic)
b6 is pin10
b5 is pin12
b4 is pin13
b3 is pin15

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