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Building the XP1541 Parallel Cable

Parts needed:XP1541 cable parts

Visit the ports, parts & pinouts page for a descriptions of all the above parts.

Tools needed:

This is a "parallel-only" cable, and it requires the use of a companion serial cable. It is compatible with newer parallel ports and newer modes like PS/2, ECP and EPP which have bidirectional data lines. You must have the C= parallel option installed in your disk drive in order to use this cable. Even though this is an easy cable to build, it has restricted usefulness as by itself it requires a system with two parallel ports, one for the XP1541 and one for any of the other serial cables (X, XE, XA, XM). Instead, it is recommended to get a combined Y form of this cable such as the XEP1541, XMP1541 or better yet the XAP1541. OS and software compatibility depends on the cable the XP1541 is combined with.

If you're not sure this is the right cable for you, see my cable picking guide to check.

Since I have not built one of these cables separately, the pictures and instructions below are taken from some of the other cable building instructions.

XP cable copyright Joe Forster/STA, 1997

Step 1: Prep the DB15 connector and attach the wires

DB15 parallel wires
Wires attached to the DB15

Note that there is no ground line on this half of the cable. This cable depends on working with another serial cables, either an X, XE, XM or XA, which contains the ground line. Inclusion of a ground line here could cause a ground loop condition, something which must be avoided. Also, the parallel port add-on on the C= disk drive doesn't contain a ground line for this very reason.

Step 2: Prep the other end of the 8 conductor wire and attach to the DB25

Step 3: Check the cable

Cable pinout chart

DB15 (male)
DB25 (male)
1 (PB0)
2 (DATA0)
2 (PB1)
3 (DATA1)
3 (PB2)
4 (DATA2)
4 (PB3)
5 (DATA3)
5 (PB4)
6 (DATA4)
6 (PB5)
7 (DATA5)
7 (PB6)
8 (DATA6)
8 (PB7)
9 (DATA7)
18 to 25 shorted

Step 4: Finish the cable. Mount the DB ends in their hoods

XP1541 schematic

Schematics drawn using ExpressPCB, a free and excellent solution which also supports PC board layout editing.

Email the author: Peter Schepers | Last updated: Mar 17, 2009