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Building the XXH1541 Serial+Parallel Y Cable

Parts needed:XXH1541 cable parts

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

Tools needed:

This is called an "X hybrid serial-parallel" because it combines the X1541 and the XH hybrid parallel cable. See the X1541 cable page for the summary of the X1541 cable limitations. The XXH1541 has semi-high speed transfers (not fully parallel) and you must have the C= parallel option installed in your disk drive in order to take advantage of the parallel portion of the cable. It is a more complex to make than most other cables (except the XA/XAP) due to the amount of diodes and their placement and this cable only works under DOS. It is not recommended to build this cable due to its limited usefulness, lack of software support and its requirement for older parallel ports. Instead, look at the XM1541, XMP1541, XA1541 or XAP1541 for better options. This cable only works with Star Commander.

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

Since I have only built the X portion of this cable, limited pictures are available of its construction, and thus most of the instructions presented here are untested.

X1541 cable copyright Leopoldo Ghielmetti, 1992
XH cable copyright Bigfoot, 1997

Step 1: Prep the DIN6 plug and attach the wires

Serial wires in DIN6
Wires attached to the DIN plug.

Step 2: Prep the DB25 connector and attach the DIN6 wires

DB25 solder bridge DB25 serial wires
The solder bridge on the DB25 from pins 18 to 25. The DIN6 wires attached to the DB25.

Step 3: Prep the DB15 connector and attach the diodes and wires

This process splits the installation of the diodes into 2 groups of 4, one group in the DB15 and one in the DB25. This alleviates some space issues in the DB25 if all 8 diodes were installed there.

Note that this cable contains no ground line and requires the use of the companion X1541 cable to provide the ground. A ground line in this cable could cause a ground loop condition, something which must be avoided. Also, the parallel port add-on to the C= disk drive doesn't contain a ground line for this very reason.

Step 4: Prep the other end of the 8 conductor wire and attach to the DB25

Step 5: Check the cable

Cable pinout chart

DIN6 (male)
DB15 (male)
DB25 (male)
2 (GND)
18-25 (GND)
3 (ATN)
4 (CLK)
5 (DATA)
16 (INIT)
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)
1 (PB0)


2 (PB1)
3 (PB2)
10 (ACK)
4 (PB3)
11 (BUSY)
18 to 25 shorted

Step 6: Finish the cable. Mount the DB ends in their hoods

XXH1541 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