View Full Version : PCMCIA Parallel Port on Laptop

Jim Estes
02-08-2008, 07:27 PM

I bought one of these cards on ebay and finally just today got it to work with Mach2 and my Xylotex board.

The problem was that I had to tell MACH the correct address to look for the port. The address is not the normal address for LPT1, the address was FEE8 instead of 378.

I had a little mini tester to test the parallel port, and I knew the voltages were fine and that the drivers were working in the laptop, but I couldn't get MACH to work until I read that I needed to change the port address.

I searched these forums high and low for the answer to whether these cards will work, and I read several posts that said that they just won't work, but I did indeed get it to work.

This has been an adventure in and of itself. I helped my son build himself a small CNC mill for engraving as a science fair project. Getting the mill built was the easy part, wiring up the motors and sxetting up Mach wasn't tough, but trying to get that laptop to run the whole thing was a real pain in the neck.

Now that I have it working, my son can take his laptop to the science fair and actually run the machine there. It is way cool.


02-10-2008, 07:13 PM
What model is the laptop?

You should be able to do this in windows device manager.
You may need to set it to use any interupt, check the box for legacy support, and set the port to use LPT1.

The setup should be the same for using any device that uses a printer port, zip drive, etc.
Also, be sure you are using the drivers that came with the card, windows could of put it's own driver in there and it may not allow changes.

If none of that works, you could try the settings in the laptop's CMOS.

You may be able to remap the address of the PCMCIA port to 0378 and thus the MACH software may work.
Or at least map the address FEE8 to 0378 or 0378 to FEE8 whichever will work.
You'll have to know which PCI is addressed to the PCMCIA port and change that setting to the 0378 range, then
windows should map your LPT1 to that device.

The ebay auction link you provided, the description says remapping is one of it's features.
The card is suppose to work for any LPT1 device.
You may have to make some changes to the settings to get it to work.


Jim Estes
02-11-2008, 08:58 AM

I was not looking for help in my post, I was merely letting everyone know that I got this card to work with MACH and Xylotex. I had read several posts that said that these cards don't work, and some posts that they do. So I was just telling of my experience.

Thanks anyway though, your explanation is very thorough and someone may need the info.

The laptop is a Toshiba Satelite, I don't have it in front of me right now to check the model number, it was purchased new in december 2006.


02-11-2008, 11:39 AM
oops...I did it again ;-)

02-14-2008, 10:36 PM
Hey everyone,

I just got a Taig cnc mill off ebay. I also bought the exact same card for my laptop. I put the right address in Mach 3. My problem is that, most of the time, the motors will not start. They will rather shake a little, move slightly and make a grinding noise. Some other time, but much less often, they will work perfectly?! I have no idea what is the problem. I managed to make a couple of circular pocket on wood to learn to use the mill.
It seems to come and goes rather randomly. Like one minute I have perfect control over the motors and suddenly the motors begin to stall and "grind".
Well, if you guys have any idea what it could be I'd be please to try your suggestion, this is really frustrating!
Thanks in advance,


Jim Estes
02-14-2008, 11:08 PM

I am assuming that your wiring is correct, I actually had my motors wired wrong to start and had to redo my wiring at first.

I am by no means an expert, but it sounds to me like your motors are not tuned right. I had to play around with my motor tuning to get smooth operation of the motors. I ended up going way way way down on both the acceleration and velocity. My velocity is set to 0.25 and my accelleration is set to 3.500. My motors are 8 wire nema 23 steppers. I am using the xylotex 3 axis board. Since the little mill was built with 1/4-20 threaded rod for the leadscrews, and the motors have 200 steps per revolution, that works out to 25,600 steps per unit (inch). My Z axis is actually a nema 17 6 wire stepper and the steps worked out to 78858 steps per unit (inch). The accel for Z is set to 0.64 and the velocity is set to 0.064.

I tried several other setting before I settled on these setting. At these setting the motors are very strong and they don't miss steps, however, they do get pretty warm when running at slow speeds.

Just play around with the velocity and acceleration until you get the result you like.


02-14-2008, 11:22 PM
Thank you Jim for your answer. I'll give a try tomorrow afternoon and get back to post the outcomes. I don't know anything about cnc, I am brand new to the subject. What is weird is that it sometimes works very well. Also it almost never goes wrong while performing a cut?! It is just very hard to get it started.
Anyway, I appreciate your suggestion and let you know what I get.


02-18-2008, 02:12 PM
Hi everyone,

I've got a new laptop (without parallel port) and I try to make a parallel cardbus adapter work. The parallel port address is FEE8 instead of 0378. I haven't found the way to change these settings...

Could anyone help me ?

Thanks !

The parallel port is a Moschip Parallel Port (on Windows XP)

02-18-2008, 03:26 PM
Hey Toto,

You have to open the tab "port and pin" and under "port one" put the address:

That should be it! Let me know if everything is working fine for you.


02-19-2008, 03:25 AM
Hi concombrefrais,

I'm not sure to know where I can find the tab "port and pin" on Windows XP...
Could you tell me more about this ?

Thanks !

02-19-2008, 06:05 AM

You don't have to change the address of the parallel port. You just have to give mach3 (I am assuming that is what you use) the right address. So open mach3, open the tab Config, then click on Port and Pins. Then you'll see an address like 0x378 on the left hand side box. Change it to 0xfee8. Then you should be able to start jogging.


02-25-2008, 06:00 AM
That's cool you got the card working.

I've got one of these: http://www.usbnow.co.uk/PCMCIA,_Express_&_PCI_Cards-Express_Cards/c7_28/p729/Parallel_Port_Express_Card_Adapter_with_DB26_-_DB25_cable/product_info.html

and I'm trying to get it to work with mach3, with no success so far. I can't find out what port it is to get it to work in Mach3. It appears on 'USB controllers' as 'usb printing support' which does not sound too good to me.

Would anyone know if a port can be assigned to this so it'll work in Mach3?

Thanks for any help!


01-11-2009, 09:45 PM
Have you tried looking at the properties of the card in the "device manager". It should have a selection of LPT1,2,3 etc and the address. Once you have found the address, you can enter this address into Mach3. What I don't know is weather Mach3 will work with large addresses.

I have just got a similar card with with the paln to use it with Mach3 but I haven't had time to test it out yet.

best of luck

The tinkerer

09-29-2009, 11:38 AM
Hi, anyone got one of these cards to work? I run my Mach 3 from an old XP tower. I am going to have to move it to a new laptop soon. I have one of these cards already but not had the time to try. Cheers