I have an IBM 1581001 printer and I would like to see if it is possible to hook up to a modern computer. The weird thing is it has a 5 pin din connector, all the other ones I seen have a different one. Is it still possible to hook this up to anything? What adaptor should I get?
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The printer is supposed to have a PCjr specific printer. That one has been modified.
The printer only needs three wires in the cable and two extra connections in the connector. Receive Data, Clear To Send, and two Grounds all go through the cable. Within the connector DTR is connected to DSR and RTS is connected to CD. You might want to pin the connector out to see what they did before connecting it to anything. When I found one of these with a non-standard connector I replaced it with a proper 25 pin serial connector correctly wired as DCE.
BTW, these are great little printers. The are primitive, slow, crude, and not quite fully Epson ESC/P2 compatible. But I've had a lot of fun getting them to print JPGs, and the simple/crude construction means that they have been pretty good at surviving nearly 40 years.
The thermal printer used by the IBM PC Convertible is a much nice printer, but nowhere near as robust. They don't age well do to tiny plastic pieces warping over time because they are under tension. The 5181 does not have similar problems.
Thanks much, @mbbrutman ! That's exactly what I was referring to, earlier.
It's quite interesting to me that these were so commonly modified for Commodore use. Though, I suppose that it isn't surprising, as Commodore buyers were quite price conscious, and these might have been available second-hand for a reasonable price. I wonder if a distributor was clearing them out?
I can't remember if it was DAK or one of the other liquidators, but yes, when IBM couldn't sell them others tried. I think the C64 was a common target. They would be rebadged as "Big Blue" and given an adapter box or had the connector converted. I don't think they changed the character set EPROM and they didn't use PETSCII, so I'm sure that was not a rewarding experience.