Discussion:
Serial cable for ImageWriter II printer
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Chris Tobar
2017-08-09 03:37:10 UTC
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I found an ImageWriter II printer in a thrift shop earlier, and I really want to try hooking it up to my Apple II+. I also installed a Super Serial Card recently. I mentioned this in another topic, but I'm still having a hard time finding the cable to connect the printer to the computer. I tried a local electronics shop near where I live that has a lot of vintage parts, and he didn't have the right cable. The person I bought the serial card from may not have a cable either. Does anyone by chance have a spare cable they could sell for a reasonable price?

As a last resort, I might be able to make a cable with parts from the electronic shop, but I would need to know the pinout, which connections go where. I'm anxious to get this printer going. I haven't seen a dot matrix printer working since I was a little kid! Ha! Thanks in advance for any help anyone can offer.
-Chris
James Davis
2017-08-09 07:23:07 UTC
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Hi Chris,

Here are some Asimov downloads that might have the info you need to find or make the cable you need:

ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Apple%20II%20Family%20Pinouts.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Pinouts,%20Ports,%20and%20Cables.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/PINOUTS.TXT
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/apple3/Tech%20Info%20Library%20-%20Apple%20III%20Software%20and%20Hardware.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Tech%20Info%20Library%20-%20Apple%20II%20Hardware.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/misc/Tech%20Info%20Library%20-%20Apple%20II%20Software.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Service%20Source%20-%20Apple%20Modems.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Service%20Source%20-%20Imagewriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/apple-imagewriter-ii-8703.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20ImageWriter%20II%20-%20Quick%20Reference%20Card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20ImageWriter%20II%20Owner's%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20ImageWriter%20II%20Technical%20Reference%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20Imagewriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20Technical%20Procedures%20-%20ImageWriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/apple_imagewriter_ii.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/apple_imagewriter_ii_special_installation_instructions.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/ImageWriter%20II_SheetFeeder%20Installation%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Sams%20Technical%20-%20Imagewriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/schematics/AppleSchematics%20-%20IMAGEWRITER.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/misc/ImageWriter%20II%20Print%20Samples.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/non-english/french/apple/apple_toolkitimagewriter_disks.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/Apple%20ImageWriter%20tool%20kit%201.5%20on%20800k%20image.2mg
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/Apple%20Imagewriter%20Toolkit%20v1.0.dsk
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/Apple%20ImageWriter%20Toolkit%20v1.0A.dsk
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/APPLE_IMAGEWRITER_TOOLKIT_v1.5.dsk
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/a2_Super_Serial_Card_installation%20and%20operating_Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/a2_Super_Serial_Card_user's_manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Box%202.JPG
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Box.jpg
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Errata.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Front.jpg
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Installation%20and%20Operating%20Manual%201981.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Reference%20Card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Schematics%20050-0045-A.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20User's%20Manual%201985.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20User's%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20Dip%20Switch%20Settings%20Sticker.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20Manual%20Complete.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20Reference%20Card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/apple_ii_super_serial_card_-_reference_card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/super-serial-card-packing-list.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/emulators/rom_images/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20ROM%20-%20341-0065-A.bin
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/schematics/super_serial_card_050-0045-a_schematic.pdf

Hope this helps,

James Davis
D Finnigan
2017-08-09 17:11:37 UTC
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Post by James Davis
Hi Chris,
Here are some Asimov downloads that might have the info you need to find
or
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Apple%20II%20Family%20Pinouts.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Pinouts,%20Ports,%20and%20Cables.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/PINOUTS.TXT
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/apple3/Tech%20Info%20Library%20-%20Apple%20III%20Software%20and%20Hardware.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Tech%20Info%20Library%20-%20Apple%20II%20Hardware.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/misc/Tech%20Info%20Library%20-%20Apple%20II%20Software.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Service%20Source%20-%20Apple%20Modems.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Service%20Source%20-%20Imagewriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/apple-imagewriter-ii-8703.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20ImageWriter%20II%20-%20Quick%20Reference%20Card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20ImageWriter%20II%20Owner's%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20ImageWriter%20II%20Technical%20Reference%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20Imagewriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Apple%20Technical%20Procedures%20-%20ImageWriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/apple_imagewriter_ii.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/apple_imagewriter_ii_special_installation_instructions.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/ImageWriter%20II_SheetFeeder%20Installation%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/printers/Sams%20Technical%20-%20Imagewriter%20II.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/schematics/AppleSchematics%20-%20IMAGEWRITER.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/misc/ImageWriter%20II%20Print%20Samples.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/non-english/french/apple/apple_toolkitimagewriter_disks.zip
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/Apple%20ImageWriter%20tool%20kit%201.5%20on%20800k%20image.2mg
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/Apple%20Imagewriter%20Toolkit%20v1.0.dsk
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/Apple%20ImageWriter%20Toolkit%20v1.0A.dsk
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/productivity/graphics/misc/APPLE_IMAGEWRITER_TOOLKIT_v1.5.dsk
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/a2_Super_Serial_Card_installation%20and%20operating_Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/a2_Super_Serial_Card_user's_manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Box%202.JPG
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Box.jpg
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Errata.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Front.jpg
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Installation%20and%20Operating%20Manual%201981.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Reference%20Card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20Schematics%20050-0045-A.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20-%20User's%20Manual%201985.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20User's%20Manual.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20Dip%20Switch%20Settings%20Sticker.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20Manual%20Complete.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/Apple%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20Reference%20Card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/apple_ii_super_serial_card_-_reference_card.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/io/super_serial_card/super-serial-card-packing-list.pdf
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/emulators/rom_images/Apple%20II%20Super%20Serial%20Card%20ROM%20-%20341-0065-A.bin
ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/schematics/super_serial_card_050-0045-a_schematic.pdf
Hope this helps,
James Davis
James, can you tell us which one of these files has the cable pinout?
--
]DF$
Apple II 40th Anniversary User's Guide:
http://macgui.com/newa2guide/
James Davis
2017-08-09 19:53:26 UTC
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Hi David,

"Apple II Family Pinouts.pdf"
<ftp://public.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/misc/Apple%20II%20Family%20Pinouts.pdf>

has these two sections that may help:

"Apple IIc to Imagewriter II Printer"

and

"Apple ImageWriter Serial Connector"

See Schmidtd's pinout post also (above).

I have not looked at all of those docs/disks/zips/etc. listed. I have only looked at the first doc. I just looked the rest up in the Asimov Index.

James Davis
Matthew Power
2017-08-09 20:37:25 UTC
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I bought my imageWriter II cable on Ebay in November 2016 from Kraydad. i think I paid $10. I suggest you reach out to Kraydad.com

I just saw this one on ebay for $30 as well. Price is a bit high:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Apple-IIe-Serial-Cable-for-Imagewriter-II-8-Pin-Din-Serial-590-0555-A-/182589035392?hash=item2a83279380:g:clAAAOSwaeRZJMxM

When I return from vacation August 15th, I have new color ribbons for your ImageWriter II if you are interested.

matthewmpower at gmail dot com
David Schmidt
2017-08-09 13:46:02 UTC
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Post by Chris Tobar
[...]
I'm still having a hard time finding the cable to connect the printer
to the computer. I tried a local electronics shop near where I live
that has a lot of vintage parts, and he didn't have the right cable.
Rare as hen's teeth: MiniDIN8 to DB-25. It'll be a special day indeed
if you find one for sale anywhere. Not rare as in valuable... just rare
in that not many people needed them, then or now.
Post by Chris Tobar
As a last resort, I might be able to make a cable with parts from the
electronic shop, but I would need to know the pinout, which
connections go where.
Ok, that we can do:

MD8 - DB25
1 - 6
1 - 8
2 - 20
3 - 3
4 - 7
5 - 2
8 - 7
Shield - Shield

So MD8-1 is jumpered to both DB25-6 and 8.
MD8-4 and 8 are both jumpered to DB25-7.
Lisa2dotcom
2017-08-09 15:59:27 UTC
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Post by David Schmidt
[...]
Rare as hen's teeth: MiniDIN8 to DB-25. It'll be a special day indeed
if you find one for sale anywhere. Not rare as in valuable... just rare
in that not many people needed them, then or now.
It may be HTF in 2017, but this type of cable was NOT rare in the day.

In addition to this application of connecting an IW2 to a SSC, this same cable was needed to connect any macintosh with Din 8 serial ports (made from 1986 thru 1997) to a standard external modem, or to connect a IW1 (or many other serial printers) to a Mac. The same applies to the Apple 2GS.

Keep looking, they are out there.

Rick
Lisa2dotcom
2017-08-09 16:40:14 UTC
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Just googled "DB25 to DIN 8 CABLE"

and this popped up:

http://www.connectworld.net/cgi-bin/cabled/L1526?
James Davis
2017-08-09 16:57:48 UTC
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Post by Lisa2dotcom
Just googled "DB25 to DIN 8 CABLE"
http://www.connectworld.net/cgi-bin/cabled/L1526?
Just Binged "imagewriter ii serial cable" and got:

https://www.pimfg.com/product-detail/875-0606-555
http://www.applerescueofdenver.com/printers/serial-printers/apple-imagewriter-ii-printer-2/
David Schmidt
2017-08-09 16:40:44 UTC
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Post by Lisa2dotcom
Post by David Schmidt
[...]
Rare as hen's teeth: MiniDIN8 to DB-25. It'll be a special day
indeed if you find one for sale anywhere. Not rare as in
valuable... just rare in that not many people needed them, then or
now.
It may be HTF in 2017, but this type of cable was NOT rare in the day.
In addition to this application of connecting an IW2 to a SSC, this
same cable was needed to connect any macintosh with Din 8 serial
ports (made from 1986 thru 1997) to a standard external modem, or to
connect a IW1 (or many other serial printers) to a Mac. The same
applies to the Apple 2GS.
Don't forget Lisa and Apple /// to IWII. All the most popular
combinations. ;-)
Hugh Hood
2017-08-09 14:44:33 UTC
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Chris,

Follow David's pinout, but start with a cable that _already_ has the MD-8 on
at least one end.

After you determine the wire colors, cut off the other end (non-MD-8) and
attach your DB-25 to it.

I once thought that I could easily handle soldering MD-8's. Yuk!





Hugh Hood
Post by Chris Tobar
As a last resort, I might be able to make a cable with parts from the
electronic shop, but I would need to know the pinout, which connections go
where. I'm anxious to get this printer going. I haven't seen a dot matrix
printe
r working since I was a little kid! Ha! Thanks in advance for any help anyone
can offer.
-Chris
Scott Alfter
2017-08-09 17:16:15 UTC
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Post by Chris Tobar
I found an ImageWriter II printer in a thrift shop earlier, and I really
want to try hooking it up to my Apple II+. I also installed a Super
Serial Card recently. I mentioned this in another topic, but I'm still
having a hard time finding the cable to connect the printer to the
computer. I tried a local electronics shop near where I live that has a
lot of vintage parts, and he didn't have the right cable.
I don't know that it'd be any easier to find locally in the current year,
but if you can find one, perhaps a Mac-to-external-modem cable might work.
It'll at least have the right connectors on each end. You'll then need to
flip around the null-modem block on your serial card to get the signals
through to where they need to go.

OTOH, perhaps eBay is the better way to go...found this as the first result
on a search for "Imagewriter II cable":

http://www.ebay.com/itm/282601266305

_/_
/ v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
(IIGS( https://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
\_^_/ >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?
Warren Ernst
2017-08-10 18:33:05 UTC
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Post by Scott Alfter
Post by Chris Tobar
I found an ImageWriter II printer in a thrift shop earlier, and I really
want to try hooking it up to my Apple II+. I also installed a Super
Serial Card recently. I mentioned this in another topic, but I'm still
having a hard time finding the cable to connect the printer to the
computer. I tried a local electronics shop near where I live that has a
lot of vintage parts, and he didn't have the right cable.
I don't know that it'd be any easier to find locally in the current year,
but if you can find one, perhaps a Mac-to-external-modem cable might work.
It'll at least have the right connectors on each end. You'll then need to
flip around the null-modem block on your serial card to get the signals
through to where they need to go.
OTOH, perhaps eBay is the better way to go...found this as the first result
http://www.ebay.com/itm/282601266305
_/_
/ v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
(IIGS( https://alfter.us/ Top-posting!
\_^_/ >What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?
Here's another person on Ebay who seems to have sold at least 55 of these cables. He has one 5-star review of the cable directly and over close to 4000 transactions, his ebay rating is 99.6% positive.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Mac-6-ft-Imagewriter-I-Printer-Cable-8-pin-DB25/370346410145?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D45726%26meid%3D5439e2b8ae9c4e15bf9c037200b8c6e4%26pid%3D100623%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D282601266305&_trksid=p2047675.c100623.m-1

I would estimate about 1.8 billion cables of this type were made back in the day. ;-) Finding one again should NOT be difficult thanks to the modern internet.
Chris Tobar
2017-08-12 07:22:01 UTC
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Thanks for the help everyone! I think I might just order one from that connectworld site.

Steven, it's pretty rare to come across vintage computer stuff at the thrift shops where I live too...so when I saw that printer and I realized what it was, I grabbed it!

Matthew, I'm definitely interested in the color catridges! Is that gmail address the best way to contact you?
Matthew Power
2017-08-13 16:17:35 UTC
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Post by Chris Tobar
Matthew, I'm definitely interested in the color catridges! Is that gmail address the best way to contact you?
Yes, matthewmpower at gmail dot com

I'm back from vacation (sad) and anyone interested in color ribbons for the ImageWriter II let me know! I ship promptly.
Steven Hirsch
2017-08-09 18:04:55 UTC
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Post by Chris Tobar
I found an ImageWriter II printer in a thrift shop earlier
Where do you find thrift shops that still accept computer gear? Those sources
dried up here over ten years ago.
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