IEEE 1284-1994 defines both the electrical and physical interface for cables and connectors. Cable quality is critical for IEEE 1284, because various IEEE 1284 modes support much higher transmission speeds than SPP.
Traditional parallel cables use a DB25M
for the PC end and a male, 36-pin, 0.085” centerline Champ connector
with bale locks (commonly called a Centronics C36M) for the printer.
The IEEE 1284-1994 specification allows these two traditional
connectors to be used as before. It designates the DB25M the
It used to be that a printer cable was a printer cable. Not anymore. Printer cables now come in a variety of types, which use different connectors and pinouts. The good news is that you can still use any printer cable to connect a PC to a printer—as long as the connectors physically fit—and that connection will work in some fashion. The bad news is that using an old printer cable may cripple the performance and functionality of the link.
When you buy a new parallel cable—which you should if you are now using ...