The parallel port is one of the easiest computer ports to interface with. It allows any computer to ‘talk’ with other devices like turning on and off a light bulb, or any other electrical appliance for that matter. Obsolete as it may seem, the parallel port is still used today to perform tasks such as controlling a telescope during autoguiding operation and controlling the precise timing of relays in a dedicated long-exposure camera used in astrophotography.


A DIY serial-to-parallel port adapter essentially allows a camera or a telescope requiring a parallel port to utilize a computer’s serial port instead.

Most computers produced nowadays, however, are no longer equipped with parallel ports. To learn more on how to work around this problem, click here.

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© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)