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The new bbb_parport cape.


This "cape" will enable you to interface a BBB (BeagleBone Black) with parallel port based NC systems. The cape provides bidirectional level shifting registers so that the BeagleBone’s 3.3V I/Os can be safely connected to regular parport based hardware (usually using 5V levels).

The basic cape provides 30+1 signals which can be used as inputs or outputs depending on the users needs. (30 IOs, 1 status LED). Some of these are routed to the DB25 connector (compatible with LinuxCNC sample configurations, and common step/dir hardware), some are routed to the 6 axes connectors (check Schematics)

The sample signal names used can be used as is (using LinuxCNC sample configurations) or can be repurposed depending on user needs.


  • 4 x GTL2003 bidirectional levelshifting registers
  • 3.3V voltage on BBB side, 5V on peripheral side
  • DB25 connector
  • IDC connector for a parport flat cable (optional)
  • 6 x connectors for supplementary signals (optional)
  • analog digital converter ADS1015 with extra connector (4 inputs) (optional)
  • 24C256 EEPROM with 2 bit DIP switch, to be fully compatible with BBB specifications for capes (optional)


This is the basic cape version. It contains:
  • GTL2003 level shifting registers
  • DB25 connector
  • 2 status LEDs for power (5V and 3.3V)
  • 1 status LED for user access
There are other versions available as well:
  • default version: - DB25 connector
  • IDC version: DB25 connector not mounted, IDC header mounted
  • additional axes connectors: 6 male axes connectors mounted.
  • analog inputs: ADC mounted, analog male connector on board.
  • full version: DB25, additional axes connectors, analog inputs, EEPROM



The complete schematics are included with the product. Some parts are presented futher.

Parport pinout (IDC on the left, DB25 on the right):


The basic version doesn't include an EEPROM. The EEPROM is not needed to run LinuxCNC, only for autodetecting the cape.
Using the sample configuration, the detection of the cape can be forced, so there is no issue in running LinuxCNC.

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