Using this circuit on Printer Port, one could drive 256 Relays or 16K LEDs as Dot Matrix display. It can be used to drive a Large size multiplexed LED dot matrix display or Latched Relay-Solenoid-Motor-Lamp Array Drivers.
This circuit can be modified for a Static drive output or a fast changing output like a Waveform Generator. You can also make it a 16 Bit waveform generator. The frequency limited to the speed of the port or a fraction of it, depending on 8bit, 16bit or 32bit.
Now I have Some Explaining to do. Latch the U7 with a 8 Bit Data to address the device you want to talk to. So one among the 32 Output Devices can be Selected by a combination of G1-G2 of U5-U8 and U7 8 Bits, Split into Two Nibbles for Upper and Lower 16 Devices. That means 16 * 2 = 32 Devices of 1 Byte each,. 32 * 8 = 256 if my calculations are correct. Please verify.
One of the decoders U5 or U8 decode their respective nibble and output a Low on Selected device to Latch Data on the Chosen one (74HCT373). Why HCT ? Speed is good, low power and CMOS ! and works with TTL too. It Interfaced well for me on a Card with Both TTL and CMOS levels, with a Fast uC.
The 74HCT373 outputs are current amplified and isolated by darlingtons and optoisolators. Both source and sink examples shown. This circuit was not tested and documented properly. So there may be things missing. It is just a Concept design..
Printer Port 256 Relays 16K Dot Matrix – del20021
I will just explain part of this circuit. D9 and D10 provide a low cost -1.4 from -5 V. This is needed to reach near 0.00 for LM317 Min. setting. An LED also can be used with proper bias. Note that there is a Temperature Coefficient in ppm, see The Unusual Diode FAQ. but it may not matter upto 8 bits accuracy.
TIP2955, TIP3055 (NPN), TIP2955 (PNP) Complementary Silicon Power Transistors. It is a Darlington, that means good current gain. See Darlington transistor – Wikipedia. When current in R1 10E goes more than 50mA a voltage of 50mA X 10E = 500mV is applied across Emmiter-Base junction. So lower than 500mV no bias the tap is turned off, 500mV-700mV the tap starts turning on depending on type of transistor. The transistor is like a water Tap. So TIP2955 carries the major current burden thru the load allowing LM317 to do the decision making when to turn-on or off. It is analog control, it is not On-Off but linear-proportional. The LM317 is very cool as the burden is passed off to TIP2955 who will need a heatsink to keep going and deliver the power you want.
Put the filter caps appropriately. The Hum-Noise will be filtered. The cap after the regulator should be a small guy. The main filter cap after the Bridge can be as big as your cabinet or budget.
If you build it and wire it without designing a PCB, then make all wiring and connection very sound. The test of this ability you can know easily, If your project stops working after the last screw of the cabinet is tightened, Then we need to improve.