I currently work on connecting my PC XT clone to my home network. But why? What are the benefits of connecting a 30 years old machine to the network?
It gives me one more reason to fire up my Pravetz 16 🙂 It would be cool chatting on IRC on that monochrome (green and black) monitor, running an FTP server for file transfers between the PC XT and other PC’s on the network or an HTTP server, etc…
The PC XT will be connected to the network using the so called ‘Thin Ethernet‘ (10Base2) using a coaxial cable and BNC connectors. Why? Because finding 8-bit ISA compatible Ethernet card is extremely rare nowadays, and chances to find one with RJ45 connector are close to zero.
My long search for 8-bit ISA network adapter finally gave results and for 10$ I’m an owner of PLUS & PLUS PCN-001.
It’s 10Mbps Ethernet card with support for coaxial and DIX transceiver wiring. It has an option for a boot ROM but mine don’t have a chip. This card is a clone of AMERICAN RESEARCH CORPORATION PNC-001, it’s NE1000 compatible and supported by the NE1000 driver for DOS available in the many-other-drivers.zip along with many other packet drives, thanks to Crynwr Software!
After a bit of googling I found the required information on how to configure the adapter here. That exact same information is copy / pasted at the end of this post for future references.
Setting the IRQ to 2, the I/O base address to 200h, and disabling the boot ROM and DMA settings, changing the cable type jumpers from ‘DIX transceiver via DB-15 port’ to ‘RG-58A/U 50ohm coaxial’ I booted the PC, loaded the NE1000 driver
C:\>ne1000 0x7E 2 0x200
and success! The card is working! 10$ well spend 🙂
UPDATE 16/02/2016: I was having problems receiving network packets, changing the IRQ to 5 and I/O base address to 0x280h resolved the problem.
NOTE: Installation instructions for packet drivers are in INSTALL.DOC (many-other-drivers.zip)
The Ethernet adapter is now configured and working properly. This concludes Part 1 of the series of articles about connecting my PC XT to the network. Later I will review other vital network component. The Surecom Ether Perfect 517T hub with BNC connector.
PLUS & PLUS (AMERICAN RESEARCH CORPORATION) PNC-001 Jumper settings (Information taken from Total Hardware 1999 page on the topic available here.)
I/O BASE ADDRESS
BOOT ROM ADDRESS
|Type||JP2A – JP2F|
|RG-58A/U 50ohm coaxial (default)||Pins 1 & 2 closed|
|DIX transceiver via DB-15 port||Pins 2 & 3 closed|
FACTORY CONFIGURED SETTINGS