Background -- physical cabling
This document covers networking Acorn RISC OS computers, primarily for file and printer sharing via Acorn Access+ via Ethernet.
As far as most readers need to be concerned there are 2 flavours of Ethernet cabling - 10base2 and 10baseT.
- Often called 'co-ax' or 'thin ethernet'
- Uses BNC connectors.
- Uses a single cable run, looped right to the back of each machine. Machines connected via 'T' pieces.
- The cabling must be terminated at each end.
- Does not require any other hardware
- Difficult to locate any cabling faults.
- Also known as 'twisted pair'
- Uses RJ45 'telephone style' connectors
- In most configurations, uses a star arrangement, with all machines connected via single cables to a central hub.
- Requires the use of a central hub.
- Cabling/card faults can be easily diagnosed by looking at the hub display
Which cabling method you choose is fairly arbitrary, but I'd always suggest that new users go with 10baseT, and a minihub (ranging from around £25)
as the physical setup is generally easier, more flexible and easier to fault-find. You can actually use 10baseT cabling without a hub,
if you just want two machines connected, but that setup has it's own set of gotcha's and I refer the reader to the aforementioned FAQ for further details.
Some people may also have cards with a multi-pin "D" connector marked "10base5". This is an AUI connector for attaching a media converter -- only very old cards have this, and the media converter usually ends up connecting to 10base2 or 10baseT.
This page was written by Ian Jeffray and hosted on his website until 2002, it is now available here with permission
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