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new_castle_j
September 3rd, 2017, 06:59 PM
An interesting S-100 board came up for auction:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Lot-of-2-Vintage-LRT-FILTABYTE-2-0-S-100-Board-Cards-/253129048756?hash=item3aefaac2b4:g:rgkAAOSwNm5Zqbj u

this board is said to be an Ethernet board for the S-100 (based on a google search). Anyone out there know more about it? I'd like to know how it worked, anyone have a manual? I already contacted the seller, he's got no info about it.

Thanks :confused:

glitch
September 4th, 2017, 05:48 AM
Interesting, I've seen a couple other Ethernet and ARCNET boards for S-100, but not this one. You might email Herb Johnson ( retrotechnology.com ) and see if he has info that's not listed on his site.

hjohnson
September 4th, 2017, 08:17 AM
Indeed, I was contacted on this by "castle". I don't have any info or docs on the board-pair. Pure speculation on my part, for comment, as follows: 1) I don't see any "networking" interface hardware on the board, or any network controller chip. 2) you would need TCP/IP support software to manage every packet - on a Z80 at 4Mhz? could have performance issues. 3) no hardware docs for two complex boards.

Herb
retrotechnology.com

new_castle_j
September 5th, 2017, 11:06 AM
I found just a little more info:

*L.R.T. stands for Logic Replacement Techlologies and was absorbed into the Sintrom group in 1988.


"Ethernet for CP/M Ethernet for CP/M users has been introduced by Sintrom. The package consists of the hardware to make an Ethernet link between S100-based CP/M microcomputers with a suite of file transfer programs. The hardware is a set of Ethernet controller cards, connectors, transceivers and cables. The software gives one of the computers 'file server' status and makes it work as a clear- ing house allowing CP/M files to be transferred between stations. Each station is assigned a name which is translated into an Ethernet address via a look-up table."

The setup was Ethernet 1.0 compliant, the original standard developed by DEC, Intel, and Xerox. Certainly not TCP/IP, still a very interesting example of early networking.

zenxyzzy
September 6th, 2017, 07:32 AM
I worked at unisoft back when we did the unix for cromemco and dual.

the LRT board set was very capable of running 10mbit ethernet, and had either a 16k or 64k packet buffer and did automatic retransmission on collision, and automatic mac address recognition. I saw the driver source and the manual at one point.
if I remember correctly, it used an AUI connection so getting it to do 10baseT will be through a media translator.

the unix, at least the cromemco version on the XXU, was a full-blown virtual svr2 with TCP/IP with all the bells and whistles.

I've bid on the board, I'll see if I can cobble together a driver.

new_castle_j
September 8th, 2017, 06:53 AM
I worked at unisoft back when we did the unix for cromemco and dual.

the LRT board set was very capable of running 10mbit ethernet, and had either a 16k or 64k packet buffer and did automatic retransmission on collision, and automatic mac address recognition. I saw the driver source and the manual at one point.
if I remember correctly, it used an AUI connection so getting it to do 10baseT will be through a media translator.

the unix, at least the cromemco version on the XXU, was a full-blown virtual svr2 with TCP/IP with all the bells and whistles.

I've bid on the board, I'll see if I can cobble together a driver.

Hooray! someone who's seen this board before, I hope you win the auction! Would be nice to see it in action again, please post back if you successfully win and get somewhere with it. I found one more article relating to Filtabyte in Software & Microsystems June 1983:

"Filtabyte 3 is a simple to implement low cost controller consisting of the hardware needed to establish an Ethernet connection between Multibus based microcomputers, and a suite of software programs which allo file transfer between them.
It is a high performance system, with a standard 64 Kbytes of bus addressable RAM for buffering to minimize processing overheads on the local workstation. Filtabyte 3 drivers for systems other than CP/M and TurboDOS are available from Sintrom."

I've already got a modern Ethernet add-on for my S-100 system with TCP/IP, but it would be cool to run an original like the Filtabyte.

pbirkel@gmail.com
November 23rd, 2017, 03:44 AM
Zenxyzzy: Did you manage to snag that board pair? Make any headway in reverse engineering it, perchance?

All: Wishing you and your families a great Thanksgiving!

-----
paul

zenxyzzy
February 19th, 2018, 10:01 PM
I did get the card set, and they are in good shape. lots of PALS, though, so it will be a royal pain to unwind the design. also, the day job intrudes...
this will take a while. the PALS I can read with my programmer, unless they blew the security fuses. I've got my fingers crossed. JEDEC files to pal equations
is a bear, though. it's essentially a PALASM disassembler task, carnaugh maps etc..

--curt