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Thread: ISA NIC card blues

  1. #1
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    Default ISA NIC card blues

    While digging through one of my spares boxes for something else, I came across an old IBM BNC network card. That reminded me that my Compaq Plus has a BNC & AUI card in it.

    The IBM looks almost exactly like this one:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-56X4927...-/111748760111

    I can't say for the other, since I haven't cracked that Plus open in a while. Now that I think about it, I don't believe I've fired it up recently either.

    Anyway. I was wondering if there were some fairly inexpensive way adapt those cards to a modern Ethernet network. Is there something like a BNC to RJ, or AUI to RJ adapter out there?

  2. #2
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    The card on Ebay is a 3270 emulator card and only useful if you have a mainframe to hook into. http://ps-2.kev009.com/eprmhtml/eprm0/f2093.htm Most likely you do not want a card like that.

    Probably do not want IBM cards at all since much of their network cards were for Token Ring and thus not easily integrated into a Ethernet network.

    Adapters to take BNC into RJ 45 do exist; quick check shows some cost about $20. I don't remember good results from them.

  3. #3
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    Thank you. I was wondering about that card, but all the references I could find referred to an "IBM coax ethernet card." Ditto for the Token Ring. I knew about that, but figured all those references can't be wrong...

    EDIT: I wonder if it came from the same machine that had my IBM 5250 Emulator card in it. I got some of this stuff so long ago I've forgotten the origins. A pity I didn't take notes at the time.
    Last edited by Casey; October 12th, 2018 at 11:01 PM. Reason: add info

  4. #4

    Cool

    There are hubs/switches that bridge UTP and coax. That is an option as well.

  5. #5
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    I've done some looking around, and it seems like the more economic stuff is designed for audio/video as opposed to Ethernet. The prices range from ~$20 to $90 to over $150. The lower prices seem to work for A/V, and the transceivers (utp to either BNC or AUI) that look like they should do the job are upwards of $50 or more. At those prices it would be cheaper to find an 8-bit ISA 10baseT card.

    I've tried googling "utp to coax" & "utp to aui." Can anyone suggest a better search string? This is a low-priority, shoestring project. Don't have much funds for it.

  6. #6

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    You can browse ethernet hubs and those with BNC will pop up.

    One example: http://cgi.ebay.com/372442794137
    Another: http://cgi.ebay.com/173553434438

    You will need a coax cable, T-pieces and two 50OHM terminators as well obviously.

    You may find this stuff cheaper on Craigslist / Facebook Marketplace / OfferUp / LetGo locally.

    A few years ago I tried NetWare wih a 8086 with 640KB RAM. With a NE1000 and BNC. Turned out a parallel LapLink cable and INTERSVR AND INTERLNK worked a lot better for remote HDD sharing.
    Last edited by PeterNC; October 13th, 2018 at 04:04 PM.

  7. #7
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    AUI transceivers exist. They yoostaby a dime a dozen. I have a handful of them (all in use).

  8. #8

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    I just wanted to mention that in many cases 16-bit cards work in an 8-bit slot. Myself, I have a SMC8000 based 16-bit card in my XT clone.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC9UDX View Post
    AUI transceivers exist. They yoostaby a dime a dozen. I have a handful of them (all in use).
    This ^
    Having AUI connectors is actually a godsend sometimes because you can connect to anything using transceivers.

    Just an example on ebay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Cisco-2500-...:rk:4:razz:f:0

    But I got all mine for like $1 or free to be honest.
    WTB: IBM RT Parts and Accessories, and AOS.
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