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Thread: Getting a 486-class PC onto a Wireless Network

  1. #1

    Default Getting a 486-class PC onto a Wireless Network

    This is really going to show my ignorance about home networking, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

    I'm building a DOS gaming box based around a 486 CPU and motherboard that has only ISA slots and 8 MB ram.

    I have an ISA network card that I can plug in, and I could plug it directly into our home network with an ethernet cable, but what I'd like to do is plug the network card not directly into our network, but into a wireless access point. That way, I can get the PC on our home network without having to run a network cable out to it.

    Is that even an option? The basic problem I'm trying to solve is how to move data to/from this machine without having to resorts to splitting everything up into 3.5" floppies, or burning CD-Rs every time. I know a lot of people use ZIP drives for this (the 100 model seems popular for DOS-boxes), do you think that's a better way to go?


    Thanks for any advice/help you can give me on this subject.

  2. #2

    Default

    Networking is the best option, just find a packet driver for your ISA network card and then download the mTCP package from here.

  3. #3

    Default

    You can connect your network card to a small wireless access point that is configured in "bridge mode". In that mode it basically takes the wired Ethernet connection and converts it to a WiFi connection so you can connect to your other wireless router.

    I haven't tried it myself (yet) but I know that some of the smaller travel routers like the Asus WL330N can do it. (I was given a tip by a member here; their handle escapes me at the moment.)

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dvanaria View Post
    I know a lot of people use ZIP drives for this (the 100 model seems popular for DOS-boxes), do you think that's a better way to go?
    If you want an internal ZIP 100...

    http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcfo...B-FZ110A-Drive
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  5. #5

    Default

    Ok great, thanks both mbbrutman and Krille.

    I'll try using mTCP with a direct connection first, and if I can get that working, I might looking into adding a wireless access point using something like the Asus WL330N you suggested. If I can get it working I'll post my results here.

    I may look into the ZIP drive also as an alternate. The only problem with that is that I'll also need a drive for one of my modern computers, and blank disks. Still, good to know that's an option, thanks

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dvanaria View Post
    Ok great, thanks both mbbrutman and Krille.

    I'll try using mTCP with a direct connection first, and if I can get that working, I might looking into adding a wireless access point using something like the Asus WL330N you suggested. If I can get it working I'll post my results here.

    I may look into the ZIP drive also as an alternate. The only problem with that is that I'll also need a drive for one of my modern computers, and blank disks. Still, good to know that's an option, thanks
    You could also try something like this. Same thing but infinitely cheaper! At that price even if it doesn't work you aren't out much. I have one for my IBM 5140 using a Xircom LPT port.
    Current Wish List: 1. IBM 7531 Industrial Series PC 2. NEC MultiSync XL (JC-2001) Monitor 3. MicroSolutions MatchPoint AND/OR UniDOS card 4. Compaq 14" VGA CRT Monitor (the one that came with the SystemPro). 5. Stacker HW CoProcessor Board MCA BUS. If you have any of the above for sale please PM me. Thank you!

  7. #7

    Default

    Wouldn't that require a USB port on the 486?
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
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    Default

    I saw some 16-bit ISA Wireless adapters on eBay. Maybe one of those would be helpful. There are Parallel Port Ethernet adapters, but not wireless. One might also try getting an ISA PCMCIA adapter and then using a PCMCIA Wireless card.
    Last edited by Al Hartman; October 26th, 2013 at 04:45 PM.
    -----[ Al ]-----

    3 - TRS-80 Model I, TRS-80 Model 4D, LNW-80 Model I, Coco, 3 - Coco 2, Coco 3, 2 - Tano Dragon 64, C64, C64c, C128, 2 - Atari 800XL,
    Atari 520-ST, Atari Mega-2 ST, Amiga 1000, TS-1000, TS-2068, ZX-Spectrum, IBM 5150, 2 - Apple ][gs, Laser 128, and a butt load of Macs and Intel PCs.

  9. #9

    Default

    If your reason for not wanting to run an ethernet line to your 486 is because it is some way from a network port/switch, you could try using a couple of powerline adaptors and use your mains circuitry as network cable. It means an ethernet cable from the adjacent powerline adaptor, but that would only be a short distance. I currently use such a system very successfully.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Washington U.S.
    Posts
    460

    Default

    For what its worth what I do is plug the ethernet cable into my Linux laptop and setup IP forwarding.

    I suggest you avoid powerline adapters though.

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