AOH :: ARCNET.TXT|
Miscellaneous information compiled by Rick Curl- Hatchery Systems 3-27-91
Corrections and additions invited. Voice (800) 326-4332
Here's some information you might find useful concerning running Lantastic/AI
on twisted pair ARCNET adapters (at least this is what I think I know at this
point). All of our experience is with twisted pair adapters since they are
so easy to install using existing wire, but coaxial adapters will probably
behave exactly the same.
There are three primary vendors of the 90C65 ARCNET controller/transceiver
chip. These vendors are:
Standard Microsystems (SMC) -the originator of the chip
UMC- A company which duplicated SMC's chip
SILICOM- A company which reverse-engineered SMC's "enhanced" chip
Apparently SMC makes TWO versions of their chip. One is an "enhanced" chip
which is used only on network adapters manufactured by SMC. This chip bears
the number ASL30519. The other is a slightly stripped-down version numbered
90C65 which they sell to clone adapter manufacturers.
This stripped-down version will not run Novell's TURBO KIT drivers or the
SMCARC driver which is now provided with Lantastic/AI. The UMC chip is an
exact copy of this chip. The SILICOM chip, on the other hand, is reverse
engineered rather than copied and will run both of these pieces of software.
There are two minor bugs in the SILICOM chip at this point. The corrected
chips should be available in about four months. If you have an adapter with
a SILICOM chip on it and are having problems, you can add a patch which should
help. Solder a 2.7K ohm resistor between pin 2 and pin 74. A second 2.7K ohm
resistor should be added between pin 1 and pin 74. Solder a 10pf disc
capacitor between pin 29 and pin 12, and a second one between pin 30 and pin
12. These patches should minimize the problems.
TWISTED PAIR ARCNET ADAPTERS-
SMC- top of the line but really pricey. Runs SMCARC just fine.
ICE- out of business as of 3-27-91
TOP- Best buy for the money. Now using UMC chip. Will change to SILICOM
when the bug is fixed.
XINETRON- A solid card at a relatively low price. SMC chip. Built-in
terminator, can use second pair of two-pair cable.
THOMAS-CONRAD- Works in two modes- compatible and proprietary. Still works
even if one conductor is open. Non-standard RS-485 interface. Must use
Thomas-Conrad hubs. More susceptible to electrical damage and ground
loops than most. Lantastic/AI comes with drivers for this card.
PERFORMANCE TECHNOLOGY- Works with almost any ARCNET adapter. Cheap. Uses
about 35K of RAM. Pretty good speed. No facility to kill abandoned
sessions if a workstation reboots without logging out.
VMD NETBIOS- Works with almost any ARCNET adapter. Expensive. Uses 20K RAM.
Fastest we have seen. Automatically kills abandoned sessions using
a separate TSR (provided).
ARTISOFT'S SMCARC+LANBIOS- Free with Lantastic/AI. Smallest RAM requirement
(as low as 12K). Pretty fast. Has a "heartbeat" which causes it to
automatically kill abandoned sessions. Only works with genuine SMC
cards or clone cards using Silicom chip.
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