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Asanté MacCon SE/30 clone

Bolle

Well-known member
Just was going to share I got a clone of the IIsi & SE/30 MacCon to work.

I added a few special SE/30 features...

A IIci cache slot accelerator can drop right in and there's the obligatory PDS passthrough on top of the card.

The DB15 connector on the breakout board is no AUI port but connects to a free header on the back to wire up any video card by using jumper wires.

There's provision for a Vonets VM300 module that drops right into the mPCIe slot and needs no other external connections. I have yet to test if that actually works though as I don't have one of those modules yet.

Two antenna mounts are there already as well.

Good news is that there are plenty of the SONIC ethernet ICs available, the bad news however is that the twisted pair transceivers are not.

I could secure a hand full of them but I don't see a (cheap) way to reproduce a lot of those breakout boards right now.

The original MacCon breakout board will work with my clone.

0ytN8uU.jpg.a3a6ad06f29e8c808a70eb0751a6f9ef.jpg


CRSxCJs.jpg.88af01d22c790106d9ee12d0debee2b4.jpg


So far all tests have been stable and everything seems to be running really fine.

I hope to source some more of those transceiver ICs before I will build a few cards.

There will be a simple AUI breakout board that lets you use any external AUI-TP or BNC transceiver, so the ethernet cards won't be useless even if no transceiver ICs can be sourced.

It's just not as nice as having everything internal.

 

beachycove

Well-known member
A IIci cache slot accelerator can drop right in
I'm interested. Happily, I have a functional daughter card (and a non-functional MacCon card).

I don't have any IIci accelerator cards, but what about something more humble: a IIci cache card? Would it work?

 

Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
Yet another amazing example of hardware emerges from BolleWerks™  :approve:

I may have worked out something applicable way back when I first got my Vonets board. One of my Asante NICs is Thick/ThinNet only. I managed to tuck everything away inside the SE/30 but the antennas. In a clear case the antennas could be displayed anywhere inside and the blinky lights could face forward with a bit more bodgery. [:eek:)]

INTTranscvVonetsThickNetOnlyNICboard.JPG

INTTranscvVonetsThickNetBoardDetail.JPG

Best thing about this gimmick would be that it would turn the ThickNet section of the Thick + Thin/10bT into a second breakout board if you have one on hand  to add Bolle's board to your existing setup, doubling your fun.

 

superjer2000

Well-known member
I've got an extra breakout board that has just been waiting for this project to come along!  I'm in for 2 if this moves ahead.  Awesome work!!!!!

 

pax

Well-known member
Beautiful Bolle! I’m also down for two if you make a production run. 

 

trag

Well-known member
What is the transceiver chip?  Is it either of the following, DP83840 or DP83223?   I have about 50 of the former and over 150 of the latter...

Beautiful work.  I spent a while admiring the labeling and options on the board.  It looks like you put a lot of thought into the details.

 
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Bolle

Well-known member
It’s a 79C98.

Your chips are 100mbit/s phy (83840) and transceiver (83223).

They won’t be useful for this. The DP83901 used on the MacCon speaks AUI while the DP83223 transceiver being a 100mbit/s device speaks MII.

 
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trag

Well-known member
That's right.   Memory is creaking back to life.  I think I picked those up when I was hoping to find some SMS[mumble]1000 or some such.   A common 10/100 ethernet combo at the time.  

I used to do a lot of watching on Ebay for cheap lots, and when one came along, it was usually best to grab it, even if you still needed another component.

Either I don't  have same energy for watching, or there are not as many chip bargains as there once were.     Used to be huge lots of flash chips at very low prices...

 

joethezombie

Well-known member
I haven't checked availability, but you could check the transceivers used in AUI adapters for compatibility.  I know Asante FriendlyNet adapters work MacCon, but I couldn't get Apple branded adapters to work at all.  Here's a photo of the Asante innards.

asante.jpg


 
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Trash80toHP_Mini

NIGHT STALKER
LOL! I've had that topic open since Tuesday, joe! Nice one! :approve:

I posted pics above to show that keeping a full size Transceiver and Vonets WiFi setup inboard poses no problem for an SE/30 implementation. Using the less capable NIC's ThickNet/Thinnet breakout board in the pics works fine, while using the Thicknet section (1/3) passthru of the typical MacCon breakout board splits the capabilities of an Asante NIC of that breakout spec for use with Bolle's NIC and the original MacCon and requires up less cubic.

The ThickNet section removed, ThinNet/10bT section with Video Connector feature is the more elegant traditional solution, but Bolle's provision for the Vonets VM300 module dropping right into the mPCIe slot he provides on his breakout board design might be the most elegant solution of all. But even there, the board can be rotated 90 degrees and might be useful for whatever purposes.

The ThickNet section of the MacCon breakout board and attached Transceiver rotated 90 dergees to the vertical frees the entire breakout panel opening for any uses other than antenna opening mount(s). A clear case can be equipped with the OEM  Vonets antennas internally, or they might be easily replaced with a PB lid AirPort Cable Antenna, a longer, off the shelf single booster antenna rig or something else. I've got a booster antenna to strip out of its housing with attached micro-co-axial hookup cable that would be perfect for facing across the inside of the front of a clear front bezel horizontally or straight up the inside corner of the case next to the PDS breakout opening.

So many new toys and configurations to consider. Go, Bolle, go! [:)]

 

Bolle

Well-known member
I haven't checked availability, but you could check the transceivers used in AUI adapters for compatibility.  I know Asante FriendlyNet adapters work MacCon, but I couldn't get Apple branded adapters to work at all.  Here's a photo of the Asante innards.


Can‘t even find a datasheet for that one.

The insides look a lot like the transceiver I used for reference. Mine does not have a 20Mhz crystal, not sure what that’s for.

 
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