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Introducing (and interest check) AirTalk: Wireless plug-and-play LocalTalk dongles

just.in.time

Well-known member
Also tried the 6100 with phonenet adapters between AirTalk and Printer port, no change, as well as switching config to standard printer cable to to modem port, still no change.

Added in SE/30 OS 7.5.5 to AirTalk to the mix (2 AirTalk machines, plus Mini vMac SE), here were the results:
Mini vMac SE FDHD (7.1): can see both machines
SE/30 (7.5.5): Can only see Mini vMac SE
6100 (8.1): Can’t see any other machines

Out of curiosity, I decided to try my only other NuBus based PPC machine, a PowerBook 5300ce running 8.6 in place of the 6100 on this test network. These were the results:
Mini vMac SE FDHD: could see other two
SE/30: could see other two
5300ce: could see other two
I was able to connect from Mini vMac to 5300ce, push a file to it, then connect from 5300ce to SE/30 and push said file to that machine. So it worked as both host and client. Seems to only be a 6100 issue.

Seems to work excellent aside from the 6100 :)

Let me know if you need me to try anything else with the 6100.
 

Torbar

Well-known member
Spent some time playing with my Airtalk today.
When I first connected them, I connected them to my eero network(mesh wifi system, but both the airtalks were connected to the same AP), and noticed it was really slow. Don't have a speed or anything, but had 1 connected to my localtalk imagewriter and the other to my LC II, and printed a page. Normally the page takes about 30 seconds to print, it took about 5 minutes before I cancelled.

Connected it directly to my tmobile modem's wifi network, and speeds were much better. Looking forward to getting my 3rd one hooked up to my Duo or something.

Later this week I can try to connect from the LC to my CC and transfer a file and figure out the actual speed.

If there's anything that would(packet capture or whatever) let me know either by tagging me here, or by DM. I looked around the eero settings, and theres very little there besides DNS and changing the SSID/password. I'm totally fine leaving it connected to the tmobile modem wifi though since that seems to work nicely.

I've also attached the Airtalk Chooser and reset utility here in a FloppyEmu disk image, and a .hda image that can be used in the file based SCSI emulators(BlueSCSI/ZuluSCSI/RaSCSI). Figure they might come in handy for someone if they want to use the extension on a Mac without another way to transfer.
 

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cheesestraws

Well-known member
I looked around the eero settings, and theres very little there besides DNS and changing the SSID/password. I'm totally fine leaving it connected to the tmobile modem wifi though since that seems to work nicely.

It's a bit hard to tell from packet dumps why things are going slowly, unfortunately, since it's often the AP itself that's playing up. There do seem to be quite a few people complaining about Eero multicast not working properly, and you may be being bitten by that. Perhaps I should add a thing to the catch-up post suggesting googling around one's AP... I thought—perhaps naïvely—that mDNS would be a good guide, but of course mDNS is much more forgiving. Hrm. :-/

Later this week I can try to connect from the LC to my CC and transfer a file and figure out the actual speed.

Speed information is always welcome :)

I've also attached the Airtalk Chooser and reset utility here in a FloppyEmu disk image, and a .hda image that can be used in the file based SCSI emulators(BlueSCSI/ZuluSCSI/RaSCSI). Figure they might come in handy for someone if they want to use the extension on a Mac without another way to transfer.

This is great, thankyou! I'll link to this too in future catch-up posts.

(In more general news, more mini DIN sockets finally on the way—of all the parts to have trouble getting...)
 

retr01

Member
Yeah. APs do muck things up. Beyond our control it might be, I wonder if there was transmission control built-in with local talk?

Related to printing to ImageWriter and other printers that do not have the spool ability to get all so the printer can print while the user works on something else, could Air Talk have that built-in with maybe 1 or 2 MB of memory to spool?
 

robin-fo

Well-known member
Yeah. APs do muck things up. Beyond our control it might be, I wonder if there was transmission control built-in with local talk?

Related to printing to ImageWriter and other printers that do not have the spool ability to get all so the printer can print while the user works on something else, could Air Talk have that built-in with maybe 1 or 2 MB of memory to spool?

For spooling you‘d need a full AppleTalk stack running on the ESP32, supporting at least DDP, NBP, ATP and PAP as well as the spooler logic itself…

What language uses the ImageWriter to communicate through PAP? QuickDraw? The LaserWriter uses PostScript.

A NTP->Timelord gateway on the AirTalk would be nice though 😉
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
I wonder if there was transmission control built-in with local talk?

There is a stream protocol (like TCP) in the AppleTalk stack, but it was quite a late addition to the stack, and not much actually uses it. Things that in IP land would tend to use TCP use, instead, ATP, which is a transaction-oriented/RPC type protocol, designed for remote procedure calls.

The problem isn't on the LocalTalk level: if the AP can't deliver frames quickly, nowt much we can do about it.

could Air Talk have that built-in with maybe 1 or 2 MB of memory to spool?

No. AirTalk is a layer 2 device: all it does is shuft frames from one interface to another. It doesn't do anything much with the contents of the frames, except for just enough to deal with setting up the WiFi. But there's no real protocol stack at any level higher than LLAP.

There's also the problem that printers that don't have any spooling ability tend not to speak LocalTalk, they speak RS232. And that needs totally different electronics.

That said, you or someone else could probably take the firmware of AirTalk and add more of a protocol stack on top, or you could wait until my router project gets further and then hack on that. But I probably won't be, because I have basically no interest in printers, and only finite time.
 
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