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Shiva, Asante ... what is a good Appletalk to Ethernet bridge

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Does anyone use Ethernet to Appletalk bridges?  I've seen them come and go on eBay, and have always wondered if perhaps that is a simpler solution than trying to find network adapters for quite a few early machines. 

 

Someone mentioned a Shiva Fastpath V4 on the eBay finds thread today, and I notice there are some version 5 devices available on eBay too. 

 

Which brand / model / version is the easiest to get results with? 

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I've used Asante and Farallon devices to mostly good effect. At least one I have (although this one's in storage) was meant for printers and has a single DIN8 connector, but Macs work with it too. You can also connect it to more than one Mac using an Apple LocalTalk or a PhoneNet wiring kit.

 

The one I have now is a phonenet endpoint itself, and it appears to work, however I need to get a localtalk end connector or a terminator. I have one, again, in my storage locker.

 

If I'm remembering correctly, you can run phonenet either wired as a complete loop or you can put terminators at the end.

 

The devices I have are small, meant for "a couple" devices in homes or small offices.

 

The Shiva devices are, as far as I can tell, a little higher end, likely meant for connecting, say, an entire department to a larger Ethernet backbone.

 

The other thing is some bridges will just do LocalTalk<>EtherTalk and some will bridge MacIP over LocalTalk to IP on Ethernet. I have never used one of the MacIP bridges, I don't know if I'd personally bother, but it really depends on what you want to do.

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I use a Farallon EtherMac iPrint adapter for transferring stuff to both my Mac Plus and IIgs and it works fine. This particular adapter has an RJ-11 phonenet plug on it as well, which is fine as long as you can lay hands on the needful adapters. If you want something that *just* plugs into a single Mac then one with an 8-pin DIN might be slightly more convenient.

 

The Farallon or the similar Asante devices are examples of "dumb" bridges that *only* bridge Appletalk-protocol packets from Ethertalk to Localtalk. I believe Shiva Fastpath's all do TCP/IP to MacIP bridging. If getting an old Mac on the Internet is the point of the exercise then that may be what you want, but there are software solutions to the problem as well, while if all you care about is file sharing the simple "printer" focused bridges are fine.

(Also, don't forget if you happen to have a "bridge Mac" that has both Ethernet and Localtalk ports you can run the free Localtalk bridge software on it and handle the issue that way, if you don't mind the requirement of having that machine on in order to bridge the gap.)

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... one thing to watch out for with the "iPrint" line, incidentally: if you're looking for a Localtalk bridge the one you want is the "iPrint LT". They made a similar unit called the "iPrint SL" for interfacing with some serial-only Stylewriter printers and that one won't work.

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Appletalk Internet Router runs on anything 68030/40, and will bridge LocalTalk and EtherTalk. The machine will need both ports. If you have an old machine lying around, it’s a good way to give it a use. The software is very reliable, and you get Zones too!

 

It is, however, Appletalk only (no IP).

Edited by beachycove

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If you're wondering, FastPath 4 can be upgraded to a 5 with a ROM swap.  I forgot who (Message inbox doesn't have it anymore) but someone burned some ROMs for me once, and it's a drop-in replacement.

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Also, be careful that some are just simple bridges from AppleTalk to EtherTalk, they don't do MacIP (TCP/IP over AppleTalk.)  So no internet, FTP, etc.

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Shivas are powerful and complicated, definitely designed for corporate/education networks with network engineers who know what they're doing. I've found it easy to foul up my entire network just trying to figure everything out. When you get them to work, everything is seamless and transparent.

 

Also, they use the same 3.6v 1/2AA as Macs (soldered) so expect to either replace that or reload the firmware and reconfigure it every time it loses power.

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Does anyone have the Fastpath Administrators Guide they can share?

 

I picked up a FastPath 5 recently and found the software. I have the FP working, but I'd like to have a little more info on all the software options. I don't think it's breaking anything on my network - yet :-)

 

It's fun to have an SE pick up an IP address and telnet into stuff via Localtalk. Need to confirm how well I can see any Appleshare services with System 7, say. A G3 with 9.2 could see my FreeNAS shares over Localtalk via the FP, but not my Synology.

 

My source may have more of these Fastpaths if he can find them. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can get in touch if he finds more.

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pcamen - thanks!

 

I also found olePigeon and mactjaap's older threads on these guys, so I I think I am set for now. In theory I should be smart enough to figure this all out :-)

 

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The easiest route to take depends how many machines you have.

 

If it's only one, the Farallon Etherwave Mac/PB adapter, as long as you're not using it with OpenTransport systems, is a decent choice. It can route TCP traffic over the serial port. (EDIT: if you have a NuBus or PDS upgrade slot option, use one of those.)

 

If it's more than one, honestly the easiest choice is a Farallon iPrint LT AFP bridge and use IPNetRouter on a bridge Mac to forward TCP traffic.

 

Details on each is on the Guide. Gatorboxes and FastPaths are fine, but eh.

Edited by Mk.558

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On 4/29/2019 at 11:31 AM, ScutBoy said:

My source may have more of these Fastpaths if he can find them. If anyone is interested, let me know and I can get in touch if he finds more.

I think that they deserve to be liberated, if he can dig them up. Please share with the class!

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So - I found the original one on an eBay auction and got it on a good "make an offer". It came "as-is", but worked fine.

 

I asked the seller if he had more, and if he did, could I do a buy of multiples, with the intent of getting a good enough deal to resell here at a decent price.

 

Instead, he's decided to put them up again as an auction, here:

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Shiva-FastPath-5-Ethernet-Router/392288421746?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&amp;_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

 

I was able to do very well with an offer. Don't know how flexible he'll be moving forward, now that he knows people want the things.

 

Couple notes... These have a battery inside that holds the config. It's the same 3.6v battery in most of our Macs, but soldered in (like a IIgs). It will work without the battery, but you would have to reload config any time you powered it off. It's a simple solder job to replace (or put in a battery holder). The battery (Varta) in mine was original and still good :-)

 

 

Software and basic config info is here:

 

http://www.walshcomptech.com/fastpath5/

 

Also, the picture shows (and mine came with) an AUI ethernet connection. so you'll need a transceiver to 10base-T or whatever. This wasn't a problem for me. Supposedly other modules exist for other connection types, but I haven't really looked for one, though straight 10base-T would be handy :-)

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by ScutBoy

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The 10BaseT EtherModule for the FP5 is like hen's teeth, you'll never find one. AUI is best, at least you can adapt it to whatever you want. The FP4 has both AUI and coax built in.

 

Regarding configuration, the FP5 or 5.0 PROM upgraded FP4 is relatively easy to configure using the Shiva NetManager software and even works on OS X 10.4 under Classic. Configuring the FP4 with 4.0 PROM using the old Kinetics FastPath Manager is a total PITA though and REQUIRES classic networking. The software doesn't work with Open Transport at all limiting you to Nubus Powermacs or a 68k machine running System 7.5 or older.

 

Phil Budne (an engineer who worked on the FP5) has a complete set of manuals for the FP5, but they are not easily scanned since they are perfect bound books. I have been looking for a set for years and have come up empty. The FP4 docs are on uxwbill's site linked above.

Edited by NJRoadfan

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4 hours ago, NJRoadfan said:

The FP4 has both AUI and coax built in.

I've never seen a more cogent excuse to build a thinnet segment for all my AAUI-having Macs.

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