SUMMARY: Converting between Ethernet standards

Date: Wed Feb 03 1993 - 02:01:49 CST

Here's the summary:

Original question:
Subject: Converting between Ethernet standards

< ... stuff deleted ... >
So I'm requesting information on solutions (preferably the cheapest) for:

        - connecting a twisted-pair ethernet host to a thin-net
        - connecting a thin-net host to a twisted-pair hub
< ... stuff deleted ... >

Responses varied from:
 ... it's not that difficult, get a good catalogue ...
 ... what's your problem really? ...

 Both responses provided useful information, tips and vendors.
 Most of those who wasn't sure about what the problem really was,
 thought we had got burned by the Audio/AUI split-cable needed
 for the SPARCstation 10! We didn't (I read the SS10 papers very
 carefully, so we got the split-cable included for all our 30
 systems), we got burned by the new Fast SCSI-2/Buffered Ethernet
 board (FSBE/S), which only has a twisted-pair RJ45 connector. As one
 person pointed out, the older SBE/S board has a champ-connector.

The most "dangerous" answer came from a Dane (my translation):
Sun just follows the *new* standard - the twisted-pair technology.

That's OK by me, just as long as they don't break - or add cost -
to my *seven-year old networks*. Actually, the problem here was simply
that I didn't *know* about the connector angle, and my friendly
salesman forgot to tell me.

I include one response (dialogue) about Suns different SBus SCSI/
Ethernet boards. The FSBE/S is supposed to have much better
ethernet performance than the SBE/S board (in some instances Sun
has even recommended using this ethernet in stead of the on-board

Secondly, an email containing some useful price information, and
the address of a vendor who can supply the split-cables needed by
the SS10. Take prices as hints (multiply by 10 to get an estimate of
Norwegian prices):
        - 8-port TP, 1-port thinnet mini-hub approx. US$250
        - 1-port thinnet <-> TP "transceiver" approx. US$190
        - TP and/or thinnet transceivers approx. US$50

Responses from:

From: milt@PE-Nelson.COM (Milt Ratcliff)
From: Sven Ole Skrivervik <>
From: milne! (Paul Hostrup-Jessen)
From: (Chuck Yerkes)
From: (George D M Ross)
From: Christian Lawrence <>
From: (Alan Medsker)
From: David Fetrow <>
From: (Pauline Oliva)

Thanks to all ...

Vendor list:

MiLAN Technology (Note *new* address)
        894 Ross Drive
        Suite 101
        Sunnyvale, CA 94089
        408-752-2757 my direct line
        408-752-2770 main number
        408-752-2790 fax number my email address

        32 Fairview Ave
        Little Silver, NJ 07739
        (908)842-5757, fax (908)842-1161

Others mentioned (but no address):

Allied Telesis

Contacts in Norway:

At least Allied Telesis, LanTronix and MiLAN has
distributors in Norway:

MiLAN: Connect A/S
LanTronix/DaynaStar: Wave Technologies
Allied Telesis: (Telematikksystemer?)

Contact me if you want the phone-numbers (I didn't remember
all, so didn't include any).


On the SBE/S & FSBE/S and DSBE/S:

You might want to look into the SBE/S. It is a 5 Mhz SCSI/Buffered ethernet
card that is supported on ALL systems - even Mbus based such as the 600/SS10.
The catch is that it uses AUI through a mini-to-AUI cable which actually
ships with the card (amazing .... they covered all the details). Anyway, it
is very easy, as you probably know, to go from AUI to anything .... this
might solve some of your problems .... ??????

< ... we got into a discussion here ... >

the SBE/S (1054) documentation decribes the ethernet interface as a
14 pin champ connector. it comes with 2 cables : champ to AUI and champ
to RJ45. this is what I have running in a 670 and some SPARC 2's.

this device should not be confused with newer controllers FSBE/S and DSBE/S
(1053/1052) which provide only RJ45 connectors and utilize 10 Mhz SCSI bus.

you've got either the 10 Mhz fast or fast differential (1053/1052).
i'm talking about the 5 Mhz version (1054) which has a different ether
connector. I have these in a 670 as well as some SPRAC 2's. I'll go
find the manual and give you exact details on the cabling/connector.


Suplier of split-cables (for the SS10):

The cables are available from Sun, and also from at
least one third-party supplier:

    32 Fairview Ave
    Little Silver, NJ 07739
    (908)842-5757, fax (908)842-1161

The Sparc-10 Slimline-D26 to separate sound and AUI ports is US$75; the
SBus 14pin mini-Centronics to AUI is US$85.

They also have:

* External transceivers for thinnet and for twisted-pair (US$49 each);

* A coax/twisted-pair converter, which has a thinnet connector on one
  side and twisted-pair on the other -- I get the impression that this
  could connect either type of host to the other type of net (US$249);

* A twisted-pair/AUI converter, which will connect a single twisted-pair
  host to any sort of external transceiver (US$195).


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