Networking my STE
Look guys, I know I am a complete NERD but hey, I enjoy it. Any way I have
had a pair of Atari ST computers, an STE upgraded to 4Megs and a MEGA2,
sat in my Radio Shack for a long time now. From time time I would load
up "XENON II" and have a quick bash. In the past I had written programs
for them to edit MIDI voices, but now they are largely unused.
I had often thought about using the STs on the internet but theses days
dial-up is almost dead. Besides if I could get them on the home
network which consists of a NETCOM ADSL Router connected into a small LAN with
10/100 switches I could exchange files with the other computers on the network.
So when I saw the message on "comp.sys.atari.st" about making an
adaptor to allow an NE2000 clone to be used to connect an ST to a LAN I
thought "that sounds like its worth a go". And when Lyndon Adams announced
he was making them available for sale (see http://hardware.atari.org)
that sounded even better.
However of course his exams came along and delayed production so I decided
to have a go at building one. The following pages describe my experiences
along the way .....
Collecting the parts
Building the interface
Configuring the network
Collecting the Parts
The interface consists the following parts.
The parts were obtained as follows:-
A small PCB double sided PCB that fits in the Atari Cartridge port|
A larger PCB has a the ISA socket for the NE200 card and a small chip to
latch some signals.|
A piece of 40-way ribbon to connect the above together|
An ISA NE2000 clone card.|
A visit to a local computer fair produced some RTL8019AS based cards at
2 for £5.00 so these were popped on in the shopping basket.
As I don't have the facilites to make the PCBs the GIF files were
e-mailed to a friend who does, which produced me a couple of cards. As
you can see from the picture below these are a bit "rough and ready", but
he did not charge me for them.
The board requires a small number of what should be very common components.
All of these items are in the Maplin's catalog, but when I visited my local
store I was told the ICs are only available mail order. I did pause to
pick up the ISA socket as there was one on the shelf but thought I would
have the other parts, except the IC in the junk box. Fortunately there
was a small dealer near me (Eclipse Electronic Comonents, Cross Street,
Sale) who had the IC in stock, so those to went in the basket. Whilst there
I also bought pair of 40-way right angle PCB mount IDC connectors. These
have enough connector exposed so I could solder one row to the top of the
small PCB and so get round the problem of no plated through holes.
1 x 74LS245 or 74HCT245|
Ribbon Cable and headers or connectors.|
Building the Interface
Soldering the IDC Socket to the small PCB was fairly easy. As noted above
I needed to solder one row onto the top of the PCB, the result is as follows
I had forgotten how poor my close-in sight is, so the result looks
a bit messy, but after careful checks with a magnifier and meter and one
repair to a broken track, it does now work. The second board was a bit
harder. The GIF in download ZIP does not clearly show where all the links
go, but after some drawing of lines with a ruler I decided they should
be as below:-
Now I had the components assembled the whole thing looks like below.
Note R1 is not visible as I used a surface mount under the board.
If you are younger and your eye-sight is better than mine yours should
look much neater. Just the boards need to be linked together and plugged
into the ST but could not see any assembly instructions any where
in the documentation and there are a number of ways it could fit together.
After some checks with a meter on what voltages came out of the cartridge
port it appears that the logical arrangement is correct. So on my STE
with the cartridge port on the left hand end,
And the while thing looks quit neat, as you can see here. The card is connected
to the STE, which is sat on top of the MEGA, and yes I will make a case
The small board is plugged in the cartridge port,
The other board is placed to the immediate left so the ribbon cable runs
flat between the two.
The NE2000 is plugged in with the face plate to the rear.
I actually put the thing together in small stages.
You can also use the test programs provided in the latest version of the
archive. When you do note that some are designed to be run without the
NE2000 card in place but otheres require it. Also note that HT3ENEC currently
does not work so don't worry about it.
Firstly I plugged in the two cards, but with no IC and no Ethernet Card
and tested that the STE still workded and that the power on the IC socket
Then I plugged in the IC and tested the STE still worked.|
Lastley I plugged in the card and tested that the STE still worked and
the LINK light lit on the card when in the hub.|
Personally I think that this was the hardest part, however a couple of
factors contributed to this :-
Any way after an e-mail from Lyndon I decide to start using the STING software
stack. I downloaded this only to find the documentation is "HyperText"
format and I did not have a copy of ST Guide. After some fiddling I found
My system boots AHDI 6.0 from a floppy as it has an IDE drive and TOS 1.62
My hard drive has an odd layout with many programs on "D".
I have not used the ATARI "in anger" for a long while.
Which files are needed
Most of the STING software needs to be in "C:\STING" where "C:" is the
boot drive. Sting module have a type of "STX". Any unwanted files can be
renamed to ".STY" I currently have the following in my "C:\STING"
ENEC.STX - This is the driver from the project ZIP file
The CACHE.DNS and DEFAULT.CFG files are also needs to be in this folder.
The STNGPRT.CPX needs to be in your CPX directory to allow the card to
The STING.PRG and STING.INF files needs to be in the AUTO folder.
Configuring the System
In order to configure the system you need to change the following entries
in the "C:\STING\DEFAULT.CFG" file.
The C:\STING\ROUTE.TAB file also needs to be in edited. I use a private
class "C" network for my home lan of "192.168.1.0". The Router/NAT box
is on "192.168.1.64" and is the default gateway resulting in two lines
in the file.
Lyndon recommends setting the "Threading" value near the front of the file
The "DOMAIN" value may be set if required|
The "NAMESERVER" should be set to point to your DNS server. In my case
the Router/NAT box provides a DNS proxy service, and so it points at that.|
You then need to re-boot and call up the STING Port CPX. In here you need
If you then press the "Addressing" tab and switch to the "General" view
you should see the 12 digit MAC address of the ethernet card. Exit this
and if all is well you should be able to use the PING and TRACEROUTE programs
on the STING distribution to ping other hosts on your network. All you
need now is some applications software to run on it......
Set the "EtherNet" device to be enabled.|
Set the IP Address and SubNet Mask as appropriate for you network. If you
normally use DHCP then you should reserve this addresses on the DHCP server|
I am very pleased with my board, and it seem to work very well. I
currently have the free version of CAB for WEB browsing and NEWSIE for
News and Mail. I am also using GAPFTP to move files between my PCs and
the ATARI. I have not done any testing it seems much faster than PARCP
for moving files, and it has freed up the Printer Port on my PC for other
Any questions or comments should be sent to "email@example.com"
Back to my Home Page