Risc OS North West User Group (RONWUG)
Took my kit over to RONWUG to demonstrate how to setup an Econet network.
We started by setting up the MDFS and I explained the workings of the box. I decided to leave the tape unit at home as the thing is pretty heavy so it just has the floppy and hard disk units attached.
We looked at the serial connection and the built in administration menu, then I showed how to change disks using the "Release Discs" button on the front, how to shut down the unit and how the key on the front works.
I had wired up a set of socket boxes to use as a backbone on the network, the socket box below has a machine connected and a terminator as it the end of the network. There is another terminator at the other end.
The socket boxes basically sit on a five core cable that is Krone connected to the box. The cable is basically a bus network with 2 data lines (+/-), 2 clock lines (+/-) and a ground cable.
We then added in the clock between the 2 segments of the network and connected the 2 lines to each side of the network.
The clock should be as central in the network cable as possible.
Once we connected this the red "No Clock" led on the MDFS went out showing it was seeing the network clock.
We then connected a BBC Master and an Archimedes to the socket boxes. On resetting the Master using Break + N the screen shows "Econet Station 194" and then runs the !Boot file from the MDFS.
We then used the *DIR and *CAT commands to view the files on the MDFS. We found a games called IMOGEN and loaded that from the MDFS to show it working.
Upton typing the *STATIONS command we got back a list of machines connected to the network, the Archimedes was in the list showing as station 130.
On the Archimedes we checked out the NETFS filer that allows the system to browse the file shares on the MDFS, you enter your login details and it opens the filer window showing the contents of the MDFS.
I also showed how to upgrade the BBC Master to use Econet. Below shows the installed Econet card in the internal slot.
The Master uses the same card as the Archimedes range and the A3000 and A5000.
All in all we had a good night. The next job is to make the Archimedes bridge to a TCP/IP network so that I can access the MDFS via the network.
A nice guy in Germany did a swap of some Sinclair stuff that I didn't want for a SJ Research Econet Clock.
The clock arrived the other day and I finally got round to having a quick look at it.
The image shows the dip switches that allow the fine tuning of the network speed. This was one of the things the SJ clock did that was better than the Acorn one, it allows for complete control over the packet time and gap between packets.
While over at my storage locker I managed to get the MDFS out and brought it home to fire it up.
The power lights come on so it looks like its doing something.
Next I need a serial connection to the back of the MDFS to check the status of the system and to configure it.
I started to make a serial cable but haven't quite managed to finish it yet.