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ARCNET users: What does your setup look like?


Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
May 3, 2003
Somebody asked me about ARCNET performance problems with mTCP, and I went down the rabbit hole. They are using the ARCETHER packet driver as mTCP is only designed for Ethernet. With smaller packet sizes it works fine but the performance is bad. With larger packet sizes and buffers it runs into flow control problems and the performance really suffers.

I might want to debug this myself, but I know I'd need to find ARCNET cards. I know that for just wo machines a single cable will work, but the cable is supposed to have 93 Ohms of resistance which seems unusual and non-standard. (I have to get RG62-U, but it looks to be readily available.) For more than two machines I need to find an active or passive hub. Is there anything else I need to know?


Veteran Member
Nov 11, 2018
I used to have a box of 8-bit ISA arcnet cards that, in addition to the BNC connector, had a pair of phonenet-type RJ-11 jacks. You could daisy-chain the cards together with phone cable, and it seemed to work alright. I don't know if I was supposed to have a terminator in each end like you have to have with localtalk, but it seemed to work without it.

I was playing with them in Linux, and I had TCP/IP running over them, but I don't remember what brand/model of cards they were or any other details. I do remember it being slow. Maybe 2.5 mbit iirc. This was back in the late 90s.


Experienced Member
Dec 8, 2012
Las Vegas NV
That is pretty much it. They were notoriously simple to setup. That last setup I did involved three Netware 3.1 servers - each routing packets and synchornizing time. One pair was Archnet to Token Ring from #1 to #2, Token Ring to Ethernet from #2 to #3. Worked flawlessly.