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Transfer files to and from an old pc with no USB

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Reply 80 of 85, by Jo22

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MarkP wrote on 2022-07-27, 19:18:

A I posted the correct specs for 10Base5 matter. It's the first thing you do. Make shore the components you are using are up to the specification required the purpose..I don't know why you posted that wall of text/diatribe?

Dude, no offense, but I'm tinkering with RF for 20 years by now.
And since what you wrote didn't quite align with my experience, I dared to asked for an explanation (I hoped for a technical one).
Please excuse my directness, but it seems that my diplomacy failed. 😔

Okay, to my understanding, the 10Basexx network standard simply uses (used) bog standard coaxial cables @50 Ohm.
With either BNC or N connectors, also bog standard in radio fields.

Thus, there's no apparent reason to my understanding why modern replacements won't do as a replacements.
Edit: Except for the slightly different velocity factor (the shortening factor), maybe.
It's no problem per se, but must be taken into account when measuring the lenght of the cable segments.

They merely outperform the old specs, they're not incompatible in any way to them to my understanding.
On the positive side, they're affordable, modern and fresh (no corrosion, wear etc). Ideal for hobbyists looking for a replacement for unobtainable vintage cables from overseas.

In addition, I made the experience that nowadays consumer grade cables sold aren't good anymore.
I made my discovery because of my radio hobby.
Here, the analogue characteristics matter much more than in the digital world.
That's how I figured out that things aren't right.

To what I can say, at least the RG58 series is cheapestly made, from what I learned (I used measuring devices for checking, its not my imagination).
The stereotypical China quality, so to say.
There's not even a hint of the country / about the manufacturer printed on the outer side.

Long story short: The cables sold nowadays are likely somewhat below the standard quality. Or what used to be "normal".
When vintage hardware like 10Base2 and 10Base5 was made and used.
Again, my father's 40 years old RG58 is not the same as that questionable, nonameRG58 from today.

The only exception for modern cables are coaxial cables made for RF applications.
Made by reputable manufactors that have a long experience in their field.
Those didn't trade quality for cost-efficiency, they make usable coaxial cables for all sorts of applications.
Again, that's what I know.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 81 of 85, by leonardo

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Harlock wrote on 2022-07-19, 20:03:
Hi, as per subject, besides IDE to USB adapters, any suggestion for transferring files to an old PC (Pentium 1) ? As far as I kn […]
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Hi, as per subject, besides IDE to USB adapters, any suggestion for transferring files to an old PC (Pentium 1) ?
As far as I know:

- IDE to USB adapters
- CD-DVDs
- Network, but I'd rather not connect that old computer to anything
- Any PCI 1.x USB extension available? So far I've only found PCIe
- CF cards maybe

I've just realized that a pc I should be getting has no usb ports! 😀

davidrg wrote on 2022-07-19, 23:20:
Seconded. LAN makes things a lot easier. You may even be able to skip the whole "transfer" bit entirely and just access files an […]
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Pierre32 wrote on 2022-07-19, 21:46:

LAN is the best method. You'll never go back.

Ideally, if you have some spare hardware (old PC or Pi) set it up as a server running RetroNAS. That means you don't have to think about how to get old & new systems talking to each other, juggling different SMB versions etc - it makes it all pretty seamless.

Seconded. LAN makes things a lot easier. You may even be able to skip the whole "transfer" bit entirely and just access files and run programs straight from network drives. My approach is if it can be networked, it will be networked and it will have network drives - I can't be bothered copying stuff around with FTP. DOS 3.0+, OS/2 1.1+, Classic Mac, all versions of Windows, all unix-like will all do network drives fine. The only limitation is if the machine has no expansion slots at all and no built-in networking - so basically very old laptops and weird things.

Security isn't a big concern - I'm not forwarding ports on my router to Windows 95 and I'm not using a web browser on Windows 95 so for someone on the internet to talk to my windows 95 box they'd have to already be inside my lan in which case I've got bigger problems than my Windows 95 box being hacked. But its possible to do network drives without using TCP/IP at all making the computer completely invisible to modern windows and the internet in general which only understand IP.

Removable media (CF Cards, DVDs, CDs, flash drives, floppy disks, physically moving hard disks around) are a method of second-to-last resort. I'd use them only if network wasn't an option. Inconvenient and slow but its hard (not impossbile) to install an OS and get a computer on the network without at least one floppy disk or CD.

If it can't be networked and removable media isn't workable there is always a serial cable or parallel cable. Laplink, fastlynx, Kermit (which is available for windows and just about everything else), and probably lots of others.

Thirded. If you're running Windows 95 or later, you can simply use PuTTY and ssh shell to connect and transfer files to and from more modern systems on the network. I do it all the time and don't even bother with SMB-/FTP-servers or any of that stuff. If your more modern system has ssh enabled, you can use PuTTY's bundled pscp-command line utility on the Windows 9x-system instead of scp which is what you would use on a modern *nix.

Fast, reliable and secure.

[Install Win95 like you were born in 1985!] on systems like this or this.

Reply 82 of 85, by MarkP

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-07-27, 19:52:
Dude, no offense, but I'm tinkering with RF for 20 years by now. And since what you wrote didn't quite align with my experience […]
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MarkP wrote on 2022-07-27, 19:18:

A I posted the correct specs for 10Base5 matter. It's the first thing you do. Make shore the components you are using are up to the specification required the purpose..I don't know why you posted that wall of text/diatribe?

Dude, no offense, but I'm tinkering with RF for 20 years by now.
And since what you wrote didn't quite align with my experience, I dared to asked for an explanation (I hoped for a technical one).
Please excuse my directness, but it seems that my diplomacy failed. 😔

Okay, to my understanding, the 10Basexx network standard simply uses (used) bog standard coaxial cables @50 Ohm.
With either BNC or N connectors, also bog standard in radio fields.

Thus, there's no apparent reason to my understanding why modern replacements won't do as a replacements.
Edit: Except for the slightly different velocity factor (the shortening factor), maybe.
It's no problem per se, but must be taken into account when measuring the lenght of the cable segments.

They merely outperform the old specs, they're not incompatible in any way to them to my understanding.
On the positive side, they're affordable, modern and fresh (no corrosion, wear etc). Ideal for hobbyists looking for a replacement for unobtainable vintage cables from overseas.

In addition, I made the experience that nowadays consumer grade cables sold aren't good anymore.
I made my discovery because of my radio hobby.
Here, the analogue characteristics matter much more than in the digital world.
That's how I figured out that things aren't right.

To what I can say, at least the RG58 series is cheapestly made, from what I learned (I used measuring devices for checking, its not my imagination).
The stereotypical China quality, so to say.
There's not even a hint of the country / about the manufacturer printed on the outer side.

Long story short: The cables sold nowadays are likely somewhat below the standard quality. Or what used to be "normal".
When vintage hardware like 10Base2 and 10Base5 was made and used.
Again, my father's 40 years old RG58 is not the same as that questionable, nonameRG58 from today.

The only exception for modern cables are coaxial cables made for RF applications.
Made by reputable manufactors that have a long experience in their field.
Those didn't trade quality for cost-efficiency, they make usable coaxial cables for all sorts of applications.
Again, that's what I know.

This thread does not have anything to do with your experience in radio communication at all. It is about transferring files from on computer system to another. And the various ways to do that.

You suggested a modern approach using Blue Tooth. Some of us suggested ye olde 10Base2 and refined that suggestion by describing what equipment/cabling is required. Even though it is not "modern" it is still a valid approach to transfer files from one system to another. And as I mentioned earlier I can just pop down to Jaycar, one of our local electrical supplier, and buy all the items I need off the shelf to put together that ye olde networking solution.

Reply 83 of 85, by BitWrangler

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-07-27, 19:52:

Thus, there's no apparent reason to my understanding why modern replacements won't do as a replacements.

Yeah you apparently missed the bit where vampire taps (Which is the tap with an integrated AUI transciever) and other pieces of vintage thick coax hardware are dependant on the physical dimensions of the cable being the same as they were in the day.

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 84 of 85, by Jo22

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MarkP wrote on 2022-07-27, 22:25:

This thread does not have anything to do with your experience in radio communication at all. It is about transferring files from on computer system to another. And the various ways to do that.

Why do you think that? To my understanding, it's the same principles of physics that are at work.
And amateurs were silently a driving force in the 1970s home computer revolution, btw.
Those were the type of dedicated hobbyist that could read schematics, solder and understand 7400 series ICs.
It's not as if their hobby had zero influence to the history of computing or something. *sigh* 🙄

The only difference here is that ethernet does not use an high frequency signal, but a baseband signal.
The radios and coaxial transceivers are different, sure, but also related simultaneously.
Like an UHF TV antenna cable vs a Composite cable.
Both are 75 Ohms, but the antenna cable uses high frequency and has better specs (shielding, loss).
It's possible to use a classic UHF TV antenna cable as a Composite cable no problem, but the other way round causes bad image quality.
For a few meters, it works. Like it's to be expected from super market products.
But using an RCA Composite cable as a feedline to the terrestrial antenna on the roof,
isn't a good idea. It will cause a lot of interference, weak signal strength et cetera.

MarkP wrote on 2022-07-27, 22:25:

You suggested a modern approach using Blue Tooth. Some of us suggested ye olde 10Base2 and refined that suggestion by describing what equipment/cabling is required. Even though it is not "modern" it is still a valid approach to transfer files from one system to another. And as I mentioned earlier I can just pop down to Jaycar, one of our local electrical supplier, and buy all the items I need off the shelf to put together that ye olde networking solution.

Never mind, it seems the dilemma is rooted in our different kind of perspective.
Perhaps we're both neither right, nor wrong thus.
I guess you're looking at it from the point of a salesman, while I'm more of a technican.

The problem is, that RG is an specification, not a product.

Someone can homebrew an excellent network cable for little money that's better than the recent, nameless stuff sold in various non-technical minded places.

Also, as I said, the quality changed over the years.
It's like with audio cassettes, diskettes, etc.
Modern productions are a shadow of what used to be.
Unfortunately, things do age, too. That's what's even more dragic:
If a 40 year old cable, slightly oxidated, torn has better quality still than what's sold in today's stores under the same name.

BitWrangler wrote on 2022-07-28, 03:05:
Jo22 wrote on 2022-07-27, 19:52:

Thus, there's no apparent reason to my understanding why modern replacements won't do as a replacements.

Yeah you apparently missed the bit where vampire taps (Which is the tap with an integrated AUI transciever) and other pieces of vintage thick coax hardware are dependant on the physical dimensions of the cable being the same as they were in the day.

Hi, I don't think I missed it. I mentioned my concerns a few posts earlier. Maybe there are different sets of clamps, too. One will sure match RG213? 🤷‍♂️
Alternatively, a user can decide to do not use clamps but a hub or something?🤷‍♂️
A direct connection (retro network) between two PCs can perhaps work without a clamp, not sure.

Funny thing is, that RG-213 UBX is the successor specification to RG8U. It basically *is* RG-8U. It has the same diameter.
Real "RG-8U" was already outdated/outphased in the 1980s.
I have no idea how many 80s networks silently used RG-213, RG-214 or RG-213 UBX in disguise as RG-8U.

Okay, here's a quote that's not from me.
Maybe it's more worth that what I said before.

"Be very careful of using RG8/U "type" coaxial cable because RG8/U has not been a valid specification for cable for a number of years.
Therefore, there is no real RG8/U standard and the quality can vary all over the place.
A goodly amount of RG8/U "type" cable sold for the "CB" market is of marginal quality and quite often does not have that much copper in the braid (shield).
Basically what is now sold as RG8/U "type" can range from pretty good quality to absolutely dismal quality.
You really need RG213/U coaxial cable which replaced RG8/U cable a number of years ago.
There is a published standard for RG213/U cable.
"

Source (a sailing forum): https://forums.sailinganarchy.com/threads/vhf … g8u-vs-rg213.16

The text warns about lower end cables from the CB market (of today, btw), now imagine what horrible quality to expect from a questionable cable sold in a super market!
CB uses RF signals and as such has higher demands than a simple network transceiver based on baseband signals, even.
And a proper RG-213U made with radio amateurs or professionals in mind a nd sold by serious cable makers,
should cause no trouble at all.

Or long story short: A cable suited for CB or any other radio application is much better as a network cable from an electrical point if view.
There will be less reflections, noise coming in from man made noise, etc.
With a cheaply made cable, a TFT monitor's switcging PSU or a smartTV's switching PSU could cause lost packets on a coaxial LAN.
Maybe even reset the NIC, not sure. Bad cables do act as antennas, too.

Speaking of substitutes.. That's similar to RG-223 which wwhicn early real world substitute to RG-58.
Some vendors sold RG- 223 (which is better) when the customer asked for RG-58..
- Perhaps they had higher standards and didn't bother to store RG-58U in their warehouse anymore.

Speaking of RG-58, 10Base2 doesn't use clamps.
Any 50 Ohm coaxial cable of proper quality can be used.
Including RG-8U / RG-213. It's just a matter of using a N to BNC adapter or changing the connector directly.
That's what I desperately tried to explain.
Unfortunately, I seem to have failed. Maybe it's really time to go back to the original computing topic. 🤷‍♂️
There's nothing helpful left I haven't said already.

Edit: Edited, Picture added.

Edit: I've looked up information for those may wonder what the "yellow cable" of 10Base5 looked like.
It's a very unflexible cable that had multiple layers of extra shielding due to the poor vampire clamps.

"Due to the bulkiness of the Yellow Cable, the small bending radius and the interference-prone connection
of the transceiver with vampire clamps, the original version was only used until
the end of the 1980s and was replaced by more flexible cable solutions. "

Source: https://www.itwissen.info/en/yellow-cable-107 … .html#gsc.tab=0

Well, at least it got replacement solutions..

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    Lousy commercial cable from eBay (left), hand crafted feedline from the 1980s (right, W-Germany)
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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 85 of 85, by Jo22

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Quick update.

Found an explanation for the matter.
Seems we were all wrong: 10Base5 perhaps did use an RG-8U family cable, but not RG-8U as such.
The specific cable used rather was Belden 9880. In the later years, at least.
That would explain the strange layers of shielding, too. It may have to do with those clamps.

"The cable

A common belief persists that 10BASE5 used RG-8/U cable. This, for the most part, appears to be untrue.
The cable used was purpose designed for 10BASE5 and manufactured by Belden under the part number 9880 (A few other compatible cables may exist).
The reason #9880 cable was specified is that several variants of RG-8 exist with varying dimensions and manufacturing standards.
Given that the main form of connection of MAU’s to 10BASE5 networks was by the precisely designed prongs in “Vampire taps”, cable dimensions and dielectric consistency had to be spot on."

Source: https://www.mattmillman.com/projects/10base5/

Our friends over there at vcfed.org did use the same setup.:
https://forum.vcfed.org/index.php?threads/thi … vailable.65324/

Anyway, I don't want to stop this topic from going to rest any longer.
I merely felt that I should double check my statements once more. Hope you don't mind.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//