Setting up EtherNEC network for the Atari

Recently, there are several networking solutions for the Atari ST/Falcon series, and the two solution I obtained for my Falcon are
  1. ENEC Ethernet adapter using NE2000 compatible Ethernet card
  2. DaynaPORT Pocket SCSI/Link SCSI-to-Ethernet adapter

The EtherNEC adapter solution is documented here.


Hardware setup: The EthereNEC Ethernet adapter

The EtherNEC Adapter from Lyndon Amsdon

The EtherNEC hardware consist of two sections, connected by a standard 40 lines IDE cable. The smaller section of the PCB ( right side in the photo above) is to be plugged into the Atari ROM port. The larger section of the PCB has a ISA card slot and this is the place to plug in your NE2000 Realtek 8019 Network adapter card. 

The EtherNEC device driver is very sensitive to the chip-set of the network card even as the document from the driver as it is not. I have found that even if the network card is said to be NE2000 compatible is not enough for it to work. You need to have a Realtek 8019 chipset Ethernet board to get it working. You may also need to set the IO port of the ISA bus of the card to the default value. Unfortunately, you need a PC with ISA slot for this. Consult the documentation of the Realtek 8019 adapter card on how to do this.

Assemble your EtherNEC device as shown in the photo above. With the Atari computer power off, plug in the small PCB section into the ROM port the correct way, that's with the cable connectors at the top. At the larger PCB section, plug in your Realtek 8019 Ethernet card. On my EtherNEC adapter, the Realtek network adapter card network port faces towards the back of the falcon (away from us). Connect your LAN cable to the Ethernet adapter card.

Turn on the Atari and the adapter is ready to use.

EtherNEC device drivers

There are several versions of EtherNEC drivers from different source. You only need one of them. Most people seems to suggest that the one from AssemSoft is the most stable. 

  1. Assemsoft NE2000 page - good fast drivers
  2. Thomas Redelberger's ENEC drivers - the original ENEC drivers
  3. Enec drivers for CT60 - inside the large archive of CT60 utitlities

Software setup : EtherNEC device drivers for TOS - STING

Depending on the package, the file name of the drivers will be different. The one described here are from Thomas original drivers. For STING, the file ENEC.STX from the downloaded archives of drivers will be the one to use. If you have a 68030 machine, you may use the ENEC3.STX file.

STING is required and can be downloaded from the  STING download pages. Setup STING according to the instructions. Nothing special is needed. Copy the ENEC.STX into the folder where all the other STX files are located. Just reboot to load this driver.

The STING configuration is pretty generic, some idea on how to setup can be found in the  STING setup for ICS.

Software setup : EtherNEC device drivers for MiNT

As for MINT, you will need to use the ENEC.MIF file but rename it to ENEC.XIF. Copy the ENEC.XIF file into the Mint folder where the other XIF/XDD/XFS files are, normally would be the y-xx-cur folder, where y-xx is the release version of Mint. At the point of writing that would be 1-18-cur folder. Make sure that INET.XDD is also located at the same folder as this is the internet protocol deamon for Mint. If you have a 68030 machine, you may use the ENEC3.MIF and rename it to ENEC3.XIF.

With the software installed, you now need to configure some files:

  1. /etc/domainname - This text file contains the domain name.
  2. /etc/hostname - This text file contains the hostname of the computer.
  3. /etc/resolve.conf - This file contains the domain name and the name server ip address.
  4. /etc/services - This file contains the well known port addresses of internet services
  5. /etc/protocols - This file contains the available protocol on this system

The network interface is now configured. To execute the network interface run the following lines at the command line (tcsh for example):

                $ ifconfig en0 addr netmask up

and set the default route

                $ route add default en0 gw metric 1

If your router does not route back internal IP addresses, you may need to set internal routing in your Atari. To do this run the following:

                $ route add en0 

These 3 lines should be added into the startup file of Mint (MINT.CNF) so that it is executed at startup, before calling the AES.

Alternatively, you may setup DHCP for auto configuration of network in Mint. How to do this is written in the Mint OS section of this site.

 Have Fun!!

updated: 5 Jul 2017

Created: 12 Jan 2012