Today in Computational Necromancy: This maniac built a 10base5 Thick Ethernet network. In this century.

I am having flashbacks to inhaling fiberglass ceiling tile dust while trying to bend these ridiculous cables. The horror, the horror.
To my surprise, the network was passing traffic within seconds of first power on. The Vampire taps had worked perfectly and my terminators appear to have done the trick nicely. Just for kicks, I installed the second Vampire Tap with the network running, streaming video on one of the PCs. Not a single interruption!

I just think it's important to note here the longstanding relevance of both vampires and terminators to the Internet.

Werewolves, however, were pretty much only found on token ring.

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. [..]

For someone like me who hadn't encountered it before, no amount of looking at pictures could prepare for how big this stuff is. Short of high power transmission cables, it's the largest coaxial cable I've ever seen. It is also very heavy, rigid and the bend radius is absurdly large.

Previously, previously, previously.

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2 Responses:

  1. Jeremy Leader says:

    #2 and #3 "previously"s are duplicates?

  2. flodadolf says:

    Having run few miles of Teflon-insulated, air-dielectric 3/4" coax in an interior hospital environment*: RG-8 doesn't scare me.

    There are cables that scare me, however.

    (Oh, fond memories of pulling a bundle of 6 Belden Datatwist Cat-5 cables 160' up a water tower. In January. Standing on 3" of ice. The cables weighed more than I did, and preparations for my imminent death were forethoughts in my mind. And then I had to do it two more times. And then terminate all of that ridiculously-heavy, double-insulated, double-shielded, bonded-pair copper with special Emerson 8P8C male ends that the conductors barely fit into, much less the cable jacket. That was 10 years ago, though, and it still works.)

    RG-8 is child's play. (And for reference: The lower-power systems tend to get the bigger coax, and the higher-power systems get the smaller coax. It's all about acceptable loss...until you get into crazy-power systems where the capacity of the wire becomes a real issue.)

    (What's with the influx of 10base5 articles around the web in the past few days? It's like people forgot about wave theory, or never learned it to begin with....sheesh.)

    The best visual demonstration ever on waveguides (ie: coaxial and twisted pair cables as we know them in RF use) is in the following video. It is not new science, and I expect a full report on Tuesday morning.

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