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The ARCNET (Attached Resource Computing Network) is a baseband, token-passing network system that offers flexible star and bus topologies at a low price. Transmission speeds are 2.5 Mbits/sec. ARCNET uses a token-passing protocol on a token bus network topology. While ARCNET never became popular in the LAN environment, it is used extensively for embedded and real-time applications. Companies are using ARCNET for a number of tasks, including data acquisition, nuclear plant monitoring and control, closed-circuit cameras, building automation, process control, in-flight entertainment systems, phone switching systems, point-of-sale systems, stock exchange terminals, and machine control. The ARCNET Trade Association Web site provides a list of companies and their uses of ARCNET.
A typical ARCNET configuration is shown in Figure A-9. Although ARCNET is generally considered to have a slow throughput, it does support cable lengths of up to 600 meters when using active hubs. It is suitable for office environments that use text-based applications and where users don't often access the file server.
[ANCHOR HERE: Figure 9]
ARCNET connections are made to active and passive hubs. An active hub is a network relay that conditions and amplifies the signal strength. Most active hubs have eight ports to which workstations, passive hubs, or additional active hubs can be attached. A passive hub is a four-port connector with BNC jacks.
ARCNET uses 93-ohm RG-62 A/U coaxial cable, although twisted-pair and fiber-optic cable can also be used. Fiber-optic cable is used for backbones between active hubs and for outside runs.
Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.