Category Archives: PCMCIA

Getting Amiga Online with PCMCIA LAN card

Getting into the Internets with Amiga 1200 using ZyXEL’s ZyAIR B-100 PCMCIA LAN card


Internet connectivity is very essential — even when working with the classic Amigas which date from the simpler era of null-modem cables, modems and dial-up BBS services.

My Amiga was shipped from the seller with the ZyAIR B-100 PCMCIA LAN card. I haven’t had time until now to have a proper go at it.

The christmas holidays always provide a good break to focus on the important things 😉

Let’s get started.

ZyAIR B-100

I found the original user guide, and data sheet.

ZyAIR B-100

The card contains FCC ID: O6M-WE302, which can be used to look-up interesting details of the device.

The ZyAIR B-100’s data sheet specifies supported security encryption options as: “64/128-bit WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) Encryption”.

Seems that only WEP is supported.

I was a bit bummed at this point because WEP is not considered secure anymore — and has been superseded by WPA.

My wireless router and most of all modern routers only support WPA and WPA2.

In the end, the missing support of WPA and WPA2 didn’t prove to be an issue, so I think that this LAN device may have had it’s firmware upgraded at some point.

I was not able to find any manufacturer’s firmware updates for this device though.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, and need a firmware upgrade, take a look at this (warning — not for the faint-hearted).

IEEE 802.11b standard is supported by this device.

Prism chipset drivers and Amiga TCP/IP stack

There are quite a few guides around to walk you thru the process of setting up the prism chipset drivers and Miami TCP/IP stack.

Many of the said guides link to older version of the prism drivers. For WPA and WPA2 support, get the latest prism2v2 package.

Installing the prism2v2 is simple — just extract the package and run installer.

Give the name of your wireless network SSID.

Provide the wireless network password. Notice that WAP/WAP2 is not supported prior the prism2v2.

Click proceed.

Click proceed.

Now you have the prism2.device properly installed.

Restart your Amiga and proceed to install the MiamiDX TCP/IP stack. See the guide for installing MiamiDX here.

I had previously installed the ClassicWB and it contained the installation packages for Miami Deluxe (DX), they can be found at the ClassicWB’s Workbench screen “Drawers/My Files/Install”.

Alternatively — you can opt for the modern Amiga TCP/IP stack using Roadshow. Roadshow is a commercial product which is actively developed and maintained. It think that the price tag of 25 euros is well worth it.

But for the time being, I’ll go with Miami.

Run the MiamiInit.

Click continue.

Choose the “Ethernet, cable/ADSL modem” option. Click continue.

Click continue.

Write the “prism2.device” to the device input field. Set unit to zero, unless you have multiple boards installed.

Click continue.

MiamiInit is looking for the DHCP which will assign an IP address from your private subnet.

Press enter, to accept the resolved subnet mask.

Press enter to accept your Internet gateway IP.

If the above steps fail, check your SSID and network password.

If you run into this message, provide a hostname and press enter.

Give your connection a name and press enter.

Enter your name and a username.

Next, start the MiamiDX, and import the MiamiInit settings (see the menus: Import settings from MiamiInit)

Save the imported settings as default.

Click online.

You should now have a working internet connection.

IRC-client
AWeb Browser

Browsing the web is somewhat limited experience with the classic 68k Amigas these days — but it was fun to set it up 🙂

Make sure to install AmiSSL for https support.

Check my previous post about applying patches for Amiga’s PCMCIA port related bugs.

Moving Files Around

Transferring files between Mac/PC and Amiga using PCMCIA CompactFlash adapter


Quick update on how to set-up the PC compatible FAT/FAT32 formatted CompactFlash PCMCIA adapter to work in Workbench.

The process is quite simple, but I couldn’t find any universal quick-to-google-how-to guides related to the setup.

Using the CF cards is by far the simplest way to transfer files to Amiga, especially if you don’t have the Amiga online.

I’m planning to get the Amiga online soon, but having also the CF option to transfer files into and out of Amiga is really handy.

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CF card and the PCMCIA adapter

I noticed that after having installed the ClassicWB, inserting unformatted CF card via PCMCIA adapter didn’t bring up the CF0:NDOS icon on the Workbench’s desktop.

This is how I got it to work properly.

Download the following files and extract the archives to ram disk:

  • cfd.lha — Use CompactFlash cards in PCMCIA slot
  • fat95.lha — Win95/98 compatible file system

Copy cfd/devs/compactflash.device to System:devs/ and files cfd/devs/CF0 and CF0.info to System:devs/dosdrivers/.

Next — download packages CardPatch and CardReset and copy the files to the System:C/.

Edit your startup-sequence, and add the following two rows:

...
C:CardPatch
Run >NIL: C:CardReset TICKS 50
...
C:LoadWB

Insert the rows somewhere before the LoadWB command.

CardPatch basically fixes bunch of bugs related to handling PCMCIA slot.

“When a PC Card is plugged in the PCMCIA slot and cnet.device is not run then Amiga system slows.”

“CardPatch patches this ‘slow bug’ and other bugs in card.resource.”

“The CardResetCard() function is patched and each ‘new’ card is reseted after it is inserted in the PCMCIA slot”

Applying the patch should enable the CF cards to work properly.

Note that it may also fix other PCMCIA related issues which you might happen to run into when using, for example network cards.

To add the support for FAT/FAT32 filesystems,  copy the file fat95/l/fat95 extracted from fat95.lha archive to System:L/.

Now you should be able to use Amiga and FAT/FAT32 formatted CF cards with the PCMCIA adapter.

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Plugged-in