Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

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BeebMaster
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Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

I'm delighted to announce new Econet Socket Hub and Terminator boards. These have been designed and manufactured by Ken Lowe and are being assembled & supplied by me.

The Econet Socket Hub has space for 6 Econet stations, and two further sockets for expanding to additional hubs or adding to exising Econets. The default is 8 DIN sockets altogether, 6 for stations and 2 for expansion, but there is also an RJ45 option for linking Hubs together with Ethernet patch cables.
EconetSocketHub8DIN1.jpg
EconetSocketHub8DIN2.jpg
EconetSocketHub6DIN2RJ1.jpg
EconetSocketHub6DIN2RJ3.jpg
The Hub has mounting holes so it can be set inside a suitable box if anyone wants to design & 3D print one, or mounted on the top of an Econet Clock box to keep all the Econet infrastructure nice & compact.

The Econet Terminator is a dinky board available in a through-hole or surface-mount variety, with 5-pin DIN socket as standard or an RJ45 option:
EconetTerminators1.jpg
EconetTerminators2.jpg
I've got all-DIN Hubs and both types of Terminator ready, and very limited stock of RJ45 varieties, and I anticipate being able to do more RJ45 types by the end of next week when a further consignment of RJ45 sockets is due.

Some sample configuration layouts can be found here.

I've put the installation guide here.

Pricing:
6-Station Econet Hub (with DIN or RJ45 expansion sockets) £10.00
Terminator (Through-Hole or SMT, DIN or RJ45) £4.00 or £7.00 for a pair.

I can also do Econet leads (Moulded 5-pin DIN to 5-pin DIN, 3 feet long) at £2.00 each or a 6-pack for £10.00.

Postage & packing will be £3.75 per order using one of the forum's favourite couriers!

Please PM me for enquiries & ordering info and let me know your preference for DIN or RJ45 sockets and through-hole/SMT variety of Terminator.

I'll be doing another small batch of BBC B Econet kits in the near future, I'll update the other thread when they materialise.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by flaxcottage »

Wow! Those are really nice. :D =D>

Makes my 'Econet in a Box' look quite macro-engineering. :lol:
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Looks good and I’m think maybe an opportunity to tidy up the wiring of my setup. I have a lot of cables going around the place...

Would I be right in thinking that these avoid the need to daisy chain loads of cables together and allow up to six beebs to be plugged directly into a single hub?

FC7A4912-9F51-4437-91B9-9F2AFECE9D57.jpeg

I already have the silver terminators shown. Could I plug one of these into the terminator socket rather than buying new ones?

Would I need to get two hubs and have a couple of beebs on each (well, I have three that are econetted, plus server) to balance it out or with just 3 beebs to connect up it wouldn’t matter - I could just put all 3 into one hub?

Thanks for more awesome products!
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by KenLowe »

Lardo Boffin wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:37 am
Looks good and I’m think maybe an opportunity to tidy up the wiring of my setup. I have a lot of cables going around the place...

Would I be right in thinking that these avoid the need to daisy chain loads of cables together and allow up to six beebs to be plugged directly into a single hub?


FC7A4912-9F51-4437-91B9-9F2AFECE9D57.jpeg


I already have the silver terminators shown. Could I plug one of these into the terminator socket rather than buying new ones?

Would I need to get two hubs and have a couple of beebs on each (well, I have three that are econetted, plus server) to balance it out or with just 3 beebs to connect up it wouldn’t matter - I could just put all 3 into one hub?

Thanks for more awesome products!
That' s correct, you can connect upto 6 beebs into the one hub, and I'm fairly sure a single hub would be sufficient in your setup. That's how my system's set up and it's working fine for me. I'm not so sure about the way you're showing the clock hooked up, though. Does your clock really have three DIN connectors as you've shown on your drawing? My one only has two. I'm sure Beebmaster will be along to provide some better guidance on correct way to hook up the clock in your setup. And yes, you should be able to reuse your existing terminators.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by 8271 »

This is absolutely wonderful. I was actually going to make up some econet socket boxes this morning - but yours are much more elegant.

Order on PM coming your way now!
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by Lardo Boffin »

KenLowe wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:41 am
Lardo Boffin wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:37 am

Thanks for more awesome products!
Does your clock really have three DIN connectors as you've shown on your drawing? My one only has two. I'm sure Beebmaster will be along to provide some better guidance on correct way to hook up the clock in your setup. And yes, you should be able to reuse your existing terminators.
You’re right about the clock - one in and one out. Buried under too many wires! :D
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

All the sockets in the Hubs are daisy chained together, so it's a like a line of cable with DIN sockets spliced along it. Although the Hub makes it look like a "circle" it should still be thought of as a line of sockets requiring termination at either end.

In the setup you have, I'd connect up the Clock like this:

Image

but replacing the cable & terminators with the existing Terminator plugs; so, one Terminator Plug in the Clock, Econet lead in the Clock going to a Hub socket, second Terminator Plug in the Hub next to the Clock lead. Then you've got the 6 sockets on the Hub free for the Econet stations, including the file server, which is the same for connection purposes as any other Econet station.

I think most people's Econets will only need one Hub for everything (that is, until Econet really does take over the world...) so it's a compact and cost-effective solution.

I should say thanks to Ken for all his design & engineering work in a very, very short space of time, enabling me to finally make good on my 15-year-old "socket box solution coming soon" promise!
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by Lardo Boffin »

Thanks to Ken and you both. :D

PM to follow...

More like this then?

3F7B942A-4900-4BFF-94D8-DECA08603BA3.jpeg

Does it matter which socket the server goes into?
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

Yes, that's it. Any DIN socket can be used for any computer with Econet interface.

This is how the sockets are laid out on the board:

Code: Select all

----J1----J2----
|              |
J8             J3
|              |
J7             J4
|              |
----J6----J5----
Laying it out end to end with terminators would in theory look like:

Code: Select all

Terminator                                                     Terminator
    |                                                              |   
   J1-------J8-------J7-------J6-------J5-------J4-------J3-------J2
             |        |        |        |        |        |
            Any      Any     Clock      Any      Any      Any
          Station  Station            Station  Station  Station
That way the Clock connects to one of the 6 sockets, using only one socket on the Clock, leaving 5 free for stations.

Or to put the Clock at one end:

Code: Select all

   Econet Clock                                                         Terminator
   |         |                                                               |   
Terminator   J1-------J8-------J7-------J6-------J5-------J4-------J3-------J2
                       |        |        |        |        |        |
                      Any      Any      Any      Any      Any      Any
                    Station  Station  Station  Station  Station  Station
Last edited by BeebMaster on Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by IanS »

Is the RJ45 pinout compatible with the "blundell" standard?
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

Yes, we did that. My Phil Blundell boards aren't here, so I can't test but I am going to test with Jason's ones which I believe use the same pinout.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by 8271 »

Is the RJ45 pinout compatible with the "blundell" standard?

Can you enlighten me? I have some structured cabling in the house that I would use, are standard ethernet patch cables not suitable?
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by KenLowe »

8271 wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:50 pm
Is the RJ45 pinout compatible with the "blundell" standard?

Can you enlighten me? I have some structured cabling in the house that I would use, are standard ethernet patch cables not suitable?
The 'blundell' standard is a definition of the pin mapping between the DIN and RJ45 connectors. These boards have hopefully been designed to conform to that standard, so you should be able to mix and match between this hub and any other hubs / terminators that conform to the 'blundell' standard. You can use your structured cabling and standard ethernet patch cables.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by IanS »

8271 wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:50 pm
Is the RJ45 pinout compatible with the "blundell" standard?

Can you enlighten me? I have some structured cabling in the house that I would use, are standard ethernet patch cables not suitable?
The mapping of Econet clock and data pairs onto RJ45 cabling can be done in many ways. The first sockets that used RJ45 connectors were done by Phil Blundell. When I made a few Econet/RJ45 adapters I used the same mapping.

There have been a few different mappings, but I don't think any of them ever made it outside the original makers house.
e.g.
viewtopic.php?p=202967#p202967
viewtopic.php?p=274954#p274954

Only really a problem if using parts/adapters with competing "standards".

As to the use of Structured cabling, for backbone runs it's fine, but try and avoid using it as "drop-leads" for each machine. Econet is intended to have a single run from terminator to terminator, with only short stubs for for each machine.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

The RJ45 sockets arrived today, earlier than I was anticipating, so I'm ready to go with the RJ45 option Hubs and Terminators.

I've tested all the completed Hubs I've built so far and they've all worked fine. I also linked in a J Flynn socket box with the Blundell RJ45 standard and that worked as well.

Whilst testing there have been a lot of highly illegal layouts here today! And they all worked, except one.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by stevebubs »

could I get 4 hubs, all with RJ45, please? Will neaten my setup here hugely...

Also 4 terminators as they may come in useful longer term..
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

Yes, sure, I will PM you.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by shifters74 »

BeebMaster wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:47 am
All the sockets in the Hubs are daisy chained together, so it's a like a line of cable with DIN sockets spliced along it. Although the Hub makes it look like a "circle" it should still be thought of as a line of sockets requiring termination at either end.

In the setup you have, I'd connect up the Clock like this:

Image

but replacing the cable & terminators with the existing Terminator plugs; so, one Terminator Plug in the Clock, Econet lead in the Clock going to a Hub socket, second Terminator Plug in the Hub next to the Clock lead. Then you've got the 6 sockets on the Hub free for the Econet stations, including the file server, which is the same for connection purposes as any other Econet station.

I think most people's Econets will only need one Hub for everything (that is, until Econet really does take over the world...) so it's a compact and cost-effective solution.

I should say thanks to Ken for all his design & engineering work in a very, very short space of time, enabling me to finally make good on my 15-year-old "socket box solution coming soon" promise!
Are there any cases for the terminators and econet socket hubs known to exist?

thanks

shifters
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by KenLowe »

shifters74 wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 10:48 am
BeebMaster wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:47 am
All the sockets in the Hubs are daisy chained together, so it's a like a line of cable with DIN sockets spliced along it. Although the Hub makes it look like a "circle" it should still be thought of as a line of sockets requiring termination at either end.

In the setup you have, I'd connect up the Clock like this:

Image

but replacing the cable & terminators with the existing Terminator plugs; so, one Terminator Plug in the Clock, Econet lead in the Clock going to a Hub socket, second Terminator Plug in the Hub next to the Clock lead. Then you've got the 6 sockets on the Hub free for the Econet stations, including the file server, which is the same for connection purposes as any other Econet station.

I think most people's Econets will only need one Hub for everything (that is, until Econet really does take over the world...) so it's a compact and cost-effective solution.

I should say thanks to Ken for all his design & engineering work in a very, very short space of time, enabling me to finally make good on my 15-year-old "socket box solution coming soon" promise!
Are there any cases for the terminators and econet socket hubs known to exist?

thanks

shifters
Not that I'm aware of. I've just stuck the hub to the top of my clock box using sticky feet; something like this:

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/pcb-supports/0220787/
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by shifters74 »

cheers Ken!

While they are out of stock, a quick search on ebay finds some that are a bit taller but the correct width as those you link to.

I was thinking that mounting to the clock case was the most likely route any way but thought i would ask! :D

Now if the hub is mounted to the clock - where to mount the econet aun bridge???

cheers

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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by BeebMaster »

Don't forget for the Pi Econet Bridge Hat Zinger you might need planning permission.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by shifters74 »

:lol:
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by KenLowe »

BeebMaster wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:25 am
Don't forget for the Pi Econet Bridge Hat Zinger you might need planning permission.
Especially if I decide to add a combined clock / terminator / hub module to the very top of it!
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by shifters74 »

You could make the new board flat and larger and mount the pi etc on top of it instead of creating a narrow thin stack with the pi at the bottom

Just a thought! :D

shifters[*]
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by KenLowe »

shifters74 wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:32 am
You could make the new board flat and larger and mount the pi etc on top of it instead of creating a narrow thin stack with the pi at the bottom

Just a thought! :D

shifters[*]
But that would only work if you mounted the Pi upsides down. I still need to connect to the Pi GPIO header. Still an option, I guess.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by shifters74 »

KenLowe wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:38 am
shifters74 wrote:
Thu Mar 10, 2022 11:32 am
You could make the new board flat and larger and mount the pi etc on top of it instead of creating a narrow thin stack with the pi at the bottom

Just a thought! :D

shifters[*]
But that would only work if you mounted the Pi upsides down. I still need to connect to the Pi GPIO header. Still an option, I guess.
Yes mount the pi upside down - any reason not to? Just put the socket on your board to plug the pi into - could even power the pi that way directly from power on your board.

This is the way that the blade quad boards mount and power the pi's with no issue - see https://cpc.farnell.com/bitscope/bb04b/ ... dp/SC14214

You can then make your board what ever size you like, with plugs for what ever adds on you want e.g. clocks etc. With a low level board you also have the ability to fit it into a readily available case.

Idle thought!

cheers

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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by stevebubs »

Before I reinvent the wheel, did anyone design a printable box for these?

Having had a manic year, am now starting back on some Acorn stuff. First step is sorting out my desk, and these are part of that build.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by KenLowe »

stevebubs wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2022 6:54 pm
Before I reinvent the wheel, did anyone design a printable box for these?

Having had a manic year, am now starting back on some Acorn stuff. First step is sorting out my desk, and these are part of that build.
I'm not aware of any boxes having been manufactured. I can provide you with some dimensions if it would help.
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by stevebubs »

KenLowe wrote:
Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:20 pm
stevebubs wrote:
Sun Jun 19, 2022 6:54 pm
Before I reinvent the wheel, did anyone design a printable box for these?

Having had a manic year, am now starting back on some Acorn stuff. First step is sorting out my desk, and these are part of that build.
I'm not aware of any boxes having been manufactured. I can provide you with some dimensions if it would help.
Thanks but printed a draft one today... See attached pic. Will upload the OpenSCAD file to Github over the next few days... This version is fixed together by self tappers through the base
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Re: Econet Socket Hubs and Terminators

Post by stevebubs »

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