i-Cubed EtherLAN 550 network card

The EtherLAN 550 network card is, like the EtherLAN 500 card, suitable for use with older RISC machines like the A400 series, the Acorn BBC A3000 and the Acorn A5000.

I used this particular card for some time with the external expansion socket of the Acorn BBC A3000 to gain Internet access to ease the process of transferring files to the Archimedes' and BBC Micros. In February 2012, I placed it in its new home in the Acorn A5000 and subsequently moved it again into the Archimedes A410/1 in May 2012.

i-Cubed EtherLAN 500 network card

This particular EtherLAN card is a DCI4 compliant card as standard but its installation raised a few more issues than updating the EtherLAN 500 from DCI2 to DCI4.

The issue with this card is that it isn't DCI2! Because of this fact, it does not carry the InternetA module that was replaced on DCI4 cards with the Internet module. On the face of it, this shouldn't cause any problems but it does as there appears to be a minor bug in the Uniboot boot sequence in the area that specifically deals with InternetA.

In the file !Boot.Resources.!Internet.!Run, there resides a line that says this:

If Inet$InternetVersion THEN Unplug InternetA

It should read: 

If Inet$InternetVersion THEN RMIfThere Unplug InternetA

Changing this line ensures that if the InternetA module is not present on the Ethernet card ROM plugged into the computer, the boot sequence does not attempt to *UNPLUG it and subsequently fail with the error "Module is not in ROM".

Repair/Change history

In January 2012, a 1000pF capacitor (dipped resin type) located near the two transistors cracked and failed. A replacement capacitor was soldered in place restoring full operation of the network card.

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