Ronja Twibright Labs

Suitable NIC or switch for Ronja

Some cards and switches are good, some bring problems.

Some network cards or switches have scamped PLL with reduced jitter tolerance. This works well only with high-quality signal on short wiring. Some even have packetloss on 2m of UTP cable (happened to me with Realtek RTL 8029). Ronja is guaranteed to work full range only with those with well implemented PLL.

Other treats include switches or NIC drivers that hang up when receiving noise from fogged or turned off link and switches with auto MDI/MDI-X that don't detect MDI/MDI-X with Twister correctly (although Twister produces perfectly valid link integrity impulses). Such switches pose problem for wired operation as well - invalid signal may be induced into the wires from improperly installed motors, by lightning strike, by bad contact in a socket or by someone plugging out and back a cable. The switch shouldn't hang in such a situation because may be locked down in a physically inaccessible place.

Known good equipment

Realtek RTL 8139 network cards (excellent performance for minimum price), 3com 3c590, 3c900, and 905 series. Most switches (especially those cheap with Realtek chips inside).

I have tried a Realtek chip based switch (RTL8305) and its auto MDI/MDI-X was apparently working correctly. It was detecting and working correctly even with Twister configured for PC instead of switch. The switch is used to operate a link and no problems have been reported.

Known problems

Problems have been observed with Nvidia nforce2 integrated onboard NIC (reduced range), HP Procurve switches (severe hanging), RTL 8029 network card (severe packetloss not related to Ronja), 3com 3c509 (reduced range).

An expected information missing here?