[My RTL8012 adapter]

RTL8012 Ethernet Adapter

This project implements driver software and an interface cable for using a parallel port ethernet adapter based on the RealTek RTL8012 controller with machines from the range of Atari ST compatibles. These adapters are similar to the D-Link DE600 pocket ethernet adapters for which Atari drivers have been available for years, but which needed a special ROM-port interface. The RTL8012 based adapters are (were?) made by various companies, mostly for use with laptops, and should be easier to find than the obsolete D-Link adapter. The adapter has a bidirectional transfer mode (so the ROM-port interface isn't required), and is generally more advanced than the D-Link device (faster, bigger transfer buffer, more options, etc.).

Project start: October 1998

Programmers: Only poor old me at this moment...

Hardware needed:

  1. Bidirectional Parallel Port, with extra control/status pins for now... (only Falcon)
    Use of EJP pins (see below) or serial port pins may be possible in the future.
  2. Extended Joystick Port (EJP) (Falcon and STE),
    but use of the normal joystick port may also be possible in the future.
  3. An interface cable, which is not *too* hard to build...
  4. A pocket ethernet adapter based on the RTL8012 chip
Adapter specifications:

[Inside the adapter]

Development platform:
Falcon 030 (16Mhz/14Mb) running MiNT and using GCC (C and assembly)

Project status:

[My setup]

The adapter will switch into buffer-transfermode, but will not switch back to command mode again. This means that the packet buffer can only be read once, after which the adapter has to be unplugged and reset to get it back into command mode :-(
I've been trying to solve this for about two months now, and frankly it's giving me a headache...

Requests: HELP! :-/

Update (2002-07-24):

This project is still suspended due to other activities, and the fact that I work mostly on linux-machines these days. However, I still believe that ethernet on the Atari would be a good idea, and luckily so do a lot of other people. Check out these sites:

Levien van Zon (, TmutZ/MALEB/SCUM!, 1999