Building a Simple (and Cheap)
Ethernet Network

Any of these methods will work:

  1. Use a hub
  2. Use ThinWire
  3. Flipped cable
  4. Buy a kit containing 1 or 2

Using a Hub

Using ThinNet Coax (10Base2)

Using a Flipped Cable

Provided that your network adapters are equipped with RJ45 connectors (and almost all current Ethernet cards have this type of connector), you can connect two computers with a special flipped cable -- without having to use a hub.


AlTex Electronics
10705 Metric
Austin, TX 78758
512 832 9131

AlTex a good source In Austin of cables, connectors, and other small electrical parts. (I don’t use them for anything larger.)

Any of the discount clone computer retailers have $20 Ethernet cards, but to purchase a hub you may need to mail order.

For mail order networking,

Creative Computers DataCom Mall
1 800 898 DATA

DataCom Mall offers most networking accessories: cables, hubs, cards. They don’t list the ‘flipped’ patch cable in the catalog, but if you ask they probably have one.

Building a Flipped Cable

We use to recommend – and describe – building a ‘flipped’ cable, but you probably should just buy this instead of wasting time building it yourself. They are widely available and cost ONLY $5-10 and the parts will probably cost almost that much.)

Buying a Kit

LINKSYS sells a home networking kit for $79 that includes everything you need to network 2 computers (2 adapter cards, T's, terminators, cable).

Phone (714) 261-1288
Fax (714) 261-8868
BBS (714) 261-2888

They didn't have the prices listed but be aware their are several versions of the kit:
ThinWire vs. Hub, and ISA vs. PCI bus.

ThinWire PCI
Location Part Number Phone Number
Best Buy #3022221 See your phone book
CompUSA #146379 See your phone book
Egghead #11959684 1-800-EGGHEAD
Elek-Tek #187288 1-800-395-1000
Fry's Electronics #429860 See your phone book
Micro Center #457721 1-800-634-3478
CDW #79796 1-800-290-4239
Elek-Tek #187288 1-800-395-1000



The Hub version:
Location Part Number Phone Number
Ingram Micro #915655 (800) 456-8000
Ingram (Canada) #915655 (800) 668-3450
Tech Data #443812 (800) 237-8931

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