Using the MicroDyne/Eagle NE5500 with Windows 2000

I acquired one of these networks cards some time ago. I carn't remember from where now. It looked quite useful as it has a PCI bus and has both BNC & UTP connectors. I decided to use the NE5500 to replace the old 3C509 ISA card I was using in my Windows 2000 server machine. (Don't worry, it's only for testing/development: I'm not running some huge network from it!). I swapped the cards and Win2k plugged and played the card with no problems. But there was a problem when I tried to use it. I could not ping any externals computers. I was using the BNC connector, as I didn't have a UTP hub to hand. The win2k LAN status for the card was showing everything ok at 10Mbps & said it was transmitting, but was receiving no packets.

Just to confirm the card was ok, I decide to try & use it from DOS & connect using IPX to a Netware server. First problem - I had no driver disk. Second problem - MicroDyne as no longer in business making networks cards. It seems they stopped production in 1998 and changed the business to doing outsourcing. A search of the web using Copernic showed that driver support for this card is minimal to almost non existant. Luckily, I found one site which did have the driver I needed. This was the SIDUS FTP download site. I don't know who they are, but I thanks them. Just incase all trace of these files disappear, I have made them available from my site here:


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I made a DOS boot disk and used the provided LSL, PCNTNW, IPXODI, NETX files to connect to the Netware server. This worked fine - no problems. This showed the NE5500 was working ok on the BNC port sending and receiving packets. So why did Win2kSrv not work!?

I started to change the settings on the 'Advanced' tab of the adapter properties. By the way, Win2kSrv recognises the NE5500 as being a AMD PCNET family card, as this is the main chip on the card. To cut a long story short, after much messing about, I ended up with these settings:

Property            Value
External PHY        10Mbps Half Duplex
Full Duplex         AUI - Full Duplex
MP Mode             Off (Default)
Network Address     Not Present
TP Mode             On (Default) 

Yes, I know the second setting does not make any sence: My card did not have a AUI connector and thin coax cannot work full duplex, but choosing this setting made my card start receiving on the BNC connector! Maybe it's a bug in the driver. And what is MP mode and TP mode? I don't how, but maybe TP is Twisted Pair. By the way the Win2k driver was version by Microsoft.

Ok, so this is what worked for me. Let me know your experience with this card.


Nigel Smith


Page Created: Saturday 11th March 2000

To help people find his page, here are some keywords:
MicroDyne, Eagle, amd, pcnet, ne5500, ne-5500, Windows 2000, win2k, win2000.

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