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Somewhat of an odd networking dilemma


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Top of the whatever time of day it is to all.

I'm in a wee bit of a bind and am hoping there's a fairly quick response time to this

bit. I'm looking to this particular forum instead of my own company's support because, well,

the boys in the think tank are great and all, but when it comes to "trick-*expletive*ing"

equipment to get it to work, they get confused.

One major thing to keep in mind on this one is that I am dealing with proprietary software

that allows little room for network configuration. I'm seeking a hardware solution with the limited parts I have at my disposal.

Okay, here goes. . .

I'm currently on a drilling rig somewhere south of Shreveport, Louisiana.

I service instrumentation equipment and the computers used to monitor said equipment.

The databox we have has a hub inside with four ports, one for the box's connection, one for a connection to the rig floor, one to tie in a cross-location run to the master PC in a trailer, and one spare. All are taken and cannot be removed from use.

The spare is tied into a slave system in a nearby mudlogging trailer. The mudlogger needs data from our software transferred to his equipment. We normally can do this without much problem through a protocol called "WITS" . . . when there's an available LAN port to tie the device extender in.

The fairly generic HP PCs we use have two available NICs, one onboard and one added into a PCI slot. My idea on what to do may be absolutely dumb, but it's worth a shot at this point.

The onboard NIC is not in use. The PCI card is assigned to 192.168.0.45. The device extender I need to hook up has an assigned address of .17. Would it be at all possible to make a crossover cable, plug the device extender into that unused NIC, and have the whole mess actually function. My main worry is configuration of that NIC and whether or not the rest of the network will be able to see that .17 address.

Any help, whether constructive or shooting holes into theory, would be greatly appreciated, especially if a consensus manages to arrive within the next half-hour.

Please pardon any oilfield terminology that may make this sound odd.

Thanks much in advance.

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What you are trying to do I am pretty sure will not work using the .17 address in the same subnet as the rest of the network. If I am not mistaken you would have to enable ICS (internet connection sharing) on the host computer which will do something similar to NAT for the "slave" network card.

I will admit I have never tried what you are doing and am not able to test my theory to prove it out. I am hoping others will chime in with their opinion.  :)

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"The onboard NIC is not in use. The PCI card is assigned to 192.168.0.45. The device extender I need to hook up has an assigned address of .17. Would it be at all possible to make a crossover cable, plug the device extender into that unused NIC, and have the whole mess actually function. My main worry is configuration of that NIC and whether or not the rest of the network will be able to see that .17 address."

You would need to use ICS and bridge the two nics, as suggested by rushonbye.  The onboard nic would need an ip address assigned as well.  As long as the ip addresses are static and there are no conflicts, there should be no problem with use of the .17 address.  Theoretically, it may work.  However, your computer will act as a "gateway" to the extender so alot of it depends on the software that needs to access the "extender".  The extra hop to the extender would be my only concern, based upon using proprietary software.  If the software expects the extender to be on the same LAN (not needing to go through a gateway), then it may not find the extender.  It can't hurt to try, so long as any data being sent to the extender will not be lost if the connection cannot be found.

This link may help with ICS setup:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309642   

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"The onboard NIC is not in use. The PCI card is assigned to 192.168.0.45. The device extender I need to hook up has an assigned address of .17. Would it be at all possible to make a crossover cable, plug the device extender into that unused NIC, and have the whole mess actually function. My main worry is configuration of that NIC and whether or not the rest of the network will be able to see that .17 address."

You would need to use ICS and bridge the two nics, as suggested by rushonbye.  The onboard nic would need an ip address assigned as well.  As long as the ip addresses are static and there are no conflicts, there should be no problem with use of the .17 address.  Theoretically, it may work.  However, your computer will act as a "gateway" to the extender so alot of it depends on the software that needs to access the "extender".  The extra hop to the extender would be my only concern, based upon using proprietary software.  If the software expects the extender to be on the same LAN (not needing to go through a gateway), then it may not find the extender.  It can't hurt to try, so long as any data being sent to the extender will not be lost if the connection cannot be found.

This link may help with ICS setup:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/309642   

Thanks for getting in on this. Its been several years since I played with ICS so I couldn't remember the specifics.

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Hope this helps.  Haven't been around TM for a bit.

I haven't used ICS in a while, but the "host" system acts like a gateway (router, sort of).  My concern is most proprietary software is very specific in the way it sends information based on the software writers impression of the networking enviroment the program is expected to work within . 

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Thanks for the responses, folks.

I toyed around with ICS, bridging, and a handful of other ideas before I finally had to go pick up a hub from a co-worker two hours away.

I ran this question by one of the more networking-savvy support guys the next day. Seems that the extra hop in question would have caused all sorts of problems, even if it might have acted like it was working for the first little while.

Eh, well, it was definitely worth a shot. I appreciate the ideas, folks.

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