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PaulM's picture
Joined: 2019 May 23
Vintage Mac - Appletalk cable question? Printer cable or "Localtalk" cable??

hi folks,
I want to connect my two vintage SE macs with AppleTalk but can't figure out what cables I should use. I have what looks like the right cable -- it connects to the printer port of each mac -- but neither mac can see the other one. Maybe its a "printer cable"... So I thought maybe I needed a "null modem" type cable and went to eBay and got "LocalTalk" cable -- but the plug doesn't fit in the printer port!! No idea what cable I need to connect these two macs together, all suggestions welcome!



nil0bject's picture
Joined: 2012 Nov 14
"printer" cable is fine. usually referred to as ADB(Apple Desktop Bus) cables.
However, these cables are brittle compared to todays standard. If you can't see a connection, the cable could be to blame.

24bit's picture
Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Hm, I seem to recall that pre ethernet AppleTalk exclusively used 3-pin mini DIN connectors, whereas printer cables had "all" pins of a mini DIN connector.
The cables were incompatible to each other as far as I recall from decades ago. Wink
Of course such 3-pin AppleTalk cable could be plugged into printer or modem port.

IIGS_User's picture
Joined: 2009 Apr 8

Printer cable for AppleTalk connection is fine.

ADB cables are different. These cables are for input devices such as keyboard, mouse, Trackball devices. There is an interesting comment at the USB Wombat page of BMOW:

Standard male-to-male S-video cables from eBay work too.

MikeTomTom's picture
Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Standard male-to-male S-video cables from eBay work too.

Yep, I used to use one of these too.

Good screenshot of the business end here (Wikipedia) - the standard 4-pin s-video cable uses same connecting plug and cabling as the old mac printer cable, so are interchangeable.
See comments under "Physical connectors > 4-pin mini-DIN" in Wikipedia page.

Use PhoneNet connectors tho', if you need to connect to more than one other Mac or daisy-chain to shared printers, etc.