Problems with Neoware CA2 and Sun GigaSwift Quad Port


  • I am having problems with a Neoware CA2[1] with a Sun GigaSwift quad port network card[2].

    M0n0wall does not have drivers for the card (cas).  I read on their forum that just copying the driver over was not enough to get it working.  We use pfSense at work so this seemed like a good excuse to upgrade to pfSense.

    After much playing around I am down to one of two problems.  If USB is enabled then I get interrupt storms.  If USB is disabled in the BIOS I get a hard lock as soon as a device tries to get an address via DHCP.  Caps lock key no longer functions, pressing enter on the keyboard does nothing.

    It appears that USB is connected via the PCI bus.  The USB connectors are part of the main board but uhci0 uses LNKD.  I can change that IRQ to whatever I want but cas1 and uhci0 are always together.  I get the interrupt storms as soon as any cas link is active.  I can leave cas1 without a cable and it does not help.  If I boot up with all ports unused I do not get the storms.

    I am not sure if this is a good place to stop throwing good money after bad or if there is something simple I am missing.  That said, I have put a grand total of $40 into this.  =] I originally bought ($20) the Intel quad port card not realizing it will not work in 5v PCI.  I bought ($10) the Sun quad card next.  I was booting off a USB stick.  Since I was getting those interrupt storms I thought I should upgrade ($10) the DOM chip from the 192M to 1G so I could load pfSense on it and disable USB.  I was going to do that anyway to drop the 6 minute boot time but I was hoping to get it working before spending more money.

    At this point I can scrap the project completely or try a Neoware CA10 or similar if the problem is the CA2 is incompatible.

    Does anyone have any known good configurations with the Sun cards and a Neoware thinclient?

    Other possibly important info:
    It came with 128M RAM.  I put two 256M sticks in.  One of those sticks was bad (according to memtest86+).  I ran the test for 24 hours on the good 256M module without a problem.  I plan to toss at least a gig in if I can get it working.  I can do that now if the problem it too little RAM.
    The BIOS put USB (and cas1 and ata1) on IRQ 15.  I moved the PCI IRQs around to remove the collisions with non-PCI devices.  LNKA on 6, LNKB-D on 10-12.
    My current setup with m0n0wall uses 10/100 PCI cards.  I would like to upgrade the WAN and LAN to gigabit if I can.  My Internet connection is actually 100Mbit but they give us just a little bit more so the throughput will be 100M.  With a 100M card I am getting just under what they serve.
    My current machine is noisy.  I really like the fanless option.
    I may have to give up on so many ports but currently I have WAN, LAN, WAP and VoIP on different interfaces.
    When I started looking at buying one of the already setup with pfSense machines on ebay my boss gave me the CA2.

    Thank so much!!

    Jack

    1. http://www.parkytowers.me.uk/thin/neoware/CA2/
    2. http://www.glitchwrks.com/2012/08/03/Quad-Port-PCI-Ethernet-Roundup/


  • Don't know about the CA2's, but I recently picked up a batch of the CA10's for a good deal and they have worked out quite well.

    I have been able to get them up to 1GB of RAM and even add an internal HD (2.5" ide or 2.5" sata w/ide-sata adapter)

    They do tend to run quite warm as they have no fans internally, but the external PS helps keep things under control.


  • Hey Jack

    Did you get your setup working?
    I also have problems with it. I'm using neoware ca10. After connecting Sun card the box doesn't start at all.
    I'm wondering if this is something to do with power supply. The one that came with it is 12V 3300mA, however on the box itself it says that reqirements are 12V 4000mA.

    Can anyone confirm that my problems are related to the power supply before I'll try to find one that fits?


  • No, I do not have it working.  I was just hopping on ebay right now to order a CA10 and checked this forum again to see if that is the right thing to buy.  My CA2 does boot I just have problems when I try to talk to the network card.  I will let you know how this goes.