Re: [NTLK] Why the damn dongle?

From: Johannes Wolf (
Date: Wed Mar 27 2002 - 09:22:39 EST

The more you think about the NIC-port (dongle port) the more you will come
to the conclusion that this was the best solution at the time the Newt was

First: the NIC port is much more universal and provides much more signals
than a simple serial interface would do:
on the NIC port you will find
- 7 pin LocalTalk/Appletalk interface (RS-422)serial channel 0,
- serial channel 3 with full control signals, ring indicator and enable,
- line level auxiliary audio input,
- auxiliary audio output,
- power adapter pins for powering/charing the Newt
- Aux 5V power source that can be turned on/off under software control
- control input to wake up teh Newt from sleep mode

Given the number of signals, the limited space and the requirement to have a
single connector for all these signals (for easy docking) it is obvious that
such a connector (or similar) is the only choice.
Unfortunately the development was stopped before we got a nice docking
station for the Newt.
So you have to consider the dongle as a tool needed to adapt the complex NIC
port to a simple serial (LocalTalk/AppleTalk)interface.

Thats the story more or less.

Seen from an developers point of view the NIC port offers quiet a lot of
functionality on one single interface.

Maybe it would be another idea to think about for a new project of our Mr.
This might be a nice docking station with 2 interfaces for serial/AppleTalk
(where the software to use the serial channel 3 still would have to be
a maybe built in power supply, standard interfaces for Audio in and out
(maybe a built in audio amplifier with speaker) But for me the most
difficult part would be to put it into a nice case, everything else is easy.


> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf Of Mike Hamende
> Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 2:54 PM
> To: newt
> Subject: [NTLK] Why the damn dongle?
> Why do 2x00 newtons have the dongle anyway? Why not just have a serial
> port there like the other newtons? Is there some other devices (real or
> vapor) that would use it?
> Seems like a waste that causes extra problems.
> Mike
> --
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