What is it?

plipbox is an Arduino-based device that allows to connect low-end classic Amigas via Ethernet to your local network. It bridges IP traffic received via PLIP on the parallel port of the Amiga to the Ethernet port attached to the Arduino.


With the plip2slip project I already presented a device that uses a cheap AVR 8 bit microcontroller (as found on the popular Arduino boards) to bridge network traffic from the Amiga’s parallel port (with the MagPLIP protocoll) to another machine via a fast serial link.

plipbox extends the plip2slip project and replaces the serial link for IP traffic with an on-board Ethernet port. This allows you to connect your Amiga directly to your local network without any other machine assisting.

With the on-board Ethernet port the plipbox HW is more complex than the plip2slip HW, but I tried to use common and easy available HW modules to simplify the recreation of this device. This allows even novice users to build their own plipbox. (See the hardware document for details).

Software Releases

The current release is:

  • v0.6 17.01.2015
    • size: 367134
    • md5: 1251968a08b9b66db46fdfbf8baefa11
    • sha1: ab4483a405839e5123e580da7ededfd07c68ac24
    • changes:
      • new fast burst protocol for raw parallel transfers of up to 235 KiB/s
      • see for detailed performance values
      • cleaned up firmware and driver code
      • rewrote firmware to handle a full ethernet frame in SRAM
      • reduced parameters in firmware -> simplified usage
      • added new test modes to allow detailed benchmarking of all system components
  • v0.5
    • size: 322835
    • md5: fcdb43b225a9c544e5c5928b8f4279c0
    • sha1: 276d2e963bebca37b55796de80bcd7f9c09d5641
    • changes:
      • plipbox device now automatically receives its MAC address from driver
      • you can change your MAC address with SANA-II command in software (if your TCP/IP stack supports it, e.g. Miami DX or Roadshow)
      • plipbox device maps online/offline state to Ethernet module and disables it if devie is offline
      • parallel line protocol completely rewritten to use a client server model
      • added optional Ethernet full duplex support
      • added optional Ethernet flow control
      • improved device statistics
      • added error log
  • v0.4
    • size: 214433
    • md5: 67e143d0f9acc750d201df7662c57d92
    • sha1: ee5a84038547f5e45091cddf5c97f1012fc6b512
    • changes:
      • added hardware description for plipbox nano hardware
      • added schematic and board design for plipbox nano base board
      • added new firmware -nano for new plipbox nano pinout
      • Amiga driver unchanged and stays at 0.3
  • v0.3
    • size: 199269
    • md5: f64e0d8053ea93634495dfd178b21914
    • sha1: 6f6dd491556c87b76855193ba36cff23477119cd
    • changes:
      • firmware and Amiga driver update. no hardware change.
      • major redesign: removed NAT device and introducded MAC bridge, i.e.  plipbox behaves like an Amiga Ethernet adapter and bridges all packets  from there without alteration
      • dropped lots of network code found in plipbox that is not needed for the  MAC bridge
      • rewrote and renamed Amiga SANA-II plipbox.device to be an Ethernet driver
      • added a Python-based software emulation for the plipbox that operates with a patched FS-UAE Amiga emulator
      • new approach makes the device zero-conf. Just attach and it works.
  • v0.2
    • size: 158248
    • md5: 3d5b998f80ce5b48e2c151f756712467
    • sha1: ed06ce9bdf52911b1d0eeeafd6fef89072423233
    • changes:
      • added support for AVR-NET-IO board
  • v0.1
    • size: 140029
    • md5: f16007cb4e09f6adb2a2566b22fb6c84
    • sha1: 1db80031969395371647e6e974f0dd738e49c79e
    • changes:
      • first public release
      • initial feature set: DHCP, ARP and full TCP/UDP bridging

The software of the plipbox project is open-source and hosted on GitHub: plibbox@gitbub. Clone this repository if you want to build the firmware yourself or if you want to play around with it.


Quick Start Guide

  • Build the hardware (see Hardware page)
  • Flash the firmware
    • Connect the device to your Mac/PC via USB only
      (no Amiga or Ethernet connection yet!)
    • Flash the supplied firmware file with avrdude (see Firmware page)
  • Access plipbox command shell via serial terminal
    • Setup your terminal program on your Mac/PC to connect to the plipbox firmware
    • See Firmware page section 2 for details
  • Test Ethernet Connectivity
    • In the command shell press 3 to enter PIO Test Mode
    • Connect your plipbox to the Ethernet (keep PC terminal connected)
    • On your PC install Python 2.7 and run the pio_test program (python directory in this release):
      python2.7 pio_test
    • See Firmware page section 3 for details
  • Test Amiga Parallel Connectivity
    • In the command shell press 4 to enter PB Test Mode
    • On your Amiga run the dev_test program (amiga/bin directory in this release)
      dev_test -d plipbox.device
    • Now press p in the command shell to transfer packets
    • Press a to toggle auto mode and s to see current transfer statistics
    • See Firmware page section 3 for details
  • Operation
    • Setup networking on your Amiga (see Amiga Setup page)
    • Connect device to Amiga (keep Ethernet and Mac/PC link)
    • Enable plipbox.device on your Amiga
    • Ping directly from your Amiga (call ping command in CLI):
      • ping a host on your local ethernet (use numeric IP first then name)
      • ping a remote host
      • ftp/telnet/do whatever to test the network
    • Ok, plipbox seems to work!

Have fun!

35 thoughts on “plipbox

  1. Hallo

    Ich interesiere mich dafür

    Ab wann kann man mit einem verkauf
    rechnen und wieviel soll das
    dann kosten.

    Gruß Dark

  2. No I don’t sell plipboxes. This is a DIY project so if you want one you’ll have to build one yourself. However, its all open source hardware. So if anyone wants to build plipboxes for sale its ok to do so (assumed the license is fullfilled and the project is correctly referenced).

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  13. Thank you!

    I flash plipbox 0.6 without any problems, but when I run Tera Term to check all I get is random letters and numbers. Any idea what´s wrong?

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  15. Can you please post a photo of the Strobe wire correctly connected on the AVR-NET-IO board?

    Also do I have to use the 5V power or can I just use the Amiga parallel power?

    • Hi, I just updated the plipbox hardware page and added a photo with the wiring of the strobe line. External power is mandatory as the parallel port (on non A1000) can only provide around 10mA while the circuit needs around 300mA!

  16. With the cheap and easy ESP8266 – its possible to replace the Nano + enc28 ? Not sure if the ESP8266 has enough pins to connect the parallel port !?

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