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How to connect a PC to another ethernet device directly?


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#1 Scooterspal

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 04:17 PM

Hello and thanks for any help you can provide me.

 

I have a device that can be controlled remotely from a PC by connecting it to a network, which I do have but is not set up in this part of my building.

 

Is there any way two connect the PC directly to this one device, and no other, without using a full blown network?


Edited by Scooterspal, 08 February 2018 - 04:18 PM.


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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 04:44 PM

Welcome to Bleeping Computer.

 

You could get a WiFi Range Extender if they aren't close enough to cable and then connect the device to the range extender.  If they are close you would probably need an ethernet cross over cable.



#3 Orecomm

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Posted 08 February 2018 - 11:38 PM

If the devices are relatively recent (like in the last several years) you won't even need a crossover cable, as most devices support MDIX auto crossover. Just connect a standard Ethernet cable between your computer and the device. You need the IP address of the device. For example, we will use 192.168.2.20. You will need to set your computer's Ethernet port to an address on the same subnet, like 192.168.2.22 with the same mask as the device. You won't need a gateway or DNS address. You will have to access it by IP, as DNS won't be there (although multicast DNS may still work). So if it has a web interface you'd http://192.168.2.20 to access the device. Most other network methods should work as well.



#4 Scooterspal

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:50 PM

Well, the unit I need to access, which just arrived today, was made around 2004 according to the factory test sticker. I'm planning on using a Dell Optiplex GX-280 to control it remotely, if possible. 

 

Not sure where that leaves me in terms of "relatively recent"??

 

If you think either or both are too old, what is this crossover cable I need to use and where might I find one?

 

Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:55 PM

I linked some cross over cables from Amazon in my first post.  A cross over cable flips the transmit and receive wires on one end so that you can connect two pieces of equipment directly to each other.



#6 Scooterspal

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 05:16 PM

Sorry, did not see that link.

 

So, if I get one of these cables do I follow the same procedure posted by Orecomm?



#7 Kilroy

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:58 AM

It really depends on the equipment.  A windows computer will assign a 169.254.x.x address if it can't get one from DHCP, if the other device also does this they will be able to communicate.

 

Option 2 would be that the other device has a static IP and then you would need to set a static IP on the computer that is on the same network.



#8 Scooterspal

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 12:11 PM

Thanks. Guess I will need to play around with it. I know the unit I need to control lets you assign the IP. I read that in the manual.

 

Thanks, again!



#9 zzz00m

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:52 PM

Another possibility is to follow the instructions above about setting the IP addresses, but instead of using a crossover cable, get a pair of powerline adapters.  These should work fine where cabling or Wi-Fi may be an issue, or you need to run a bit farther than your cable will reach.  I have used them in several homes where Wi-Fi was an issue, and they performed very well.

 

Just plug one of these adapters at each end into a power outlet, and then connect the device at each with an Ethernet patch cable.  Ethernet over power line!

https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/powerline/PL1200.aspx



#10 Scooterspal

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Posted 15 February 2018 - 11:11 AM

Thanks to all who replied to this thread. The help is appreciated  :thumbup2: 



#11 Orecomm

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Posted 19 February 2018 - 08:55 PM

Just for completeness, if either end is new enough for auto-MDIX then it will work, the "active" end will adapt to the "not so smart" end. Auto-MDIX was patented in 2001 and widely used since. I doubt you could find a consumer device (laptop, pc, etc) without it built in the last 8 years.

 

If you do get a crossover cable I have three cautions for you:

1) Do not use it with any form of Power over Ethernet. One of two things may happen, it won't work, or it won't work and it will let the smoke genie out.

2) Mark the cable clearly, so when someone disconnects it in the future and tries to use it on something else they do not experience #1. 

3) Most crossover cables do not work at all on Gigabit ports. Gigabit uses all four pairs, and crossovers only cross two of the four, resulting in serious confustication of the interface.






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