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Farallon PhoneNET adapter

PhoneNET was an implementation of the AppleTalk networking physical layer created by Farallon Computing (now Netopia).

Instead of the shielded twisted pair wiring and three-pin Mini-DIN connectors employed by Apple's LocalTalk implementation, PhoneNET uses standard four-conductor telephone (Category 1) patch cords and RJ-11 modular connectors.

Like LocalTalk, the maximum speed for data transfer was 230 kbit/s unless accelerating drivers were used to override the operating system's drivers. Unlike LocalTalk, which only supported a daisy chain topology, PhoneNET was principally used in star topologies over structured cabling plants.


Farallon PhoneNET and Apple LocalTalk transceivers. Both connected computing devices (like Macintoshes and LaserWriter printers) with Apple Desktop Bus ports to LocalTalk local area networks. The Farallon transceiver did so over ANSI/TIA-568 standard structured cabling plants, while the Apple transceiver used a short-range proprietary daisy chain.

Unlike LocalTalk's four-wire grounded implementation, PhoneNET used a single twisted pair, or the outside two wires of a four-conductor flat cable.

As normal telephone equipment used the inside two wires, PhoneNET could share cabling with telephones, allowing both phone calls and networking over a single cable.

Superseded by[edit]

Though PhoneNET transceivers are still available from third parties for use on legacy Macintosh networks, no current Apple computer or device have the RS-422 mini-DIN-8 serial ports that are required for LocalTalk networking. Modern Apple devices use Ethernet or wireless networking.

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