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ILink Setup FAQ

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|                PlayStation2: iLink setup FAQ (Hardware)                 |
|                       Version 0.1 (07.14.01)                            |                  
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General FAQ Information
 Last Update : 07.14.01
 Author      : Alex Lee (metathran7)
 e-mail      : metathran7@netzero.com

This document Copyright 2001 Alexander Lee.

The author of this FAQ strictly limits the public display of this document
to the website "www.gamefaqs.com". Any other use of this document violates
the copyright granted to the author. In particular any other use of this
document with commercial intent is stricly prohibited.

"iLink" is a trademark of Sony Corporation.
"Firewire" is a trademark of Apple Corporation.
"PS2" and "PlayStation 2" are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Various game names and/or other brand names mentioned in this document
are copyrighted and/or trademarked by their respective developers and/or
licensors, even if not explicitly mentioned here.

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 CONTENTS
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1 - Introduction
2 - What is iLink? What does it have to do with PS2?
3 - Setting up iLink; What do I need?
4 - Where can I get all this?
5 - Final Thoughts

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    1 - Introduction
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Recently, a large number of posts on the PlayStation 2 message board at
GameFAQs indicated that the section in the PlayStation 2's manual
discussing the use and setup of iLink networks contains insufficient
information and direction for many PlayStation 2 owners. In response to
this recent surge of questions regarding iLink setup, I decided to write
this very simple and basic FAQ with some information about iLink and all
the peripherals needed to setup PS2 consoles in various configurations.
I hope this will clear up any questions PS2 owners may have about iLink
setup, and reduce the necessity for frequent posts about iLink on the
boards.


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    2 - What is iLink? What does it have to do with PS2?
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iLink is a trademark of the Sony Corporation. It refers to the standard
defined by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
as IEEE-1394. You may also know this standard as FireWire, which is a
trademark of Apple Corporation. IEEE-1394 is one of the fastest methods
of external data transfer today, capable of 400 Mbps. I will refer to
the IEEE-1394 standard as "1394" or "iLink" in this document.

On the PS2, the iLink port is labeled by the "S400" and the arrow. (It's
next to the USB ports on the front of the console.) As you can tell by
looking in the port, this is a 4-pin 1394 port.

Currently the iLink is solely for the setup of a multiplayer network
involving multiple PS2 consoles. In other words, you can connect one
console (with TV and everything else one player alone would need to
play a certain game) to other PS2 systems (each with everything one
player alone would need to play that game) and play with or against other
plyers. It can be used for games such as Armored Core 2, Unreal
Tournament, Gran Turismo 3, and a few others not listed.

Neither SCEA nor Sony makes first-party iLink peripherals for PS2.


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    3 - Setting up iLink; What do I need?
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The first thing you need to decide is how you plan to use the iLink.
There are two possible setups:

** SETUP 1: No hub, (only works for two PS2s):
This is the simplest setup. It requires a 4-pin to 4-pin 1394 cable.
~$8-14 for short lengths. Simply plug one end of the cable into the
iLink port on one PS2, and the other end of the cable into the iLink port
on the other PS2, and you are ready to go.

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** SETUP 2: Hub, up to 6 PS2s: (required for networking 3 or more PS2s)
This setup is required for THREE OR MORE PS2s - however, it can also be
used to connect two PS2s.

You will need one 1394 HUB with at least as many ports as the PS2s you
are going to network. Generally firewire hubs come with 3, 4, or 6
ports. Prices range from $30 to $100, though a good 6-port hub can
usually be found for $60-80.

There is one problem: there is no such thing as a 4-pin 1394 hub. There
are only 6-pin 1394 hubs in existence. Therefore, to hook up your
PlayStation 2 to a 1394 hub, you will need a 4-pin to 6-pin 1394 cable.
These are approximately the same price as the 4-pin to 4-pin cables,
with a tendency to be higher in price.

You will need one 4-pin to 6-pin 1394 cable for each PS2 you plan to
hookup. Once you have all this, it's simple. Just plug the 4-pin
end of the 1394 cable into each PS2, plug the 6-pin end into the hub,
and you will be ready to go.

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This is why I mention that you can use a hub to connect just two PS2s.
If you have the HUB and a at least two 4-pin to 6-pin 1394 cables
already, you don't have to buy the 4-pin to 4-pin 1394 cable required
in SETUP 1 above; you can just use SETUP 2 for two consoles and save
yourself a few bucks. I have tested the hub-and-two-PS2s with GT3;
it works fine.


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    4 - Where can I get all this?
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I'm not going to endorse any particular shops or websites here, but
suffice to say you can walk into any computer store and ask for
IEEE-1394 or Firewire cables / hubs and the people there will be able
to help you. (However, do make sure to specify the TYPE of cable you
need - 4-pin to 6-pin or whatever.) Prices do vary significantly from
brand to brand and store to store, and many stores only carry certain
cable lengths or brands, so do shop around and make sure you don't get
ripped. As I posted above, short length cables should cost you no more
than $12-15, hubs no more than $80 (for 6-port hub) and you CAN find
them for less.

If you're really stuck you can always drop me an e-mail.


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    5 - Final Thoughts
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Well, just throwing out this FAQ in the hopes that it can help some
people and reduce the clutter on the PlayStation 2 boards about this
topic. I might add a troubleshooting guide, but honestly, what is there
to have problems with? :p

However, if people have ANY compatability issues with certain brands
of cables (highly unlikely) or hubs (possible) please let me know right
away so I can create a new section. We have to give mad props to Sony
for adhering to an industry standard (cheaper for us), but at the same
time, all this 4-pin to 6-pin stuff and potential compatability
issues... it makes me wonder, do I really mind paying extra for stuff
that is guaranteed to work? Oh well, that discussion is not what this
FAQ is for.

Any questions/comments please e-mail me at metathran7@netzero.com. I
also frequent the PlayStation2 board at GameFAQs, but I ask that you
e-mail me questions directed at me as opposed to making an annoying
post on the board screaming my name. (E-mail's faster anyway.)

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    Version History
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 Version 0.1 - 07.14.01
      -- FAQ started.

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