Cheap Gigabit fiber adapter for the HP t730 Thin Client

WANg

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FYI - for those who bought an HP t730 Thin client for playing around, I found an eBay listing for the Allied Telesis AT29M2-SC for a fairly decent price (typical listing is $30, now listing for $12.99). This should go into the unoccupied expansion port above the PCIe slot. This can in theory be used on any machine that has an M.2 Key E slot and has the physical clearance for the SC fiber connector at the end (maybe an Intel NUC or its myriad of clones?) Shipping is from Oceanside, NY (NYC suburb near JFK Airport), so judge your delivery dates accordingly. The description doesn't seem to make much sense, but if the manufacturer SKU is the same as the other units on eBay, it should be the same.
 
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WANg

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Okay, so my AT29M2 arrived yesterday - just 2 padded envelopes with an M.2 based adapter within. Here's a pic:



The card mounts into the optional M.2 Key E slot directly underneath the PCIe x16 slot, which is right here:



Note the single screw mounting on the board. Installation is relatively simple -


Pull the plastic blanker off and slide the card onto the slot. Secure with the small and easily missed screw within.

And here's how it look with the PCIe card replaced back on top. Yeah, it juts out, but not by much.



The NIC is recognized in most OSes as a Broacom Tigon (tg3) family adapter and does not require too much in terms of configuration. Should not be very power hungry in most cases.
 

zack$

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Okay, so my AT29M2 arrived yesterday - just 2 padded envelopes with an M.2 based adapter within. Here's a pic:



The card mounts into the optional M.2 Key E slot directly underneath the PCIe x16 slot, which is right here:



Note the single screw mounting on the board. Installation is relatively simple -


Pull the plastic blanker off and slide the card onto the slot. Secure with the small and easily missed screw within.

And here's how it look with the PCIe card replaced back on top. Yeah, it juts out, but not by much.



The NIC is recognized in most OSes as a Broacom Tigon (tg3) family adapter and does not require too much in terms of configuration. Should not be very power hungry in most cases.


Thanks for the pics ! Was thinking of getting one of these: NISK300LAN Mini-PCIe 2x Gigabit LAN Card with universal I/O bracket - Assured Systems. Think it will fit?
 

WANg

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arglebargle

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My adapter arrived today. These are brand new still sealed in their original packaging and look like SC connectors? I'll have to buy an SC to LC patch cable to play around.
 

WANg

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My adapter arrived today. These are brand new still sealed in their original packaging and look like SC connectors? I'll have to buy an SC to LC patch cable to play around.
Yep. That's why it's called the AT29M2-SC - the AT27 is a 100MBit, and the AT29 is a Gigabit card. There is an LC version (AT29M2-LC), but it's not cheap or commonly available. Frankly, considering how cheap LC to SC patch cables are, it's not really a major hassle. They do come in little manilla padded envelopes - not sure why the seller tagged it as "for Israel", since it's a worldwide product with the same SKUs. You might want to be careful with the contents, the screw for securing the card to the slot is buried deep within on a tiny little plastic baggie, and quite easy to overlook.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering if you can reuse the AT27Mini/AT29Mini cards from the t610/620s? Nope, you can't. The t730s are primarily M.2 based, while the t620s are M.2, MiniPCIe and MicroSATA (if you have the Rev. A boards), so pay attention if you buy accessories. Sorry, not everything is interchangeable between the 2 series - the RAM are both DDR3L, the M2 is standard, the PSUs are both HP 90w power bricks, and USB is USB. Everything else is a little different.
 
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arglebargle

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There really isn't room to fit something like that in these, you'd need an A+E key extender to reposition that somewhere. I've been looking at ways to (ab)use the A? E? A+E? slot and the best I could come up with is an A+E to mpcie adapter, then plug in whatever mpcie card you like.
 

WANg

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Eh, yeah. that's a rebadged version of the Innodisk M2 Ethernet cards, which did the rounds in some NUC enthusiast sites. Several problems -

a) I don't see any retailer with listings for it, and only one eBay listing where it goes for $90, almost $105 if you factor in stateside shipping.

b) I've seen listings of the 2 rather similar products, which confused the crap out of me at first, since some have 1 slot key, and others have 2.

Well, here's the Innodisk product catalog, and it turns out they offer 2 versions of the same card:

EGUL-G201 is M.2 2260, Key B, running off USB3
EGPL-G201 is M.2 2280, Key B+M, running off PCIe 2.1 x1

Both of them looks like they are using Intel I210 NICs (no SRIOV support) and not the I350 that I prefer (up to 8 PCI VFs using SRIOV), but still, not too bad though - it's significantly better than the Realteks. The Realteks either pegs your CPU or drops frames during heavy loads.

c) The Key B card on USB3 is pretty much a no-go.
 
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arglebargle

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It's worse than that - it's a Key B according to the specs, so it's either Ethernet (if it even works) or SSD, but not both.
Wait, can we clarify? Is the second m.2 slot Key B, or is the mentioned dual lan adapter Key B?

I'm pretty sure the fiber nic is A+E and the socket for it is A or E keyed, and I *thought* it linked at 1x pcie.
 

WANg

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Wait, can we clarify? Is the second m.2 slot Key B, or is the mentioned dual lan adapter Key B?

I'm pretty sure the fiber nic is A+E and the socket for it is A or E keyed, and I *thought* it linked at 1x pcie.
Whoops. leave it to the vendor not to be clear - there are 2 cards, the EGUL-G201 and the EGPL-G201. One is M2 2260 Key B and the other is M2 2280 Key B+M. The Key B one is USB3. The Key B+M one is PCIe 2.1 x1. Neither will work on the M.2 Key E slot (which is the spare one on the t730).
Well, there is that internal USB3 port for a thumbdrive, you can put the pfsense boot media on that and leave the Key B slot free.

Just to clarify, there are 2 M.2 slots on the t730 - one is Key B (for the storage) and the other is Key E (for the Wifi/Fiber NIC). You can use Key B or Key B+M SATA devices on the Key B slot - not sure about Key B PCIe devices like dualport NICs...someone will need to pick one up for cheap and test it out. The Key E slot can take Key A, E or A+E devices, which tends to be wireless/wireless+BT NICs.
 
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arglebargle

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Oof, USB nics sounds like trading one trash fire for another.

You've tested the fiber nic yeah? Is it a 1x pcie device or USB?
 

WANg

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Oof, USB nics sounds like trading one trash fire for another.

You've tested the fiber nic yeah? Is it a 1x pcie device or USB?
No no no, only the EGUL-G201 runs as a USB3 adapter. The EGPL-G201 is PCIe.
The Broadcom Tigon Fiber NIC is PCIe 2.0 x1 - the M.2 Key E interface can do PCIe x2, USB2, SDIO, UART and PCM, so this one is PCIe straight-up.
 
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tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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Sorry for trying to resurrect an old post but does anyone have recommendations for a gigabit m.2 NIC for the t730? I have like 10 of these and wanted to use one as a pfSense box. I don't want to put in a card in the PCI-E slot because it's so recessed it makes plugging/unplugging ethernet cables next to impossible for my fat fingers.

Side note, the original eBay listing is gone but I'd love to know who the seller was as I live in Oceanside, NY and it would be awesome to find a local source of cheap hardware.
 

WANg

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I didn't buy one of these at the time, but I think its this seller (new listing, lower price):

Allied Telesis AT-29M2/SC-AA-001 M.2 MULTI-MODE NETWORK ADAPTER 990-004932-001 767035207797 | eBay
Side note, the original eBay listing is gone but I'd love to know who the seller was as I live in Oceanside, NY and it would be awesome to find a local source of cheap hardware.
It's the same seller (laptopforles), and looks like homeboy moved operations from Oceanside to Huntington Station. That's pretty far away. I am not sure if he welcome local pickups, but this will be the guy you'll be dealing with.
 

tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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It's the same seller (laptopforles), and looks like homeboy moved operations from Oceanside to Huntington Station. That's pretty far away. I am not sure if he welcome local pickups, but this will be the guy you'll be dealing with.
I reached out to the guy. Says his warehouse is in Westbury so that's not so bad (Microcenter is there too so that's going to be a stop.) Waiting to get the address when I can pick up the card.
 

WANg

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I reached out to the guy. Says his warehouse is in Westbury so that's not so bad (Microcenter is there too so that's going to be a stop.) Waiting to get the address when I can pick up the card.
Hey, do me a favor and PM me the address when you have the chance? I might still have his address from the yet unopened envelope housing the second AT29M2-SC I picked up from him last August. It's a good idea to keep an eye on vendors who can provide stuff on the cheap and relatively quickly.
 

WANg

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Oh yeah, I should mention that you'll need multimode fiber (OM1 or OM2) with SC connectors to work on these cards - I just lit mine over the weekend as a part of a fiber installation job at home.
 

tomsliwowski

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Jul 23, 2019
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Oh yeah, I should mention that you'll need multimode fiber (OM1 or OM2) with SC connectors to work on these cards - I just lit mine over the weekend as a part of a fiber installation job at home.
That's good to know. When the time comes (aka when the QNAP QSW-1208-8C becomes cheap, or a cheap equivalent appears) I'll have to get an LC to SC cable.

Hehe, I just noticed I basically have my t730 set up like yours.

 
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