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    iLink FAQ by metathran7

    Version: 0.1 | Updated: 07/14/01 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

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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.