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I'm writing a paper for school on Token Ring, but I'm having trouble discerning something. From what I understand, there are two types of Token Ring networks: wired, and star-wired.

I understand that a "star-wired" configuration requires a MAU that all the clients connect to. But in a "wired" configuration, is a MAU involved anywhere? Or does each computer just connect to it's siblings directly?

I've researched on the internet, but the closest thing I can find are abstract diagrams that don't say for certain whether or not a MAU is involved, and my textbook glosses over the matter.

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Ouch...Token Ring? I would personlly rther write pper on rfc 1149. – EBGreen Jan 18 '12 at 20:07
I actually picked it because I thought the Token Passing protocol was very cool and seemed like it would be fun to learn more about. :) – Mr. JavaScript Jan 18 '12 at 20:16
I'm not trying to imply that it is a difficult protocol, it just isn't particularly prevalent any more. – EBGreen Jan 18 '12 at 20:24
I agree...which seems funny to me, because in practice, it actually has a higher applied throughput then 3/4 of the Ethernet in the United States. :) – Mr. JavaScript Jan 18 '12 at 20:31
Ahh yes. Technically it is superior. Installing it is a pain (compared to Ethernet) which is why it lost. – shufler Jan 19 '12 at 0:08
up vote 2 down vote accepted

All Token Ring networks I encountered were star wired. The MAU is required. In theory you could directly connect two PCs together but for more than two you need an MAU.

here's some scribbles I did when I worked at a place that had TR

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

The Early MAUs had no electronics in them, just passive reed-relays that opened a connection as the cable was inserted. When you removed a cable the relays shorted the outlet to let the tokens across.

enter image description here

The last one is representative of one floor of a building I worked in.

The 2715s had 16 lobe ports (for PCS) 4 expansion ports (for other 2715s in a stack) and RO & RI ports (ring-out, ring-in) for connecting to other parts of the building. There could be several stacks of 2715s, each serving a separate part of the floor. The RI & RO ports were cabled back to a floor concentrator. The thing at bottom right is a router which, in this case, simply bridged each floor ring to a backbone ring that linked all the floors and the server-room.

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This. Is. AWESOME! :D – Mr. JavaScript Jan 19 '12 at 1:56

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