Using an Apple PowerBook or iBook with Mac OS X (Panther) as a wireless Wi-Fi bridge for a PS2

ps2logo.jpg I have an 802.11b Airport Base Station in a centrally-located closet. I've got a Sony Playstation 2 with a newly purchased Network Adapter, but it's located where I'd need to run a cable across the middle of the roon in order to get it online. Looking for a cheap way to get Wi-Fi to my PS2 (using materials at hand) I worked out how to get my PS2 online using the "Internet Sharing" System Preference in Mac OS X 10.3.


You'll need the following items:


ps2-network-adapter.jpg The whole system starts with the PS2 and the attached Network Adapter. That was pretty easy to connect, by simply poping off the back panel of the PS2 and sliding the Network Adapter in place and then twisting down two screws.

The Ethernet cable is a straight regular cable, not one of those fancy cross-over cables. My iBook's ethernet port is auto-sensing, which means that it can figure out if the PS2 wants a cross-over cable (uplink connection) or not and adjust accordingly. That cable then gets attached to my iBook running Mac OS X 10.3 aka Panther, though I'm guessing that 10.2 (Jaguar) could do this too.

Now the iBook already has a robust connection via Airport (802.11b) to the Airport Base Station (ABS). The ABS is plugged into a little 4 port hub that's attached to a Cisco DSL modem, and hence to an active DSL connection.

So that's the hardware layer. Let's think ahead about the addresses we're assigning to the various machines.

IP Addressing:

The network that I'm using ends up having the following sets of IP addresses:

  1. 192.168.2.x: PS2 and the iBook's Ethernet port are using this segment. The iBook is the router so it gets the slot. I gave the PS2 the (though any number between .2 and .250 would work).
  2. 10.0.1.x: The main network including the iBook's Airport connection and the Airport Base Station (ABS). The iBook's Airport connection is set to (tho that changes on a regular basis as I'm using DHCP) and the ABS is set to
  3. The ABS ends up holding my external IP address (216.99.xx.xx) but since you already have the iBook-to-Internet connection working, this should be old hat for you.


Now on the PS2's end, we first have a game in the machine and a memory card. The first network-utilizing game I've purchased is Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal. By selecting "Multiplayer" and "Online Play" I'm offered the chance to set up or configure a network configuration. Changing Network configurations means going into the PS2's built-in "Network Settings" tools.

By adding or editing an existing setting, I'm offered the chance to set the various options. collected together, for each screen, I have the following settings:

Screen 1) SCE/Ethernet

Screen 2) Used/ID Not Required

Screen 3) IP Address: Manual

Screen 4) IP Address:
Screen 4) Subnet Mask:
Screen 4) Default router:

Screen 5) Primary DNS:
Screen 5) Secondary DNS:

On the iBook's side, there are two System Preferences that we need to snuggle up with: Network and Sharing. In the Sharing panel there is a third tab that's for "Internet" sharing. On this panel I hit the big "Start" button, and I'm sharing the connection from "Airport" to computers using the "Built-in Ethernet" port.


Now we flip over to the "Network" system preferences and we set up the following pieces. For my purposes, I've placed all of these network settings as a Custom Location titled "Playstation2". In this location I make sure that my Airport and Ethernet connection are enabled.

The important selector in this preference pane is the "Show:" drop down selector. In mine, I have the following four items:

Network Status (1)
Airport (2)
Built-in Ethernet (3)
Network Port Configurations (4)

For the first settings, let's drop into the "Network Port Configurations" panel so that we can make sure that A) the Airport and Built-in Ethernet port configurations are "On", and B) the AirPort is listed higher than the Built-in Ethernet port.


As for the (2) and (3) panels we have the following:

The Trick

The "Network Status" (1) panel will probably show a green dot for the AirPort, but the Ethernet port may have a red or yellow dot. Don't worry. The PS2 only activates and powers up its Ethernet port when it's trying to actually use the network directly.


The biggest problem I've run into is getting that little red dot to change to green. Unless the green dot shows up, your connection to the online servers will not get through the Dynamic Network Authentication System (DNAS) screen. A couple of solutions that I've found so far are: A) flailing around, setting and unsetting all sorts of settings until finally something happens or B) getting everything ready to go, telling the Playstation to go ahead and login, and then while the DNAS screen is up, switching the iBook from the "Playstation2" location (In the Network system preference) to some other location and then back to the "Playstation2" location. This usually triggers my iBook to take a second look at the ethernet port.

As you might imagine, your results may vary. Any questions? Feel free to drop me a line.


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