Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

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Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Karl Denninger
Hi folks;

Ok, one of my pet peeves is coming around to bite me again.

I filed [kern/103137: Rocketport driver is broken in 6.x] a few weeks ago
after fruitlessly trying to get the Comtrol Rocketport driver to actually
behave under 6.x.  Its fine under 5.x, but under 6.x it fails badly, either
radically delaying input characters or in some cases sending multiple copies
upstream to the application (!)  The misbehavior is grossly increased by
doing such horiffic things as using select(2) and poll(2) on an I/O stream
associated with a port.

My original posting here drew an "unofficial" patch that did not improve
things at all.

Barf.

Ok, so that card is no longer supported (even though it is listed as
supported!  I've heard nothing about the listing of it being "supported"
being removed from the hardware list, and according to the web version, it
still there!  Supported it ain't when it doesn't work at all!)

So what do I buy to replace this thing?  Well, looking at the serial
hardware claimed supported, I seem to have a problem finding anything I can
actually purchase!  I don't need real high performance - a "16550" based
multiport card is fine.  I also don't want a $1500 solution - this isn't
a $1500 problem.  $500 seems reasonable.

The Rocketport 550 looked promising, as its just a bunch of 16550s on the
PCI bus, and so should work.

Guess what?  Comtrol EOL'd the entire 550 line several months ago.  They are
now "unobtanium", and their "replacements" are all smart cards - which gets
me right back where I started!

I can't find any evidence that any of the other 4 or 8-port versions claimed
to work under the puc() driver are actually in production either - I've been
unable to find any of THOSE for sale online or otherwise.

I have several Digiboards, and the Digi driver worked last time I looked at
it (back in the 5.x days), but they're ISA.  Useless in today's machines
which are increasingly ISA-slot devoid (including all of my present line of
servers!)

So..... I have an application that requires six serial ports, and would
like ten.  5.x FreeBSD versions are being EOL'd per the announcement,
forcing me to move to 6.x.  The Comtrol driver for the "Smart"
Rocketport boards is broken in 6.x, and the PR appears to be one
that will sit and rot.

What options do I have in the FreeBSD universe here guys?  This is a
real no-BS production application that has hundreds of deployed instances,
and it is in no way "obsolete" or something I intend to stop supporting.

I know serial I/O is passe for many, but some of us have applications that
actually require it, and can't rationally be moved to anything else due
to external hardware considerations.

--
--
Karl Denninger ([hidden email]) Internet Consultant & Kids Rights Activist
http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
http://scubaforum.org                Your UNCENSORED place to talk about DIVING!
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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Matthew Jacob
I would recommend staying with FreeBSD-5.
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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Jeremy Chadwick
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 10:19:25AM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
> Hi folks;
>
> Ok, one of my pet peeves is coming around to bite me again.
>
> {snip}
>
> I know serial I/O is passe for many, but some of us have applications that
> actually require it, and can't rationally be moved to anything else due
> to external hardware considerations.

This is in no way flame-bait, nor does it have any negative
implications -- as a fellow SA I'm just curious.

What exactly are you using serial cards for in this day and age?
A serial console server (a la Cyclades TS)?  Or is there something
that's more mission-critical (for lack-of better term).

I guess my question is: what are you using these cards for, and
can whatever the goal is be accomplished by some alternate hardware
(serial-via-USB adaptors/hubs, serial-over-IP, etc.)?

BTW -- I completely agree with you about the cost of these cards,
especially so in 2006.  There is absolutely no justified explanation
for such a card costing US$1500, or even US$500.  These are ICs and
basic PCBs that at most cost US$20 per device -- the profit mark-up
is appalling.

--
| Jeremy Chadwick                                 jdc at parodius.com |
| Parodius Networking                        http://www.parodius.com/ |
| UNIX Systems Administrator                   Mountain View, CA, USA |
| Making life hard for others since 1977.               PGP: 4BD6C0CB |

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Karl Denninger
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 12:08:22PM -0700, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 10:19:25AM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
> > Hi folks;
> >
> > Ok, one of my pet peeves is coming around to bite me again.
> >
> > {snip}
> >
> > I know serial I/O is passe for many, but some of us have applications that
> > actually require it, and can't rationally be moved to anything else due
> > to external hardware considerations.
>
> This is in no way flame-bait, nor does it have any negative
> implications -- as a fellow SA I'm just curious.

Fair enough.

> What exactly are you using serial cards for in this day and age?
> A serial console server (a la Cyclades TS)?  Or is there something
> that's more mission-critical (for lack-of better term).
>
> I guess my question is: what are you using these cards for, and
> can whatever the goal is be accomplished by some alternate hardware
> (serial-via-USB adaptors/hubs, serial-over-IP, etc.)?

Two things:

1. Fax servers running traditional fax modems.  There's a HUGE installed
   base of fax modems that run on POTS lines and there's simply no
   justification for moving to something like a channelized T1 system
   for people who need a half-dozen ports (but not 20+!)

2. Embedded control systems.  There is some hardware either is RS232 or,
   for "floor automation" type stuff, is RS-422/485.  The latter is easily
   converted to using a little dongle, but it requires a 232 port on the
   computer end <and that port must actually work correctly.>

Both of these applications are timing critical or they don't work at all.

Much of the latter hardware is still only available in a serial interface,
no matter the cost.  It is not high-data-rate by any means (typically 4800
or 9600 bps) but it is what it is.

Serial over IP will not work for either.  Serial-via-USB might, and I will
look into that, but I suspect I'm going to get in trouble with that one,
especially if I have to toggle control signals (e.g. DTR, etc) or support
hardware flow control (and for the fax servers, you DO need it if you expect
things to work correctly.)

FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
its hands when you plug it in.  I wasn't aware that the USB to Serial
converters would work - I can try them, but there are a lot of those out
there that don't work right even under Windows - expecting them to under
FreeBSD might be asking too much.

The problem that is nailing me particularly hard right now is the second one
- I have embedded control systems that I speak to over a RS-232 interface
(the devices are actually '485 on a common bus but talked to via a 232/485
converter) and it simply does not work on 6.x using the Comtrol driver
at all.  100ms delays and the like are one thing - we're talking about
delays in characters reaching the application of one second or more, and in
some cases either characters or entire <frames> (e.g. a burst of characters)
are being <repeated!>  When you're trying to manage a synchronous polling
protocol this sort of error makes the software on the other end throw up in
a really ugly way, since it looks like there's a fault in the equipment on
the other end or the wire has been compromised.

With FreeBSD 5.x being EOL'd this is now turning into a critical problem.  
I can't in good conscience put packages out there that have been EOL'd nor
offer meaningful support on them. While 5.4 has been reasonably stable for
some time, that is now declared a "dead" release.  5.5 is similarly on that
road.  The only right path forward is into the 6.x world, but I can't get
there from where I am now unless this problem can be resolved.

> BTW -- I completely agree with you about the cost of these cards,
> especially so in 2006.  There is absolutely no justified explanation
> for such a card costing US$1500, or even US$500.  These are ICs and
> basic PCBs that at most cost US$20 per device -- the profit mark-up
> is appalling.

I don't mind the $500 cards (the $1500 ones are another matter!)  I very much
mind that it appears I can't find a board on the market today that works!  
For FreeBSD to not differentiate between hardware in their lists that is
actually deliverable today and that which is historical is problematic
when one tries to go shopping.  If you look at the current "serial hardware"
list you will see a LOT of stuff that simply isn't made any more - and very
little that is.

I gave up on Specialix a number of years ago after similar problems showed
up in some of their drivers for a different OS and they were unwilling to
fix them.  Digi has always been pretty solid, but they are passe' now and
while I have a nice stock of ISA interface cards, finding motherboards
with ISA slots is rapidly becoming impossible.

Among the PCI cards only Comtrol appears to be really "in the market" with
anything current, and driver support in FreeBSD doesn't exist - despite the
claim in the Hardware Notes that its "supported", it in fact hasn't worked
properly since 6.0.

IMHO either FreeBSD's team needs to find a fix for these things or take 'em
out of the supported hardware list so that when people go looking they don't
waste time (and potentially quite a bit of money) buying something that
doesn't function.

--
--
Karl Denninger ([hidden email]) Internet Consultant & Kids Rights Activist
http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
http://scubaforum.org                Your UNCENSORED place to talk about DIVING!
http://genesis3.blogspot.com        Musings Of A Sentient Mind


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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

mdtancsa
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
At 11:19 AM 10/5/2006, Karl Denninger wrote:

>So what do I buy to replace this thing?  Well, looking at the serial
>hardware claimed supported, I seem to have a problem finding anything I can
>actually purchase!  I don't need real high performance - a "16550" based
>multiport card is fine.  I also don't want a $1500 solution - this isn't
>a $1500 problem.  $500 seems reasonable.

I use a lot of 4 port Lava cards on RELENG_6.  They are about $80
CDN. I have also used the PCI cards and USB FTDI based adaptors in
the past at http://www.byterunner.com/

puc1: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> port
0xbc00-0xbc07,0xb800-0xb807 irq 17 at device 2.0 on pci1
sio5: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc1
sio5: type 16550A
sio5: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
sio6: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc1
sio6: type 16550A
sio6: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
puc2: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> port
0xc400-0xc407,0xc000-0xc007 irq 17 at device 2.1 on pci1
sio7: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc2
sio7: type 16550A
sio7: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
sio8: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc2
sio8: type 16550A
sio8: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode

I have one box where 2 4 port cards live together (zoo.freebsd.org)

[zoo]% uname -a
FreeBSD zoo.freebsd.org 6.1-STABLE FreeBSD 6.1-STABLE #6: Fri Aug 18
06:16:39 EDT 2006     [hidden email]:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/ZOO  i386
[zoo]%

puc0: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> port
0xdf00-0xdf07,0xde00-0xde07 irq 20 at device 0.0 on pci2
sio4: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc0
sio4: type 16550A
sio4: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
sio5: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc0
sio5: type 16550A
sio5: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
puc1: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> port
0xdd00-0xdd07,0xdc00-0xdc07 irq 20 at device 0.1 on pci2
sio6: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc1
sio6: type 16550A
sio6: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
sio7: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc1
sio7: type 16550A
sio7: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
puc2: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> port
0xdb00-0xdb07,0xda00-0xda07 irq 21 at device 1.0 on pci2
sio8: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc2
sio8: type 16550A
sio8: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
sio9: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc2
sio9: type 16550A
sio9: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
puc3: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> port
0xd900-0xd907,0xd800-0xd807 irq 21 at device 1.1 on pci2
sio10: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc3
sio10: type 16550A
sio10: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode
sio11: <Lava Computers Quattro-PCI serial port> on puc3
sio11: type 16550A
sio11: unable to activate interrupt in fast mode - using normal mode

         ---Mike


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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Bob Johnson-4
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
On 10/5/06, Karl Denninger <[hidden email]> wrote:
[...]
> > > I know serial I/O is passe for many, but some of us have applications
> that
> > > actually require it, and can't rationally be moved to anything else due
> > > to external hardware considerations.
> >
[...]
> Serial over IP will not work for either.  Serial-via-USB might, and I will
> look into that, but I suspect I'm going to get in trouble with that one,
> especially if I have to toggle control signals (e.g. DTR, etc) or support
> hardware flow control (and for the fax servers, you DO need it if you expect
> things to work correctly.)

I have used USB-to-serial converters with no problem. All the control
signals (at least the ones my applications need) seem to work
correctly. I don't remember any brands or models off hand, I bought
what was cheap as I needed them and they all worked. "Cheap" means
under $20 delivered (for one port).

>
> FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
> apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
> itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
> its hands when you plug it in.  I wasn't aware that the USB to Serial
> converters would work - I can try them, but there are a lot of those out
> there that don't work right even under Windows - expecting them to under
> FreeBSD might be asking too much.

I've had no problem getting them to work in FreeBSD. I've had some
trouble getting them to work in WIndows. YMMV, but they are so dirt
cheap that the time it takes to test one will likely be more
significant than the cost of the device.  "man uplcom" will give you
an idea of what chipsets to look for, although determining the chipset
in one of those things is frequently impossible. The uvscom driver
seems to support another chipset, but none of my devices use it so I
don't know how well it works.

At the moment I can't tell you what version of FreeBSD I'm using these
under, probably 5.3, maybe 6.0.  It isn't reachable to me from where I
am.

- Bob
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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Brooks Davis
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 03:21:44PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
>
> FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
> apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
> itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
> its hands when you plug it in.

This is false for at least the APC SmartUPS the machine I'm sending this
from is connected to.  I wouldn't be suprised if it was true once, but
it isn't today.

ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2

-- Brooks

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Eugene Grosbein
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 03:21:44PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:

> FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.

Yes.

>  For example,
> apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
> itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
> its hands when you plug it in.

apcupsd works with FreeBSD 4.11-STABLE and later. It uses ugen(4)
interface to talk with UPS. It has no problems with my BackUPS CS 500.

Do not try it with 4.11-RELEASE, though - it won't work.

Eugene Grosbein
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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Dmitry Pryanishnikov
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger

Hello!

On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
> The problem that is nailing me particularly hard right now is the second one
> - I have embedded control systems that I speak to over a RS-232 interface
> (the devices are actually '485 on a common bus but talked to via a 232/485
> converter) and it simply does not work on 6.x using the Comtrol driver
> at all.  100ms delays and the like are one thing - we're talking about
> delays in characters reaching the application of one second or more, and in

   What makes me wonder is whether delays you're seeing have the same nature
as recent watchdog timeouts on various Gbit NICs observed by many RELENG_6
users (interrupt processing scheduling problem I suspect), or they're strictly
rp(4)-specific.

> With FreeBSD 5.x being EOL'd this is now turning into a critical problem.
> I can't in good conscience put packages out there that have been EOL'd nor
> offer meaningful support on them. While 5.4 has been reasonably stable for
> some time, that is now declared a "dead" release.  5.5 is similarly on that
> road.  The only right path forward is into the 6.x world, but I can't get
> there from where I am now unless this problem can be resolved.

   If I were you, I'd try to prepare easy-repeatable test case so developer
(or just curious and clever person) who has Comtrol Serial Port Card could
recreate the problem. And no, I don't have either hardware or time available.

[ Cost considerations are totally skipped cause they're irrelevant to software
regressions like the one you're seeing... ]

Sincerely, Dmitry
--
Atlantis ISP, System Administrator
e-mail:  [hidden email]
nic-hdl: LYNX-RIPE
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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Guy Helmer
In reply to this post by Brooks Davis
Brooks Davis wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 03:21:44PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
>  
>> FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
>> apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
>> itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
>> its hands when you plug it in.
>>    
>
> This is false for at least the APC SmartUPS the machine I'm sending this
> from is connected to.  I wouldn't be suprised if it was true once, but
> it isn't today.
>
> ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2
>  
The uhid driver used to grab the APC USB device, but I think someone
added a quirk in 6.1 to stop it so the ugen driver would get it instead.

Guy

--
Guy Helmer, Ph.D.
Chief System Architect
Palisade Systems, Inc.

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Karl Denninger
In reply to this post by Bob Johnson-4
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 05:04:41PM -0400, Bob Johnson wrote:

> On 10/5/06, Karl Denninger <[hidden email]> wrote:
> [...]
> >> > I know serial I/O is passe for many, but some of us have applications
> >that
> >> > actually require it, and can't rationally be moved to anything else due
> >> > to external hardware considerations.
> >>
> I have used USB-to-serial converters with no problem. All the control
> signals (at least the ones my applications need) seem to work
> correctly. I don't remember any brands or models off hand, I bought
> what was cheap as I needed them and they all worked. "Cheap" means
> under $20 delivered (for one port).

Interesting.

Now, what happens when you reboot?  Do they come back in random order?
That won't work!  I need to know that port 2 will BE Port 2 the next time
the machine comes up....

--
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http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
http://scubaforum.org                Your UNCENSORED place to talk about DIVING!
http://genesis3.blogspot.com        Musings Of A Sentient Mind


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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Karl Denninger
In reply to this post by Brooks Davis
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 04:04:47PM -0500, Brooks Davis wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 03:21:44PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
> >
> > FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
> > apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
> > itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
> > its hands when you plug it in.
>
> This is false for at least the APC SmartUPS the machine I'm sending this
> from is connected to.  I wouldn't be suprised if it was true once, but
> it isn't today.
>
> ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2

Does apcupsd connect to it?  I tried this back on 5.x and it failed
miserably.  It identified the unit, but wouldn't talk to it.

--
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http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
http://scubaforum.org                Your UNCENSORED place to talk about DIVING!
http://genesis3.blogspot.com        Musings Of A Sentient Mind


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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Karl Denninger
In reply to this post by Dmitry Pryanishnikov
On Fri, Oct 06, 2006 at 12:22:09AM +0300, Dmitry Pryanishnikov wrote:

>
> Hello!
>
> On Thu, 5 Oct 2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
> >The problem that is nailing me particularly hard right now is the second
> >one
> >- I have embedded control systems that I speak to over a RS-232 interface
> >(the devices are actually '485 on a common bus but talked to via a 232/485
> >converter) and it simply does not work on 6.x using the Comtrol driver
> >at all.  100ms delays and the like are one thing - we're talking about
> >delays in characters reaching the application of one second or more, and in
>
>   What makes me wonder is whether delays you're seeing have the same nature
> as recent watchdog timeouts on various Gbit NICs observed by many RELENG_6
> users (interrupt processing scheduling problem I suspect), or they're
> strictly rp(4)-specific.

It might be.  I am NOT having problems with em0 however, and I DO have it in
the box....

> >With FreeBSD 5.x being EOL'd this is now turning into a critical problem.
> >I can't in good conscience put packages out there that have been EOL'd nor
> >offer meaningful support on them. While 5.4 has been reasonably stable for
> >some time, that is now declared a "dead" release.  5.5 is similarly on that
> >road.  The only right path forward is into the 6.x world, but I can't get
> >there from where I am now unless this problem can be resolved.
>
>   If I were you, I'd try to prepare easy-repeatable test case so developer
> (or just curious and clever person) who has Comtrol Serial Port Card could
> recreate the problem. And no, I don't have either hardware or time
> available.

Its easy for me to do that, but so far nobody has picked up the PR.

--
--
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http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Brooks Davis
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 07:09:56PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 04:04:47PM -0500, Brooks Davis wrote:
> > On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 03:21:44PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
> > >
> > > FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
> > > apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
> > > itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
> > > its hands when you plug it in.
> >
> > This is false for at least the APC SmartUPS the machine I'm sending this
> > from is connected to.  I wouldn't be suprised if it was true once, but
> > it isn't today.
> >
> > ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2
>
> Does apcupsd connect to it?  I tried this back on 5.x and it failed
> miserably.  It identified the unit, but wouldn't talk to it.
Yes.  I get notifications of power failures and can query status.

-- Brooks

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

mdtancsa
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
At 08:09 PM 10/5/2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
> >
> > ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB
> FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2
>
>Does apcupsd connect to it?  I tried this back on 5.x and it failed
>miserably.  It identified the unit, but wouldn't talk to it.

I literally have 150+ remote FreeBSD boxes with them and they succeed
fantastically...  They are configured to shut down the box and power
to the UPS outlets on power failure with 25% battery left.  All the
notification hooks work as expected.  They have been working for me
since the 5.x days. I have a few in the field running on 5.4 boxes
(May 2005) without issue. (ugen0: APC Back-UPS ES 725 FW:802.n2.D USB
FW:n2, rev 1.10/1.06, addr 2)

[ps0006]# apcaccess
APC      : 001,034,0908
DATE     : Thu Oct 05 20:28:56 EDT 2006
HOSTNAME : ps0006.sentex.ca
RELEASE  : 3.10.18
VERSION  : 3.10.18 (21 July 2005) freebsd
UPSNAME  : RAPIDS
CABLE    : USB Cable
MODEL    : Back-UPS ES 500
UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
STARTTIME: Wed Jun 14 11:00:07 EDT 2006
STATUS   : ONLINE
LINEV    : 120.0 Volts
LOADPCT  :  12.0 Percent Load Capacity
BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
TIMELEFT :  29.9 Minutes
MBATTCHG : 25 Percent
MINTIMEL : -1 Minutes
MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
LOTRANS  : 088.0 Volts
HITRANS  : 139.0 Volts
ALARMDEL : 30 seconds
BATTV    : 13.6 Volts
NUMXFERS : 19
XONBATT  : Mon Sep 25 10:53:00 EDT 2006
TONBATT  : 0 seconds
CUMONBATT: 173 seconds
XOFFBATT : Mon Sep 25 10:53:02 EDT 2006
STATFLAG : 0x02000008 Status Flag
MANDATE  : 2005-10-13
SERIALNO : JB0542018502
BATTDATE : 2000-00-00
NOMBATTV :  12.0
FIRMWARE : 24.B1.D USB FW:B1
APCMODEL : Back-UPS ES 500
END APC  : Thu Oct 05 20:28:57 EDT 2006
[ps0006]# usbdevs
addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
  addr 2: Back-UPS ES 500 FW:824.B1.D USB FW:B1, APC
addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
addr 1: EHCI root hub, VIA
[ps0006]#  

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

freebsd-10
In reply to this post by Brooks Davis
On 2006-10-05, Brooks Davis wrote:

> On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 07:09:56PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
> > On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 04:04:47PM -0500, Brooks Davis wrote:
> > > On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 03:21:44PM -0500, Karl Denninger wrote:
> > > >
> > > > FreeBSD's USB support has always been somewhat deficient.  For example,
> > > > apcupsd can't talk to their UPSs over the USB bus, even though the software
> > > > itself knows how, because FreeBSD doesn't know what a UPS is and throws up
> > > > its hands when you plug it in.
> > >
> > > This is false for at least the APC SmartUPS the machine I'm sending this
> > > from is connected to.  I wouldn't be suprised if it was true once, but
> > > it isn't today.
> > >
> > > ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2
> >
> > Does apcupsd connect to it?  I tried this back on 5.x and it failed
> > miserably.  It identified the unit, but wouldn't talk to it.
>
> Yes.  I get notifications of power failures and can query status.

I don't know what you guys are doing right, but it doesn't work
right for me on

    $ uname -srm
    FreeBSD 6.1-RELEASE amd64

I do get some results: this is the console when it's connected:

    ugen1: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.I USB FW:7.3, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 6

I find that apcaccess gives much less info from the USB port
than it does from the RS232 port (on the same hardware) and
apctest (which I want to use to set eprom values) doesn't work
at all.  This is very irritating, as I'd like to use my only
serial port for a remote console.

For now, I've gone back to using the serial port.  But I'd love
the USB to work fully.

Greg

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Karl Denninger
In reply to this post by mdtancsa
What's your config like?  I hooked the USB back up and it identified, but
when I told it to use USB and specified the device, it panics (the software,
not the machine) with a complaint about not being able to talk to the UPS.

Works perfectly on a serial port...

--
--
Karl Denninger ([hidden email]) Internet Consultant & Kids Rights Activist
http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
http://scubaforum.org                Your UNCENSORED place to talk about DIVING!
http://genesis3.blogspot.com        Musings Of A Sentient Mind

On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 08:35:32PM -0400, Mike Tancsa wrote:

> At 08:09 PM 10/5/2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
> >>
> >> ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB
> >FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2
> >
> >Does apcupsd connect to it?  I tried this back on 5.x and it failed
> >miserably.  It identified the unit, but wouldn't talk to it.
>
> I literally have 150+ remote FreeBSD boxes with them and they succeed
> fantastically...  They are configured to shut down the box and power
> to the UPS outlets on power failure with 25% battery left.  All the
> notification hooks work as expected.  They have been working for me
> since the 5.x days. I have a few in the field running on 5.4 boxes
> (May 2005) without issue. (ugen0: APC Back-UPS ES 725 FW:802.n2.D USB
> FW:n2, rev 1.10/1.06, addr 2)
>
> [ps0006]# apcaccess
> APC      : 001,034,0908
> DATE     : Thu Oct 05 20:28:56 EDT 2006
> HOSTNAME : ps0006.sentex.ca
> RELEASE  : 3.10.18
> VERSION  : 3.10.18 (21 July 2005) freebsd
> UPSNAME  : RAPIDS
> CABLE    : USB Cable
> MODEL    : Back-UPS ES 500
> UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
> STARTTIME: Wed Jun 14 11:00:07 EDT 2006
> STATUS   : ONLINE
> LINEV    : 120.0 Volts
> LOADPCT  :  12.0 Percent Load Capacity
> BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
> TIMELEFT :  29.9 Minutes
> MBATTCHG : 25 Percent
> MINTIMEL : -1 Minutes
> MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
> LOTRANS  : 088.0 Volts
> HITRANS  : 139.0 Volts
> ALARMDEL : 30 seconds
> BATTV    : 13.6 Volts
> NUMXFERS : 19
> XONBATT  : Mon Sep 25 10:53:00 EDT 2006
> TONBATT  : 0 seconds
> CUMONBATT: 173 seconds
> XOFFBATT : Mon Sep 25 10:53:02 EDT 2006
> STATFLAG : 0x02000008 Status Flag
> MANDATE  : 2005-10-13
> SERIALNO : JB0542018502
> BATTDATE : 2000-00-00
> NOMBATTV :  12.0
> FIRMWARE : 24.B1.D USB FW:B1
> APCMODEL : Back-UPS ES 500
> END APC  : Thu Oct 05 20:28:57 EDT 2006
> [ps0006]# usbdevs
> addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
>  addr 2: Back-UPS ES 500 FW:824.B1.D USB FW:B1, APC
> addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> addr 1: EHCI root hub, VIA
> [ps0006]#  
>
> _______________________________________________
> [hidden email] mailing list
> http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-stable
> To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"
>
>
> %SPAMBLOCK-SYS: Matched [@freebsd.org+], message ok


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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

mdtancsa
At 09:49 PM 10/5/2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
>What's your config like?  I hooked the USB back up and it identified, but
>when I told it to use USB and specified the device

I think it says in the docs not to specify the device.


>, it panics (the software,
>not the machine) with a complaint about not being able to talk to the UPS.


UPSNAME STATN
UPSCABLE usb
UPSTYPE usb
DEVICE
LOCKFILE /var/spool/lock
ONBATTERYDELAY 7
BATTERYLEVEL 25
MINUTES -1
TIMEOUT 0
ANNOY 10
ANNOYDELAY 10
NOLOGON disable
KILLDELAY 2
NETSERVER on
NISIP 127.0.0.1
NISPORT 3551
EVENTSFILE /var/log/apcupsd.events
EVENTSFILEMAX 100
UPSCLASS standalone
UPSMODE disable
STATTIME 600
STATFILE /var/log/apcupsd.status
LOGSTATS off
DATATIME 600
FACILITY local2
UPSNAME STN
SENSITIVITY H
WAKEUP 010
SLEEP 000
RETURNCHARGE 00
BEEPSTATE T
SELFTEST 336

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

mdtancsa
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
At 09:49 PM 10/5/2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
>What's your config like?  I hooked the USB back up and it identified, but
>when I told it to use USB and specified the device, it panics (the software,
>not the machine) with a complaint about not being able to talk to the UPS.
>
>Works perfectly on a serial port...

 From the documentation at

http://www.apcupsd.org/manual/Configuration_Examples.html#SECTION000131000000000000000


If you have a USB UPS, and you have apcupsd version 3.10.7 (3.10.17a
for *BSD) or higher, the essential elements of your apcupsd.conf file
should look like the following:


      ## apcupsd.conf v1.1 ##
      UPSCABLE usb
      UPSTYPE usb
      DEVICE
      LOCKFILE /var/lock
      UPSCLASS standalone
      UPSMODE disable

Notice that we have not specified a device. In doing so, apcupsd will
try all the well known USB ports. We strongly recommend you use this
(empty device address) form unless you have a good reason to do otherwise.



>--
>--
>Karl Denninger ([hidden email]) Internet Consultant & Kids Rights Activist
>http://www.denninger.net        My home on the net - links to everything I do!
>http://scubaforum.org           Your UNCENSORED place to talk about DIVING!
>http://genesis3.blogspot.com    Musings Of A Sentient Mind
>
>On Thu, Oct 05, 2006 at 08:35:32PM -0400, Mike Tancsa wrote:
> > At 08:09 PM 10/5/2006, Karl Denninger wrote:
> > >>
> > >> ugen0: American Power Conversion Smart-UPS 750 FW:651.12.D USB
> > >FW:4.2, rev 1.10/0.06, addr 2
> > >
> > >Does apcupsd connect to it?  I tried this back on 5.x and it failed
> > >miserably.  It identified the unit, but wouldn't talk to it.
> >
> > I literally have 150+ remote FreeBSD boxes with them and they succeed
> > fantastically...  They are configured to shut down the box and power
> > to the UPS outlets on power failure with 25% battery left.  All the
> > notification hooks work as expected.  They have been working for me
> > since the 5.x days. I have a few in the field running on 5.4 boxes
> > (May 2005) without issue. (ugen0: APC Back-UPS ES 725 FW:802.n2.D USB
> > FW:n2, rev 1.10/1.06, addr 2)
> >
> > [ps0006]# apcaccess
> > APC      : 001,034,0908
> > DATE     : Thu Oct 05 20:28:56 EDT 2006
> > HOSTNAME : ps0006.sentex.ca
> > RELEASE  : 3.10.18
> > VERSION  : 3.10.18 (21 July 2005) freebsd
> > UPSNAME  : RAPIDS
> > CABLE    : USB Cable
> > MODEL    : Back-UPS ES 500
> > UPSMODE  : Stand Alone
> > STARTTIME: Wed Jun 14 11:00:07 EDT 2006
> > STATUS   : ONLINE
> > LINEV    : 120.0 Volts
> > LOADPCT  :  12.0 Percent Load Capacity
> > BCHARGE  : 100.0 Percent
> > TIMELEFT :  29.9 Minutes
> > MBATTCHG : 25 Percent
> > MINTIMEL : -1 Minutes
> > MAXTIME  : 0 Seconds
> > LOTRANS  : 088.0 Volts
> > HITRANS  : 139.0 Volts
> > ALARMDEL : 30 seconds
> > BATTV    : 13.6 Volts
> > NUMXFERS : 19
> > XONBATT  : Mon Sep 25 10:53:00 EDT 2006
> > TONBATT  : 0 seconds
> > CUMONBATT: 173 seconds
> > XOFFBATT : Mon Sep 25 10:53:02 EDT 2006
> > STATFLAG : 0x02000008 Status Flag
> > MANDATE  : 2005-10-13
> > SERIALNO : JB0542018502
> > BATTDATE : 2000-00-00
> > NOMBATTV :  12.0
> > FIRMWARE : 24.B1.D USB FW:B1
> > APCMODEL : Back-UPS ES 500
> > END APC  : Thu Oct 05 20:28:57 EDT 2006
> > [ps0006]# usbdevs
> > addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> >  addr 2: Back-UPS ES 500 FW:824.B1.D USB FW:B1, APC
> > addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> > addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> > addr 1: UHCI root hub, VIA
> > addr 1: EHCI root hub, VIA
> > [ps0006]#
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > [hidden email] mailing list
> > http://lists.freebsd.org/mailman/listinfo/freebsd-stable
> > To unsubscribe, send any mail to "[hidden email]"
> >
> >
> > %SPAMBLOCK-SYS: Matched [@freebsd.org+], message ok

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Re: Recommendations for a serial port card you can actually BUY?

Jan Martin Mikkelsen
In reply to this post by Karl Denninger
Hi,

Karl Denninger wrote:

> So..... I have an application that requires six serial ports, and would
> like ten.  5.x FreeBSD versions are being EOL'd per the announcement,
> forcing me to move to 6.x.  The Comtrol driver for the "Smart"
> Rocketport boards is broken in 6.x, and the PR appears to be one
> that will sit and rot.
>
> What options do I have in the FreeBSD universe here guys?  This is a
> real no-BS production application that has hundreds of deployed instances,
> and it is in no way "obsolete" or something I intend to stop supporting.
>
> I know serial I/O is passe for many, but some of us have applications that
> actually require it, and can't rationally be moved to anything else due
> to external hardware considerations.

I do serial I/O a bit.  I use USB to RS232 and USB to RS485/RS422 devices.
There are a bunch of vendors, they are cheap and seem to work well.  I have
also seen (but not used) 4 port versions of these things, and I wouldn't be
surprised if you could find an eight port version as well.

Regards,

Jan Mikkelsen

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