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External console control for terminals

Greg Brown gregb_ka6max@hotmail.com
Thu, 15 Apr 2004 13:54:04 -0700 (PDT)

To all Conserveraffectionados,

I am considering building an external piece of hardware that will permit the console manager to control whether a terminal close to the host, as well as the host, is also connected and able to display, and/or able to transmit keyboard information to the host. This device would be a simple "Y" connection on the host's transmit data leads, allowing the local terminal and the remote conserver to see every character from the host. However, transmit data from the local terminal, or from the conserver, could be remotely interrupted.

It may be necessary to use a device like this for several reasons:

Some hosts I deal with, like HP3000s, have a "block mode" which causes the terminals to "answer back" with cursor positions, etc. If a remote terminal is connected, via conserver, and a local terminal near the host is also connected, and the host enquires information from the terminal, it will get 2 responses if both are able to respond.

Sometimes it is necessary to grab the console from the local terminal so that the remote console operator is assured he or she is in complete control of the session during critical installations. And the opposite may be necessary for the same reason.

I have made other devices on this scale and can do my own printed circuitboard design.

My question to the group is: Does anyone know of a device that does this and which is already available? I am exploring a software feature of the MRV In Reach terminal server that is supposed to have this functionality, but I have not yet tested it. If something already exists out there, I would prefer to use it, rather than "re-invent the wheel." I know that ASP makes a Cat Walk box that comes with each host licensed for their Vantage program, but I don't think they sell this separately.

Conserver is a great product. The additional capability of this device would make it possible to add another class of machines to those that I can currently manage.

Thanks for any help you can lend me,

Greg Brown
Midrange Communications Specialist
CSC San Diego Data Center

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