It is currently Fri Sep 22, 2017 7:21 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]

Recent News:



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 124 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 9  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:52 pm 
Offline
2.5TB storage
2.5TB storage

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:52 pm
Posts: 217
Thanks: 12
Thanked: 61 times in 32 posts
The cable in this forum posting (the Gen2 cable) has been deprecated and is no longer being offered. The contents of this post are here strictly for historical purposes.

Want to connect a VGA monitor to your HP MediaSmart server/Acer easyStore computer? Check out the new and improved Gen3 cable!.

I am running a small and humble cable building service to all my HP MediaSmart Server comrades who wish to have a VGA and/or PS2 Keyboard/Mouse and/or Serial cable and would rather buy (and not build) a cable.

Why should you buy a cable?
-- You want to play with the BIOS settings or re-flash your BIOS
-- You want to boot from a USB stick to install another OS (Linux, Windows Server 2008, OpenSolaris)
-- You are a software/kernel/addons developer
-- You want to tinker but not risk shorting your MediaSmart Server
-- You don't have the time to build your own cable
-- You don't want to buy expensive tools for a one time project
-- You want the ability to troubleshoot any bootup problems without running a recovery that will destroy existing data
-- Buying is cheaper than building!

Price:
-- $60.00 USD for the VGA Assembly[DISCONTINUED. See the Gen3 cable instead.]
-- $70.00 USD for the VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse Assembly [DISCONTINUED. See the Gen3 cable instead.]
-- $90.00 USD for the VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse + Serial Assembly (The Complete Set) [DISCONTINUED. See the Gen3 cable instead.]
-- Texas residents must add 8.25% sales tax to their order.

Shipping:
-- $5.00 USD via regular mail to USA (3-7 business day delivery time, no insurance, no tracking number)
-- $8.00 USD via registered mail to USA - lower 48 states (3 business day delivery time, insured with tracking number)
-- $5.00 USD via regular mail to Canada (5-15 business day delivery time, no insurance, no tracking number)
-- $32.00 USD via registered mail to Canada (4-8 business day delivery time, insured with tracking number)
-- $32.00 USD via registered mail to Europe (4-8 business day delivery time, insured with tracking number)
-- $32.00 USD via registered mail to all other places.
Note: I do not do non-registered mail overseas.

Non-registered mail means that your cable is not insured and not tracked during shipping.
Registered mail means that your cable is insured and tracked during shipping. No P.O. Box shipping please (this is not my wishes, but the courier's wishes).

About International Shipments:
Typically items that are under one pound (16 ounces) and less than $100 in value are not charged duties and taxes. However, it is at the discretion of the customs officer who handles that particular package on that particular day. You (the buyer) are responsible to pay any duties or taxes that your country decides to charge (if any). If this is your first International order, please take the time to review your country's import laws and taxes before making the order (so there are no surprises). Some countries in Europe may charge approximately £10-£25 to import the cable. Please check with your country's import laws to determine the exact fees (if any). There may be shipping delays if the VAT fees are not paid.

Non-registered shipments to Canada (via United States Postal Service) does not require a customs form for items that are less than one pound (16 ounces) and less than $100 in value. However, you get no tracking and no responsibility for lost packages. If a cable is lost via non-registered mail, I will not ship a replacement cable. You pay less but take more risks.

In the unlikely event that your cable is lost in shipment, customers who ordered their cable via registered mail will get a replacement cable immediately.

Notes:
-- The cable assembly consists of a printed circuit board (PCB) inside an enclosure with a 26 terminal pass-through cable.
-- Cable is 18 inches (45.72 centimeters) long and 0.5 inches (2.54 centimeters) thick.
-- The cable assembly ships 1-3 business days after payment is cleared.
-- All shipments are made from Austin, Texas, USA.
-- Payment is made via PayPal (http://www.paypal.com).
-- You will be doing business with a company called VOV Technology.
-- Be sure you have read and understood the "Known Issues" section (below) before placing an order.
-- All sales are final. Items that arrive defective are replaced if reported within seven days of arrival. Customer pays the shipping for returned products. Replacement assembly is shipped when returned assembly is received (undamaged)--no cross shipping.

Hardware Compatibility:
-- The HP MediaSmart Server EX-470 and EX-475
-- The HP MediaSmart Server EX-485 and EX-487 *
-- The Acer Aspire easyStore H340 *
-- (The HP MediaSmart Server EX-490 and EX-495 is NOT OFFICIALLY supported yet.)
-- (The HP StorageWorks X510 DataVault is NOT OFFICIALLY supported yet.)

If you are interested, email me** at "mss_cable_service<at>vovtech<dot>com" with:
[The Gen2 cable is discontinued in favor of the Gen3 cable.]
1. The cable specifications (VGA only or VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse or VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse + Serial) and price (as stated above).
2. Your first and last name
3. The address where the cable should be shipped***
4. Your shipping preference (registered or non-registered mail). Note: If you are interested in a faster delivery option, let me know and I will quote you a price.
5. Your phone number (registered mail requires the destination phone number)
6. (OPTIONAL) Let me know your Windows Home Server box (i.e HP EX-485, Acer H340, other) to receive a free jumper (while supplies last).
7. (OPTIONAL) Tell me something funny/interesting about yourself that puts a face to this cable. :-)
[The Gen2 cable is discontinued in favor of the Gen3 cable.]

* Requires a jumper to unlock the the PS2 keyboard and PS2 mouse capabilities. Instructions can be found here and here.
** If you already have a PayPal account, please send your cable request from the email address bound to your PayPal account.
*** Your shipping address must match your PayPal address (for security reasons and to qualify for PayPal's buyer/seller protection program). Your cable will, by default, ship to the address specified at the PayPal transaction.

Upon receiving your request, you will receive a PayPal invoice from VOV Technology. Your cable will ship one to two business days after your payment has cleared. You will receive an email alert that will confirm shipment (along with tracking info if applicable).

Why should you buy a cable from me?
I have been building the cable adapters for this community since May of 2007 and I have had many happy customers. Plus, you are doing business with an official company (VOV Technology).

Thanks and happy MSS tweaking!
Charles


Attachments:
File comment: An example of the complete set (VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse + Serial) assembly. The cable is 18 inches (46 cm), which is perfect for almost any installation.
GI0F5090 (Medium).JPG
GI0F5090 (Medium).JPG [ 34.87 KiB | Viewed 118309 times ]
File comment: Some users prefer not to damage their HP MediaSmart Server, so they install their cable coming up the back of their box and out one of the spare hard drive bays. The assembly can sit comfortably in a closed drawer and that drawer can be opened when needed to troubleshoot problems.
GI0F5138 (Medium).JPG
GI0F5138 (Medium).JPG [ 34.7 KiB | Viewed 118305 times ]
File comment: Some enthusiasts do not like the standard (included) enclosure and would rather go with a custom mounting option. The four holes in the printed circuit board give end-users the flexibility to mount the board however they wish.
GI0F5059 (Medium).JPG
GI0F5059 (Medium).JPG [ 30.62 KiB | Viewed 118311 times ]
File comment: An example of the three assembly options. The VGA assembly is perfect for basic troubleshooting, while the VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse assembly is perfect for BIOS tweaking. The complete set (VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse + Serial) assembly is perfect for the kernel developer who wants to hack at the lower-level hardware, or perhaps the enthusiast who wishes to connect a RS232 weather station to their HP MediaSmart Server.
GI0F5189 (Medium).JPG
GI0F5189 (Medium).JPG [ 34.6 KiB | Viewed 118309 times ]
File comment: The cable is only 0.5 inches (1.27 CM) thick, which accommodates several different mounting options.
GI0F5160 (Medium).JPG
GI0F5160 (Medium).JPG [ 40.91 KiB | Viewed 118304 times ]


Last edited by cakalapati on Tue May 11, 2010 9:04 pm, edited 34 times in total.
Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
The following user would like to thank cakalapati for this post
ArmyPilot, Loren

Attention Guest: Remove this ad by Registering with the MediaSmartServer.net Forums. It's Free!
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:53 pm 
Offline
2.5TB storage
2.5TB storage

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:52 pm
Posts: 217
Thanks: 12
Thanked: 61 times in 32 posts
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do you have to have a PayPal account to buy a cable? I don't want to create an account with PayPal.
A: You don't need a PayPal account, nor do you need to create one, to pay for the cable. Any major credit card will suffice. If you live outside the United States, PayPal will also handle the currency exchange rates.

Q: How is the payment process?
A: Upon receiving your request (via email), I send you (via email) a PayPal invoice and that invoice has instructions (from PayPal) on how to pay the invoice. The invoice will have your requested cable as a line-item, along with the shipping charge. You can pay with any major credit card, or a PayPal account (if you have one). After paying the invoice, I am notified of your payment. Your package typically ships 1-3 days after your payment clears. When your package ships, I send you an email to notify you that it shipped along with tracking info (if you opted for registered shipping).

Q: How long will it take before I have a cable in my hand?
A: There are many factors that determine how long it takes for you to get a cable. They vary from promptness of payment, shipping distance and customs clearance (for international orders). Typically, I try to send a PayPal invoice 1-2 days after receiving the original request for a cable. Your cable ships 1-3 days after your payment is cleared.

Q: Which cable should I get?
A: I make no assumptions about your needs because everyone's needs are different. The VGA assembly is perfect for basic troubleshooting (like diagnosing boot-up problems or BIOS tweaking). The VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse assembly is recommended for BIOS flashing and other more advanced things. The complete set (VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse + Serial) assembly is perfect for the kernel developer who wants to hack at the lower-level hardware, or perhaps the enthusiast who wishes to connect a RS232 weather station to their HP MediaSmart Server.

Q: Which cable do you recommend?
A: If you are unsure which cable is right for you (see previous question), I recommend people get the VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse cable. It provides a healthy balance between functionality and value.

Q: Why would anyone buy the cable with the serial connection?
A: The answer really boils down to you and your needs. A serial connection on a headless computer is priceless when doing low-level hardware debugging. A serial connection to a UPS can be valuable in case of power failure. A serial connection may be important for the enthusiast who is logging temperature from a weather station (that only accepts a serial connection). Serial will never die because it is vastly used in many embedded markets. With that said, the desktop market is moving away from serial is favor of faster protocols (like USB and Firewire). Unfortunately, there protocols require an intelligent (non-trivial) driver stack, which can be problematic in certain scenarios.

Q: I sent you an email but got no response. Are you offering the cables?
A: If this forum posting says that my service is open, then yes, I am still offering the cables. I get a bunch of email and I am usually very good at responding to them in one to two business days. However, if you have not heard from me in three days, then I either did not receive your email or it got lost among other emails. Sometime spam filters re-route good email so if you are emailing me from a foreign country, that may be an issue too. Simply resend your email and you should be fine. If this still will not go through, post it to the forum.

Q: Does the cable coming out from the motherboard to the PCB contain the wiring for the serial connection in case I wanted to add the serial connection later to the PCB.
A: I don't do anything to cripple the functionality of the wire or the PCB between the three product offerings. That is, the three product offerings are the same, except for the extra soldered components and testing. The cable has all 26 wire-leads available and acts as a pin-to-pin extension cable. You can solder (if you wish) a connector to the PCB at a future time and it should work fine. Soldering your own components to the PCB will naturally void any warranty from me.

Q: What spawned the second generation cables?
A: In short, you. I try to get feedback for each cable that is sold. Even though most feedback is positive, I pay close attention to the negative feedback as well. The two most common recommendations for improvement were to produce a higher quality cable and to decrease the lead time. The second generation cable accomplishes this and much more.

Q: What are the exact dimensions of the PCB?
A: 3.94 inches by 1.7 inches.

Q: Where exactly are the mounting holes?
A: With the origin (0,0) being in the upper left corner (near the DSUB9 connector) holes are at (0.15,0.07), (1.27, 1.40) (1.30, 1.40) (3.78, 0.80). Units are measured in inches. Each hole is on a 0.160 inch round pad with a 0.125 inch hole.

Q: I bought a first generation cable. Is there any chance I can trade-it-up to a second generation cable?
A: No. The first generation cables are still fantastic cables and if you purchased one, you really got your moneys worth given the amount of time it took to build and test each one.

Q: Where did you get the 26 pin female to female cable extension?
A: The 26 pin female to female cable extension is build by a third party company using factory grade equipment. It results in a much higher quality cable, capable of undergoing much more stress than the first generation cable.

Q: The first generation VGA cable was $40. Why did the price jump from $40 to $60?
A: The price for the first generation VGA cable is a reflection of the cost of the VGA cable, plus the labor it took to get that cable usable with the HP MediaSmart Server. The second generation cables use a different business model. That is, the fixed cost of producing one cable is simply higher. Regardless of which option you chose (VGA, VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse, VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse + Serial), the same fixed costs (26 pin custom cable, PCB, PCB enclosure, etc) are consumed. The price is slightly higher but you get a much better cable.

Known Issues
--The HP MediaSmart Server 48x and the Acer easyStore H340 need a jumper to enable USB/PS2 keyboard and USB/PS2 mouse functionality.

--Sending the same consecutive byte over a serial connection using HyperTerminal (which ships with Microsoft Windows XP) will periodically result in a bit flip on on most significant bit. The issue is a software bug with HyperTerminal. Other serial applications should work flawlessly.

--USB to PS2 adapters do NOT work. If you are ordering a cable assembly that includes the PS2 connectors and you do not have a PS2 keyboard or a PS2 mouse, you may not be able to communicate to your MediaSmart Server via the PS2 ports. Workaround: Use a PS2 keyboard or a PS2 mouse on the PS2 ports. If you do not have one, use a USB keyboard or a USB mouse on the USB ports.

--The Acer easyStore H340 (and probably the HP MediaSmart Server 48x lineup) PS2 keyboard will not work unless there is a mouse plugged into the PS2 mouse port.


Last edited by cakalapati on Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:54 am, edited 14 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
The following user would like to thank cakalapati for this post
jonny120
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2009 10:15 pm 
Offline
1.5TB storage
1.5TB storage

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:20 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Thats a great looking product. What's the turn around time from email notification to ship date?

Can we request a couple extra inches on the cable to insure it will be able to be retrieved from the top empty drive bay?

[For the record I'm ready to be order #1]


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 1:41 am 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:07 am
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
I am also up to one! :D for the VGA + PS2 Keyboard + PS2 Mouse Assembly


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Sun Apr 12, 2009 10:19 pm 
Offline
2.5TB storage
2.5TB storage

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:52 pm
Posts: 217
Thanks: 12
Thanked: 61 times in 32 posts
My goal is to have cables shipped 24-48 hours after I receive the request (provided there is a prompt payment of course).

Turnaround time is something I'm taking very seriously. Nothing is worse than being excited about a product only to find out your have to wait three weeks to get that product in your hands. Also, since some customers contact me because they cannot access their data (for example, they accidentally disabled their MSS network card and they need a VGA connection to undo their faulty settings), waiting a long period of time before they can access their data is problematic.

The good news is that this generation of cable assembly is optimized for a speedy turnaround time. I have a large fixed-number of printed circuit boards, and their corresponding cables. In other words, for the first time in my service's history, I have inventory. Unlike the first generation cables, which were built on demand, these are available for immediate purchase. This should help the user experience by significantly reducing the turnaround time.

Unfortunately, it also means that I cannot alter the 18 inch cable length. I have been selling cables for a long time and 18 inches seems like the magic number. If you think 20 inches is better, let's talk more about the details of what you are trying to do.


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:13 pm 
Offline
Max Contributor
Max Contributor

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 1099
Location: Roseville, California
Thanks: 10
Thanked: 22 times in 21 posts
Nice Now I can do this Mod:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2765

Looks like with the new cable this might be the solution I need to motivate me to take on this project. Im am also looking to take an empty MSS case and turning it into a esata enclosure to pair with my current MSS.


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:54 pm 
Offline
1.5TB storage
1.5TB storage

Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:20 pm
Posts: 83
Location: Iowa
Thanks: 3
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts
Just got my Gen2 Cable setup in my top bay and it works great. Watching the machine start up you realize how slow the machine really is compared to your everyday machine.


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:18 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:10 pm
Posts: 2
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
I purchased a gen2 cable a few days ago shipping was fast.
it works perfectly!

will post pictures of the mod when it's finished


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:36 am 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:07 am
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
awsome! Working great! :D Gen 2 cable recommended


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:21 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 11:19 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Honolulu
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Thanks Charles! Fast Ship and nice craftmenship!


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Fri May 22, 2009 5:03 am 
Offline
2.0TB storage
2.0TB storage

Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:23 pm
Posts: 147
Location: UK - London
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 1 time in 1 post
Will you have a USB version for the keyboard and mouse? 8)

_________________
EX470


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:08 am 
Offline
2.5TB storage
2.5TB storage

Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:52 pm
Posts: 217
Thanks: 12
Thanked: 61 times in 32 posts
Thank you for the feedback guys!

The PCBs were ordered in bulk to keep the cost affordable to you (the customer). There will not be USB version with the Gen2 assembly but I will consider it during the next-gen revision.

If you do not have a PS2 keyboard, there are many USB-to-PS2 adapters that exist (see picture) that will solve this problem. In fact, I used a few different PS2-to-USB adapters when determining the spacing between the PS2 (aka Mini-DIN-6) connectors. You should have no problems finding these adapters in your local electronics shop. They are very inexpensive.

The makers of the MediaSmart Server designed this connector for developers so I imagine simplicity was paramount. PS2 is far more simple than USB.


Attachments:
C184-35700-main.jpg
C184-35700-main.jpg [ 4.26 KiB | Viewed 116160 times ]
Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 8:12 am 
Offline
MVP/Moderator
MVP/Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:21 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Thanks: 77
Thanked: 273 times in 268 posts
Since the adapters are plentiful and inexpensive (and come with many USB keyboards) I don't know why you would even think about building in the USB conversion...

_________________
....JBick

EX475, 2 GB, LE-1640
PC1: Vista-->W7 Ultimate/32, (D-Drive RAID-5 Array)
PC2: Lenovo Laptop, Win XP Home SP3
2xLinksys WRT54G v1.1 and 2xNetGear GS105 Gbit switch


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 1:33 pm 
Offline
Top Contributor
Top Contributor
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:04 pm
Posts: 677
Location: Montreal
Thanks: 27
Thanked: 76 times in 71 posts
Forgive my ignorance. If it's posible to use a simple adapter to change the PS2 connector to USB, then is it posible to use this as 2 extra internal USB ports to wire any USB device ?

USB hard drive, USB sound card, USB TV tuner.

_________________
HP MediaSmart EX495 E8600 3.2Ghz CPU, 4GB ram, 8TB storage including 3TB drives in pool. WHS with Active Directory, WDS, Media Center Master, Logitech server. Office 2010 server with client add-ins.
Microsoft MVP - Windows Home Server.


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2009 9:04 pm 
Offline
MVP/Moderator
MVP/Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:21 am
Posts: 4725
Location: Dutchess County, NY
Thanks: 77
Thanked: 273 times in 268 posts
I have not tried this on an MSS but I did try it (Loooong ago) on a PC and the answer there was NO. I very much doubt it would work as the logic "inside" the box is not expecting a general USB device -- it is specially wired for a KBD/Mouse,

_________________
....JBick

EX475, 2 GB, LE-1640
PC1: Vista-->W7 Ultimate/32, (D-Drive RAID-5 Array)
PC2: Lenovo Laptop, Win XP Home SP3
2xLinksys WRT54G v1.1 and 2xNetGear GS105 Gbit switch


Top
 Profile  
Thanks  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 124 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 9  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group