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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:19 pm 
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Comp1962 wrote:
That looks like the same board HP used. Take a look: viewtopic.php?p=7555#p7555


Hey Comp1962,

Have any of those HP or Acer debug boards surfaced since early 2008 when that was posted? It would seem somewhere in China they would be making knock-offs and selling them on eBay for $15, but everything I have found is homegrown. The VOV boards look really nice but I just can't see paying a C-Note for something so simple. I would like to buy 50-60 from VOV but there is such a small break ($5-$10) on large quantity orders we are going to just build them.

P.S. I registered with my standard tag Kacy1968 but it was late and I click on (I was born AFTER 2000) so I had to print and fax something so I just made this acct. If you see that other acct (Kacy1968), I'm DEFIANTLY over 18 LOL! But my wife of 25 years may beg to differ. :chicken: <---- wife.

-Kacy-


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 2:27 pm 
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database00 wrote:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VGA-PS2-Board-Accessory-Test-Module-for-VGA-PS2-Control-Connector-Interfaces-/251031101624?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a729ea0b8
Image
I recently got an lx-195 and was thinking of swapping the os.
has anyone seen these? would this be an easy conversion to use?
for 6 bucks could be an easy way to make these things awesome.


Hey database00,

I just bought a few of those VGA/PS2 boards off eBay. After I get them, put them in a project box and wire em' up I let you know how they work. I think they will do well as most would only need the monitor and keyboard to get into the bios. After you are in WHS a USB mouse should work fine.

Will Keep you Updated!

-Kacy-


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 3:49 pm 
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Kacy,

I have only seen pictures of those twice. My guess is the motherboard manufacturer made those up in limited quantities for Acer and HP . As for the VOV Technologies boards they are very nice, I own 3 of them and 1 custom cable which works but its not as nice as the VOV Debug Board. Hey you only need one. I too looked at building my own cables and such a while back and for the most part my time is worth more then the cost of just purchasing a ready made solution and I hate crimping small connectors.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 4:41 pm 
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Comp1962 wrote:
Kacy,

I have only seen pictures of those twice. My guess is the motherboard manufacturer made those up in limited quantities for Acer and HP . As for the VOV Technologies boards they are very nice, I own 3 of them and 1 custom cable which works but its not as nice as the VOV Debug Board. Hey you only need one. I too looked at building my own cables and such a while back and for the most part my time is worth more then the cost of just purchasing a ready made solution and I hate crimping small connectors.


Ya, I hear ya about crimping tiny connectors, I have to put my readers on AND use a magnifying glass, Lotsa fun getting older. After I get a good working and study prototype I'm planing on outsourcing to a few kids in my neighborhood that hangout at my retail store and are very handy with soldering irons and small connectors. Heck, it's such a simple little cable I might have them make a few hundred and toss them on eBay for $30-$40. There does seem to be quite a demand for some affordable debug solution for these servers.

Wish Me Luck! :) I'll Keep the forum up to date on the projects progress.

-Kacy-


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:33 pm 
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Quote:
I would like to buy 50-60 from VOV but there is such a small break ($5-$10) on large quantity orders we are going to just build them.


That's awesome! Please post on the forum if you need any help. We would love to help you.

FYI: 50-60 is not considered a large quantity order. Most manufacturers consider 1,000-100,000 to be a large quantity orders. If I can get that many customers to commit to buying a cable, I can certainly bring my prices down to a commodity price-level. Custom hardware at low quantity is not cheap.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 6:27 pm 
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So I am betting this is going to be user error. I have just received my debug board today with Monitor/Mouse/Keyboard support. I plugged it in, applied the jumper (EX495), plugged in a working monitor and tested VGA cable, but get no VGA signal. The server still boots up fine and shows up with Windows Homeserver Manager so I know it's working correctly. When the VGA cable is plugged in, the monitor appears to receive a sort of signal in that it's connected to something.....just no image. When the cable is unplugged the monitor indicates it has lost signal. The USB keyboard I used works (according to the lights - CAPS and NUMLCK) and seems like I should be good to go. The PS2 keyboard lights up at boot only, but then ceases to enable/disable CAPS/NUM lights when depressed.

One thing I noticed, the location of my jumper...I have read here that it is installed on the two pins marked with a large "J." Mine is clearly marked with a "C" (see attached file)

On a separate note, I wanted to chime in on the customer service, response time, and craftsmanship of our service provider. He has been nothing but professional when corresponding with him. His email replies come in a very timely fashion despite the societies desperate need for instant message type response. His product is of quality material and his time is well worth (I paid $80) every cent I invested.....once I get it working of course. : )

Those who chose to dig him for his price, service or response need to check their own personal time value. I found everything well within reason...........especially for the convenience. Thanks a lot for the help if you have something to offer. I feel I am missing a step to make it work, but not sure what it could be......

File for reference to "C" jumper location
Attachment:
image.jpeg
image.jpeg [ 284 KiB | Viewed 8280 times ]


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:18 pm 
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I would look closely at the DEBUG connection on the motherboard. The connector does have a correct orientation but the ends are somewhat weak and easy to break especially when removing the connector itself. Basically you will want to see if the connector is installed correctly and if its not my guess is the short side ends of the connector are broken because on the sides of the DEBUG Female Connector have very small tabs which stick out to help determine the correct orientation of the connector and its those tabs which if inserted incorrectly which will actually break the side walls of the motherboard connection. Its a very delicate connector and very small and its the only thing which makes sense to me about what could be wrong. I own 3 of the VOV Debug Boards and 1 custom connector so I have probably connected more of these then the average person and yes I have moved them to other MSS units I work on and even when you connect the cables they are tight fitted even when connected properly and are always sort of a pain to remove.

Also check the connections on both ends to make sure they are correct and firmly in place. While there could very well be an issue with the actual DEBUG Board I would find it highly unlikely but rule out the connections and then if everything appears to be correct then you will have to discuss this issue with Charles.

Good Luck!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:07 pm 
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Thank you for the suggestions, but all of your ideas have checked out. Charles also wrote me directly and gave me some similar items to check. Everything appears as though it should work. Very weird. I am going to try another monitor and cable all together, but not confident that is the issue. The connectors are tight on both sides of the cable and I have oriented it as shown in the pic. This is by no means a boast, more of an admission of lameness, but I have worked in IT for almost 20 years and have certainly connected my share of cards, devices, memory, processors, etc.....I just feel like there is something small I am missing.

Oh and here is another tidbit of oddity......when I boot the WHS with the DEBUG connected and jumped properly, I get the following information in device mangler. It shows a display adapter now. Is that and expected adapter type? If you happen to know.


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more odd.png
more odd.png [ 7.34 KiB | Viewed 8268 times ]
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:43 am 
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I looked at your picture and if you look at it closely the far right pin looks like it may not be seated. If I have the correct orientation this is for Pin 26 and that's a 5v line using the pin outs posted in the link below:

viewtopic.php?p=4416#p4416

I mean it could be an illusion on my part and I would also say it doesn't look like a pin but something soldered which these cables are not but it just looks funny and it could be nothing.

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cakalapati, hockeyman
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:19 am 
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@ Comp1962 - Thanks for the help.

FYI...I'm working with user hockeyman directly to resolve the issue.

Also, the whole "J" and "C" thing printed on the PCB has nothing to do with the 2-pin connector that houses the jumper which enables the PS2/USB keyboard. The 2-pin connector is called "JP2". You can see that label next to the connector in the photo. :-)


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hockeyman
PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:07 pm 
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Your welcome Charles!

I have 3 of your boards and each has been rock solid. I need to get another one possibly 2 more but I need to talk with one of my customers to see if he wants to install one or not. I actually offered to do the installation for free because I know when the time comes if he runs into a problem its easier to work with an MSS with a DEBUG Board already installed then to have to install and remove one just to service the unit.

Hopefully hockeyman will get his working so he can enjoy it as I have all these years.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:10 am 
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Just in the interest of promoting........we have tried just about everything that can be tried and Charles has shipped me a new board with a return label free of charge. This is another example of this service being well worth the investment. Standing by one's product, assisting to the "enth" degree and making good customer service a priority. I really appreciate the support on this forum and also by Charles. I too hope it was just a one off issue and not a problem with my system therefore a waste of your time and effort. My EX is still operational so I don't know what the heck it can be.

You have both been very cool and awesome to communicate with. :cheers:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:20 am 
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Hopefully you will connect up the replacement and begin to enjoy using is as much as I and others have. As I have mentioned I own 3 of them and am looking to get another one very soon. I look forward to hearing how you make out when the new debug board arrives.

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~ Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
~ AMD Phenom II X4 995 3.2 GHz
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hockeyman
PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:44 am 
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Long time lurker, 1st time poster here. \:D/ That aside, I'm far from a n00b. I just wanted to wanted to write in and confirm what a pleasure Charles is to deal with.

Recently, my trusty EX485 decided to go on strike. Everything looked normal, except for the blinking health light and the absence of the drive lights. After trying one of the suggestions in the forums, I pulled the drives out, then booted and left on for a short while before trying again with the drives in place. Afterwards, my MSS was just in a constant reboot loop. It would power on for maybe 20 - 40 seconds, then reboot and do it all again. I debated scrapping the MSS and going with a new Synology or similar, but I felt my old friend still had some life left in it. Besides, for comparable horsepower in a new NAS, I would be spending a good chunk of change. I debated for a day, maybe 2, on ordering the debug board due to the cost/use ratio, but rationalized it by loosing count of how many other things I've bought in the past that cost more and never got used at all. #-o Anyway, to make a long story slightly shorter, I emailed Charles, he sent me a PayPal invoice, and a couple days later, I had my debug board! Works absolutely wonderful and looks very professional! With that in place, I was able to track the problem down to the power supply, which would work fine until the drives tried to pull some juice, then it would restart. I replaced the PS, and life got better. The constant sudden power drops apparently didn't do nice things for my OS, so I had to run the recovery. But in the the end, it's back up and running, which would not be the case without a debug board.

Thanx again Charles and Merry Christmas!

...Teto...


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Happy to report that the new board shipped (immediately and free to me) has been installed and worked instantly. As many have said, Charles is VERY professional to deal with and clearly stands by his product. The PS2 devices don't seem to work still, but a USB mouse and Keyboard both do the job fine. I was able to access BIOS and the beast now has a head!

Thanks to Comp1962 and of course Charles for your ongoing support and advice during my installation. Now I just have to figure out what to do with my beast. I want to get off WHS and am leaning towards Windows Server 2012 Essentials. I'll be happy to come back and report my status from time to time.

Happy Holidays all.... :banana: :beerme:


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