[TenTec] Re: Pegasus Plus observations

James Carlson carlson@workingcode.com
Sun, 8 Sep 2002 15:10:13 -0400 (EDT)

Mark Erbaugh <mark@microenh.com> writes:
> I guess we hams are just trying to connect too much stuff to our computers
> <g>. I think the real solution would be for equipment manufacturers to
> support some sort of multi drop network. Given the state of the art right
> now, I would recommend Ethernet and TCP/IP. I don't know how to do it, but I
> think someone could have some success building and selling a little outboard
> box that would translate Ethernet TCP/IP into RS232 serial. I would think
> that it would be doable with a PIC or Basic Stamp chip and a few other
> parts.  However, since I've not seen such a device, maybe there's more to it
> than that.

Indeed.  The device you describe is called a "terminal server."  It
can be used to make RS-232 serial ports appear to be TCP ports on your

There are *many* such devices on the market, and they've been around
for at least 15 to 20 years.  (Back in 1991-1997, I used to work at
Xylogics, which bought the Annex line of terminal servers from Encore

Look for Cyclades, Lantronix, Nortel, Cisco, and Lucent for this sort
of equipment.  The last time I looked, which was *quite* a while ago,
prices were in the (new, list) $100 per port range for the tiny 8 port
machines.  There's a very active secondary market for this stuff,
though, and the prices are much lower there.  Check eBay and look for
Annex or Livingston PortMaster.  (ISPs often sell off boatloads of
these things when they upgrade from discrete dial-up modems to
integrated digital modems.)

James Carlson                                  <carlson@workingcode.com>