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RS-232 Products

CPS - Article
Innovative Data and Telephony Products

CPS manufactures out of band (dial-line) products in the following categories:

  • REMOTE PORT SWITCHING (analog and RS-232)
  • DIAL SECURITY (authentication)
  • RS-232 SHARING

You will notice that the products may have threads in different categories even though it may not be the primary objective of that particular product. It is included because it may serve as the most expedient method of carrying out the design objective for that product.

As an example, some of the following REBOOTING products utilize a LOCK and KEY type of security handshake similar to the CPS Challenger authentication systems. But the Key (a.k.a. hardware token) is also used to select a port or carry out the rebooting action. The security aspect may not be currently required, it is free, and it may make an auditor smile someday. Fat chance.

However, secure access, more than just touch-tone passwords, is becoming an increasingly important consideration for many customers and some of the new product and new wrinkles are oriented in that direction.

Another trend is toward sharing the phone line with other devices. Out of band (dial) rebooting may be used only occasionally. Often it is used only as a backup to rebooting over the network or the Internet, so the economics of dedicating a phone line to that task may be questionable. Sharing the line turns out to be a very favorable alternative.

for a complete list of Rebooters go to http://www.cpscom.com/reboot.htm

RRC Family

Remote Rebooting Products
Out of band (dial-line) remote rebooting and remote resets are becoming an important segment of the CPS product line. As a consequence, the products are evolving to optimize this requirement. The following are some of the products in that application area that include some new security and new line sharing wrinkles.

These Touch-Tone Reboot Controllers (Local or Remote) are more flexible versions of previous products. They can support either an Optional Intelligent AC power strip ($79.00 less discounts) and/or a Reset Button Adapter ($15.00 less discounts), through which the reboot or reset is performed.

The AC Power Strip option provides additional ON/OFF touch tone commands, whereas the Reset Adapter simply connects to the reset button pins of the target PC platform and performs a reset when initiated.

Longer Cable Runs and Line Sharing
In addition to other features, the target devices can be connected to the controller over long cable runs of up to 2000 feet and the controllers can also share the phone line with other devices. They can also be controlled locally over the in-house network cabling.

All three products perform basically the same functions, but are packaged for large and small requirements.

The single port unit (SP-RRC) has only the Default Port in addition to the TelCo Line Port. To share the line, the AC power strip or the Reset Button Adapter are connected to the default device through a RJ-11 "Y" adapter.

You can play this same "Y" adapter trick on the 3P-RRC (Two Controlled Ports and the Default Port) to control three devices while still sharing the line with the default device.

Remember these are not switching devices. They are simply reset devices for one or more ports. If you are interested in remote switching devices that can also handle the reset devices, see the MRS, the FTS or the 2C on our web site.

8 Port Remote Rebooter $325.00
MP-RRC Application Diagram

3 Port Remote Rebooter $195.00
3P-RRC Application Diagram

1 Port Remote Rebooter $135.00
SP-RRC Application Diagram

They work like this:

  1. A phone call is placed to the controller.
  2. The controller answers the line and listens for a touch tone password.
  3. a. If the password is recognized, it will execute the subsequent touch-tone commands; port #, (On/Off/Reset). The Touch-Tone control can be entered manually or appended to an AT dial string.
    b. If no password was detected (the norm), the call would be passed through to the default device (fax, modem, voice, etc.) thereby sharing the line with that device.

INTERNAL RRU "I" $125.00
RRU Internal Picture

Security Key Based Remote Reset
The Remote Reset Unit (RRU) fits in an opening on the back panel of a PC, but does not require a card slot on the motherboard. It is powered from the phone line. The modem (internal or external) or other shared device is connected with a short external cable.

Security Key
As a brief review, the RRU connects to the reset pins on the motherboard of the target PC and to a shared device (phone, fax, modem, etc.). The concept is that a Security Key (S) is required by the caller to reset the system. But if the key is not present at the calling end, the call will be passed through to another port where a phone or fax is connected thereby sharing the line. The call can also be aborted, if desired.

RRU Application Diagram

This is a case where the Security Key provides an expedient method to initiate the reset function without requiring the entry of tone commands. It also provides a high level of authentication even though it may not currently be required by the application.

Programmability was developed to expand the security aspect of the RRU. The security code in the RRU can be changed by the customer with the aid of an RRU Programmer $99.00. It is also used to reprogram the Keys.

It allows you to quickly change the security codes in all of the units in the field in the event that one of the Keys or an employee turns up missing. This can be done remotely or locally.

HELP! Rebooting Product Selection
As a result of reacting to customer requirements over the years, some of the product features are sliced pretty thin and product selection becomes a little fuzzy.

First decide what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to use Touch-Tone controls and share a line that has a modem on the default port, you need a product that will answer the line itself and isolate the modem until the Touch-Tone commands can be deciphered. The products that answer the line are the MRS, the FTS, the MP-RRC, the 3P-RRC and the SP-RRC. Key based products do not have this consideration.

If something else answers, such as a fax, voice, answering machine or PBX you can consider the 2C, the RRU, or the K-RRC. They are a little less expensive since they don't have the return ring back circuits.

Next consider if you actually want to switch the call to another remote port or if you just want to reset/reboot equipment on another port. The Reboot/Reset only controllers are a little less expensive, but the Switching controllers can also support the optional Reboot/Reset devices.

The Reboot/Reset only product options are the MP-RRC, the 3P-RRC, the SP-RRC, the RCU and the RRU. The Switching products are the MRS, the FTS, and the 2C.

Next consider if high security is an issue. If yes, select one of the products that is controlled with a KEY. Consult the CHART on the last page for additional help.

It is the latest line up of the rebooting products and remote sharing switches that also have a rebooting function.

for a complete list of Switching products go to http://www.cpscom.com/switch.htm

NEW FTS $225.00
FTS Picture

Flexie Telephone Switch

FTS Application Diagram

This Touch-Tone controlled product allows a caller to select up to three different remote analog ports to connect the call. The password and port selection Touch-Tones can be entered manually or appended to the AT dial string of the calling modem. It is a down-sized version of the Modem Router Switch (MRS).

For additional application flexibility, it can also support the optional Intelligent Power Strip or the Reset Adapter on any port.

It also has automatic fax recognition. So if connected to a fax line (most common "shared line" for small business applications), the call goes immediately to the fax machine if desired. This product can be reviewed at http://www.cpscom.com/gprod/fts.htm.

232-PSS Picture

The 232 Port Sharing Switch (PSS) allows a caller to select up to eight RS-232 ports at a remote site over a single modem. The selection is accomplished very transparently through a rotary selection switch on the security Key connected to the caller's modem. This is another case where security may not be the issue, but the key provides a very seamless method of making the remote port selection.

However, where security is an issue, a new 232-PSS PROGRAMMER ($99.00) has been developed to expand the security aspect of the product.

It allows you to quickly call all of the RS-232 PSSs and change the security codes in the event that one of the keys or employees turn up missing. This can be done remotely or locally on the bench. It is also used to program new 232-PSSs and Keys.

This may be a very real consideration in cases where you have a number of maintenance people that may change jobs frequently or if you wish to use another maintenance firm.

One rather interesting application for the 232-PSS didn't involve remote port selection at all. Instead it went the other way using it to share one modem between multiple PCs.

It involved satellite modems aboard ships. Since the satellite modem did not have a standard analog phone port, the only way to share it was through its RS- 232 port.

The 232-PSS provided the RS-232 connections to the modem and the PCs. It also arbitrated the 232 signals so that one PC could not talk while another was using the modem.

Of course, the usual method of sharing phone lines between multiple PCs, or more specifically their modems is with the (TSS) Telephone Line Sharing Switch. It can share up to six phone lines between an unlimited number of PCs with modems.

for a complete list of Security products go to http://www.cpscom.com/dsecure.htm

CAS $295.00
CAS Picture

Controlled Access System

CAS Application Diagram

This product was designed to control maintenance access to remote or local modems by outside vendors. With open modems you may not know who or when new software is loaded on your system. This may result in considerable confusion, viruses as well as outright liability.

With the CAS, the system administrator can assign a one-time password to a remote modem. The scenario is as follows:

  1. The outside maintenance vendor calls the system administrator to request access to xx modem.

  2. The system administrator verbally gives the vendor a one-time touch-tone password and a time frame in which he has to call.

  3. The system administrator then calls the CAS unit using a touch-tone administrative password and enables it for xx time and assigns it the one-time password.

  4. If the outside vendor calls within the time enabled time window and enters the proper password (port # imbedded), he can get through. All other calls will be aborted.

This is not restricted to maintenance applications. It can be used to selectively allow access to any network for any reason.

A similar concept can be achieved by using one of the remote AC power controllers and simply calling the modem and powering it on with the instruction to power it off after the next call. If this is of interest, check out the 2C or any of the RRCs previously discussed.

NOTE: The ATTACHED CHART lists the general characteristics of each of the products listed above.


Computer Peripheral Systems, Inc.
5096 Bristol Industrial Way, Suite B
Buford, GA 30518
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM EST
Technical Support
(770) 945-0643
8:30 AM - 5:30 PM EST
(770) 945-9342

© Copyright 1996-2003  Computer Peripheral Systems, Inc.
This file last modified September 9, 2003