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Computer Peripheral Systems, Inc. - Technical Reference
Rebooting Product FAQ

The following FAQ is intended to help in answering questions about and determining the appropriate product(s) for rebooting situations

If you have any addtional comments or questions, click here sales@cpscom.com.

Q. "Can the International AC Power Controller (IPC) recognize direct Touch-Tone commands?"

A. NO. The IPC's stand-alone functions are limited to reboots on ring counts and reboots by the Heart Beat software (when hung). If you want to enter direct Touch-Tone commands, you need a CONTROLLER (starting at $135.00) in front of it. It can however receive direct RS-232 commands through its 9-pin serial port.

The Controller will also allow you to (1) share the phone line, (2) provide a password and (3) control a number of IPCs (multi-port controllers, 3 or 8 port versions). Normally, you would connect the Controller to a line that is currently being used for something else (voice, fax, modem) thereby saving a phone line.

Q. "Can the Automatic Ring Rebooter (ARR) recognize direct Touch-Tone commands?"

A NO. The ARR was originally built to reboot on unanswered ring counts only. If you want to enter direct ON/OFF commands, you need a CONTROLLER (starting at $135.00) in front of it. The Controller will also allow you to (1) share the phone line, (2) provide a password and (3) control several ARRs (multi-port controllers, 3 or 8 port versions). The ARRs are also $10.00 less ($79.00 each) when purchased with any of the Controllers.

Q. "You mean I need a separate Intelligent AC Power Strip (or IPC) for each device that I want to reboot in addition to the controller?"

A. YES, but the savings that you realize from sharing the phone lines will soon pay for the Intelligent AC Power Strips or IPCs. You may also note that each Intelligent AC Power Strip has a 15 Amp rating (each IPC is 10 Amp), whereas some of the combined products have a total cumulative rating of 15 Amps, so you have to be careful that the power ON surge for multiple products do not exceed this.

You also have a third, less expensive, reset option when using a Controller. You can use a Reset Button Cable Adapter ($15.00) to cause a "push button" reset instead of a full AC power reboot. It connects to the rest button, if available, or to the reset pins on the motherboard.

If you really want to get tricky, you can use the Auto Push Board (APB). The APB connects to AC power pins on an ATX style motherboard to achieve a full AC power reset. It may also require a BIOS setting. See Resetting ATX Motherboards.

The Controller is also programmable and provides a direct ON or OFF control as well as passwords, if that may be beneficial.

Q. "How many Touch-tones do I have to enter?"

A. It varies based on the product and the length of the password, anywhere from zero to about a dozen. But most customers simply append them to an AT dial string, along with the phone number, and let the modems do the work. The Controllers being called answer the line so a modem does not need to be connected to it. We also have some free database software to help you configure the units and to use them more effectively.

Of course, if you were in a restaurant, or did not otherwise have access to your PC, you could enter the Touch-Tones through a cell phone or any phone for that matter.

Q. "What kind of software is this?"

A. It is a Windows database program called the "Touch-Tone Commander". It has a "wizard" type of interface that asks you questions for the product that you are using (location name, phone number, password etc.). It then formulates a profile for that particular product location. When you need to access that product, select it, and then simply "click" on the command desired and the modem will send the correct Touch-Tone command.

Q. "I use PC Anywhere and it, or my PC, hangs frequently, especially after long periods of inactivity. What is the least expensive product that you have to remotely Reboot a machine?"

A. The Automatic Ring Rebooter (ARR $89.00). It normally works with a modem, but it is not necessary. The ARR simply counts the rings. If the modem does not answer in six rings (modem or PC is hung), it will recycle the AC power. Of course if no modem is present, it will never answer and the ARR will always reboot after six rings.

Q. "Can I control each AC outlet on the Automatic Ring Rebooter (ARR)?"

A. NO, but you can designate the number of "controlled outlets" and use the others as normal surge protected power strip outlets that are "always hot". This is as much a safety factor as it is a design decision.

Each ARR has a 15 Amp rating. If you have multiple devices powering ON at the same time, you have to be careful that the power ON surge for the multiple products do not exceed this. It would either kick the circuit breaker in you electrical panel or on the ARR or both.

Q. "Can I control any of you products over the Internet or a LAN?"

A. YES. We have released a free software product called "Serial Net". It runs on a remote PC considered to be the "server" and converts the Telnet inputs to RS-232 outputs. It could be accessed with any Telnet client. You would need a product that accepts direct RS-232 controls to turn the power ON or OFF. The IPC and IPN can also be used with "Serial Net". We are also working on a Telnet client to provide secure access.

Q. "Your Heart Beat Rebooter connects to a PC's serial port. Can I control it directly instead of using the Heart Beat software?"

A. YES. And this is also true for the IPC and the IPN. In fact, if you are using Windows, we have a free DLL that will allow you to simply make control calls from your application software. It can be used with Visual Basic, Visual C++, and Builder C++.


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 July 11, 2003