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Console port trouble with 3550 and ser2net.... WTF???

 
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jbroxon



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Console port trouble with 3550 and ser2net.... WTF??? Reply with quote

so i have usb/serial adapters, ubuntu and 4 3550s set up via ser2net-
everything works fine EXCEPT.....

one of the 3550s is displaying trouble when i console into it-

I cant see most of what i type in the CLI, the output is displayed fine such as a sh ver is all there, but when typing i lose about 50 to 90% of the typed characters and cant see them- it looks like a common speed or parity misconfiguration between ser2net and the con 0 but i have both at the defaults-

9600, 8, none 1 etc (same as the other 3 switches)

Whats even stranger, is that the con 0 works FINE if i console straight in from another PC etc via serial com4-

there are NO issues if i put another device onto the same usb/serial adapter through ser2net (ie. swapping the cable over to another 3550 or router shows none of the same trouble.

I have swapped rollovers as well as serial/usb adapters and same thing happens-

I have swapped USB ports and same thing happens-

What in the hell is the trouble? Is the console port on the switch faulty? If so, why are there no issues when consoling in from another PC's com port? Is Ser2net flaky? probably... but there are no issues with the other 3 switches or any other devices on the same cabling....

I am guessing there is some slight issue with the console port that only presents itself when ser2net comes into play... who knows.. does anyone have any ideas???

I have tried changing speed to 11200, parity even/odd etc and they just make it worse... its very close to working, but I just cant live with this.... not after getting everything else working so great thus far!

ser2net.conf

3001:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB0:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3002:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB1:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner
3003:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB2:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner <<
3004:telnet:0:/dev/ttyUSB3:9600 8DATABITS NONE 1STOPBIT banner


sw3#r <------------- typed sh ver (cr) here
Compiled Mon 09-Mar-09 20:28 by gereddy
Image text-base: 0x00003000, data-base: 0x012A99FC

ROM: Bootstrap program is C3550 boot loader

sw3 uptime is 36 minutes
System returned to ROM by power-on
System image file is "flash:c3550-ipservicesk9-mz.122-44.SE6/c3550-ipservicesk9-mz.122-44.SE6.bin"
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jbroxon



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

heres another "sh ver"


sw3#w+c6V6í <<<<<<<<<<
+(C3550-IPSERVICESK9-M), Version 12.2(44)SE6, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)
Copyright (c) 1986-2009 by Cisco Systems, Inc.
Compiled Mon 09-Mar-09 20:28 by gereddy
Image text-base: 0x00003000, data-base: 0x012A99FC

ROM: Bootstrap program is C3550 boot loader

sw3 uptime is 1 minute
System returned to ROM by power-on
System image file is "flash:c3550-ipservicesk9-mz.122-44.SE6/c3550-ipservicesk9-mz.122-44.SE6.bin"
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jbroxon



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu Sep 30, 2010 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone know perhaps what con0 settings may be adjusted to possibly "tweak" whatever may be causing this? I read somewhere that USB/Serial converters void the Cisco warranties as the injected power they provide may be harmful to the console ports...... never had any issues before in regard to this...
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crissa



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 792
Location: Dortmund, Germany

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbroxon wrote:
Does anyone know perhaps what con0 settings may be adjusted to possibly "tweak" whatever may be causing this? I read somewhere that USB/Serial converters void the Cisco warranties as the injected power they provide may be harmful to the console ports...... never had any issues before in regard to this...


Hello,
where did you read "that USB/Serial converters void the Cisco warranties"?
Bye, Tore

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jbroxon



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

c&p from http://www.davidsudjiman.info/2006/03/27/installing-minicom-to-connect-to-cisco-router-using-console-cable/

c&p>>>>>>>>>>>
Using USB to serial adapters is highly undesirable for cisco configuration as it voids any warranty you may have with cisco (so if you are worried about that sort of thing, please read on, but if you have an old cisco for playing around with, disregard this).
Because of the nature of USB injecting power, it can potentially damage the console port of a cisco router/switch/etc. I have experienced this first hand when someone didn’t want to use a serial port for a brand new cisco 3550 gigabit switch and now you can no longer console to it. Cisco will not replace it either.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

While i really cant verify if thats true or not... seemed to make sense to me in theory at least!
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crissa



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 792
Location: Dortmund, Germany

PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jbroxon wrote:
c&p from http://www.davidsudjiman.info/2006/03/27/installing-minicom-to-connect-to-cisco-router-using-console-cable/

c&p>>>>>>>>>>>
Using USB to serial adapters is highly undesirable for cisco configuration as it voids any warranty you may have with cisco (so if you are worried about that sort of thing, please read on, but if you have an old cisco for playing around with, disregard this).
Because of the nature of USB injecting power, it can potentially damage the console port of a cisco router/switch/etc. I have experienced this first hand when someone didn’t want to use a serial port for a brand new cisco 3550 gigabit switch and now you can no longer console to it. Cisco will not replace it either.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

While i really cant verify if thats true or not... seemed to make sense to me in theory at least!


Hello,
that is the second time I read about this since I started to learn for Cisco exams in 2007. This time with a source, but it is not a link to a Cisco site.

At work I never heard or read about this problem. If a USB to RS232 adapter can damage a Cisco router it could also damage a modem or any other product that has to be connected to a serial port. As laptops without RS232 connectors are more and more common there should be more than only one story about this problem.

The USB to RS232 adapter has the same problem as a RS232 interface on a PCI card or a motherboard. It has to convert 0 and 5 Volt (low and high) to something between plus and minus 3 upto 15 Volt. There are special chips for this and I don't think there is a general problem with this chips.

See <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EIA-232> for more information.

Has anyone another source or heard another story? If so, add it to this discussion, please.
Bye, Tore

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jbroxon



Joined: 03 Sep 2010
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 6:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - just thought i would update. This issue was resolved. I ended up just getting another 3550. Was a lot easier and less time consuming in the long run. Never figured out what caused this. Some issue with that switches console port when accessed via ser2net in ubuntu. Everything works fine with a different 3550 installed.
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parish4512



Joined: 20 May 2011
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using USB to serial adapters is highly undesirable for cisco configuration as it voids any warranty you may have with cisco (so if you are worried about that sort of thing, please read on, but if you have an old cisco for playing around with, disregard this).
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codeblack



Joined: 10 Jun 2011
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I faced similar issue as TS mentioned and found that it was due to the cheap 'usb-to-serial' converters that I use ( bought US$0.99 each on ebay). I recently bought 2 Serial ports PCI card (as I have one extra PCI slot on my MB) and get my 3550 directly connected to serial ports. I find it to be more stable.
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