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Switch Serial control of Smart-AVI HDN-8P

Discussion in 'KVM' started by Kimball, May 25, 2017.

  1. Kimball

    Kimball Active member

    I have purchased from KVMGalore a Smart-AVI HDN-8P and a Raritan RAV-IP encoder/decoder pair that are working OK. Although re-establishing the IP-video connection when it gets lost is difficult.

    But what I need is to be able to switch between systems on the KVM without leaving my desk.

    The HDN-8P has the capability to switch between systems manually with a switch on the box, by keyboard key combination, or by RS232 serial connection.

    The RS232 (I believe) requires a terminal session between the controlling user's system and the KVM switch. That requirement makes it a maintenance problem.

    The keyboard key-combination option is the correct solution, but it does not work. That is I press the key combination and there is no result at the KVM: the port to the systems does not change.

    I believe the problem is related to the RAV-IP pair that allows my keyboard, mouse, USB, and video to be located about 20' from the rack where the systems, RAV-IP encoder, and KVM switch are located.

    The RAV-IP decoder has USB ports for the keyboard and mouse, and two additional USB ports, one of which I use for an audio headset. All of these operate normally. The RAV-IP encoder has external 'flat' USB ports and a 'square' USB port which I don't recall the precise name for. I connect to the Smart-AVI USB user system port using that square port on the RAV-IP encoder. Again, this works for the kb, mouse, and audio on the RAV-IP decoder.

    The RAV-IP encoder, decoder also have 9-pin RS-232 ports which I have nothing to connect to on the decoder end. The HDN-8P also has a 9-pin RS-232 port. I could put a RS-232 serial cable between the RAV-IP encoder and the HDN-8P, but I believe there needs to be a terminal server session (like putty) running somewhere to make such a connection usable. Under these conditions, I have concluded there is no need to enable RS-232 communication on the RAV-IP pair.

    The question is, why doesn't the HDN-8P recognize the keyboard combination commands to switch between servers using the working USB connections between the remote keyboard and the HDN-8P user-system USB input?

    If there is no answer to that question, then I need a KVM switch that will accept keyboard port-switching control through the RAV-IP extender, or I need a KVM switch that will accept IR commands from a hand-held remote.

    If the replacement KVM switch is the only option, I am willing to accept DVI connectors with DVI to HDMI cables.

  2. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    The flat USB port is USB Type A. The square USB port is USB Type B.

    But before we can address your main issue, we have to clarify: Please describe the connection between your RAV-IP Encoder and Decoder. Are they connected using...
    a) Dedicated CATx cable running directly between Encoder and Decoder
    b) CATx cable connecting each box to an Ethernet switch
    c) CATx cable connecting each box to existing CATx premise wiring, using RJ45 wall connectors and/or patch-panel
    d) Other (please describe)
  3. Kimball

    Kimball Active member

    The configuration is B: I have a 25' cat6 cable running between the Encoder and a 1 gig switch and a 6' cable running from the switch to the decoder.
    The Encoder and Decoder are each receiving a dedicated ip4 address from DHCP on a Linksys 9500.
  4. Kimball

    Kimball Active member

    You don't have an edit feature on your posts.
    The switch also has a separate connection to the Linksys.
    Therefore the wiring looks like this:
    --- Encoder
    router ----------- switch
    -- Decoder
  5. Kimball

    Kimball Active member

    Your post editor removes spaces. sigh.
    router to switch, switch to encoder, switch to decoder - it's a Y.
  6. Michael SmartAVI

    Michael SmartAVI Active member

    Hello Kimball,

    1. This seems to be an issue with the 3rd party box

    2. Which USB port are you connected to on the hdn-8p? The keyboard needs to be plugged into the dedicated keyboard port in order for commands to work.

    3. What kind of keyboard are you using? Wired or wireless? Brand?

    Best test you can do is to establish a direct USB connection between your keyboard and mouse to the dedicated KM ports on the HDN-8P and try to switch via keyboard commands.

    If this test works for you, please let us know so we can diagnose a probable cause.
  7. Kimball

    Kimball Active member

    OK, we're getting somewhere, but slowly.

    You asked about the Raritan: so it is the remote communications pipe over CAT-6 using a switch.

    On the decoder end, I plug in the monitor with HDMI. Plus the wired keyboard and mouse, and the wired headset, with USB.

    On the encoder I plug in the HDN-8P USB Type-A into the encoder USB Type-B.

    The encoder does not have dedicated keyboard and mouse ports like the decoder. But it does have 4 Type-A USB ports on the front but they are unmarked.
    Therefore the HDN-8P does not directly get connected to by the keyboard and mouse using its dedicated 'terminal' keyboard and mouse ports.
    Therefore the HDN-8P has empty keyboard and mouse USB ports. But the keyboard and mouse work just fine on all the servers connected to the HDN-8P by normal KVM wiring over the Type-A to Type-B USB wire to the encoder.

    The control key combinations specified for the HDN-8P, are just common keyboard combinations.
    Therefore, if the HDN-8P receives the other keyboard combination keys, it should also also recognize the control combinations since they are the USB buss.

    But I tried the Type-A USB cable from the Type-B USB port on the encoder in the keyboard USB on the HDN-8P and no mouse or keyboard input was recognized. But putting the USB back in the HDN-8P USB 'buss' port restored the keyboard and mouse operation.

    So it appears that the HDN-8P keyboard port, and probably the mouse port, are 'dedicated' in some way to keyboard and mouse and do not recognize USB buss signals (just guessing about why).
    But the two 'terminal side' USB buss ports on the HDN-8P are sharing the buss with the USB ports that the servers plug into. So the keyboard and mouse signals are reaching the servers, but not the HDN-8P, even though that's the way a locally connected keyboard and mouse would share commands with the servers.

    In any case, now you know the connections. But I don't think the answer is in the connections, its in the manufacturer's specifications.

    So Gefen has some boxes, some for around $300 and some for around $1023 on your site. This might replace the whole setup and put the KVM operations at my desk.
  8. KVMGalore Expert

    KVMGalore Expert Staff Member

    Which Gefen boxes are you referring to?
  9. Kimball

    Kimball Active member

    Ummm... I'm finally coming to the conclusion that you don't really know your product line very well, nor do you have a very good understanding of how these systems interact. I believe I got into this situation because when I purchased the raritan rav-ip pair, which I did with your guidance to specifically communicate with the smart-avi kvm switch, also purchased from you, you didn't really understand the possible capabilities of the combination of that device and the smart-avi switch. Based on the very bothersome behavior of the combination, I consider it a design error.

    If you are unable to find those geffen products in your catalog system with a few clicks like I did, and you are unable to understand why I would be considering those components as an alternative, and finally start giving me some good advice, I'd have to say that I could have done this better without your participation.

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