Low cost LeoStick based Serial Switch

The farm is connected to the Internet by a WiMax based wireless service which occasionally has a problem which needs the WiMax modem / router to be rebooted.

A low cost USB powered switch connected to one of the computers at the farm solved the problem nicely.

The WiMax modem has been surprisingly reliable - I used to run a WISP and have been very impressed by the stability of this device. However, certain misconfigurations and conditions can result in a lock up which is most easily and quickly fixed by a reboot. Unfortunately this is a sufficiently complex process that I don’t want to have talk a non-technical person through doing it over the phone.

Fortunately we have an SMS modem for sending Nagios alerts which uses smstools to send alerts and was easily adapted to receiving a few simple commands. Coupling this with the Leostick USB switch (www.castro.aus.net/~maurice/electronics/LeostickUSBSwitch/) and the WiMax modem can be remotely rebooted without local human intervention.

The project cost is well under $100 - approximately $60 with the LeoStick being the bulk of the cost - making it very affordable .