Help!! New Install, Hardware Issues.

  • I'm trying to install PFSense on an old network analyzer box. It used to have some form of Linux on it and was built by a company called Cymphonix which is now owned by or something. There's a little card in the front (circled in the pic) that is used to plug in the LAN/WAN ports from the front of the machine. Other than the LAN/WAN ports it also has a USB port which is routed to the serial port on the motherboard, and it has a 10/100 ethernet port which was used to connect through the management console instead of the using the web interface to change the settings of the machine.

    The card basically gives you access to the stuff inside from the front of the case when it's on a rack and the cover is installed on it. I have PFSense on it now and when it boots the card comes on and gets connectivity to the LAN/WAN cards, and then disconnects and just flashes the lights on the front. It will do this once during boot and once after it's booted but it won't connected. I can connect directly to the network cards and everything works great.

    Anyone know how I can get this to stay on? I want to be able to use the access ports from the front. Otherwise I will have to keep the lid off and access the stuff directly from the inside.
    ![IMAG0410 (Medium).jpg_thumb](/public/imported_attachments/1/IMAG0410 (Medium).jpg_thumb)
    ![IMAG0410 (Medium).jpg](/public/imported_attachments/1/IMAG0410 (Medium).jpg)

  • Why on earth would you want to use such a box as the basis for your internet router? Is this some sort of intellectual challenge?
    Don't get me wrong, I am not being critical of your effort to do something amazing there… you just blew my mind away...

    Well, based on the picture, your box seems to be built around a standard motherboard. Strip all the hardware around (network boards, cables, extension cards in the motherboard slots), which seems to be speciality stuff put in there by the manufacturer for its original intent. And use it as a plain vanilla intel x86 base and add a net card, some flash storage etc. Then install pfSense nano and run the show.

    Actually, upon further examination of the picture, you can probably use the two network cards already mounted in the PCI slots. So, just disconnect the front network board (top of the picture). Directly tap into the two network adapters mounted in the slots, with the motherboard LAN you have 3 net connections. That's 3/4 of a good router  ;D

    Good luck.

  • Thank you Halea, I get bored sometimes.

    So the goal is to put the lid back on the box and use that network board on the front. I have set it up by bypassing the board and it works, I just want to keep that board working. There has to be something in the OS that's not keeping it on. Is there a way I can pause the screen while it's loading to read the data? Maybe I could see something in there that will point me in the right direction.

    And, why only 3/4 of a good router? Why not 100%?? :)

  • Hi there!

    Thank you Halea, I get bored sometimes.

    Well, that's the impression that you gave me anyway, but don't you have more interesting challenges to chase after?!  ;)

    And, why only 3/4 of a good router? Why not 100%?? :)

    My definition of a good router bill of material:
    A quart of good hardware
    A quart of good power
    A quart of good net link
    A quart of hard work
    And a pinch of wit, wiz or wisdom (whichever is readily available)  ;D
    Well, it looks like the quarter missing in your case is the hard work.

    Ok I understand that you fancy the idea of using every bit of this strange box. Did you figure out what exactly that top board is supposed to be in the original network analyser design?

    It looks like it's taking the serial port of the motherboard, and the two network adapter ports. So, it may be doing simply pass through or massaging the data streams, like creating a promiscuous mode while the original Ethernet ports wouldn't be able to do. That's how things used to be done when micro-controllers were used in logic or network analysers, but with a full blown intel pc motherboard, that's surprising.

    If you take a close up picture of that board where the chip labelling is legible, by looking them up in component catalogues we can figure out maybe a bit more, but the likelihood that you will be able to use it "as is" is a rather remote possibility.

    Have fun

  • Okay is this what you're looking for? Where do you look this stuff up at?

    Let me know what yo come up with, I found this here:

  • Just looked it up on xilinx's website. They call it a Complex Programmable Logic Device. I am not familiar with this line, but it sounds like it is a rather sophisticated custom programmable gate array. Short of connecting it to a logic analyser and spending a few hours of quality time with it  :P it would be impossible to figure out what it does (and still…). Going back to the overall specs of the original product there may be a way to do a better guesswork but at this point I am at a loss.


  • I'm studying the mating behaviors of squirrels now. Stupid A.D.D.

    Anyway thanks for your help. I'm wondering of there wasn't something in the old image that triggered the Complex Programmable Logic Device to stay on. I may come back to it later, right now I'll just play with it as it is. It has four gigs of memory and plenty of storage. Maybe I can move the components to a smaller form box and

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