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Using the Serial Port

The device comes configured to automatically pull an IP address from a DHCP server. You can assign a static IP address to the device either via the serial connection or via its web-based menu once it is up and running. If you want to assign a static IP address via the serial connection, you will have to supply power, which requires it being connected to a target PC, since power comes through the USB port. Interestingly, it doesn’t power up unless at least the USB port and a PS/2 connector are connected.  Simply connecting the USB port alone won’t trigger the device to boot.

Once connected sufficiently to power, it boots up. There is no on/off switch, or even a reset button. There are several status lights on the top of the device for power and status, see below. The device took between 60–80 seconds in my tests to completely boot up, as indicated by the status light (Figure 4) going from a blinking to solid state.

Status lights

Figure 4: The Spider's status lights

Connecting to the Spider via the serial connection requires a PC with a working COM (RS232) port, or a USB to COM port adaptor. The only time you’ll need to use the serial connection and menu is if you need to assign a static IP. IP settings are also the only configurable options via the serial connection. All other adjustments need to be made via the web interface.

The COM port connection is pretty straightforward and I was able to easily connect using a HyperTerminal session set at 115200-8-N-1-No.  Assigning an IP address is pretty intuitive, as you can see from Figure 5.

Setting a static IP

Figure 5: Setting a static IP through the serial connection

I tested the Spider by letting it pull an IP address from my LAN DHCP server, which in this case is a Linksys RV042 router, then logging into the Linksys to see what IP address was assigned to the Spider. Just to double-check, I ran a quick ping to the Spider to verify connectivity, and got immediate responses.

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