Friday, March 11, 2022

Dell 2161DS-2 serial port pinout

I picked up a Dell (Avocent) 2161DS-2 (same as 4161DS?) KVM recently, and needed to use the serial port to upgrade the software.

Naturally, the serial port pinout is non-standard and requires a proprietary cable which comes with the KVM. Dell part numbers 80DH7 and 3JY78 might be involved. I don't have, and have never seen these cables.

I was able to to find the RX, TX and Ground pins and interact with the system using 9600, 8, N, 1.

Pinout in red text

Is the color coding inside these adaptors standardized? If so this may help.

The system prints some unsolicited messages ("welcome" or somesuch) a little while after power-up.

Notes from upgrading the firmware from MacOS 12:

 # Grab the firmware  
 wget -P /tmp "$URL"  
 # Start MacOS tftp service  
 sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/tftp.plist  
 # Extract the firmware (it's a self-extracting exe, but we can open it with unzip)  
 sudo unzip -d /private/tftpboot "/tmp/$(basename "$URL")" Omega_DELL_1.3.51.0.fl  
 # Now, using the menu on the KVM serial port, point it toward the MacOS TFTP service  
 # to retrieve the Omega_DELL_1.3.51.0.fl file  

1 comment:

  1. This worked for me. I bought the adapter needed from CablesAndKits. Thank you!!! (Now I just have to figure out how to get past the TLS issue)