Using a ServeSwitch Ultra with a 1U server

I have been using a Black Box ServeSwitch Ultra for well over 10 years.  At the time it was the perfect choice for our needs as it worked well with the 4 kinds of machines we were connecting to it.  It has never given me a moment of trouble in all this time, so when I needed to attach some new servers to it, I called Black Box and ordered the cables.  However, when they arrived, the hood on the vga connector end of the cable was too large to fit into the available space.

The IBM x3550 1U server uses a standard VGA (HD 15pin) connector. Due to the placement of the PCI slot and the way the back of the case is shaped there is no room around the vga cable for the extra size of the Black Box EHN485-00xx vga cable end. (The ps2 to usb converter needed for the ServSwitch Ultra is inside the vga hood, so simply removing the hood and replacing it with something slimmer is not an option and would I am sure void the warranty.)

While a short hd15 male to female cable would do it, Black Box makes a “port protector” part # FA651-R2 that adds just enough space to do the job.  The image on the Black Box site states “Photo may not show actual model” and this is true as it is a photo of a 9 pin connector, but the size is the same so you get the idea of how small this is.  To use it, you do need to remove the hex nuts on the connector.  This allows you to screw the connector to the x3550 and then screw the cable to it. The port saver provides a tight and tidy alternative to adding extra cable.

  9 pin connector of the same size  15 pin with the nuts removed

 — Greg Priest-Dorman 2008/12/16 11:21